On the shores of the Atlantic Ocean lies one of the “Imperial cities” Rabat - the capital of Morocco. The city impresses with its architecture, or rather the organic contrast of European and Eastern elements. Traveling by rental car, it is worth visiting the Kasba Udaya fortress with its narrow streets and bewitching views from the observation deck, a look at the Yakub al-Mansur Mosque, the Royal Palace. No less interesting will be excursions in the Museum of Antiquities, the Museum of Moroccan art. One of the most colorful places that can only be visited in Rabat is the market, which is traditionally divided into two parts: a zone with imported and local products. What they don’t sell here: mugs, carpets, wide trousers, decorative mirrors. Interestingly, locals are attracted to all products with the logo made in China,
Airport Rabat-Salé ( Rabat Sale Airport then )
IATA code: RBA
Location: 8 km from Rabat
Official website: www.onda.ma
Information: +212 5378-08090
At the Rabat airport, car rental services are provided by the companies: France car, Location auto, Air car, Rabat cartour, Marloc, Locasom (Budget), Hertz, Scalavis. Rental car rental desks are located in the terminal. There is a parking zone near the airport; parking costs can vary between 5-40 DH.
Arriving in Rabat, the first thing worth visiting is the Royal Palace - the current residence of King Mohammed VI of Morocco. It is located in Medina (the old part of the city) and is a massive two-story building made of yellow brick with a tiled roof and towers. The traditional Arabian building stands out with carved metal gates, decorated with mosaics and incredibly pleasant aromas (inside the palace there is a garden with fig, banana palm trees, hibiscus). In the courtyard there is a fountain (it is considered sacred) and Al-Fas Mosque, where the king comes to pray.
Rent a car to comfortably reach another significant attraction - the ruins of the mosque of Yakub al-Mansur. Back in the 12th century, Sultan Yakub al-Mansur planned to build the most massive mosque, which would be called "another wonder of the world." It was planned that the entire army will be stationed here during prayer. But because of the sudden death of the ruler, it was not possible to complete the grandiose project. Today, tourists have the opportunity to inspect 400 columns, which according to the plan were supposed to support the dome, the Hassan tower, the mausoleum of Mohammed V.
You can touch the centuries-old history by going to the necropolis of Shellah, which, despite its “tired” look, is of particular value to the city. Today, birds live on the tops of the minarets, the walls of the ruins are entwined with vegetation, and in general there is little evidence of past greatness. It is known for certain that the Phoenicians, Romans, barbarians, and Arabs contributed to the development of the place. Walking from one building to another, you can clearly observe the visible differences in architecture and recreate the picture of the place before a powerful earthquake.
Place Bab Tamesna orthodox.ma
Do not be surprised to see an Orthodox church in Rabat. The Church of the Resurrection of Christ is one of three in Morocco, which, among other things, is considered the oldest in Africa. The construction is connected with the incredible healing story of one of the noble gentlemen Rabat, married to a Russian subject. When no medicine had helped, she brought in a priest whose prayers healed a noble citizen of the city. It was he who donated land for the construction of an Orthodox church.
Built in the middle of the XII century, the fortress of Kasba Udaya was repeatedly attacked. Almohads and all kinds of robbers, including pirates, ruled here. Today, tourists, going inside, immediately fall into the Andalusian garden, where you can relax in the shade. In the fortress, you can also see residential buildings (people still live here), visit the museum, whose collection contains jewelry, national clothes, and crafts. At the end of the tour, you can climb to the main observation deck to admire the scenic views, and then drink soft drinks and a snack in the cafe. For excursions it is better to rent a car.
Sale has gained fame thanks to its vibrant cultural and historical sights. First of all, it is worth inspecting the city madrasah, which captures along with those located in Fez, Marrakesh, Meknes. The amazingly beautiful structure stands out with a large number of wall paintings (inscriptions from the Koran). The finest Arabic carvings and every detail of the interior here look organically, but at the same time luxurious. The next point on the map of the tourist route is the ancient mausoleum. Unbelievers are forbidden to enter here, and if due to some restrictions you can’t get inside, you can quite see the decoration through an open window.
If you studied Rabat far and wide and even rode along country roads, go to the small town of Temara, which is a 20-minute drive from Rabat. This is not the most popular tourist destination, such as, for example, the capital, while here you can understand the culture of Morocco as well as possible, see how the life of local residents works, what traditions and customs are respected. Those who seek the best beaches with the minimum number of tourists also go to Temaru. Having plenty of sunbathing, you can safely explore urban entertainment centers, which are significantly different from European ones. Tourists with children will not get bored here either: the town has a zoological garden with unique plants and rare mammals. If desired, animals can be fed and touched at certain hours.
Fans of nature and those who want to change the scenery by taking a rented car should take a ride to the Ue Abu Regreg river (between the cities of Sale and Rabat). In the middle of the XVII century a pirate republic acted here, which terrified the ships passing by. Today, the place is a clear example of what negligence of a person in relation to nature can bring. Agricultural waste is thrown into the river, but, despite this, lovers of extreme tourism every now and then prefer to check in here and take a couple of pictures.
The largest city in the country with skyscrapers, new technologies and modern views on religion, culture, Casablanca attracts tourists and businessmen. This is one of the few cities in Morocco, which is similar to the southern European. There are no restrictions on alcohol, women are free to wear open clothes, heels, glasses. First of all, it is worth visiting the building of Mahakma do Pasha, the mosque of Hassan II, and after a leisurely walk around the Medina (Old City). It’s better not to turn on the navigator, but trust your intuition and explore every corner. Getting lost in the narrow and crooked Arab streets, look at the local coffee shop and taste the delicacies. When leaving, be sure to visit the Corniche promenade, restaurants and bars, and, of course, buy souvenirs at the olive bazaar.
