Nestled in the heart of Morocco, Fes is a city that effortlessly blends history and culture, making it an irresistible destination for travellers seeking an authentic North African experience. From its enchanting ancient medina to its bustling souks and fascinating historical landmarks, Fes offers a wealth of activities that will leave visitors enchanted and inspired. In this blog post, we will look at some of the best activities to do while visiting this fascinating city.
Best activities from Fes
Wander Through the Enchanting Medina
At the heart of Fez lies one of the most fascinating medieval walled cities in the world, the Fez medina. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this labyrinthine maze of narrow streets, bustling markets and beautifully preserved architecture will take you back in time. As you wander the bustling alleyways, be sure to visit the Bou Inania madrasah, a stunning example of Moroccan architecture, and the Al-Attarine madrasah, decorated with intricate tilework and exquisite calligraphy.
Visit the Ancient Al-Qarawiyyin Universit
For the history buff, a visit to Al-Qarawiyyin University is a must. Founded in 859 AD, it is one of the oldest universities in the world and has been a centre of Islamic education and scholarship for centuries. Although not all areas are open to the public, the grand courtyard and library offer a glimpse of the university’s historical significance.
Experience Traditional Moroccan Cuisine
Fez is a food lover’s paradise, and sampling the local cuisine is an experience not to be missed. Head to the food stalls at Bab Bou Jeloud, the Blue Gate, where you can sample a range of mouth-watering Moroccan dishes such as tagine, couscous and pastilla. For the adventurous, try snail soup or mechoui (lamb on a spit) from street vendors.
Discover the Tanneries of Fes
Fès is famous for its leather tanneries, where the ancient process of dyeing leather is still practised. A visit to these tanneries, located in the el-Bali district of Fes, will show you the vats filled with natural dyes and the craftsmen at work shaping leather goods with incredible skill.
Relax in a Hammam
After a day of exploring, immerse yourself in the traditional Moroccan ritual of the hammam. These public bathhouses offer a rejuvenating experience of steam, scrubbing and massage that will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised.
Shop at the Souks
Fez is home to some of Morocco’s most enchanting souks, where you can find a wealth of traditional handicrafts, carpets, ceramics, spices and jewellery. Don’t forget to hone your bargaining skills, as this is an integral part of the shopping experience.
Take a Day Trip to Volubilis and Meknes
If you have more time, take a day trip from Fes to explore the Roman ruins of Volubilis and the charming city of Meknes. Volubilis has well-preserved mosaics and ancient ruins, while Meknes has impressive monuments such as the Bab Mansour Gate and the Heri es-Souani granaries.
Visit the Royal Palace
Although the Royal Palace is not open to the public, it’s worth a visit to admire its magnificent architecture and imposing gates. The most famous gate, Bab al-Makhzen, is decorated with intricate tiles and brass knockers, giving you a glimpse of the grandeur inside.
Explore the Mellah (Jewish Quarter)
Fez has a rich Jewish history and a visit to the Mellah provides an insight into the city’s Jewish heritage. Explore the Jewish cemetery and the Ibn Danan Synagogue, a beautifully restored synagogue with stunning Moorish architecture.
Attend a Traditional Moroccan Music Performance
Immerse yourself in the soul-stirring melodies of Moroccan music by attending a live performance. Look out for local venues or events where traditional instruments such as the oud, guembri and bendir create an enchanting atmosphere you won’t soon forget.
Take a Cooking Class
Delve deeper into Moroccan cuisine by enrolling in a cooking class. Learn the secrets of creating classic dishes from expert local chefs and enjoy the fruits of your labour at the end of the session.
Climb Jebel Zalagh for a Panoramic View
For breathtaking views of Fez and its surroundings, take a hike up Jebel Zalagh. This hill offers a vantage point from which to capture stunning panoramas of the city’s rooftops, minarets and the Atlas Mountains on the horizon.
Best activities from Fes
Enjoy Sunset at Merenid Tombs
The Merenid tombs are ancient ruins perched on a hill overlooking Fez. As well as offering a glimpse into the history of Fès, they are an unforgettable place to watch the sun set, casting a warm glow over the city below.
Take a Horse-drawn Carriage Ride
Take a leisurely ride in a horse-drawn carriage through the streets of Fez. This charming and traditional form of transport allows you to relax as you take in the sights and sounds of the city.
Attend a Festival or Event
Fes hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and art to religious occasions. Check the local calendar to see if any of the festivities coincide with your visit, and take the opportunity to see the city come alive with joyous celebrations.
Best activities from Fes