For those who solely have in the future in Fez, of course you need to take advantage of of it! Let The Travel Tester information you to some of the highlights of this metropolis.
Throughout our G Adventures Journey round Morocco, we spend at some point in Fez (or Fes in case you’re following Arabic spelling) and found all of the highlights of this fascinating metropolis.
Whereas this metropolis is way much less recognized than for instance Marrakech, we strongly recommendation you to go to, particularly in case you’re curious concerning the Arabic tradition and the way individuals stay and work in Morocco. By strolling by means of the medina, and in addition visiting the newer elements of the town, you’ll be able to actually take in the environment!
Fez is the oldest of the Moroccan imperial cities and it was based in AD 808 by Moroccan ruler Saint Moulay Idris II. The metropolis is situated in a slender valley towards the backdrop of the Center Atlas. It’s strategically positioned on the previous crossroads of the caravan routes that related the Saharan empires similar to Timbuktu and Takrur with the Atlantic and Mediterranean delivery lanes. As a result of of it’s location, Fez was a business middle for a lot of its historical past.
Today, Fez is taken into account Morocco’s premier spiritual metropolis as a result of of its Islamic traditions and even when you spend simply 1 day in Fez, I’m positive you’re going to like it.
What we’ll cowl in this text
ONE DAY IN FEZ ITINERARY
Find out how to Spend Your Morning in Fez?
Begin the Day at Dar el Makhzen (Royal Palace)
The Royal Palace is situated in new Fez, referred to as “Fes el-Jdid”. This can be a bit deceptive maybe, as a result of this half of the town was construct in the 13th century, nevertheless it’s outdoors of the Previous Metropolis, proper subsequent to the Jewish Quarter. The sultan constructed the palace right here and developed this space, just because there wouldn’t be any area in the Medina.
When you can’t enter the Fez Royal Palace, making a fast cease right here initially of the day (earlier than all the larger teams present up) is one thing we might for positive advocate. There are 7 gates in complete to the palace, every with spectacular brass doorways and thick, heavy partitions and make for an incredible photograph cease.
Be sure that to strictly not take any pictures of guards, as a result of you’ll get in critical hassle.
We have been right here round 10 AM and it was already busy!
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Stroll Via the Jewish Quarter in Fez
“Mellah” (The Arabic phrase for ‘salt’) is the Jewish Quarter of Fez, one thing virtually each metropolis in Morocco has. The Jewish group constructed their homes right here in the 14th century beneath the safety of the sultan (the palace we simply advised you about is true subsequent to it), and in return they might help him if there ever was any battle.
Lately, there aren’t many Jewish households round anymore (there was over 250.000!), however after the salt commerce, this space flourished in the gold commerce and there’s nonetheless good wealth right here.
When you’ve got time, you may additionally go to the small, restored Ibn-Danan Synagogue (17th century), the Jewish cemetery and/or the Jewish Museum that has a set of objects highlighting Moroccan Jewish life and tradition.
These things are used at weddings to “wrap” meals/candies and presents inBUY.ALL.THE.DATES.
Go to the Trendy Half of Fez
Near the Jewish Quarter, in the “Ville Nouvelle” (New City), you may also go to the “Centre Commercial Borj Fes”, which is a big shopping center with trendy outlets. There’s a massive grocery store and bottle store in case you need to purchase your personal meals.
Make certain to additionally stroll across the Avenue Hassan II, which is an exquisite inexperienced strip lined with palm timber and it’s the place all of the locals hang around.
I wouldn’t prioritize going right here for those who solely have a brief quantity of time, but when there’s something you may want, or crave western meals… that is the place.
Go to the Jnan Sbil Gardens
Earlier than (or after, simply how you propose your day) visiting the busy Medina, you’ll be able to wander by means of an oasis of peace at Jnan Sbil, a park that was as soon as an Imperial backyard. When you come by bus from the town middle, get off on the Bab Lahdid cease, or get your taxi to drop you off on the “Bab Bou Jeloud”, in any other case generally known as the “Blue Gate”. From the Jewish Quarter, it’s a few 10 minute stroll.
