Rabat travel guide

Rabat Tourism | Rabat Guide

You're Going to Love Rabat

Rabat city lies along the Atlantic coat, at the Bouregreg River, with beautiful architecture influenced by its Islamic, French colonial, and Berber past. You'll enjoy the city's warm hospitality, the very modern new town, and the historic city center.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Rabat

1. The Medina

Rabat's walled Medina, built in the 17th century, is filled with local shops and bazaars to explore.

2. Beach Life

Enjoy the warm sands, or ride the surf at Plage des Nations just north of the city. The beach is clean, but be forewarned not to venture too far out into the strong currents.

3. Exploring History

From the old Kasbah des Oudaias, the historic fort now surrounded by the rest of the city, to the Rabat Archaeological Museum, and the Chellah, a Roman fort that dates from 40 AD, centuries of civilization are waiting for you to discover.

4. Beautiful Parks

Explore a wealth of green spaces, including the extensive Jardin d'Essais and the charming Andalusian Gardens in the Kasbah.

5. Delicious Cuisine

From its native Berber influences to French colonial and contemporary Middle Eastern and European cuisine, there is much to savor in Rabat's dining scene, including a local specialty for fresh seafood.

What to do in Rabat

1. Chellah: A Fortress Standing the Test of Time

The walled Chellah complex says a lot to visitors who are looking for a snapshot into the medieval lives of Muslims, even though it was originally a necropolis in Morocco. The Berber fortress boasts many architectural flourishes characteristic of Islam including tall prayer minarets, tilework, and royal tombs. Walking through the chellah or skirting its perimeter, travelers will feel as though they've been transported back in time to an ancient, almost forgotten world. And viewing the land from one of its higher platforms during sunset is a sight you won't soon forget.

2. Kasbah des Oudayas: Rockin' the Casbah

The Clash crooned about it, so why not experience it firsthand? The Kasbah des Oudayas is right beside the Chellah, on the mouth of the mouth of the Bou Regreg, and it is historic and significant enough to have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take a view from the inside of the Kasbah and you'll see the dusky remains of the Chellah in the background. The Kasbah still has its brightly colored walls intact, cobbled streets fading but present, ivy growing on its walls and beautiful, intricate detailing on its door frames. Its winding alleyways, hidden doorways and alcoves will remind you of Santorini, but make no mistake, Kasbah des Oudayas has its own Arabian vibe of mystique.

3. Mosquée Hassan: One Grande Mosque

Known as the Grande Mosquée Hassan II, this is the largest mosque in Morocco and its minaret is a sky-scraping 689 feet tall. Ready to feel small and insignificant? Simply plant yourself at its base and look up and around. Get a taste of classic Moorish architecture as you roam its palatial interiors, taking in its extensive libraries, steam-filled hammams, cooling courtyards and majestic fountains. You'll soon realize that the mosque is partially built on land and partially over the Atlantic Ocean.

4. Tour Hassan: Take a Tour of a Tower

Intended all along to be the majestic minaret of a mosque, the Hassan Tower is now just one part of an unfinished project started in 1195 that was intended to be one of the largest mosques in the world. Because parts of its walls, columns and ramps still exist, preserved, the space has the feeling of a strange art installation or an open-air mosque, with the looming presence of the minaret watching everything. Instead of stairs, the incomplete mosque had planned for ramps, and some still exist. Nonetheless, stalwart guards still stand at its gates on horses as a mark of what once was and now still survives being worth protection.

5. Andalusian Gardens: Mystical and Magical

Like everything else in Morocco, the Andalusian Gardens are tinged with a heavy sense of mystique, age and old-world beauty. Built by the French during Morocco's colonial period, the Gardens are nestled within the Kasbah des Oudayas. Its walkways are made of stone and tile, with aging fountains and water bowls, small, perfumed, exotic plants and flowers, and date trees swaying lazily in the breeze.

1. Chellah: A Fortress Standing the Test of Time

The walled Chellah complex says a lot to visitors who are looking for a snapshot into the medieval lives of Muslims, even though it was originally a necropolis in Morocco. The Berber fortress boasts many architectural flourishes characteristic of Islam including tall prayer minarets, tilework, and royal tombs. Walking through the chellah or skirting its perimeter, travelers will feel as though they've been transported back in time to an ancient, almost forgotten world. And viewing the land from one of its higher platforms during sunset is a sight you won't soon forget.

2. Kasbah des Oudayas: Rockin' the Casbah

The Clash crooned about it, so why not experience it firsthand? The Kasbah des Oudayas is right beside the Chellah, on the mouth of the mouth of the Bou Regreg, and it is historic and significant enough to have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take a view from the inside of the Kasbah and you'll see the dusky remains of the Chellah in the background. The Kasbah still has its brightly colored walls intact, cobbled streets fading but present, ivy growing on its walls and beautiful, intricate detailing on its door frames. Its winding alleyways, hidden doorways and alcoves will remind you of Santorini, but make no mistake, Kasbah des Oudayas has its own Arabian vibe of mystique.

