"A medieval city in Morocco" Top 5 Page for this destination Fes by barryg23

Fes Travel Guide: 439 reviews and 1,154 photos

A tale of three cities

The city of Fes is composed of three distinct parts.

Fes Ville Nouvelle is what most visitors to Fes first see, as the train and bus stations are located there, as well as most of the more expensive hotels and restaurants. The Ville Nouvelle was designed by the French colonisers, and it's layout is a traditional French model with wide boulevards and tree lined avenues.

Fes el-Bali, or the medina, the heart of Fes, now a UNESCO world heritage site, is what attracts most visitors to Fes. But the medina does not exist just for the tourists. It's a working city, where work continues in ways which have changed little for centuries. It has often been compared to a medieval city and indeed when you see the medina for the first time it can feel like you've been transported to the middle ages. Covering an area of 750 acres, with a population of over 150,000, Fes el-Bali contains over 10,000 streets, alleys and lanes.

Finally, there is Fes el-Jdid, between the Ville Nouvelle & the medina. Few tourists stop here though there are a couple of interesting things to see such as the Royal Palace & the old Jewish quarter.

Our brief visit to Fes

I’ve visited Fes twice: first, back in 2005 on our first trip to Morocco, and more recently in 2007, when we started a two week visit here. On our first trip we were a little wary of the city (after having being led around Tangier by a faux guide) so we hired an official guide for a half-day tour before exploring on our own. Though tourists here do receive occasional hassle, it was nothing compared to Tangier, which we were glad to see the back of. If your time in Fes is limited a half day's tour is a good idea, especially as it can be difficult to find your way around the medina, and once you leave the main streets it's easy to get lost. On our most recent trip we explored the city, the medina especially, in much more depth.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Historic medina
  • Cons:Occasional hassle from faux guides
  • In a nutshell:Like stepping back in time
  • Last visit to Fes: Mar 2007
  • Intro Updated May 10, 2007
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Reviews (43)

Comments (19)

  • hindu1936's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2008 at 4:59 AM

    thanks for the good tips and in particular the ones about places to stay. Doesn't matter how nice a city is if you cant get a good nights sleep. Is there only one cafe at FEs station?

  • oceania26's Profile Photo
    Aug 17, 2007 at 10:42 AM

    Great tips...I enjoyed your stories...the mattress one made me laugh out loud..haha

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2007 at 7:46 AM

    A very good page with even a glimpse to Fes El-Jdid ! I agree that Fes requires a guide but what is fine is to have a little more time and to stroll in the town without a guide on another day!

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2007 at 7:48 PM

    Beautiful opening shot of the tannery! I've had Morocco on my list for years, it just keeps getting bumped out of the way. Seeing a severed camel head might have been too much for me...

  • Luchonda's Profile Photo
    Dec 21, 2006 at 3:33 AM

    Great page !!! Nice pictures and good info ! Top destination and page - The medina is a must greetz from Belgium

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Dec 8, 2006 at 7:52 PM

    I enjoyed a lot reading your tips which reminded me my Fes adventures a lot. I didn't hire a guide to medina and surely I got lost there which was not that bad... :-)

  • kit_mc's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2006 at 6:20 PM

    I'm still allowing my blood pressure to go down before completing my Fes pages! Good tips and observations you've got there.

  • Aug 25, 2006 at 10:27 AM

    Le Kasbah is counting on the location for succes.Ate there twice;cheated both times.Prices arn't the same on the menu & the bill.IF you can get a bill.They just give an amount & take the change for a tip.Was not even worth the price.Skip the place

  • Christina1881's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2006 at 6:56 AM

    Fes is just an amazing place on earth. Getting lost in the Medina is always an adventure ;)

  • MM212's Profile Photo
    Jul 25, 2006 at 5:55 AM

    Fes looks impressive. Tempting!!!


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