Fez – Morocco’s Best City

According to Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism, 11.3 million tourists visited Morocco in 2017. Most did not revisit a nation’s best city.


The shaft of al Qaraouyine Mosque in a medina of a city of Fez, Morocco. (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS around Getty Images)

Morocco was a initial African nation we visited. we spent dual months there before spending a subsequent 5 years pushing overland to a other 53 African countries.

I wanted to see Morocco’s ignored corners in further to a obvious destinations.

I had review that Casablanca disappoints many travelers, that is given it didn’t defect me: it’s as common as we approaching it to be. Unlike many Moroccan medinas, Casablanca’s medina is dirty and uninviting.

Here’s lookin’ during you, kid. Casablanca’s aged city has seen improved days. (Photo by Braunger/ullstein bild around Getty Images)

When we visited, it had Africa’s tallest mosque, though in 2018, Algiers’ mosque surfaced it.

Today, a best thing about Casablanca is a film that bears a name.

Casablanca’s Hassan II Mosque looks improved adult tighten than from a beach. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto around Getty Images)

Although Casablanca is Morocco’s many populous city, it’s not a capital; Rabat is. For a nation as considerable and as fantastic as Morocco, you’d design a collateral to transport you. Instead, it’s about as stirring as a three-hour harangue about Morocco’s taxation code.

Rabat’s aged city (the medina) is nicer than Casablanca’s. But that’s not observant much. (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS around Getty Images)

Yes, I’m being overly oppressive on Casablanca and Rabat. They are excellent cities. In South Sudan, they’d be deliberate climax jewels.

However, compared to all a other extraordinary places Morocco has to offer, they should be low on your priority list. Internationally, Morocco’s dual best-known cities are Casablanca and Marrakesh. In third place is Rabat, especially given it’s Morocco’s capital.

It’s a empathize that Morocco’s best city isn’t some-more famous. It’s a 1,200-year-old city called Fez.

Fez is a second largest city of Morocco and it’s been called a “Mecca of a West” and a “Athens of Africa.” (Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto around Getty Images)

In 789, Idriss I, who founded Morocco’s initial dynasty, suspicion that a ancient Roman city of Volubilis was too tiny for his grand prophesy of a new collateral city. He’d be proud: today, Fez has over one million adults while Volubilis lies in ruins.

Volubilis had a day in a object in a 3rd century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

The Fez el-Bali (Old Fez) is a city’s gem. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site that will attack your senses with aromas and donkeys walking by a 9,500 alleyways.

Traffic jam in Fez. (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS around Getty Images)

At a city’s heart is a Kairaouine Mosque, that is one of Africa’s biggest mosques with a ability of 20,000 praying Muslims.

Islam’s holy book in a Kairaouine mosque in a medina in a aged city of Fez, Morocco. ( Photo by Xurxo Lobato /Getty Images )

Next to a mosque is a Zawiya Moulay Idriss II, that might be a world’s oldest university—it was determined in 859.

Fez has over 60 seqqâya (public fountains), that attest to a Almoravid dynasty’s crafty polite engineers. They diverted rivers, done dams and built an perplexing waterway network to discharge a H2O around Morocco. The fountains in a medina underline brilliant zellij (tilework) and are still used currently given not everybody has piped H2O during home.

Take a sip during a Nejjarine Fountain in Fez, Morocco. (Credit: Getty Images)

You can revisit madrassas (religious training centers), Gothic gates, kasbahs, tanneries, mausoleums and tea houses.

The aloft a server pours a packet tea, a improved it tastes. In theory. (Photo by Fishman/ullstein bild around Getty Images)

The tanneries get a many tourists. Shops that sell leather can be overwhelming.

A perspective of Chouara Tannery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in a heart of a ancient medina of Fez, Morocco. The tannery is stoical of countless dried-earth pits filled with a operation of dyes and liquids, where tender animal skins are treated, scraped and dyed, branch them into high-quality leather products such as bags, coats, boots and other identical products. (AP Photo/Mosa’ab Elshamy)

At some point, you’ll wish to shelter to your riad and take a take season in a hammam.

In a 14th century, locals took a drop here, a Sahrij Madrasa in Fez el Bali, Morocco. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Last year, 323,970 American tourists visited Morocco, up 23% from 2016. Although no other nation saw such a thespian commission rise, a US usually represented 3% of all tourists. France (31%) and Spain (21%) grabbed a tip dual spots, according to Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism.

Only 4% of tourists arrive by Fez’s airport. Fez’s hotel ability is also 4% of Morocco’s total. Marrakesh nabs 34% of a sum (source: in French).

Fez (Fes in French) gets distant fewer traveller overnight stays than it deserves.

Therefore, subsequent time that you’re in Morocco, don’t skip a best city. And learn how to hail a Moroccan too:

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