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Overview

The imperial cities of Fèz and Meknès — with their maze-like medinas, grand palaces and Quranic schools — typify the majesty and the mystery of contemporary and historical Morocco. The medina of Old Fèz is one of the largest living medieval cities in the world. Its narrow winding alleys and covered bazaars are crammed with shops and markets, mosques and medersas, as well as extensive dye pits and tanneries - a veritable assault on the senses. This has long been one of the country's artistic centers, with artisans in their workshops weaving rugs, carving furniture and spinning pots. Meknès is smaller and ...

The imperial cities of Fèz and Meknès — with their maze-like medinas, grand palaces and Quranic schools — typify the majesty and the mystery of contemporary and historical Morocco. The medina of Old Fèz is one of the largest living medieval cities in the world. Its narrow winding alleys and covered bazaars are crammed with shops and markets, mosques and medersas, as well as extensive dye pits and tanneries - a veritable assault on the senses. This has long been one of the country's artistic centers, with artisans in their workshops weaving rugs, carving furniture and spinning pots. Meknès is smaller and quieter than Fèz, but the narrow streets of the medina and the grand buildings of the imperial city reflect its heritage as the one-time center of the Moroccan sultanate. And in the surrounding countryside sit the Roman ruins at Volubilis and the hilltop tomb of Moulay Idriss, two of the country's most significant historic sites.

Mara Vorhees
About the Expert

Mara Vorhees has written or contributed to many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including Brazil and Morocco.

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Mara Vorhees for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Northern Africa along the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Two cities located to the North of central Morocco
  • Language: Arabic, Berber Dialects, French
  • Currency: Moroccan Dirham
  • Research: Fez | Meknes
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring or autumn; in June, Fèz hosts the fantastic Festival of World Sacred Music