Real heart of the city, Fes el Bali is the oldest part. World Heritage of Unesco, Fes el Bali is full of monuments and historic sites scattered in the 9500 streets of the medina.
Surrounded by ramparts, the medina is a large medieval city that has hardly changed in 1000 years. Still inhabited, the Medina is the liveliest place in town. Thousands of Fassi, people of Fez, cross paths every day donkeys loaded with goods on their way to the souks. An enchanting place worthy of the Arabian Nights!
A whole week would be needed to absorb completely this magical area. We offer a tour of the famous monuments of the old town. A day would be ideal to see the point. The hurry may do the trick, at no charge, in half a day.
Visit the neighborhood
To start the tour, we recommend instead Pasha el Baghdadi, the limit of Fez el Jadid. On this large square surrounded by ramparts you can admire the vast Bab Bou Jeloud that mixes the green of Islam in the blue of Fez.
From here, dive into the alleys of the medina to the east (street Talaa Seghira) and scroll down to the madrasa Bou Inania. This superb Koranic school was built by Mérinides at the same time as the madrasa Bou Inania Meknes. The architecture lovers visiting places (entrance fee), remarkable for the richness of ornamentation
Continue down, you move towards the center of the medina. Know that the crowd and the greater the center will close. 200m after the mosque Ech Cherabliyine you can turn right to admire in Fondouk Nejjarine. Not far away, you’ll find Zaouia Moulay Idriss II, regarded by the inhabitants of Fez as the founder of the city. Please note, this shrine is a holy place. Decent clothing is required, for men as for women.
Retrace your steps and continue your progress until you arrive in the wonderful world of the souks. From there, let yourself be guided by your senses. The souks line the streets around the Grand Mosque Karaouiyine.
What a pity that the entrance to the Mosque of Karaouiyine is forbidden to non-Muslims. Indeed, this mosque is one of the largest in the history of the Muslim world. In the ninth century, the Mosque of Karaouiyine became the first university in the world, before Oxford or the Sorbonne. The building, which can accommodate 20,000 worshipers, houses a library of 30,000 books, including a Koran 1200 years old manuscript!
Just opposite the Madrasa el Attarine is a true masterpiece of the Merinides dynasty. The visit is possible ?? but pay.
slightly up towards the north. To your left will be located souk henna and to your right, the traditional tanneries.
You now have the choice between taking a taxi home, continue the ride to visit the Andalusian quarter of Fez el Bali, or return to your starting point back through the medina.
There are many pseudo guides in Fez. Some are children of 12 years. Very stubborn, they are able to follow you a long time talking to you. In that case, two options are available: dismiss them one by one or choose a nickname guide for others to leave you in peace.