Fes is not just one of Morocco’s popular destinations, it’s also considered a landmark in North Africa. The country is known for its exotic beauty and rich culture. Visiting Fes would give tourists a chance to appreciate why the city is considered Morocco’s cultural and spiritual capital.

Visiting enchanting Morocco is like journeying through ancient places, thanks to the country’s unique attractions like its medinas, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and imperial cities known all over the world: Marrakesh, Fes, Rabat, and Meknes. Traveling is all about rejuvenation and enriching one’s soul, and what better way to do it than learning a new culture courtesy of the Moroccan wonder that is Fes?

10 Explore The Medina

Fes el Bali and Fes Jdid make up the Medina of Fez, an ancient medieval city listed as a World Heritage Site. It is considered one of the best conserved historic towns in the Arab world and the largest car-free urban area on the planet. The place is simply world-class. Exploring the medina’s alleyways will take tourists to historic hostels, majestic residential areas, stunning mosques, humble madrasas, and picture-perfect fountains. The Fes el Bali offers a lot of landmarks and monuments since the place is Fes’ oldest walled part. Fes Jdid is not to be overlooked, too, because it’s proud of its gates, fortifications, and other imposing structures. The medina is a traveler’s medicine.

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9 Take A Peek At The Historic Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque

The Al-Qarawiyyin is a mosque, library, and education center considered the world’s oldest university. It started as a mosque in 859 and evolved to become a madrasa until it was included in the country’s university system in 1963. Since it’s a functioning mosque, non-Muslims are not allowed inside Al-Qarawiyyin, but they can still have a look at its splendid exteriors. The center has numerous entrances, some with horseshoe arches that hold huge intricately-designed doors. It’s a must-visit for Muslim travelers who want a piece of Islamic history.

8 Drop By A Tannery

For the unaware, a tannery is a place where animal hides are tanned or where leather is made. It is a thriving industry in Fes and has been around for many years — so much so that it has become a local attraction. Tanners still work traditionally, and tourists can visit them while they are busy in their vats and dyeing corners. A must-see is the Chouara Tannery, considered to be the oldest in the world. Here, tourists can check out how hides are processed from the preservation to the drying before they are turned into bags, jackets, or wallets. With all the high-quality stuff around, guests should not miss the opportunity to buy some items, as well.

7 Visit The Merenid Tombs Before It's Too Late

The ruins are deteriorating, so those visiting Fes must meet face to face with the remains of the ancient Merenid Tombs. Since the former cemetery is situated on a hill, it gives tourists an expansive view of the city and its surrounding areas. Atop the hill, tourists can check out the city's walled parts, and after sunrise, they can watch the shimmering lights as the daily prayer from the mosque envelops the valley. The monuments may not be as stunning as they used to be, but they remain proud markers of the past.

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6 Explore Nejjarine Museum

The Nejjarine Museum is brimming with wooden arts and crafts, and it’s located in a historic funduq or a traditional inn. It is home to wooden masterpieces that showcase Morocco’s rich woodwork tradition. The cedarwood canopy is already stunning on its own, and there’s a corner here for every selfie connoisseur. In this museum, aside from exploring the exhibits, tourists can busy themselves appreciating the intricate courtyard, checking out the mesmerizing tilework, or idling by the fountain. On the rooftop, a cafe is ready to serve guests aromatic drinks that complement the medina's one-of-a-kind views.

5 Relax At Moulay Yacoub’s Baths

Tourists who want to have a dip after a day of meandering through the medina can visit Moulay Yacoub near Fes. The spa town is famous for its thermal baths, perfect for capping off a Moroccan adventure. It might not be what initially comes to mind when talking about cultural tours, but taking a dip might be an ideal way to pause and put into heart Fes’ wonders. Thermal bathing is one of the most popular recreational activities in the area, thanks to the sulfurous water source that helps guests relax and relieve body pains, as well. The water here is always fine.

4 Learn Something New At The Al Houria Cultural Complex

Tourists who fell in love with Fes and want to dive into its rich culture can visit the Al Houria Cultural Complex — a place of learning and excitement. It’s filled with local knowledge just waiting to be explored by eager travelers. In this welcoming establishment, guests can spend an afternoon in the theater, a moment in the library, or acquire something new from the exhibitions or educational sessions, like learning the local language, maybe. What’s more, it has regular performances and live music — making sure the place puts the fun into learning.

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3 Have A Stroll Along Jnan Sbil Gardens

Where in Fes can tourists truly feel the local vibe? In a public attraction like the Jnan Sbil Gardens. Sandwiched between Fes Jdid and Fes el Bali, this place is the perfect spot to be in the center of a welcoming community while enjoying the greenery. This prime Fes garden is home to more than 3,000 plant species that will fill a botany lover’s logbook. For casual tourists, this place is not shy about sharing its beauty, so they can busy themselves taking pictures. The garden is wide, and it won’t disappoint.

2 Have A Memorable Mausoleum Visit

Other unique attractions in Fes are zawiyas, or mausoleums and shrines. The most famous is that of Idris II, the city’s founder. His zawiya is a popular pilgrimage site, making it a must-visit for Muslim tourists. Aside from being a sacred place, Idris II’s zawiya is a stunning architectural wonder from the floor to its roofs. Wherever pilgrims and tourists look, this historic place spells magnificence. Other mausoleums to visit include that of Sufi saints and religious scholars. In Fes, there’s indeed a balance of beauty and peace.

1 Join A Festival

Tourists who will visit Fes in time for a festival will have an exhilarating experience. The city has lively music fests like the one that celebrates the culture of the Amazighs, the Melhoun that features melodic poetry, or the World Festival of Sacred Music that has been inspiring people since the 90s. There’s also the UNESCO-inscribed cherry festival in Sefrou that showcases folklore, dances, and dishes. Festival of Sufi Culture, meanwhile, takes tourists on a day of a spiritual and artistic ride. Near Fes, guests can also attend one of Morocco’s popular events, the Tissa Horse Festival. Whatever the celebration, Fes is the place to be.