Top ChoiceGate in Meknes

Bab El Mansour

Bab El Mansour

The focus of Place El Hedim is this huge gate, perhaps the grandest of all imperial Moroccan gateways. The gate is well preserved, if a bit dulled by soot, with intricate mosaic tilework and inscriptions across...

Museum in Meknes

Dar Jamaï Museum

On the north side of Place El Hedim, this museum was under renovation at last visit, with a possible reopening in 2020. Built in 1882 by the powerful Jamaï family, two of whom were viziers to Sultan Moulay Al...

Islamic Site in Meknes

Medersa Bou Inania

Medersa Bou Inania

Opposite the Grande Mosquée, this religious school, completed in 1358, is typical of the exquisite Merinid interior design. Although it is not as lavish as its counterpart of the same name in Fez, it does display...

Square in Meknes

Place El Hedim

Place El Hedim

Cleared by Moulay Ismail so his populace could better admire Bab El Mansour, this square is the social heart of the medina, and it really livens up at night. Families come out to stroll, snack at the cafes, play...

Mausoleum in Meknes

Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail

Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail

Closed since 2016 for a massive renovation, the final resting place of the sultan who made Meknes his capital in the 17th century is ordinarily a must-see for anyone travelling through town. Before the closure,...

Palace in Meknes

Palais Al Mansour

Moulay Ismail's summer palace, built in the countryside in the 17th century, now sits in the middle of the urban fabric of Meknes – there's even a neighborhood playground out front. It has undergone a massive...

Ruins in Meknes

Heri Es Souani

Heri Es Souani

Moulay Ismail considered this early-18th-century complex one of his finest architectural projects, and on paper it's a marvel. The massive, thick-walled, barrel-vaulted granaries (tribes paid taxes in grain) were...

Monument in Meknes

Koubbat As Sufara

Moulay Ismail's reception hall for foreign ambassadors is a lovely show of zellige (patterned tile) work. It's here that Unesco officially inscribed Meknes in the World Heritage Site registry in 1996. In front of...

Lake in Meknes

Agdal Basin

Adjacent to the Heri Es Souani lies an enormous stone-lined lake, the Agdal Basin, built in the 18th century as both a reservoir for Moulay Ismail's gardens and a pleasure lake. Originally it was surrounded by...

Square in Meknes

Place Lalla Aouda

South of Bab El Mansour lies this public garden and car park that's a popular place with local families in the evening – less raucous than Place El Hedim, and with more places to sit. In the past it was the...

Museum in Meknes

Musée de Meknès

Housed in the peeling old tribunal building in the imperial city walls, this small museum is long overdue for a refresh, but while the larger Dar Jamaï museum is closed, it's the only real option for seeing...

Gardens in Meknes

Lahboul Gardens

These gardens just outside the medina were being renovated on the last visit. When finished, they should be a tranquil place to stroll after a busy sightseeing day. The northern section of the gardens is...

Mausoleum in Meknes

Mausoleum of Sidi Ben Aïssa

Known as Cheikh El Kamel for his perfection in learning, Sidi Ben Aïssa (1465–1526) inspired the Aïssawa Sufi brotherhood, widely followed in North Africa. Once notorious for self-mutilation, adherents are now...