Fez Travel Guide: Attractions and City Highlights

Fez Travel Guide: Attractions and City Highlights

Welcome to Fez, the cultural and spiritual center of Morocco. If you're planning a trip to Morocco, make sure to include Fez in your itinerary as it offers a unique experience that you won't find anywhere else. In this Fez travel guide, we'll take you through the sights, attractions, and highlights of the medina of Fez.

Fez is a city that stands out from Marrakech, as it's more authentic and original. The medina of Fez is the heart of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It can be overwhelming at first with its narrow alleys, bustling markets, and sensory overload. But, trust us, you will fall in love with its unique atmosphere and vibe.

The medina is not conventionally beautiful, but it's a spectacle that will leave an indelible impression on you. You'll be fascinated by its old-world charm, and at times, horrified by the stark realities of everyday life. You'll experience a mix of smells, tastes, and sounds that will awaken all your senses.

Here are some highlights that you must not miss while exploring the medina of Fez:

  1. Bab Boujloud: Start your tour at the famous Blue Gate, also known as Bab Boujloud. It's a popular landmark and a gateway to the medina. Admire its intricate blue and white mosaic tilework and pass through the gate to enter the medina.

  2. Medina of Fez: The Medina of Fez, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the heart of the city and the oldest walled city in the world. It's a labyrinth of narrow streets, bustling markets, and traditional houses that give visitors a glimpse of life in medieval times.

  3. The Mellah: Mellah is the Jewish quarter of Fez and is located within the larger medina. It was established in the 15th century when the Jewish population of Fez was forced to move to a designated area by the ruling dynasty.

  4. Bou Inania Madrasa: A few steps from Bab Boujloud, you'll find Bou Inania Madrasa, an ancient Islamic school that dates back to the 14th century. It's an impressive example of Islamic architecture, with its intricate stucco and wood carvings, and a peaceful courtyard that's perfect for a quiet break.

  5. Chouara Tannery: One of the most famous sights in Fez is the Chouara Tannery, where leather has been produced in the same way for centuries. Take a guided tour to learn about the traditional leather-making process and marvel at the vibrant colors of the dyed leather.

  6. Al-Attarine Madrasa: Another beautiful madrasa worth visiting is Al-Attarine Madrasa, which was built in the 14th century. It's adorned with intricate tilework and wood carvings, and its central courtyard is a peaceful retreat from the chaos of the medina.

  7. Zaouia Moulay Idriss II: Visit the Zaouia Moulay Idriss II, a shrine dedicated to the founder of Fez, Moulay Idriss II. It's a sacred site and a pilgrimage destination for Muslims, but non-Muslim visitors can admire its stunning architecture from the outside.

  8. Karawin University: Also known as Al Karaouine University, is located in the heart of the ancient city of Fez, Morocco. Founded in 859 AD, it is considered one of the oldest universities in the world and has a rich history of Islamic scholarship and learning.

  9. Dar Batha Museum: This 19th-century palace turned museum houses a collection of Moroccan arts and crafts, including ceramics, textiles, and jewelry.

  10. Royal Palace of Fez: Although not open to the public, the Royal Palace of Fez is worth a visit just to see its stunning golden doors and ornate architecture.

If you prefer to have an experienced guide accompany you on your tour, you can book a private tour of Fez. Your guide will take you to the main sights of the city and share their knowledge of the history and culture of Fez.

Fez may not be for everyone, but those who are willing to embrace its unique charm will be rewarded with an unforgettable experience. Don't miss out on this hidden gem of Morocco!

Foods & Drinks in Fez:

Fez is a food lover's paradise, offering a range of traditional Moroccan dishes and modern twists on local cuisine. Here are some tips for restaurants and cafes to check out during your visit:

  1. Restaurant Numero 7: Located in the heart of the medina, this restaurant offers a cozy atmosphere and serves up a range of Moroccan dishes. Their tagine is a must-try.

  2. Cafe Clock: A popular spot among locals and travelers alike, Cafe Clock serves up traditional Moroccan dishes as well as international options. They're known for their camel burger and their wide range of teas.

  3. Restaurant Dar Roumana: This restaurant is located in a beautifully restored 17th-century house and offers a fine dining experience with a focus on traditional Moroccan cuisine. They also offer cooking classes if you're interested in learning how to make some of the dishes yourself.

  4. La Maison Bleue: This restaurant is housed in a stunning blue-painted building and offers a range of Moroccan dishes, including vegetarian options. They also offer live music performances in the evenings.

  5. Cafe Nejjarine: Located in the Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts, this cafe offers a beautiful setting to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. They also offer light bites such as sandwiches and pastries.

  6. Al Fassia: This restaurant is known for its traditional Moroccan dishes, particularly their couscous and pastilla. They also offer cooking classes if you're interested in learning how to make these dishes yourself.

  7. Restaurant Dar Hatim: Located in a restored riad, this restaurant offers a range of traditional Moroccan dishes with a focus on locally sourced ingredients.

When it comes to drinks, make sure to try Moroccan mint tea, which is a staple in Moroccan culture. You can also try fresh juices, such as orange or pomegranate juice, at many cafes and restaurants. If you're looking for something stronger, try a traditional Moroccan cocktail such as a Moroccan martini or a Casablanca beer. Fez has something to offer every type of foodie, from street food to fine dining. Make sure to check out some of these restaurants and cafes during your visit to experience the flavors of Fez.

Tours & Activities in Fez:

If you're looking to explore beyond the city of Fez, there are plenty of desert tours and day trips to take. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Sahara Desert Tour: A tour to the Sahara Desert from Fez is a must-do when visiting Morocco. Many tour companies offer multi-day trips that include camel rides, desert camping, and visits to traditional Berber villages. You can start your tour from Fez and travel through the Atlas Mountains, stopping at places like Ifrane and Erfoud before reaching the desert.

  2. Chefchaouen Day Trip: A Day Trip to Chefchaouen from Fez takes to the  a picturesque blue-painted town located in the Rif Mountains. It's a popular day trip destination from Fez, as it's only about a three-hour drive away. Wander through the narrow streets of the medina, enjoy a hike in the surrounding mountains, or simply relax in one of the town's many cafes.

  3. Meknes and Volubilis Day Trip: Meknes is another imperial city located just an hour away from Fez. The city is known for its grand architecture, including the Bab Mansour gate and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. From Meknes, you can also take a short trip to the nearby ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis, which are well-preserved and offer a glimpse into Morocco's ancient history.

These are just a few of the many day trips and tours available from Fez. Whether you're interested in history, nature, or adventure, there's something for everyone. Be sure to research and book your tours in advance to ensure availability and to get the most out of your time in Fez.


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