Rabat

Saint Pierre Cathedral, Rabat Morocco

Rabat (الرباط) literally "Fortified Place" is the capital city of Morocco. The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg. On the facing shore of the river lies Salé, Rabat's bedroom community. Together with Temara the cities account for a combined metropolitan population of 2.6 million. It is an easy going city by Moroccan standards. The city of Rabat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Get in

By train

Rabat is well served by train and you can get frequent connections to most places. Marrakesh is a pleasant 4 hour journey, Fez 2.5 hours (if you take one of the new express trains, and 3.5 hours on other trains) and Casablanca 1 hour. There are two stations in Gare Rabat Ville (Medina/Downtown) and Agdal. A tram and a taxi station are located just next to the downtown train station. Be warned that some travelers report that trains are frequently delayed by over an hour. Visit OCNF website (ocnf for the timetable.)

By bus

It's possible to get a bus from almost any town in the country to Rabat. Note, however, that the buses often do not stop at the central bus station, but instead go through the city. It may be a good idea to ask someone which is the correct stop, or use a decent street map to work out where you are. It is easy to miss the main stop and find yourself heading out into the suburbs again, which is not too bad - about a 20-25 MAD ride in to downtown.

By plane

The Rabat International Airport is in the nearby town of Salé. The city has limited international connections, with most tourist flying into nearby Casablanca and then coming into Rabat by train or coach. There are flights every day between Rabat and Paris, the French Capital. The airport itself is very tiny, possessing limited facilities (only one runway, one conveyor belt, etc.) so it's definitely not the best way to get into the city. However, the airport is undergoing some major renovations, with the hope of relieving all the flights from Fez, Marrakesh and Casablanca, so it should improve in the not too distant future.

Get around

Map of central Rabat

It costs only 6 MAD for one use and it works from 6am to 11 pm from Monday to Sunday. There is a tram every 10 minutes during the week and every 20 minutes during Sunday. One of the stations (Mohammed V - Gare de Rabat) is located exactly just in front of the downtown train station (Gare de Rabat-Ville). It is a good way of getting around. Maps are available in every station.

See

Kasbah of the Oudaias


Inside the Kasbah
Mausoleum of Mohammed 5

Do

There are many things to do here, as with most Moroccan cities it is enough just to wander around and adventure where something takes your fancy.

There is also a large and tranquil park next to the Hotel Sofitel, where people run and play football etc. You can also use the pool at the Sofitel for a charge. The park is a 10-15 Dirham taxi ride (10 minutes) from la gare central.

Buy

Eat

In a restaurant add a 5-10% tip to the bill if you are satisfied with the service.


Cafe Maure

If you find yourself in Agdal, try the brochettes at 'Sucre et Sale'.

Drink

Learn

Sleep

Most budget accommodation is found in the Old Medina of Rabat. Walking on Mohammed V street, you’ll see a lot of signs pointing to hotels. On some days these fill up quickly, so it’s good to be early. A double room will set you back about 120–150 Dh.

Stay safe

Rabat is considered a safe city. Just use some common sense: avoid wearing expensive jewelry or looking flashy, do not flash large quantities of cash, and avoid unfamiliar and deserted areas at night. If you walk in the crowded streets of the Medina or use a bus, keep a hand on your pockets. Women should avoid low-cut tops, midriffs, or shorts to avoid harassment (which almost always consists of comments, but nothing physical) although this is less of a problem than in other cities. Don't feel the need to be polite--no Moroccan woman would put up with behaviour like that.

Connect

Rabat is served by all of the mobile companies that can be found elsewhere in Morocco. Wana, Meditel, and Maroc Telecom are the most common. Mobile phones can be bought in any of these store's stands, and most do not run on calling plans. Rather, recharge cards can be bought in corner stores that contain a number to call. When that number is called, the company adds the price of the card to your account's balance. Alternatively, more than one SIM card can be bought and changed in and out of the phone, if users need more than one phone number.

Internet

Libraries

Embassies

Go next

Other places worth visiting on the Northern Atlantic coast are Asilah and Larache.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, November 02, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.