Medina of Fez: 10 Safety Tips for Travelers The Medina of Fez is the city’s ancient quarter and a must see. While it’s safe for tourists, it is essential to take a few safety precautions. Check out our list of travel […]
The Medina of Fez is the city’s ancient quarter and a must see. While it’s safe for tourists, it is essential to take a few safety precautions. Check out our list of travel tips below.
The Medina of Fez is an intricate maze of streets that consists of narrow alleyways filled with thousands of vendors selling pretty much anything you can imagine, mosques, blanked-wall houses, stunning decorative courtyards, delicious cafes and more.
As you walk through the historical location you’ll be enticed by the rainbows of color, spice-market smells, and orchestra of sounds you’ll hear. There’s so much beauty within the gates of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also things to be aware of.
It’s easy to get lost in the labyrinth of the Medina of Fez. The sellers can be aggressive in getting you to purchase something; and the, locals will not hesitate to approach you for money, or say inappropriate things. But don’t let that deter you. It’s an unforgettable adventure you can’t miss so here’s some tips to help you stay safe.
Colorful narrow street inside Medina of Fez
1. Hire a reputable tour company beforehand and go to the Median of Fez with a guide. They will bargain for you, the vendors won’t be pushy with you and you will be shielded from catcalling men. And certain companies like Plan-it Morocco give you the option of having a driver pick you up, which makes things so much easier because you don’t have t try and navigate your way on your own. Tips are not required or expected, but it’s polite and courteous to tip your tour guides and drivers 15-20 percent.
2. Donkeys and mules are the main mode of transportation—no cars are driven through the Medina of Fez. When you hear someone yelling “Balak” it means look out so get out of the way. Also be careful where you walk since the animals relieve themselves along the way so always wear close-toed shoes.
3. Everyone seems to be a guide so beware. Local men will usually hang out around the twelve gates into the Medina of Fez asking if you want their services. They’re unofficial guides, and you don’t know how legit they are. It’s better to hire from a professional tour company in advance. However, if you go alone and decide last minute you do want a guide, determine the price before hiring anyone.
4. The shops start closing around 9:30pm, so make your way to the gate before the lights go out. You don’t want to be there in the dark, especially if you’re alone and female. You will draw so much unwanted attention and advances from local men. It’s not safe and you will be harassed because it’s not the norm for women to travel alone in Morocco, particularly at night.
5. You should dress casually. Do not wear low cut tops or form fitting clothing. Your shoulders and chest should be covered. Morocco is an Islamic country, so it’s important to be respectful of their culture. Plus you will get way more stares and unwanted attention if you dress inappropriately.
6. Bring hand sanitizer and toilet paper with you. Many eateries and restaurants only have squat holes, but there are of course Western style toilets in some.
7. Watch your bags and belongings at all times. As a tourist, you stand out and will be subjected more to scams and pickpockets. Again if you go with a reputable guide, you won’t be bothered.
8. When someone invites you inside a shop for tea, it’s not just a polite gesture. They’re trying to get you to buy something, so respectfully decline unless you’re interested.
9. If you insist on going alone, which you shouldn’t, but if you do, take photos of the nearest gate so you know your surroundings and can find your way back.
10. Bargaining is expected with the vendors, but remember to be fair. This is how they earn an income chances are items are already priced much less than you’d pay at home.
Have fun and enjoy yourself. There’s so much to see and do there besides shop, which is why the Medina of Fez is one main things to see in the city. But always be cautious and alert, even with a guide.
Here’s a few beautiful spots to check out in the Medina of Fez:
-Al Qarawiyyin Mosque -Merenids tombs -Bab Boujloud “Main gate of the Medina” -Water clock -Bounania -Medressa Attarine -The Jewish Mellah -Tannery -King’s Palace Doors–outside of the Medina of Fez
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