Things to Do in Fes

Things to Do in Fes

Things to Do in Fes

Things to Do in Fes: The Kingdom of Morocco is an interesting ancient country located on the northern coast of Africa. And like any country, Morocco has its heart – the ancient city of Fez. Our article is about it.

Getting to know Fez.

Fez is considered the oldest city in the Kingdom of Morocco, one of the four ancient imperial cities (the other three are Meknes, Rabat, and Marrakech), and the largest center of Islamic religion and culture in North Africa. Its area is 20 thousand sq. km. The origins of the city go back to about 789 AD, when the first settlement was founded on the eastern bank of the Fez River, followed by a village on the other bank. And when the two settlements merged into one, the city of Fez became the largest Islamic city in the world and became a worthy beauty capital of Morocco. When you come here, you get the impression that you are back in time: in a thousand and a half years, the city has not changed much in its structure. There are still many intricate winding streets, old houses, and buildings, where people continue to live.

Interestingly, one of the vibrant cities of Morocco, Fez geographically consists of three parts:

Fez el Bali – the old medina (old town), which is considered one of the largest pedestrian zones in the world, protected by a medieval wall;

Fez Jdid, the second medina, existing since the 13th century and was founded by the Marinids, where many monuments from this era remain.

New Fes, was founded by the French in 1916, when the Kingdom of Morocco became a French protectorate for half a century in 1912. It is west of the old city and is enclosed by a city wall.

Population of Fez

According to the latest census, the population of the entire city is about one million people. It is currently the fourth largest city in the Kingdom after Casablanca, Rabat, and Marrakech. Most of its inhabitants are descendants of the city’s founders, who have been living in the same quarters for generations, passing on their family history and ancient crafts and technologies to the young.

What is the weather like in Fez?

Things to Do in Fes: The weather in almost the entire Kingdom of Morocco, as in the city of Fez, is shaped by the laws of the Mediterranean climate, making summers dry and very hot, and calendar winters cool and humid.

The marked seasonality of the climate is influenced by the neighboring Altas Mountains, which also cause temperature variations between night and day. Summer averages are +26 +27 degrees, although repeatedly recorded maximum up to +45 degrees. In winter the weather is rainy and cool, and the average thermometer column fluctuates around the mark of +12 +14 degrees. For tourists unused to the heat the most comfortable period is considered the beginning of summer: May and June.

The sights of Fez

It is believed that most travelers visiting Morocco and, in particular, the city of Fez, come for its main attraction – Al-Qarawin, a religious and educational complex. And it is not just the importance of this place for all Muslims, but also its antiquity, because even the Guinness Book of Records included it in its pages as the oldest functioning university in the world. And, indeed, the year of foundation of the complex is believed to be 859. In addition to the ancient walls in the center of Fez, tourists are also attracted to Morocco and a religious attraction – the largest mosque and the tomb of Idris II, the founder of the city.

Worth noting is the blue and white main gate of Bab Bu Djeloud with an interesting ornament and the palace of the Madrassa Bou Inania. The ancient quarter of Shuara tannery is also an interesting place in Fes, where you can watch the whole process of leather production by ancient technology. The Royal Palace, the Synagogue of Ibn Danan, the Bab Decaken Gate-Castle, the Northern Fortress (Borj-Nor), the Nejarin Fountain, and the Gardens of Budjeloud are some of the sights you must see.

Entertainment and Recreation in Fez

Things to Do in Fes: Do not be afraid that Fez is a rather old-fashioned, religious, and quiet city. In addition to seeing its sights and architecture, you can do horseback riding, and go on a real horseback trip. Fez also has an excellent golf course. Tennis is also loved in the city because here every year the Grand Prix of Princess Lalla Meriem, in which the most famous and titled tennis players compete.

Local festivals and fiestas include the Sacred Music Festival in June, the Riads Jazz Festival, and the Cherry Fair. If you’re looking for the usual metropolitan entertainment, you won’t find it in a real Muslim city. Clubs, bars, and discos operate only on the territory of the largest hotels. By the way, in the hotel, you can take lessons on different local crafts: calligraphy, pottery, Arabic music, and other interesting activities, believe me, it is entertaining.

If you came to improve your health, don’t worry, there are plenty of different hammams and spas in Fez. By the way, the city has its own thermal center “Mulay Yacoub” with warm healing springs.

Fez Hotels

In the largest city of Morocco surprisingly most popular are the so-called “riads” – old houses, furnished according to their historical era, converted into mini-hotels. For example, Riad Rcif or Riad Said. Each “riad” is surrounded by a garden in which guests can stroll, play, relax, and even organize dinners. Usually, it is 5-6-8 cozy and comfortable rooms. Of course, there are many modern and traditional hotel complexes, but almost all of them are built in New Fez. We recommend you pay attention to Ramada Fes, Palais Faraj Suites & Spa, Les M√©rinides, and others. You can also find budget 1 – 2* hotels and even hostels, including in the historic part of the city.

Where to eat in Fez?

Major cities in Morocco are considered to be real food centers because, on every corner of ancient Fez, you can find a simple snack bar or a family national restaurant. Local chefs often inexplicably mix sweet and savory products in the same dish, and in the salads often use fruit instead of vegetables. And we have not yet mentioned the abundance of spices and spices.

Meat tagine with quince, lamb with prunes and apricots, duck with nuts – all this and more you can try in the hospitable restaurant Sekaya. Fresh bread with cumin and salt is obligatory on every table. And the favorite dessert of the inhabitants of Fez is marshmallow – small puff pastries with pigeon meat, almonds, and sugar. Many of the national dishes of Morocco can be tasted in the restaurant Riad al Bartal.

Souvenirs and shopping

Things to Do in Fes: In Fez, as in any city of the Kingdom of Morocco, a lot of markets where tourists buy souvenirs and local delicacies. The old neighborhood is of course famous for its Oriental flavor and this is where most markets and bazaars are concentrated. First of all, travelers buy fez hats, tajin, slippers babushi, carpets, pots, fabrics, and jewelry. It is worth noting that there are also several specialized markets in Fes, such as the El-Shabine Bazaar of medicinal and useful plants, Fish and Salt markets, the El-Attarin spice bazaar, and others. It is to these places tourists go most often for shopping.

Do not think that there is nothing but markets, on the contrary, in Fez there are also decent modern shopping areas, which sell almost everything, but there is no Moroccan atmosphere. There is no general usual schedule of stores here, everyone has his own schedule. But markets and bazaars open early in the morning and work all day long.

How to get to Fez?

Fez has an international airport, but there are no direct flights from Russia and CIS countries. Direct flights are available from Paris, Milan, Madrid, Pisa, London, Bologna, Marseille, Dusseldorf, and Frankfurt. You can fly to the Moroccan city of Casablanca or the capital Rabat, and from there you can take a train to Fez. Buses go from the local airport to the city every half hour and the distance is only 15 km. You can try to get to the city on your own, but a cab will cost you 6-10 times more than a bus ticket.

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