1. The many tanneries of Fez
When you come near one of the tanneries in Fez, there is no way you can miss it. Sellers of leather goods are jumping on you to welcome you on their roofs. There you’ll have a beautiful view of the colored baths in which the leather hides are softened or dyed into a new color.
Of the two tanneries I visited, I can highly recommend Sidi Mussa (photo). This tannerie is a little bit of walking from the Medina of Fez, but it’s definitely worth the search. You get a beautiful view of the hardworking professionals and in the meantime you are guided in French, Spanish, Italian or English about the work that is happening below you.
After having pinched your nostrils on the rooftop –to soften leather, pigeon droppings are used, and this sometimes leads to smelly situations…– you’ll get another guided tour through a huge store full of leather items. Not so keen on buying a souvenir? Then just give a small tip as a thank you for the tour and awesome view.
2. The Bou Inania Madrasa
In between the narrow streets of Fez you would never expect it, but there are some gorgeous treasures hidden behind all those façades!
One of these is the Bou Inania Madrasa.
A Medersa or Madrasa is a former Islamic school. A few decades agon the smartest students were trained here to become a jurist, imam or another notable. Fortunately for the tourists, these old schools are no longer in use and can now be completely explored by all travelers.
Now you can enjoy the marvellous architecture and the beautiful interior of this gorgeous building. Mosaics brighten up the space in flashy and sober colors, while beautiful woodcarving elevates the gates and other passages into precious works of art.
3. Explore Fez from up high
Fez is gigantic, and the real size of this city of millions can really only be seen when you look at this imperial city from up high.
That can be done from a roof terrace in your hotel or Riad, but if you want to get the most impressive view, you need to walk to the hills just behind the city. Near the Gare Routière (central bus station) you’ll get the most beautiful views of the imperial city!
Fez is beautiful during the daytime, but at sunset this Moroccan spot becomes even more enchanting!
4. Bab Mellah, the Jewish quarter
The Jewish quarter of Fez is only a step away from the ancient Medina, but gives you an insight into the entire history of this vibrant city.
The Bab Mellah in Fez was the first Jewish district in Morocco. After WW II, many of its inhabitants fled to better places, but to date, many Jews still live with their Muslim brothers without problems.
Be sure to take a look at the Dahan Synagogue and the Jewish Cemetery (which you can also see from the roof of the synagogue). It’s nice to see how different the architecture of this population is compared to the dominant Arab architecture and culture.
5. The royal palace of Fes
The Dar El Makhzen or the Royal Palace of Fez is located directly opposite to the Jewish neighborhood. Previously, it served as a residence for the Sultan, later for many government officials and today, the Moroccan king also regularly moves to these rooms.
Unfortunately, you can’t enter the palace as a visitor, but it still looks spectacular from the outside! It’s mainly the richly decorated Moorish gate that gets all the attention. Don’t forget your selfie stick!
6. The Jnan Sbil gardens
Just outside of the Medina there lies a beautiful paradise hidden. The Jnan Sbil Gardens are an oasis of peace in the always busy Fez.
This park is beautifully decorated with colorful flowers, beautiful palm trees and a whole collection of cacti and other tropical plants.
The showpiece of this impressive park is the main square, where it’s also very pleasant to sit down, relax and unwind.
Picking oranges, standing on the grass or trying to cool yourself with the refreshing water is not allowed! The many park overseers are better trained than guard dogs and they don’t mind to send a strict whistling signal into your direction when a violation has been seen.
7. Bab Boujloud
Fez’s medina has many beautiful gates, but one that you must see is the Bab Boujloud.
This gorgeous blue gate leads you straight to the heart of the medina. In the evening it gets very busy near this gate, but at this time you can also snap the best pics of this impressive monument.
Explore the medina and… Get lost!
I believe the medina of Fez is Morocco’s largest one.
A giant maze of never-ending streets, from narrow to wide, ending on cute squares or dark cul-de-sacs.
The medina is really an attraction in itself, and you can only really see what’s going on here by spending a few hours getting lost in the labyrinth of alleys.
Every so much steps your mouth will drop open or your eyes will keep blinking. Gosh… I really loved this medina!
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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.