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Top 5 Things To Do In Meknes

Meknes, located in northern Morocco, is a fascinating city with a rich history and cultural heritage. Known as the "Versailles of Morocco," Meknes offers a unique blend of architectural wonders, vibrant markets, and historical sites. From magnificent palaces to ancient medinas, there is much to discover in this captivating city.

5 Best Things To Do In Meknes

Here are some top things to do in Meknes:

1. Historic Monuments:

Bab Mansour: Begin your exploration of Meknes at Bab Mansour, one of the city's most iconic landmarks. This monumental gate, adorned with intricate tilework and decorative motifs, serves as the entrance to the historic medina. Admire its grandeur and learn about its fascinating history.

Meknes Medina: Step into the ancient heart of Meknes by exploring its medina. Wander through narrow alleyways, discover traditional artisan workshops, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. The Medina of Meknes is a UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its authenticity and architectural splendors.

Moulay Ismail Mausoleum: Pay a visit to the Moulay Ismail Mausoleum, the final resting place of Sultan Moulay Ismail, one of Morocco's most prominent rulers. Admire the beautiful architecture and intricate decorations of this sacred site.

Things To Do In Meknes

2. Architectural Marvels:

Dar Jamai Museum: Explore the Dar Jamai Museum, housed in a beautiful 19th-century palace. This museum showcases a diverse collection of Moroccan art, including traditional crafts, jewelry, and textiles. Immerse yourself in the country's artistic heritage and gain insights into local craftsmanship.

Hri Souani: Visit Hri Souani, a complex of granaries and stables built during the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismail. Marvel at the massive stone structures and the innovative architecture designed to preserve food supplies for the city.

Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail: Discover the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, an impressive complex that includes the sultan's tomb, a mosque, and a peaceful courtyard. Admire the intricate tilework and decorative elements that adorn this significant religious site.

3. Cultural Experiences

Meknes Medina Souks: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Meknes' souks, where you can find a variety of traditional goods, including textiles, spices, ceramics, and handicrafts. Explore the bustling marketplaces, practice your bargaining skills, and purchase unique souvenirs.

Place el-Hedim: Relax and soak up the local ambiance at Place el-Hedim, the main square of Meknes. Enjoy a cup of Moroccan tea at one of the cafes, observe the daily life of the locals, and witness street performances and traditional entertainment.

Place el-Hedim

4. Day Trips

Volubilis: Take a day trip from Meknes to the nearby ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis. Explore the well-preserved archaeological site, wander through the ancient streets, and marvel at the impressive mosaics. Volubilis offers a glimpse into Morocco's Roman past and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Moulay Idriss: Visit the nearby town of Moulay Idriss, considered one of the holiest sites in Morocco. Explore the picturesque streets, visit the mausoleum of Moulay Idriss I, and take in panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Things To Do In Meknes

5. Local Cuisine

Try Local Delicacies: Indulge in the flavors of Moroccan cuisine by sampling local delicacies in Meknes. Try the traditional lamb tagine, couscous, pastilla (a savory pie), and Moroccan sweets like chebakia and sellou. Don't forget to accompany your meal with a refreshing glass of mint tea.

Meknes offers a wealth of cultural, historical, and culinary experiences. Immerse yourself in its rich heritage, explore its architectural wonders, and savor the vibrant atmosphere of this captivating Moroccan city.

Is Volubilis worth seeing?

Yes, Volubilis is worth seeing, especially if you have an interest in ancient history and archaeology. Here are some reasons why Volubilis is worth a visit:

Well-preserved Roman Ruins: Volubilis is home to extensive and remarkably well-preserved Roman ruins, showcasing the remains of an ancient Roman city. The ruins provide a fascinating glimpse into the daily life and architecture of the Roman Empire in this region.

UNESCO World Heritage Site: Volubilis is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, recognized for its historical and cultural significance. It is one of the best-preserved Roman archaeological sites in North Africa, making it an important cultural and historical attraction.

Impressive Mosaics: One of the highlights of Volubilis is it's intricate and beautifully preserved mosaic floors. These intricate designs depict various scenes from Roman mythology, everyday life, and historical events. They are a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the artisans of that time.

Scenic Location: Volubilis is situated in a picturesque location, surrounded by rolling hills and olive groves. The panoramic views of the surrounding countryside add to the charm and ambiance of the site, making it a visually appealing destination.

Historical Significance: Volubilis has a rich history that dates back to the 3rd century BC. It was an important Roman outpost and flourished during the Roman Empire, serving as the capital of the Mauretania Tingitana province. Exploring the ruins allows you to step back in time and imagine the grandeur of the ancient city.

Visiting Volubilis provides a unique opportunity to delve into Morocco's ancient past and appreciate the legacy of the Roman Empire in the region. The combination of its historical significance, impressive ruins, and scenic location make it a compelling destination for history enthusiasts, archaeology buffs, and curious travelers alike.

How much does it cost to go to Volubilis?

The cost to visit Volubilis can vary depending on several factors such as your mode of transportation, entry fees, and the services you choose. Here are some cost considerations:

  1. Transportation: If you are traveling independently, you can take a taxi or a shared grand taxi from nearby cities like Meknes or Fez to reach Volubilis. The cost of transportation will depend on the distance and the negotiation with the driver.
  2. Entry Fees: To enter the archaeological site of Volubilis, there is an admission fee. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the entry fee for Volubilis was around 70 Moroccan Dirhams (MAD) for adults. However, please note that prices may have changed, and it's always a good idea to check the latest information before your visit.
  3. Guided Tours: If you prefer a guided tour, there are options available that include transportation, entrance fees, and the services of a knowledgeable guide. The cost of guided tours can vary depending on the duration, inclusions, and the tour operator you choose. Prices may range from approximately 200 to 500 MAD or more, depending on the specific tour package.
  4. Additional Costs: Keep in mind that there might be additional costs such as parking fees if you're driving to Volubilis or fees for optional services like hiring a local guide on-site.

