Adventures Morocco

25th February 2024

Best Things to Do in Rabat: 14 Epic Adventures (2023)

If you are planning to visit Rabat, you’re in luck! In this blog post, we’ve got you covered with a handpicked selection of the best things to do in Rabat, straight from our experienced travel team who have explored every nook and cranny of this enchanting destination.

From our past experience of leading group trips here and our last visit to this place, we learned that Rabat is a hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. 

So, if you’re ready to dive into a world of fascinating landmarks, vibrant markets, and delicious cuisine, fasten your seatbelts and get ready for an exhilarating journey through the charming streets of Rabat.

You won’t want to miss a moment of the excitement that awaits you in this incredible city!

14 Best Things to Do in Rabat

Here are some of the best things to do in Rabat;

1. Stroll the Oudaias Kasbah

oudaias kasbah morocco

Take a leisurely stroll through the charming Oudaias Kasbah, a historic neighborhood that exudes a distinct Moorish ambiance. Explore its narrow winding streets, adorned with vibrant blue and white houses, and immerse yourself in its rich architectural heritage.

Don’t miss the iconic Andalusian Gardens, where you can relax amidst lush greenery and enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Location: Rabat, Morocco
  • Famous for: Historic neighborhood, Moorish ambiance, Andalusian Gardens

2. Admire the Hassan Tower

Hassan Tower morocco

Marvel at the impressive Hassan Tower, an iconic landmark that stands as a testament to Rabat’s glorious past. This unfinished minaret, dating back to the 12th century, is part of an ambitious mosque project.

Climb the tower’s stairs for panoramic views of the city or simply admire its intricate craftsmanship and exquisite design from the ground. Don’t forget to explore the nearby archaeological site, where you can see the remnants of the grand mosque that was never completed.

  • Location: Rabat, Morocco
  • Famous for: Iconic minaret, 12th-century landmark, the architectural masterpiece

3. Visit the Mausoleum of Mohamed V

Mausoleum of Mohammed V morocco

Pay homage to one of Morocco’s revered leaders at the Mausoleum of Mohamed V. This magnificent mausoleum houses the tombs of King Mohamed V and his sons, King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah.

Admire the stunning architecture, which blends traditional Moroccan and Islamic elements, and witness the meticulous attention to detail in the mausoleum’s interior. This serene and sacred site offers a peaceful atmosphere for reflection and remembrance.

  • Location: Rabat, Morocco
  • Famous for: Tombs of Moroccan leaders, stunning architecture, serene atmosphere

4. Explore the Chellah Necropolis

Chellah Necropolis morocco

Step back in time as you explore the ancient ruins of the Chellah Necropolis. This archaeological site was once a bustling Roman city and later transformed into a medieval necropolis. Wander through its well-preserved ruins, including Roman baths, ancient walls, and ornate gates.

The Chellah Necropolis also houses a tranquil garden filled with aromatic flowers and an abundance of bird species, making it a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

  • Location: Rabat, Morocco
  • Famous for: Ancient Roman city, medieval necropolis, tranquil garden.

5. Wander through Rabat’s Medina

Wander through Rabat's Medina morocco

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Rabat’s Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lose yourself in its labyrinthine alleyways, brimming with colorful markets, traditional shops, and local artisans.

Indulge in the sensory delights of Moroccan cuisine, sip aromatic mint tea, and shop for unique handicrafts and souvenirs.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the bustling Souk Es Sebat, where you can haggle for spices, textiles, and traditional Moroccan pottery.

  • Location: Rabat, Morocco
  • Famous for: UNESCO World Heritage site, colorful markets, traditional crafts

6. Visit the Mohammed VI Museum of Contemporary Arts

Mohammed VI Museum morocco

Discover the thriving contemporary art scene of Rabat at the Mohammed VI Museum of Contemporary Arts.

This cultural institution showcases a diverse collection of modern artworks from Moroccan and international artists.

Explore the thought-provoking exhibitions that span various mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, and video installations.

The museum also hosts regular events, workshops, and lectures, offering visitors an opportunity to engage with the dynamic world of contemporary art.

