No journey to Morocco is complete until you have visited the historical city of Fez. Even though it neither has the hip lifestyle of Marrakech nor it is the political or economic hub like Rabat, but Fez is still the real Morocco. Considered as the oldest continuously inhabited city of Morocco, Fez has always played a major part in the development of the country. The rich culture and history of the city is what makes its residents so proud of Fez, it was the city that established the world’s first university at the time when both London and Paris had no answer to their sewage problem. It was the premier centre of knowledge and education in the Mediterranean since its birth in the 8th century AD and retained its status until the late medieval era.
The city is still the best example of medieval Muslim city with a labyrinthine of narrow streets that stretch seemingly endlessly. The awesome mix of the noise made by the shoppers, the colours of the products being sold and the smells of the spices will take you right back into the time before the industrial revolution occurred. It is easy to loose sense of time here as the place is so veiled that it seems it wants to stay in the medieval era rather than moving into the 21st century. The trick to get your senses back and to confirm that you are still in the modern times is to look into its skyline that is full of satellite dishes and look at the hands of locals who love to own a new mobile phone.
Although it is a major city of Morocco but perhaps in its bid to stay in the medieval ages it never built an airport. If you are travelling from outside of Morocco then the best option is to take a cheap flight to Rabat the capital of the country and then take a 3 hour train ride to Fez. The accommodation in the city is traditional, comfortable and cheap which you can easily arrange from the train station.
The architecture of the Fez is also a great attraction and still mostly seems from the Middle Ages. The green colour is the favoured by most locals and you will find most of the buildings covered with the green tiles. The greatest piece of architecture is perhaps the mausoleum of the founder of the city, the Idriss Zawiya. The place is an excellent example of early Moorish art and a tour to it will be a great experience. But you can only enter the building if you are a Muslim, if that’s not the case then a tour around it will be handy as well as it will provide you ample opportunities to take pictures of the decorated exterior walls of this marvellous old building.
The shopping experiences in Fez’s bazaars will be a memorable one and you will be amazed to find quite a few shops selling high tech electronic items in this seemingly medieval town. Just remember to bargain during the shopping and you will find that the bazaars of Fez quite cheap.