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Top 5 Things to See and Do in Fez, Morocco

One of the most ancient cities in Morocco, Fez is so rich in culture, traditions, gastronomy, and more, it’s often referred to as the country’s cultural capital. With one of the first universities and the oldest medieval medina in the world, it has a lot of history for you to explore.

Here are the 5 best things to see and do in the city.

1. Al Quaraouiyine Mosque: Al Quaraouiyine, built-in 859BCE by Fatima al-Fihri, is believed to be one of the oldest universities in the world. It now operates as a mosque and cannot be entered by non-Muslims. However, its library, renovated in 2016, is open to the public, and you can get a glimpse of the impressive, handmade tilework dating back to the 9th century. You can also get a perfect view of the mosque courtyard from the rooftops of nearby restaurants in the medina.

2. Dar Batha: Located in the medina, Dar Batha a former palace that was turned into a museum in 1915, has an amazing collection of traditional artifacts. It has a fantastic Andalusian-style garden at its entrance, with varying types of plants, aromas and sounds, plus mosaics and a water fountain. Inside, you’ll find fine wood carvings, traditional Moroccan tiles, embroidery, carpets and even a ceramics collection from the 14th century.

3. Chouara Tannery: This is the most iconic place in Fez, and the oldest tannery in the world, where they still operate as they did in medieval times. Here, men make leather in a massive tannery surrounded by houses and shops. The smell of the dyeing process can get rather intense, so take a scarf to cover your nose (or they will give you mint leaves to rub under it). This is a great place to buy your leather souvenirs.

4. Merenid Tombs: These tombs house the skeletal remains of sultans and other royals of the Merenid dynasty. Although not intact, and most of the decorations and engravings have faded throughout the years, you can still see the authenticity of the architecture. The climb up the hill is definitely worth it for the view over the 1,200-year-old medina, especially at sunset. Just don’t stay too long after nightfall, as the descent can get difficult in the dark.

5. Mellah: Mellah became a Jewish quarter in the 14th century and Fes el-Jdid became a refuge for the Jewish community and was originally home to 250,000 Jews. Since the creation of the state of Israel, however, only a handful now remain – and they are in the Ville Nouvelle. Mellah is full of history and Jewish-style architecture, such as the Ibn Danan synagogue located in the heart of the Mellah, where some buildings housed people up until the late 20th century

Fez, also spelled Fes, is a city located in northern Morocco. It is the third largest city in the country and is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, including the famous Fes el-Bali, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city also has a rich cultural heritage, with several museums and landmarks such as the Bou Inania Madrasa, the Dar Batha Museum, and the Royal Palace of Fez. Fez is also renowned for its traditional crafts, such as pottery, leatherwork, and textiles. The city is home to the University of Al Quaraouiyine, the oldest university in the world, founded in 859 AD. Fez is also a popular tourist destination and is a starting point for many trips to other parts of Morocco.