Travel to Fez (Fes)
Fez or Fes, the third largest city in Morocco after Casablanca and Rabat, with a population of just over a million is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.
The former Capital has long been considered the spiritual, cultural and intellectual centre of Morocco and it is one of the four Imperial cities, the others being Marrakesh, Meknes and Rabat.
The city has three main areas, the medinas of Fez el Bali and Fez el Jdid and the modern Ville Nouvelle.
Explore the Medina
The ancient walled city of Fez-al-Bali, is the larger of the two medinas in Fez, spanning around 2,500 acres. Bustling with activity, the sounds of traders bartering, the smells of huge mounds of a 1000 spices, among jostling customers, donkeys, children and goods. Unchanged for centuries there is no access for cars, so goods and produce are carried by donkeys and carts around the narrow medieval streets.
The medina of Fes-al-Bali has a population of around 156,000 people and is considered one of the largest car-free urban areas in the world.
The medina, Fes-al-Bali has been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations, in order to preserve this amazing place. The maze of souks are full of local crafts including traditional leather goods, metalwork, glass lanterns and ceramics and tiles. It is a good idea to book a walking tour or take a guide, which can be organised by your hotel, as it is easy to get lost inside the maze of bustling streets.
There are lots of surprises behind the doors of the labyrinth of tiny streets, if you are looking for a luxurious oasis of calm, stay at Les Jardin des Biehn a beautifully restored former Pashas’ summer place in the heart of the old Medina.
Traditional Moroccan Craftsmanship
Famous for its traditional craftsmanship including Fez blue pottery, carpets and textiles, and leather work, shoppers can buy locally produced authentic goods from the multitude of shops stacked to the ceiling with their wares. A visit to the 11th-century Chouara Tannery and workshops in the Fez-al-Bali medina is a unique experience and and one of the city’s most photographed sites.
Fez is also home to the famous Kairaouine mosque, the oldest building in the city and which was the largest in Morocco until the mosque Hassan II in Casablanca was built in 1993. The Mausoleum Zaouia Moulay Idriss, Bou Inania Medersa famous for its Merinid architecture are all places to visit when sightseeing in Fez.
Each year, the city plays host to the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music which brings musicians and visitors from all around the world.
It is definitely worth staying in Fez for a least a few days to take in all the sights. There is a range of accommodation from budget to five star hotels, including the stunning Palais Amani and contemporary boutique hotel Hotel Sahrai
Map of Fez
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More destinations in Morocco
Agadir | Casablanca | Essaouira | Fez | Marrakesh | Meknes | Ouarzazate | Oujda | Ourika | Rabat | Safi | Taghazout |Tangier |