Visit Rabat for an Authentic Moroccan Hospitality
It’s easy to fall in love with Morocco whichever part of it you visit. But there are some places in the country that will not forgive you if you miss them. Fez, Casablanca, Marrakesh and Rabat are among these places. However, Rabat is distinctively different, being a secret charm among them all. By charm, I mean Rabat is about the best introduction you can have into Morocco as it offers a gentler and authentic feel of the country before (or after) travelling to Fez and Marrakech.
Rabat is a relatively small city with a compact, easily walkable, centre. It has quiet, tree-lined boulevards, relaxing street cafes and enough historical sites to keep you going for days. There is also a clean central beach, an intact and evocative kasbah, and an attractive walled medina.
In Rabat, don’t expect to be greeted with Marrakech’s kind of wow factor or the mystic atmosphere of Fez, Rabat does not pride itself in those. However, what it lacks in bustling nightlife and mystic atmosphere, it makes up for in scenery and culture.
To know the city, you’ve got to be willing to stroll it. This stroll should take you through some of the city’s Moorish architecture, the Medina, the Kasbah, the MohammedV Mausoleum, the Hassan Tower and the magnificent Chellah just outside the city. These are all magnificent sights to behold and you’d have broken the 13th commandment if you miss them.
Here is a snippet; on your stroll, enter the medina through one of the medieval gates and take in the white-washed mosques, silent alleys and crumbling archways that offer glimpses of the modern city beyond. After exploring the medina, head on up to the kasbah, to see what Rabat’s oldest part looks like.
Most of Kasbah’s tiny streets are painted in shades of white and blue and you actually won’t need a guide to explore it. You can approach the Kasbah through the ornate Bab Oudaia and head along Rue Jemaa until you reach Café Maure at the northern edge. The café spreads out across several alfresco terraces that look directly out over the sea. This is a really great spot for mint tea and a plate of baklava.
For all it’s worth, don’t also miss a visit to a souk in Rabat before leaving the city.
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