Main Attractions and Sights in Rabat

Rabat’s medina is one of the city’s most picturesque quarters, with traditional buildings and mazes of scenic alleyways. Within the medina you will find the traditional oriental bazaars, known as souks.

Different souks focus on different kinds of goods, from fruit to carpets to jewellery. Souk as-Sebbat, which specializes on golden jewellery, and Carpet Souk are definitely worth a visit. Don’t forget to bargain, locals do it too!

At medina’s northern tip lays Kasbah des Oudaias, an original Arabic fort which offers splendid views of the ocean and the river below. Today the place is mainly a residential area, with whitewashed houses and charming backstreets. The fort itself is turned into Oudaias Museum, housing fascinating displays on ancient jewellery. Within the grounds of Kasbah des Oudaias you will also discover Andalusian Gardens, some lovely French colonial gardens.

The city’s Archaeological Museum is worth a visit to admire artefacts, ceramics and utensils from all over Morocco. Covering a period from prehistoric era to after Roman times, the museum hosts an impressive collection, which is sadly only labelled in Arabic and French (no English explanations).

One of Rabat’s most famous landmarks, Tower of Hassan is what remains today of Almohad Dynasty’s ambitious plans in 12th century. Sultan Yacoub al-Mansour planned to build the world’s second largest mosque here, but he died before the structure was finished. The half-built mosque was later destroyed and all that remains today is its half-built minaret, known as the Tower of Hassan. Near the tower stands the Royal Mausoleum, where the current king’s father and grandfather are buried. The mausoleum is open to the public, but visitors should be dressed modestly in order to enter.

Chellah compacts several of the area’s different historical periods. Founded by the Phoenicians and captured by the Romans, the ancient city was later abandoned to be revived by the Arabs, who built a necropolis over the ancient remains. Today visitors can walk among flourishing olive and orange groves, only to discover the relics of the ancient Roman city and Arab burial ground. The Roman ruins include a temple dedicated to Jupiter, a forum and some water system remains. Tile-decorated tombs, the remains of a mosque and a water pool are what is left from the Arab necropolis.

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