Formerly the main residence of the sultan, the Royal Palace (Dar el Makhzen) is still used by the King of Morocco when he is in the city of Fez. Surrounded by high walls, it spans an area of 195 acres (80 hectares). It is closed to visitors, who can only admire the imposing and ornate main entrance from the outside.
Located in the center of the Fes el Jadid quarter, the palace was originally built in the 13th century. Although visitors cannot go inside the palace, it is still worthwhile to see the exterior, and in particular the magnificent ornate gates at the entrance. There are seven brass doors of different sizes with matching knockers and intricate geometric patterns, surrounded by fine zellige (mosaic tilework) and carved cedar wood.
Make the most of your time in Fez and visit as part of a full-day tour, which includes stops at the Royal Palace as well as other top attractions such as the Medina, Borj Sud, and the famous tanneries of Fez. It’s also possible to visit as part of a multi-day tour from Tangier.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Do not take photos of anything other than the gates, or try to take photos of the guards, as that may result in your camera being confiscated.
- Sometimes visitors are prohibited from going closer than about 325 feet (100 meters).
How to Get There
The Royal Palace is located at Place des Alaouites, in the center of the Fes el Jadid quarter. It’s easiest to visit as part of a tour. It’s also very close to the Jewish quarter, and many visitors will make a stop at both places.
When to Get There
The Royal Palace is a popular attraction and on most tour itineraries. Visit early in the morning to beat the crowds.
Located very close to the Royal Palace is the Jewish Quarter, or Mellah. Today, most of the Jewish population has left, but visitors can still see the distinctive architecture of the buildings, a gold souk, and charming antique shops. There’s also an ancient cemetery and a museum housed in a former synagogue.