After struggling a little bit through Fez, the thought of pushing my way through yet another medina wasn’t exactly the most appealing thing to me. But still, I felt the need to make a stop in Meknes. It is meant to be less touristy, and a much more real experience and it is. Unlike Fez you won’t find yourself struggling to avoid guides, touts, and beggars nearly as often, if at all. Moreover, the lack of tourism isn’t the result of a lesser city. For me, Meknes was equally as impressive as Fez and as a result of a more subdued environment, perhaps more worthy of a visit.
Time Needed: 1-2 Days
Backpacker’s Budget: 30 USD a Day
Things to Do in Meknes
- The Medina: You’re not going to find the cheesy souvenirs, nor will you find shops set up for tourists in general, however, you will find a much more “real” medina geared towards the local consumer.
- Place el-Hadim: This the plaza just outside the gates to the medina, perhaps the most photogenic place in the city.
- Grande Mosque: The grande mosque is stunning, on the outside and as a non-Muslim I can only imagine it is beautiful inside as well. Although you’re not allowed to enter as a non-Muslim, you can climb up the Medersa Bou Inania next door for a nice view from above.
- Okchen Market: The market is really busy on Sundays, but is worth a visit any day of the week.
Where to Eat in Meknes
Just down the street from Hotel Maroc there are a number of good places to grab grub including a very good ventilated pizza place. As is the case with much of Morocco, you won’t be starved for options in Meknes.
- Restaurant Riad: This is probably the most highly recommended place in town to get Moroccan fare. And if you ask they might even let you use their wifi.
- Sweet Sultana: Another good value option for Moroccan, I got a fantasic chicken tajine and drink for 80dirhams.
Where to Stay in Meknes
I made the right decision, I think, in town and chose to stay at a place called Hotel Maroc. It’s close to all the action and, although it doesn’t advertise it, it has free wifi (although it’s slow). If you are hoping to camp there is place called Camping International d’Agdal that offers cheap tent sites basically right in town.
Getting Out of Town
Being on the main route between Fez and Rabat, Meknes is well connected to the rest of Morocco. You can easily jump to basically anywhere in the country in a day from town via the train. If you don’t have time for a night here, it is also quite possible to visit on a day trip from either Rabat or Fez as well.
Back to the Morocco travel guides