I can’t love them all… Yes I hated Fez!

I didn’t want to leave the beautiful blue town of Chefchaouen and upon arriving in Fez I knew why. It was about 2:30pm when I arrived in Fez. I stepped into the street and immediately a million taxi drivers came up to me asking me where I needed to go or telling me they can take me to a cheap place to stay.  I let them know that I had a place to stay and just needed to get to “BAB JDID” (the gate my hostel was near). They let me know they can take me but only for 50DH ($6.25). I let them know I was not paying that much. I then saw 4 other backpackers not sure where they were going so I got with them and we let the taxi driver know where we needed to go and set a price 10DH each ($1.25). The cab driver assures me that where he is dropping us off is the right gate. The 5 of us get off pay the cab and he drives away. One of the couples is whisked away by locals to show them a place to stay and the other couple easily found their hotel. I look at the name of the gate and realize this is not the gate I need to be at. I had no fucking clue where I was or where I needed to go. Many people came up to me and would not leave me alone. To make it easy instead of walking around I just stopped a cab and asked them to take me to “BAB JDID” I paid 20DH ($2.50). After about an hour of drama I was finally at my hostel. This was not a good start….

I was taking pictures of the people I was hanging out with that day & he kept getting in them & smiling... so I asked him if he wanted to take a picture with me. He said yes so I took it and then showed it to him... He laughed and said he liked it. I love this photo... one of the few highlights of Fez.

I then met an awesome couple Rachel and Joel that were about to head off to explore a bit, I asked if I could tag along and they said yes. With a map in hand and a plan in mind we stepped out of the hostel into the crazy streets of Fez. Minutes into our exploration some guy comes up to us and lets us know we need a guide to get around the Medina. We kindly let him know we do not need one and that we will be fine with out him. He refuses to leave and lets us know he will follow us to make sure we are okay and do not get lost. We asked him kindly again, but he refused. At that point he would not stop following us around and got a bit hostile. In the end we did manage to loose him and spent a few hours wondering around the Medina. Through out the entire time people just seemed extra pushy about selling what ever it is they were selling to us. A few hours in and I already hated Fez.

The inside of Medersa Bou Inania a beautiful muslim school.

We arrived back at the hostel and I took a seat in the lobby area. I look across from me and I see familiar faces, however these faces are not people I have ever met, but people I had been following online for a while. I say their names, but they look at me confused… I then say, “Get Up & Globe” and one of them said what did you say? We then laughed and loved the fact that with out much planning managed to bump into each other. I was in fact meeting Skott & Shawna of “Get Up & Globe”. The rest of the night we all spent them up stairs in the terrace chatting away. It was also on this terrace this night that I met my 3 Spanish girls (more on them on my next few post).

Me with a Moroccan Turban on... a friend took this photo of me and I love it a lot!

The next day was smooth thanks to the guide we had who showed us all around the medina and took us to many interesting shops. It was part of a small tour the hostle offered. Even though it was smooth I was not loving the city… it was so crazy & chaotic and as much as I love that in cities I visit I couldn’t get myself to like it here. Later that night we went out for dinner and that too was a daunting task. There was nothing around our hostel so we needed to catch a cab to the main gate and no one wanted to pick us up they all kept saying no. We finally got one and made our way to the gate. After being harassed by many restaurant owners we found a nice place and had a dinner.

We spent our last full day in Fez doing more sight seeing and walking around. It too turned out to be a grueling day dealing with touts and more people trying to scam us. In the end we thought for dinner we would explore a different side of Fez and have a nice dinner for our last night. Well that too was a hot mess. We visited an area that according to a guidebook is full of great restaurants. After waiting for ever to get a cab to drive us out there we did finally get dropped off and walked for over an hour trying to find a nice place to eat with not a single place in sight that looked appetizing. We were all a bit upset again. We decidde to have dinner at the 1st hole in the wall we stumbled upon when we 1st got there. The dinner was not the greatest cold rice with decent bread and chicken. Yet again I wasn’t happy with Fez. We did however know that down the street from where we were was a McDonalds. To make up for everything we treated ourselves to a McFlurry and damn it was well worth it. That was sadly the highlight of my day.

After a not so great night and some horrible food a McFlurry made up for it all.

The next morning we all said our goodbyes and all happy to be leaving Fez and on to other destinations. Lucky for Skott & Shawna they were heading to Chefchouen a city I spent 8 nights at and loved every minute of. As for me I was taking a night bus to Marrakech. In the end my time in Fez was not that bad, but I did not like it at all. It was nice to meet so many amazing people, but the city itself made me hate it. I didn’t like the people, I didn’t like being ripped off many times, I didn’t like being taken advantage by cab drivers, I didn’t like being treated horribly when I would say no to someone. I know these are all things that can happen anywhere and are all small minor details, but I can’t help it. They rubbed me the wrong way and because of them I hate Fez. I do know though we can’t love every place we visit. Some we’ll love and some we’ll hate… life goes on!  So now I’m asking you have you ever hated a city, because of minor things that just added up? Am I just over reacting? Maybe I never gave it a chance?