3. Mosquée Hassan: One Grande Mosque

Known as the Grande Mosquée Hassan II, this is the largest mosque in Morocco and its minaret is a sky-scraping 689 feet tall. Ready to feel small and insignificant? Simply plant yourself at its base and look up and around. Get a taste of classic Moorish architecture as you roam its palatial interiors, taking in its extensive libraries, steam-filled hammams, cooling courtyards and majestic fountains. You'll soon realize that the mosque is partially built on land and partially over the Atlantic Ocean.

4. Tour Hassan: Take a Tour of a Tower

Intended all along to be the majestic minaret of a mosque, the Hassan Tower is now just one part of an unfinished project started in 1195 that was intended to be one of the largest mosques in the world. Because parts of its walls, columns and ramps still exist, preserved, the space has the feeling of a strange art installation or an open-air mosque, with the looming presence of the minaret watching everything. Instead of stairs, the incomplete mosque had planned for ramps, and some still exist. Nonetheless, stalwart guards still stand at its gates on horses as a mark of what once was and now still survives being worth protection.

5. Andalusian Gardens: Mystical and Magical

Like everything else in Morocco, the Andalusian Gardens are tinged with a heavy sense of mystique, age and old-world beauty. Built by the French during Morocco's colonial period, the Gardens are nestled within the Kasbah des Oudayas. Its walkways are made of stone and tile, with aging fountains and water bowls, small, perfumed, exotic plants and flowers, and date trees swaying lazily in the breeze.

Where to Eat in Rabat

Enjoy classic Moroccan favorites like couscous at cheap prices at Restaurant de la Libération, where main dishes start at only DH60. Ty Potes is one of many French restaurants in Rabat, this one specializing in crepes, galettes, and other lighter fare. Main dishes start at DH65.

When to visit Rabat

Rabat in March
Estimated hotel price
C$ 51
1 night at 3-star hotel
Rabat in March
Estimated hotel price
C$ 51
1 night at 3-star hotel

Summers are warm and dry, and winters mild and wet in Rabat, making it a year-round destination with a spike between April and November, when temperatures range between 70 and 80 degrees.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Rabat

Plane

Rabat-Salé Airport (RBA) is located in Salé, about five miles northeast of Rabat. A taxi to town costs about DH200. Express bus service to the city center is available from Stareo Bus company; tickets costs DH20.

Train

There are frequent train connections to Marrakech, Fes, and other major centers in Morocco via the Gare de Rabat-Ville.

Car

It is possible to drive to Rabat from Agadir or Casablanca, although 4x4 rentals are recommended over a sedan due to the condition of some road surfaces along the way.

Bus

There are bus connections to and from Rabat and most major centers in Morocco, although some may not run through the central bus station.

Airports near Rabat

Airlines serving Rabat

United Airlines
Good (2,834 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,143 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,378 reviews)
KLM
Good (347 reviews)
Air France
Good (395 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,043 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,321 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,201 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (951 reviews)
Iberia
Good (914 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,398 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (307 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (536 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (1,665 reviews)
ITA Airways
Good (122 reviews)
Vueling
Good (378 reviews)
Malaysia Airlines
Good (48 reviews)
Egypt Air
Good (126 reviews)
Korean Air
Excellent (246 reviews)
Pegasus Airlines
Good (224 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Rabat

Centre Ville - the downtown area encompasses the Medina along with the surrounding commercial area of the city, and offers a wealth of shopping and dining possibilities.

Popular Neighborhoods in Rabat

Agdal - this wealthy neighborhood is where you'll find many French immigrants, along with both of the city's train stations.

Ville Nouvelle - the modern part of the city is where you'll find the Mega Mall and other shopping adventures, along with dining options.

Where to stay in popular areas of Rabat

Most booked hotels in Rabat

Hotel Le Diwan Rabat - MGallery
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
C$ 130+
Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
C$ 280+
Dawliz Rabat Art & Spa
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
C$ 186+
Onomo Hotel Rabat Medina
Good (7.8, Good reviews)
C$ 67+
Hotel Oscar
Okay (4.4, Okay reviews)
C$ 38+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Rabat

Public Transportation

There is a tram service through the city, with two lines and fares of only DH6, as well as a more extensive network of city buses, with fares at DH4.

Taxi

Taxi service is available - the Petit Taxis recommended. You'll know them by their blue color. The minimum fare is DH5, with most trips in town DH25-30.

Car

Driving through the city on your own isn't recommended for most visitors, with traffic somewhat chaotic and accidents frequent.

The Cost of Living in Rabat

Shopping Streets

Rabat's main shopping street is the Rue des Consuls, where you'll find local artisan work, including leather goods, clothing, and jewelry.

Groceries and Other

Carrefour and Acima are national supermarket chains with good selection of fresh and imported goods. A quart of milk costs about DH7.50 and a dozen eggs about DH14.

Cheap meal
C$ 4.69
A pair of jeans
C$ 58.78
Single public transport ticket
C$ 0.81
Cappuccino
C$ 2.20
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