Luelle Augustin

Written by Luelle Augustin

Modified & Updated: 21 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Fès, also known as Fez, is a captivating city that holds a rich and diverse history. As one of Morocco’s oldest imperial cities, Fès has served as a center of culture, spirituality, and education for centuries. With its ancient medina, impressive architecture, and vibrant atmosphere, Fès offers visitors a unique glimpse into the past and a chance to experience the authentic Moroccan way of life.

In this article, we will explore 35 fascinating facts about Fès that shed light on its extraordinary heritage and charm. From its architectural marvels to its renowned educational institutions, from its traditional arts and crafts to its mouthwatering culinary delights, Fès has something to offer every kind of traveler. So, let’s dive into the enchanting world of Fès and discover why it is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an immersive cultural experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Fès, Morocco is an ancient city with a rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture. From its famous tanneries to traditional crafts, Fès offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity.
  • Fès is a city of hidden treasures, colorful markets, and enchanting narrow streets. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or a food lover, Fès is sure to captivate your heart and leave you with unforgettable memories.
Table of Contents

Fès, also known as Fez, is one of the oldest cities in Morocco.

With a history dating back over a thousand years, Fès has played a significant role in the cultural and intellectual development of the region.

Fès is home to one of the world’s oldest universities.

The University of Al Quaraouiyine, founded in 859 AD, is recognized by UNESCO as the oldest degree-granting university in the world.

Fès is divided into three main areas: Fès el-Bali, Fès el-Jdid, and the Ville Nouvelle.

Fès el-Bali, the old walled city, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is known for its narrow winding streets and traditional markets.

The architecture in Fès reflects a blend of Islamic, Andalusian, and Moroccan styles.

You can see intricate tilework, ornate carvings, and beautiful courtyard gardens in the city’s mosques, palaces, and madrasas.

Fès is famous for its leather tanneries.

The Chouara Tannery is one of the largest and most well-known tanneries in Fès, where hides are still processed using traditional methods.

Fès is renowned for its traditional crafts.

You can find skilled artisans practicing centuries-old techniques in pottery, carpet weaving, metalwork, and wood carving.

The Medina of Fès el-Bali is a labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways.

Getting lost in the Medina is all part of the experience, but don’t worry, locals are always willing to help you find your way.

Fès is considered the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco.

With its numerous mosques, religious schools, and historical sites, Fès attracts both pilgrims and tourists seeking a deep cultural experience.

Fès hosts the world’s largest annual gathering of Sufi saints.

The Festival of Sufi Culture is a vibrant celebration of music, dance, and spirituality that draws thousands of visitors each year.

Fès is known for its culinary delights.

From savory tagines to sweet pastries, Fès offers a wide array of traditional Moroccan dishes that will tantalize your taste buds.

Fès is a UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art.

Its rich cultural heritage and tradition of craftsmanship have earned Fès this prestigious designation.

Fès has inspired many artists and writers.

Renowned writers such as Paul Bowles and Edith Wharton found inspiration in Fès, capturing its allure in their works.

Fès has a vibrant music scene.

Traditional Moroccan music, including the hypnotic sounds of the oud and the rhythmic beats of the darbouka, can be heard throughout the city.

Fès is home to the famous Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts.

This museum showcases the intricate craftsmanship and artistry of Moroccan woodworkers.

Fès has a network of underground water channels known as qanats.

These ancient tunnels were built to provide the city with a reliable source of water.

Fès is a center for Islamic learning.

Students from around the world come to Fès to study at its prestigious Islamic schools.

Fès has a thriving traditional medicine market.

Herbalists and apothecaries in Fès offer a wide range of medicinal herbs and natural remedies.

Fès is known for its annual Fès Festival of World Sacred Music.

This festival brings together musicians and performers from different cultures to celebrate the universal power of music.

Fès is a UNESCO City of Music.

This designation recognizes Fès as a hub for music and cultural exchange.

Fès is famous for its colorful mosaic tiles.

You can find stunning examples of tilework in the city’s historic buildings and public squares.

Fès has a rich literary tradition.

Historical libraries and bookstores in Fès are treasure troves of ancient manuscripts and literary works.

Fès is home to the Merenid Tombs.

These ancient tombs offer breathtaking views of the city and its surrounding landscape.

Fès has a vibrant nightlife.

You can find a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues in the Ville Nouvelle area.

