Shopping In Mekens - Meknes - Holiday Travel

Shopping In Mekens

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Meknes isn't a shopper's paradise, but it's certainly cheaper than nearby Fez! The medina is chock full of traditional Moroccan clothing and rugs, as well as the popular Moroccan shoe, bilgha.. it's also known for it's iron made articles; the local artisanal speciality. The best way to enter the medina is at the back of Place Hedim, next to Dar Jamai. Herein you can find many shops catering to tourists. If you sojourn a bit deeper into the medina, you'll find plenty of unique shops selling jewelry, household goods, and other treasures.Be sure to bargain! Don't accept the shopkeeper's first offer - not only does it ruin it for tourists who come after you, but it also goes against Moroccan custom. The easiest way to bargain, particularly without knowledge of French or Arabic, is to offer exactly half of the given price (or 75% for expensive or large-scale items). From there, the shopkeeper will go down a bit; you are expected to raise your price slowly until you come to an agreement.If you can't agree on a price, try walking out of the store - this will generally lower the price significantly. And try not to be too stingy - the value of an item is your appreciation of it, not its ticket price.

 

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By Air:-  The main point of arrival and departure is Menara airport (024 447865), a 6km ride southwest of the Medina and Guéliz. Petits taxis (local taxis) cost around Dh60 by day or Dh80 at night, or an airport transfer arranged through your riad (guesthouse) or hotel will be Dh150 to Dh200. Airport transfers to/from the Palmeraie cost Dh150 to Dh250.If this is your first time at the hotel or riad in the Medina, arrange an airport transfer to deliver you to your destination so you don’t get lost. Go with the airport-transfer option to the Palmeraie, as many taxi drivers are unfamiliar with Palmeraie roads. Hotels in Guéliz are easy to access by petit taxi.
Airport Information:

  • Flight Information (024 447865)
  • Information desk (8am-6pm)
  • Royal Air Maroc (024 436205; www.royalairmaroc.com; 197 Ave Mohammed V, Guéliz; 8.30am-12.30pm & 2.30-7pm)
  • Low-cost airlines are a benefit to travellers, but a burden on the environment and Marrakesh’s air quality; to travel with a cleaner conscience, consider a carbon-offset program and a donation to a local nonprofit.

 

By train:  There are two train stations, the smaller train station called El-Emir Abdelkader is more centrally located in the new town (ville nouvelle), while the other is a bit further east. Meknes is connected by train to most major cities like Marrakech (6½h, 174 Dh), Tangier (3½–4½h, 85 Dh), Rabat (2¼h, 65Dh), Casablanca (3h 1/4), Fes (40min, 20dhs) or Oujda (6h, 130 Dh). Specific times and prices can be found on the website of the Moroccan National Office for Railways .

By Road:  The main bus station (Gare Routière) is west of the medina, colocated with the main grand taxi station, while CTM has its own, brand new station, near Meknes train station (east of the new town). For trips to Marrakesh be advised, that while seemingly shorter on the map, the mountain route via Beni Millal takes at least 2 hours more than on the highway via Rabat and Casa, going there by train is the most comfortable option, although buses might be slightly quicker.

 

Places to,m visit in Meknes:

