Fez, the grandest royal city created by Morocco’s early Muslim rulers in the 9th century, is the country’s cultural capital and spiritual heart. This UNESCO World Heritage site houses the world’s oldest university! Fez had replaced Marrakech as the capital of the Merinid kingdom during the height of its political influence in the 13th–14th centuries. Medieval mosques, private villas and madrassas like the 14th-century Bou Inania and Al Attarine, designed with elaborate timber and tile work, still adorn the town. Imagine narrow alleyways lined with colorful stalls, donkey carts laden with goods competing with local crowds, and the tantalizing aroma of sizzling kebabs and freshly baked breads rising from the souks. Walking down blind alleys bustling with people, expect to suddenly come up against an oasis of calm, a delicate stone fountain, or an intricately carved doorway to some medieval palace or fondouk.