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Welcome to Meknes, one of the four historic imperial cities of Morocco! A low-profile city and less touristic than the others, Meknes attracts hundreds of visitors who search for cheap air tickets to Meknes every year, seeking a destination with different character, charm and heritage. Once the definition of a rich imperial city, modern Meknes combines the historical heritage and majesty with a modern character, making up the perfect destination for you. Despite the tremendous growth, Meknes takes pride in differentiating itself from all other touristy Moroccan destinations. While other cities are flooded with tourist waves, Meknes gazes calmly at its countless olive groves, vineyards and fields of cereal and fruit. Book your flights and accommodation in Meknes and be one of the firsts to discover this well-kept secret of Morocco!
Meknes is one of Morocco’s imperial cities, probably the “quietest” of all. Founded in the 11th century by the mighty Moulay Ismail I, Meknes is the perfect choice for you, if you wish to get in touch with the genuine character of Morocco, know its history and meet its people, away from the major touristic places elsewhere in the country.
The golden era of Meknes was brought by Moulay Ismail I who, having in mind King Lewis XIV of France, tried to make Meknes a city like Versailles. His vision, though left incomplete, contributed to the 25-kilometre-long fortification of the city and left as a heritage seven monumental gates and an imposing palace.
In Meknes you won’t find many luxurious hotels and extravagant tourist resorts or gourmet restaurants. What you will find is a wide range of historical and cultural attractions, a vibrant modern city and a charm that makes Meknes stand out from any other destination nearby.
Do not miss it for the world!
The nearest airport to Meknes is the airport of Fez (Fes–Saïss Airport), located 69 kilometres from Meknes and accessible by bus.
Getting around Meknes
You can get around Meknes by bus and taxi; fares start at 3.00 MAD and minimum taxi fare costs 7.00 MAD.
Your day in Meknes begins at the heart of the old city and the Place el Hedim square. This part of the city once formed the westernmost point of Medina, before Moulay I decided to bring it down and replace it with a passage to his royal palace.
From the historic seven gates to Medina, the most famous is the Bab el Mansour – and some believe this is the most impressive of all Moroccan gates. Built in 1735 by Moulay I’s son, it remains in an extremely well-preserved state and occasionally houses art exhibitions.
If you wish to know more on the Moroccan history and culture, you should definitely visit the Dar Jamaï Museum, one of the country’s most notable and often overlooked museums. Built in 1882 to serve as residence of the wealthy Jamaï family, it was later used as a military hospital. In 1920 it was converted to the Museum of Moroccan Art of Meknes and houses, ever since, fabulous collections of Moroccan art, ceramics, jewellery, carpets and textiles.
Continue to the next best attraction of Meknes, which is none other than the legendary Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. One of the few religious sites open to non-Muslims, the Mausoleum was built by Moulay I himself. It is situated in a quiet, peaceful location, completely contradictory to his turbulent lifestyle. Definitely a must-see in Meknes!
Your experience in Meknes could not be complete without paying a visit to Volubilis, 33 kilometres north of Meknes city centre.
Volubilis is an ancient Roman capital that was extremely powerful from 45 to 285 AD. The ruins of the city were discovered in 1915 and form a fine and very detailed example of a Roman city. UNESCO acknowledged the tremendous historical value of Volubilis and supports its continuous restoration process that is still ongoing.
The official languages of Morocco are Arabic and Berber. French is also widely spoken by the locals and English seems to become more and more popular.
To travel to Morocco, you need to have:
- a valid passport not expiring for at least 6 months after your travel dates
- a return ticket
Greek citizens are not required to have a tourist Visa, for a maximum stay of 3 months. In case you would like to stay longer, you should visit a local police station and state so, within 15 days of your arrival in Morocco.
When to Go
The best time to visit Meknes is during the months of spring and autumn, when rainfall is occasional and temperatures remain at pleasant levels, 20ºC-25ºC during daytime and 10ºC lower during the night.
The period from November to January is also appropriate weather-wise, with more or less the same weather conditions and a bit lower temperatures at night.
Summer in Meknes is extremely hot, temperatures can rise up to 40ºC, but it’s in no way prohibitive, as long as you are prepared and organised.