Medina of Rabat – Fantastic Shopping in the City Center
Rabat has been the capital city of Morocco since the French protectorate ended in the 1950's. Rabat is a modern coastal city, but the atmosphere is quite easy-going in comparison to Casablanca which is a booming metropolis. The city's buildings and houses are painted white and are surrounded with beautiful gardens. Rabat has a number of wide boulevards and is full of interesting historical sites and monuments. Some of these sites originate as far back as the seventh century and are definitely worth visiting. One of the must-see attractions is the Medina of Rabat, which is in the older part of the city and can be entered through Souika Street.
The small medina was all there was of Rabat before the French came in 1912 and expanded the city, creating new quarters. This original section of town was created when Andalusian Muslim refugees fled from their hometown of Badajoz in Spain. In the medina of Rabat there are lots of traditional shops and cafes that you can visit and explore. Rabat’s medina is a pleasure to walk around in as it is relatively hassle-free in comparison to other larger medinas in Morocco.
One of the popular shops you can expect to see is a leather footwear bazaar where you will find interesting leather shoes, leather bags and wallets at a good price. There are lots of Moroccan craft shops that contain a variety of items, like the well-known Rabat and Berber carpets and embroidered fabrics. It is also good to look out for the shops that sell a number of copper items since it is here that you will find some very interesting buys. Then there are the usual souvenirs and curiosity shops, which sell lamps, fabrics, jewelry, antiques, rocks and wooden items.
There are also stalls on Green Street in the Rabat Medina that sell plastic bags full of mentha leaves which are used to make meantha tea. This particular type of tea is sometimes called Moroccan vodka because it is the cheapest drink you can buy in Morocco. There are lots of bargains to be found here at Rabat’s medina and so you are assured of coming away with a couple of well priced items to take home with you.