As the capital of Morocco, Rabat will surely be one of your stops.
As the capital of Morocco, Rabat will surely be one of your stops. Situated on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and at the mouth of the Bou Regreg River, today’s Rabat is still relevant with foreign embassies and hustling diplomats. If you’re vacationing throughout Morocco in a week, you probably won’t spend more than a day in Rabat. Here are ten easy must-do’s that will get you covered within 24 hours!
1. Start the day at the historical Kasbah of the Udayas.
Kickstart Rabat with a lot of freshwater air. The Kasbah’s allure doesn’t truly hit you until after passing through the ancient gates constructed in the 12th century. The town was built by Almohad Caliphate (AD 1121-1269) – a Moroccan Berber Muslim movement. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is distinctive in its colors of blue and white. It makes a great bike ride, a morning stroll, and the perfect opportunity to take lots of amazing photos.
2. Wander through the beautiful Andalusian Gardens.
Within the Kasbah is the beautiful Andalusian Gardens, constructed by the French. It’s not massive, but the garden has been in existence since the colonial period, with lots of bougainvillea and fruit trees. There will be lots of wild cats to melt your heart.
3. Lunch at Dar El Medina.
A ten-minute walk or a five-minute taxi ride southbound from the Kasbah is where you can devour a lovely lunch at Dar El Medina. The restaurant is located in the souk, and can be easily discovered. There are seats in the open courtyard and the entire menu is mouthwatering, so grab a seat!
4. Browse and shop on Rue Souika.
Immerse yourself in the whiffs of freshly baked bread, the noise of footsteps and a market showdown of lamps, teapots and carpets. Rue Souika is where you can shop ’til you drop for artisan goods.
5. Stroll through the Old Medina.
There’s nothing better than a walk through the Old Medina in Morocco. In Rabat, here’s where you can get your fill in the local market vibe. Continue from rue Souika, and zig zag your way through windy streets to find yourself in the middle of Arabic vendors and authentic boutiques.
6. Chug down a cup of orange juice at Le Gout Du Fruit.
End your market experience with a cup of local orange juice. Morocco is known for its sweet and ripe oranges, which you’ll be peeling and chewing your way through this agriculturally robust nation. Le Gout Du Fruit is a juice stand, situated near the station tramway.
7. Take in the majesty of Hassan Tower.
THE famous must-see in Rabat is the Hassan Tower, which is a minaret of an incomplete mosque (see the next must-see.) During the period of Sultan Yacub al-Mansour, the tower was intended to be the largest minaret in the world in 1195. When the Sultan died four years later, the construction stopped at 44 meters, half of its intentional height at 86 meters with 200 columns and several walls for today’s tourists to see.
Interesting fact about the tower is that instead of steps, it has a ramp which muessin – the person appointed at the mosque to lead the call of prayer through a microphone – used to ride a horse to reach to the top for the call of prayer.
8. Turn the corner and stop by the Mausoleum of Mohammad V.
On the other side of Hassan Tower is a historical building that contains the tombs of Mohammad V, the Moroccan King and his two sons: King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah. The architecture is in the style of the modern Alaouite dynasty, which is the current Moroccan royal family. Some symbolic elements include a white silhouette, green tiled roof which signifies Islam.
9. Enjoy the art scene at Mohamed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
Opened in 2014, the Mohamed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is Morocco’s first contemporary art museum since the country’s independence from France in 1956. The three-story edifice features 400 pieces by 200 Moroccan artists, including Hassan Hajjaj, Safaa Erruas, Younes Rahmoun…and many more.
10. Dinner at the beloved gastronomic restaurant: Le Dinarjat.
Listed as one of the best restaurants in the world, Le Dinarjat is located in a beautiful riad. Greeted by a man dressed in a traditional garment, you’ll enter a room romantically lit by charming lamps. The Arab-Andalusian style restaurant featuring Moroccan gastronomic cuisine is the perfect end to a delightful day in Rabat.