Rabat, the capital of Morocco, is less known for tourists as it is usually shadowed by Marrakech or nearby Casablanca. It is, however, particularly interesting to visit and in my case, I would even love to live there for few years. My last visit was 2 years ago when I stayed for one night only. Rabat is quiet, peaceful and has tons of things to offer so that’s why I came back for another visit!
1- Full of culture and museums
Rabat is for sure the capital of culture in Morocco. It is full of museums and cultural events all year long. From music festivals to art exhibitions. Everything!
I particularly love the Mohammed VI Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art which has recently opened. I went during an exhibition about Africa to celebrate the return of Morocco to the African Union. It highlighted art from the continent which surely brings people together. There are other museums to visit such as the Bank Al Maghrib Museum to know all about Moroccan money or the Archeology Museum.
A must-see is also the Hassan Tower and the King Mausoleum, both located near the Old Town.
2- Exceptional historical Old Town with panoramic views
The Old Town is surely a good reason to visit. It’s not small but not huge so it’s possible to get lost and enjoy the little streets without being stuck in a never-ending labyrinth. There’s also the Oudayas which is annexed to the Old Town and has the prettiest alleys of the city. The main colours are white and blue which resonates with the sky and the clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. I highly recommend to get some tea at the café behind the Andalucian Garden.
3- Most likely the safest city in Morocco
Don’t get me wrong. All of Morocco is generally safe but Rabat is a step higher in terms of safety records. Crimes are low and most areas are secured with police and military presence. Sometimes it’s possible to see a lot of police but that’s nothing to worry about, they are usually near government buildings.
Moreover, the King of Morocco himself has his permanent residency in Rabat so the city is well-protected. I was able to walk freely with my camera, my phone and my belongings in my hand in the streets of the capital, without any worries. That’s something I NEVER do in Casablanca, due to a poor safety record there.
4- Emerging and modern New Town
The New Town is fastly emerging with many new modern buildings, shopping malls and places of interest. There are many things to do even there but mostly in terms of eating out, drinking and partying. It’s also a place to witness the daily local life of Moroccans, not too busy but not too relax either. Strangely, the vibes in Rabat slightly remind me of the Serbian capital, Belgrade.
5- Connected to nature by Bouregreg Lake and the Atlantic Ocean
Rabat is also the ecological capital of Morocco and thanks to its location, it’s easily connected to nature too.
For example, it’s easy to get to the countryside, just 30 minutes drive. There is an urban forest known as Hilton Forest. By the other bank of the Bouregreg, there is Ain Houala Forest in Sale.
Most importantly, Rabat is connected to water as well. The Atlantic Ocean is easy to access, either in the city center beaches, or for more remote beaches, it’s possible to drive few minutes to find peace of mind.
Overall, Rabat is one of my favourite cities and it has a lot of potential! I recommend a visit on your next trip to Morocco. For more posts about Morocco, check out:
- 6 Alternative Cities to Marrakech in Morocco
- Must-see: 9 Things to Do in Tangier’s Old Town
- 5 Things To Do in Chefchaouen
- Music Festivals in Morocco