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Things to Do in Fes Morocco

Fes, Morocco is a city full of wonders and surprises! From ancient medinas to colorful markets, Fes is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Whether you’re looking for cultural attractions or outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone in Fes. Here are 15 can’t-miss attractions and things to do in Fes Morocco, that will make your trip unforgettable! 

From exploring the historic medinas to savoring authentic cuisine, this list will help you make the most out of your visit to Fes.

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1. Get Lost amid the Alley of Fes el Bali

Fes el Bali is one of the oldest parts of Fes and an absolute must-see. This area of the city is often referred to as “Old Fes”, and it’s characterized by winding narrow alleyways, beautiful mosques and madrasas, vibrant markets, and traditional craftsmen’s workshops.

The best way to explore this area is to get lost in its labyrinth of passageways and lanes; you never know what you may find around the next corner. Explore the bustling souks to pick up a souvenir or two, or take some time to sit in one of the many tea houses for a spot of refreshment. Be sure to stop by Medersa Bou Inania, a stunning 14th-century madrassa, as well as Qaraouiyine Mosque, Fes’ oldest and most prestigious mosque.

2. Admire the Medersa Bou Inania – Things to Do in Fes Morocco

One of the greatest attractions in Fes, the Medersa Bou Inania is an amazing feat of Islamic architecture. Built-in 1350, this stunning structure was commissioned by Sultan Abu Inan Faris and is one of the most visited monuments in the city. The site consists of a mosque, madrassa (religious school), and a library, all elaborately decorated with intricate stucco carvings and carved cedar ceilings.

Visitors can take in the breathtaking beauty of the interior courtyard where you can admire the design of its marble columns, mosaics, and zelliges. Though non-Muslims are not permitted to enter the mosque, they are allowed to view it from outside. Don’t forget to also stop by the adjoining library where you can marvel at its impressive collection of manuscripts dating back to the 14th century.

3. Shop in the Medina Souqs

A visit to the old city of Fes is not complete without a visit to the bustling medina souqs. Here, you’ll find a wealth of locally-made products, ranging from carpets and pottery to leather goods and spices. You can haggle with the vendors, enjoying a traditional Moroccan experience in the process. Be sure to look around and explore as you can find some real gems tucked away in the tiny alleys and side streets of the souqs.

To get the best deals, try to shop during the morning or evening when it’s less busy. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to hire a local guide for a few hours to show you around the souqs and tell you about their stories. With their help, you’ll be able to discover some unique treasures and take home some unforgettable memories of your time in Fes.

4. View the Qaraouiyine Mosque’s Exterior – Things to Do in Fes Morocco

Fes is home to the grand Qaraouiyine Mosque, one of the oldest universities in the world and one of Morocco’s holiest sites. The magnificent mosque was established in 859 and remains the spiritual center of the city. While non-Muslims are not allowed to enter, you can still marvel at the building from the outside.

From the Mosque, you can gaze upon a stunning example of Moorish architecture, with its intricate stone and plasterwork. Make sure you don’t miss out on the unique minaret; a striking tower, it stands out among the neighboring buildings. Stroll around the perimeter to take in the views and get a glimpse of local life in this enchanting city.

5. Explore the Mellah District

Fes’ Mellah District is a unique part of the city that offers an intriguing glimpse into the past. The area is the former Jewish Quarter, and it offers a fascinating insight into the life of Jews in Morocco. Visitors to the district can explore winding alleyways lined with old buildings and courtyards, including an old synagogue.

Many of the original Jewish families still live in the Mellah district, so visitors should be respectful and refrain from taking pictures or videos unless permission is granted. Be sure to take a stroll through the fascinating marketplaces as you make your way through the Mellah district. Here, you’ll find local merchants selling everything from spices to clothing and souvenirs. Don’t forget to try some of the delicious local snacks available too!

6. Climb Up to the Rooftop of the Medersa el-Attarine – Things to Do in Fes Morocco

If you’re looking for a breathtaking view of Fes, then don’t miss out on the chance to climb up to the rooftop of the Medersa el-Attarine. This stunning piece of architecture was built in the 14th century, and it is the oldest medersa (or Koranic school) still in existence today. The large central courtyard is decorated with intricate mosaics, and the building is topped with a minaret that offers beautiful views of the city below. Climbing up to the rooftop takes some effort, but it’s worth it for the gorgeous views of Fes and the surrounding mountains.

7. Take in the Views from the Borj Nord and Merenid Tombs

The Borj Nord and Merenid Tombs are two of the most iconic landmarks in Fes. From their vantage point atop a hill overlooking the city, visitors can take in spectacular views of Fes and its many mosques, palaces, and monuments. The Borj Nord is a large fortification that was built in the 16th century by the Saadians to protect the city from invading armies.

The Merenid Tombs, on the other hand, were constructed as a burial ground for members of the Merenid Dynasty who ruled over Fes from 1248-1465. Together, these two landmarks offer an incredible look into the history and culture of Fes.

When visiting the Borj Nord and Merenid Tombs, be sure to come with comfortable shoes and plenty of water. It’s a bit of a climb to reach the top of the hill, but the view is worth the effort. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see the Rif Mountains in the distance. This is one of Fes’ must-see attractions and not to be missed!

