Labyrinthine, chaotic and crowded, the Fes el-Bali Medina comprises the oldest part of the city and dates back to the 8th century. Inside its walls are the main museums, monuments and sightseeing tours of Fez.
The Fez el-Bali Medina comprises more than 300 neighborhoods and 9,000 alleys, most of which are dead ends. Although the rule no longer applies, in the past each neighborhood had a mosque, a Koranic school, an oven, a fountain and a hammam.
Get your bearings
To get your bearings in the old medina there are two options: get a map or hire a guide. Getting a detailed map of Fez el-Bali is a difficult but not impossible task. In some hotels or restaurants you can buy maps.
The option of hiring an official guide is ideal to begin to know the city: you will arrive at all the points of interest, he will explain each monument to you, you will learn more about its culture and, perhaps most importantly, he will prevent hundreds of sellers, intermediaries and false guides from approaching you to try to sell you some object or service.
If none of the above options convince you, the best thing to do is to take one of the two main streets, Talaa Kbira (the big hill) or Talaa Sghira (the small hill), and go through them taking alleys but trying to keep them as a reference. We warn you, this is not easy.
What to see in Fez el-Bali
The main points of interest in Fez are: the tanners’ souk, Nejjarine and Seffarine squares, the Bou Inania and Attarine Koranic schools, the big markets on Talaa Kebira and Talaa Seguira streets, the Mausoleum of Mulay Idris, etc.
In addition to the places “with their own name”, the visit to Fez does not end until one decides to take a random alley and let oneself be carried away by one’s instinct. If you find yourself very lost, anyone will take you back to the tourist flow for a coin.