Exploring Tourism in Morocco
icon Worldwideicon
Places to Visit Details

Top 11 Places To Visit In Rabat

Rabat, Morocco

Rabat, Morocco's capital, rests along the shores of the Bouregreg River and the Atlantic Ocean. It's known for landmarks that speak to its Islamic and French-colonial heritage, including the Kasbah of the Udayas. This Berber-era royal fort is surrounded by formal French-designed gardens and overlooks the ocean.

As one of Morocco's Imperial Cities, Rabat is one of the best places to visit while traveling up or down the Atlantic Coast. Smaller in size and less famous than the Imperial Cities of Marrakesh and Fes, Rabat's calmer atmosphere can also be a welcome break from the tourist hustle of other cities.

Here are the Top 11 Places to Visit in Rabat, which are worth visiting on a Rabat trip:

1. Oudaias Kasbah

Inside the 11th-century fortress walls is a small neighborhood of winding lanes rimmed by Andalusian-style houses. This is a prime area for a meandering stroll, with plenty of photo opportunities within the narrow blue-and-white lanes. At the Kasbah's southern end, you'll find the tranquil Andalusian Gardens, while at the district's northern tip is a platform offering panoramic views over both the Atlantic Ocean to the west and Salé to the north.

2. Hassan Tower

Built by the Almohads, the unfinished Hassan Tower (Le Tour Hassan) was the work of ruler Yacoub al-Mansour and would have been the minaret for his grand vision of a massive mosque on this site that was planned to be one of the largest in the world. Intricately carved motifs and designs cover the tower's facade, pointing to the sumptuousness of what al-Mansour had in mind.

3. Andalusian Gardens

The Andalusian gardens, also home to the Palace Museum which showcases fascinating exhibits demonstrating Moroccan art and culture, are a must-visit in Rabat. The beautiful gardens were built by the French in the 20th century, and have traditional Andalusian flowers and shrubs, complete with orange, lemon and banana trees. A refreshing and relaxing retreat away from the crowds, this tranquil oasis allows visitors to wander and admire nature.

4. Jardins Exotiques

This vast series of gardens, shaded by tall palms, was the work of French horticulturist Marcel Francois, who brought plant species from sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and South America here to create a showcase of exotic nature. A series of walkways, scattered with ornamental bridges, water features, and follies, wind through the gardens, which today have a shaggy, overgrown ambiance that adds to the charm.

5. Rabat Zoo

A relatively new zoo opened in 2012, Rabat Zoo invites visitors to explore all the continents of the world in the simulated mountain, desert, savannah, and rainforest habitats. Visitors can admire more than 130 species of animals. There is everything from giraffes to reptiles in this spacious zoo with a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. It’s an impressive find in the middle of a capital city and an activity that is sure to fill up at least half a day.

6. King’s Palace

Almost every big city in Morocco has a palace ready for the arrival of the King as a guest. However, the Palace in Rabat is King Hassan II’s official residence and was built upon the ruins of an 18th-century palace. Home to many government offices, as well as quarters for the Royal Family, it is an important city building. While visitors cannot enter the main grounds, admiring the palace from the central pathway is still special.

7. Old Medina

The old medina is something that cannot be missed from any list of things to do in a Moroccan town or city. It is by far the best place to get traditional Moroccan souvenirs, and really experience the heart of the city. Here you can haggle for the best prices and take in the sights, sounds, and scents. Thankfully, Rabat is a much calmer and easygoing city in comparison to cities such as Marrakech and Casablanca. This makes the old medina less chaotic and slightly more accessible. It allows visitors to experience true Morocco in a more relaxed fashion, with wider streets and a less bustling environment.

8. Ville Nouvelle

Rabat's Ville Nouvelle (New City) is home to the Archaeological Museum and also the surprisingly interesting Postal Museum (on Avenue Mohammed V), which brings together a superb collection of Moroccan stamps, telephones, and telegraph machines. The streets of the Ville Nouvelle host a wealth of French colonial architecture and are a pleasant place for a stroll.

9. Mohammed VI Museum of Contemporary Arts

For anyone interested in Morocco's modern art movement, this museum is one of Rabat's top things to do. The permanent collection, housed in an impressively renovated building dating back to the French colonial days is small but holds artworks from nearly all the country's top names in the art world, from the mid-20th century to the present day. There is also a program of temporary exhibitions featuring both local and international artists.

10. Chellah Necropolis

The remnants of the 14th-century Merenid citadel-town of Chellah are an atmospheric place. The walled ruins are positioned in an older Roman town called Sala, which archaeologists uncovered evidence of in the 1930s. Today, parts of both these settlements can be seen. Chellah thrived as a Merenid citadel in the early 14th century. The crumbled ruins of mosques and mausoleums they built here are now covered with rambling brambles, providing nesting sites for storks. The excavated Roman part of the site includes a forum, bath, and temple.

11. Le Dhow

Embark on what promises to be one of the most interesting lounge bar experiences of your life in this one-of-a-kind premier boat bar. Located on the river mouth, below the stunning Kasbah of the Udayas, the enchanting Le Dhow is set in what appears to be a replica of an old Moroccan merchant vessel.

It is a characterful bar indeed. Complete with wooden fixtures and an elegant interior, the bar lets guests relax on the boat and enjoy the best of French cuisine. It serves everything from veal to steak. Not only can you sample fantastic dishes, but you can also drink coffee on the sun deck, or hang out in the lounge for evening concerts.

Besides this, there is much more to explore in Rabat!!!

Check out more Places to Visit