Get your change back
When you go to restaurants in Morocco and when you pay at the end, it may happen that the cashier deliberately won't give you back correct change.
Say, for example, that you have to pay 40 Dirham. You hand over 100, and of course are supposed to get 60 back.
Instead you will get 50 back, and they hope that, you being a stupid tourist, you won't notice because you are unfamiliar with the currency.
They wait a little whether you might notice. If you stare at the money and count, the suddenly they are like "Oh, yes, and of course ten more Dirham, here you are". They've kept the 10 Dirham coin in their hand just in case you notice. Had you not noticed, they would have kept it. Clever!
So familiarize yourself with the money and count your change!
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
Fes, the old city, you will find the way out
You can hardly go into the Fez medina without having tens of people offer you to guide you around in there. You will probably see as many people when you're already in the middle of the medina, who want to show you the way out against money.
Admittedly, it can be nice once or so to have a proper guide guide you around to see the sights (which you might not find by yourself). But you will always find out by yourself, somehow. The fun thing about the old city is to just disappear into it and walk around and around, although you don't know where you are. That way I always discovered new places. I also in the end always reappeared at a place again from where I could remember the way out. There are many exits and entrances. Although the medina really is like a maze and very large, you'll always make it out again by yourself.
Even after having been in Fez for month, I was still being offered to be guided around - or out!
Unique Suggestions: Have the guide experience once. They might go with you to carpet sellers with whom they probably have a deal. If it interests you and you want to buy a carpet, fine. Otherwise, keep declining. It's probably not the cheapest way to buy carpets anyway.
Fun Alternatives: Roam the medina by yourself. Let yourself by surprised.
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
- Study Abroad
The Taxi Meter
Don't exactly where this tip should go -
Just make sure the taxi driver clicks on the meter. Fes taxis are usually very good about it. If you forget, and the cat doesn't switch it on...you will be negotiating the ride afterward, which can be a drag.
Unique Suggestions: If you get totally stuck - know that most rides are going to only be between 5-15 DH in Fes. 15-20 max for something like the medina to Narjees.
Most people get lost in the ancient medieval medina of Fez. The labyrinthine medina is very hard to navigate and sometimes you may have to pay someone to show you the way out
Unique Suggestions: Try ask for directions to get out when you bought something from some merchants. Or else if you get lost, you may really need to bargain your way with the kids in the medina to get out
If you hire a guide to take you through the city he will always try to take you to lots of places to buy stuff. The tannery, crafts, pottery place...and he will make a little bit for everything for everything you buy. DO NOT BUY RUGS...they are a rip off and you can buy better rugs on Ebay from Iran that are much better and CHEAPER. They will try to tell you all sort of lies to get you to buy a rug and it is all lies.
Unique Suggestions: DO NOT DRINK TEA WITH THE SALESMAN!!! He will expect you to buy something if you do and tell you guide you want to leave Immediatly!!! With no exceptions
Volunteer Guides Cum Touts
Don't follow any guides that promsie to show you anything. You will end up in a handicraft/carpet shop and those people won't get off your back until you buy something or shake them off.
Unique Suggestions: Shaking them off is not a pleasant affair as they do not take a 'no' or a 'f*** off' for an answer.
Fun Alternatives: Remember: the best way to get out of a nasty situation is not to get yourself into one.
- Adventure Travel
Buying Hash, Kif
Apparently, the dealers keep close enough ties with the cops to reel you in - A Fassi version of "Catch and Release" where you lose a chunk of change.
The Gnawa are safe people to smoke with as hash is a sort of currency with them. Their music sounds better that way, too. Smoke your chocolate, if you feel safe enough where you are - but don't push it by carrying a chunk of it around.
Kif is cheaper, easier to find - and folks literally smoke this in the street without too much fear. Still, heads up, smokey.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Buying a Riad
You may be pretty good at kicking someone when they're down - but are you so good as to know when they aren't actually down and are getting paid to be kicked (slowly, from your own account)?
Still thinking about that? Then you may be too dopey to surf the Riad Boom.
