Meknes Travel Guide

  • street in Meknes Medina
    street in Meknes Medina
    by EviP
  • threads and colours, Meknes street
    threads and colours, Meknes street
    by EviP
  • cedar carvings, Bou Inania Medersa, Meknes
    cedar carvings, Bou Inania Medersa,...
    by EviP

Meknes Highlights

  • Pro
    barryg23 profile photo

    barryg23 says…

     The Imperial city and the historic medina 

  • Con
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    barryg23 says…

     No left luggage office! 

  • In a nutshell
    barryg23 profile photo

    barryg23 says…

     A quieter version of Fes 

Meknes Things to Do

  • City Walls

    The historic city is still surrounded by its large walls, with several doors, each one with its typical architecture and decoration. Traffic flows outside the walls, escaping from the narrow streets inside, and allowing an easy look at great part of the walls.

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  • Bou Inania Medersa

    Bou Inania Medersa was built around 1340-1350.It is a modest an functional building with a single courtyard opening to a narrow prayer hall and surrounded by the student cells on each floor, with exquisitely carved cedar screens.It is remarkable that no ares is left uncovered with the balanced combination of wood, stucco and zellij

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  • Moulay Ismail Mausoleum

    One the most beautiful places in Meknes is this tomb, where the king that built the town and turned it into a imperial city was buried. Until Lisbon's earthquake that seriously damaged the city, Meknes was Morocco's capital.It's forbidden to take pictures of the tomb, ao we had to photograph... the walls. Pretty, anyway!

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  • Cara - subterranean prison

    Meknes was the imperial capital of Moulay Ismail. He built a large prison under the old city for Christian sailors captured at sea. In the Koubt Essoufara (Ambassador's Pavilion) Moulay Ismail would receive ambassadors from other countries, often to plead for the return of their countrymen. Little did they know - their countrymen laid shackled just...

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  • Tomb of Moulay Ismail

    Moulay Ismail or Sultan Ismail Ibn Sharif was the second ruler of the Alaouite dynasty. He, like his predecesors, claimed to be a descendant of Muhammad and therefore earns the title 'Moulay'. He ruled from 1672 to 1727. He was only 26 when he came to the throne of a country weakened by internal tribal wars and royal successions. He established...

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  • Art Deco and other things in the Ville...

    Don't ignore the Ville Nouvelle, the new city originally planned by the French, as it contains some great Art deco buildings if you're willing to look for them. Some of the hotels are very attractive, particularly the Hotel de Nice and the Hotel majestic (where I stayed). I regret not taking more photos in the Ville Nouvelle, but I only had a look...

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  • Agdal Basin

    Next to the Heri es Souani is a large reservoir, the Agdal Basin, now a pleasant park with benches under trees, sculptures and a fountain in the middle. I don't know if this is another royal relic or if this is a new construction, but it is about as big as the granaries that run along one side of it. There must be either a university or some sort...

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  • Heri es Souani

    From the Dar el Kebira quarter, there's a very long road with unbroken walls on either side. On one side you have the Sidi Amar quarter, and on the other, the Royal Golf Club and Dar al Makhzen, the current Royal palace, both unfortunately off limits and out of sight for the most part. It was April, so the sun wasn't too strong, but I can imagine...

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  • Dar el Kebira and Sidi Amar

    Within the walls of the Imperial City are now two residential quarters, neither particularly imperial any more, and in places are really quite rundown. The first, entered through a low archway just before Bab el Rih and the long "corridor" between walls, is Dar el Kebira, once the site of one of the Sultan's palaces. Today, you can still find...

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  • Mausoleum Moulay Ismail

    My mum knows I have a thing for all things Middle Eastern/North African, and used to send me greetings cards with market scenes from Egypt, mountains from Yemen, and camels from Jordan on them. Once, she sent me a card with a beautiful yellow arched doorway to a tiled courtyard, but the card didn't say where this was. Well, as soon as I entered...

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  • Bab Mansour and Bab Djemaa en Nouar

    Across the road from Place el Hedim are the walls of the Imperial City, formerly accessed by two large gates, the most impressive of which is Bab Mansour. Sultan Moulay Ismail commissioned the construction of most of the Imperial City, and legend has it that when he saw the ornamental gateway completed, he asked the architect, a man named El...

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  • Bou Inania Medrese

    The highlight of the medina is definitely the Bou Inania Medrese, dating from the Merenid era (i.e. the 14th century) and very similar to its namesake in Fes, but for me much more impressive, perhaps due to the lack of crowds. For 10 dirhams, you can admire the tiled courtyard, peek into the prayer hall, then head up the stairs to explore the tiny...

