Rabat’s small size makes it easy to explore in a day, whether you visit on a day trip from Casablanca or Fez or while passing through as part of a tour of Morocco’s imperial cities. One day is just enough time to explore the old medina, visit the Hassan Tower, and browse the souks. Here’s how.
Morning: Monuments and Museums
Rabat’s most memorable landmarks can be covered on a half-day city tour, and visiting with a guide means you can learn more about the Moroccan capital. Start by taking in the views from the cliff-top Kasbah of the Udayas, home to the Museum of Oudayas and the French-style Andalusian Gardens. Continue to Hassan Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and learn how the lone standing minaret was built as part of Sultan Yacoub al-Mansour’s never-finished mosque. Other attractions worth visiting: the royal Mausoleum of Mohammed V; opulent Royal Palace of Rabat; and Chellah, home to ancient Roman ruins and a medieval citadel.
Afternoon: Explore the Medina
The old Medina is Rabat’s most atmospheric district, and it’s best explored on a walking tour. Enter through the grand Bab El Had gate, stop to admire the Grand Mosque and Moulay Slimane Mosque, and spend some time in the souks. Quieter and less touristy than the famous souks of Marrakech or Fez, Rabat’s souks still offer options, with dozens of stalls selling carpets, leather goods, spices, and handicrafts—put your haggling skills to the test to secure a bargain. In late afternoon, take a stroll along the seafront promenade. It’s a picturesque spot to watch the sunset, with views over Rabat Lighthouse.
Night: Discover Moroccan Cuisine
You can’t visit Rabat without sampling some traditional Moroccan cuisine, and the rooftop restaurant of Dar Naji is one of the most renowned spots in the city—book a table in advance. A fun alternative is to take part in a Moroccan cooking class and learn to make typical dishes such as tagine and couscous, before tucking into a homemade dinner. For those who want to party, Rabat has a number of nightclubs, most located in Ville Nouvelle. Be aware though, that many places in Rabat do not serve alcohol—hotel bars are the best place for a drink.