In this blog post, we will outline the top things to do and see in Rabat, Morocco. From historical attractions to good food and vibrant culture. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure!
Rabat is the capital city of Morocco. Now you may think, “What’s so special about a capital city?” But trust us, Rabat is definitely worth a visit! It is full of history and culture.
Unlike Casablanca, which is a hectic busy city, Rabat is more relaxed. Whenever I get tired of the fast pace life in Casablanca, I always book a train ticket to Rabat to recharge.
So, let’s discover Rabat together!
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Top things to do & see in Rabat, Morocco
The first stop on our list is the Hassan Tower. The Hassan Tower is a minaret of an incomplete mosque. It was built in 1190 but construction stopped due to the death of Sultan Yacoub el-Mansour.
Even though the mosque was never completed, the Hassan Tower is still an amazing sight to see. It is one of the symbols of Rabat.
The best time to visit the Hassan Tower is in the morning or evening. That’s when the light hits the tower and it looks even more beautiful.
The Mausoleum of Mohammed V
Just a few steps away from the Hassan Tower, you will find the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. This mausoleum is the final resting place of Morocco’s king Mohammed V. He was a very popular king and is known for leading Morocco to independence.
The Mausoleum of Mohammed V is a beautiful building. It is made out of marble and has a large green square in front of it. The square is a popular gathering place for locals. You will often see people picnicking or playing games there.
The Oudaya Kasbah
The Oudaya Kasbah is a fortified city that was built in the 12th century. It used to be the home of Moroccan royalty. Now it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Oudaya Kasbah is a great place to explore. There are narrow streets, beautiful buildings, and a lot of history.
Make sure to visit the Oudaya Museum when you are there. The museum is located in a 17th century palace. It has a collection of Moroccan art and history.
Chellah is a Rabat’s 14th century ruined city. It was the first capital of the Merinid dynasty. Chellah is a great place to learn about Moroccan history.
There are many things to see in Chellah. The Necropolis is a 14th century Muslim cemetery. The Royal Chapel is the only remaining building from the Merinid palace. And don’t forget to see the Roman ruins!
The best time to visit Chellah is in the spring. That’s when the flowers are in bloom and the weather is perfect.
Rabat old Medina
Like many Moroccan cities, Rabat has an old Medina. The Medina is the historic city center. It is full of narrow streets, shops, and restaurants. Place des Alaouites is the main square in the Medina. And be on the lookout for the Bab El Bhar gate!
The best time to visit the Medina is during the day. That’s when all the shops are open and you can explore at your own pace. Be sure to try the local food when you are there. You can find anything from street food to fine dining in the Medina.
The Rabat Zoo is a great place to visit if you are traveling with kids. It is one of the oldest zoos in Africa. The zoo has over 1000 animals.
Some of the popular animals at the zoo are the lions, tigers, and elephants. The zoo also has a botanical garden. The garden has over 1000 species of plants.
Rabat Royal Palace
The Royal Palace in Rabat is the official residence of the King of Morocco and his family. Unfortunately, the palace is not open to the public. But you can still admire the exterior of the palace.
The architecture of the palace is amazing. It is a mix of Moroccan and European style. The palace is surrounded by gardens and fountains.
The Andalusian Gardens
Located at the entrance of Kasbah des Oudaias, the Andalusian Gardens are one of the best things to see in Rabat. The gardens were built in the 20th century by French and they have been maintained by the Moroccan government since then.
The gardens are full of flowers, trees, and fountains. They are a great place to relax or take a walk after a long day of sightseeing and shopping.
Bou Regreg River
The Bou Regreg River runs through Rabat. It is a great place to relax and take in the city views. There are many restaurants along the river serving Moroccan food and freshly caught fish.
Many Moroccan families come to the Bou Regreg River on weekends to picnic and spend time together or to take a boat trip to the nearby Sale city.
You don’t have to go to Sale to enjoy the river, though. You can for a kayaking trip or boat trip on the Bou Regreg River.
The Rabat lighthouse is located on a cliff overlooking the Bou Regreg River. It was built in 1864 by the French. The lighthouse is open to the public and it has a great view of the city.
There is also a museum at the lighthouse. The museum has a collection of old maps and maritime instruments.
The lighthouse is a beautiful highlight of the Rabat especially at sunset time. Don’t miss it out.
Rabat Postal Museum
The Rabat Postal Museum is located in the Ville Nouvelle. It is housed in a beautiful building that was once the post office. The museum has a collection of Moroccan stamps, telephones, and telegraph machines.
Mohammed VI Museum of Contemporary Arts
The Mohammed VI Museum of Contemporary Arts is one of the newest museums in Rabat. The museum opened in 2014. It has a collection of contemporary Moroccan art.
The museum is located in the old Medina. It is also a great place to see some of Rabat’s modern architecture.
Rabat city in Morocco has a beautiful coastline with sandy beaches, coves, cliffs, and clear blue waters. The coastline is about 35 kilometers long.
