Under $100: Fes, Morocco
Fes, the second-largest city in Morocco, is nicknamed the “Mecca of the West” and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It may not be the capital city, but it is referred to as the country’s cultural and spiritual capital, bringing the best of Morocco’s vibrant food, traditions and architecture together. It is the oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities and is rising as a popular destination over the well-known city of Marrakesh.
Fes is believed to be home to the largest car-free urban area, where only donkeys, carts and pedestrians are free to roam the historic and rustic alleyways. There are many sights to see in this enchanting, old-world city — here are just a few.
See the famous Bab Boujeloud, or Blue Gate, and enter a massive street market with souks, shops, arts and more to wander through. Explore the city’s oldest neighborhood and largest intact medina in the world.
The Madera Bou Inania is one of the few religious buildings in the city that non-Muslims can enter, which makes it a popular stop among tourists. It is one of Morocco’s most gorgeous buildings with carved woodwork and stucco decorations dating back to 1350.
Visit the remains of golden-stoned Merenid tombs to get a glimpse of the best views over Fes el Bali. Here you can also visit a 16th-century fortress and arms museum.
Explore a luxurious Hispano-Moorish summer palace, built in the late 19th century and now home to a collection of traditional Moroccan craftsmanship, wood-carved doors, wrought-iron work, embroidery, jewelry and more. The main exhibit, the ceramics room, features the famous Fes blue ceramics brightly decorated with cobalt.