Fez driving you nuts? Nearby Meknes is a vibrant, modern city bustling with nightlife, restaurants and an impressive imperial city created in the 17th century by King Moulay Ismaïl, with numerous historical monuments and natural sites; it is also the nearest city to the Roman ruins of Volubilis (Oualili). Since it’s relatively ignored by most tourists, it’s also free of the usual hassles (touts, faux guides, etc.) that plague the other tourist centers. The prices in Meknes are among the most reasonable in Morocco and the people are much more polite and nicer than in the other cities. It is also one of the more liberal places in the country: unveiled women are much more often to be seen on the streets and female solo travelers especially enjoy Meknes as a welcome break from the permanent unwanted attention they get everywhere else.
Meknes is on the Fès-Rabat railway line and has two train stations. The smaller one called 1 Gare de Meknès-Amir Abdelkader is more centrally located in the new town (ville nouvelle), while the bigger 1 Gare Meknès-Ville is a bit further east.
Meknes is connected by train to most major cities like Marrakech (6½ hr, 174 dirham), Tangier (3½–4½ hr, 85 dirham), Rabat (2¼ hr, 69 dirham), Casablanca (3¼ hr), Fes (40 min, 20 dirham) or Oujda (6 hr, 130 dirham). Specific times and prices can be found on the website of the Moroccan National Office for Railways.
- 1 Gare Routière (Sidi Saïd) (west of the Medina). It is co-located with the main grand taxi station. Buses from the bus station that go east (e.g. Fez 13-15 dirham) or northwards (e.g. Volubilis bus 15 for 7 dirham) go north and northeast around the Medina from where you can also catch any such bus. E.g. bus 15 goes between here and Volubilis. (updated Apr 2019)
- 1 CTM Bus Station. A brand new station, near Meknes train station (east of the new town). (updated Apr 2019)
There are buses to Meknès from almost anywhere in Morocco, including Agadir (11 hr; 200-230 dirham), Casablanca (5 hr; 80-90 dirham), Chefchaouen (5½ hrs; 60-80 dirham), Erfoud (10 hr, 100-110 dirham), Fez (1 hr; 13-15 dirham), Marrakech (9 hr; 140-160 dirham), Rabat (3½ hr; 50-60 dirham) and Tangier (6 hr, 80-90 dirham).