Created by Alejandra Larade.
Do you really need a reason to visit Fez?
We’ll give you some reasons to explore this amazing city and you won’t want to wait any longer to plan and start your trip. For a 1200-year old city, this is now a trendy city booming with tourists, fascinating them with their history, and considered to be the country’s spiritual capital. Fez is the third largest city in Morocco, and the oldest imperial one there.
Discover the largest living medieval Islamic medina (city) in the world, and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can start exploring the medina of Fes el_Bali starting at Bab Boujloud, which is the main entrance to the medina. From there, feel free to go in any direction to discover the many cafes, restaurants, pastry shops, artisan houses, mosques, or residences that you’ll find along your way. A great reference you can use is a path network marked by signs placed on walls simulating an 8-point star shape. This will guide you across the main areas of the medina.
You will exercise your five senses at this medina; taste the aromatic dishes prepared by the street vendors, or pastry shops. Listen to the sounds coming from the mosque, the people gathering around, the taxis passing by, or the donkeys and mules transporting goods. See everything that is going on; concentrate your views on the narrow streets. Touch and feel the textures of some fabrics that you may want to buy. You can feel as if you are in a maze while you tour the medina, but you’ll be compensated with brilliant discoveries of exquisite food, beautiful fountains, stunning mosques, and magical squares like Bou Jeloud Square.
This square hosts concerts, and is a place where you can find some storytellers roaming around. Some notable attractions you’ll find in the medina are:
The Attarine Medersa
Built in the 14th century by Sultan Abu Said, this medersa (school) has a central courtyard with a fountain, leading you to the prayer hall, composed of 60 rooms for students. The main importance of this building is its own beauty. It is an architectural masterpiece with all the details such as zellij mosaics, worked plaster, carved cedar wood, and some onyx columns.
Kairaouine Mosque & University
This is the second largest mosque in Morocco, and probably the oldest university in the world. Its green pyramidal roof and minaret can be located from many advantage points in the medina.
This is a perfect representation of one of Morocco’s sights of ancient art. Once you get closer you’ll be sure to notice the smells of the dyed leather. If you’re interested in the process, some locals can inform you of what is involved from start to finish. Here is where you can find the best prices for Moroccan leather products, and has a huge variety.
Dar Batha Museum
The building where this museum is located was a summer palace built in the Andalusia style at the end of the 19th century. If you appreciate art, craft and history, it is really worth while, to reserve some time to tour this rich museum, as it holds some excellent pieces of traditional artwork of Fez. Fine woodcarvings, iron furniture, Berber carpets, embroidery, jewelry, coins, zellij, antique instruments, and sculpted plaster, are all items to find here. The highlight of the Dar Batha Museum is the pottery collection where you can admire artifacts from the 10th century, which display some of the special “fez blue”, a beauty in itself. Fez blue is a special process where the locals colour the pots with cobalt.
At the end of your tour of the museum you can enjoy the garden with the same Andalusia style to unwind and relax, and enjoy the landscaping.