  • Location: Rabat, Morocco
  • Famous for: Contemporary art collection, Moroccan and international artists, cultural events

7. Stroll Rabat’s Ville Nouvelle

Rabat's Ville Nouvelle morocco

Experience the modern side of Rabat in the Ville Nouvelle, the new town district. Take a leisurely stroll along the tree-lined boulevards and admire the elegant French colonial architecture.

Discover trendy boutiques, stylish cafes, and upscale restaurants that blend harmoniously with the city’s historical charm.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Mohammed V Avenue, a bustling promenade lined with shops, theaters, and cultural institutions.

  • Location: Rabat, Morocco
  • Famous for: Modern district, French colonial architecture, trendy boutiques

8. Take in Moroccan History at Rabat Archaeology Museum

Rabat Archaeology Museum morocco

Delve into Morocco’s rich history at the Rabat Archaeology Museum. This fascinating museum showcases an extensive collection of artifacts that span several millennia, including ancient Roman pottery, Phoenician jewelry, and Islamic ceramics.

Explore the meticulously curated exhibits that offer insights into the country’s prehistoric, Roman, and Islamic civilizations. The museum’s knowledgeable guides and interactive displays ensure an enriching experience for history enthusiasts of all ages.

  • Location: Rabat, Morocco
  • Famous for: Ancient artifacts, prehistoric to Islamic civilizations, interactive exhibits

9. Trip across the River to Salé Medina

River to Salé Medina morocco

Cross the river from Rabat to Salé and discover the charm of Salé Medina. This lesser-known gem boasts narrow winding streets, beautifully preserved architecture, and a laid-back atmosphere.

Explore its historic sites, including the Great Mosque of Salé, a stunning example of Moroccan Islamic architecture. Indulge in the flavors of traditional Moroccan cuisine at the local eateries and soak up the authentic local culture that Salé Medina has to offer.

  • Location: Salé, Morocco (across the river from Rabat) Famous for: Preserved architecture, Great Mosque of Salé, authentic local culture

10. Visit the Abou Hassan Medersa in Salé

Abou Hassan Medersa morocco

Immerse yourself in the architectural splendor of the Abou Hassan Medersa in Salé. This centuries-old theological school showcases exquisite Moroccan craftsmanship with its intricate stucco carvings, geometric tile work, and serene courtyard.

Take a moment to appreciate the serene ambiance and marvel at the mastery of Islamic architectural design.

  • Location: Salé, Morocco (across the river from Rabat)
  • Famous for: Theological school, intricate craftsmanship, serene courtyard

11. Take a Nature Break within the Jardins Exotiques

Jardins Exotiques morocco

Escape the urban hustle and reconnect with nature at the Jardins Exotiques. These enchanting gardens offer a serene oasis filled with lush vegetation, exotic plants, and colorful flowers.

Take a leisurely stroll along the winding paths, discover hidden corners, and breathe in the fragrant scents of the garden. The Jardins Exotiques provide a tranquil retreat where you can unwind and soak up the natural beauty that Rabat has to offer.

  • Location: Rabat, Morocco
  • Famous for: Serene gardens, lush vegetation, exotic plants

12. Day Trip to the Sites around Kenitra

Kenitra morocco

Embark on a day trip from Rabat to explore the fascinating sites around Kenitra. Discover the Roman ruins of Thamusida, where you can witness the remains of ancient baths, temples, and intricate mosaics.

Explore the nearby archaeological site of Lixus, an ancient Phoenician and Roman city, known for its stunning hilltop views and well-preserved ruins. These historical sites offer a glimpse into Morocco’s ancient past and make for an enriching day trip from Rabat.

  • Location: Kenitra (near Rabat), Morocco
  • Famous for: Roman ruins of Thamusida, archaeological site of Lixus, ancient history

13. Visit Moulay Bousselham

Experience the natural beauty of Moulay Bousselham, a picturesque coastal town located a short distance from Rabat. Known for its stunning lagoon, this idyllic destination offers a peaceful retreat surrounded by pristine beaches, sand dunes, and an abundance of bird species.

