The Imperial City of Fez, Morocco

Colourful Mosaic Tiles inside Fez Hotel, MoroccoFez: A Mosaic of Culture, Colour, and Philosophy

Fez in Morocco conjures up images of culture and colour, history and philosophy. Fez is the oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities and is certainly the most impressive. The old town is a world heritage site and is home to the world’s oldest university.  It was a place for scholars and learning, attracting philosophers from all around the world. Fez still attracts philosophers, as well as backpackers, honeymooners, adventure travellers and foodies.  It’s a busy, colourful and vibrant town and one we feel you should visit!

The Oldest Imperial City: Fez’s Rich Historical Significance

The four imperial cities of Morocco are Fez, Meknes, Marrakech and Rabat. Fez was founded in 789 and has served as Morocco’s capital city through the ages, although the capital city today is Rabat.  A few days in Fez are unforgettable, although it is advised to travel with a guide.  The narrow roads in the old town can be confusing, with fruit and vegetable sellers, donkey carts, street food stalls and sometimes, pandemonium.  Blind alleys lead to squares with stunning fountains, the doorways are gorgeous and the artisans interesting.

Navigating the Lively Streets of Fez’s Old Town

There are several hotels and riads in Fez that we recommend as part of our Morocco Tours & Holidays.  It is easy to spend a few days here, sightseeing, eating and shopping, taking in the sounds and the scents, and meeting the local people.  Close to a hundred thousand people live in the Fez Medina, the old town, and as we said, it can be busy! Some of the places you should include on your visit are:-

  • The Chaouwara Tanneries
  • Medersa Bou Inania
  • Art Naji
  • Jnan Sbi
  • The Royal Palace
  • Ibn Danan Synagogue
  • Rue de Merinides
  • The Mejjarine Museum

Fez: A Destination for Jewish Heritage Pilgrimages

Fez is also an interesting city to visit if you are on a Jewish heritage pilgrimage. People are friendly, the city is safe, but it can be tricky to get around and it is easy to get lost!  Saying that, it is a fascinating city, especially with its history and culture, and being home to the oldest university in the world is quite something. Any scholar should take a visit to the university, at least to see the architecture and to learn about the various people who studied and visited.

Indulge in Fez’s Culinary Delights

Food and drink are fabulous in Fez and there are rooftop restaurants, outdoor food stalls, trendy coffee shops as well as fine dining. There are a couple of very famous restaurants and it’s a good idea to book in advance to these.

Unveiling Fez’s Hidden Gems: Guided Walking Tours

There are guided walking tours of the Medina, the old city, and all you need are a good pair of walking shoes, a hat and sunblock.  You can visit the blue city of Chefchaouen from Fez, which is highly recommended.  Don’t forget your camera, Chefchaouen is fascinating and you can walk and wander for hours.  You may choose to overnight here too and we can make the arrangements for you.

Street Map of Fes, Morocco

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Fez Morocco known for?2023-05-25T22:10:19+00:00

Fez, Morocco’s ancient city, holds distinction as the oldest city in the country. It captivates visitors with its renowned leather tannery, bustling medina, and vibrant marketplaces. The medina, enclosed within historic walls, offers winding alleys and bazaars brimming with a diverse array of goods, from delectable food to intricate rugs and captivating souvenirs. Fez’s time-honored leather tannery, operating for centuries, is particularly famous for its vivid blue-dyed leather, crafted using traditional methods. For an extraordinary shopping experience, Fez stands out as an ideal destination.

Is Fez the oldest city in Morocco?2023-05-25T22:11:31+00:00

Situated in north-central Morocco, Fez holds the distinction of being one of the oldest cities in the country. Founded in 789 by Idriss I, it served as Morocco’s capital for over five centuries. Its captivating medieval architecture and labyrinthine streets have earned it the esteemed designation of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

How far is Fez from Marrakech by train?2024-02-29T22:41:06+00:00

The distance between Fez and Marrakech by train is approximately 255 kilometres or 158 miles. The direct journey typically takes around 4 hours and 30 minutes, although delays or disruptions may extend the travel time. Two main rail lines connect the cities: the Rif line, which follows the scenic north coast of Morocco, and the Atlas line, which offers a more direct route through the High Atlas Mountains. Both routes showcase the picturesque beauty of rural Morocco, providing travellers with captivating views.

How far is Fez from Marrakech by train?2024-02-29T22:41:34+00:00

The train journey between Fez and Marrakech spans approximately 255 kilometres (158 miles) and typically takes around 4 hours and 30 minutes on the direct route, subject to possible delays or disruptions.

Fez and Marrakech are connected by two primary rail lines: the Rif line and the Atlas line. The Rif line follows a scenic path along the north coast of Morocco, providing captivating views, while the Atlas line offers a more direct route through the stunning High Atlas Mountains. Both routes showcase the picturesque beauty of rural Morocco, offering travellers an opportunity to enjoy scenic vistas.

What language is spoken in Fez Morocco?2023-05-25T22:15:08+00:00

The primary language spoken in Fez, Morocco is Arabic. Additionally, a local dialect known as Darija, which blends Arabic and Spanish, is commonly spoken, particularly in rural areas. While Arabic is more prevalent in urban settings, Fez’s rich history and diverse population contribute to the presence of other languages such as Berber, French, and Spanish.

Merzouga Desert, Fes Tours

Berber Tour Guide Overlooking the Town of Merzouga, in Morocco

Merzouga Desert, Fes & Chefchaouen Tour

6 Day Holiday

Embark on a thrilling adventure through Morocco’s enchanting landscapes with the Fes to Merzouga tour. Your journey will take you through the bustling medina town of Fes, where you’ll explore the winding alleyways and immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture. Next, buckle up for a desert expedition unlike any other as you venture towards the Merzouga Desert, home to some of the world’s most stunning natural wonders. From riding camels across the golden sands to camping under the stars, this tour promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you breathless.

Rocky Peak High Atlas Mountains Morocco

Ultimate Morocco Holiday

10 Day Holiday

Experience the ultimate Morocco holiday with our specially designed tour. Explore the richness of Moroccan culture by visiting the ancient city of Fes. Walk the labyrinthine streets of the Fes medina town and discover the traditional Moroccan architecture. Be mesmerized by the vibrant colors and aromas of the spice markets. Take a camel ride through the Saharan dunes and camp under the starry night sky. Visit the famous blue-washed town of Chefchaouen and marvel at the Fusion of Mediterranean and Moroccan culture. This comprehensive tour offers the ultimate Moroccan experience for travelers seeking adventure and culture.


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