Fès is a gateway to the Atlas Mountains.

Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the stunning natural beauty of the nearby mountains and go hiking, mountain biking, or skiing.

Fès is a shopper’s paradise.

The Medina is filled with bustling markets where you can find everything from spices and textiles to traditional handicrafts.

Fès has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1981.

It is recognized for its outstanding universal value as an exceptional example of an intact medieval Islamic city.

Fès is a city of festivals.

Throughout the year, Fès hosts a variety of cultural festivals that showcase its rich heritage and vibrant arts scene.

Fès is a melting pot of cultures.

Over the centuries, Fès has been shaped by the influences of Arab, Berber, Andalusian, and Jewish communities.

Fès is home to traditional hammams.

These public bathhouses offer a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, following ancient bathing rituals.

Fès is a city of hidden treasures.

Wandering off the beaten path in Fès can lead you to discover hidden riads, beautiful gardens, and charming hidden squares.

Fès is a center for traditional Moroccan pottery.

Artisans in Fès are known for their skill in creating vibrant and intricate designs on ceramic pottery.

Fès is a paradise for photographers.

From the vibrant colors of the Medina to the stunning architectural details, Fès offers endless photo opportunities.

Fès is famous for its traditional leather goods.

You can find high-quality leather products, such as bags, shoes, and jackets, in the city’s souks.

Fès is a city of contrasts.

Old meets new, traditional meets modern – Fès seamlessly blends its rich history with contemporary elements.

Fès is a city that will leave a lasting impression.

Whether it’s the enchanting narrow streets of the Medina or the warm hospitality of its people, Fès is a destination that will captivate your heart and leave you with unforgettable memories.

So, there you have it – 35 fascinating facts about Fès, the historic and culturally rich city in Morocco. From its ancient universities and stunning architecture to its thriving arts scene and vibrant markets, Fès offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, or someone seeking a cultural adventure, Fès is bound to exceed your expectations. So, pack your bags and get ready to immerse yourself in the magic of Fès!


In conclusion, Fès is a city rich in history, culture, and architectural marvels. It offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern conveniences, making it a must-visit destination for travelers. From the stunning medina to the vibrant souks, the city beckons visitors to immerse themselves in its allure and explore its hidden treasures.

Whether you’re wandering through the narrow streets of the medina, admiring the intricate mosaic work at the Bou Inania Madrasa, or indulging in the aromatic flavors of Moroccan cuisine, Fès will captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories.

So, if you’re planning your next adventure, consider Fès as your destination. With its fascinating history, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality, Fès is sure to leave a lasting impression on your heart and mind.


1. What is the best time to visit Fès?

The best time to visit Fès is during spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) when the weather is mild and pleasant.

2. How do I get to Fès?

Fès is easily accessible by air, with the Fès-Saïss Airport serving as the main international gateway to the city. Additionally, there are regular train and bus services connecting Fès to other major cities in Morocco.

3. What are the must-visit attractions in Fès?

Some of the must-visit attractions in Fès include the Fès el-Bali (the old medina), the Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque, the Chouara Tannery, the Merenid Tombs, and the Jardin Jnan Sbil.

4. Is it safe to visit Fès?

Fès is generally a safe city for tourists. However, it is advisable to practice caution, especially in crowded areas and to take necessary precautions to avoid petty theft.

5. What is the local currency in Fès?

The local currency in Fès, as well as the rest of Morocco, is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD).

6. Can I explore Fès on foot?

Yes, exploring Fès on foot is highly recommended as it allows you to fully immerse yourself in the city’s charm and discover its hidden gems. However, be prepared for the labyrinthine streets of the medina.

7. What is the local cuisine like in Fès?

The local cuisine in Fès is a delightful mix of flavors influenced by Berber, Arab, and Andalusian culinary traditions. Some popular dishes to try include tagine, couscous, pastilla, and harira.

8. Are there any day trips from Fès?

Yes, there are several day trip options from Fès, including visits to the nearby cities of Meknes and Volubilis, as well as excursions to the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert.

9. Is English widely spoken in Fès?

While Arabic and French are the main languages spoken in Fès, English is also spoken and understood, especially in tourist areas.

10. How should I dress while visiting Fès?

It is recommended to dress modestly while visiting Fès, especially when exploring religious sites. It is advisable to cover your shoulders and knees and avoid revealing clothing.

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