Visit Morocco's Imperial cities in this packed one-week tour. Start in Rabat, Morocco's capital, to see 12th-century architecture, then continue to Fes to explore the world's largest urban car-free zone. See the tanneries, world's oldest university, and medieval Jewish quarter, then head to Marrakech to round out your trip with ornate palaces, bustling Jemaa El-Fna market, and a half-day cooking class.
Fes is the oldest and longest-running imperial city in Morocco, offering a fascinating mix of sites to see. You'll pass through the Blue Gate (Bab Boujloud), a Moorish gate with three arches acting as the old town's main entrance. Wander through the Mellah (Jewish District and cemetery), admire the city's old walls, and walk up to the Marinid Tombs, a hilltop archeological site hosting the ruins of two 14th-century mausoleums (and a great spot to return to for sunset).
Next, visit the famous Chouara Tannery, with its large assortment of colorful leather dyes and traditional techniques from centuries ago. (Get a roof-top view from a local tannery by offering a small tip.) The Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque & University is the world's oldest continuously operating university, founded in the 9th century. You can also stop at Bou Inania Madrasa or Al Attarine Madrasa, two 14th-century schools featuring beautiful Marinid and Moroccan architecture and zellij tiles. Or discover local artisans at Nejjarine Museum, a historic inn now operating as a collection of arts, crafts, and wood carvings.
When hungry, your guide will take you to one of the best eateries to try local cuisine. Taste dishes such as couscous, shakshuka, makouda (spiced battered potato cakes), slow-roasted mechoui lamb, and more. All include various spices to bring out the best in Moroccan flavors!
After lunch, you can peruse the bustling souks (markets) to find unique, hand-crafted goods. With your guide leading the way, you'll wander through alleys, streets, and open-air squares to discover various products. Enjoy the bright colors of rugs, jewelry, and leather goods, or indulge in the towers of spices, dried fruits, and culinary delicacies. Admire dainty lamps, intricate wood carvings, and hand-painted ceramics.
Next, wander to some of the other city sites, such as the Royal Palace of Fes (Dar el Makhzen). This is the King of Morocco's residence, built on the foundation of a citadel from the 13th-century Marinid Dynasty. Or check out another museum, like the Borj Nord, with its collection of weapons and armor from several eras and incredible roof-top views.
Read more about unique and interesting cultural experiences in Morocco.
Itineraries with Explore the Medina of Fes
Take a luxurious round trip around northern Morocco, where you'll dive into bustling marketplaces, unwind in finely-appointed riads, and discover the magic of the kingdom's Imperial Cities. This trip plan is a great option if it's your first visit to Morocco or if you're interested in combining time here with another destination. You'll travel through time with visits to ancient ruins, medieval relics, and contemporary hot spots.