3 Days in Rabat, Morocco’s Capital City

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After 2 weeks of travelling in Morocco we made it to Rabat, a city with a relaxed vibe that I instantly loved. Located on Morocco’s Atlantic Coast, Rabat is the capital city of Morocco and is a lot smaller than nearby city Casablanca. It’s elegant tree-lined streets give it a very European feel and it’s Medina kept us entertained for hours with some of the best shopping and some of the cheapest food we came across during our time in Morocco.

Please Note: At the time of writing, 10 DH is equal to approx $1/ £1.50

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How long to spend in Rabat

Rabat might even be my favourite city in Morocco, and I was glad we ended up with 3 days to explore the city.

We felt like 3 days was plenty of time, some would probably find 3 days too much time as the main sights could all definitely be seen in 2 days, especially if you’re on a stricter time schedule, but for us it was nice to relax and take it slow after a busy few weeks travelling around the rest of the country.

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Elegant tree-lined streets in Rabat

How to get to Rabat

Rabat is located on Morocco’s very efficient railway line, travel to and from Rabat couldn’t have been any easier. It took us just over 3 hours to get to Rabat from Fes on the train and the ticket cost 85Dh per person (£6.80). Alternatively, to get to or from Meknes, it takes just over 2 hours and costs  69Dh (£5.50). And if you’re going in the other direction, Casablanca is only 1 hour away (35Dh/ £2.80) and Marrakech is about 3.5 hours away.

Once in Rabat, the tram around the city costs 7Dh (60 pence) per journey.

What to do in Rabat

 

Shop, eat and drink in the Medina

I loved Rabat Medina. It gets really busy in the evenings; once the sun goes down this is the place where everyone seems to be at. Rabat Medina seemed much less touristy than any other Medina we visited in Morocco, so the shopping was a much more enjoyable experience.

I actually really loved shopping here, where the vendors don’t hassle you as you walk by and prices were cheaper than anywhere we had seen in Morocco. I ended up with 2 new pairs of trainers! (trainers cost anything from about £4), Shaun got a vintage Nike jacket in the flea market (£3) and a new bracelet cost me 8 Dh (about 60p).

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Entering Rabat Medina from the top of Avenue Mohammed V

Wander around the white and blue Kasbah des Oudayas

Built in the 12th century, the Kasbah des Oudayas is located on the cliff top by the edge of the Bou Regreg river. It’s narrow streets are lined with ridiculously beautiful white and blue houses! There is a really nice viewpoint once you’ve walked through the Kasbah which overlooks the ocean and the river.

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Inside the pretty white and blue Kasbah

Head to the other side, to the city of Sale

Located on the other side of the Bou Regreg river is the little city of Sale. We spent a few hours here wandering around the small maze of souks and had a walk along the beach. There is a very relaxed vibe here and it’s a true Moroccan town, not overwhelmed by tourists. Sale is not far from the centre of Rabat so easily accessible, we got a tram here and back for 7 Dh each way (60p).

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Wandering around the city of Sale

Visit the beach

Although not the most beautiful beach we’ve ever seen, it would have been fine to sunbathe on if the weather was warmer.  We were there in March and it was not quite hot enough for a beach day! For us, the beach was nice to just take a stroll across. The beaches around Rabat are also a popular place for surfing.

Drink lots of smoothies

I think I became a bit addicted to fruit juice and smoothies in Rabat so I have to include it in this list, as it’s what we spent a lot of time doing. The Medina is packed full of places that sell them for really cheap. I loved sitting with a smoothie at the side of Avenue Mohammed V, watching the world go by. My favourite choice being Jus de Fraise!

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Jus de Fraise ❤

 

Where we slept in Rabat

We stayed in Hotel Lutece, which cost us £31 a night and despite costing double what most of our other rooms in Morocco cost, it was one of the cheapest we could find in Rabat and it was perfect for us. The location was excellent, really close to the Medina and the kasbah and only about 20 minutes walk to the train station. After weeks of staying in traditional Riads, it was quite nice to stay in a hotel for a change.

