27 Unforgettable Things to Do in Fez

Fez is Morocco’s second largest city and is also one of the most historic. It features two large Medina quarters, which have been named World UNESCO Heritage Sites. The whole city is a labyrinth of history and ancient artifacts, with a modern-day edge. If you want to spend some time exploring one of Morocco’s most interesting cities, here are 27 things to do in Fez.

Bou Inania Madersa

This stunning work of architecture is a college dating back to the 14th century. It’s considered one of the best examples of Islamic architecture in all of Fez. Especially for foreigners as non-Muslims can’t enter the mosques, which traditionally have fantastic architecture.

Wander Around Talaa Kebira

You can enter this area through the famous blue gate and come upon one of the most buzzing areas of Fez. It’s full of souks, food stalls, arts and crafts, and locals doing their shopping. It’s definitely a historic place full of old world charm.

Try a Hamman

This spa experience is a great way to enjoy the culture in Morocco. It makes a great treat after you’ve been exploring the city by foot for a couple of days. It’s a traditional bath that is usually shared with others. It’s health benefits are many.

Chouara Tannery

Fez is known for its leather goods which is why the tanneries are such an important part of the landscape. You may want to hire a guide or go on a tour so that finding it is easier. Once you arrive, you’ll get to see the fully working tannery full of colorful pools of dyes and hardworking locals.

Al Attarin Medersa

This historic home was built by a famous sultan back in 1323. The house shows off beautiful tilework, calligraphy, and stunning woodwork. Anyone who is interested in Arabian craftsman ship will appreciate this beauty of a building.

Visit Kairaouine Mosque

This is considered one of the oldest mosques in Africa. It’s also known as one of the oldest universities in the entire world. The prayer sessions here can hold 20,000 people. This mosque was established in 859 but was expanded in the 12th century. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter so you’ll have to view it from the outside only. The libraries are the most notable as they contain significant documents dating back to 780 A.D.

Wander Through Jardin Jnan Sbil

If you’ve had enough of the bustling city streets, this lush garden is a great retreat. Entry is free and the landscape is full of plants, a hidden lake, and secret paths. Find some peace amongst the trees in this beautiful garden.

Experience Culture at Cafe Clock

This resting spot was created by a British man who came to Fez and loved it. It attracts a lot of travelers who relax over a cup of mint tea while viewing the concerts and films that the cafe puts on. Traditional cooking classes are also offered here in case you want to learn more about the cuisine.

Go Antique Shopping in The Jewish Quarter

This is a great sect of Fez to explore, especially if you love antiques. It was once prosperous and considered a high-end area of Fez. It eventually regressed into a European-like ghetto but has recently become a nice place to explore. Stop off by visiting the Ibn Danan Synagogue and work your way over to the Jewish cemetery. Afterwards, you can spend your time shopping in the antique boutiques that line the area.

See The Golden Gates at The Royal Palace

If it has the name, ‘Royal Palace’ it’s sure to be a grand structure worth visiting. This is true for the palace in Fez. The palace isn’t open to the public but the grand, golden gates can be seen and photographed from the outside. They are beautiful and make a great subject for any photo.

Explore The Fez Medina and Fez el Bali

This is one of the oldest areas in Fez and is considered a World UNESCO Heritage Site. It offers a truly Moroccan scene as there are food stalls, beautiful tapestries, and ornate jewelry for sale. Wandering through the medinas is the number one way to really take in the culture of the city and do a little people watching. Plus, your photos will turn out incredibly. And, you can stock up on souvenirs to take back home. Fes el Bali is known as being one of the largest pedestrian areas in the world. The entire place is like a maze of tiny alleys, winding streets, and vendors selling colorful wares. You’ll see donkey carts, vendors in haggling wars with shoppers, and mounds of colorful spices. This is a great place to try the traditional snacks too as you’ll be sure to work up an appetite.

Borj Nord Arms Museum

This museum looks just like a fortress and it has 13 rooms filled with artifacts. Majority of them are weapons; about 775 of them in fact. Most of them are military style and there is a ton of history surrounding these weapons. Make sure to visit the rooftop as the view of the city is fantastic.

See The Bab Boujeloud

Otherwise known as the Blue Gate, this is one of the top sites in Fez. It’s a stunning work of Moroccan architecture and it makes a great addition to your photo. It won’t take long to check out the gate, but it’s certainly something worth visiting. This area, as well as the gate, were constructed around the 20th century and serve as a central meeting point before entering the Medina. While it blends in perfectly with Moroccan architecture and design, the gate was actually French-made.

Visit The Henna Souk

This is one of the oldest and most intriguing souks in the city. Visitors here will find a wide array of pottery, ceramics, and traditional beauty products like henna. The stalls are protected by the shade of the trees so it’s a great place to wander on a hot afternoon.

Get Lost

While this isn’t exactly specific, getting lost in Fez should be something you do at least once. The entire city is full of surprising, history, and interesting scenes. Let loose, forget about your itinerary and just meander around the city. You’ll be sure to find something that you never would have read about in the guide books. Just make sure you have a map or directions back to your hotel. Then, you can just grab a taxi from wherever you end up and easily get back to your home base.

Shop For Carpets

The carpets in Fez are some of the best and most ornate in the world. Plus, you can fetch a pretty decent price for one at the market. Shopping for carpets here is an experience within itself as you’ll get to bargain with the shopkeepers and eventually take home a great souvenir.

