Going to Morocco often includes a trip to Marrakesh, which is the most visited city in the country. However, not everyone gets to travel to another destination that is just as astounding as Marrakesh. This is the city of Fez, where you can find many architectural and cultural attractions.
Even in these modern times, Fez stands out as a popular historical destination. With plenty of architectural wonders dating back to hundreds of years, it was proclaimed as a World Heritage Site. Today, the beautiful, thriving city is home to over one million people.
exploring the medina
shops in the old city
Top Places to See in Fez
One only has to walk along the streets of Fez to be amazed by its numerous wonders. But if you really want to make the most out of your visit, then you shouldn’t miss the following places:
1. The Old City
colorful shop in the medina
Perhaps the most visited place in the area is Fez Medina, which means “Old City.” Upon entering Fes Medina, you will be greeted by several monumental gates. Once inside, you will find majestic mosques, elegant mansions, centuries-old madrasas (schools) and city squares. The Old City also goes by the name Fez el Bali.
2. Al-Quaraouiyine Mosque and University
Situated right at the bottom of a steep hill is the Al-Quaraouiyine Mosque and University. Founded in 867AD, it is recognized by UNESCO as the oldest university in the world. This means that is has been an educational and spiritual center for more than 1200 years! Moreover, the architecture alone is enough to fascinate Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
3. Historic Madrasas
The term “madrasa” means “school” in Arabic, and there are many of them in the city of Fez. One of these is the Madrasa Al-Attarine, which was built in 1325. The school features an amazing courtyard where you can see intricate designs and decorations. Another school worth visiting is the Madrasa Bou Inania, which was constructed from 1350 to 1357. The top attraction of this madrasa is the green-tiled minaret of its mosque.
4. Leather Tanneries
Aside from its mosques and madrasas, Fez is also known for its colorful fabrics and clothing. If you want to know how these products are made, then you should definitely take a trip to the leather tanneries. Here, you can watch local tanners as they create beautiful dresses, bags, purses, and other accessories. What’s more, you can get them for prices that are lower than those in most souvenir shops and department stores!
5. Mount Zalagh
For adventurous travelers, the best way to enjoy Fez is by hiking up its highest mountain, Mount Zalagh. Once you reach the top, get ready for a mesmerizing view of the entire city. If you are up for some exercise, you can also go mountain biking on Mount Zalagh. Just make sure that you go during the day when it is safer and the weather is good.
view of Fez – the handicrafts capital of Morocco
With its elegant mosques, madrasas, and colorful fabrics, the city of Fez is one of Morroco’s greatest treasures. If you are looking for a cultural and historic experience, then you will definitely find it here. So the next time you go to Morocco, make sure that you include Fez in your itinerary!