As Morocco’s capital, Rabat is home to the country’s most important museum, the Royal Palace, and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, as well as several historical attractions. Situated right on the Atlantic Ocean, with the Bou Regreg River running to the west and separating it from its sister-city of Salé, Rabat is a pretty place.
It has a much calmer atmosphere than nearby Casablanca. And for many tourists, a visit to Rabat can be a pleasant surprise and a welcome break from the hustle of other Moroccan cities. History-lovers are sure to enjoy wandering the Chellah excavation area and exploring the lovely Oudaias Kasbah.
Built by the Almohads, the unfinished Hassan Tower was the work of ruler Yacoub al-Mansour and would have been the minaret for his grand vision of a mosque on this site. Upon his death in 1150, construction was abandoned, and this 45-meter-high tower is all that remains of his original plan. Beautiful and intricate motifs and designs cover the tower's facade, pointing to the sumptuousness of what al-Mansour had in mind. The Hassan Tower is next door to the Mausoleum of Mohammed V
Rabat's Kasbah district is one of the city's top sightseeing draws. Inside the 11th-century fortress walls, a tranquil and tiny neighborhood of twisting white-and-blue lanes were built in Andalusian-style. This is the perfect place for aimless, meandering strolls, and its winding alleys are a joy to photograph. Don't miss visiting Rue el Jamma within the district, where you'll find the Kasbah Mosque. Built in 1150, this is the oldest mosque in Rabat. Keen photographers should also note that the district has fine views over to Salé and the Atlantic Ocean
The glittering Mausoleum of King Mohammed V lies in state on the very place where, upon his return from exile in Madagascar, he gathered thousands of Moroccans together to thank God for giving independence to their country. The opulent tomb chamber is resplendently decorated, with zellige tilework covering the walls around the grand marble tomb. It's a showcase of Moroccan traditional design.
Non-Muslims cannot enter the adjoining mosque but are able to view the mausoleum's tomb chamber from above, as long as they are dressed respectfully (shoulders and knees covered)
Built in 1932 and enlarged a few years later to display excavated finds, this museum is home to Morocco's best archaeological collection. The prehistoric section brings together human remains from the middle Paleolithic period to the Neolithic, illustrating the continuity and size of the population at this time.
Pre-Roman civilizations are well represented. The Roman and Hellenistic exhibits are renowned, and the collection of bronzes are incredibly impressive. Even if you're not a museum person, this is the one museum on your Morocco travels that you shouldn't miss.
For anyone interested in Morocco's modern art movement, this museum is one of Rabat's top things to do. The collection, housed in an impressively renovated building dating back to the French colonial days is small but holds artworks from nearly all of the country's top names in the art world. A visit here makes a lovely contrast to viewing the traditional artisan work for which Morocco is rightly famous and shows the contemporary side to the country's long artistic expressions.