Go Trekking in Tazekka National Park

While about an hour from Fez, this national park is well worth a visit. City life is grand but taking some time to experience the natural landscape will make your trip more balanced. There are plenty of trails for every hiking level and the views from most of them are incredible. Spend some extra time in the town of Taza if you want to remain in the countryside longer.

See a Belly Dancing Show

Belly dancing has been a highlight of Moroccan entertainment for centuries. A trip wouldn’t be complete without experiencing one of these shows for yourself. Many places will offer a traditional meal so that you can enjoy a feast while watching the belly dancers perform.

Visit Nejjarine Square and Museum

This museum focuses on woodworking tools and woodwork. It’s surrounded by architecture dating back to the 18th century and has a rooftop with a fantastic view of the city. This is a great place to wander for a while, especially if you enjoy artwork. Visitors will get to see cabinet work and art from various regions around the country. Many of the works are ancient but there are also modern-day pieces too.

Visit Merenid Tombs During Sunset

These tombs are from the 14th century and are brimming with history. While they are more ruins than tombs, they still make a great place to visit, especially for a picnic. The views are pretty fantastic, so watching the sunset here is a must. It’s not the safest place to be after dark so make sure to visit with a group and leave shortly after the sun goes down. You can get a quick and easy taxi ride to the tombs and you can walk back to the Medina in around 12 minutes.

Take a Cooking Class

There are plenty of schools around Fez that offer cooking classes to visitors. This is a great way to learn about the culture, interact with a local, and take home a new skill. You’ll learn to make a few traditional dishes and then get to eat them afterwards (which is often the best part.) It’s a hands-on learning experience that tends to be a whole lot of fun too.

Wander The Seffarine Square

This is one of the oldest areas in Fez and it’s full of local treats, snacks, and souvenirs. If you want to experience some of the local culture, just wander around this public square. It’s a great place for people watching and picking up a few items to take back home with you. If you’re looking for a Riad to spend the night in, this square may be a great place to check out.

Try The Restaurant Scene

While there are plenty of stalls and street food, the Moroccan restaurants in Fez should not be missed. In fact, you may even stumble upon cuisine from other cultures and countries. Try Restaurant 7 for French food, Riad Rcif for upscale Fassi-Moroccan food, and Mezzanine for Spanish-style tapas. And, don’t forget about Kai Tai which serves up sushi and Thai food.

The Sacred Music Festival

You’ll need to be visiting in June if you want to witness one of the largest music festivals in Morocco. The atmosphere is one of high spirits and you’ll get to meet new people, enjoy new tunes, and be part of something truly meaningful. It’s a great experience to have in addition to your trip in Fez. There will be food stalls, locals, and other tourists out and about enjoying the festivities.

Stay in a Riad

You’ll have plenty of choices when it comes to where to stay in Fez. However, a Riad is a traditional experience that everyone should try. It’s a classic, Moroccan home that is similar to a bed and breakfast. It’s truly an experiential stay and many of them have pools in their courtyard so you can cool off in the summer heat. Even if you are staying in a hotel, try to book at least one night in a Riad so that you can experience this tradition first-hand.

Hike Mount Zalagh

For a little fresh air and a fantastic view of the city, take a hike up this mountain. It’s the biggest mountain that overlooks the city and isn’t too difficult to conquer. Aside from a great destination in Fez for hiking, there are mountain biking trails too. If you’re adventurous, this is a great place for you to explore.

Fez has a lot going on and you’ll want to make plenty of time to see it all. It is packed with history and the culture is hard miss. Wander through the medina, grab lunch in a Riad, and watch the sunset over ancient ruins. A trip to Fez is truly a dive into culture, understanding, and Moroccan hospitality.

From Morocco to Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure

Camel trek in Erg Chebbi

When we got the call from Tern TV to be their Moroccan fixer for the BBC 2 Series, From Morocco to Mali: An Arabian Adventure, it started us off on a quest to find the historic salt roads that cross Morocco from North to South and down across the Sahara.

Our job was to help plot the route, to input any ideas we had of people to meet along the way, to get all the film permits sorted and to transport the crew through Morocco. We were then there as an integral part of the team all through the filming to make sure that everything ran smoothly.

We needed every one of our fourteen years of experience in designing tailormade tours and adventures in Morocco to get the job done – it was a mammoth task.

Morocco to Timbuktu

Charlie Shepherd, Epic Morocco Founder, took the lead and made sure the three week shoot went as smoothly as possible. Simo Hadji was the camera assistant and Khalid was the driver. Our guide, Saaid Naanaa got to play a starring role as he guided Alice across the mountains.

In fact, the presenter, Alice Morrison is also a part of Epic Morocco. We sponsored her for her big world first trek: The Atlas to Atlantic when she trekked from the top of Mount Toubkal to the Atlantic ocean straight across the Atlas Mountains.

Epic transport to the mountains

The Series starts in Tangier and then travels down through Fez and Marrakech, across the Atlas Mountains and to the ancient, lost city of Sijilmassa.

Morocco to Mali

We explore historic salt mines hidden in the mountains, the traditional camel market in Guelmim, and finally cross into the dunes of the Sahara Desert.

It is on BBC2 on 11th and 18th May 2017 at 9.00 pm and available after that on BBC IPlayer.

We are also designing a trip to visit some of the destinations featured. Please contact for details.

The book on the adventure is out now: