This is one of the largest in Morocco. It is amazing to walk aimlessly around its narrow streets and you need a detailed map for them so you don´t get lost. Inside you can experience all of its historical culture. You need at least four days to visit the many attractions it has. Too bad the "infidels" do not let us enter the mosques and enjoy it. They didn´t let us in the Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss, either. The Palace is also inaccessible because Mokry has acquired a French firm and does not let people visit. The constant wandering of people in the main area is impressive. Its aromas and colorful surroundings are a real challenge to a person´s senses.
If in case you would rather find something else than a Moroccan souk, you can go to this place where Moroccans colour their skins. Accompanied by two local boys, I managed to get to the pools themselves, where they no foreigners go without paying. I have uploaded some videos so you can see what I'm talking about. The place is smelly, the people aren't trying to make friends. It's sad how the people's health is weakened because of all the chemicals used in the painting process. It's not a place to go alone, as I said. I went because I was accompanied. Supposedly, because of how bad it smells, not even the police go there, so it's a privileged place for thugs, even drug dealers.
Bab bou Jeloud is one of the gates to the Fez Medina in the old city. When you go through it, stay a while to admire the blue mosaics, the fine designs and the patterns that decorate its imposing size, and the activity that surrounds it. Bab Bou Jeloud is always lively, whatever the time. If you can, go to a cafe balcony to see the gate from above. There are a multitude of small hotels, restaurants and shops around. It looks like a sea of ants. The men carry bundles to bring the heart of the Medina, like vegetables, leather, oats for horses and donkeys, women chatting, strolling and shopping, everyone was screaming, flailing. It's a show full of colours. The hotels are the cheapest here. They cost about 10 euros/night for a clean double room with breakfast. For the cheapest hotel, the shower won't be included, but you can go to the public toilet! Unlike Marrakesh, the prices for accommodation aren't negotiable. There's relatively little supply for lower budgets, and they know it.
The Dar el Makhzen Palace in the Mechouar area, is the former palace of Moulay Ismail, dating from the time when Meknes was the capital of the kingdom of Morocco. Moulay Ismail has the nickname of the Moroccan Louis XIV, this is because nothing was too good for him. People even called him crazy because he asked for strange constructions. This palace for example, is surrounded by a double wall with a blind road (without any windows) stretching for more than 2 kilometers. The palace was renovated by contemporary kings, the last palace dating from the twentieth century. From the building of Moulay Ismail remain huge graneries, an artificial lake and stables. More than thewalls that enclose the current palace. Moulay Driss sent for the stones of the Roman ruins of Volubilis, 30 kilometers from Meknes, in order to build his palace. So not much is left of Volubilis either.
The madrasa of Attarin dates back to the fourteenth century and constructed from the orders of Sultan Abu Said. Like all madrasas, it functions as a religious school and is one of several such schools that are located within the Medina of Fez. The madrasa has fine wood carving, tiling and stucco. The students there slept in the rooms on the first floor. It also has a lovely patio. The madrasa is open to the public for about 10 dhirams and opening hours are from 8:30 to 12:30 and from 14:30 to 18:30 every day.
It is a small square in the center of the Medina, between the area of the dyers and tanners, where you will find one of the oldest crafts of Fez, the Boilermakers. Boilermakers work making copper items like trays, teapots etc. although currently devoted more to repairing these items. It is a very busy and noisy place (where you can hear the noise of hammers and chisels used by boilermakers).
In the depths of the Medina is its heart: the ninth-century Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque, one of the most important mosques in Fez, and perhaps also the first university in the world. It has one of the largest libraries of Islam, and featured dozens of departments. Each teacher (or alim) was surrounded by their students "talib" around the pillar of the prayer hall. They taught law, language, grammar, mathematics, medicine and astronomy. At the moment non-Muslims can not visit. It's a shame because the ablutions courtyard is the most beautiful in Morocco.
Located in a Hispano-Moorish fort that was built in the late nineteenth century, this is a very interesting collection of art from the city of Fez. In addition to the art collections, the buildings, materials, floors, and wood are works of art in themselves. One of the most important parts is the ceramics room, where you can see beautiful pottery made by the city's artisans. They invented the famous "Blue Fez" obtained with use of cobalt. Another unusual curiosity worth taking a look at is the collection of astrolabes, which served in antiquity to locate and predict the positions of the sun, moon, planets and stars in the night sky. Outside, the building is surrounded by a beautiful Andalucian-style garden.
It is a small village about 20 kilometers from Fez, located in a desert landscape as beautiful as it is disturbing. The buildings house the region's weather stations, and the village is renowned for its natural waters, rich in sodium sulfide, with temperature exceeding 50 degrees. Every day dozens of visitors come to cure skin diseases, relieve the pain of rheumatism, or just enjoy a therapeutic session.
All the clothes that are sold here, were made here. There is everything you could imagine and a lot of colors. The designs are mostly original, some will seem a bit psychedelic (do not forget that we are in Morocco). The prices are lower than in Spain. The best thing, so that you are not conned, is to know the equivalent price in Spain in order to get a good final deal. They are not ashamed to say that it is worth 20 times what it is really worth. To negotiate a price for a more expensive item, take your time .. say you're thirsty and they will bring you tea or water. They may try to tell you that cheap plastic is expensive leather. Just do not waste your time if you really don't intend to buy anything.
