Lost in the Souks | Fez, Morocco

Travel in Fez like I did – click here to download the guided article

Fez is a city with a racing heartbeat and a vibrant spirit, filled with sights, sounds, and smells unlike any place I’ve ever been to. The second largest city in Morocco with a population of over 1 million boasts a labyrinth of more than 9000 streets and alleyways within the medina, each one offering something new just around the corner.

The entrance to the medina is called Bab Boujloud, the blue door, and it is the beautiful portal into the madness of Fez. This is a good point of reference for starting a journey into the medina, but be well-aware that you will get lost at some point during your exploration. It’s bound to happen, so just enjoy the adventure that is Fez as much as possible. Keep your eyes and ears open, you never know what could be waiting for you around a corner! IMG_9288

Getting There

Fez has an airport, but I found domestic flights within Morocco to be relatively expensive, and because everything is accessible by train or bus, it is probably not worth it for budget travellers to look into flights.

We went to Fez from Chefchaouen by a CTM bus, which took about four hours. After arriving to the bus station, we took a taxi to the blue gate, one of the well-known entrances into the medina, which is composed of only pedestrian streets.

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Accommodation

Dar Jannat Hostel is where we stayed during our two nights in Fez, and it was a great experience. It is a huge hostel and the manager is very friendly, always bringing out cups of hot, Moroccan mint tea. The room we stayed in was huge, with it’s own heater and bathroom and we paid less than 15 euros/night. The breakfast was also very good and included. The hostel is just down the road that leads into the medina from the blue gate, making it very easy to find.

The Souks

Fez is definitely a good place to shop if one is interested in accumulating Moroccan goods during their vacation. There are countless rug shops, clothing stores, jewelry and trinket boutiques and many other stores throughout the narrow streets of the souks. The spice vendors were my favourite, the smells combined with the hustle and bustle was a sensory overload in the markets.

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Restaurants

Near the blue gate entrance to the medina are a plethora of good and cheap restaurants to choose from.

Cafe Clock – a highly recommended hipster cafe near the blue gate

Cafe Laglali – near the blue gate, excellent food and great view from the terrace. Very friendly staff that gave us recommendations on free things to do around Fez, without them, we would not have stumbled upon the beautiful public garden of Fez (see below)

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Jardin Jnan Sbil of Fez

Just outside of the medina of Fez through the blue gate, these beautiful public gardens are free to walk through. They are full of fountains, flowers and different lush foliage.

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Kairaouine Mosque

We weren’t able to go in the mosque but I managed to get this photo from outside. Mosques in Morocco are not open to tourists, except for one in Casablanca. It was still a beautiful, though limited view.

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Outside the Medina

For a breath of fresh air and a moment of calm, Hannah and I went exploring outside of the walls of the medina. We went for a hike by the bus station, up a hill that had a beautiful overlooking view of the city. A disgruntled sheep farmer herded his flock around us, and it was quite the funny thing to see. Definitely a nice way to see just how vast and expansive the city of Fez is, all enclosed by medieval walls.

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