Rabat can look quite calm compared to the neighboring Casablanca but is nonetheless full of character. Airy, washed by the Atlantic Ocean, modern but protected by authentic fortified walls, the city offers many historical and cultural tours, such as the Chellah or the Oudaïas Kasbah… not to be missed! Art is all around: from trendy restaurants to art galleries and cafés, the perfect excuse for a stroll downtown. To live like a local, for a few days, in Rabat, here are AccorHotels ideas.
Morocco’s capital city is an imperial town. Small boats sails down the oued, water is all around and in front of you are the fortified walls of the quiet town. Through the grand Bab Chellah start wandering in the Medina, you will end up walking Hassan II avenue that goes through the central market. Stroll down Souika street where the Sebbate souk, which gathers craftsmen and stall holders, has plenty to offer. Further down, El Alou Boulevard takes you to the Kissaria, where you can find local jewellery makers. Consuls street ends at the Oudaïas Kasbah, a fortified village where a sumptuous palace stands. Visit the national Museum and have a break in its Andalusian gardens. White and blue buildings, wrought iron and decoration, pedestrian streets, you are in Spain. Later, walk down to Bab el Bahr to enjoy a stunning view of the old harbour. Then, head to the Hassan tower, an uncompleted minaret, symbolizing Rabat and Moroccan tradition. In the gardens, gaze at the water and enjoy the fresh marine air. Last but not least, the Chellah Necropolis where the merinide kings lie, is built on the ruins of the Roman town Sala. Storks and an abundant flora seem to enjoy living between the minaret and the Roman ruins. Keep traveling back time with the Archeology museum and the Bank Al Maghrib Museum. End your tour with the Mohammed VI modern art Museum on Moulay Hassan Avenue, a must see!
Mohamed VI museum is a foretaste of the trendy city where artists love to settle down. Not convinced? Head to the train station neighbourhood which dates back to the 1930’s, home of artists. A retro setting, where the tramway drives you around, art galleries are well-established. From roof-tops to restaurants, from concept-stores to cafés, the choice is yours. A buzzing cultural city, Rabat welcomes several festivals such as Mawazine, an international pop music festival happening every year in May or the International Festival of Rabat, an arts crossroads, or the “Jazz at the Oudaïas” Festival a favorite of the Jazz music lovers.
Want to have a look at the local fashion? Go to the Rabat-Salé Marina, on the banks of the Bouregreg, where artists, decoration and fashion designers gather and literature meet and greet happen. Fashion addict? The Mega Mall on Mohammed VI Avenue or the luxury boutiques in Souissi neighborhood are your playground.
On the week-ends, the locals take their beach baskets and head to the Ocean. Skhirat, Temara and its gorgeous beaches or Bouznika are a perfect destination for sunny week-ends or summertime. They are the favorites of inhabitants of Rabat. If you choose the golden sand of Temara, take your time and visit the Rabat zoo where 2000 animals live in a beautiful park. More of the gardening type? Discover the exotic gardens of Sidi Bouknadel. Walk over suspension bridges for a breathtaking view of this lush park with rare species of animals and plants. Here is a hidden secret: take your picnic basket and go to the Maamora forest for a quiet lunch under the shadows of Eucalyptus trees and cork oaks. To end your getaway in Rabat, enjoy a walk in Salé, the charming neighboring town. Have a stroll in the lively medina, on the promenade on the beach where you can enjoy a gorgeous view of the Oudaïas Kasbah.