8. Admire the Royal Palace’s Gate in Fes el Jedid – Things to Do in Fes Morocco

One of the most impressive sights in Fes el Jedid is the Royal Palace’s Gate. As you approach this stunningly ornate structure, you will immediately be taken aback by its intricate details and regal beauty. The gate itself is constructed from intricately carved cedarwood with carvings of verses from the Quran. The entrance to the palace is guarded by a pair of sentries who guard the doors day and night.

Once you’ve admired the Royal Palace’s Gate, you can continue to explore Fes el Jedid, an ancient city that was built as an extension of the old city of Fes. While here, take some time to wander through the narrow streets, admire the grand architecture, and soak up the atmosphere of this unique and fascinating city.

9. Experience the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music

The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music is a musical celebration in Fes, Morocco. The annual event brings together musicians from around the world to perform traditional and contemporary sacred music. This festival has taken place since 1994 and is one of the most popular cultural events in Morocco. During the event, musicians perform in some of Fes’ most iconic locations such as the Medina, Royal Palace, Bab el Makina, and other historic sites. 

The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music provides a unique opportunity to experience Morocco’s vibrant culture and artistry. Audiences are treated to an exciting lineup of concerts by international performers and local artists. Attendees can also enjoy traditional dances, lectures, workshops, and film screenings. There’s also a variety of activities for children and families to enjoy, including puppet shows and interactive performances. 

This festival is a great way to get an up-close-and-personal look at Morocco’s rich culture. Visitors can soak in the mesmerizing sounds of traditional instruments, such as the ud, drums, and flutes. And with world-renowned performers taking part in the event, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience. Make sure to add the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music to your travel itinerary if you’re planning a trip to Morocco!

10. Stroll through Sefrou – Things to Do in Fes Morocco

Located just 25 miles southeast of Fes, Sefrou is a quaint Moroccan city with plenty of attractions for visitors. The city is known for its beautiful 18th-century Jewish Quarter, its vibrant market, and its stunning Medina area. The most popular attraction in Sefrou is the Andalusian-style Grand Mosque, which was built in the 11th century and featured intricate arches and doors decorated with colorful tile work.

Other must-see sights include the lively market stalls, where you can find everything from local foods and crafts to handmade jewelry. Sefrou’s bustling city center is also home to numerous cafes and restaurants, so take some time to sample the local cuisine. Finally, be sure to check out the Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts, which showcases artifacts and displays highlighting the city’s history and culture. Whether you’re looking to explore the sights or relax with a cup of tea, Sefrou is a great place to spend a day or two.

11. Day Trip to Taza and Tazzeka National Park

Just a short distance away from Fes lies the stunning Taza and Tazzeka National Park, making it a perfect day trip destination for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in a natural paradise surrounded by mountains and stunning views.

The park is home to over 140 species of birds and several other wildlife, including deer, ibex, and lynx. There are also plenty of activities for adventure seekers, such as mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. For those looking for a more relaxed day out, there are beautiful picnic spots and plenty of opportunities to take in the breathtaking scenery. 

A visit to this park is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Fes.

12. Take a Time-Out from the Hustle amid Bou Jeloud Gardens – Things to Do in Fes Morocco

For those looking for a peaceful oasis in the hustle and bustle of Fes, the Bou Jeloud Gardens offer a great escape. Located just outside the Fes el Bali medina, these beautiful gardens are home to towering palm trees and fragrant flowers. The focal point of the gardens is the Pavilion de la Piscine, a restored 19th-century fountain adorned with blue and white tiles.

There’s also an old hammam and other historical buildings to explore, including an old palace and a mosque. Take some time to wander around and enjoy the tranquility of the gardens; it’s the perfect place to take a break from the hectic medina streets.

13. Check Out the Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Crafts

The Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Crafts is a must-see for any visitor to Fes. It’s located in the heart of the old city and contains a great collection of traditional wooden artifacts. Here you’ll find a diverse range of items from handcrafted furniture to intricate jewelry boxes. The museum also serves as a workshop for local artisans, allowing visitors to watch artisans at work.

The roof terrace of the museum offers stunning views of the city and makes for a great spot to rest and take in the sights. If you’re interested in Moroccan woodworking, this is the place to check out.

14. Visit the Batha Museum – Things to Do in Fes Morocco

The Batha Museum, located in the heart of Fes, is a must-see for any tourist looking to gain insight into Morocco’s culture and art. The museum was built in 1915 and showcases collections from across the country, ranging from traditional art to Islamic artifacts. Highlights include beautiful carpets and tapestries, as well as a variety of traditional pottery and coins. The museum also houses several religious artifacts, such as a copy of the Quran. With over 5,000 items on display, the Batha Museum offers an invaluable opportunity to learn about the culture and history of Morocco.

15. Sleep amid Historic Finery in a Riad Hotel

Experience the elegance and comfort of sleeping in a traditional Moroccan riad hotel when you stay in Fes. Riads are traditional houses, typically with an interior courtyard and an ornate fountain, that have been converted into lodging. Many of these historic buildings have been carefully restored to their original grandeur, complete with lavish furnishings and hand-crafted details. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a luxurious experience, a stay in one of Fes’s beautiful riad hotels will make your time in Morocco truly unforgettable.

Our recommendation: The 20 Best Luxury Riads in Marrakech 

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