Within the park you will discover tropical timber and plans and in the afternoon, a gaggle of Ibises lands on an island in the lake.
Photograph Credit score: Pixabay
Go to the Borj Nord Viewpoint
Borj Nord is a hill that includes a 16th century army fort with restored partitions, from which you’ll be able to overlook the homes and mosques of Previous Fez. Aside from the view (which is free), you can too pay to enter the Arms Museum, that includes the army historical past and traditions of Morocco. There’s a wonderful shows of cannons, firearms, daggers and swords.
We stopped right here early in the day, which is nice for those who additionally plan to go to the museum, in any other case you possibly can attempt to go right here at sundown for unimaginable views.
For the extra lively travellers, you may also carry on climbing the hill to the highest, the place you will discover the 13th century Merenid Tombs. They’re ruined, however these tombs home the skeletal stays of sultans and different royals of the Merenid Dynasty. Don’t keep on the hill too lengthy after dusk, or it may be troublesome to get again!
Eat a Prickly Cactus Fruit
Round Fez you will discover a lot of trolleys with meals and drinks, however one you must give a go are those promoting cactus fruits, or as they are saying “prickly”. You possibly can have the man take away the pores and skin after which merely dig into the candy fruit. I favored it, however it’s full of seeds (far more than a melon, extra like a kiwi fruit, however then greater), so you will need to not thoughts that!
Methods to Spend Your Afternoon in Fez?
Enterprise Into the Medina of Fes El Bali
One factor you undoubtedly don’t need to miss is the chance to wander across the hectic medina of Fes El Bali, the previous middle of Fez. This half of the town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage website and it’s considered the most important car-free city space in the world. Right here, you can too discover the world’s first college (that we’ll speak extra about under).
The Fes El-Bali has beautiful Islamic gates on the primary entrances and exits. Some of the previous metropolis partitions are additionally nonetheless standing. As a result of no automobiles are allowed right here, this labyrinth is the place you’ll be able to spot many donkeys and carts squeezing down small alleyways. You’ll additionally see locals weaving and promoting produce, which is principally something from reside chickens to olives, metalwork and artisan footwear.
The medina is a bit of an assault in your senses, and there are greater than 9600 slender alleys, so when you can navigate it with a information, I might undoubtedly advocate this. Fortunately, our G Adventures information caught with us and confirmed us some of the most effective locations.
In case your’re navigating the medina of Fes by yourself (there are some signposts as nicely), listed here are some of the locations we visited that we loved as a suggestion. There are two foremost streets operating virtually parallel into the previous metropolis: They’re “Talaa Kebira” (huge hill) and “Talaa Seghira” (little hill). If you discover these roads, you’ll have the ability to work out the place you’re.
In fact, you may discover utterly various things by yourself journey:
The streets in the half the place we began are blue, virtually like we made it to Chefchaouen in any case!First donkey of the day – however definitely not the final!So many superb doorways right here…
What I appreciated concerning the medina, is that round each corners there appears to be a unique theme: from meals stalls, to pottery and from material to wedding ceremony presents, persevering with on to woven, leather-based and brass gadgets. You retain wanting round you!
Slight warning forward: the subsequent image contains a camel head. And never the one that’s hooked up to a camel physique. Simply so that you don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Need to get married? They’ve the whole lot you want right here!Nick is certainly rocking that Sahara-look!The leather-based and tannery spaceWant new pots, pans or lamps? That is the place!
Go for a Tasty Lunch
In Morocco, meals are necessary social moments and so not many individuals will eat out. In Fez, there are some eating places although to exit for lunch and dinner. In the event you’re with a much bigger group, it may be troublesome to discover a spot as most of them are small companies or road carts, that’s why with our G Adventures group, we had a pre-booked place to go for. I don’t actually keep in mind the place it was, and it wasn’t actually too memorable to be trustworthy, so I’ll comply with the recommendations of others which were to Fez and listing some lunch choices for you under:
Bonus Tip: Scout for locations which have a rooftop terrace (rather a lot of them could have them) and benefit from the views over the town!
Two typical Moroccan dishes: Pastilla & Tajine!