Meknes is one of those cities in which the atmosphere of royal laziness and a certain elevated leisureliness has been preserved. It seems that everything is created here for relaxation and contemplation. Walking along the Agdal pond, take a look at the sea surface and look there reflecting luxurious gardens. El Gedim Square is one of those places where you will certainly not be bored. Who is not going here: snake charmers, fortune-tellers, fire swallows, jugglers. For lovers of attractions, it will certainly be interesting to look at the remains of the Royal Palace, look into the Great Mosque of Meknes, and explore Bab al-Mansour. For collectors of unique gizmos in Meknes, there is a real expanse: in the Old Town in the shops you can find anything from clothing to interior items.
Ave. Allal Ben Abdallah www.facebook.com/cafeteria7emeart
Cafeteria 7eme Art is one of those places where you can drop by for breakfast, and then go on a rental car to go on a tour of the nearby surroundings. It is located in a picturesque place surrounded by a garden - a great idea in order to hide in the shade from the rays of the sun. Plus, the central location: while drinking coffee, you can gladly peek at the life of the city and how quickly the scenery changes. The menu presents not only European dishes, but also Moroccan. In order to choose something special, ask your waiter for advice.
19 Avenue Moulay Rachid www.facebook.com/PReypetitbistro
If you are an avid vegetarian or an ardent seafood fan, write Philippe Rey Petit Bistro on your gastronomic list. Fish, shrimp, fruit salad, soups are beyond praise. The staff is attentive and courteous, so any of your wishes will be taken into account. By the way, another advantage of the restaurant is its quick service. If you decide to try fresh fish and hurry to a meeting or an excursion, notify the waiter who can take care of everything.
Rue Jazirat Al Arab, Bab Al Had www.facebook.com/Restaurant-Dar-Naji
African cuisine, Moroccan, halal - boldly head to Dar Naji for all the delicacies. The first thing that impresses is the colorful interior with traditional oriental colors, carpets, and capes. No less remarkable is the delicious food. It is worth trying tajine (beef with prunes), Moroccan tea. Each dish is complemented with branded syrups or sauces, the secret of which so far no one has managed to unravel. The staff speaks several languages, so there will be no problems with understanding.
Center Commercial Prestige - Angle Av. Mohamed VI
Sa Caleta is a “must visit” place for those who like a spicy mix of Spanish cuisine with gastropubs. The most popular dishes on the menu are squid, octopus, barbecue with blue cheese sauce, desserts. Whatever your preferences, here you will find how to get enough, and the staff will make sure that you are satisfied with both the atmosphere and the service. By the way, if you rented a car, there are no problems in order to get to the place.
2 bis e, Avenue Ahmed Lyazidi ilgiardinorabat.wordpress.com
Italian food lovers should check out Il Giardino. The first impression is the rustic interior, which does not surprise at all. The second impression is incredibly tasty dishes to match what is being prepared in the best restaurants of Verona, Florence, Rome, Naples. Ricotta, spinach ravioli, pizza, vegetable salads, vegetarian dishes - this is just a small list of what you can try in the restaurant. Sitting at a table in the open air the appetite will be played out in earnest, and competent service will leave the best impression.
10, Place Talha
+212 5372-78888 www.soundousshotel.ma double room - from € 123
Soundouss Hotel is a cozy hotel with traditional Moroccan elements in the interior and hospitable staff. The rooms are spacious, tiled, which saves in hot weather. In the evenings, they bring fruit to the guests, which may well replace a light dinner. The hotel is conveniently located to the main attractions and business establishments, so that whatever the purpose of the trip is, with Soundouss Hotel you can conveniently reach anywhere in the city.
1, Rue des consuls, Impasse Belghazi ، Ferrane Znaki, Medina ، 1 Rue des Consuls
+212 5377-24906 www.darelkebira.com double room - from € 135
For a romantic weekend in Rabat, Riad Dar El Kebira is perfect. It is located on one of the streets that runs through Medina, so getting to cultural places is not difficult. It impresses with a cozy, original interior with colorful details. The staff is fast and well-coordinated, so nothing will stop you from enjoying a pleasant vacation. There is a rooftop terrace where you can climb behind scenic city views. If you plan to rent a car, you can use the free parking.
2, Rue Ghandi / Quartier Hassan
+212 5377-03074 www.bbrabatmedina.com-rabat.com double room - from € 65
Looking for a comfortable hotel at a reasonable price? Choose a B&B Rabat Medina. Its main advantage is its proximity to the city center and to its old part. The ocean and major attractions can be reached on foot. The staff speaks good English, responds quickly to requests. The rooms are cozy with a spacious bathroom and all necessary accessories. Family apartments are available for couples with children.
4, Rue Tobrouk
+212 5377-07820 www.lepietri.com/fr/ double room - from € 83
Le Pietri Urban Hotel is a fashionable hotel with a modern interior, which is conveniently located to the main places where tourists like to be. An atmosphere of calm and comfort reigns inside, so it will turn out to be completely relaxing after a rich excursion program or business meeting. In the restaurant you can have a hearty breakfast, and while away the evening - in the bar with a glass of your favorite drink and snacks. The rooms are quiet, no noise from the street or neighboring rooms will disturb your sleep.
33, Avenue Moulay Youssef
double room - from € 88
If you travel by renting a car, Belere Rabat is the best place to stay in Rabat. The rooms are spacious and clean, breakfast offers a good selection of dishes for every taste, including fresh pastries. Attentive staff is ready to assist in any matter, suggest tasty places or, for example, wash the car. A business center is equipped for business trips to Belere Rabat, couples with children can take advantage of the babysitting service.
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© Anastasiia Voloshina, 2017