Until 1925 Fez was the modern capital of Morocco and it retains its prestige as one of the most enchanting and enriching cities in the country. Home to the world’s largest car-free city center and the world’s oldest functioning university, it’s no surprise Fez is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and a must-visit on tourist radars. Before you pack your bags and visit Fez, here are ten articles for you to read, get prepared, and make sure you get the most out of your visit to this ancient city.
Start here and get Fez under your skin. Take a journey through the winding streets of the medina and meet the people and faces that call this city home. Plan a route the old-fashioned way on a map, and watch a short video to get a feel for all things Fassi. What to do, where to eat, and where to stay are all included in our insider’s guide to Fez. Bookmark it for later – you’ll thank us.
Do you prefer to get lost? Does the idea of trying to follow a map through this ancient city make you crazy? Derek Workman walks readers through his own evocative journey through Fez providing giving us his personal insights into a day in the city that starts with a morning coffee, and ends with an evening mint tea. Instead of checking off items on a must do list, he instead visits in a more laid back fashion – very befitting for Morocco. Part travelogue, part city guide, wholly entertaining!
With just 24 hours to spend in Fez, how can you make the most of the time you have? You’ll need a good pair of walking shoes and a trusty guide to get you through the streets, but it can be done! This article highlights the important sites to see if you’ve only got a single day to experience the city. Our advice? Stay as long as possible and make every second count!
Fez has a little something for everyone which is especially helpful if you’re not traveling alone. Whether you want to observe artisans at work in the same way they were generations ago, or you’d rather relax in the courtyard of a palace sipping mint tea you can do it here. You’ve heard of the tanneries but this article shares some other ideas to explore while you’re visiting.
The tanneries of Fez, holdovers from medieval times, produce much of the city’s renowned leather. Few who visit a tannery are left underwhelmed. The sight of dozens of men, many waist deep in dyes, working at a trade few outside this world could see, is a sight to behold. Whether you decide to follow your nose, or opt for a local guide to show you the ropes, this quick read will give you the background information you need to make sure you are prepared for the sights – and the smells – of a Fez tannery.
Of all the ceramics found in Morocco, Fez pottery stands apart in terms of both quality and design. In the medina you will find shops that sell ceramics, and then you will find shops that sell Fez (or perhaps more properly, Fassi) ceramics. This distinction will be pointed out as a matter of pride and will be reflected in the price. Include a trawl around a pottery workshop in Fez, and see the production and decoration process first hand. This post explains a little more about the history and rich tradition of ceramics in Fez.
Set this adventure to a spiritual soundtrack, and make sure your in town for the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music. Artists from around the world arrive in the city to perform and the event attracts both international stars and local talent. Read this to find out more about the festival.
Fez’s Famous Sites
With a plethora of museums, architectural statements and a fair share of ancient ruins to choose from, we’ve highlighted a few to start your journey.
You may only spend a few minute admiring this gate to the medina but it’s one of the great architectural and historical relics of Fez. The blue gate stands guard over the medina and up until the recent era it, like nearly all the gates in the city, would be closed at night to protect the inhabitants inside.
Dar Batha is a museum dedicated to traditional arts. The setting itself is a piece of art, as it is housed in a 19th century palace. It was home to two different sultans before it was converted to a museum in 1915. Inside you’ll find decorative Moroccan arts some of which date to the 10th century. Don’t leave this off your visit list.
In the hills surrounding Fez there are plenty of surprises. This is one of them. Typically you’ll spot leather workers drying their hides on the hillside, but all the way up there are ruins overlooking the medina. These ruins are known as the Merenid Tombs and they are largely a mystery. Built around the 14th century no one knows who is buried here or why. If you’re not interested in the mystery, at least go for the amazing panoramic views.
These articles can help you start planning your time in Fez. If you’d like more information or help arranging a tour to Morocco get in touch with our team today. We’d love to help make your trip to Morocco truly memorable.