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  • Dar Jamai

    At the far end of Place el Hedim, head down the steps and instead of following the crowds into the souks, look to your right and you should see a sign for a museum. This is the entrance to Dar Jamai, a an 18th century palace now restored and home to the Museum of Moroccan Art. Various bits of pottery from the region fill the cabinets, and local...

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  • Exploring the backstreets of the Medina

    Following your nose through the souks, you'll eventually emerge in a residential area, and instead of retracing your steps, instead take any street, left or right, and go explore the alleyways and archways of the medina. There are not really any sights to aim for, a few oldish mosques, some pretty backstreets, a local hammam, a neighbourhood cafe....

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  • The souks

    The area immediately behind Place el Hedim is full of souks, nearly every street crammed with shops and stalls, some offering souvenirs, but for the most part this is a market that caters to locals...household pots and pans, fruit and vegetables, clothes, etc. A covered area entered via a small dorrway between two restaurants on the square houses...

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Meknes Hotels

See all 26 Hotels in Meknes

Meknes Restaurants

  • great value

    Had a salad, quarter roast chicken with French fries, boiled rice and some kind of herb risotto, all for 35 MAD – say €3.50 (Coke included). Service a bit grumpy, but I put that down to the language issue (his French, not mine). Food excellent and place clearly popular with locals. No alcohol. Locals manage to have lots of fun without it… I think...

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  • excellent

    The name translates as “chicken palace” so I just had to give it a try. It’s in the new town. Had a quarter roast chicken with French fries, boiled rice and some kind of herb risotto, all for 28 MAD – say €2.60 (Coke included). Ate sitting outside on pavement (under cover) – yes, on 26 December. Service slick, food excellent and place clearly...

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  • Bad & unfriendly service and poor food

    We were with threee people just wanting to have a pizza, in a quility we know. My Mum wanted some pasta, but... 1. The young man serving was not unfriendly, but he treated us not like being welcome. 2. When we placed order it took a while then he explained that the past my Mum wanted was not availeble. From the 6 pasta on the menue only two were...

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  • Wonderful Camel Tagine

    We just loved the quite atmosphere in the riad. It was great to be up on the roofs and watch the busy city below. After the scorching hot temperatures it was great to cool off in the evening. We had the special dish, Camel Tagine. We actually saw the camel butcher during our visit of the medina. It was served with some local green vegetables that...

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  • Excellent Resturant

    This is a great place to eat moroccan food. It is on the high end, a meal will coast you 90 dh. The hotel has a nice of the ville Nouvelle. The resturant has signs to direct you to it, You'll see it every where. The decore is Authentic and local and the setting is good.

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  • Breakfast in Ville Nouvelle

    Breakfast wasn't included at Hotel Palace so we wandered around the Ville Nouvelle looking for a suitable café. We picked a small tea-room on Avenue Hassan II. Somehow they managed to get our order completely wrong. Ruth got normal tea instead of mint tea while they brought us two pain aux raisins rather than croissants. As it had taken a while for...

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Meknes Transportation

  • Meknès by Bus: C.T.M

    If you are looking for a cheap way to travel to Meknès, taking the bus is a good idea.The most comfortable are the busses by the C.T.M. ("Compagnie de Transports Marocains").The C.T.M bus station is situated east of the Ville Nouvelle, at the Avenue des Forces Royales / Avenue de Fès. From here busses leave, to all major Moroccan cities.It is...

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  • CTM bus to Nador

    CTM has 3 buses departing for Nador leaving from the CTM bus station on AVE des FAR.Journey time is 6 hours.Tickets are around 110 dirhams plus 5 dirhams for luggage.Please use prices as a rough guide only.

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  • CTM bus to Taza

    CTM has 2 buses departing for Taza leaving from the CTM bus station on AVE des FAR.Journey time is 3 hours.Tickets are around 55 dirhams plus 5 dirhams for luggage.Please use prices as a rough guide only.

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Meknes Shopping

  • barryg23's Profile Photo
    Entrance to Central Market

    by barryg23 Written Apr 29, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We bought picnic supplies at the central market in the Ville Nouvelle for our lunch on the road to Azrou. The market is smaller then the covered market in the medina but it seemed a lot cleaner and there much fewer flies around! At one shop, which sold exclusively olives, we were encouraged to try as many different types as we wanted before buying. In the end, we bought a large plastic bottle of green olives which lasted us over a week. And it only cost us 15 Dh.

