All About Fez

Points Covered:

  • Location
  • History 
  • Climate 
  • Local customs
  • Popular Fez Dishes
  • Best Tourist Spots in Fez
  • Travel Tips to Consider as you Travel to Fez

Fez is a city in northern Morocco and it is the current capital of the Fas-Meknes administrative region. This city is the second-largest city in Morocco after Casablanca, with a population of about 1.6 million people. Its unique cultural diversity has granted it the title of the cultural center of Morocco. Being one of the oldest cities of Morocco, it forms a great part of the history of this country. The numerous fascinating ancient structures that are found in this beautiful city was declared and named as a world heritage center by UNESCO in 1981, making it one of the major tourist spots in the world. In this article, we shall take you through important facts you should know about this ancient city and also explains why this ancient Moroccan city is one of the most unique cities in Africa and the world at large.


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The city of Fez is located in the northern sector of Morocco, around the northeast area of the Atlas Mountain. It is located between the three major cities of Morocco which include Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakesh, and from the southwestern side of the city, it leads to the Trans-Saharan trade routes. The city itself is slightly elevated while also being surrounded by high grounds. The river of Fez also flows through this ancient city. 

 All About Fez




The city of Fez was founded during the Idrisid rule around the 8th – 9th century, at that time, it consisted of two separate and autonomous communities that often competed with each other. Later, after the fall of the Idrisid dynasty, there was a brief unstable political period which continued until around the 11th dynasty when the Almoravid sultan Yusuf Ibn Tashfin United the two settlements and rebuilt the city. After this unification, the city gained a great reputation for religious education and mercantile activity. The unique Arabic character that is found in the city today is due to the immigration of about 2000 Arabic families into the city around the 9th century. 

Later on, as the city of Fez rose in power, economic and political influence, it was made the capital of the Marinid sultanate which covered the present-day Morocco and some other north African tribes. Mosques were constructed in almost every street, madrasas, Zawiyas and city gates were also constructed. Most of these structures can still be seen till this very day. During this time, the Jewish population grew as the country attracted Jews from surrounding north African countries. But later after the Marinid dynasty was overthrown, the city rapidly declined and was eventually surpassed by Marrakesh in political and cultural influence though still retaining its place as the capital of the modern Morocco until 1912 when it was replaced by Rabat which remained the capital even after morocco gained independence in 1955.

 All About Fez




Just like all other north African areas, the city of Fez has a relatively hot climate with a strong continental influence. This hot climate shifts to a relatively cooler and wetter climate in the winter and then back to the hot climate around June to September. Rainfall in this region can reach up to 800mm. The winter reaches around 15⁰c in December- January. The highest and lowest temperature ever recorded in the city ranges from 46.7⁰C to -8.2⁰C. In 2005,2006, and 2007 though, the city ofFez recorded snowfall. 


 All About Fez


Local customs


Fez being a large and prosperous city was home to a lot of people practicing different religions, but the major religion of the cities inhabitants is the Islamic religion. This can be seen from the numerous Mosques that are  built all over the city. Although in the past there was a large population of Jews in the city, Their numbers have since lessened and are almost non- existent in modern-day Fez. Even though the people are mostly Muslims, they still celebrate some amazing and colorful festivals that often leave tourists mesmerized. Some of these festivals include the four Moussems that are held in the city year. These four festivals are the Moulay Abdallah ben Brahim celebrated in May, Sidi Lahcen Ben Ahmed celebrated in August, and Moulay Idriss II and Maulay idris Zerhoun both celebrated in September. These symbolic festivals are usually full of color and beautiful music and is a perfect illustration of how cultural Fez can be. Also, a very important festival celebrated in October is the Tissa Fantasia horse festival which involves a beautiful spectacle of hundreds of Arab-Berbers, Arab stallions and Barbary Mares are put through their paces in displays over ten days.

 All About Fez


Enjoy the Unique blend of traditionalism and modern culture with our Morocco Tour Package & Imperial Cities Tour.



Popular Fez Dishes


Even though the city is no longer the capital of Morocco, it is still referred to as Morocco’s food capital. Tasty meals such as Lakli’l, Bastilla, Chebbakia, and sweets of Moulay Idriss are served in restaurants and homes all over the city. These meals are made from that tastiest spices and ingredients that you simply can’t resist. Most dishes served in this wonderful city that are regarded as international delicacies are also served in various international restaurants all over the world.


Best Tourist Spots in Fez 

Due to its rich historical and cultural background, the city of Fez is filled with all sorts of tourist spots that is perfect for holiday and tourism. These places provide tourists with memorable experiences by providing them with tasty local dishes and an opportunity to interact & witness some amazing historical structures. Some of these places are listed below.

•    Medersa Bou Inania  
•    Medersa el-Attarine
•    Fes el Bali
•    Souks district and Tanneries.
•    Bou Jeloud Gardens 

 All About Fez


Travel Tips to Consider as you Travel to Fez

As you journey to this wonderful country either for tourism, business or any other reason, here are some important tips to guide you on what to do and what not to do in order to have a good and hitch-free time.

•    Respect the religion and culture of the people you meet.

•    Treat artifacts with care and respect 

•    Travel with a travel agency to make your journey smoother and easier

•    Do be conscious of your environment, do not follow strangers to suspicious palaces.

•    Adhere strictly to your budget.


