Serving as the medieval capital of Morocco, Fez is an ancient walled city that’s home to the world’s oldest university. Its medina is packed with exquisite Islamic architecture and stores selling locally-crafted leather goods, together with rooftop restaurants offering spectacular city views.
Things to do in Fez
Get lost in the narrow alleyways and souks of the medina, which is clustered with shops selling spices, dried fruit, textiles and leather goods. Fez is renowned for its tanneries where ancient leather-making techniques are still in use, with balconies where you can get an elevated vantage point overlooking the multicoloured tanning pits.
Admire the exquisite Marinid architecture of the Madrasa Bou Inania, a 14th-century religious college in the heart of the medina. It boasts elaborately carved wooden walls and Arabic calligraphy in its central courtyard and is one of only a few religious places in Morocco that are accessible for non-Islamic visitors.
Get a glimpse into the world’s oldest university at al-Karaouine, a religious school and mosque considered one of Morocco’s holiest places. Visitors are welcome to peer inside the gates to witness its Andalusian ornamentations, carved stucco work and marble fountains.
Take in the panoramic views of Fez from the ruined Merenid Tombs, which are perched on a hilltop to the north of the medina. Featuring large horseshoe-arch entrances and stucco decorations, these grand mausoleums are believed to date back to the 14th century and are particularly photogenic at sunset.
Getting around Fez
Fez Sais International Airport is a 20-minute drive from the medina and there are regular trains to Casablanca and Marrakesh from the Ville-Nouvelle train station. Taxis are readily available for getting around, but the medina can only be explored on foot.