Take a boat ride on the lagoon, go birdwatching, or simply relax on the sandy shores and soak up the tranquil atmosphere of this coastal paradise.

  • Location: Moulay Bousselham (near Rabat), Morocco
  • Famous for: Picturesque coastal town, stunning lagoon, birdwatching

14. Surf or Sunbathe on Rabat’s Nearby Beaches

Rabat is blessed with beautiful beaches that offer opportunities for relaxation and adventure. Grab your surfboard and catch the waves at spots like Plage des Nations or Plage de Mehdia, known for their consistent swells.

If you prefer a more laid-back beach experience, head to Plage de Rabat or Plage de Salé, where you can sunbathe on golden sands and take refreshing dips in the azure waters. Whether you’re a surfer or a sun seeker, Rabat’s nearby beaches provide the perfect setting to unwind and enjoy the coastal vibes.

  • Location: Rabat, Morocco
  • Famous for: Beautiful beaches, surfing spots, golden sands

How to Reach Rabat

1. By Road

Rabat is easily accessible by road, with well-maintained highways connecting it to major cities in Morocco. Whether you’re arriving from Casablanca, Marrakech, or other nearby destinations, traveling to Rabat by road offers convenience and flexibility. Car rentals and private taxis are available for a comfortable journey.

2. By Train

Rabat has a well-developed rail network, making train travel a convenient option. The city is connected to various Moroccan cities, including Casablanca, Marrakech, and Tangier. The central train station in Rabat is located in the city center, allowing for easy access to your desired destination upon arrival.

3. By Air

Rabat-Salé Airport serves as the gateway to the city for international and domestic travelers. Located just a short distance from the city center, the airport offers regular flights from major cities around the world.

From the airport, you can easily reach Rabat by taxi or private transportation, ensuring a seamless transition to your destination.

Best Time to Visit Rabat

Before delving into the must-see attractions and activities, let’s consider the ideal time to explore Rabat. With its Mediterranean climate, Rabat experiences mild winters and warm summers.

The best months to visit are between April and June or September and October when the weather is pleasant, and the tourist crowds are relatively smaller. During these months, you can comfortably explore the city’s landmarks and enjoy outdoor activities without the scorching heat or excessive rainfall.

Where to Stay in Rabat

  1. Riad Kalaa: Nestled in the heart of Rabat’s medina, Riad Kalaa is a charming boutique hotel that offers a peaceful oasis amidst the bustling city. With its traditional Moroccan architecture and elegant décor, this riad provides a truly authentic experience. Enjoy the serene courtyard, rooftop terrace with panoramic views, and comfortable rooms adorned with Moroccan craftsmanship.
  2. Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses: For those seeking luxury and sophistication, Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses is an excellent choice. Located in a tranquil garden setting, this five-star hotel offers spacious and beautifully appointed rooms with modern amenities. Indulge in the hotel’s luxurious spa, outdoor swimming pool, and exquisite dining options.
  3. Villa Diyafa Boutique Hotel & Spa: Situated in the upscale neighborhood of Souissi, Villa Diyafa Boutique Hotel & Spa is a haven of tranquility and refinement. This boutique hotel combines traditional Moroccan design with contemporary elegance. The spacious and beautifully decorated rooms exude a sense of luxury and comfort. Unwind at the hotel’s spa, dine at the gourmet restaurant, or relax in the lush gardens.

Where to Eat in Rabat

  1. La Sqala – Located within the historic medina of Rabat, La Sqala is a culinary gem known for its exquisite Moroccan cuisine and enchanting atmosphere. Set in a beautifully restored fortress, this restaurant offers a unique dining experience with its lush gardens, tranquil ambiance, and traditional Moroccan decor.
  2. Le Dhow – For a memorable dining experience with stunning views, head to Le Dhow, a floating restaurant on the Bouregreg River. Step aboard the beautifully decorated boat and enjoy a delightful mix of Moroccan and international cuisine while taking in the panoramic vistas of Rabat’s skyline and the iconic Hassan Tower.
  3. Dar Zaki – Tucked away in the heart of Rabat’s medina, Dar Zaki is a hidden culinary gem that offers a fusion of Moroccan and Mediterranean flavors. This charming riad restaurant features an intimate courtyard setting adorned with traditional Moroccan tiles and lush greenery. Enjoy a diverse menu that showcases the freshest local ingredients, including tantalizing seafood, savory pastilla, and an array of vegetarian options.

