Rabat Travel Guide
The capital and ‘Royal City’ of Morocco sits at the mouth of a river on the Atlantic coastal plain. Also known as the ‘Washington of North Africa‘, Rabat is a modern city and the residence of the royal family. Featuring wide boulevards, parks, gardens, monuments and countless white buildings, the not-so-tourist-oriented Rabat also houses plentiful mosques and palaces and offers visitors a few beautiful beaches.
The white city of Rabat is far from the hustle and bustle of Fez and Marrakech. Nonetheless, its history dates back to the 7th century, which is verified by the city’s numerous eye-catching landmarks such as the Hassan Mosque, Kasbah des Oudaïas and the Citadel of Chellah. To some degree, Rabat leaves visitors with a serious and conservative impression due to its administrative status. However, some traditional ambience can be experienced in the Kasbah and the Medina.
The coastline between Rabat and Casablanca provides never-ending white-sand beaches where mighty waves and cool waters make swimming somewhat risky. The ocean abounds with all sorts of fish, especially sardines and mackerel, which makes the fishing town of Safi the world’s principal sardine seaport. Rabat also has various leisure activities to offer, with a world-famous golf course, Dar Es Salaam, at hand.
Hassan Mosque: built in 1195, the gigantic minaret of this mosque overlooks Rabat. Also on-site, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V is one of the major monuments of contemporary Morocco.
Kasbah des Oudaïas: accessed through an imposing gate, the kasbah houses the Palace Museum and Andalucian Gardens as well as Rabat’s oldest mosque, the Kasbah Mosque, which dates back to 1050.
Medina: Rabat’s old city is relatively small, but the traditional cafés (foundouks), bazaars and shops provide a sparkling atmosphere.
Citadel of Chellah: the ruins of Chellah date from 200 BC and include a Roman temple, forum and a section once used by craftsmen.
Archaeological Museum: boasts an outstanding compilation of Roman bronzes dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries as well as Carthaginian and Phoenician artifacts.
Temara: this seaside town, about eight miles from Rabat, is a popular weekend campsite and features various beaches, a zoo and a number of fine hotels, dining places and nightclubs.