Which are more amazing Marrakech or Fez attractions? Although you will hear many say that Marrakesh is the most exotic locale in Morocco, there has been a long-standing debate about that issue. Instead, just as many say that Fez deserves to rate as the most enchanting, exotic and representative of what travelers envision when they think of Morocco.
Ancient, unique, and home to one of the most beautiful skylines, the city of Fez has to be considered on any “must see” list of Moroccan tourist attractions. Historic buildings seem to appear around every corner, winding alleys full of exciting shops and sights fill the ancient Medina, and the monumental attractions are completely impressive. A visit to this city is both modern and ancient, and as one of the Imperial Cities of Morocco’s past, it is an ideal destination.
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Enjoying the Top Fez Attractions
A true cultural destination, the city of Fez has a long list of popular things to do. Naturally, most travelers know what must be the very top of any list of key Fez attractions, the Old City.
The Fez el Bali is enormous and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It covers more than two square miles and is constantly praised for how well preserved its many buildings and sites remain. It is also, however, a maze of wonderful alleys and courtyards. Though it is unusual to become lost, and though most locals are happy to steer visitors in the right direction, our Morocco’s private tours are the perfect choice for anyone wanting to explore the best of Fez.
Because it is enormous, it is one of the Fez attractions that deserve a full day, and even time in the evening. After all, if you are prone to photographs, the Fez el Bali is going to have you shooting shot after shot thanks to its amazing beauty and charm. Be sure to visit the tanneries and find a café or spot where you can take a rooftop view.
The Chouara tannery is not the most fragrant place, but it is where many of the country’s famous leather goods begin and the dyeing pots are something amazing to see and photograph. The area west of the Qaraouiyine Mosque is the best area for finding rooftop perspectives of the tanneries.
Islamic Attractions in Fez
Among the other top tourist attractions in Fez are the many religious and monumental buildings. The Medersa Bou Inania is a prime example. Constructed around 1350, it is open to non-Muslims wishing to gaze in awe at the tile work, carvings, and the view from the rooftop. It is rated as one of the most beautiful buildings in the country.
The Medersa el-Attarine was built around the same time, and has one of the most stunning courtyards. Visitors may climb to the rooftop and enjoy the view of the courtyard.
One of the oldest mosques in the city is the Qaraouiyine Mosque that was constructed in the 850s CE. At one time, during the Middle Ages, it was a university, but has been restored to its function as a mosque. It is enormous and can contain more than 20,000 worshipers in the prayer hall. It also has one of the oldest libraries in the world. Although non-Muslims cannot enter, there are several rooftops with good views of the complex.
The Al-Andalus Mosque is also among the key Fez attractions. Built in the early 1300s it has a beautiful white and green minaret that was standing long before the mosque was constructed; around 1000 CE. The neighborhood is quite ancient and even has the remains of a fondouk, a rather grand structure that once welcomed merchants and pilgrims into the city.
Jewish Tourist Attractions in Fez
If religious buildings are of interest, Fez is unique in having Fez tourist attractions that focus on the Jewish history of the city. The Mella or Jewish Quarter is near the Royal Palace and it is home to the Jewish cemetery and also the beautiful Aben-Danan Synagogue that is recognized for its collection of Moroccan Jewish items.
Many of the homes in the neighborhood surrounding this area are famous Fez attractions as well.
Medieval and Modern Places to Visit in Fez
Fans of grand and elaborate gates into cities will love the different places to visit in Fez where the gates still exist. Bab Boujiloud and Bab Chorfa are the two remarkably elaborate and enormous gates that lead you into the Old City. If you appreciate kasbahs and fortresses, the Borj Nord is a 1500s fortress with a rooftop viewing area that allows you to get one of the most impressive perspectives on the Medina.
Inside of the fortress is a comprehensive arms museum too, with one of the largest and rarest assortments of weaponry in the world.
If you enjoy fortresses with gardens too, the Boujiloud Gardens are contained within an 1800s palace. It is also where the Batha Museum is situated. You can explore all kinds of traditional local art ranging from carving to iron work, and jewelry and clothing. There is also a remarkable pottery room that has to be on a list of Fez attractions because it is here that you can see the famous Fez blue pottery being made.
If you are also interested in modern Fez attractions, the Fes el Jedid or New City is a beautiful spot. Though it began in the 1200s, this area is where you find the Royal Palace surrounded by lanes lined with modern medersas and mosques. On one side of this neighborhood is the modern Ville Nouvelle, which is a much faster paced area.
New, old, European, and North African…the city of Fez is a blend of the truly exotic and inspiring. You can easily dedicate an entire holiday to the attractions in Fez. At the very least, travelers should spend a few days in this enchanting destination, taking in the many Fez attractions with the help of a private guide or driver to ensure the best experience.
Fez, Morocco Tour Packages
When you are ready to enjoy a visit to all of the Fez attractions and sites, see our Morocco tour packages. In business since 1955, we offer a superior experience of Morocco. You can even use our Morocco trip planner and create any tour package imaginable. Whether a short break, a day tour, or a full holiday, we make everything possible.