Travel Tips & Suggestions

  1. Explore the historic medina and immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture.
  2. Visit the stunning Hassan Tower and the picturesque Chellah Necropolis.
  3. Indulge in the flavors of Moroccan cuisine at traditional restaurants and street food stalls.
  4. Take a stroll along the scenic Bouregreg River and enjoy the views of the Kasbah of the Udayas.
  5. Shop for unique souvenirs and handicrafts at the bustling markets of Rabat.
  6. Experience the traditional Moroccan hammam for a rejuvenating spa treatment.
  7. Take a day trip to the nearby coastal town of Sale and explore its charming streets and beautiful beaches.

Conclusion – Things to Do in Rabat

Rabat, a captivating city, offers unforgettable experiences for every traveler. Explore historic landmarks, vibrant medinas, and indulge in local cuisine. Don’t miss the Mausoleum of Mohamed V, the Chellah Necropolis, and the Jardins Exotiques. Discover contemporary art, the modern side of Rabat, and nearby natural beauty. 

With easy accessibility, embark on a remarkable journey to create lasting memories in this enchanting city. Pack your bags and let Rabat’s rich culture, landmarks, and beaches amaze you.

FAQs – Best Things to Do in Rabat

What are the best things to do in Rabat?

There is a range of things to do in Rabat. Don’t miss the historic Oudaias Kasbah, where you can stroll through charming streets and visit the Andalusian Gardens. Admire the iconic Hassan Tower and explore the nearby archaeological site. Visit the Mausoleum of Mohamed V, a stunning tribute to Morocco’s revered leaders. Wander through the vibrant Medina, indulge in the local cuisine, and shop for unique souvenirs. And of course, don’t forget to relax and enjoy the beautiful nearby beaches.

How can I get to Rabat?

Rabat is easily accessible by road, train, or air. You can reach Rabat by driving on well-maintained highways from major cities in Morocco. The city also has a well-developed rail network, connecting it to Casablanca, Marrakech, and other cities. If you’re coming from abroad, you can fly into Rabat-Salé Airport, which offers regular flights from around the world.

What is the best time to visit Rabat?

The best time to visit Rabat is between April and June or September and October. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and the tourist crowds are relatively smaller. You can comfortably explore the city’s attractions without extreme heat or heavy rainfall.

Are there any day trips in Rabat?

Absolutely! Take a day trip to the sites around Kenitra and explore the Roman ruins of Thamusida and the archaeological site of Lixus. You can also visit the picturesque coastal town of Moulay Bousselham, known for its stunning lagoon and beautiful beaches. These destinations offer a change of scenery and a chance to immerse yourself in Morocco’s history and natural beauty.

Is Rabat safe for tourists?

Rabat is generally a safe city for tourists. Like any travel destination, it’s always important to exercise common sense and take necessary precautions. Stick to well-lit areas, avoid displaying valuable items, and be aware of your surroundings. It’s also recommended to follow any local guidelines or advice provided by authorities or your accommodation.

Are there any cultural events or festivals in Rabat?

Rabat hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year. Keep an eye out for the International Festival of Contemporary Arts, which showcases a diverse range of artistic performances and exhibitions. The Mawazine World Rhythms Festival is another popular event, featuring international music artists and attracting music enthusiasts from around the world. These events offer a unique opportunity to experience the vibrant cultural scene of Rabat.

How can I explore Rabat on a budget?

Rabat offers several budget-friendly options for exploring the city. Many attractions, such as the Oudaias Kasbah and the Hassan Tower, have affordable entrance fees. You can also enjoy exploring Medina and its colorful markets without spending much. Try the local street food and dine at small local eateries for an authentic and budget-friendly culinary experience. Additionally, consider using public transportation or walking to get around the city, as it can be cost-effective and allows you to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere.

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