The capital city of Morocco really gave me a bit of a surprise.  I had really only gone to Rabat to get my Visa for Mauritania, planning to get out of town as soon as I could. However, I ended up staying a couple nights out of desire.  I loved the metropolitan feel of the city along with the combination of the Moroccan.  It was almost like a perfect cross between Paris and Marrakesh.  For tourists, there aren’t nearly as many things to do here as in the other Moroccan haunts, but if you’re like me you’ll thoroughly enjoy a couple days in Rabat.


Time Needed: 1-2 Days
Backpacker’s Budget: 40USD a day

Things to Do in Rabat

The riverfront at sunset

While Rabat won’t blow you away with a vast variety of things to do like Marrakesh and Fez do, there is certainly enough here to keep one occupied for a couple days.

  • The Medina: In comparison to Fez, the Medina here in Rabat is tiny.  However, it is also very crowded.  Personally, I didn’t mind pushing my way through this medina nearly as much, likely because at least I wasn’t hassled at every turn.
  • The Riverfront: A stroll along the waterfront seems miles away from the medina and worlds away from Fez.  It a great place to relax and watch the sunset as well.
  • Kasbah des Oudaias: Just at the mouth of the river overlooking the ocean, this neighbourhood is a must, and you should likely give yourself a good amount of time to wander the narrow streets, gardens, and beautiful street ways.
  • Casablanca: Some people take day trips to Casablanca.  Personally, I think the movie overblew the romantic nature of this place only slightly.  Personally, I wouldn’t really bother.  Save your extra day and spend it somewhere else.
Kasbah des Oudaias

Where to Eat in Rabat

Rabat is a great place for food.  You can really find just about everything from Moroccan to French to greasy MacDonald’s all within walking distance from each other.  Below I listed a couple of my favourites.

  • Hotel Balima: The hotel has a roof-top patio restaurant which serves really nice food and even has wifi that they might let you use.  They also have a patio where you can drink beer (yay!! beer!).
  • Chwarma: If you are standing at the front door of the Hotel Central facing the road, look right and you’ll see a place with a big sign for Chwarma and Pizza.  I’m not sure if it has a name, but I do know that both the pizzas and the chwarmas are good there.
  • La Koutoubia: This is the place to go if you’re looking for Moroccan.  They also have a great decor.  It is, however, a little expensive.
  • MacDonald’s: Don’t do it… you’re in Morocco! Oh, they have free wifi you say? Well then, get an ice cream and use the wifi!
Eat lots of Olives… do it for me!

Where to Stay in Rabat

I went for the between option and stayed at Hotel Central.  As the name indicates, it’s right in the heart of town and has a great location.  I paid 100 dirhams for a private room with a big bed.  I had to pay extra to get a hot water shower.  It was 10 dirhams for a shower.  The rooms are a bit dirty, but for what I paid, I won’t complain.

The main strip just outside of the Hotel Central and Balima

Extra Info

Getting Out of Town

Rabat is connected with just about everywhere in the country and you can basically get anywhere in a day.  The train runs to Tangier and then off to Marrakesh in the opposite direction.  They also sell tickets to Essaouira and Dhakla but you’ll have to switch into a bus in Marrakesh.

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