Initially, I wasn’t sure if I should even visit Rabat. After all, I don’t usually like capitals very much, and there are so many cities to see in Morocco! But I’m happy to report that there are a ton of cool places to visit in Rabat, and in fact, it ended up being one of my favorite cities here in Morocco! Like Tangier, where I’m currently living, Rabat is on the ocean and has beautiful beaches. But unlike Tangier, this city feels very Moroccan and has many historical sites to visit!
Chellah: Scenic Gardens and Roman Ruins
Chellah was my favorite place in Rabat – both an escape from the busy city and trip back in time! The gardens were lush and green, filled with bright flowers and remarkably cool. This is likely my favorite green space in all of Morocco!
The ruins were fascinating, mostly remnants left by the Romans. There is also a mosque, slightly newer than the other ruins, but with beautiful tiles and mosaics. Stork nests were scattered across the grounds, and it was comical to hear them calling back and forth to one another. The bird’s name in Darija (the local dialect of Arabic) is “luqluq,” an imitation of the strange sound that they make!
Hassan Tower & Mausoleum: Places to Visit in Rabat
The Hassan Tower is a massive, unfinished mosque minaret. The architectural details are beautiful up close, and the tower’s magnitude is breathtaking! The adjacent plaza is filled with the ruins of columns at various heights – a fun photo opp if you can manage to mount one! Take it from me – the columns are far taller than they appear and slippery to scale!
One the other side of the plaza is the mausoleum of King Muhammad V (center picture above). The inside of the mausoleum is filled with intricate mosaics, carved wood and plasterwork. I could have spent hours inside the tomb just playing around with my camera!
The Kasbah: Places to Visit in Rabat
Many traditional Moroccan cities have a Kasbah, and Rabat is no exception. However, Rabat’s Kasbah is exceptionally large AND it looks out over the ocean! You can tour the main part of the fort and the beautiful gardens during the day, then return to watch the sunset from the large plaza overlooking the ocean.
There’s also a promenade along the beach with a number of cafes and ice cream shops to relax and enjoy the view. You can even get a private boat ride around the marina for just a few dollars if you find a local willing to take you on their dinghy! And of course, don’t forget to bring your suit so you can fully enjoy the soft sand and warm water!
Want to know more about my travels in Morocco? Check out my posts on other popular cities, including Chefchouen, Marrakech, Tangier, Fez and Moulay Idriss. Or click here to see all my posts about this incredibly country!