Roaming through Rabat
Today’s adventure brings us to Rabat, the political and governmental hub of Morocco. Rabat has been Morocco’s Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu’min political and administrative capital since 1956, but of course it’s been important for much longer than that. In fact, in 1146 it was turned into a full-scale fortress for the Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu’min to use when attacking Iberia, and by 1170 it had garnered such an impressive reputation that it had acquired the title “Ribatu l-Fath,” which means “stronghold of victory,” and is the basis for the current name. These days? It’s a pretty interesting place to visit.
Rabat hasn’t established itself as much of a tourist destination, but it’s really a beautiful city. Palm-lined boulevards guide visitors to gorgeous colonial architecture, and the atmosphere is cosmopolitan and civilized. Interestingly, even though it’s the heart of Moroccan politics and government, it has far less hustle and bustle than Casablanca. Overall, it’s pretty laid back, and there’s plenty to do.
As you’d expect from a city of over two million people, Rabat has some great restaurants and shopping. The nightlife isn’t what it is in Casablanca, but it’s a great city for an afternoon stroll along the main avenues, and there are art galleries, monuments, and ocean views to check out. When you visit, make sure to visit the Medina (Old Town) to wander around and shop, and check out some historical landmarks as well, like the Kasbah of the Oudaias, Hassan Tower, and the Royal Mausoleum.