Fun Things to Do in Meknes | Travel Guide (2024) | Best Places to Visit
Welcome to Meknes, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of North Africa. Known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture, Meknes offers a unique travel experience that is often overlooked by tourists. As one of the four imperial cities of Morocco, Meknes boasts a fascinating blend of Arab, Berber, and French influences, creating a captivating atmosphere that is sure to enchant any traveler. From exploring the ancient medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to marveling at the grandeur of the Bab Mansour gate, there is no shortage of awe-inspiring sights to discover in this captivating city. So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the captivating streets of Meknes.
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Things To Do In Meknes
Meknes is a vibrant city with a rich history and plenty of attractions to explore. Here are some things to do in Meknes:
1. Visit the Medina: The Medina of Meknes is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see attraction. Explore the narrow streets, bustling markets, and historic buildings. Don't miss the Bab Mansour gate, which is a stunning example of Moroccan architecture.
2. Discover the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail: This impressive mausoleum is the final resting place of Sultan Moulay Ismail, who ruled Morocco in the 17th century. Admire the intricate tile work and beautiful decorations inside the mausoleum.
3. Explore the Royal Stables: The Royal Stables of Meknes are a fascinating sight to behold. Marvel at the grandeur of the stables, which once housed thousands of horses. Learn about the history of the stables and the importance of horses in Moroccan culture.
4. Visit the Heri es-Souani: This massive granary and irrigation system was built during the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismail. Walk through the underground chambers and imagine the bustling activity that once took place here.
5. Take a trip to Volubilis: Just outside of Meknes lies the ancient Roman city of Volubilis. Explore the well-preserved ruins, including the impressive Triumphal Arch and the House of Orpheus. Learn about the history of the city and its significance in the Roman Empire.
6. Enjoy the Bou Inania Madrasa: This beautiful Islamic school is a masterpiece of Moroccan architecture. Admire the intricate tile work, carved wood, and stunning courtyard. Take a moment to relax and soak in the peaceful atmosphere.
7. Visit the Dar Jamai Museum: This museum is housed in a beautiful 19th-century palace and showcases a collection of Moroccan art and artifacts. Browse the exhibits and learn about the country's rich cultural heritage.
8. Experience the Meknes International Festival: If you happen to visit during the festival season, attend the Meknes International Festival.
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Best Time To Visit Meknes
The best time to visit Meknes is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) seasons. During these months, the weather is mild and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). This makes it ideal for exploring the city's historical sites and outdoor attractions. Additionally, these seasons are less crowded compared to the summer months, allowing visitors to enjoy a more relaxed and authentic experience. However, it is important to note that Meknes can experience hot summers with temperatures reaching over 35°C (95°F), so it is best to avoid visiting during this time if you are not comfortable with high temperatures.
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Best Hotels To Stay In Meknes
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Best Areas To Stay In Meknes
Meknes offers a variety of great areas for accommodation. Here are a few options to consider:
1. Medina: The historic Medina of Meknes is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular area for tourists. Staying in the Medina allows you to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant culture. You'll find traditional riads (guesthouses) with beautiful courtyards and intricate architecture. The Medina is also conveniently located near many attractions, such as the Bab Mansour gate and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail.
2. Ville Nouvelle: If you prefer a more modern and cosmopolitan atmosphere, Ville Nouvelle is the place to be. This area offers a range of hotels, guesthouses, and apartments, catering to different budgets. Ville Nouvelle is known for its wide boulevards, trendy cafes, and upscale shopping centers. It's a great choice for those seeking a lively and convenient location, with easy access to amenities and transportation.
3. Hamria: Hamria is a residential neighborhood located close to the city center. It's a quieter area compared to the Medina or Ville Nouvelle, making it ideal for those seeking a more peaceful stay. Hamria offers a mix of hotels and apartments, often at more affordable prices. You'll find local markets, small shops, and cozy cafes within walking distance. It's a great option for travelers who want to experience local life while still being close to the main attractions.
4. Moulay Idriss: For a unique and tranquil experience, consider staying in the nearby town of Moulay Idriss. Located just a short drive from Meknes, this holy town is known for its spiritual significance and breathtaking views. Accommodation options in Moulay Idriss range from traditional guesthouses to boutique hotels, all offering a peaceful retreat away from the bustling city. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis, located nearby.
Overall, Meknes offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you choose to stay in the historic Medina, the modern Ville Nouvelle, the residential Hamria, or the tranquil Moulay Idriss, you're sure to have a memorable stay in this enchanting Moroccan city.
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Transportation To Meknes
There are several transportation options to get to Meknes:
1. By Air: The nearest airport to Meknes is Fes-Saiss Airport (FEZ), which is approximately 60 kilometers away. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a private transfer to Meknes.
2. By Train: Meknes has a well-connected train station, and you can take a train from various cities in Morocco, including Casablanca, Rabat, and Fes. The train journey is comfortable and offers scenic views of the countryside.
3. By Bus: There are regular bus services from major cities in Morocco to Meknes. You can check the schedules and book tickets from the respective bus companies' websites or at the bus stations.
4. By Car: If you prefer driving, you can rent a car and drive to Meknes. The city is well-connected by highways, and the drive from major cities like Casablanca or Fes takes around 2-3 hours.
5. By Shared Taxi: Shared taxis, known as "grand taxis" in Morocco, are a common mode of transportation between cities. You can find shared taxis at designated taxi stands or ask locals for assistance.
It is recommended to check the schedules and availability of transportation options before your trip to ensure a smooth journey to Meknes.
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Nearby Destinantion From Meknes
1. Fez: Known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and vibrant souks.
2. Rabat: The capital city of Morocco, famous for its historic landmarks and beautiful beaches.
3. Casablanca: A bustling metropolis with a mix of modern and traditional attractions, including the iconic Hassan II Mosque.
4. Tangier: A coastal city known for its unique blend of European and Moroccan influences.
5. Chefchaouen: Renowned for its blue-painted streets and buildings, creating a picturesque and tranquil atmosphere.
6. Volubilis: Home to ancient Roman ruins, including well-preserved mosaics and grand arches.
7. Moulay Idriss: A sacred town with a rich history, considered the holiest city in Morocco.
8. Ifrane: A charming mountain town known as "Little Switzerland" for its alpine architecture and ski resorts.
9. Azrou: Surrounded by cedar forests, this town is famous for its friendly Barbary macaque monkeys.
10. Moulay Yacoub: A popular thermal spa town, offering relaxation and healing properties in its natural hot springs.