The city of Fez in Morocco is one of the most beautiful medieval cities in the world. There is a lot to do in Fez and to get to know it well you will need at least 2-3 days, but there are also many who want to know what to see in Fez in one day.
Fez, one of the four imperial cities, has three very different areas. The oldest part of the city, Fez el-Bali, is for many the most beautiful medieval citadel in the world and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Fez el-Jdid, is the newest area which houses for example Mellah, the Jewish quarter of the city and the Ville Nouvelle which is the French colonial area. In this post we focus on the Fes-el-Bali Medina and tell you the 12 must-see things to see and do in Fes in one day.
- 12 Must-See Places In Fez In A Day
- How To Get To Fez – Transfers In Fez
- Where To Sleep In Fez
12 Must-See Places In Fez In A Day
Without a doubt, the best thing to do in Fez is to get lost in the thousands of alleys of the chaotic labyrinth of the Fez-el-Bali Medina, a very old quarter from the 8th century.
To get your bearings in the medina, we recommend that you first walk the main streets: Talaa Sghira (the small hill) and Talaa Kbira (the large hill). You can enter the alleys and then always try to look for these main streets again so you don’t get completely lost. Here we recommend an itinerary with all the main places to visit in Fez.
Bab Boujeloud, the Blue Gate
We start the route at the main entrance to the Medina which is Bab Boujeloud, the beautiful Blue Gate, built at the beginning of the 20th century. It is a door with three arches decorated with blue tile mosaics, which is why it is named after it. It is an area always very lively of the city that is worth contemplating one of the cafes with terrace around it.
Madrasa Bou Inania
From the main gate of the Medina taking the main street Talaa Kbira in a short time you will reach the beautiful Madrasa Bou Inania (inaugurated in the 14th century), one of the most important and best maintained Koranic schools to visit in Fes. Unlike Medersa Al Attarine, this madrasa is still partially in use and this part that functions as a mosque is not open to tourists. The carved wooden walls are covered by beautiful tiles full of beautiful geometrical motifs. The beautiful fountain in the courtyard is still in use and the faithful often wash themselves in it. Its tower is covered by green tiles that shine from far away reflecting the sun’s rays.
Among the various museums in the city, one that is worth visiting in Fez even if you only have one day is the Nejjarine Museum of Art and Crafts. Located in an inn built in the 18th century, this museum is worth visiting first and foremost because of the building itself which houses it, a World Heritage Site. The museum, which exhibits wooden objects, has a three-storey courtyard and is worth climbing to the top floor for a view of the courtyard from above.
The Fez Fountains
It is interesting to know that Fez was one of the first cities in the world to introduce water supply. In the streets of Fez you will find many old fountains of different colours, each one of them is a charm. The best known is the Font de Nejjarine (located next to the Nejjarine Museum), but strolling around the city you will find many others.
No Medina in Morocco can be without its traditional Arab markets, the souks. One of the best places to visit in Fez, if you are looking for a colourful show where all kinds of products are sold. The souks are divided into different sections and the most striking ones are the Attarine souk with many shops selling pharmaceutical products and spices, the Nejjarine souk where carpenters work on their works which are then put on sale or the Chemainne souk where you can buy an endless variety of dried and roasted fruits. In the souks of Fez, as in any other Moroccan souk, you will have to haggle to get a reasonable price.
Mausoleum of Mulay Idris II
Another of the sacred places to see in Fez that you can only contemplate from outside is the Mausoleum of Mulay Idris II. This sanctuary, built in the ninth century, is located in the sacred district of the city. If you look at the Medina from any roof in the city, you can always see the green dome of the mausoleum.
Madrasa Al Attarine
The Koranic schools called madrasas (also known as medersas and madrassas) are always among the most beautiful buildings of the cities in Morocco, both in Fez and in Marrakech. The Attarine Madrasa is one of the most important in Morocco and is one of the most beautiful buildings to see in Fez. Its construction was ordered by Sultan Abu Said in the 14th century and was in use until the beginning of the previous century. Its interior courtyard is beautiful with a stunning marble fountain and a highly decorated wooden dome. On the walls of the madrasa you can see beautiful mosaics and floral motifs. It is worth going upstairs to visit the rooms where the students used to live.
Al Karaouine Mosque
One of the oldest universities in the world (9th century) is the Al Karaouine Mosque, located in the Fez-el-Bali Medina. It is surrounded by buildings, so it is difficult to appreciate its dimensions. The university also has a large library with 30,000 works, which in its heyday was more than ten times larger than this amount. Although you can’t visit it inside, unless you belong to the religion of Islam – as is the case with all mosques in Morocco – you can have a look at its inner courtyard from the door.
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During your walk in the Medina Fez-el-Bali, you will have to pass by the Place Seffarine, a square near the tanners’ souk. In this square you will see the tinkers who are practicing one of the oldest trades in the city. The sound of the blows to the metal fills the whole square, while the craftsmen produce trays, pots and many other things. One of the best things to do in Fez is to go up to one of the terraces of the bars and restaurants that surround the square to enjoy the show.
Among the places that really characterize Fez, one of the most remarkable are the traditional tanneries. Among the 4 traditional tanneries in the city, the Chouara tannery is the largest. In these patios you will be able to contemplate pits full of different colored dyes that are used in the coloring of the leather. Around the tanneries there are many shops that have terraces from which you can see how the tanners work. The smell is quite impressive, but this colorful place represents one of the most traditional images of the city. In the shops you will often have to fight a bit with people who want to guide you or force you to buy something, you can always ignore them.
To get from the airport to your accommodation comfortably, hire here your cheap transfer in Fez between the airport and your hotel, one way or round trip.
R’cif Square and its gate
Our itinerary with the most essential stops to make in Fez ends in another of Fez’ charming squares, the Place R’cif where you can get some air as you leave the narrow streets of the Medina. It is a wide and lively square where you will also find a beautiful gate.
Views from a rooftop
Although it does not strictly belong to the proposed itinerary, in addition to getting lost in the labyrinth of the city, we highly recommend going up to the roof of a restaurant or a riad to contemplate views of the city. In this way you will have an idea of the dimensions of the Medina.
It is especially recommended to contemplate the sunset from a rooftop, the colors are usually magical.
How To Get To Fez – Transfers In Fez
Fez is a rather chaotic city and it is very uncomfortable to move around the city by public transport, especially with luggage. In order to get comfortably from the airport to your hotel or back, here you can hire private taxis in Fez at a good price.
Where To Sleep In Fez
Few places in the world can be as rewarding an experience as the city of Fez, especially if you stay in the Fez-el-Bali medina. There are some authentic palaces where you can sleep that are more spectacular than the monuments to visit in the city. Besides, the price-quality is wonderful. We have been in the Dar Seffarine, a medieval house of many centuries, a real past. Other wonderful hotels we can recommend are the Riad Batchisarai or the Palais Houyam.
Book here one of the spectacular hotels in Fez, where staying is one of the main experiences of the trip! Find here your accommodation at the best price!
These are the must-see places to see in Fez in one day, as we believe that in a 24-hour stay it is better to focus on the Fez-el-Bali Medina. Anyway, besides visiting the mentioned places, spend most of your time getting lost in the streets of this open-air museum where a simple walk will seem like a trip to a very distant past.