Tips and Inspiration for your European holiday

Morocco’s famous medinas (walled cities) date back to 11th century but continue to create lots of modern day interest for their mix of history, sights, intrigue and shopping. For those heading to Morocco without the time to visit them all, here’s a quick guide to the distinctive features of the top four medinas so that you can choose the medina that suits you best.

 
Fez medina, MoroccoImage © Mik Man / Adobe Stock Photo

 

Town

Size

Hassle factor

Terrain

Traffic

Prices

Escapes

Essaouira Small – intimate, the locals all know each other Get approached a lot but it’s very friendly Flat, easy access Mostly pedestrian, bicycles and people-powered carts Food and accommodation cheaper than others but not necessarily shopping The beach is right on your door step when you need a break.
Marrakesh Large, great chance to really get lost Many offers to guide you through the medina. Shop keepers are a bit more intense Mostly flat Seems like it’s mostly motorcycles so the noise of the motorcycles and them beeping their horns, plus the exhaust fumes can get a bit much A bit more pricey than other medinas Jardin Marojelle or one of the many other gardens in this city. Or to your riad in the medina
Meknez Medium sized Less than the two above Sloped, so some walking up hill and steps Mostly pedestrian. May experience a human traffic jam Great variety of food and accommodation options To the El Haboul Garden or the new city (Novelle City)
Fez Large Less than Marrakech Sloped, which means no motorbikes All pedestrian, some mules and even camels ferrying goods Some real bargains to be had for items made locally. Enjoy bartering. A terrace (roof top) cafe, restaurant or once again the local gardens

 

Things to enjoy

Whichever medina you choose remember to enjoy the genuine welcome from the locals. Yes, the shop keepers may want you to buy from them but if you don’t they will shout after you good wishes for the day and there are no hard feelings. You will be welcomed by people in the street and be hard pressed to find more friendly faces.


You might also like my article on Marrakesh >>


This post was contribued by Birgit Schonafinger