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The Imperial City of Fez, Morocco

Home » Places to Visit in Morocco » The Imperial City of Fez, Morocco

Colourful Mosaic Tiles inside Fez Hotel, MoroccoFez 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 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.

There are several hotels and riads in Fez which 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 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.

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.

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.

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