Fez is the third-largest city in Morocco, and also one of Morocco’s most traditional cities. As the oldest of the three imperial cities (Rabat and Marrakech are the other two), Fez is often referred to as cultural and spiritual centre of Morocco. The flight to Fez is only the beginning of the journey…
The Medina of the city (also known as the old part of the city) is one of the main attractions in Fez. Today, the city is packed full of culture from the tribal people dressed in colourful robes and textiles to veiled women and street sellers. The Medina of Fez is one of the oldest medieval cities in the world and still embraces the lifestyle of centuries past. Before boarding your flight to Fez, make sure to arrange for a tour guide to take you through the traditional city of Fez. First time visitors to Fez can become overwhelmed by the bustling city, its narrow streets and mysterious alleys. No trip to Fez is complete without a stop at the one of the famous tanneries.
For travellers who really need a slice of solitude in this ancient city, take a hike to the Merenid tombs. From the top of the hill you’ll see the best views of Fez, including palaces, Mosques and the thousands of people who call people home.
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Fez enjoys blistering hot summers and chilly winters. In July and August the mercury can hit the low 40s, while temperatures in December may dip to 4 degrees. Spring and autumn are very pleasant times to visit. Average temperatures are in the 20-degree range.
The high season is February through May and September and October and when most visitors book flights to Fez. Spring is particularly beautiful with the blooming wildflowers.
The annual Fez Festival of World Sacred Music is held the last week of May or first week of June. Fez flights and accommodation book up months in advance, so make your reservations ahead of time.
Rates are always negotiable in Morocco and even more so during the off season. Visiting between October and February spares you from crowds of tourists and many airlines offer cheap flights to Fez. For a winter visit bring warm clothing. The buildings are designed for a hot climate and can be chilly in winter.
The Muslim Ramadan takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar (July in 2012) and nearly all restaurants and cafes are closed during the day.
Getting around in Fez can be a challenge. The streets are arranged in a gridless maze and public transport is cheap but not recommended. Your best bet is flagging down taxis, which calculate rates on meters. Ville Nouvelle and Batha are easy places to catch a cab, but they can be picked up anywhere around the city. Save yourself the hassle and give the driver your destination after you’ve been driving a few seconds. Most drivers don’t like to take passengers short distances.
Get your walking shoes ready for the rest of the time. Many of Fez’s winding streets are easier to travel on foot; there are colour-coded walking paths as well as tour guides available to direct you.
Tickets for the local bus are cheap, but the buses are unreliable, unsafe and overcrowded. Pickpockets and accidents strike frequently. Bus 16 shuttles between the airport and the main train station regularly, but a taxi will get you to your destination much quicker and more comfortably.