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“Excellent. Lots of sights, sounds, smells.”
Review of Medina of Fez

Medina of Fez
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Private Tour: Fez Sightseeing Tour
Ranked #8 of 86 things to do in Fes
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The city’s ancient quarter is an intricate maze of streets lined with open markets, shops and mosques.
Reviewed December 17, 2013

Tons of little shops. Surprisingly, we weren't hassled at all. Don't try to follow a route. Can't be done. Impossible to follow a map. Just go with the flow. There are a number of official signposts giving details/history about specific areas all throughout the medina along with letting you know where you are currently. Generally, shops of a given type are congregated together. Tannery area was amazing. Fortunately, we were there in Dec so there wasn't too much of a smell from there. We tipped one fellow 10dh for help guiding, and another one later 20dh for more guiding. There is no need to hire an official guide. Just walk. And when you get lost, ask for directions. Be sure to let them know if you just want to be pointed in a direction - or more.

Thank chitownsam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"narrow streets"
in 123 reviews
"official guide"
in 65 reviews
"leather tannery"
in 32 reviews
"step back in time"
in 39 reviews
"local guide"
in 90 reviews
"google maps"
in 32 reviews
"every corner"
in 33 reviews
"old city"
in 88 reviews
"for sale"
in 42 reviews
"leather goods"
in 78 reviews
"oldest university"
in 38 reviews
"blue gate"
in 69 reviews
"buy something"
in 32 reviews
"unique experience"
in 35 reviews
in 348 reviews
in 230 reviews
in 107 reviews

2,439 - 2,443 of 7,258 reviews

Reviewed December 15, 2013

my wife and i were walking through the Medina with 2 young Italian guys plus an "official" guide. My wife lit a cigarette and within seconds, a young boy about 10, ran past and stole the lit cigarette from her hand. He then ran down some alleyway with the cigarette in his hand. To be fair, some local people saw this and were disgusted and later some other boy came over to her with the retrieved cigarette. The Medina is not the most friendly of places, in my view.We found it intimidating. We have been to Moroc a few times.

1  Thank bernard b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2013

Our tour group was divided into two groups of 16 each for this venture and each had three "minders" to guide us and make sure there were no stragglers. We were told that if we became lost we should simply stay put and a minder would come and find us. I don't know if we were deliberately lead down dark narrow alleyways and confusing lanes and turns but I felt there was no way I could have ventured into the Medina without assistance.
The walkways are very narrow in many parts and the donkey or cart has to have right of way so be prepared to move for "everyday life". In one particularly small alleyway that had a series of doors opening onto it, a young boy appeared out of one of the doors and climbed up the walls (one hand on each side of the narrow gap between the walls) and blocked my way (and the people behind me). I was so stunned. He wanted money for a photo before he moved. I took a photo but only had a small value coin. The "imp" was quite disgusted but when he realised I really didn't have any money, he got down and let me (and others) pass.
We also noticed a man darting around, following us through the maze, taking our photos. It was like the paparazzi! Initially I avoided the camera but I then decided to give him a big smile and after getting a decent photo of me, he left me alone. The hard copy photos turned up for sale outside our hotel the next day.
As we went through the Medina, our guide directed us to a carpet seller and also a leather goods place where you bargain for what you consider you want. I was amazed that the carpets could be folded into small carry packages but that didn't convince me to buy something I didn't want. We also went to a place that made and sold beautiful scarves. Fixed price but a discount for multiple purchases.
Apart from these "set" visits, we were limited in buying in the Medina as we couldn't linger from our guide/s. However,if you do know precisely what you want and are able to see this as you walk, you are able to negotiate and buy on the run as my husband did. He saw a Fes hat, the seller wanted 100 (= 10 Euro), my husband said 30, the seller saw we were continuing to walk, he agreed on the 30 and rushed after us with the hat and the exchange of the money.
Later as we were exiting the Medina, a young man with necklaces, approached me and offered 2 for 100. I said no and he continued walking with me until the coach by which time he was offering 6 for 100. I didn't have any money on me but if I had, I would have bought the 6 for 10 Euros.
Suggestions: Be careful who you trust when you go to the Medina. I'd suggest a guide would be a good investment. Have your cash in a secure place (money pouch around your neck, under your shirt). Have small bills and some coins for tips. If you are going to bargain, see if you can establish the price being paid for similar items at a (fixed price) store /supermarket - so you know what your base line should be. Remember your guide/s is probably taking you to the places that they consider to be the best and that he/she may (may not) receive a commission for all sales made. Some of the larger places (like the carpet place/leather goods/scarves) take credit cards. If you do make a bid for something, it is safer to hand over the exact amount as the seller "may not have change" or "may disappear" without giving you the change.
Don't be put off by the negatives. It is a wonderful experience that is difficult to describe. You have to go there to appreciate it!

2  Thank Julie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2013

Not as easy to navigate as Marrakesh, and many more hustlers that we didnt feel safe

We generally don't need guides and can travel without issue, but we ended up getting one after being scammed by a local "shopkeeper" as well as a military guy who hustled 40 dh out of us (clearly not someone in need, both him and his wife had braces, he was in uniform and on duty but "helped" us by getting his car and driving us around the corner then asking us for money UGHHHHHH)

Really annoying - I probably had high expectations given the beautiful history of Fez - as someone who never does tours and rarely uses guides I think this time around thats the way to good (even better would be to get a local)

In terms of a local, if you are interested in that i do know a local who we used for a half day (personal recommendation - hes the brother in law of a friend) who was awesome but unforetuantely only had time for us for a half day on the last day. He knows the spiritual history of Fes and if you are interested in Ziyarat hes your guy - feel free to IM for contact info

If you want to shop with ease and not be totally harassed and charged 4X the price of things - the medina of Meknes is AWESOME!

Thank SpechlesStrytelr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 10, 2013

Although I loved the medina - the people can be quite intimidating - if they can rip you off, they will... My advice is get yourself a guide - it will save you money in the long end - make sure you see their badge - the medina is a maze of streets and it is so easy to get lost - so many streets and sellers - from bakers, weavers, restaurants, shops - you will get hassled and its a shame as i think they would sell more if there was less of the hard sell - sometimes its easier to just buy and get out quick - definately dont take the first price when i was buying metal plates they went from 500 to 100 dirams.... Fez medina is a step back in time (about a 1000 years).

Thank sjk4158
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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