Despite many people mistaking it for Marrakech, it is Rabat that is actually the capital city of Morocco. Also one of Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Rabat is a city of great importance to the North African country.
A city with a rich history, important sites, hugely popular attractions, and some of the most amazing architecture you’ve ever seen, Rabat is also one of the best tourist destinations in Morocco.
Smaller in size and more relaxed than the cities of Fez and Marrakech, Rabat offers tourists a charming city break with less hustle and bustle.
However, whilst the city might have a more relaxed atmosphere, there are still plenty of epic things to see and do. Today, we want to show you the best.
In this guide, you’ll find a list of the best things to do in Rabat. If you’re planning a trip to Rabat, make sure you visit the following places first!
1. Explore Chellah
We’ll start our list with Chellah. Chellah is by far one of the best places to explore in Rabat, if not in the whole of Morocco.
Considered to be one of the most romantic places in Morocco, Chellah is a unique place that offers mystery, beauty, and intrigue.
Found on the bank of the Bou Regreg estuary, this site has a history that dates back more than 2,500 years ago. It sits on the site of an ancient Roman City.
Once used as a cemetery, Chellah is now home to lush gardens, fountains, ancient walls, and the tomb of Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Othman.
2. Wander Through Oudaias Kasbah
Rabat is famous for its Kasbah district. This part of the city draws in thousands of tourists every single day. Oudaias Kasbah is one of the very best, so make sure you leave time to visit.
An 11th-century fortress, this Kasbah is an architectural masterpiece. Absolutely stunning, the entire neighborhood is jam-packed with impressive construction, winding lanes, Andalusian-style property, and tranquil gardens.
Taking a walk to the impressive Kasbah gateway is an absolute must.
3. Admire Hassan Tower
Upon first glance, Hassan Tower looks like part of it’s missing. That’s because technically it is. Despite being considered a symbol of Rabat, Hassan Tower is unfinished. That doesn’t stop it from being one of the most visited sites in the city.
Hassan Tower was made by ruler Yacoub al-Mansour. Whilst he had big plans for the tower, construction was abandoned when he died in 1150. Today, the 45 m tower remains just how it was.
Intricately carved designs and motifs cover the tower so make sure you take a close look.
4. Shop At The Rabat Medina
If you love a good shopping spree during your vacation, you have to stop by Rabat Medina (Also check out Clothes Shopping In Morocco). Easily accessed via Rue Souika, this is where you’ll find all the local stalls selling beautiful souvenirs.
Rabat Medina is Rabat’s old town. A picturesque part of the city, it consists of winding lanes, stunning buildings, small shops, stalls, cafes, and local families.
Some of the handcrafted items you can buy include embroidered fabrics, lamps, slippers, carpets, and leather goods.
5. Walk Around The Mausoleum Of Mohammed V
Found not too far away from Hassan Tower the next place on this list is the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. This is one of Morocco’s most visited shrines so you have to pay a visit to the site.
Built In the 1960s, this impressive mausoleum was designed by Vietnamese architect Eric Vo Toan. Open to anyone, the mausoleum is a beautiful place to walk around.
Outside the mausoleum, you’ll find the most amazing horseshoe archways and jagged merlons.
Inside, you’ll find marble floors, colorful zellige walls, and a beautiful carved and painted ceiling.
6. Spot Wildlife At Rabat Zoo
If you’re looking for something fun to do with your children, take them to Rabat Zoo. Opened in 2012, Rabat Zoo is the national zoo of Morocco. Focusing heavily on conservation, the zoo displays animals from every continent.
Visitors have the chance to spot more than 130 species of animals. This includes elephants, giraffes, lemurs, and rhinos.
You’ll find the zoo incredibly laid-back, friendly, and exciting. It’s the perfect attraction for children and adults.
7. Learn In The Natural Science Museum
Another fantastic place you can visit with your children is the Natural Science Museum. This museum is packed with interesting displays, epic exhibits, and interactive activities.
Some of the museum’s highlights include the dinosaur displays and the origins of the earth exhibition. Perfect for those of you that want to learn more and children with curious minds, this museum has plenty to offer.
8. Feel Like Royalty At King’s Palace
Also referred to as the Royal Palace of Rabat, the King’s Palace is one of the most impressive sites in Rabat. Like every big city in Morocco, Rabat has a palace ready for the arrival of the King.
However, this palace is more significant than others because it is actually King Hassan II’s official residence. Built on the ruins of an 18th-century palace, this is a great place to visit if you want to see how Moroccan royalty live.
9. Soak Up The Sun At Rabat Beach
Those of you looking to escape the city and relax should head to Rabat Beach. Offering the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle and plenty of sun, this beach is divine.
Rabat has many beaches, all of which offer fresh sea breeze, blue waters, and space to enjoy a relaxing sit-down. However, if you have time, we recommend checking out the beach in Kenitra.
This beach is just outside of Rabat but it’s awesome. You can surf, sunbathe, jet ski, and so much more.
10. Take A Look At The Mohammed VI Museum Of Contemporary Art
The final attraction on our list is the Mohammed VI Museum of Contemporary Art. Anyone interested in Morocco’s art scene should visit this museum.
The museum houses a permanent collection of famous artwork from across the country. There is also a program that displays work of local and international artists too.
All of this artwork is housed in a vibrant and beautifully renovated French colonial building.
As you can see from this guide, Rabat has a wide range of fun, unique, and interesting things to do. It doesn’t matter if you want to learn more about Morocco’s history, shop for souvenirs, walk around the old town, or simply relax at the beach, there’s something for everyone in the city.
Now you have a list of the best things to do in Rabat, it’s time to start planning your trip. If you can, try to visit all the places on our list first.
We know you won’t be disappointed.