Related Posts with Thumbnails


  1. That sounds so stressful and I don’t think I’d like it either! I was just in Shanghai and everywhere i went people were trying to scam me and get money out of me and in the end I just couldn’t WAIT to leave!
    Lauren recently posted..Lauren Vs. Food: My First Week in Asia.

    • Yeah Lauren that makes it so stressful & like you said just makes me want to leave. The sad thing is I know I will be going to worse cities than Fez in the next few months… I will need to get used to it!

  2. Ice cream always solves problems!!! Love that blue on you.
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..My Wedding & Honeymoon: Day 6-10 (Part 10)

  3. Zendagi Migazara, life goes on (arabic) like you say. I don’t think you are over reacting, Jaime. I think it’s totally okay to feel the way you do. You are very right, some places you will love, others you will like, others you will dislike, and others you will hate. It’s okay. Maybe you were just missing Chefchaouen since you loved it so much. You were expecting Fez to be like it and since it wasn’t it just stirred up your emotions on that town. But it’s ok. Keep enjoying what you’re doing and zendagi migazara!

    • Thanks Rubi that is so true… I think it was that I loved Chefchaouen and how calm it was and easy to just be were as Fez was crazy & chaotic and I just was not ready for it. Life does go on & I will see other places…. and enjoy what I am doing!

  4. Not all all places are winners. We know that all too well 🙂 We like having these types of experiences because 1) we usually learn a lot and 2) it helps us to shape what we DO like in travel and life.
    Kent @ No Vacation Required recently posted..Lose the Weight

    • Thanks Kent… that is so true I did learn from it and I also learned what I like and dont like… The thing is I know that I will be going to so many more cities where it will be just as crazy or more. We’ll see how it goes and how I adjust.

  5. Reading this I realise how lucky I was with my visit to Fez two weeks ago (we so nearly overlapped!). As we flew into Fez, and arrived late in the evening, we decided to take advantage of our hostel’s offer to send us a cab to pick us up from the airport. Once the cab arrived at the gates, a guy from our hotel met us, and walked us through the Medina to the hotel, pointing out all the key directions as he went along. Once we arrived in the hotel, he brought out a map, and described how to get to all the key locations, and marked them all on the map. He then took us up and out on to the roof to show the key sites again from above, so we really felt we got our bearings from the very start.

    By the time we made it out, yes, we got hassled, but thanks to the detailed briefing we had from our hotel, we found it easy enough to walk confidently off in the right direction which seemed to be enough to shake them off, and ultimately we spent three days wandering around and ended up loving the city.

    Marrakech, which we visited next, we hated from the start, the hassle in the main square was really like nothing else, after years of travelling and over 50 countries, Marrakech is definitely the city I’ve enjoyed the least, mainly because of the sheer volume of hassle everywhere!
    Geoff recently posted..My 7 Links: Revisiting some old favourites

    • Oh wow Geoff how lucky sounds like you did get off to a good start in Fez thanks to the guy who picked up. I would have enjoyed it much more I think if I had the same. Since from the start I was already getting scammed my mind just kinda closed & never gave the city a chance. As for Marrakech I acutlaly enjoyed a lot, but maybe that was because I spent 2 days doing nothing at a pool in the hostel I stayed at and then 2 days with the awesome Spanish girls… it just all balanced out. I of course will be writing about that. It would have been nice if we had bumped into each other.

      • I know, it would have been, especially as we were in Marrakech and Essaouira as well! (I must admit too that my favourite bit of Marrakech was our hotel pool!)
        Geoff recently posted..My 7 Links: Revisiting some old favourites

      • I was in Fez last month and had similar bad experiences. The people-more specifically the men- were extremely hostile. As a woman traveling alone and dressing very modestly I was treated with disrespect and actually called names. Will never go back to Fez but like other areas of Morocco. I wonder why the government doesn’t walk in the medina and markets to see how awful tourists are treated. It was actually scary. Do not recommend Fez.

        • Jaime Davila says:

          Hi Marie, yes Fez was very different than any other place I have visited in the world. I had never seen so many agressive people even for me as a man I felt it. I don’t know it was just nothing I wanted to deal with and got out of there as soon as I could. It’s scary indeed & well I guess at the end of the day we’ll never know why these people act this way. I mean I never have anything like that happen anywhere else in Morocco or any other Muslim/Arabic country. Glad you are safe though.

  6. It’s so true – you just can’t love every place you visit. I hate it when I am in a place where they try to scam you only because you’re a tourist. At least you still managed to have a good time in Fez!
    Dani | Globetrottergirls recently posted..33 Things We Love About Lisbon

    • Thanks Dani that is true I did manage to still have a good time…. I just felt like every where I was I was going to get scammed. Glad Im not alone in hating places like that.

