The city of Fez in Morocco is one of the most beautiful medieval cities in the world. There is a lot of things to do in fez. It will need at least 2-3 days, but there are also many who want to know what to see in Fez in a day. We, for organizational reasons on our first trip to Fez, did not have more than 24 hours to know the essentials of this city. Fez, one of the four imperial cities, has three distinct zones. The oldest part of the city Fez el-Bali, is for many the world ‘s most beautiful medieval citadel and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Things to do in fez
Fez el-Jdid, is the newest area that houses such as Mellah, the Jewish quarter of the city and the Ville Nouvelle is a French colonial area. In this post, we focus on the Medina Fez-el-Bali and we tell you the 12 essential things to see and do in Fez in one 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 Medina Fez-el-Bali, a very old quarter of the 8th century. To get oriented in the medina, we advise you to first go through the main streets: Talaa Sghira (the small hill) and Talaa Kbira (the big hill). You can enter the alleys and then always try to go back to find these main roads so you do not get lost completely. Here we suggest an itinerary with all the main places to visit in Fez.
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1. Bab Boujeloud, the Blue Door
We start the route at the main entrance to the Medina which is Bab Boujeloud, the beautiful Blue Door, built at the beginning of the 20th century. It is a door with three arches decorated with mosaics of blue tiles, that’s what his name comes from. It is a very lively area of the city that is worth contemplating one of the cafés with a terrace around it.
2. Madrasa Bou Inania
From the main gate of the Medina, taking the main street Talaa Kbira, you will soon reach the beautiful Medersa Bou Inania (inaugurated in the 14th century), one of the most important and best maintained Koranic schools to visit in Fez. Differently, from the 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 filled with beautiful geometric patterns. The beautiful fountain in the courtyard is still in operation and the faithful often washes in it. Its tower is covered by green tiles that shine from far away from reflecting the sun’s rays.
3. Nejjarine Museum
Among the several museums in the city, one that is worth visiting in Fez even if you have only one day is the Nejjarine Museum of Art and Crafts. Located in an inn built in the eighteenth century, this museum is worth visiting first of all for the building that houses it, a World Heritage Site. The museum exhibiting wooden objects has a patio of three heights and it is worth climbing to the highest floor to see the view of the patio from above.
It is interesting to know that Fez has been one of the first cities in the world that introduced the water supply. In the streets of Fez you will find many old fountains of different colors, each of them is a charm. The best known is the Fountain of Nejjarine (located next to the Nejjarine Museum), but wandering around the city, you will find many others.
4. The souks
Of no Medina in Morocco can be missing the traditional Arab markets, the souks. One of the best places to visit in Fez, if you are looking for a colorful show where all kinds of products are sold. The souks are divided into different sections and the most striking is the Attarine Souk with many pharmaceutical and spice shops, the Nejjarine souk where carpentry craftsmen work on their works that are later put on sale or the Chemainne Souk where you can buy endless supplies. Variety of dried and roasted fruits. In the souks of Fez, as in any souk in Morocco, you will have to bargain for a reasonable price.
6. Mausoleum of Moulay Idrís II
Another of the sacred places to see in Fez that you can only contemplate from outside is the Mausoleum of Mulay Idrís 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.
These are the essential places to see in Fez in a day since we believe that in a 24-hour stay it is better to focus on the Medina Fez-el-Bali. Anyway, in addition to visiting the aforementioned places, you spend most of your time getting lost in the alleyways of this open-air museum where a simple walk will seem like a trip to a very distant past.