Worth the adventure

Getting to Fez can be a challenge but, at the same time, an adventure like few others.  If you have the time and opportunity, I highly suggest taking the train from Tangier to Fez (or anywhere else in Morocco for that matter) as you will see life in all its honest reality.  But the blue city, like the red (Marakesh) and the white (Rabat) are places that really must be seen.

A word of advice: do not eat anything that cannot be peeled, that has not been cooked, and do not drinking anything that you don’t open yourself.  Moroccans will try and be helpful and open your water for you: if you can’t break that plastic seal, don’t take it.  Gastrointestinal sickness is not fun!


When arriving in Fez, you have 2 options in terms of where to stay.  You can stay outside the city walls where you are bound to have more of a modern hotel with all of the amenities or you can stay in the city center, the medina, in a riad which is the closest that you will get to actually living in the city.  I would opt for the latter.

The Dar Seffarine (http://www.darseffarine.com/) is an amazing riad with the most lovely hosts.  The rooms are gorgeous and big, and they come with AC and fans so that you can be in maximum comfort.  Be aware, however, that riads don’t offer the most privacy: my room “opened” on to the inner courtyard which I think most of the rooms did.  But who cares?!  You’re there to experience life in the medina and the breakfast each morning  is amazing!


After heading the warning above, you can pretty much eat anywhere you want. No restaurant stood out and what I would categorize as not to be missed but ask  for advice and I’m sure you won’t go wrong.

There is a market outside of the medina where you can get everything you need for your time in Fez.  And if you want to do a picnic either for dinner or while you are walking around, this is the place to go: it’s a taxi ride away but even that added to the cost of your groceries will be cheaper than what you are going to pay within the medina walls.


There is no tourist sites to be seen in Fez.  But walk.  Walk everywhere.  The medina has 4 different gates and once you get comfortable with the location of your hotel, and have your trust map, you can’t go wrong.   And if you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own, your hotel or riad can set up a tour guide for you.  I did both and although the tour guide took me out of the medina to see some of the potters that Fez is known for, it’s also an effort to get you to spend money.  Personally, I loved walking everywhere and anywhere I wanted.

The souq is really quite lovely and easy to navigate, especially compared to that in Marakesh.  Be warned that everyone will try and get you to come in to their shop and nearly harass you to buy something but it is their livelihood so you can’t blame them.  Just stay positive, be polite, and if you don’t want to be harassed, don’t make eye-contact.

So if you can, go.  Fez is amazing and you can relatively easily arrive from anywhere in Spain.  It’s small, the people really are lovely, and the experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

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