RabatMorocco’s capital city of Rabat is more than its magnificent medina (old town), which has been named a World Heritage Site: situated by the Bouregreg River and the Atlantic Ocean, the city has been an important commercial, cultural and military centre throughout history. Stroll through its tiny alleys, witness sites of French colonial heritage and enjoy Rabat’s open-minded atmosphere.
The CityRabat may not be the first destination that comes to mind when planning a trip to Morocco - resulting in a more laid-back atmosphere compared to other cities. Nevertheless, Rabat is buzzing with life and attracts visitors with several must-sees. Protected by powerful ramparts, the medina reflects the soul of the old Almohad city. Souika street and its shops present magnificent rugs, the delicate work of copperware artisans, succulent pastries and appetizing brochettes. Rue des Consuls – which got its name because this is where representatives of foreign nations resided – is flanked by elegant residences where the craftsmen practice their art under the watchful eyes of passersby. Rabat offers commercial, modern districts as well – plus a busy marina and a city beach. Salé, vis-à-vis Bouregreg river, is also worth a visit.
Do & See
From the medina's busy and colourful alleys and the peaceful Chellah necropolis to the buzzing marina, you will discover Rabat's full complexity.
Moroccan food is – in many ways, like the country itself – rich in flavors, aromas, and colours. Its scents and sweet-and-sour combinations are famous around the world. A meal requires all senses and is complemented by the scents of saffron, cumin, and coriander. You can taste the international star everywhere: couscous, or rather a whole range of couscous. Try a pastilla: a delicate pie that wonderfully combines finely chopped pigeon, parsley, hard-boiled egg, almonds, and honey. To top it off, it is sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. The famous tajine (meat, chicken or fish stew) accompanied by vegetables and fruits, is traditionally cooked in a covered terracotta dish.
Experience Moroccan patisseries: pancakes with honey and sesame seeds, cakes made with almonds or raisins, et cetera. And always accompanied, of course, by traditional mint tea.
Bars & Nightlife
Rabat offers a lot when it comes to bars, clubs, and pubs. Keep in mind that drinking alcohol on the street or on public transport is strictly forbidden. Many locals do not drink alcohol at all, but that does not stop them from raving on the dance floor. During Ramadan, bar and club schedules can change, and all other areas of everyday life are affected as well. Note that smoking indoors is allowed in a lot of places in Rabat.
Like many Moroccan cities, Rabat offers exquisite and precious arts and crafts. You will also find chic boutiques and ultra-modern shopping centres. Most of the local and international luxury boutiques are located along Avenue Mohammed V, the new city's true administrative and commercial nerve centre. You'll also find several stores in the upscale quarters like Agdal, which is particularly lively.