As one of the four imperial cities of Morocco and one of the biggest urban areas of Morocco, Meknes is a place you don’t want to miss. There are many reasons to visit Meknes city, most notably its vibrant lifestyle. But that’s not all.
Meknes is an underrated Moroccan city. Visitors only travel through it without stopping. Those unlucky visitors miss a lot. For that reason, we are here listing the reasons to visit Meknes city.
We will explore all the aspects that make Meknes worth your time and attention.
Admire Meknes for its walls and gates
Moving around Meknes city, one of the most things that will capture your attention is the old walls and gates. The walls that tie the city together were built during the period of Sultan Moulay Ismail who made Meknes his Imperial City.
The most attractive of these monuments is the Bab el-Mansour Gate. A huge gate, which is decorated with Moroccan mosaic and carved wood. It’s a magnificent gate like nothing else you’ve ever seen. And it’s at the central square of Meknes, Lehdim Square, which brings us to the next part.
Spend some times in the wonderland that is Lehdim Square
Just like Djamaa El-Fna of Marrakech, Lehdim Square is your typical Moroccan wonderland where you can explore the core of Moroccan culture. Ancient buildings, markets, restaurants, Riads, and old neighbors are all surrounding this central square. The square is a place where there are snake charmers, musicians, shamans, acrobats, Henna tattoos, food stalls, bakeries, and lots and lots of Moroccans and tourists.
Visiting Lehdim Square is a journey of the senses. Everything that surrounds you there is stimulating and attractive. No wonder why most of the tourists stop there first. After exploring Lehdim Square, visitors can just go to a nearby Riad to relax a little bit.
Stay in a Riad in the Medina of Meknes.
Riads in Meknes are perhaps more authentic than many other places in Morocco because they’re not over-modernized. You should definitely stay at a Riad in Meknes, to explore the cool internal structure of these Moroccan houses that invokes a sense of security and peace.
Drink mint tea in the internal balcony of a riad and listen to the peaceful sound of water that comes from the internal fountain. After that, you can stay in a room and try some Moroccan food.
Explore the local and international cuisine in Meknes
You’re in Meknes now, so you have to try the Moroccan Tagine and barbecue. Meknes offers a huge range of fancy and affordable restaurants that offer traditional food. If you’re a foodie, Meknes will keep your mouth entertained all the time. In the evening, you can try Zaazaa avocado smoothie, with nuts, chocolate, and fruit. One big cup will keep you full for the whole evening.
You can also drop by the international restaurants that are all over Meknes that will offer you everything from American burgers to Japanese sushi. At night, you can try something easy-to-digest that you can drink with wine in a local bar.
Hop from Bar to Bar in Meknes
Night-time in Meknes is very vibrant. The local bars in the sector of Hamria are truly something you don’t want to miss. There you can meet the Moroccan youth and party with them. You will find that the nightlife culture in Meknes is very similar to the West.
Some amazing hotels and bars like Zaki, Hotel Rif, and Le Pub are offering amazing services, music, and entertainment.
Take a historical journey across the Imperial complex and the Medina of Meknes
The imperial complex of Meknes is a huge testimony of the greatness of the Moroccan kingdom during the 17th century. The huge complex houses a big horse stable that belonged to the army of Sultan Moulay Ismail. There’s also his Palace, his decorated mausoleum, a gigantic pool that looks fascinating at night, and a scary underground prison where the Sultan used to keep his unlucky prisoners.
The medina of Meknes is another vibrant and busy place in Meknes. The locals call the central market of the medina Qoubba D’Souk. It’s a covered market where you can buy all the souvenirs you need from the artisans and bazaars. Also, you should visit the Madrassa Bouanania, which is a great example of the fine and intricate Moroccan decoration and architecture. Madrassa Bouanania was historically a school that teaches Sufism and Islamic studies.
Explore the Roman ruins of Volubilis near Meknes
A few miles away from Meknes, you can stumble upon the UNESCO world heritage site Volubilis, which is a ruined Roman city. Indeed most of it is ruins, but Volubilis has truly stood the test of time. Take a day trip to Volubilis to explore the remains of the old Great Roman Empire, which used to control the Mediterranean. The fascinating remains of the old Roman architecture and mosaic will take you back two thousand years ago.
Visiting Volubilis is also a great opportunity to enjoy some quietness and peace. Surrounded by green fields and hills, the area around Volubulis is worthy of photography, especially when you add the ruins to the background.
Shopping in Meknes
Meknes is a budget-friendly city that will not take more than the needed from your pocket. If you want to shop for Moroccan traditional stuff, or even other things, Meknes is a great stop. The boutiques, Bazaars, and shops are less greedy in Meknes, compared to Fez and Marrakech.
And of course, always keep in mind that bargaining is something necessary in Morocco. If you don’t haggle, you will spend more money than necessary for no reason.
This is the end of our top things to do in Meknes. We hope that your trip to this wonderful city will be satisfying.
If you want to make sure that you include Meknes in your visit to Morocco and fully explore the city, you can contact us and we can arrange all of that for you. There are many reasons to visit Meknes other than the ones we listed. You will explore all of that on your own when you visit.
Please, leave us a comment in the section below. We are happy to answer your questions about Meknes.