  7. I remember feeling pretty much the same way about most of the cities I visited in Morocco — harassed & hassled & in desperate need of ice cream! I was really glad I went there, but I was happy to move on to Portugal after I left there where it was quiet and I hardly ever got pestered.
    I will say that I totally hated Tokyo the first time I went there. I was completely overwhelmed and confused and just wanted to get the heck out. It took me about 8 trips back to Tokyo while I was living in Japan to finally appreciate the city. It helped that I had learned the language & had a number of friends in the city, too. So maybe that’s what you need? Go back to Fez 8 more times and you may come to really like it!
    Sally recently posted..Lost That Travel Feeling: What To Do When Travel Makes You Go “Meh”

    • Yeah Sally that is how i felt at the big cities here in Morocco. Ice cream really does always help in the end… and ummm I dont think I will ever be going back to Fez. At least not any time soon & not 8 more times that is for sure. I can see how it would take time to like Tokyo such a huge city.

  8. Ugh. I already get turned off by pushy people. I think I would have shut down.
    Erica recently posted..Episode 13 – Momentos: Nicaragua (and Happy Bday to Erica!)

  9. I never liked our experience in Fez – our hostel smelled like new paint plus our tourguide was annoying. He showed us some sites but 80% of the tour were spent on shops of his friends selling carpets, leather jackets and jewelry. We were supposed to stay there for 2 days but ended up staying just for 1 and left immediately for Tangier!

    Also went to McDonalds on our first day in Tangier and got me a big Tangine burger + some ice cream. 🙂
    Jerick recently posted..Seeing snow for the first time

    • Jaja Im so glad Im not alone on not liking Fez, I feel kinda bad for it but oh well I really just did not like it. Why lie? Ohhh I think we were on the same tour because our guide did the same thing… Yeah after 3 nights there I was ready to get out. I would have left sooner if it wasn’t for the awesome people I met.

  10. This harassment is going to happen again in more places – It can (will?) happen in Egypt as well, but next time instead of saying “no thank you”, just don’t reply and keep walking… or even better: reply in Arabic!
    A very clear “La’a shukran” will be ok, and if the guy is very pushy tell him a loud “imshy!!!” (=go away!). It always helps.
    If you need more hardcore vocab just ask, I’m super used to harassment in the streets! haha:)

    Too bad this ruined your stay in Fez, but it’s also true that we can’t love every single place. I’m sure you’ll have a great time in the next days! 🙂
    Giulia recently posted..Flight booked, feeling sweet.

    • Ahhh don’t tell me that… now I wanna cry Giulia…lol!!! Ugh I know its going to happen so much more, but I guess I will be ready for it unlike in Fez. Thanks for the tips on words to use I am going to write them down and start using them. I normally do just walk and not talk to them, but in Fez it was just impossible…

      Thanks for being so helpful… I will ask for sure if I have any quesitons oh & I will def be asking ya for help when I am in Egypt!!!

  11. We were just going to tell you that you were in the same neck of the woods as Skott and Shawna. So cool that you met up with them! There´s not a lot of Saskatchewan based world travelers out there.
    Mike Lenzen recently posted..The Xela Fair: Pickpocket Edition

  12. There’s always gotta be one place that we LOATHE or at the very least just don’t connect with. It doesn’t have to make sense and it can be a place that *everyone* else adores. Funny how that happens. One of Australia’s most popular cities just didn’t do anything for me, though there are a few places to eat there that captured my heart O:-)
    Heather recently posted..What’s Next: Writing Projects

    • Thanks for pointing that out Heather… thats true I mean we cant love them all. Someitmes it will be a city everyone else does love or vice versa. Im curious to know what city you didnt like in Oz????

  13. I think a lot of this had to do with the assholes you were hanging around with while in the city…..Fez itself wasn’t that bad…the company you kept however, left something to be desired…
    Skott and Shawna recently posted..Friday is Couscous Day-Cookin’ in Meknes!

    • Bahahahaha… I guess I could agree with you on that one. I mean after all we did keep getting ripped off together. Maybe it was them with the bad karma…lol!!!

  14. Hi Jaime,

    It was sad to hear you didn’t like Fez! We fell in love with Fez eight years ago and bought a house deep in the Medina and in all the years here we have never experienced what you did. It is a pity if people feel hassled. It is certainly not nearly as bad as Marrakech or Cairo or Istanbul. However, as you say, everyone likes something different.
    The people in the Medina are fabulous to live with as they are so open and honest and every day we discover something new.
    If you come back, or you have friends coming, tell them to check The View from Fez blog as it has over 3000 stories about the city and they can learn where to eat the best street food in Morocco at very cheap prices. To come to Fez and have to eat at MacDonalds is such a pity as the local food is amazing.

