Rabat is the welcoming capital city of Morocco. Rich in cultural heritage and diversity, Rabat is a must see while traveling through Morocco.
What To Do in Rabat
> Explore the Medina
The Medina of Rabat is a nice place for shopping. Yes, it’s less charming than Fes El-Bali but it’s also REALLY quiet. I have found the sellers are less “pushy” in Rabat, making the shopping experience really pleasant. It’s easier to engage in a conversation with them, no pressure for buying 😉
The prices are also often written down, which can be a good point if you have struggled to haggle!
> Kasbah of the Udayas
Kasbah of the Udayas is my favorite part of Rabat. The houses are painted in a washed white and intense blue. It reminds me of the kasbah of Tangier but Adrian finds it more similar to Chefchaouen 😊 The Kasbah offers an incredible view over the port and the beaches, it’s really pleasant to hang out around this place.
Then you can walk down the Kasbah and relax at the beach.
> Have a drink on the docks
This place is located down the Kasbah of the Udayas. It’s also the place where you can take the small boats to cross the Bou Regreg River. It’s really interesting to look around, a lot of life, people are hanging out there, the kids are playing everywhere and drive remote control (toy) cars – it’s fun to watch! We also really enjoyed sitting there and watching the life going on!
There is also an old boat transformed into a cafe if you want to have a drink on the river.
> Visit Hassan Tower And The Mausoleum of Mohammed V
Both are located on the same site. The entrance is free, and it is really worth the visit!
The Hassan tower is actually unfinished. In 1195 the construction of this monument started and stopped in 1199 after the Sultan Yacoub al-Mansour died. He wanted to build an 86m height tower but now the Hassan Tower reach 44meter. It still impressive to see!
The Mausoleum of Mohammed V contains the tombs of the Moroccan King and his two sons (King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah).
> Visit Chellah
Chellah is a historic site of Rabat. It’s a medieval fortified Muslim necropolis located about 2,5km of Rabat’s medina. The entrance is 10 Dirhams per person (less than 1€/person). The price is really fair.
The place is full of storks! So nice to observe them! They are making a weird sound like a pretty intense tap sound. See video here.
> Art Contemporary Museum
So- we had a really good nap instead of visiting the Art Contemporary Museum! I can tell you that the entrance ticket is 35 Dirhams though. See the Facebook Page here.
> Avoid Visiting The Royal Palace
Sorry, but we didn’t find this visit worth it!
You are only allowed to take a picture from the outside of the Royal Palace, which (sorry again) have no interest! The rest is just buildings and houses, there is nothing special to see.
If you really want to see it, be aware that you need to show your passport at the entrance. The security guards were really nice though 😉
Ah yes and fortunately it’s free!
> Take A Small Taxi Boat To Visit Sale
Yes, we also could take a small taxi boat to cross the Bou Regreg River and visit Sale (the city next to Rabat), but the sleeping mode won and we preferred having a big nap in our comfy bed 😉
> Go for a Day Trip to Casablanca
But good to know, Casablanca is located 86 km from Rabat (see map here). So you can easily go to Casablanca for a day trip.
It takes one hour to drive with the train (one way), and it gonna cost you about 50 Dirhams for the train ticket (price for 1 person and 1 way).
The entrance of the Mosque is about 12 euros (130 Dirhams).
Where To Eat in Rabat
> Dar El Medina
Dar El Medina restaurant was located next to our Hotel, it’s actually the same owner. They served traditional Moroccan dishes in a beautiful decor. We got a 20% discount on all our meals due to our stay in Dar Tsouli (see more information about this hotel below). Perfect 😉
Dar El Medina is located 3, Rue Benjelloul.
> Street Food
We love to try street food while traveling. It’s generally really tasty and really cheap! Indeed in Rabat, you definitely should try their sandwich sardines with potatoes, onions and tomato sauce. A delight! And we paid less than 1€ for 2 sandwiches! Perfect 😉 See the video here!
This local restaurant is located in the Medina, 7 Rue Sebbahi – to be precise. Don’t read the menu just ask what they serve! Indeed they have a menu with a few meals but they only served two different meals.
Locals love this place, it gets really crowded at lunchtime, so to avoid eating in the crowd, head there after 1pm. The food is really good and the prices are inexpensive. We paid 66 Dirhams for two meals which included the drinks, the starter, the bread and a refreshing watermelon! Thank You, Guys!
We definitely recommend eating at Taghazout restaurant 😉
> Pizza Zoom
We ate at Pizza Zoom which is located next to the Contemporary Art Museum (Boulevard Mohamed V).
Even though the name of the restaurant didn’t attract me, the reviews on TripAdvisor were pretty good, so we decided to give it a try! We ordered one tajine and one brochette chicken, the food was good -nothing to say about it! But after watching the waiter giving a HUGE plate of couscous to a customer, with big eyes, he came to us with a plate full of couscous! And for free! So nice! As you can imagine, we were already soooo full but we couldn’t refuse, and enjoyed the couscous! PS: That’s why we took a nap instead of going to Sale!
>> Good To Know
Friday is Holy Day (holidays) in Morocco and it’s also COUSCOUS day! Many restaurants serve couscous only on Friday.
Where To Stay
> Dar Tsouli
All the hotels are fully booked in Rabat, we didn’t have so many choices, so we chose Dar Tsouli. Located into the Medina, we paid 1120 Dirhams (102 euros) for 3 nights with breakfast included.
When we arrived in Dar Tsouli, they welcomed us into their restaurant (Dar El Medina) with a delicious mint tea. I love it!
Our room was small and equipped with a shared bathroom, but we were the only one in the hotel, so Easy Peasy!
From the roof terrasse, you can see the Medina and the Hassan Tower.
The owner is such a kind person, he gave us all the information we needed to visit the area, gave us his phone number if we needed anything, and when I asked him a needle and a string to fixe my backpack (which cracked down), he offered me to fix it by himself (for free). Really Kind.
If you’re going to book something in the near future use this link below to get 13€ OFF your next booking via booking.com. Your welcome 🙂
How To Get Around Rabat?
From Fez To Rabat: Drive 3 hours with CTM bus from Fez to Rabat for 85 Dirhams per person.
Train Station: If you are hesitating between Rabat Ville and Rabat Agdal, choose Rabat Ville. It’s in the center of Rabat, you can easily walk from the train station to the Medina or take a petit taxi (small taxi) for a few cents.
Taxis in Rabat: In Rabat, the petit taxis are equipped with a counter. So you don’t need to negotiate a price before driving!
It gonna cost you about 15 Dirhams (1,5€) to go from the train station to the Medina.
From Rabat To Asilah: CTM bus is not driving from Rabat to Asilah, so we took the train. We paid 88 Dirhams (8euros) per person for 3 hours ride.
From Rabat To Casablanca: 1-hour drive with the train for about 50 Dirhams.
How Long To Stay in Rabat?
I would suggest staying 2 days in Rabat to visit the Medina, the Kasbah, the Hassan Tower, the Museum, and Sale. And 3 days if you want to add Casablanca to your trip.
Lots of love, Amandine
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Amandine & Adrian @whynotabroad