About Our Trip
During our 4 nights stay in Meknès we’ll be living at the Hotel Regina.
The budget hotel has shared showers and toilets and it is advised that you bring your own bed sheets. A pure Moroccan style accommodation that has to be lived.
In Meknès, one of the most interesting stops during our journey, we’ll be visiting the Imperial City and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. Next to the Agdal Basin we are going to view the impressive subterranean Heri es-Souani stables which once housed over 12000 horses.
Also we’ll have a walk through the souqs in which you won’t get hassled too much because the population of Meknès isn’t as tourist obsessed as most of Morocco. Like this you’ll experience a normal visit to a market the way a Moroccan would experience it. As a visitor this experience is getting rare around this country.
After walking through the medina and a visit to the Dar Jamai Museum, museum of Beaux Arts, we’ll have a meal at the very welcoming Restaurant Oumnia. Here you’ll get the occasion to talk to the restaurants staff and owners who are very happy to tell you about their country and costumes from their sincere point of view.
Meknès, the imperial city built by Moulay Ismaïl. With tireless effort and unrelenting will, he undertook the task of making this town into a capital worthy of his image. Palaces, mosques, fountains, terraces, gardens, stables and shops were built without any respite over a period of 50 years to fill the gigantic space contained within the mighty Ramparts. This was Moulay Ismaïl's unfinished vision - and ever since, Meknès has never ceased to make others dream.
For centuries the city was strictly out of bound for non-Muslims, which today makes it one of the most traditional and untouched cities in Morocco.
Its monumental gates, opening in the mighty walls, give access to the wonders of Meknès. Bab Al-Mansour, the most remarkable door of the city and the main and finest gate in Morocco, leads to the immense Mechouar where stands the mausoleum of Moulay Ismaïl. Near the king’s tomb that is bedded next to his two sons, you will see two pendulums presented by Louis XIV, King of France. Moulay Ismaïl received this gift when the French king refused to grant him his daughter's hand in marriage.
Its monuments and the sumptuous glory of its palaces will not be forgotten. The Jamaï palace for example, former residence of a vizier, now houses the Museum of Moroccan Arts with its rich collections of porcelain, embroidery, carpets, wood carvings and jewellery.
An amazing colour and variety of everyday life can be observed everywhere you go. On the left of El-Hedim square, behind the arcades of potters, you can find one of the most beautiful and the liveliest covered markets in Morocco. There are many varieties of spices, olives vegetables, pastries and other Moroccan treasures. You better arm yourself with a bouquet of mint in order to face the alley of hens and the sheep.
This market is a must for every visitor and the spectacle is worth it.