Fez was the highlight of my trip to Morocco. It’s a beautiful laidback city and excellent place to experience the true Morocco.
I think the best way to truly experience Fez is simply to walk around. There isn’t actually that much specifically to do. Part of the enjoyment is getting lost in the medina and trying the street food. There are, however, three key places to visit and all can be done in one day.
Everyone will tell you about the tannery. Yes it is cool, but once you’ve seen it, you’re done and there isn’t much else to do. It is an area of the city where men dye leather for production. It is surrounded by buildings so you can’t actually go in the tannery, but rather you need to view it from one of the rooftops of the nearby buildings.
As you get close many shop owners claim to have the best view of the tannery and offer you a free visit, but of course there is always a catch – they want you to buy something. Unless you really do want something, I suggest ignoring their claims that is is free and offering to pay before going up. We had a group of 4, and we paid 20 durhams for all of us. We went to house #10 which I thought had the best view compared to the others I saw once upstairs. Since we paid, we had to walk through the shop to get to the balcony but nobody hassled us about buying anything.
The tannery smells a bit depending on which way the wind is blowing. It is because they use pidgin poop and cow urine to dye the leather. I’m not kidding. Fortunately there are mint sprigs along the balcony to mask the smell. Just run one against your nose for instant relief.
Al Attarine Madrasa
After the tannery we walked over to the Al Attarine Masrasa. This is one of the few public interior places you can visit in Fez as most mosques are closed to non-Muslims. The entrance fee was 20 durhams and the inside was just incredible. There is a small central courtyard that begins the visit, but then later you can go upstairs and see the rooms above with excellent views of the nearby buildings.
Sunset Over Fez
Finally my favorite spot in Fez was up on a hill behind the bus station that offered excellent views of the city. The easiest way to get there is to head to the bus station and immediately go to the right of the entrance. Head up the steep path to reach the top where there will likely be tourists and locals enjoying the sunset together. At the end you can walk around the edge of the hill past a cemetery and back down the other side of the bus station.