    We also bought tomatoes, bread, cheese, nuts, water and fruit at the various stalls. The guys running the shops were very friendly, there was little hassle from anyone to buy, and the prices were good. On the exterior of the market, on Zamkat Omar ibn Ass, there are a couple of shops selling alcohol (easy to identify as they’ll have the suspicious looking grilled windows) and as it was unlikely we’d be in a big town again until Marrakech we decided to buy a few bottles of red wine for picnics and my birthday.

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Meknes Local Customs

  • The best mint-tea in Morocco

    In exploring local life and culture, I tried mint-tea everywhere I went in Morocco.I enjoyed it like locals do: instead of coffee or any alcoholic drink, every hour of the day.Mint tea in Meknes has a distinguished fine taste.Moroccans agreed that it is the superior water quality in Meknes that makes its tea more tasteful.

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  • Tajine

    The best in Moroccan cuisine is Tajine - a typical claw device that allows the food to cook slowly, enhancing all the flavours. In some restaurants tajine is used in front of costumers, sometimes as a stove.

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  • Meknes Hotels

    26 Hotels in Meknes

    19 Reviews and Opinions

Meknes Off The Beaten Path

  • An integrated system

    Every district in the medina has its own hamman - bathing house - and mosque. What we learned is that the water of the hamman is heated using the wood parts and sawdust of the many carpenters and wood workers. They have special holes in the floor to brush the sawdust in. This heat is also used to bake bread and make the traditional stews in the...

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  • Volubilis

    The Roman ruins at Volubilis are a popular day-trip from Meknes and many people combine a visit to the ruins with a trip to the nearby town of Moulay Idriss. Volubilis is about 32 km from Meknes and the ruins are 1km west of the N13 road to Sidi Kacem. There are frequent Grand Taxis and buses to Volubilis from Meknes. Volubilis was one of the most...

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  • Moulay Idriss

    Containing one of the most important religious sites in Morocco, Moulay Idriss was for many years off limits to non-Muslims, and, according to one guide book I read, even until a few years ago non-Muslims were not permitted to stay overnight here. That seems to have all changes nowadays as we were offered rooms and tours of the medina by lots of...

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Meknes Favorites

  • Changed Prefix Numbers in Morocco

    At the end of March 2006 the prefix numbers of some Moroccan towns have changed.For Meknès you now have to dial 035 instead of 055.You can look up the new numbers on those sites (in French): www.toutrabat.com/indicatif-maroc-villes-du-maroc-rabat-casablanca-etc.php

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  • Man sitting inside the zone of the royal...

    Man sitting inside the zone of the royal palace flogging new lamb's wool, before the spinning can start.

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Explore Deeper into Meknes
Place el Hedim
Things to Do
A poet or philosopher on every street of Medina
Things to Do
CTM bus to Er-Rachidia
Transportation
CTM bus to Oujda
Transportation
CTM bus to Tangier
Transportation
CTM bus to Marrakech
Transportation
CTM bus to Rabat
Transportation
CTM bus to Casablanca
Transportation
stations
Transportation
Place el-Hadim
Things to Do
Bab el-Mansour
Things to Do
Meknès Museum
Things to Do
Moulay Ismail mausoleum
Things to Do
Madrasat Abou Inan
Things to Do
Mausoleum of Ben Issa
Things to Do
Place Lehadem
Things to Do
Dar Aljamee museum
Things to Do
The Grand Mosque
Things to Do
The road to Heri Essoari, The Royal Palace
Things to Do
Heri Essoari
Things to Do
Christian Prison
Things to Do
Ambassedor’s Pavilion
Things to Do
Mausoleum of Mouly Ismail
Things to Do
The Medina II, Walls, Gaits and Doors
Things to Do
The Medina I, alleys and Markets
Things to Do
Place el Hadim
Things to Do
Getting around Meknes
Transportation
Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail
Things to Do
Musee Dar Jamai
Things to Do
Restaurant Marhaba
Restaurants
Ville Nouvelle
Things to Do
Views from Medersa Bou Inania
Things to Do
Great Mosque
Things to Do
Covered Market
Things to Do
Medersa Bou Inania
Things to Do
Bab el-Mansour
Things to Do
A Moment in Time: The Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail
Things to Do
Medersa Bou Inania
Things to Do
Bab Mansour El Aleuj
Things to Do
Train Stations in Meknès...Gare El Amir Abdelkader
Transportation
Map of Meknes

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