    If you ever come back, let us know and we will show you the special places that make Fez so exciting


    The View from Fez team
    The View from Fez recently posted..PayPal to arrive in Morocco

    • Hi TVFFT,

      Yeah I had never had so much trouble in a city. When I arrived to Fez it just started right away and think I never gave it a chance. I actually went to Marrakech & enjoyed it a lot. I haven’t been to Cairo or Istanbul yet and I will be going soon. I do plan on one day coming back to Morocco and when I do I will give Fez another chance. I will also get with y’all if y’all are this there. I will though refer your blog to people visiting in the future. Oh & yes I thinking eating McD is a pity, but the dinner was horible and we needed some comfort so McD it was.


    • I read the blog View from Fez before I went there this fall and was really excited to visit the city. Although I had been to Morocco several times before I never went to Fez. However, the men in the markets and hanging out on the streets are hostile and verbally abusive. It was an awful experience. The government should do something about this as tourism is a major business there. Denial that this mistreatment of tourists
      doesn’t happen all day long will not make it true. I will never go back to Fez or recommend it.
      Worst travel experience of my life. Liberate the women to represent the country instead of the men who
      have no respect.

      • Jaime Davila says:

        I hadn’t read the sight before going, but had never heard much about Fez… I just knew it was a big city with a lot of sites to see, but yeah once I was there… wow. I’d never recommend it either. It was one of the worst cities I visited and still hate it.

  15. Your post is old, but I just need to speak my mind out somewhere, I hate Fes so much 😀 I will be studying here for a while, practicing my arabic and french and stuff. I’ve lived in egypt for 5 years, so i am used to dirt, traffic, guys talking to you in the street, but there are so many amazing things in egypt and i know so many people and i love them so much; and i thought morocco wld be cool of even better as its close to spain and stuff and im never afraid of any obstacles and stuff, its all an experience, BUT ever since i came to morocco 3 weeks ago, almost every day smthn is happening. I was okay with almost being attacked in casablanca on 1st night i arrived, me being robbed getting on the bus i will be taking to uni everyday (i always keep my bag tight to myself), but the asshole managed to cut my leather bag with knife or smthn and take the wallet without me feeling anything whatsoever. Then guys on the streets not only just talk to you, although i wear decent clothes, but they are agressive and they follow you in cars. And today my mom came to visit and as we were going back home at 7 fucking pm in a crowded place – 2 guys on motorbike were passing by and grabbed her golden chain off her neck, as the chain is pretty strong – it didnt break, but it dragged her on the floor, she got bruise on her arm, neck and head. I’m upset i turned my head awa at that moment, if only i was around – i would have tried to catch them and beat the fucking shit out of them. i’m so pissed off, okay this happes everywhere in the world, but i have never even seen smthn like this in the world

    • Jaime Davila says:

      HOLY WOW… DIANA that is crazy. I am so sorry for everything that is happening to you. I hated Fez so much… so much that I just left. As for Morocco it’s beautiful and I have amazing memories there, but I have no desire to go back at all. How long are you planning to stay there? Do you still plan on staying there or moving on at all? Yeah I’ve heard so many women complain about Morocco. I know Egypt also isn’t that great for women but I know for a fact it’s not that bad. So cool you lived in Egypt for 5 years… I love Egypt so much it’s crazy!!!

  16. And i love mcflurry btw 😀 i havent tried it in fes yet, but i eat mcflurry oreo everyday when i go to egypt as i usually live in lithuania and we dont have oreo one there hahaha

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Oh I love the McFlurry and lol ate it often when I was in Egypt. It’s just so damn good! Glad I’m not alone.

  17. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t like someplace because everyone’s exp is different. I can say I felt the same way about New Delhi. I won’t go into the gory details but I had one bad exp after another and another. The rest of India I did enjoyed. I coudn’t wait to book the first flight out and padded it to Tawain which I was surprisingly had an INCREDIBLE time with the food, fashion, unusually high amount of cute guys there! I was in Egypt so I know about the aggressive sellers and services being offered. I also found the Egyptian in Luxor to be some of the nicest and hospitable people around. They spend a lot of time talking to us when I was thinking “shouldnt you be focused on your shop selling things?” lol. It was so bad at one point when we got off the train in Luxor my friend yelled run and he took off, I took off running after him. Then a group of 5-6 men came running after us STILL trying to sell us a hotel room. This was madness sort of like a page ripped off from the Princess Diana Parisian tunnel chase. Fortunately there’s very few places that we can hate and a good 95% are almost always positive!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      I love the experience you had in Luxor Kent because I so know that experience. Oh the madness that happens around the world… oh how I miss that madness. You are right about your statistic… I think that is so damn true. We do hate less than we love!

Speak Your Mind