Northern Atlantic Coast

Small and relatively easy to navigate, this 13th-century walled medina retains an almost medieval flavour. It's visited on a regular basis by the city's pious, who come to worship in the Grand Mosque and three important shrines, and local women for the souqs selling fresh produce, clothing, household goods, jewellery and spices.

Of the souqs, the Souq El Ghezel is of most interest to travellers. While it once focused on wool, today it's a hive of activity on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon when buyers and sellers gather to haggle over the price of all manner of items at auctions organised by women. Other marketplaces include Souq El Merzouk, which sells the woven grass mosque mats for which Salé is famous.

The main entrance to the medina is Bab Bou Haja, near the Bab Lamrissa tram stop on the southwestern wall. From here, walk left (north) to the souqs and the Great Mosque, 500m further northwest along Rue Ras Ash Shajara (also known as Rue de la Grande Mosquée). Alternatively, enter at Bab Lekhmiss (aka Khmiss), between the Bab Lamrissa and Gare de Salé tram stops, and walk straight ahead to find the souqs and mosque.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Atlantic Coast attractions

1. Souq El Kebir

0.12 MILES

In the medina's main souq, hole-in-the-wall emporiums sell household goods, leather and wood. The spice souq is nearby, where you can pick up mounds of…

2. Souq El Ghezel


This large, tree-shaded square makes an interesting stop on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons when women run an auction and employ men to show off the goods…

3. Souq El Merzouk

0.23 MILES

Textiles, basketwork and jewellery are crafted and sold in this souq. Also on sale are the woven grass mats used in mosques, for which Salé is famous.

4. Medersa Abou Al Hassan

0.39 MILES

Next to the Grand Mosque's magnificent entrance gate, this medersa (school for studying the Quran) is a showcase of Merinid architecture and decorative…

5. Grand Mosqée

0.41 MILES

This medina landmark dates from the beginning of the 11th century. It's the third-largest mosque in Morocco and a striking architectural mix of the…

6. Zawiya of Sidi Abdallah Ben Hassoun

0.46 MILES

Salé's patron saint, Sidi Abdallah Ibn Hassoun, was a 16th-century Sufi cleric and teacher. He's revered by Moroccan Muslims as a patron of travellers in…

7. Le Quai Des Créateurs

0.63 MILES

Set on the banks of the Bou Regreg River, this low cubist structure hosts pop-up retail space for Moroccan designers, jewellers and artists. East along…

8. Slave Prison

0.63 MILES

Built by the dastardly Sallee Rovers pirates and recently restored, this slave prison next to the Muslim cemetery hadn't officially opened during our most…