Less popular than Casablanca or Marrakech, the capital of Morocco is nevertheless worth a visit! Located on the Atlantic Ocean, the city of Rabat benefits from a cool and breezy climate, very pleasant to stay in and discover its monuments. Yes, Rabat is a concentration of cultural and patrimonial sites! It was, moreover, listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2013. So what to do in Rabat? Here are our top 5 things to see in the capital of Morocco.
1 – The Kasbah of Oudayas
City in the city, the Kasbah of Oudayas was once a military camp. It’s hard to imagine, when you see the bohemian spirit that emerges today! The small blue alleys, punctuated with flowers and plants, attract the artists of the region and constitute a cocoon of the most soothing. As soon as you enter, the magic happens with a massive door, named Bab-Al-Oudaïas. Then, along the alleys, the Andalusian influence shows through the walls covered with lime, the paving stones, the wrought iron elements and many doors with colorful moldings! A pure jewel, which deserves its place in our ranking of the 5 things to see in Rabat.
2 – The botanical test garden
The green lung of the city, the botanical testing garden of Rabat was created in 1914. At the time, this ecological micro-system had 250 plant species, compared to 650 today. Plants of local, tropical, subtropical and desert origins. This fabulous garden is home to a Moorish house with Arab-Andalusian architecture, a museum and a scientific research program. A beautiful green area to walk around, admire the birds and take a break in the shade.
3 – The mausoleum of Mohammed V
The other thing not to miss in the capital of Morocco is the mausoleum of Mohammed V. A sumptuous building, where we also find the Arabo-Andalusian style. Built in 1962, in homage to the late monarch Mohammed V, this funeral monument takes on the appearance of a pavilion, with immaculate marble walls and a roof covered with emerald tiles. Inside, the decor is just as striking. One marvels at the ornate ceiling with its wooden patterns and carvings, not to mention the omnipresent zellige (Moroccan mosaic). A beautiful demonstration of what is the traditional Moroccan art.
4 – The necropolis of Chellah
Between mystery and enchantment, the site of Chellah offers a bucolic interlude out of time. Built in the 14th century and located two kilometers from downtown Rabat, the necropolis stands on a hill overlooking the Bouregreg river. On site, a paved path offers visitors an itinerary along the remains, all immersed in lush nature. One architectural element particularly attracts attention: the minaret of an ancient mosque covered with earthenware, which dates back to 1400 BC. Nearby, a green pond, populated with fish and turtles, invites you to throw a coin and make a wish.
5 – The Museum of History and Civilization
Any stay in the capital of Morocco deserves a stop at the Museum of History and Civilization. Very rich, the collection is full of treasures crossing the ages, from prehistory to the Islamic era. A journey into the past, where you can contemplate both statuettes of the Neolithic and famous bronze pieces from ancient sites. The museum also gathers typical objects, as well as detailed explanations on the ancestral tribes of the Maghreb. The perfect place to learn all about the Moroccan heritage.
You are ready to visit Rabat in 2, 3 or more days!