Bab Mansour: Bab means "gate" or "door" in Arabic, and Bab Mansour is the largest and most striking of Meknes' many gates (27 gates). It's directly across from Place Hedim, the medina's main square.
Place Hedim: Recently redone with new brickwork, this square once rivaled Djemaa el Fna in Marrakech but is now significantly less exciting (though there are a few nice cafes and snack spots in which to people-watch).
Heri es-Souani: You can catch a glimpse of the grandeur of Moulay Ismail at these granaries, and sit beside the enormous Agdal Basin.
Meknes Royal Golf Course: This place is absolutely marvellous. The gardens are beautifully kept and it is entirely surrounded by palace walls. They have opened it to the public since September 2007 so now it's possible to slip in to have a peek. There is also a public cafe on the grounds. It's possible to eat on the terrace overlooking the course but you need to book in advance.
Medersa Bou Inania: A beautiful Qur'anic school.
Dar Jamai: Now a museum (Musèe Dar Jamai in French), this old palace is located at the back of Place Hedim. It now houses the Museum of Moroccan Arts, which is currently exhibiting artifacts, jewels, and old copies of the Qur'an. Dar Jamai is a gorgeous museum with exqusite gardens on the outside. Lovely museum! A must visit place for
Habs Qara: A huge underground prison where Moulay Ismail allegedly kept prisoners.
Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail : Although non-Muslims are not permitted to enter, they can view the tombs, which hold the body of Moulay Ismail and other relatives, from the entrance.
Al masjid AlAdam: Meknes' largest and oldest standing mosque (note: Non-Muslims are not permitted entry).
Medina of Meknes Mosque: A mosque that is built near a Qur'an school, which was built in 1350.

ville Nouvelle:
There are dozens of restaurants and snack bars lining the main road, Rue Antsirape offering the staples of harira, tagine, cous cous and of course rotisserie chicken. A few restaurants on Rue Ghana, just off Rue Antsirabi, are popular with travellers and offer Dh 40 set menus.

Le Pub, Avenue Allal Ben Abdellah. Open daily until midnight. Excellent, if slightly experimental, takes on French cuisine. Reliable pizza and alcohol license. 50dh-120dh.
Athenos, Avenue Mohammed V. Open for lunch only. Delicious Moroccan staples, such as tajine, as well as fabulous desserts. 25dh-70dh.
Mo Di Niro, Rue Antsirabé. Open daily until midnight. Popular with Meknassi teenagers, this restaurant serves good American-style burgers, pizza and pasta dishes. 20-100dh.
La Fine Bouche, Avenue Allal Ben Abdellah. Open daily until 10:00. Translating as "The good mouth," this hole-in-the-wall serves up delicious chawarma and other specialties. 15-50dh.
Ibis Hotel. Open daily until midnight. This chain hotel has a decent French-inspired menu, but the real draw is that they serve alcohol. 50-150dh.
Label' Gallery. Restaurants vary; some open past midnight. The closest thing Meknes has to a shopping mall, this food court is the only place to find international cuisine, with Mexican, American, Thai, and Lebanese all on the menu. Prices vary greatly.
Restaurant Marhaba: the most popular Meknassi restaurant, offers local menu of Ma'aqouda and Harira.

Medina:

Meknes market
Les Colliers de Colombe, 67 Rue Driba (Follow the signs; it's located behind Place Lalla Aouda near the medina). Open daily. Delicious Moroccan staples, including the must-try pastilla. Prices vary (Most dishes are over 100dh).The market near the main place in the medina (at the Bab El-Mansur) has incredible fresh products. Lots of different kinds of olives, sweets, pickles, etc.

Meknes isn't a shopper's paradise, but it's certainly cheaper than nearby Fez! The medina is chock full of traditional Moroccan clothing and rugs, as well as the popular Moroccan shoe, bilgha.. it's also known for it's iron made articles; the local artisanal speciality. The best way to enter the medina is at the back of Place Hedim, next to Dar Jamai. Herein you can find many shops catering to tourists. If you sojourn a bit deeper into the medina, you'll find plenty of unique shops selling jewelry, household goods, and other treasures.Be sure to bargain! Don't accept the shopkeeper's first offer - not only does it ruin it for tourists who come after you, but it also goes against Moroccan custom. The easiest way to bargain, particularly without knowledge of French or Arabic, is to offer exactly half of the given price (or 75% for expensive or large-scale items). From there, the shopkeeper will go down a bit; you are expected to raise your price slowly until you come to an agreement.If you can't agree on a price, try walking out of the store - this will generally lower the price significantly. And try not to be too stingy - the value of an item is your appreciation of it, not its ticket price.

 

Riad Anne de Meknes
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