Morocco’s most original tours and experiences
The best places to stay in Fez
Morocco’s most original tours and experiences: Fez, Morocco’s first imperial city, is teeming with monuments and sites of interest that bear witness to the city’s incredible wealth of history. To visit this city properly, you’ll need several days, and for your Morocco tours to be perfect, you’ll need to find a place to stay in Fès as quickly as possible.
In this short guide, I’ll tell you everything you need to know to choose the right place to stay during your stay in Fes. If you’ve decided to go on a road trip in Morocco, I suggest you consult my article on the subject for further advice and to discover different itineraries.
Tips for choosing where to stay in Fez
The first thing to do when deciding where to put down your bags in Fez is to decide whether to stay in the medina or in the rest of the city. The medina is the most exotic and authentic part of the city, but it’s also a place where there are very few evening activities.
Outside the medina, you’ll find a variety of more modern neighborhoods, where you’ll be able to discover new things even at night.
In terms of prices, riads, like those in Marrakech, often offer excellent value for money, while in the more modern parts of Fez, hotel prices are usually higher. In any case, I advise you to plan ahead and book your room well in advance, to make sure that the establishment of your choice still has rooms available, and sometimes even to get a good deal.
There’s no shortage of accommodation in Fez, and to find the perfect place to spend your nights, you’ll also need to choose between classic hotels and riads. Riads are traditional dwellings located in the heart of cities, often in the medinas, and featuring a patio or interior garden.
The old medina (Fès El Bali)
The old medina of Fès lies at the heart of the city. It’s this area that has made Fès famous the world over. It is one of the best-preserved historic Arab quarters, seemingly frozen in time for over a millennium.
Strolling through the narrow streets of the old medina, you can discover the souks and numerous stalls and workshops where you can appreciate the traditional work of coppersmiths, carpenters and leatherworkers, and find souvenirs to bring back from your trip.
Several of Fès’ major cultural and historical sites are located in the old medina, including the Al Quaraouiyne Mosque, the Attarine Medersa and the Batha Museum.
As for accommodation, you’ll find plenty of quiet, authentic spots in this part of town, from quaint little riads to luxurious palaces. If you’re visiting Fès for the first time and want to discover the city’s iconic sites, the old medina is probably the best place to stay.
If you’re not sure where to stay in Fès, this is the area I’d recommend you look at first for your accommodation.
Where to stay in the old medina of Fès?
Morocco’s most original tours and experiences: Riad Alassala is a charming riad located less than 5 minutes’ walk from Place Batha. It features a bar and restaurant. Small, comfortable rooms for two are available from €45 per night outside the summer season. This is one of the best options for sleeping in Fez, and staying in a Riad means enjoying the authenticity of this type of accommodation.
Riad Sahraui is located just a few steps from the Médersa Bou Inania Koranic school, near Bab Boujloud. This beautiful, traditionally-decorated riad boasts a bar and a restaurant with a terrace offering a beautiful view of the city. Double rooms start at around €70 per night.
Bab Boujloud is the name of a district, but above all it’s the name of the medina’s superb main gate, built in the 12th century and decorated with blue enamel on the outside and green enamel on the inside. Blue is the color of the city of Fez, and green the traditional color of Islam.
In this central, historic district, you can discover the city’s traditions. This is where you’ll find two of the city’s most important avenues: Talaâ Kbira and Talaâ Sghira, brimming with typical restaurants and stores where you’ll find all the local crafts. Bab Baoujloud is the ideal place to sample traditional Moroccan cuisine, including authentic couscous. Bab Boujloud is also home to several souks, where you’ll discover an astonishing mix of scents and colors.
In terms of location, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better place to spend a few nights in Fez. A huge number of tourist attractions are close by, and this district is an excellent base for visiting much of the city on foot.
Where to stay in Fès in the Bab Boujloud district?
Dar Lalla Wafae is a guesthouse located a few steps from the main gate of the medina, 200 meters from the Médersa Bou Inania. Spacious, comfortable double rooms are available for around €30 a night.
Dar Zin is another guesthouse located just off Bab Boujloud, not far from Place Batha. This establishment features a spa. It offers rooms with a sitting area and terrace, and a lovely view of the city. Rooms for two start at €21 per night.
Fès el-Jdid, the new medina, is located behind the Royal Palace. It’s where the king’s servants used to live, and it’s also where the old Jewish quarter, the Mellah, is located. This little quarter is less touristy than the medina, but far from lacking in charm.
On the Place des Alaouites, you can discover the incredible copper gates of the Royal Palace. Several fortifications are also to be found in this district, such as the Bab Mechouar and Bab as-Semmarine gates. The largest street in Fès el-Jdid is a typical shopping street, far less touristy and crowded than those in the medina. This is also where you’ll find the Parc Jnan Sbil, often considered the city’s prettiest garden.
Where to stay in Fez’s el-Jdid district?
Morocco’s most original tours and experiences: Lina’s Modern Riad is a 160 m² apartment located around 5 minutes’ walk from the Palais Royal, and 50 meters from Place Batha. It has 3 bedrooms, a large balcony and a patio, and can accommodate up to 6 people, from €37 per night.
Palais Medina & Spa is the only hotel in this part of town. This luxurious 5-star establishment is located just south of the Jardin des Alaouites, a few minutes from the entrance to the Royal Palace. It boasts 2 swimming pools, a fitness center, a bar and a restaurant. Attractive double rooms start at €108 per night.
La Ville Nouvelle
La Ville Nouvelle is a modern district on the other side of the city walls to the south, where the new Fès Central Station is located. Here, you’ll see far fewer traditional dwellings, but rather European buildings constructed in the first half of the 20th century.
It’s in this part of town that you’ll find the most modern stores and brand-name boutiques. If you want to enjoy the nightlife of Fez, the Nouvelle Ville is the place to be. This district is home to many restaurants, bars and terraces, as well as particularly pleasant parks and gardens. Unlike the medina, you’ll find far fewer pedestrian streets in this part of town, where traffic is much easier.
Of course, it’s not here that you’ll find the most traditional accommodation: the majority of the accommodation on offer in the Nouvelle Ville is made up of more classic hotels, often quite luxurious.
Where to stay in Fez in the New City of Fez?
Morocco’s most original tours and experiences: Hôtel Royal Urban Concept is less than 2 km from the Palais Royal de Fès, and just a few minutes’ walk from the train station and the Métro shopping center. Conveniently located in a quiet street, the hotel offers guests a shared lounge and a large terrace. Spacious rooms for two with a large patio are available for around €40 a night.
Hôtel Atlas Saiss Fès is a 4-star hotel located close to many sites of interest in the New City, less than a kilometer from the train station. It features a spa and restaurant, and offers large, elegant rooms with lovely views of the city, for around €85 a night.
So much for this article on accommodation in Fez, I hope it will help you organize your stay in this superb Moroccan city and answer your question about where to sleep in Fez. By the way, I’d also advise you to try spending the night in the desert of Marrakech in Zagora or Merzouga, it’s a truly extraordinary experience.
Don’t hesitate to consult the complementary article What to do in Fez to find ideas for activities and excursions, and don’t forget to book your activities as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointments once you’re there