• The bustle and hustle of Fez, Morocco

Fez, tales from beyond the city walls

Known as the Mecca of the West and the Athens of Africa, the city of Fez is the heart of Morocco’s rich culture and heritage.

During July 2014 I had the pleasure of visiting Fez during Ramadan, one of the holiest times of the year for the Islamic world.

Islamic Art at the gate of Fez

Islamic Art at the gate of Fez

Here are some of the life lessons that I learned from beyond the city walls of Fez. I hope you enjoy them and remember to always keep an open mind when it comes to experiencing new cultures.

Sometimes, the things you learn from the locals are even more amazing than the ones the locals learn from you!

The city walls of Fez

The city walls of Fez

Fez, the Heartland of Morocco

To talk about Fez is to talk about Morocco itself, a country located in the northern part of Africa in a region known as the Maghreb, Morocco is a country that has experiencing the best and worst aspects of colonialism after being part of the French intervention.

Come on, who doesn’t remember the movie Casablanca?.

Imperial Palace at Fez

Imperial Palace at Fez

And yet, in the end, Morocco has learned to maintain their own cultural identity thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of their citizens who always managed to overcome all odds in order to preserve their unique heritage and the best place to experience that is at Fez, home to the oldest university in the entire world.

Are you ready to explore this amazing city beyond the city walls?

The tanneries of Fez, Morocco

The tanneries of Fez, Morocco

Tales from beyond the city walls of Fez

The city of Fez used to be the capital of Morocco up until 1925 when it shifted to Rabat. Today, Fez is one of the most popular destinations for travelers to the country and it features an amazing Medina (word used to describe the historical old town) as well as a modern and vibrant district where young people party during the weekends.

One of the main features that sets Fez apart from other Moroccan cities is the beauty of its landscape in which you will find symmetrical buildings surrounded by the imposing city walls plus the mountains that lie beyond the limits of the city itself.

Fresh Melons at Morocco

Fresh Melons at Morocco

However, the true beauty of Fez lies not in the beauty of its buildings but rather, on the spirit of its citizens.

If you want to experience the daily hustle and bustle of Morocco, then Fez is your best choice.

Daily life at Fez

Daily life at Fez

Morocco is a country torn apart between the West and the East in the sense that even though Sharia Law dictates the way the country is run, the young citizens want to establish a secular government influenced by the ideals of freedom and equality that the French post-colonialism has left on them and Fez is the silent witness of this slow progress towards a social change.

In the end, one could say that venturing beyond the city walls of Fez is a challenge itself since you will end up with more questions than answers as you’ll ponder about higher ideals of equality and comprehension.

Raphael Alexander at Fez, Morocco

Raphael Alexander at Fez, Morocco

One of my favorite experiences while in Fez was taking a walk along the modern city district with a local friend of mine.

Our conversation about the future of the people of Morocco really left me with such a high hope for the locals of the country since it was comforting to know that the world is changing for the good. And we’re all social agents for implementing said change. As John Lennon once said “Imagine no religion, above us only sky”.

Fez, tales beyond the city walls

Fez, tales beyond the city walls

Practical information about traveling to Fez, Morocco

Most hotels, hostels and guesthouses of Fez are located within the city walls. During my time at Fez I was invited to stay at Riad Verus, one of the few places to serve alcohol during Ramadan. In fact, during high season, the upper level of the riad transforms into a nightclub where you can party until the sun rises.

Close to the hostel you will also find cheap restaurants and shisha (hookah) bars where you can enjoy the traditional Moroccan hospitality that characterizises the country. Just be careful with the scams of Morocco and you’ll have the best time of your life!

The bustle and hustle of Fez, Morocco

The bustle and hustle of Fez, Morocco

Fez is connected to Meknes (1 hour), Rabat (3 hours), Casablanca (4 hours) and Marrackech (7 hours) by train and to Chefchaouen (5 hours) and Tangier (4 hours) by bus.

You don’t really need to make reservations and please, be assured to know that the quality of Morocco’s trains and buses is one of the best ones in the world.

Have you ever been to Fez? Would you like to? Share your thoughts and let me know what you think!

Panoramic view of Fez

Panoramic view of Fez

November 21st, 2014|Categories: Africa Travel|Tags: |
Raphael Alexander is a Nomadic Digital Marketer and Travel Influencer who overcame the chains of the local economy and found a way to achieve his dream of having a professional life while traveling the world non-stop. His goal in life is to inspire the people of the world to unleash their full inner potential. A perfect day for him includes exotic animals, ancient pyramids, breath-taking waterfalls and tasty tacos. Lots of tacos.

9 Comments

  1. Jameela Deen November 24, 2014 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Nice post Raphael i love your pictures, i almost felt the warmth of North Africa… lol Just kidding it’s just the cold of England that got me all dreaming.

  2. kamischka November 25, 2014 at 8:24 am - Reply

    I loved Fez and you are so right saying it’s the Morocco in a nutshell. While Marrahesh gets all the hype it is actually Fez that is so much more interesting! Too bad I saw only the Old Town and the hill with the spectacular view (the one you have picture at), now after reading it’s so great outseide of the Walls I want to return really badly and see this face of the city too!

  3. Hannah Logan November 25, 2014 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    Fez looks beautiful 🙂

  4. Jenna November 25, 2014 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    I would love to head to Morocco–Fez looks great! And, I would love to see the tanneries, too!

  5. Antonette Spaan November 27, 2014 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Those melons look awesome, shame they don’t come to Holland that big

  6. The Crowded Planet December 1, 2014 at 3:58 am - Reply

    i loved Fez! I was really sick when I visited but still managed to catch some of the atmosphere. Would love to return now!

  7. Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren December 1, 2014 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Ooh, I love that archway!

  8. Escape Hunter December 3, 2014 at 11:01 am - Reply

    I’ve been to Marrakech some time ago and it was like a trip back in time. I somehow skipped Fez, but I’d love to visit it too… one day!

  9. Ron | Active Planet Travels December 5, 2014 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    Fez is a stunning city! I love the architecture, and even more, the history behind it!

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