Visiting Fes is like stepping out of time! Eight miles of sandstone walls enclose a disorientating maze of 9400 practically unmappable streets. Fes is the oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities and comprised of Fez el Bali (Old Fez), 13th-century Fez el Jdid (New Fez), and the 20th-century Ville Nouvelle, built by the French. The city is a labyrinth that is an adventurers dream to explore!
What you should know
Fes is the world’s largest car-free urban zone, meaning that inside the medina/old town, the best (and only) way to get around is on foot.
Arabic and Berber are the officially spoken languages, however you will very often hear French. English is not widely spoken by the general public
Things to do and see
University of al-Qarawiyyin (جامعة القرويين)
The University of al-Qarawiyyin is the oldest university and was the first of its kind in the world. It was founded in 859 C.E., by a young princess named Fatima Al-Fihri who migrated with her father Mohammed Al-Fihri form Qayrawan (Tunisia) to Fes. The family joined a community of other migrants from Qayrawan "Qayrawaniyyins", who settled in a western district of Fes. Fatima and her sister Mariam, who were well educated and brought up with religious devotion, inherited a large amount from their father who was a successful businessman. Fatima vowed to spend her entire inheritance on building a mosque suitable for her community.
Visit the Royal Palace
Outside of the medina you can find the Fes el Jedid palace. Unfortuntely, as it is in use by the king, it is closed to the public. However it is impressive to see the seven gates from the outside. One tip here – do not take photographs of the guards!
Drive or walk up to Borj Nord for a fantastic panorama of the city!
Visit the Tanners’ Quarter
Follow your nose to this quarter and discover how the tanner's create leather products from scratch. Pop into one of the shops or stalls and you can even order yourself a custom made leather jacket. Don't worry you'll likely be given a bunch of mint to hold under your nose during your visit especially in summer.
Discover great craftsmanship
Everyone in Fes is happy to show you their products. A lot of hardwork goes into the things you see in the souks and given the opportunity they are happy to present their work and offer you a good discount for your time.