Fez, Morocco is a city with a rich history and cultural heritage that dates back to the 8th century. It’s considered one of the most important imperial cities in Morocco and is a hub for traditional Moroccan crafts and culture. Whether you’re interested in exploring the ancient ruins, experiencing local life, or just soaking up the atmosphere, Fez has something to offer everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you on a tour of the best things to see in Fez Morocco.
The Old City (Fes El Bali)
Fes El Bali, or the Old City, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the most famous attraction in Fez. This ancient city dates back to the 8th century and is home to some of the most impressive architectural and cultural heritage in Morocco. The Old City is a maze of narrow alleys, traditional markets, and beautiful riads that offer a glimpse into the traditional way of life in Morocco. Visitors can explore the famous Al Quaraouiyine Mosque and University, one of the oldest in the world, or wander through the colorful tanneries, where leather is still made by hand.
The Royal Palace (Dar Batha)
The Royal Palace, also known as Dar Batha, is a stunning example of traditional Moroccan architecture. Built in the late 19th century, this palace was once the home of the King of Morocco and is now a museum showcasing traditional Moroccan art and artifacts. Visitors can explore the ornate courtyards, intricate tile work, and beautiful gardens that surround the palace, and admire the stunning interiors with their intricate wood carvings and stucco decorations.
The Bou Inania Madrasa
The Bou Inania Madrasa is one of the most impressive religious schools in Fez, Morocco. Built in the 14th century, this madrasa was once a center of learning and has since been restored to its former glory. The interior of the madrasa is beautifully decorated with intricate tile work, ornate wooden doors, and intricate carvings, making it a must-see for anyone interested in traditional Moroccan architecture.
The Fez Medina
The Fez Medina is a bustling market area located in the heart of the city. This is the perfect place to experience traditional Moroccan life and see the local people going about their daily routines. Visitors can browse the many stalls selling traditional Moroccan goods, from handcrafted textiles and ceramics to spices and fresh produce. The Fez Medina is also a great place to try traditional Moroccan street food, from tagine dishes to sweet pastries.
The Merenid Tombs
The Merenid Tombs are a group of ancient tombs that date back to the 14th century. These tombs are set high above the city and offer stunning views over Fez and the surrounding countryside. The tombs are beautifully decorated with intricate carvings and provide a fascinating glimpse into the history of Morocco. Visitors can climb the hill to reach the tombs, where they can explore the ruins and take in the views.
The Jewish Quarter (Mellah):
The Jewish Quarter is located in the heart of old city Fes el-Bali and has been home to Jews since the 15th century. It was originally established by Sultan Moulay Ismail who welcomed Moroccan Jews into his court with open arms. This quarter offers visitors an incredible glimpse into a fascinating culture that has existed for centuries within this ancient walled city.
You can find many interesting sites here, such as synagogues, cemeteries, traditional markets selling local wares and handicrafts made by artisans from around Morocco – all these things make it truly unique experience for those visiting Fes el-Bali! The architecture is also quite spectacular – you will be amazed at how well preserved some buildings remain even after hundreds years ago when they were constructed!
The Bou Inania Madrasa, for example, is a beautiful example of Moroccan architecture, with intricate tile work and intricate details on the walls and ceilings. This madrasa was built in the 14th century and is considered one of the finest examples of traditional Moroccan design.
Another must-see in Fez is the Royal Palace, a sprawling complex that was once the home of the Moroccan royalty. The palace is surrounded by high walls and is not open to the public, but the impressive architecture and intricate details of the walls and gates can be admired from the outside.
For those interested in religious sites, the Al-Attarine Madrasa is another must-see in Fez. This madrasa was built in the 14th century and is considered one of the finest examples of traditional Islamic architecture. The Al-Attarine Madrasa is known for its intricate tile work, beautiful wooden carvings, and beautiful courtyards.
For those interested in history, the Dar Batha Museum is a must-visit. This museum is housed in a beautiful traditional Moroccan building and showcases artifacts from the region, including ceramics, textiles, and jewelry. The museum also has exhibits on traditional Moroccan life, including the nomadic Berber culture, and provides a fascinating insight into the rich history of the region.
Fez is also famous for its markets, and the most famous of these is the Fez Souk. This market is a labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys, filled with vendors selling everything from spices and textiles to jewelry and ceramics. The Fez Souk is a great place to wander and get lost in the hustle and bustle of the market, and it’s also a great place to find unique and authentic souvenirs to take home.
For those interested in experiencing traditional Moroccan life, a visit to the Fez Tannery is a must. The tannery is a complex of vats filled with dye, where leather is treated and dyed to create beautiful leather goods. Visitors can climb to the roof of one of the buildings and observe the process, or purchase some of the beautiful leather goods that are made there.
For a different type of cultural experience, a visit to the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music is also a must. This festival, which takes place every June, brings together musicians from all over the world to perform and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Morocco.
Overall, Fez is a city that is rich in history, culture, and beauty, and is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Morocco. Whether you’re interested in exploring the ancient city, experiencing traditional life, or simply soaking up the beauty and history of the region, Fez is sure to impress and inspire.