Visit Rabat: what to see, where to sleep and how to get there

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Aina Martin
@ainamartin
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Located in the north of the country on the Atlantic coast at the mouth of the Bou Regreg river, Rabat is the political and administrative capital of Morocco and one of the main tourist destinations of the country. After Casablanca, it is the second largest city in Morocco.

Easily visited also with a day tour from Casablanca, however, it is advisable to stay at least one night in the capital of Morocco to fully appreciate this city which, together with Fès, Marrakech and Meknès, it is part of the 4 imperial cities of Morocco.



The city has a seaport, but the main attractions are the 1160th-century Hassan Tower and the Yakub al-Mansur Mosque, built around 99-2012. In XNUMX Rabat was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, thanks to a beautiful combination of ancient and modern architecture, and for medieval monuments.

The city is also home to the royal palace, the seat of government and most of the foreign embassies present in the country. There are many things to see and do here, even if the main one is to go and wander around the Medina, the historical part of the city.

Kasbah at Udayas a Rabat, Marocco – Photo of da Istock

Rabat is a city that combines the country's traditional features with European ones. Founded in the 10th century, today it presents itself elegant and very quiet, quite in contrast to its very dynamic past.

La historical area of ​​the city, the Medina, is surrounded by battlements of the twelfth century and has many souks, the typical Moroccan market, where you can admire and buy handicrafts and local products.

What to see in Rabat

Kasbah of the Oudaias

The Kasbah is the oldest part of Rabat. The most interesting aspects are the narrow streets with pretty white and blue houses, the magnificent Andalusian gardens and the Oudaias Museum, housed in a 17th century palace. The Kasbah offers a magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean.



Inside the Kasbah you can also visit the ancient one Hassan Tower and Royal Mausoleum of Muhammad V. Admission is free and free.

Chellah

Chellah was a city founded by the Carthaginians, and then conquered by the Romans, which later came under Arab rule. Today the fortress preserves important testimonies of the various historical periods, as well as hosting an incredible number of birds.

Beach

Although rather small and not particularly attractive, the beach is always an interesting place to visit. There are a couple of rustic cafes, plus surf equipment can be hired.

Royal Palace

To visit the Royal Palace you need to enter from behind, from the area of ​​the park known as Mechouar. To enter the enclosure you must register your passport at the entrance. Once inside you can see the mosque up close and take a walk inside.

Rabat Zoo

The Rabat Zoo or National Zoological Garden of Rabat is open from 10:00 in the morning to 17:00 in the afternoon. The park it hosts about 130 species of animals different, including the lions of the Atlas. Inside there is also a restaurant and an educational farm.

Saint Peter Basilica

The beautiful catholic cathedral in Art Deco style.

Where to sleep in Rabat

The capital of Morocco is a large enough city, so much so that it has almost 600.000 inhabitants. To spend a pleasant stay or city break, it is important choose a good area to stay to easily visit the city.



In general, the best areas to stay in Rabat are concentrated in its historic center. The neighborhoods in the modern area Ville Nouvelle like Hassan, L'Océan and Agdal Ryad, can be a good alternative.

Rabat Medina

The Medina definitely is the best area to stay in Rabat. The medina is not as large as that of other Moroccan cities and having more straight streets, it is easier to visit.

It is also the area where most of the cheap accommodation, but the main reason that leads tourists to choose this area is the possibility of sleeping in most interesting area of the city and of stay in one of the characteristic riads.

The best accommodation in the Medina of Rabat

Riad Dar Soufa 

Hotel des Oudaias 

Riad Jbara

Riad El Bir 

Hassan

The Hassan neighborhood is located in the Ville Nouvelle de Rabat, the modern area of ​​the city. It is definitely a good area to stay, indeed for those who want to stay late in the evening and for those looking for a modern hotel as accommodation, is the best choice.


Sleeping in this area allows you to be one step away from the main tourist attractions of the city, such as the Hassan tower or the mausoleum of Mohammed V, but also to enjoy greater safety and tranquility than the streets of the medina.

The best accommodation in the Hassan district

Malak Hotel 


Mercure Scheherazade Rabat 

Annakhil Hotel 

Hotel The Museum 

The ocean

The L'Océan district is a good alternative to stay in Rabat. AND one of the cheapest areas to stay in the city, and is close to the Medina and the main attractions of the city.

The accommodation offer is not very large, but almost all of them are of good quality. So, for those looking for the best quality / price ratio for accommodation, in this area you will find excellent and valid solutions.

The best budget accommodation in the L'Océan district

Hotel Lutece

Jet apartment 

Riad Meftaha (best quality / price ratio)

Texuda Hotel 

Agdal ryad

The Agdal Ryad neighborhood is a good area to stay for young people and for those looking for night entertainment. The area is well connected to the rest of the city and offers all services that the tourist may need: bars, restaurants, shops and night clubs.

The best accommodation in the Agdal Ryad neighborhood

Soundouss Hotel 

The Mihad 

Dayet Ifrah by RENT-INN 

Smarts Hotel 

How to get to Rabat

By plane

Although there are direct flights to Rabat, most tourists arrive in the nearby city of Casablanca and then arrive in Rabat by train or bus.

By train

There are trains from Fes, Marrakech and Casablanca to Rabat. The duration of the trip from Marrakech is about 4 hours, from Fes 2 and a half hours, and from Casablanca about 1 hour.

By bus

Rabat can be reached by bus from any city in the country. Buses often don't stop at the central bus station, but make various stops while through the city.

Advice

Though considered a safe city, it is always advisable to use some caution and common sense when visiting Rabat.

For example, it is recommended to:

  • don't wear expensive jewelry or flashy clothing
  • do not wear shorts or skirts (for women)
  • don't carry a lot of money with you
  • do not walk in the desolate areas at night
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