See the Chouara Tanneries
Fez is legendary for its tanneries (situated in the Moulay Abdellah Quarter), so should you can stand the stench (I all the time have a blocked nostril, so I didn’t odor a factor, haha – I win!), a visit to the tanneries will give you perception into the method of dying animal skins that may be a century-old apply. They solely use pure elements to make the colors, you possibly can variety of perceive by now the place the odor comes from. Additionally, as a result of it’s pure, it gained’t stain the pores and skin of the blokes standing as much as their center in the basins, apparently.
Tip: They give you little twigs with mint leaves that will help you cowl the odor if wanted. Some individuals on our journey stuffed it up their nostril, for those who can consider it, haha!
In addition to taking a look out over the tannery itself, of course this place is one huge store, truly, there are a number of outlets adjoining the tanneries that work as a co-operative. The revenue of all gross sales in these outlets go to everybody concerned in the making of the merchandise. Everybody will get a share! The individuals are pleasant as nicely, so don’t fear about getting hassled in the event you don’t need to purchase something!
In case you do need to convey one thing residence, get your haggling-skills out, your smile on and begin negotiating. Have enjoyable with it, have a dialog with the individuals. We have been completely satisfied to have our G Adventures information as nicely, as a result of he might tell us in advance what an excellent worth can be for issues, so we didn’t stress out about it in any respect.
Within the outlets, you may discover something from ottomans to luggage, footwear, belts, wallets and leather-based jackets. A fantastic memento from the oldest tannery in the world!
Whenever you purchase gadgets from these outlets, you help an entire group – keep in mind that!We might or might not have purchased the yellow/orange ottoman you possibly can see behind the black one above 🙂Subsequent time, I’m bringing an empty suitcase!
See the Mosques of Fez
Al Quaraouiyine & Al-Attarine Madrasa
The unimaginable Al Quaraouiyine was constructed in 859 by refuges from Kairouan in Tunisia and is the oldest present, regularly working greater instructional establishment in the world in accordance with UNESCO and Guinness World Data. Most college students on the faculty vary from between the ages of 13 and 30, and research in the direction of excessive school-level diplomas and university-level bachelor’s levels. It’s open to each women and men.
Within the constructing, yow will discover particulars of inexperienced and blue zellij tilework, carved plaster and cedar wooden carvings far and wide. The mosque is so massive, it might maintain about 20.000 worshipers!
You can’t enter as a non-Muslim, however you’ll be able to stroll across the constructing and look contained in the beautiful courtyard and ornamental artwork by means of the various doorways.
The close by Al-Attarine “Madrasa” (the Arabic phrase for any sort of instructional establishment) was constructed by the Marinid Sultan Uthman II Abu Stated in the 14th century and you may go to it for 10 Dirham.
Al QuaraouiyinAl-Attarine Madrasa
Medersa Bou Inania
We didn’t have time for this, however in the event you love structure, you may need to go to this theological school that’s situated on the entrance of the Previous Medina.
This old fashioned was constructed by the Merenid sultan Abou Inan between 1351-1357 and is legendary for its green-tiled minaret and one of the few spiritual buildings in Fez that may be entered by non-Muslims. The particulars are purported to be beautiful: ornate mosaics and tiles (“zellej”), giant brass doorways, intricate lattices and fountains in the dramatic courtyard. It additionally has rooms on two flooring, the place they used to show college students. The school can also be well-known for its water clock, one of a couple of nonetheless in existence.
Strolling by way of the Medina, you’ll spot an entire lot extra mosques and they’re all amazingly adorned. There are 350 mosques in the medina which are nonetheless in use
at this time, so I’m positive you’ll get your repair of brass doorways and inexperienced tiles for positive!
The best way to Spend Your Night in Fez?
Have Dinner in the Medina at Night time
After the day with the information, we mustered some confidence and went again for slightly bit with a couple of of the individuals on our tour.
We stored it easy and picked a restaurant proper subsequent to Blue Gate, so we wouldn’t get misplaced. Google Maps labored effective by the best way, so today it’s develop into a bit simpler to stroll round by yourself.
