Being one of the four imperial cities of Morocco, the ravishing Rabat by the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of Bou Regreg River cannot be left out of your itinerary. Rabat is not only Morocco’s capital but a UNESCO World Heritage site. Setup in late 11th century, this city had always been of huge military importance to all its rulers. Yet it plays second fiddle to Marrakech when it comes to tourism. This charming city of North Africa with its palm-lined boulevards, clean beaches, evocative kasbah and fortified medinas is up for pleasing both city weekenders and those looking to travel beyond Morocco’s mainstream tourist spots.
Your Morocco travel is incomplete without experiencing the enchanting beauty of Rabat. This administrative city consists of three parts – the Medinas, the Oudayas and Hassan. With typical Mediterranean climate this city embraces global tourists all through the year. Once you start exploring this historic city, you keep falling in love with it.
Also known as “Shalla” this significant landmark of Rabat is a must visit. Enjoy your Morocco holidays at this historic site which is actually made up of Roman remnants built somewhere around 40 AD. Granted as World Heritage Status in 2012, this medieval fortified necropolis is on the south of the Bou Regreg estuary. This picturesque ruins of mausoleums and mosques, hosts international “Festival of Jazz” every year. Don’t forget to include this in your Morocco tour package.
- Hassan’s Tower
Witness Rabat’s rich history and exotic architecture at this minaret of an incomplete mosque. Commissioned in 1195 by Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur, the tower was intended to be the world’s largest minaret. However in 1199 the construction stopped due to al-Mansur’s death. Standing tall at 140 ft, this red sandstone structure on the Boulevard Mohamed Lyazidi is a prominent tourist attraction.
- Kasbah of the Udayas
Located at the mouth of the Bou Regreg River opposite Salé, this Kasbah in Rabat was built in 12th century. This residential area with its narrow alleyways are lined with whitewashed houses – most of which were built by Muslim refugees from Spain. The enchanting views of the river and ocean from the Plateforme du Sémaphore along with attractive Andalusian Gardens at its southern edge are a popular tourist spot and meeting point for locals. A stroll along these narrow bylanes is a must in your next trip to Morocco.
- Medina of Rabat
The fortified medina of Rabat along the sea was built in 17th century, where getting lost in the maze of narrow streets is inevitable. The main market street is Rue Souika, with its western stretch allocated to local shopping while shops geared largely to tourists is in the covered Souk-As-Sebbat to its east. An awesome place to explore and get lovely, traditional souvenirs for your friends back home.
- Andalusian Gardens
The picturesque garden is shutterbugs’ paradise. The Roman remnants along with Moorish castle and well maintained garden around, makes this location a great place to stroll and relax. Dominated by ample greenery of several fruit trees and bougainvillea, this place makes a wonderful shady retreat on hot days.
- Mausoleum of Mohamed V
Located off Rue Abdel Moumen, this masterpiece of modern Alaouite dynasty architecture with its white silhouette and green tiled roof is a prominent landmark of Rabat. This mausoleum houses the tombs of the Moroccan king and his two sons, late King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah and is a popular tourist site.
- Cimetière Europeen
Wandering in Rabat can lead to this giant cemetery that opens up to the waterfront. Also known as European Cemetery, one can witness thousands of beautifully engraved tombstones stacked up in rows. Several military sections consisting of 1145 members who died in the service of France between 1911 and 1956 can be spotted here. There are also nine British Commonwealth burials of the Second World War. Don’t forget to include this unique destination in your Morocco vacation.