We had one day in Rabat. Despite thinking we had two days when we arrived, we made the most of our 24 hours and planned many things to do in Rabat. We want to pass that list of what we did and what we missed in the form of a one day in Rabat itinerary that includes attractions, restaurants, and accommodation.
After spending 24 hours in Casablanca, we moved on to Rabat where we THOUGHT we were spending two days. After spending our first night there, reality struck in the form of an Air BnB automated email saying, “Thank you for your stay, please consider leaving a review.”
This is the email that is automatically sent out after your stay is completed. This meant that we had to pack everything up and get out and moving on to our next destination. But we were not ready for that. We still had laundry hanging outside on the balcony to dry and a few more places we wanted to visit in Rabat.
I quickly logged into my Air BnB account and sent some messages to our host asking if we could leave our luggage in the room for a few more hours. Our host graciously agreed and we were able to make the most of the remainder of our time in the city.
Things to Do in Rabat, Morocco in One Day
- Arrived by train from Casablanca to Rabat and checked in to our Air BnB.
- Toured the Chellah.
- Went to Kasbah of the Udayas.
- Walked through the main street of the Medina, Rue des Consuls.
- Took a taxi to Hassan Tower and Mausoleum of Mohammed V.
- Had dinner at Dar Zaki.
Attractions in Rabat
What We Did
Kasbah of the Udayas
Medina – Rue des Consuls
Hassan Tower and Mausoleum of Mohammed V
The Chellah is a medieval necropolis that we walked to along a lovely boulevard from the train station. It is surrounded by lovely gardens and includes historical ruins and mosaics. There is not a lot of information available while you are there, but there is enough to understand what you are looking at. Oh, and storks nest on the top of the ruins which is pretty neat. Ultimately, the place is interesting if you are interested in history. Wandering around the Chellah would be on any history nerd’s list of things to do in Rabat. Which is why I wanted to go.
This is the first thing we did the following morning, after we had found out we had to check out. This may have also been the best thing we did while in Rabat. Walking through the blue-washed walls was just a sample of what we would find in Chefchaouen later in our trip. The Kasbah of the Udayas is an easier to navigate, less busy and hectic, and peaceful version of the Medina. There are small shops and a museum in the Kasbah, but mostly it seemed like it was residential housing with closed doors. After walking through the Kasbah from the entrance, you make it to the coast where you can see the ocean and beach. This area is really worth the stroll. Especially if you are not going to make it to Chefchaouen during your stay in Morocco, you need to visit the Kasbah of the Udayas during your stay in Rabat.
We did not get a chance to wander through the Medina of Rabat like we did in other cities of Morocco that we visited. However, we did know that we needed to wander through the Rue des Consuls, the main street of the Medina that is less narrow and lined with souvenir shops, rug shops, and many other shops of all varieties. If you do not have much time, and you are not ready to get lost in a Medina, make sure you walk through the Rue des Consuls. Located right near the Kasbah of the Udayas.
You could walk from the end of the Rue des Consuls, but we chose to grab a taxi to the Hassan Tower and Mausoleum of Mohammed V due to a lack of time. Being located side-by-side with a free admission makes this a great place to visit should you be looking for an inexpensive attraction to occupy your time. The Mausoleum is a fine piece of architecture that entombs the king and his sons. The Hassan Tower is located on the opposite end and is an incomplete mosque and minaret that began construction in the 12th century. You can walk this area around the columns and walls of the mosque that never reached their final height. It is an interesting walk around history.
What We Missed
Zoo de Rabat
If you are traveling with your family to Rabat, maybe you would want to check out what the zoo has to offer. Not typically something we are interested in seeing while traveling, but definitely could be a great thing for the kids.
The official residence of the king, this would have been a great attraction to see in Rabat and would have been next on our list should we have had more time. Unfortunately, it is a bit out of the way of the things we got accomplished while in the city. Just understand that when visiting all of the royal palaces in Morocco, you are limited to the gates.