From right here, you’ll discover many cafes and eating places, though they’re a bit extra geared towards vacationers. It’s fashionable to to start out your adventures into the Medina right here, as a result of it’s a drop-off place for taxi’s.
A restaurant I can advocate is Café Clock. That is is a well-liked vacationer spot (however for a change, that’s not a destructive factor!) they usually supply a pleasant mix of conventional Moroccan and Western meals. At sundown there are live shows and different cultural actions that you simply may need to become involved in.
The Blue GateCafé Clock and the View from their Rooftop TerraceWe went for the Camel Burger!After our meal, we went for a drink to “Mezzanine”, which additionally has a rooftop terrace… and rather a lot of smoking backpackers. Unusual place, however the one one we might discover at this level in the night that may serve a beer…
Obtained Extra Time in Fez?
See Crafts at Poterie de Fes
Should you’re actually into the handicrafts and in maybe shopping for some ceramics, pottery or gadgets with mosaics (comparable to vases, tables or water options), then it may be nice so that you can go to the Poterie de Fes. We visited this place as half of our G Adventures Tour and whereas it’s principally a (work)store, it was nice to see how all of the gadgets have been made and simply how a lot work goes into making all these things.
The issues that have been bought in the store weren’t low cost and the store is situated a bit out of the middle of city, however in case you’re critical about it, I can advocate a go to!
Behind ever desk you see in the store is days and days of exhausting work!
Sensible Info for Visiting Fez
I hope this text helped you deciding what to do in Fez! Right here is extra info that will help you plan your journey:
Time Zone in Morocco?GMT +1
Foreign money in Morocco? Moroccan Dirham. Examine the newest trade fee right here.
Electrical Plugs in Morocco? 220V, Sort C and E. We advocate getting a common journey adapter to by no means fear about having the appropriate plug in your travels!
Languages Spoken in Morocco? Moroccan Arabic (Darija), Arabic & Berber + French. We had no hassle getting round with simply English and our G Adventures information helped us in all places, as he was an area and spoke all of the languages wanted.
Best time to go to Morocco & Fez Travel? Spring (March-Might) or Autumn (September-October). Summer time may be good on the coast, however will certainly be too heat extra inland. Be sure that to additionally take the date of Ramadan, the month of daytime fasting, in account when planning your journey!
Insurance coverage for Morocco? Make sure that to get journey insurance coverage! We advocate testing worldnomads.com
Which organised excursions to do in Morocco? We extremely advocate organised excursions with G Adventures Tour!!
Extra Nice Assets:
Motels in Fez, Morocco:
With our group, we stayed at Lodge Mounia in Fez. It was a lodge fitted to tour teams, I don’t advocate reserving right here as an unbiased traveller. As an alternative, take a look on the following choices:
Riads in Fes, Morocco:
Map of Fez Tourism Spots
Extra articles on Morocco on-line quickly!
I hope you loved all of the strategies for Fes Morocco issues to do!
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Excursions & Different Issues to Do in Fes Morocco
There are various nice excursions and actions in Fes. Listed here are some nice ones to get your began:
- Fez Medina Guided Tour Click on right here for availability and present costs
- This tour of Fez takes you thru the intricate maze of streets of the medina. See the tanneries, Medersa Bouaanania, Nejjarine Museum and extra.
- Fes: Handicrafts and Buying Tour Click on right here for availability and present costs
- Meet the artisans of Fes on a guided tour of the medina and study extra concerning the totally different arts and crafts that make the imperial metropolis well-known. Get the prospect to buy at an area co-operative and go to the oldest leather-based tannery in the world.
- Fez Medina Strolling Guided Excursions Click on right here for availability and present costs
- Take pleasure in a cultural tour of Fes with knowledgeable information. Go to the medina, see the world’s oldest constantly functioning college, tour the native souk, and cease to see the oldest tannery in Africa. Style favourite road meals and meet native artisans.
- Full Day Fes Cooking Class Expertise Click on right here for availability and present costs
- On this Fez cooking class, you’ll study the secrets and techniques of Moroccan delicacies and its fabulous flavors. Simply wait till you’re able to pattern your personal culinary creation and style the sensational flavors.
