The neighbourhoods, districts and areas where it is most advisable to stay in Fes are, without any doubt, those of the historic Medina , the part of Nouvelle Ville and one of the busiest places, the area of the train station .
Fes is a holy city in Morocco and is the oldest of the four imperial cities It is located in the north center of the country and you can not visit without dropping by the old medina, a unique place with charm, where the traveler feels transferred to another world
Walking its streets is a very authentic way to learn about the Moroccan lifestyle, culture and traditions.To Fez , you must go in late spring or early summer, to avoid the intense heat and make visits more pleasant and, above all, to walk the streets.
The best places to stay in Fes
You should see in detail what each of the areas we recommend for sleeping in Fes have to offer.
It is worth knowing about each option, the emblematic places not to be missed, transport combinations inside and outside the city and with other Moroccan capitals, what to eat, where to taste the most typical dishes, what to buy and where, and some other key details that will allow you to revalue your visit to , one of the star cities of Morocco .
To start getting to know in more detail the best areas to stay in Fes… Let’s see what you can enjoy in the Medina…
The Fes Medina (Fes el Bali, Fes La Vieja) is a nucleus of streets that form the old centre of the city.It is a Unesco World Heritage Site and is a labyrinthine space formed by very narrow streets and alleys in which you have to be very careful to find your way around and not lose your bearings.It is said to be a microcosm.
It has an area of 350 hectares, or what is the same, that of 350 football fields.of the Medina of Fes it is said that it is the biggest in the Arab world. it is also said that it is the biggest pedestrian area in the world.
The Medina was part of the interior walled area of the city and its first constructions correspond to the beginning of the IX century. two of its most important monuments are from that first foundational period, the so-called Mosque of the Andalusians and the Mosque of El-Qaraouiyyîn .
The name of the Andalusian Mosque is because the foundation of the temple coincides with the time when many inhabitants who fled from a revolt in Cordoba in what was early ninth century Muslim Spain, took refuge in the city. Those refugees who settled in Fez, founded a mosque, popularly known as the Andalusian.», ‘
Within the ancient walled enclosure you can also visit what is the oldest university in the world, Al-Karaouine University (founded in 859) It is a very traditional Islamic university where students from all over the world come to study, attracted by the scholarly tradition of the centre.
One of the most recommendable experiences in the area of the Medina of Fez -and more iconic- is to see the work of the leather tanners who dye the pieces outdoors and inside some big and colorful jars.
Another unavoidable experience is street and also to see the work of the authentic craftsmen of the ceramics, those of the textiles or the goldsmiths in their small street workshops where to buy is an obligation and to haggle a condition.
The Medina is a good option to stay in Fes for those who want to be in direct contact with the most traditional face of the city. Doing it in a riad, a small hotel installed in an old house with an interior patio, is a way to stay in Fes in the center of the city, in a calm and relaxed atmosphere.
– Accommodation in the Medina
Nouvelle Ville (The New City) is a residential area of the city of Fez and a major commercial district located southeast of the Medina.It is part of the city that expanded during the French colonial period from which some unique buildings remain such as the market, the church of St. Francis or the French (and Spanish Cervantes) cultural centres.
In the area, sits most of the foreign residents and the inhabitants with greater purchasing power.
The reference road of this part of Fez is the Avenue Hassan II and more specifically at the point where it intersects with the Boulevard Mohamed V It is easy to recognize the intersection because it is the headquarters of the Bank of Morocco and the Place de Florence, recognizable, in turn, by the gardens, by its fountains and by two lion figures on a postcard.
It is precisely in this area that you will find the most interesting concentration of bars, restaurants, bakeries and ice cream parlours in the city.
Many of the restaurants are European style , Italian and fast food, although there are some typical Moroccan ones, which are a minority, where you can ask for some of the excellence of the gastronomy of Morocco and the area.
For example, the pastilla that is made of minced meat, with chicken, cheese and puff pastry.
And to close, the pastry, with its gazelle horns, its raisin and almond feqqas or the sebakkia, some fried cakes that are presented with honey, all of them, sweets that can be accompanied with teas, of course.You should also ask for some of the natural juices that are made in the stalls, especially rich is the pomegranate, ginger and cane sugar.
If you want to enjoy the cultural life of the city and the theater, Kennedy Square, next to the Imam Malik mosque, is the recommended place.
A very nice way to move in short distances in the city is to use the petits taxis, very cheap and you can recognize them by their striking red color.
Nouvelle Ville is the right area to stay in Fes in hotels much more modern than those of the Medina with all services and at prices much lower than their equivalents in Europe.