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    Is Morocco safe for travel?
    Yes. Morocco is considered a safe and very welcoming country. But even thought it has low crime rates if compared to other places, of course common sense is applied and we always tell visitors to take care of their belongings and consult their tour guide or leader in case of any concerns.
    What is the best time to visit Morocco?
    Fortunately Morocco is great at any time, therefore our Morocco Tours run all throughout the year. Yet, the favourite time for most visitors is from mid-March to May (spring) and from September to October (fall), when it is a good type of warm weather.
    What is the official currency in Morocco?
    The Moroccan Dirham (MAD) is the currency of Morocco. The name “Dirham” derivates from the Roman word “denarius”, which means money. Currently 1USD = 9 MAD.
    Will I receive a refund If I am forced to cancel my trip with Memphis Tours?
    If you are cancelling your Morocco Tour Package for personal reasons, the refunded amount will depend on how far in advance you notify us about your change of plans. Nevertheless, if cancelation reasons are weather conditions or circumstances out of your control, Memphis Tours grant you a full refund of the paid amount.
    What are the top activities to do in Morocco?
    There is simple a lot to do in Morocco. On the top of the list is riding a camel in the desert, go sand boarding on the dunes of Erg Chebbi, enjoy a traditional Berber camping, visit roman ruins, have a traditional Moroccan mint tea, walk around the medinas, and even climb and hike in Todra Gorge for the adventure ones. You can check infinite possibilities with one of our Morocco Tour Packages.
    How can I obtain my visa to visit Morocco?
    Tourist visa upon arrival at the airport in Morocco is available to citizens that need one (USD 27) while some should obtain it before departure. Nationals of 67 countries do not need a visa, among them are the UE, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, USA, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand. Check with the Moroccan embassy or consulate in your country to know if you exempt of VISA or not. Assistance upon arrival is included in our Morocco Travel Packages.
    Is it allowed for non-Muslims to enter historical mosques in Morocco?
    Non-Muslims are mostly welcome to experience everything that Morocco has to offer, and this includes visiting mosques too, except during the five prayers of the day or on Fridays. You will find many of them in our Morocco Imperial Cities Tour.
    Do I have to learn Arabic in order to enjoy my visit to Morocco?
    You don't need to learn Arabic in order to have a great time in Morocco. But in any country that you visit it will always be welcome to know some few words or how to greet people. In some local areas or less touristic places it can also be very useful. Other than that, French is the second language in Morocco.
    Are there any health issues that I should worry about in Morocco?
    If you are having a Morocco Tour during summer take care of your skin by covering it with light clothes and always have sun block with you. Keep yourself hydrate and be away of tap water. Don't eat food from suspicious restaurants or street food as it can cause some gastric disturbance. Other than that, you shall not worry.
    Is there a discount for booking my Morocco vacations tour far in advance?
    Yes. We at Memphis Tours offer deals that are fair to your pocket, and our Morocco Travel Packages come with an "Early Bird" discount for customers that pay the full expenses ahead of time. We grant 5% discount if full payment is received six months prior to the date of your arrival. Be aware that "Early Bird" rates require full, non-refundable prepayment. In case of date changes or refunds, discounted tours are not eligible. Get in contact with one of our tour agents to know more.
    Will I be able to exchange dollars, Euros, or other currencies in Morocco?
    Definitely. You will find many exchange offices and banks that change money for you. Other than that, many restaurants and shops used to tourists will accept Euros or dollars at rates close to the official ones, but it is always better to carry the local currency during your Morocco Tour.
    How common is the use of credit cards in Morocco?
    It is very common. Master Card, Visa, and American Express are the most common types of credit cards used in shops, hotels and restaurants in the country.
    Is it a common practice to give tips in Morocco?
    Tipping is part of Moroccans income, so it is quite customary although not an obligation. Offer tips if you are willing to do so.
    Was Morocco a Spanish colony?
    Yes, but not only. Morocco was France's colony in early 1900 after an agreement between French and Italians. But France also made an arrangement with Spain and the Moroccan territory was divided between both countries. Even after Morocco's independence Spain and France's power continue to be a threaten to them.
    I am a vegetarian or allergic to certain products, any problem?
    It is not a problem, don't worry. Most of meals will be buffet, therefore you feel free to choose what you want. If you have any serious allergies you can always inform your tour leader and he will take care of it at restaurants and inform the staff about special orders.
    Are the taxes included in your prices?
    We always include VAT and Tourist Taxes in our Morocco Travel Packages. The only exception is for Tourist Tax of Cataluña (region where Barcelona is located); this one needs to be paid at the hotel. The current amount is 1 euro per person and per night.
    Is there a ferry from Spain to Morocco?
    There is a ferry. High-speed trains usually depart from Algeciras (Spain) to Tangier (Morocco), and the whole trip takes 2h30 to 3h. It is a relatively cheap choice, although more expensive and longer journey trains are available from Barcelona.
    How far apart are Spain and Morocco?
    Only eight miles separate Morocco and Spain. However, there is a big difference between both countries, apart in religion, style and culture.
    Does Spain have a border with Morocco?
    Funnily yes. The countries share both physical and maritime borders, respectively between Morocco and Ceuta and in the Canary islands area, along the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea. In total the borders are along the north coast of Morocco and from the Spanish side along Melila, Ceuta, and Plazas de Soberanía.
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