The third largest city in Morocco also boasts one of the most magnificent sights: tanneries in midst of an old medina. Hailed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fez has made a name for itself as a must-go destination for numerous travelers. Enjoy and indulge with this list of must-do’s!
1. Wander through Talaa Kebira
Talaa, Fez, Morocco (map)
That famous Bab Boujeloud (Blue Gate) is here where you can access Talaa Kebeera – a massive street Fez hubbing all that medina jazz.
Lines of souks, shops, arts & crafts will feast your eyes while the experience itself is like stepping into a time machine, whisking you right back to old Fez with immense charm.
2. Chouara Tannery & Fes el Bali
Hay Lablida Chouara, Fez, Morocco (map)
It’ll be a stinky experience but a total must-do! Bring a scarf or a handkerchief to be ultra prepared, and you might want to set up with a guide at your hotel/hostel ahead of time to take you through the confusing alleyways to get to the tanneries.
Fez is famous for its leather goods and the sight of tanneries has become a renowned must-see in every guidebook. Chouara Tannery is located 20-30 minutes by foot from the Blue Gate.
3. Treat yourself at Spa Laaroussa
If you’re ever going to give yourself a treat on the road, Morocco is the place to do it since it’s famous for hammans (traditional Moroccan bath).
Public baths or local hammans can easily be found in every Moroccan city, but we highly recommend private ones where you can get the best amenities and an upscale scrub down. Spa Laaroussa is a fan favorite, and a total pamper especially for couples on honeymoons.
4. Devour at Dar Ramouna
At a quiet corner of the Medina lies this alluring hotel Dar Ramouna, which is Arabic for House of the Pomegranate.
The restaurant inside the hotel is a great choice for those who are tired of walking around. It serves Mediterranean cuisine by using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, led by classicaly trained French chef Vincent Bonnin.
* If you’re staying at the hotel, take advantage of Monday night’s traditional Moroccan home cooking made by Dar Ramouna’s housekeeper Naima.
5. Al Attarin Medersa
Boutouil Kairaouine, Fez, Morocco (map)
Built by Marinid sultan Uthman II Abu Said in 1323-5, Attarin Mderesa is a beautiful house where you can see gorgeous tilework, carvings of Arabic woodwork and calligraphy on walls.
The madrasa was amed from the spice and perfume market – Souk al-Attarine. This is a peaceful and lovely experience if you’re a fan of architecture and Arabic craftsmanship.
6. Check out one of Africa’s largest mosques: Kairaouine
Fes el-Bali, Qayruwan quarters, Fez, Morocco (map)
Some consider this the oldest university in the world, while this is definitely one of Africa’s largest mosques with the ability to host 20,000 people during prayer sessions.
A Tunisian refugeeFatima el-Fihria established Kairaouine mosque established in 859. It was later expanded by Almoravides during the 12th century. Today, the mosque has been recently restored but non-Muslims cannot enter the mosque, so you can simply peek at its courtyard from the main door.
7. Indulge with mint tea and Wi-Fi at Café Clock
Opened by a former maître d’ in London, Briton Michael Richardson has created a great resting place for travelers in the heart of Fez’s medina. Café Clock offers Arabic classes, cooking classes, traditional Moroccan music concerts and film screenings.
Best of all, it has Wi-Fi!
Relax with fresh mint lemonade or mint tea and indulge in its menu that spans from hummus to burgers.
8. Enjoy the green in Jardin Jnan Sbil
Avenue Moulay Hassan, Fez, Morocco (map)
Just a few more minutes walk toward the other direction of the Blue Gate is a gorgeous garden to take your energy away from the crowds and surround yourself with peaceful nature.
Jardin Jnan Sbil is free and full of beautiful plants, and a hidden lake in midst of lovely trees. The medina can be too jammed-packed for some travelers, so the garden is a fantastic chance to retrieve an inner zen.
9. Browse through antique boutiques in the Jewish quarter
Mellah, Fez, Morocco (map)
Back in the 15th century, Fez’s Jewish community was alive and significant. The area called Mellah still carries their history and stories of religious past.
Today, you can check out teh newly restored Ibn Danan Synogogue, an important monument dating from the 17th century and built by Mimoun Ben Sidan, a wealthy merchant from the town of Ait Ishaq. In the area of Mellah today, you can shop at quaint antique boutiques where you’ll find Fez’s best vintage goods including art and furniture.
The Jewish cemetery is also in the area, which is worth a visit.
10. Dinner at Restaurant Numéro 7
Want Moroccan gastronomy in Fez? You can get it at Restaurant Numéro 7, a minimalist space that honors Moroccan cuisine with local markets and seasonal flavors.
“From tiny, thin-skinned dduk lemons to sumptuous white mulberries, wild thistle hearts and salted, pickled plums, bunches of sage, mint and coriander, live Beldi chickens and camel meat, it is a feast for senses on every level.”
11. Stay at Riad Numero 9
Morocco has always been a favorite destination for fashionistas and jetsetters throughout history. Riad Numero 9 is the perfect example of such glamour. Stephen Di Renza is a fashion history and the former design director of Dunhill. He transformed an 18th-century Moroccan bourgeois residence into a magnificent three-suite boutique hotel/restaurant. The hotel is so intimate that you can book the entire place for your private party.