Journey to the Capital of Morocco – Rabat
Rabat is home to the Moroccan government as well as a hub of traditional cuisine and architecture and much more. Well worth a visit! The Ville Nouvelle has beautiful modern French-built hotels. For a capital city, Rabat is very quiet and offers a number of excellent restaurants, clubs and pubs.
Rabat is the second biggest city after Casablanca. It is famous for its many historical monuments, luxurious carpets and rich embroidered goods. A good thing about Rabat is that you can easily explore the city on your own without the help of a guide. This gives you time to chat with locals in the cafés who do not depend on the money of the tourists.
The Ville Nouvelle has beautiful modern French-built hotels and also the standard chain hotels. Hotel space is limited – especially in midsummer and June – so be sure to book a room well in advance. If you don’t manage to organize a hotel room, you might try a luxury hotel, a villa, a self-catering cottage or a studio apartment.
Things to See & Do
Rabat’s Medina is all there was before the French arrived in 1912 it’s a dense sector that is nestled between the sea and the river with stone and white washed buildings.
Rabat’s Archeological Museum is probably the most important in Morocco. It hosts an exceptional collection of roman-era bronzes. Descriptions are in French and the museum guide will also be glad to give you a tour in French.
The Palace Museum
The palace itself was built in the seventeen century and is home to exhibitions of Moroccan arts and culture that are usually very fascinating.
The Andalusian Gardens
The Andalusian Gardens surround the Palace Museum and were constructed in the twentieth century by the French. It is the meeting place for woman on Friday and Sunday afternoons and is filled with the lovely scents of trees, bougainvillea, herbs and flowers.
For a capital city, Rabat is very quiet and offers a number of excellent restaurants, clubs and pubs. The Medina is home to a few very good cafe-restaurants. The restaurants here are moderately priced and inexpensive. In the Ville Nouvelle you will find a fine selection of Moroccan and French restaurants for five-star cuisine and also a few Oriental Restaurants for a change in cuisine.
With the city centre of Rabat being very compact, all the points of interest are in walking distance. Local Bus services can be very useful and they are marked very clearly. Petit and Grands taxis can be found at the airport, the train station and at Boulevard Hassan. Take note that Petit taxis are not authorized to operate between Rabat and Salé.
Rabat Ville’s main train station is right in the middle of the Ville Nouvelle, just a few minutes walk to most of the hotels, so it is best to arrive in Rabat by train. There is even a bureau de change and a car rental office on the station platform. The main bus terminal is situated in Place Zerktouni – three kilometers west of the centre by the road intersection for Casablanca and Beni Mellal Grand taxis from Casablanca and Fez will drop you off at the main bus station. Rabat’s airport is seven kilometers km north of Rabat and grand taxis are the only public transport operating from here. It isn’t difficult to catch one.