Fez, also known as Fes, is one of Morocco’s largest and most exotic cities. It was once Morocco’s capital and holds a history and unique experience unlike any other Moroccan destination. If your dream trip to Morocco is finally coming true, you must plan a visit to Fez, and once you get there, here are some things you should see.
1. Merinid Tombs
Just north of the medina, you can visit the ruins of a spectacular palace and necropolis. In the 16th century, the Merinid palace was at the height of splendor, with a high wall that defended the entire city. Now, you can view the crumbling remains of a once glorious time, while enjoying a beautiful view that overlooks all of the city.
2. Medersa el-Attarine
If you’re interested in getting a better idea of what Merenid architecture looked like in the old days, you must see Medersa el-Attarine, which was built in 1325. The remaining building shows off the intricate decoration popular of the time. You can take a tour of the building, where you’ll see the rooms once used to house students of the Quaraouiyine University.
Take time to visit the old Mellah, or Jewish Quarter, which is just north of the Royal Palace. The architecture and trinkets sold in the area show the epitome of Jewish life. You can also visit the Jewish cemetery and walk down the compacted city streets filled with 20th century housing.
4. Borj Nord
There’s a must-see 16th century fortress in Fez with towering walls and impressive ancient artillery held in the arms museum. Some of the old weaponry includes a canon that is jewel-encrusted rifles and a 5 meters long and weighs more than 12 tons.
5. Fes el Bali (Old City)
For a look into “Old Town” Fez, take a trip to Fes el Bali, which is the oldest neighborhood in the city. A narrow river divides the two distinct districts, with one side being home to some of the most historic monuments and marketplaces while the other side offers a look into the culture and lifestyle of the inhabitants. Regardless of which side of the neighborhood you visit, you’ll be privy to a delightful cultural experience.
6. Qaraouiyine Mosque
Once a prominent university, this beautiful collection of buildings is now a functioning mosque. It is one of the largest areas in Morocco for worship and hosts a prayer hall that can hold up to 20,000 worshippers. You can also take a quiet walk through the library, which is one of the oldest in the world and contains more than 30,000 books, including a 9th century Qur’an.
7. Souks District
Those who love shopping must visit the Souks District where they can find a wealth of colorful Moroccan weavery, leatherwork, metalwork, hand crafted glass lamps, and other delightful keepsakes handcrafted in the very city. Visitors can view tanneries and dye-factories at work when they visit the Souks District, one of the most cultured areas of Fez.