It's important to note that the prices mentioned above are approximate and subject to change. It's advisable to check the most up-to-date information regarding entry fees and transportation costs before your visit. Additionally, it's worth considering the overall value and experience that a visit to Volubilis offers, as it is a unique and historically significant site well worth the investment.

How far is Volubilis from Meknès?

Volubilis is located approximately 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) north of Meknes. The distance between Meknes and Volubilis can typically be covered in a 30 to 40-minute drive, depending on traffic and road conditions.

If you're planning to visit Volubilis from Meknes, you have a few options for transportation:

Private Taxi: Hiring a private taxi is a convenient way to reach Volubilis from Meknes. You can negotiate the fare with the driver and arrange for a round trip or wait for you while you explore the site.

Shared Taxi or Grand Taxi: Shared taxis, also known as grand taxis, are a common mode of transportation in Morocco. These taxis accommodate multiple passengers heading in the same direction. You can find shared taxis at designated taxi stands in Meknes, and they will take you to the vicinity of Volubilis. From there, you can either walk or arrange for a short additional ride to the entrance of the archaeological site.

Guided Tours: Another option is to join a guided tour from Meknes that includes transportation to Volubilis. Many tour operators offer organized tours that provide transportation, entry fees, and the services of a guide.

Regardless of the transportation option you choose, it's recommended to plan your visit, consider the duration of your stay at Volubilis, and allow enough time to explore the ancient ruins and appreciate the site's historical significance.

Is Moulay Idriss worth visiting?

Yes, Moulay Idriss is worth visiting, particularly if you have an interest in Moroccan history, spirituality, and cultural heritage. Here are some reasons why Moulay Idriss is worth a visit:

  1. Historical Significance: Moulay Idriss is a small town that holds immense historical significance as the burial place of Moulay Idriss I, the founder of the Idrisid dynasty and one of Morocco's most revered saints. The town is considered a holy pilgrimage site and holds great importance in Moroccan culture and identity.
  2. Spiritual Atmosphere: Moulay Idriss has a tranquil and spiritual ambiance. As you wander through its narrow streets and alleyways, you'll find numerous small mosques, mausoleums, and religious sites that reflect the town's spiritual importance. The call to prayer echoing through the town adds to the serene atmosphere.
  3. Architectural Beauty: The town is characterized by its traditional Moroccan architecture with white-washed buildings, intricate doorways, and charming alleys. The hilly landscape provides picturesque views of the town's layout and the surrounding countryside.
  4. Local Culture and Hospitality: Moulay Idriss offers an opportunity to experience Moroccan rural life and the warm hospitality of its residents. Interact with the friendly locals, visit local shops and cafes, and immerse yourself in the authentic Moroccan culture.
  5. Panoramic Views: For breathtaking views of the town and the surrounding landscape, head to the nearby hilltop viewpoint known as the Zerhoun Overlook. From here, you can enjoy panoramic vistas of Moulay Idriss and the rolling hills of the region.

Visiting Moulay Idriss provides a unique cultural and historical experience, allowing you to delve into Morocco's spiritual traditions and witness the significance of this town in Moroccan society. It's a place where you can appreciate the country's heritage, architectural beauty, and the peaceful atmosphere that pervades the town.

Why is Volubilis famous?

Volubilis is famous for several reasons, making it a significant and highly regarded archaeological site. Here are some of the main reasons why Volubilis is renowned:

  1. Roman Ruins: Volubilis is renowned for its well-preserved Roman ruins, which offer a captivating glimpse into the Roman Empire's presence in North Africa. The ruins showcase the remains of an ancient Roman city, including grand structures, streets, and public buildings.
  2. UNESCO World Heritage Site: Volubilis is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It holds cultural and historical significance, representing an outstanding example of a Roman colonial town that thrived during the heyday of the Roman Empire.
  3. Mosaic Art: The site is renowned for its exceptional mosaic art. The intricate and beautifully preserved mosaics depict various scenes from Roman mythology, daily life, and historical events. These mosaics are considered some of the finest examples of Roman mosaic art in North Africa.
  4. Architectural Splendor: The architectural remains at Volubilis exhibit the grandeur and sophistication of Roman urban planning and design. Visitors can witness the layout of the city, explore the well-preserved houses with their courtyards and rooms, and marvel at the craftsmanship of the stone structures.
  5. Historical Significance: Volubilis was an important city during the Roman Empire and served as the capital of the Mauretania Tingitana province. It's strategic location and prosperous trade contributed to its significance in the region. The city's historical role and archaeological remains make it an important site for understanding the Roman presence in Morocco.
  6. Cultural Crossroads: Volubilis represents a cultural crossroads where Roman, Berber, and later Islamic influences converged. The site's history and ruins provide insights into the interactions and blending of different cultures and civilizations in the region.

Overall, Volubilis is famous for its remarkably preserved Roman ruins, its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site, its exceptional mosaic art, and its historical and cultural significance. It attracts visitors from around the world who are interested in ancient history, archaeology, and the legacy of the Roman Empire in Morocco.


In conclusion, Meknes is a city in Morocco that offers a captivating blend of history, architecture, and cultural experiences. From exploring its ancient medina and UNESCO World Heritage sites to marveling at its architectural wonders like Bab Mansour and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, there is much to discover. The city's museums, such as the Dar Jamai Museum, provide insights into Moroccan art and craftsmanship.