Meknes has the old Sultan's palace, dating back to the times when Meknes was Morocco's capital. The palace is often called the Versailles of Morocco, due to its large extent.
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Map of Meknes
Meknes is an inland city and approx 2 hours drive from the beaches of Rabat.
Things to Do
See the impressive Bob Mansour Gate, which was once the grand entrance into the Imperial City, the Grand Mosque and the Nejjarine Mosque.
The Dar Jamai is the former palace of the Sultan Moulay Ismail and is set in a lovely courtyard garden. The palace boasts well preserved architecture, intricate mosaics and carvings and now houses the Museum of Moroccan Arts. The tomb of Moulay Ismail is located at the Mausoleum where you can appreciate the tranquility of the courtyards and you can also visit the Ambassadors Pavillion and the huge underground prison, Habs Qara.
Out and About
The Meknes Medina is surrounded by ancient, gated city walls and packed with shops selling rugs, ironware, jewellery, clothing, traditional Moroccan leather slippers and every day items for the local community.
The Place El Hadim is the main square which has a few restaurants and a night market with a variety of street performers providing entertainment in the evenings. Browse the food market and enjoy the atmosphere which is a little less intimidating than the busier souks in Fes.
Ville Nouvelle is the modern part of the city where you can relax in pavement cafes and coffee shops, admiring the surrounding French and Art Deco architecture.
There are also a good number of restaurants mainly specialising in French and traditional Moroccan cuisine, but the town is not without a MacDonalds.
On the outskirts of Meknes, the Volubilis Roman ruins is an impressive archaeological site with extensive views over the surrounding countryside. Take a guided tour around the streets, baths and temples of this ancient Roman city; see the beautiful mosaic tiled floors, walk amid the columns and archways and enjoy the natural landscape of wild flowers, hills and olive groves.
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