The lovely capital of Morocco, Rabat, is the second largest city of the country and is standing majestically ashore the Atlantic Ocean and on the mouth of Bou Regreg river. In addition to other industries, tourism is blooming in the city. Recently CNN awarded Rabat a second place in the ‘Top Travel Destinations of 2013.’ Rabat travel introduces you to the rich history, culture and energy of Morocco.
Rabat saw many dynasties and rules and became rich with monuments and edifices. Yaqub al-Mansur, an Almohad Caliph had made Rabat his capital and built many monuments, the city walls and Kasbah of Oudaias. Rabat saw French invasion and after World War II, America too had its military presence in the city.
Sale is the commuter town of Rabat, standing on the opposite bank of the river.
During Rabat travel, some places you shouldn’t miss are Kasbah of the Oudaias, Hassan Tower, Royal Mausoleum, the old Medina, Chellah (old city of historic importance), National Archeological Museum, Bank Al Maghrib Museum and the Royal Palace (you are allowed to just walk from one end to the other, which too is amazing).
In Kasbah (Oudaia), there is a café, where you get mint tea and sugary goodies, which you must enjoy overlooking the sea. To enjoy the treat here adds an unforgettable experience to your Rabat travel.
Hotel Sofitel offers a pool for a fee. Also, there is a serene park nearby, where you can take a walk.
If you have sufficient money and are in search of a relaxed, quiet area to walk or play golf, visit Royal Golf Dar Es Salam. The 440 hectare area is full of waters, trees and flowers.
Rabat’s nightlife has a cultural aspect. You can enjoy a range of Moroccan comedies and European classical dances at Theatre Mohammed V, on rue Moulay Rachid, while Cinema du 7eme Art on Avenue Allal ben Abdellah screens Arabic and European films.
Rabat clubs are highly overpriced. Amnesia in downtown Rabat is highly popular and presents a mix of European and American pop. Le Grand Comptoir at 270 bd. Mohammed V is more relaxed to have a drink. On weekends, it may present a fun night with live African or Jazz music.
Shopping opportunities in Rabat are limited, yet rewarding. Rue Souk as Sabbat is an extension of Rue Souika hosting many small shops of jellabahs, jewelry, musical instruments, babouches, and modern clothes and footwear. A worth-mentioning shop is of Ben Hamou Metloub which is packed with curios and trinkets. The main shopping street is Reu des Consuls where you will get handicrafts. Rabat’s traditional carpet is unique and is made within medina and Kasbah and a carpet auction is held every Monday and Thursday.
Rabat travel gives you a delicious food experience, with its trendy cafés, high-end restaurants and scrumptious street food. Being a beach resort, fresh seafood is inevitable, but vegetarians too have a wide choice. Le Petit Beur – Dar Tajine, Le Ziryab, Restaurant Dinarjat and Restaurant el-Bahia are worth-visiting for Moroccan food, while La Mamma, Le Fuji and Le Grand Comptoir should be visited for international cuisine.
Rabat has an energetic sports scene. Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium is a multipurpose stadium in the city, but is mostly used for football matches and athletics. Other sports like volleyball, basketball, handball, etc are also popular.
If you plan Rabat travel in April, don’t miss the Wax Lantern Festival in Sale wherein a night procession is held in the honor of the revered saint of Sale with wax lanterns. And next day is Eid el-Mouloud, the birthday of Prophet Mohammed, which is also a must-attend. May is the time for Mawazine Rhythms of the World and June is the month of Jazz au Chellah, which also should not be missed, as you get to hear some of the best music. Also don’t miss Festival of Rabat held from 25th July to 4th August, when you can enjoy cinemas, dramas, art showcases and Berber music.