Where we ate in Rabat

Restaurant les Voyageurs  – located on the edge of the Medina, we stumbled across this place whilst in search for a toilet! It was so busy inside and the food looked great, so we gave it a try and loved it so much we went back the next day too. It cost us 25 Dh each (less than £2) for a plate of chicken, fries and rice, with a free bread basket and olives.

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Happy Shaun eating his favourite meal in Morocco!

Patisserie Majestic – This was our favourite breakfast spot and although it wasn’t the cheapest place for breakfast it was definitely reasonable and so we treated ourselves each morning as we loved it so much. It cost us 55 Dh (just over £2 each) for a coffee each and 3 items each. Probably one of the best bakeries we’ve ever been to!

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It was so yummy I had to take a bite before I took the photo…

Good Way – There were loads of little cheap food places along Ave Mohammed V where you can sit outside on little plastic chairs and eat pizza and drink fruit juice, the menu’s and prices all looked fairly similar, but we went for ‘Good Way’, one that was consistently busy with young locals. It was great for a cheap lunch time spot as it only cost us 15Dh per pizza (£1.20!)

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Yummy cheap pizza

And that’s how we spent 3 days relaxing in the really lovely Moroccan city of Rabat. A city often overlooked by tourists, we felt it definitely deserves a spot on any Morocco itinerary!

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Hi, I'm Zoe. Welcome to Zo Around The World! Since 2012, I have travelled to 24 countries within 4 continents. Zo Around The World is a collection of my travel experiences – particularly writing about backpacking and budget travel. I am a self confessed over-organised travel planner, travel has become my favourite part of my life and let me show you how it can become yours too

17 thoughts on “3 Days in Rabat, Morocco’s Capital City

  1. With every post I read about Morocco, I get more and more excited to visit someday! I think this is the first post I’ve read about Rabat, most of the others focused on Marrakesh and Fez, like you said. Thanks for giving me some new ideas!

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    1. Thanks Diana! 🙂 Yeah I haven’t seen many other posts on Rabat either, it’s definitely lots less touristy there than anywhere else we visited in Morocco! Hope you get chance to visit one day 🙂

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  2. Great post! Glad you’ve included a map I always find having a map at the beginning of a post really useful. Love that you’ve also covered food because that’s one of my fave parts of exploring a new place.

    I’m keen to get to Morocco probably for a girls trip next summer as my friends (who don’t really travel) are keen to go but a little nervous without me to help plan! Shock haha.

    Thanks for sharing your post – really inspiring.

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  3. Morocco is on our list to go to as I was always fascinated of their colourful buildings, beautiful Riads and a fidderent cuisine. Love your points there & can’t believe how cheap some things were. Good motivation to get a trip booked!

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  4. Perfect timing as we’re heading over there in January for six weeks with our camper. Didn’t know that Rabat was the capital – every day is a school day. And juices and smoothies – right up my street. Thank you for putting something on the list for us. Kx

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  5. Ahhh, Rabat sounds lovely. I have such wanderlust for Morocco, and all the blue colors and delicious food just made it worse. Especially the fruit smoothies (those strawberry slices on top are amazing). ❤ I think I'd love to try my hand at surfing here, too… Thanks for putting Rabat on our map! Pinning for later. 🙂

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  6. I had no idea Rabat was so beautiful — the Kasbah especially looks so atmospheric. And 15 dirham for pizza…that’s awesome. Really wish I’d stopped here between Fes and Marrakech.

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  7. I became a smoothie addict in Morocco too! I didn’t make it to Rabat, sadly. Nice to read some info about it – looks like it has a very different feel to Marrakech. That pastry thing looks amazing.

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  8. I’m definitely admittedly guilty of overlooking Rabat and not knowing much about it, so I loved this post! I would really like to visit Morocco, it looks so vibrant and full of so much character. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Thanks for this! I’ve been to only Marrakech and now it seems like I have to go back to visit Morocco again! The food also looks slightly different from what I’ve had. Another place to add to the list 🙂

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