– Accommodation in Nouvelle Ville
3.Area Train Station
The area of the Fes Train Station is located between the Medina and Nouvelle Ville The Fes Station is a modern and well maintained building located in the new part of the city, it is on the King Faysal Square, at the intersection of the avenues of the Almohades and the street of United States.
Accommodation in Fes around the Fes Train Station has two advantages: One, it allows you to improve the options for to travel outside Fes by train and, two, in the area, because of the location of the train station itself, there is wide and varied offer for all types of accommodation in Fes.
The area is also very well supplied with services, restaurants, commercial spaces (Borj Fes), everything that a traveller would need to organise and do his day to day in the city by staying overnight in Fes.
But what can you see in the surroundings of the station? 800 metres north east of the station is the Royal Palace Dar El Makhzen .It is the accommodation in Fez of the Alaouite monarch when he visits the city.
You can not visit it, but you can admire from outside, especially the seven bronze doors with blue and green tiles, the colors of Fez.
The royal palace is located in the old Jewish quarter of the city, la Mellah which used to occupy eight hectares (the current palace occupies 80 hectares with its gardens and annexes).
For to move around the city and the region of Fez-Meknes , the ideal is the train, but also the intercity bus from the Alghazala Bus Station on the Avenue of the Almohads beyond the train station building on the left.
The stops of the urban lines 13, 16 (origin and destination railway station and Nouvelle Ville), 24 and 52 on the same track, allow you to move within the city and between their neighborhoods.
What is the best area to stay in Fes?
The historical center of the city, or as it is called in Morocco The Medina , is a neighborhood of labyrinthine and winding streets that awakens all the senses.It is the largest car-free area in the world and the main attraction in Fez. In these streets you can find most of the city’s tourist attractions, such as the El-Qaraouiyyîn Mosque, the different Madrasas: Bou Inania, El-Attarîn or Es-Sahrij and the dyers’ square, a must see and a postcard of Fez.
Throughout the Medina you will find all kinds of traditional shops: crafts, typical sweets, clothing, etc.The area is quite bustling so some travellers prefer to stay outside the Medina, near one of its main gates and then walk there, but if you want to experience the real Fes, the best place to stay in Fes is inside the Medina .
Another interesting area to visit in the city is the Ville Nouvelle , in the Avenue Hassan II and the Boulevard Mohammed V, where we found one of the favorite areas to take something, is full of bars, terraces, ice cream and pastry shops.In Ville Nouvelle you will also find cheaper and more modern hotels where you can stay as an alternative to staying in La Medina.
Outside the city you can also make some day trip to the Roman town of Volubilis, to the ancient city of Meknes or make an excursion through the Atlas Mountains.
In the map that shows the area of the Medina , we can find a selection of the best hotels where to stay .
If you are interested in knowing where to stay in Fez you may also be interested in knowing where to stay in Marrakech and where to stay in Casablanca.
The Medina, the best area to stay in Fes
To immerse yourself in the life of Fes and enjoy the medieval beauty of its unparalleled atmosphere we recommend staying in one of the luxurious riads located within the labyrinthine streets of the Medina but close to its walls, where it is possible to locate more easily and find taxis to travel to other places.Within the ancient walls of the famous Fès el-Bali medina you will find hundreds of shops, handicrafts, food stalls and a lively crowd, but you should bear in mind that the medina is also the largest urban car-free zone in the world, with no less than 90.
To take a break from the hustle and bustle, the best thing to do is to turn up at the quiet madrasas and have a cool and quiet accommodation, with restaurant, spa and within walking distance of a taxi rank.Fez has one of the most prized Arab architectures, so being able to walk around the city is one of the main advantages of staying in the centre, but you should bear in mind that it is not always advisable to walk around its streets at night and taxis do not reach the interior areas of the medina. Full of character and beauty, the Medina immerses the visitor in authentic Moroccan life, but when it comes to finding accommodation, you will need a quiet place to rest and counteract the frenetic activity outside.
Hotels in the Fes Medina
Ville Nouville, the other area to stay in Fes
Ville Nouvelle de Fes is a good alternative to stay in an environment that has nothing to do with the Medina.Ville Nouvelle basically means new town, as it is an area that was built in the 20th century, while the medinas date back to the 18th and 13th centuries respectively.It is a quieter and more modern area, perfect for disconnecting from the busy streets within the walls and although to visit the Medina it is necessary to take taxis, these are cheap and in Ville Nouvelle you will find interesting shopping centres such as Borj Fez and a wide variety of restaurants.
In contrast to the accommodations located in the Medina, where the traditional riads abound, in the Ville Nouvelle de Fes modern hotels predominate, so if you don’t feel like sleeping in a riad, you prefer international food to purely Moroccan food, you plan to travel by taxi and would like to go out at night, this is the best area to stay in Fes.
Hotels in Ville Nouvelle