Restaurants in Rabat
What We Did
Dar Naji was the first restaurant we went to where we got to try Moroccan mint tea. Throw some mint leaves into a pot, pour some boiling water into it, and add as much sugar as you want. Watch as the waiter pour it from above his head to the table and enjoy the olives and bread appetizers at this place that overlooks the entrance of the Medina. It would have been nice to have found a place inside of the Medina, but this place offers traditional Moroccan food in a wonderful environment.
We got a great window seat that allowed us to watch the people in their afternoon routines outside. We enjoyed chicken skewers and fish tajine while taking in the atmosphere of the restaurant.
What We Missed
Dar Zaki is first on the list of restaurants to visit for traditional Moroccan food on Trip Advisor. It is defnitely comparable to Dar Naji, the restaurant we visited, and in the same area of Rabat. Simply just wandering around the area is a great way to see all of the restaurant fronts and to see the atmosphere they provide from their balconies. At first glance, it does not seem you can go wrong with any of these choices.
Shopping in Rabat
Medina – Rue des Consuls
The Medina is a great place to wander to see the daily shopping habits of the Moroccan people. It is also a great place to wander should you be interested in picking up some authentic souvenirs. Leather ottomans, shoes, sandals, bags, area rugs, metal works, and various other souvenirs all crafted within the Medina. The Rue des Consuls is the street you need to go for this type of shopping. We walked out of here with a set of decorative Moroccan shoes and some other small souvenirs.
Getting Around Rabat
Renting a car is always our preferred method of transportation. We prefer to make our own schedules and remain flexible. Waiting for public transportation does not fit our travel style of moving as quickly as possible. Though there are some places we would not feel comfortable driving in and the large cities in Morocco would be those places. Rabat gave us a good taste for driving in this country, and I do not think I would have been able to do it without having a nervous breakdown.
Our suggestion would be to avoid renting a car in Morocco.
We used quite a few taxis while in Rabat. They were fairly priced and we had no hesitation getting back in any marked taxi car to get around. Especially since our time was limited in Rabat, we took advantage of the taxis to get from place to place when needed. However, with the Kasbah of the Udayas, Rue des Consuls, and Hassan Tower and the Massoleum of Mohammed V being all on the same route within walking distance of each other, this really helps with not needing to take too many taxis. Maybe just one to get to your start point and one to get back to where you are staying.
We did not use any public transit in Rabat. Though we did use trains to travel from city-to-city. They are comfortable, affordable, and easy to book tickets on the day of your travels.
Where to Stay in Rabat
Close to the city center. Lots of room. Easy check-in and check-out. Helpful host. This place checked all of those boxes. The best part was how flexible our host was when we found out we needed to be checked out. We even had our laundry still hanging to dry on the balcony when we messaged him to ask if we could extend our stay as long as we could considering there was somebody else checking in the same day. The host let us know how late we could stay which gave us some more time to tour the city and check off several different locations while keeping our luggage in the apartment.
We could not have asked for anything more from this host.
Budget for Morocco
- Knowing how much you need to budget for your time in Morocco is important for your trip. Ultimately, it does depend on what attractions you want to include in your visit, what kind of restaurants you would like to dine at, what place you would like to sleep at, and what souvenirs you want to go home with.
Check out this post by Flight of the Educator about budgeting for your trip to Morocco.
One Day in Rabat, Morocco
For Rabat being the nation’s capital, it does not seem like a popular destination for travelers in comparison to other cities in Morocco. With places like Fes, Chefchaouen, and Marrakesh overshadowing what Rabat has to offer, it can be argued that Rabat may not fit in a traveler’s full week itinerary.
However, the things you can accomplish in a day while in the city show just how great Rabat would be for a midway point between two of these cities. We thoroughly enjoyed our full day in the city and felt we accomplished most of what we had wanted to. With our trek through the Kasbah of the Udayas being our highlight and walking down the Rue des Consuls being the cherry on top during our stay here, as well as both of these being inexpensive things to do in the city (depending on how many souvenirs you want to go home with), Rabat quickly becomes an inexpensive city to visit while in Morocco.
We would love to hear about your experience while in Rabat or to answer any questions you may have about your future trip. Leave a comment below!