There's a good route to explore the souks which is a sort of circular loop starting at Boujloud Square. Before you even finish crossing the square there is a turn to the left that takes you onto the street Talaa Tabira. Once you pass the intersection that is only 10 meters long you can see the market for vegetables, fruits and spices to your left. If you turn right you will go down to an area of butchers specialized in meat kebabs. From butchers area there are countless small shops that will guide you down this fantastic route. Do not panic if you do not see the end, it is certain that you will be down for two hours and just go back up them again. If you find where you ares, you may see that you are on a parallel street called Talaa Seghira. This road starts in the square of Boujloud but you don´t have to take a side street. Just go straight down until you get tired. Enjoy!
Sidi Haracem is one of the largest spas in Morocco. It's 12 kilometers away from Fez and it's a 4 star hotel. There's a coed public pool, as well as a covered one for women. The water in the pool is a little hot in the summer, which makes it kind of unpleasant. A lot of Moroccans take water back to their houses so they can use it for their own purposes there. The entrance to the pool costs 40 Dh and renting a swimsuit costs 4 Dh.
If you come to Morocco, you'll be pestered by women encouraging you to get a henna tattoo. Many stores also offer them for a small fee of between 2 - 10 euros - they see you as a clueless tourist! The truth is that we paid about 2 dirhan each, 20 euro cents, as we had food in the restaurant above. Most women here know how to do henna, as it's part of their makeup. Of course, it can be hard to get talking to the local women although I have to say that on recent trips they do seem a little friendlier and easier to talk to than they used to when I first came to Morocco ...
If you pass the cemetery of Bab Mahrouk and keep walking to the Tombeaux des Merinides, you'll come to this magnificent viewpoint. The views of the city are almost unbeatable. As well as the wonderful views over Fez, if you look back you'll see a huge hotel on the edge of a cliff (don't even think about the price) and the beautiful, well-maintained fortress. A fantastic place for food, drink, and rest, as you can sit on top of the walls. But be sure to bring a hat and some sunscreen, as it gets hot! A lovely place to go for a while before returning to your hotel.
What impact do buildings where the interior opens like a flower, or a treasure chest produce for visitors? From the outside, it's impossible to say so much beauty, peace, silence and prayer can lay behind the door. The Madrasa Bou Inania is the best preserved and only one that gives access to non-Muslims which helps us understand the essence of Islam. It was like the punch line to start our tour of the old medina of Fez. Opened in 1350, its one of the Islamic higher education schools while serving as a residence. Notable points are the woodwork, perfectly decorated walls and green tile tower. At the center, a fountain still works for ablutions for the hundreds of people who continue to use it as a place of prayer, so that some don't allow visits, yet the place is worth it. The guide told us that the inhabitants of Fez are very pious, and its one of the most important cities for Islam in Morocco, cradle of the dynasty that founded the Muslim kingdom of Morocco. Simply a serene and powerful place.
Let's see, there will always be people who say that a cemetery is nothing special, not a place worth stopping for a moment, or people who prefer to avoid the subject entirely. But I think that cemeteries are special places, undoubtedly moving, that give you the chance to discover interesting things. This one in particular was quite unlike the cemetery in my city, or indeed any in my country, where the walls are usually 3 or 4 metres high to hide the dead from the living. But here, as you can see in my pictures, the cemetery is out in the open - nothing to hide...
If you fly into Fez, this is the best way to reach the city, fast and cheap. You have two choices, a bus that comes every hour and a half and leaves only when it's full, which costs 20 dirhan. There's also a cab for up to five people for 120 dirhan (about 12 euros). The price is stipulated - if the driver tries to charge you more, get out and go for another one of the taxis that are waiting. Sharing a taxi with strangers is a common practice here.
This bastion was built in the sixteenth century by Al Mansour to defend the city. Today, it houses one of the most important military museums in Morocco. From the terrace, you can enjoy a stunning view of the Medina of Fez.
If you're not sure what to do in Fes, just remember that the city itself with its mix of peoples, traditions, and cultures is one giant spectacle. The medina of Fes is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most essential things to see in Fes. Enter the Bab Boujloud, explore the streets and alleys, and pay a visit to the Kairaouine Mosque, one of the most beautiful attractions in Fes.
As a historic university town, it should come as no surprise that the city's madrassas rank among the top Fes attractions. The oldest and most popular is the Bou Inania Madrasa, built in 1355.
One of the most unusual places to visit in Fes is the Tanners District, an area known for its distinctive odor and photogenic vats of colored dyes.
Some of the other most popular things to do in Fes include visiting the Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss, the Royal Palace, and Seffarine Square. With all this sightseeing, you'll probably work up an appetite. Thankfully, one of the most traditional Fes activities is sitting down to a meal of traditional cous-cous at lunch.
If you're looking for more stuff to do in Fes, have a look at all the tips and recommendations from real travelers on minube and start planning your Moroccan adventure today!