Rabat is the capital city of Morocco and literally means ‘Fortified Place’. Together with Temara, the cities account for a combined 2.6 million population. However, it is a very easy-going, relaxed and well-kept city by Moroccan standards. It is just as cosmopolitan as Casablanca but is far more laid back and elegant. This hassle-free charm wins over all who visit. Casablanca may be your first port of call but Rabat should definitely be your next.
There are also many things to do in Rabat. There are amazing cafes to visit, where you can drink mint tea, eat sugary treats and people watch. Everyone is very friendly and there never feels like there is any rush to be off and out, so you can sit back, relax and soak up the atmosphere. There are many sporting facilities which are all is easy reach, from football to golf. There are also many festivals and performances to entertain you and if you like clubbing, then Amnesia is the place to go in Rabat.
It is worth venturing into the Old town of Medina too. In the centre there are many food stalls which are inexpensive and serve delicious fish and salad sandwiches. You can also get hot bowls of lubia (beans), rotisserie chicken and home-made tagines. Surprisingly you can also get very yummy pancakes and pain au chocolat.
You could visit the National Archaeological Museum or the Bank Al Maghrib Museum. There is the Hassan Tower and the Royal Mausoleum which may be of interest to you and the Royal Palace is worth a walk to. You will not be able to enter but the armed guards may let you have a wander around the entrance if they see that you are a tourist.
The shops, markets and stalls are also worth a wander around as you can pick up some wonderful bargains. As well as the more traditional merchandise, there is a large more modern selection of fashion and accessories. It is worth noting, that although Rabat is considered a safe place, not to wear flashy, expensive jewellery and to always be aware of where your purse/wallet and belonging are. For ladies, it is advisable to not wear low cut tops, crop tops or shorts to avoid harassment. This shouldn’t put you off visiting the busier places that the city has to offer, it is just as a precaution.
There are only direct flights from Paris to Rabat but the Rabat Ville train station is right in the centre of the town. Trains run every half hour via a number of locations. There are also two bus stations, so travelling about is relatively easy. There is also a train ride from Casablanca to Rabat which is a lovely journey to take.
Enjoy this relaxing, laid back city which has a mixture of tradition and modern. Feel free to take as much time as you need to venture around the many tourist attractions and soak up the ambiance by spending time in street cafes and market places.