Morocco’s political and administrative capital may be short on top-drawer tourist attractions, but it compensates with plenty of charm. The Ville Nouvelle's palm-lined boulevards are clean, well kept and relatively free of traffic – a blessed relief for those who have spent time in Casablanca. There's a clean central beach, an intact and evocative kasbah, and an attractive walled medina that is far less touristy than those in other large cities. All in all, the city is a good choice for a short sojourn.
When the French arrived in the early 20th century, this walled medina by the sea was the full extent of the city. Built on an orderly grid in the 17th century, it is small enough to be easily explored in half a day.
The Phoenicians were the first to settle on this sloping site above the Bou Regreg river, and the Romans took control in about AD 40, renaming the settlement Sala Colonia.
Kasbah les Oudaias
Rabat's historic citadel occupies the site of the original ribat (fortress-monastery) that gave the city its name. Predominately residential, its narrow streets are lined with whitewashed houses.
Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art
Looking more like a shopping mall than an art gallery, this institution was conceived and funded by the present king and opened in 2014. Billed as the first national museum of modern and contemporary art.
Moroccan Museum of Money
Numismatists will be in seventh heaven when visiting this well-curated and -presented museum. It offers an unexpectedly interesting tour of Moroccan history through currency, from the Roman period to today.
Le Tour Hassan
Towering above the Bou Regreg estuary and surrounded by well-tended gardens, this 44m tower is Rabat’s most prominent landmark. It was originally part of an ambitious Almohad project to build the world's second-large tower.
The most dramatic entry to the kasbah is through the enormous Almohad gate of Bab Oudaia, built in 1195. Its location, facing the heart of the city and just outside the original palace.
Mausoleum of Mohammed V
The present king’s father (the late Hassan II) and grandfather were laid to rest in this marble mausoleum, which is decorated with patterned zellij and carved plaster.
Located at the end of the mechouar (a large parade ground), this palace dates from 1864 and is the principal residence of the royal family. It is off-limits to visitors.
St Pierre Cathedral
Still operational, this cathedral dates from 1919, but its two art deco–style towers were added in the 1930s.
This forlorn ethnographic museum certainly isn't worth a dedicated visit from Rabat. It displays a dusty collection of traditional Andalusian, Jewish