Meknes City Guide

 Points Covered:


  • Its History
  • Location
  • Climate
  • Local Customs
  • Local Dishes
  • Places to Visit
  • Travel Tips


Meknes in Morocco is one of the largest cities with a population of about 600,000 people. Meknes is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco not only due to the fact that it served as the capital of the Alaouite dynasty (present morocco) but also because of the significance and influence the city has on the history of the country. We shall examine the history, culture, traditions, and all other things you need to know about Meknes in this article. 



The History of Meknes in Morocco can be traced back to the 11th century when the Almoravids founded the town as a military settlement for their various military campaigns. After the city had been founded, it continued to grow in political and economic power until it was made the capital by Sultan Moulay Ismail son of the Founder of the Alaouite dynasty in the 1600s. It was Moulay Ismail that turned Meknes into the impressive city it is today. He achieved this by constructing magnificent buildings and structures among which is the famous Bab Mansour gate which was built in a unique Spanish Moorish style that is unique to the city to this very day.


Meknes in Morocco experienced a period of great economic success and development when its founder Moulay Ismail became the Sultanate of Morocco. A unique fact however about the development of this city under the reign of Ismail is that most buildings and structures that were constructed in Meknes during his reign were built by Christian slaves that he either captured in war or bought with money. About 1 million slaves were captured in about a hundred years period during the peak of Meknese's power. Even though Ismail later closed the slave markets during his reign, not for the personal benefit of those slaves, rather it was so that he could use them for his own objectives and set them to work in his beloved capital city. 


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Meknes City Guide



Meknes in Marocco is located on the highland plateau of North-central about 60km west of fez. At the southeast of Meknes are the beautiful rich cedar forests and the Atlas mountains, while to the west are the two largest metropolitan areas of Morocco: Rabat and Casablanca. To the north of Meknes lie the cities of Tangier and Tetouan. Finally, to the east are the cities of Fez and Oujda. 


Meknes City Guide



Just like the other imperial cities, Meknes in Marrocco has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mildly cold winters. This climate is similar to that of southern Portugal and Spain. The temperature in these regions shifts from a cool climate in winter to a much warmer one in the summer months. 



Meknes City Guide


Local Customs 

Meknes in Marrocco is an Islamic city, thus most of its customs and tradition are in conformity with Islamic laws and customs. Dance, music artworks, and colorful festivals form an important part of the cultural customs of this City. Islamic festivals are widely celebrated throughout the city with religious leaders orchestrating the ceremony from start to end. Other carnivals and festivals are celebrated to proudly display the customs of the city. Crafts and artwork made by talented artists are displayed and showcased during these festivals, giving tourists the opportunity to appreciate these artistic marvels. 


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Meknes City Guide


Local Dishes

If you like trying out new delicacies and dishes, then Meknes in Morocco is the perfect place for you. In this city, spicy and tasty meals are served to visitors both in restaurants and homes. The local dishes of this country are so unique and beautiful that they are found in international restaurants all over the world. Some of these delicious meals are listed below.


Although it is considered the national dish, this spicy meal made from rice, meat, vegetable, and some other spices is very popular in Meknes in Morocco. It is majorly served on religious days and events but can also be served to entertain visitors. 


Khobz is a locally made bread that is baked in local ovens are often served with hot and spicy stew. This is not something you want to miss.

Chicken Brochettes

This is a local delicacy common all over Morocco. It is made from chicken rubbed in spices and grilled over a hot open fire.


Meknes City Guide


Wonderful Places to Visit in Meknes in Morocco 

There are a lot of places of architectural and historical significance all over Meknes in Morocco. Since the city is also a religious city, people who love religious structures will also find a lot of large and beautiful mosques that were built back in the 17th century. Some of the wonderful places you can visit in this city are listed below.


This is Meknes’s most important and popular tourist attraction. It is Morocco’s most popular Roman remnant. Although a lot of important items have been transferred from this site to various museums all over Morocco, one can still enjoy the beautiful architectural designs of the buildings in this ancient roman city.


The Bad-al-Mansour is the biggest of all the gates in Meknes in Morocco. It is this gate that links the Meknes’s medina to the rest of the imperial city. The gate was built in 1732 by Sultan Moulay Ismail. The beautiful architectural design on this gate shows the lavish use of Zellige tilling and carving work that was common at the time the gate was built.

The imperial city

The imperial city of Meknes in Morocco which once served as the ancient capital has a lot of fascinating ancient structures that tourists can see and explore. It is considered one of the most important tourist centers in the whole of Morocco.


Meknes City Guide


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 Travel Tips:

As you travel to Meknes in Morocco, you must know that the ancient structures found all over the city are a great and important part of the history and culture of the city. Therefore, respect these structures and do not be careless around them.

Even though Meknes in Morocco is relatively safe and peaceful, being cautious is the way to go as you move around as a criminal might be lurking around to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists.

Finally, try as much as possible to travel with a travel agency that will help you with your accommodation, and that will also provide you with a travel guide. This will make your journey easier and relatively stress-free. 

Meknes City Guide
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