No matter what the hype: Riad shopping takes some actual working brains, patience and most of all - love. You'd better love that place or you are seriously wasting your money and your time. You would do better to stick that money in a trust, dawg. The real success stories of the riad boom in Fes are those who have given something of their hearts to this beautiful city. (Thank you, guys...t'barak Allah alikoom)
Talk to the vets of restoration in Fes for a sober view - google David Amster then give him a buzz before shopping. He is a deity of sorts on this subject and a good chap.
- Business Travel
When you contract a local guide to see the zoco or anywhere you must get an agreement of the price BEFORE HAVING THE SERVICE DONE. But get sure if the price is the total or per person, because they are very intelligent and are used to treat with tourist...
Fun Alternatives: There are not may alternatives, if you want you can contract a "legal guide", but they will be more expensive. But if you want to see the zoco you need on guide, so you choose.
Pretty much everything
Pretty much everything is a tourist trap in Fes but especially the tanneries. Don't be afraid to haggle the prices regardless of how intimidating the vendor may be...or just walk away, there's always a 20 others selling the same thing.
MANY TOURIST TRAPS HAVE MOVED!
Check out more tourist traps here...
Have you noticed the differences in the culture? Is it making you sick?
May I offer the suggestion that 'you' are making 'you' sick?
You feel it when you see some abjectly poor toothless guy pooing in the street near a bound and whip-scarred donkey who is making his own bed of poo while several petrol sniffing homeless children are trying to get a few dirhams from you by beg-shouting several languages to you...
Hold on! Let me tell you what I do: I personally set myself to remembering the story of "The Goldenish Monkey and his Eskimo Friend, Blind Goop"... it is a funny and adventure filled story; sometimes sad, sometimes rich with hope - For sure, it takes my mind off all that poverty business.
Hope that helps.
Fun Alternatives: When poverty screams in your face to respond, don't hear a shrill sound! Pretend you are hearing orgasmic moaning. That way, when confronted with human misery, you will think of something pleasurable instead.
Bag boys at the medina
If you are staying at the medina in a town/city in Morocco, your taxi/car will only be able to deliver you to the medina wall, (or just inside.) From here its all on foot - and the streets are incredibly narrow, small, and not named.
Before you have gotton out of the cab, you bags are already in a bag boys barrow who will take you to your hostel/hpotel/riad. You are in their hands because with out them you have no hope of finding your accomodation. They expect to be paid, and sometimes ask for more than the cab fare to get you to the medina. They have you over a barrel and they know it.
Pay up (it's cheap enough anyhows,) you won't need them again, and you will be wanting to check in and relax.
Facts about Fes
They do NOT take marocan money at the airport.
The food is very expensive at the airport
Your boarding pass MUST be stamped by your airline at the check in desk of your airline .
When you buy at thing at duty free after passport control you are allowed to curry it as extra luggage when you travel with ryanair
Bus from city centre to airport is number 16 operates every 30 minutes and you can pick from fes train station The ticket cost 20dhm.the bus operates till 8pm after that you need to take the taxi
The taxi from city to airport cost from 125 to 150 .
It's hard to find dust bin in the city of fez
It's hard to find places that serve alcohol even you find gonna be expensive so my tip is bring a bottle of drink with you from duty free.
Haggling is wide spread so be careful specially when they see you are a tourist the price jumps I bought some thing the guy asked 350 after haggling i got it for 90 only.
The touting is every where you are tourist means they look at you as some one with fat wallet lotta money
Tips are not required but appreciated depends on the service you get
Tannery is in my opinion a big tourist scam
The ATM machines are easy to find
Citizens from Eu get stamp on their passport free of charge
On arrival onboard of the plane you will get a form to fill in stating purpose of your visit etc
Taxi from airport to the city centre
Very important note :
There are no buses after 8 pm from airport to Fes city centre so you need to take a taxi.
Do NOT pay more than 150 Dirhams.
Have a fixed a price to avoid been ripped off.
Fun Alternatives: Bargain and have a fixed price
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