- Full-Day Fez Handicraft Tour Click on right here for availability and present costs
- On this Fez handicraft tour, you’ll spend your time discovering Moroccan Berber artwork and get to take part in some of the craft practices famed in Moroccan heritage.
- Fez Previous Metropolis Personal Tour & Lunch with Native Household Click on right here for availability and present costs
- Come go to the Historic Medina of Fez, an expertise you possibly can’t miss in your journey to Morocco – discover the previous walled metropolis’s lovely structure and historic websites, and have a singular lunch expertise sharing a meal with a Moroccan household in their residence!
- Fes: Moroccan Hammam and Spa Click on right here for availability and present costs
- This Moroccan spa expertise permits you to join with locals, take pleasure in a standard Moroccan hammam expertise, and chill out whereas having fun with a therapeutic massage.
- Fes: Cultural and Historic Tour with a Native Information Click on right here for availability and present costs
- Take pleasure in a cultural and historic tour of Fes with a driver and multilingual information. Discover historic websites, Islamic locations, essential monuments, maze-like slender alleys and engaging sights on this satisfying day tour.
- Fes: Personal Full-Day Sightseeing Tour Click on right here for availability and present costs
- Uncover the highlights of the oldest of the imperial cities of Morocco on a full-day, personal tour of Fes. Go to the historic medina and stroll the labyrinth of energetic streets in the souks. See the world’s oldest college and extra.
Day Journeys from Fes Morocco
Listed here are some recommendations for epic day journeys to take from Morocco:
- Center Atlas Day Journey from Fez Click on right here for availability and present costs
- On this Center Atlas day journey from Fez, go to three lovely villages and witness the normal lives of Berber households. Catch some beautiful views, meet some monkeys, and study Moroccan tradition!
- Tour from Fez to Volubilis, Moulay, Idriss and Meknes Click on right here for availability and present costs
- This tour from Fez that takes you thru Morocco’s historical past. Discovering hundreds of years Moroccan heritage, monuments, gates, Moorish structure and historic ruins of Volubilis.
- Day Journey from Fez to Casablanca Click on right here for availability and present costs
- Take pleasure in a tour of Casablanca with your personal driver/information who’s absolutely certified and accredited. Be a part of this tour to expertise Casablanca in the absolute best method.
- Fez: Sefrou and Bhalil Berber Cities Day Journey Click on right here for availability and present costs
- Spend an exquisite day visiting the Berber cities of Sefrou and Bhalil from Fez – get away from the town and uncover waterfalls, caves, lovely pure scenes, and study concerning the tradition and historical past of these fascinating Berber villages.
- From Fez: Chefchaouen Day Journey Click on right here for availability and present costs
- Uncover the engaging blue pearl of the Rif Mountains on an fulfilling day journey from Fez. Discover the vivid lanes, thriving market, kasbah and extra.
- From Fez: Meknes, Volubilis and Moulay Idriss Day Journey Click on right here for availability and present costs
- Go to one of the 4 imperial cities of Morocco and see the Roman ruins of an historic kingdom on a day journey from Fez. Discover the Medina of Meknes, go to the historic stays of Volubilis and see the holy city of Moulay Idriss.
- Personal Tour: Meknes and Volubilis Day Journey from Fez Click on right here for availability and present costs
- Uncover hundreds of years of Moroccan heritage on this personal Meknes and Volubilis day journey from Fez. Admire historic vineyards and olive groves in your journey throughout the mighty Saiss plains and go to the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail with a information.
- Fes: Sightseeing Day Journey to Rabat Click on right here for availability and present costs
- Spend a full and thrilling day in Rabat and verify off the Moroccan capital’s key sights: the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, the ruins of the Chellah, the Kasbah of the Udayas, Hassan Tower, Previous Medina, and far more!
Disclaimer: We have been hosted on our tour by way of Morocco by G Adventures. All photographs and opinions in this text are, as all the time, 100% our personal. This publish accommodates affiliate hyperlinks.