The ancient Medina of Fez is history and culture packed with ornate alleys and cracked yet gorgeous stone walkways. Stairs fill the city making it quite the workout to make your way through Fez. It’s definitely no walk in the park. Walking through the Medina be sure to have a determined look to limit the amount of hassling, but still – expect to be bothered to buy something around every twist and turn.
There are shops for everything and every side-street or alley has it’s own designated category. Rugs, lamps, textiles, jewelry, and so on are all jammed into the crowded streets of the Medina. The problem is with all this over-crowdedness the streets are near impossible to walk through during the busy times of the day, but I highly recommend walking all throughout the Medina. It’s a great way to really see the city for free.
Locals will give you those looks. You know, the looks that remind you that ultimately you are a tourist. Cause really you are. Unless you’re living somewhere for a couple months or more, you’re still a tourist because everything is still new. For me I hate owning up to the fact that I’m a tourist so I do everything I can to avoid looking like one. Unfortunately I can’t fool the true locals – it might be my skin color or it might be because I take pictures of lamp stores…
The tannery is a must see in the Medina – it’s a free tour, which is just what I like but warning: they will tempt you to purchase some truly gorgeous and high quality leather. It’s a fairly informative and quick tour, but just be prepared for the smell and very steep staircases to get up to the top. This tannery tans much of the leather in the world so it’s really interesting to see where it comes from! But boy the smell… They do give you mint leaves to help alleviate the smell, but pull the leaves away from your nose for one second and pheeeww… beware!
Touring the Medina for cheap is easy because of these storekeepers who just really want to show you their stuff. I went into a perfume shop and smelled everything, like everything for free and it was a blast! They don’t force you purchase anything and it’s a great way to see a lot. This is especially useful on short trips, like the one I had to Fez. It allows you to see the Medina fast.