Home > Morocco Map > Rabat Map

Rabat Map

by Vishal Kumar

Facts About Rabat Country Morocco State Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer Founded 1146 Area 117 km2 Population 620996 Lat Long Coordinates 34°02′N6°50′W Time Zone (UTC+1) area Code +212 – 537 Language Arabic,Berber, Tamazight Major…

Rabat Map

Facts About Rabat

Country Morocco
State Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer
Founded 1146
Area 117 km2
Population 620996
Lat Long Coordinates 34°02′N6°50′W
Time Zone (UTC+1)
area Code +212 – 537
Language Arabic,Berber, Tamazight
Major Religion Islam
Point of interest Hassan Tower, Chellah (Sala Colonia), Kasbah of the Udayas, Agdal, Mausoleum of Mohammed V, Rabat Archaeological Museum

About City : 

Rabat is the capital city of Morocco. It has an estimated population of over 1.2 million and is the largest city in the country. It was founded in the 10th century and went on to become an army outpost for the Arabs in the 12th century. Later, in the 17th century, Rabat became a center of anti-European piracy. The French Protectorate established Rabat as a capital in the early 1900s. It gained its independence in 1956 and currently is one of the most complete urban projects in Africa. It is not just the administrative but also the industrial as well as educational capital of Morocco.

Although strewn with modernist town planning, Rabat has successfully incorporated its ancient heritage too and the resulting city is refined and delightfully urbane, while also being rich in history. In 2013, Rabat was awarded the second place in “Top Travel Destinations” by CNN. French and Arabic are the widely spoken languages.

Geography : 

Situated at the mouth of River Bou Regreg, Rabat lies on the Atlantic Coast to the northeast of Casablanca. Salé, the commuter city, lies opposite to it. Mostly mountainous, the city is divided into two main parts, the old-walled city called the Medina and the newer French built city called the Ville Nouvelle. Rabat is mainly an administrative city and has many residential neighbourhoods spread all over the city except for the center.

How to Reach (Transport) : 

The Rabat International Airport has very limited connections which is why most tourists fly into Casablanca and then travel to Rabat by trains or buses, which are readily available. Almost every major town in Morocco is connected to Rabat via long distance buses. Casablanca has an hour long train to Rabat and the city has two stations, one at Medina and the other at Adgal.

Getting around is very easy and viable with transport choices varying from the expensive Grand Taxis to the cheaper Petit Taxis, though there is a fair chance of getting overcharged if the meter isn’t watched carefully. Tourists can also rent a car and drive around themselves, although this isn’t advisable because most drivers in the city do not abide by the traffic rules, leading to many unfortunate accidents. Rabat also has a tram system which has two lines and 31 stops. One can even use the city buses, which are really cheap and knowledgeable. Even walking around the city is a good option in order to explore this charming city.

When to Visit : 

Rabat has a typically mild Mediterranean climate with warm summer months and cool winters. If one wishes to join in the many festivals celebrated with much pomp, then the best time to visit would be the summer months from May to August when the city is full of tourists. However, if one wants to relax and enjoy the many attractions of the city without a horde of tourists overcrowding the area, then the best time to visit would be the winter months, without the crowd and heat.

Fairs and Festivals : 

Notable festivals of the city are : 

  • In the month of May, Rabat celebrates the Candles Festival, where they pay homage to the city’s saint, Sidi Abdallah Ben Hassoune. A long parade of men in colourful attire accompanied by many musicians and flag bearers arrive at the holy man’s marabout carrying thousands of sculpted and dyed pieces inside huge wax lamps.
  • In the month of May, Rabat also celebrates Mawazine, a festival of world music which began in 2001 and has featured many international music icons including Elton John, Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, etc.
  • The Jazz au Chellah festival, arranged by the ministry of culture is a jazz music festival which is celebrated in June.

Points of Interest (Places to Visit) : 

The city is full of historical sites. Some of the noteworthy and absolutely must visit ones are:

  • Chellah, an ancient Roman site, full of picturesque ruins and gardens is accessible. It served as a port city until it was abandoned in 1154 for Salé which is nearer. With its high walled enclosure, it almost looks like a Medina. The Abou Youssef Mosque is also situated here, mostly in ruins and even the Jazz au Chellah is celebrated here every year.
  • Hassan Tower, a minaret of an incomplete mosque was intended to be the largest minaret in the world. It is made of red sandstone and is 140ft tall, about half of what was originally planned. In July 1995, it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • Mausoleum of Mohammed V, the tomb of King Mohammed and his two sons is said to be a quintessential example of Alaouite Dynasty architecture and is richly decorated.
  • Kasbah of the Udayas, Merinid’s original citadel is situated at the mouth of the Bou Regreg river and houses the Kasbah mosque. In July 2006, UNESCO added this to the list of their World Heritage sites.

Other important places to visit are the Rabat Archaeological Museum, Almohad Walls, Andalusian Gardens, Oudaia Museum, Old Medina, The Royal Palace, etc.

Accommodation : 

Most of the options for accommodation in Rabat are situated in the Villa Nouvelle except for the worn down HI Hostel which is located right on the edge of the medina. Hotel Central and Hotel Splendide are moderately priced and are located near the station. Hotel Sofitel Jardin Des Roses, located close to the Royal Palace is a 5 star hotel, is considered to be one of the best and most expensive hotels in the city. Other hotels include Dar Zouhour, Riad Kalaa, Le Diwan Rabat, etc.

Apart from these, Villa Yasmine and Villa Mandarine are hotels which are located away from the crowded city. They are quiet, exotic, offer excellent services and of course, expensive.

Related Maps