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How many days in Marrakech and Fez

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Apr 13th, 2012, 07:50 AM
  #1
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How many days in Marrakech and Fez

I'm planning (with my sister) trip in Oct... 14 nights. Am wondering whether I should spend more time in Fez or Marrakech.
We'll be arriving at 6:40am in Casablanca. Upon arrival, we'll take the train to Fez. Tentatively, the plan is 4n Fez (with day trip to Volubilis, Meknes), 3n tour of mountains & sand dunes (heading towards Marrakech), 4n Marrakech, 2n Essouria, 1n Casablanca (because our flight is at noon). Does this sound ok?

Which city is better for souvenir hunting?

Appeciate advice, suggestions, tips...

Thanks!
kakijalan is offline  
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Apr 13th, 2012, 01:52 PM
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Your plan seems good.
You may want to stay one less night while in Fes, I think apart from the ancient town of the city, the latter does not have alot to offer, unlike for instance Marrakech. you could add the night to Essaouira.
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Apr 13th, 2012, 07:29 PM
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Souvenir hunting maybe Marrakech & Essaouira
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Apr 14th, 2012, 01:35 AM
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Hi, we just came back from our 12-day Morocco trip. As far as whether to spend more time in Fes or Marrakech, it depends if you like to stay out late or not. In Fes, we were told that it is not that safe for foreigners to stay out past 8pm after dark inside the medina. So we quickly went back to our riad after dinner. It does seem to get dark and quiet at night.

On the other hand, Marrakech's medina is lively and crowded all the time, especially in and around the main square, Jemaa El Fna! It was totally safe for tourists to walk around at night, of course we still exercised the usual caution to see if someone was following us when we get into smaller alleys on our way back to the riad. But, in general, the shops opens late, and the night scene is as much fun to watch as the day activities.

We stayed 2 nights in Fes and 1 night in Meknes. So you may consider that as well.
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Apr 14th, 2012, 02:03 AM
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As for souvenir hunting, it depends on what you want to buy. We learned that somethings are location dependent.

Like Fes is all about tiles, pottery, mosaics, nice fabrics, and leather goods.
Marrakech has woodwork, medal works, fabrics, and leather goods as well.

Basically, I would say that I saw many of the same souvenir items throughout my trip. But quality may vary from place to place. So, if ther is something you like, I say just bargain and buy it. But at the same time, if you missed getting in from one place, you will likely find it in your next stop.

I also realize that it is good to buy some souvenir in the mountains and desert areas instead of just in big cities like Fes and Marrakech. One, sometimes it's better price. Two, one can help support the local economy that doesn't see as many tourists as in Marrakech.

And if you are thinking about carpets, in our view, we thought that the quality of Berber carpets we saw in Fes were better than the ones we saw in Marrakech. Our licensed local guide in Fes took us to a very nice carpet shop. The carpets were beautiful and good quality. However, be prepared for their out-of-this-world's shocking prices! It's high-stress/ high-pressure bargaining! Be ready to walk away if it is not the price you want or can afford!!! Check out the Internet prices to have a good idea in your mind for how much you want to pay and stick to it! In the end, we did get one for like less than 20% of the initial starting price! Crazy!

Hope you will enjoy your trip like we did! Our minds are still there! Happy trip planning!
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Apr 14th, 2012, 05:03 AM
  #6
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Thanks Intrepid & Becky0222... those are great tips!
My sister & I aren't really "night out" sort of person... we typically spend the full day sight seeing, have dinner and go to bed. We're also not the "lounge by the pool" type... but we love trying out food

The suggestion was to stay for a night in Meknes... does it give a different vibe from Fez?
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Apr 15th, 2012, 07:22 AM
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Meknes is quieter with less visitors compared to Fes I believe. We actually didn't do much in Meknes. It was just a good stop for us for the first night since we arrived Casablanca in the late morning, then did some sightseeing in Casablanca and Rabat. So then we toured a little bit of Meknes before heading to Volubilis and ended the second day in Fes. So, just an option to consider.
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Apr 17th, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Meknes is definitely a day trip (I'd say 2-3 hours). We went to Meknes the day we arrived in Casablanca, our tour guide picked us up, and on the way to Fez, we stopped there.
Fez' medina is really amazing. May be because it was our first stop in Morocco. Fez and Marrakesh are completely different, so it's great that you will get a chance to see both.
2 days in Fez will probably be plenty.
While in Medina in Fez, go to the tannery. It's an amazing experience. They will rip you off if you try to buy something, so either bargain hard, or give them a few durhams for showing your around and leave.
Do watch the prices -- never pay the price that the merchants/stores give you. You can buy EVERYTHING for at least 40% off the original price they offer you. Just bargain down, and if they don't take your price, just leave. There will be another shop down the street that sells the exact same thing.
I know that Leather and Ceramics are better in Fez. Fez is know for its ceramic factories. But again, crazy prices -- so bargain hard.
I don't know where is the best place to buy rugs, but be wearry of the big touristy co-op stores. Berber rugs are beautiful and you can definitely find a bargain in Morocco. But, do negotiate, know what you want and be prepared to walk out.
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