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Fez is the second biggest Moroccan city, located in the northeastern part of the country. It is considered a cultural capital of Morocco, and the city offers many great things. Almost everything is within short walking distance, and just wandering the streets of Fez can be a pretty exciting experience. Fes El Bali medina with its distinct medieval architecture, energetic souks, dozens of religious schools, and mazes of narrow streets are some of the main highlights of Fez.
Being near the Atlas Mountains, Fez has a mix of continental and Mediterranean climate. Summers are usually very hot with average temperatures above 30 C. January and February are the coldest months, but even those months can be very pleasant with average daily temperatures between 10 and 15 C.
Fez old medina quarter called Fes El Bali is protected by UNESCO as World Heritage Site, and this quarter has one of the largest pedestrian zones in the world. There you will see lots of mules, donkeys and handcarts used for transferring people and goods. Fes El Bali is the center of all activities in Fez and the streets are very lively in any period of the day or night. In the old part you will also find the Qarawiyyin University, which is the oldest functioning university in the world. Old medina quarter is very complex and full of mazes of alleyways where you can easily get lost. There are lots of markets selling all kinds of things such as ceramics, leather goods, herbs and spices, textiles, foods and lots of other things. There are also many nice restaurants with nice rooftop terraces from where you can enjoy great views on the quarter.
In Fez there are lots of other interesting things besides Fes El Bali. The religious school called Bou Inania madersa dates back from the 14th century and is prime example of attractive Arabic architecture. The wooden walls are carved with Arabic alphabet and geometric forms, and the minaret is especially nice. If you visit the hills around the old city you can enjoy some magnificent views. You will also find two ancient fortresses – Borj Nord and Borj Sud. The first one has an interesting museum and the second one is geared more towards tourists. Merenid Tombs is another great location with fantastic views over Fez, the medina, and the olive trees that surround the city. Sofitel Palais Jamai has a nice wide terrace with stunning looks over the old city and you can enter it for a small admission fee. The shrine of the founder of Fez - Moulay Idriss II is another attractive spot, but only Muslims can enter inside. However, you can admire it from outside and you will still be stunned by the beautiful architecture. Mosque dedicated to the founder of the city is near Souk Attarine, just outside Talaa Kbira. The library of Qarawiyyin University is very rich and also should be visited. The mosque of al-Tijani is one of the most attractively decorated mosques in Fez well worth to be seen.
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