Enjoy your Stay in Fez
It seems that the city of Fez still lingers in the Middle Ages. As you arrive in the city and begin to walk around your senses are torn between beautiful sights, intricate sounds and colorful smells. Much of the city is still holding on to its French roots. Thus around 20 0000 of Fez's inhabitants stay in the city of Fez el Bali. Staying a few days in Fez el Bali will make you recognize that it's hard to avoid the paradox of the place. Fez el Bali is a place with a constant source of interest.
You can either stay in the modern hotels of Ville Nouvelle with a reliable water supply, or in the basic hotels of Medina in Fes el Bali and Fes el Djedid. There is frequently a shortage of hotel space so be sure to book well in advance. A small number of the better hotels have swimming pools and also offer the advantages of nearby restaurants and pubs.
Things to See & Do
Fez has enough sights to keep you busy for three to four days. The streets are filled with mosques, medersas, fondouks and monuments.
The Merenid Tombs
The Merenid tombs on the rim of the valley give you a spectacular overview of the city.
The Boujeloud Gardens
The Boujeloud Gardens is a real haven with an open air café and many picnic spots.
Evening roost at Fez makes a spectacular sight for bird watching. The skies appear to swarm with literally thousands of alpine swifts in search of insects for their young in nests in the city walls.
Ville Nouvelle is the center for most of the cities restaurants, bars, cafés, bookshops and other facilities. Fes el Bali and Fes el Djedid have no bars and a few Palace-Restaurants that are very basic and only open for lunch. They mainly cater for tourists.
Cafés & Bars
Cafés and bars are scattered throughout the streets of Ville Nouvelle and are very popular with locals and tourists. The bars in Fez range from non-alcoholic to serious Morocco-drinking style, with pool tables and a huge crowd of regulars. The hotel bars are safe and suited for the tourist who just wants sit and have a quiet drink. There are plenty small cafes all over the Medina. The cafés here are very clean and friendly and sell fabulous breakfasts and lunch.
The train station is situated in the Ville Nouvelle, ten minutes walk from all the hotels around town. From the train station, the buses pass the main bus station, the airport and the outlying suburbs.
Coming in by bus is rather confusing as there are three terminals: the Ville Nouvelle, the Medina, and the main bus station. If you’re coming from Taza and the east, the buses stop at the Medina’s southeast gate, Bab Ftouh, before they continue to the main bus station.
By Grand Taxi
Like buses, the grand taxis mostly operate from three or four points: the taxi rank opposite the CTM office, the taxi rank at the train station, the taxi rank southeast of Place de la Resistance and Bab Ftouth.
Fez’s new airport is 15km south of the city center off the N8. From here you can reach town by bus or by grand taxis – ranks are outside the terminal building to your left.
If you come by car there is a small car park south of Bab Boujeloud, just a few minutes walk from the old Medina and some of the hotels, where you can leave your car.
Getting a guide is fairly easy since they are outside the more up market hotels and youth hostels.
A half-a-day tour from a good guide will be a useful introduction to Fes el Bali. The downside of getting a guide is that they walk a few meters in front of you so they don’t look that they are at your service; thus you don’t get much information about a place this way.
The basic layout of Fez el Bali is very simple, with a Moroccan Medina that separates the two cities: Fez el Bali (old Fez) and Fez el Djedid (new Fez), and a French-built Ville Nouvelle. Fez el Djedid is a beautiful place with a vast enclosure of royal palaces and fabulous gardens. Fez el Bali, however is an incredible intricate city with many confusing lanes, souks and blind alleys – you may want to get yourself a guide just to show you the main sights and layouts. It is difficult to find your way around Fez el Bali as all the street signs are in Arabic only. Transportation in Fez consists out of trains, buses, grand taxis, cars or by air.