These world famous Tanneries are the main reason why everyone comes to Fez. Because of smell you better have some mint there to help you.
Entire old city centre (Medina) of Fez is UNESCO World Heritage Site and these tanneries are the boldest part of it.
Fez medina is unique, because somehow it still feels like another world: it got it’s unique structure, rules and way of life. There is no traffic inside, only horses and dunkeys to transport the goods. Some parts of medina are more touristy, some are super local. People who live there sometimes protect their “corners” from the tourists, i was stopped few times and was asked to go in another direction. Main streets here have shops selling goods and souvenirs and usually can fit 3-4 people. Small backstreets sometimes hardly can fit 1 person.
Navigating here can be an adventure, but most places of interest usually are located on the main streets. There are around dozen of sites, but mostly it is prohibited for tourists to enter inside of them. Look from the side, but don’t enter.
The city usually wake up around 11-12am when all the sellers opens the shops, so it’s better to browse in the morning to avoid husstle.
To see famous tanneries it is better to find a shop with a terrace. For a small tip they will show you everything and give some mint to protect you from the bad smell. BTW, for me i
the smell was fine. Generally medina itself is smelly, so it wasn’t big difference. A tannery is still in use and there are people working there. You can enter inside to walk around, but usually won’t be too welcomed and will be asked to pay. Actually, i can understand them: imagine buses if tourists walking around your place of work and taking pics of you non-stop. This is generally true about Fez medina itself, people don’t like tourists too much here. I would say, that i felt myself much more welcomed outside medina in modern areas than inside of it.