There are many things to do on the Rabat coast. You can go swimming in the nearby beaches, or just relax on the clifftop of the coast and enjoy the view.
Rabat Ville Nouvelle
The Rabat Ville Nouvelle is the new city of Rabat. It was built by the French in the 1920s. The Ville Nouvelle is a great place to shop, eat, and drink. There are many restaurants and cafes to choose from.
Rabat’s ville Nouvelle architecture features a mix of Moroccan, French, and Spanish influences. The most notable landmark in the Ville Nouvelle is Royal Palace and the Postal Museum.
Where to stay in Rabat, Morocco
If you are looking for a place to stay, there are many hotels, Riads and guesthouses to choose from. There are our top picks accommodation in Rabat.
Riad Amaris is a superb Moroccan Read with a modern feel, located just 12 minutes walk from Kasbah des Udayas. The rooms are bright and airy with en-suite bathrooms. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the breakfast is delicious.
This modern Riad is a short walk from Rabat beach and other main attractions in the city. It offers an outdoor pool, a lovely terrace overlooking the Medina. The Riad has an indoor pool as well which is great after a full day of sightseeing.
Riad Dar Rabiaa
Great location, friendly staff, and lovely rooms. This is what you can expect when you stay at Riad Dar Rabiaa. The Riad is well located which makes it a perfect base to explore the city. The rooms are clean and comfortable, the love of details in incredibly stunning.
Where to eat in Rabat
There are many restaurants, cafes, and street food stalls to choose from. Here are our top picks for places to eat in Rabat.
If you are looking for good Moroccan food try out La Koutoubia. The food is fresh and tasty, and the atmosphere is cozy with warm Moroccan lighting and colors.
Al Marsa restaurant in Rabat is on the expensive side, but it is worth it. The restaurant has a beautiful setting with views of the ocean. The seafood is exquisite and the service is impeccable.
We found Le Dhow restaurant in Rabat to be very interesting. The restaurant is set on an old dhow (a type of sailing ship). In this restaurant, you will enjoy the best French cuisine and other international dishes with a view of the Rabat skyline. The setting is very romantic and the food is absolutely amazing.
How to get to Rabat, Morocco
Rabat is the capital city of Morocco and it is located on the Atlantic Ocean coast. The best way to get to Rabat from different parts of Morocco is by train or Bus. If you had to choose one go for the train as it usually faster and more comfortable.
There are two train stations in Rabat, the Rabat-Ville train station, and the Agdal train station. The Rabat-Ville train station is located in the city center, and the Agdal train station is located outside of the city center.
Depending where you hotel is located in Rabat, you can either stop at Rabat Agdal or Rabat Ville train station. But most probably you will want to stop at Rabat Ville train station as it is located in the city center.
Casablanca to Rabat
The fact that Casablanca is very close to Rabat, only about an hour away by train makes it great to visit both cities in itinerary. To get to Rabat from Casablanca, you can book a train ticket online or at the train station. The price of a ticket from Casablanca to Rabat is around $9 in 1sr class.
Fez to Rabat
The train from Fez to Rabat takes around six hours, so it is a long journey. The price of the train ticket is around $21 in first class.
You can also take a bus to Rabat from Fez, but the journey will take longer as the bus has to make stops along the way. The price of a CTM bus ticket from Fez to Rabat is around $16.
The best way to get from Fez to Rabat is by taking the train as it is faster and more comfortable.
Marrakesh to Rabat
It takes around four hours to get from Marrakesh to Rabat by train. The price of the ticket is around $17 in first class.
Tangier to Rabat
Since Morocco has introduced the high-speed train (aka TGV), the journey from Tangier to Rabat has become much shorter. It now takes only two hours and thirty minutes to get from Tangier to Rabat by train instead of 6 hours in a normal train. The price of the TGV ticket from Tangier is around $28 in first class.
How to get around Rabat, Morocco
Rabat is a large city, but the best way to get around Rabat is on foot if you stay in the city center. Check where to stay in Rabat section for central accommodation options.
Most of the attractions are located in the city center, and the streets are pedestrian-friendly. If you want to go further, you can take a small taxi (aka petit taxi). The price for a petit taxi is around $0.60 per kilometer.
You can also take the tram, which is the newest way of getting around Rabat. The tram is comfortable, fast, and easy to use. A single ride costs $0.60. You can buy a tram card at any tram station and it can be recharged with credit.
If you want to visit the nearby city of Sale, the best and fun way to do that is to take a boat ride from the Rabat port (Bou Regreg River). The boat ride takes around 30 minutes and the price is $1 per person each way.
When to visit Rabat, Morocco
The best time to visit Rabat is in the springtime from March to May when the weather is mild and sunny and there are less high season crowds. The average temperature during this time is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius).
If you want to visit Rabat during the summer high season, the best time to do that is in June or September when the weather is still sunny but not too hot. The average temperature during these months is around 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius).
The wintertime in Rabat from November to February is the low season. The weather during this time is cold and rainy. The average temperature during the winter is around 54 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius).
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