Fes has long been considered the cultural capital of Morocco, and it’s easy to see why. A UNESCO World Heritage Site whose dynamic history dates back over a thousand years, Fes is a vibrant, stunning city with something to offer every traveler.

Medieval and magical, Fes is sure to captivate any wanderer looking to soak up the hustle and bustle of this historic and vibrant city.

9 The Dar el Makhzen (Royal Palace)

The Royal Palace is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Morocco; even though tourists aren’t allowed inside. However, the stunning exterior is more than enough to captivate anyone with an appreciation for intricate, colorful architecture, which can be viewed from any of the palace’s seven magnificent tiled, cedarwood gates.

  • Fun Fact: Located inside the grounds are several mosques; a museum; and a 14th-century madrasa (Islamic religious school). Don’t miss the verdant gardens outside the palace, where visitors can take a stroll among the lovely landscaped greenery.

8 Jardin Jnan Sbil

For those who want to escape the busy city, the Jnan Sbil Gardens are an idyllic spot located between the Fes el-Bali medina and the Jewish quarter. Originally built over 100 years ago, the gardens were lovingly restored in 2011. An Edenic retreat tucked within the medieval city walls, Jnan Sbil Garden is one of the few green spaces within Fes.

  • Fun Fact: Wander along the walkways to check out the diverse greenery, including palm trees and rose gardens. Don’t miss the ancient waterwheel—the centerpiece of the garden.

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7 The Bou Inania Madrasa

One of the most striking madrasas in the city, the Bou Inania was built in the 14th century. Though still a functioning religious building, it is still open to the public and is definitely worth exploring. From its distinctive green minaret to its marbled courtyard and mosaics in breathtaking hues, this madrasa is full of intricate, delicate details to capture the eye.

  • Fun Fact: The mihrab niche (the niche that is closest to Mecca, where congregants face to pray), has distinctive onyx columns that resemble those found in the Great Mosque of Cordoba.

6 Fes el-Bali (the Fes Medina)

Dating back to the 9th century, the Fes medina is the largest of its kind in North Africa. Situated in the oldest part of the city, this walled area is a completely car-free labyrinth that is worth exploring. Both culturally and historically significant, travelers could wander for hours within the medina’s narrow warrens and passageways.

5 The Chaouwara Tanneries

This tannery (one of three in Fes), was built in the 11th century and still operates to this day. The tanneries of Fes are world-famous—but beware, their aromas can be quite overpowering. Despite this, they are definitely worth a stop if only to learn about ancient leather-making and get a glimpse of the round, dye-filled vessels.

  • Fun Fact: The best views of the tanneries are from above—luckily most of the nearby leather shops offer accessible vantage points, as well as the opportunity to purchase a lovely leather souvenir.

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4 Bab Boujloud

Compared to many areas of the city, Bab Boujloud is relatively new—dating back to 1913, it was built during the French occupation. The best part of Bab Boujloud is the colorful mosaics; blue on the outside and green on the inside, they represent the sacred color of Islam.

  • Fun Fact: The Bab Boujloud is more than meets the eye; beyond its iconic archway lies a plethora of shops and restaurants worth exploring.

3 Nejjarine Museum

This three-story museum of wooden arts and crafts is located in a remodeled 18th-century funduq (historic inn). Visitors will enjoy exploring the collections representing the highest quality Moroccan woodwork, including tools, prayer beads, furniture, and more. The architecture is also ready to impress, with its carved wooden doors, columns, and ornate details.

  • Fun Fact: The rooftop cafe is a great place to grab a cold drink or bite to eat, all while admiring a stunning overhead view of the medina.

2 Merenid Tombs

Once a 14th-century necropolis to house the remains of the royal family, these ruins are historically interesting and significant—though little remains of the bright marble and once-colorful epitaphs.

  • Fun Fact: Visitors say the view from the Tombs is one of the best in Fes; because it's perched high above the medina, it’s a great spot to see the most breathtaking views of the city within the walls.

1 Borj Nord

An ancient fortress located high above the medina, this 16th-century spot is now home to an arms museum housing over 5,000 weapons. The panoramic view from the northern tower is the perfect spot to see the medina and the surrounding areas.

  • Fun Fact: Though the museum has everything from swords to muskets, the highlight is the 12-ton cannon famous for being used in the Battle of the Three Kings.

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