Rabat is the capital city of Morocco, the place of birth of Ilyass and the place where Ilyana Surfhouse is situated. When staying at Ilyana Surfhouse there is enough to do around Rabat besides surfing. You can choose to stroll around Rabat by yourself and wander around the sights of rabat. At other moments Ilyass and Nina will take you on little trips to visit the highlights of the cultural and historical sights of Rabat.
We already highlighted our top 10 things to visit in Rabat for you!
#1 The Medina of Rabat
The old city of Rabat is where Ilyana Surfhouse is situated. We personally love to be in the medina as it feels like living in a small village. Everyone knows each other and you can almost find everything you need inside this walled town.
Visiting the medina of Rabat, you can just stroll around and find the coziest streets for a picture. Maybe you want to go buy some fruits for at the beach, then you need to find the souk of fruits and veggies on Boukroune street. Or do you want to buy a nice souvenir for at home? Rue des consults will be the place to be!
#2 Kasbah des Oudayas
In the 12th century, the Almohad-dynasty build the Kasbah des Oudayas to protect their territory from invaders and pirates. The kasbah has a strategically good positioning at the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean and the Bou Regreg river. Nowadays, this walled city is one of the most beautiful fortified cities in Morocco. Entering the Kasbah des Oudayas you will quickly see the beautiful stairs towards the Bab al-Kbir, the great gate!
Entering the Kasbah you can wander around the blue painted streets and visit the cozy café overviewing the rivier and the harbour of Salé. If you walk all the way to the end of the main street, you will find a small bab (gate) that will lead to a viewing point of the Atlantic Ocean, and our surfspot in Rabat. A perfect place to do a surfscheck!
#3 Oudayas museum & Andalusian Garden
Are you too excited about the streets of the Kasbah? Then choose to visit the museum of this beautiful, fortified city. You will learn more about the history of the Kasbah and you get the chance to see the Andalusian gardens
#4 Visit Chellah
At only a 15-minute drive from Ilyana Surfhouse you find the ruins of a Roman city, Chellah. It is situated on the top of a hill with a beautiful view over the Bou Regreg river. The city was abandoned until the 14th century when a Merindid Sultan built a necropolis on top of the Roman site. Visiting Chellah, you can still find it’s remains from the minaret of an ancient mosque and the tombs of those who have ruled this city. Surrounded by beautiful flowers, this city is definitely worth visiting.
Nowadays Chellah is the home of many storks and full of colourful fruit trees. As well Chellah every year hosts a Jazz festival called Jazz au Chellah, and is used as venue for the famous Mawazine music festival in Rabat.
#5 Tower Hassan
In 1195 a new project began in Rabat. The plan was to build a mosque with the biggest minaret in the world, fitting over 20.000 prayers. The foundation of the mosque was set and the minaret was ready, but the mosque has never been finished after the sudden death of the sultan in 1199.
The remains of the mosque are the outside walls and the 348 pillars that were build to support the mosque. The only finished aspect of the mosque is the 44 meter tall minaret, which is now called Tower Hassan.
#6 Mausoleum of Mohammed V.
At the same sight where the biggest mosque was supposed to be, stands now the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. This is the resting place of the King’s father and grandfather. After walking by a few traditional dressed militaries you are able to look down from a balcony to the gravestone of the previous king of Morocco. The building is an architectural masterwork with whitewashed silhouettes, golden walls and Moroccan styled mosaics.
#7 Museum of Photography in Fort Herve
While making a nice walk along the coast of Rabat, you can find Fort Herve. This fort of build in 1889 to help protect the city of Rabat. The fort was supposed to accommodate two huge cannons weighting 30 tons each. The Moroccan military has never needed to use these cannons, happily! Nowadays, the fort hosts a photography museum of Moroccan photographers. The exhibitions change over time, but it’s definitely worth visiting.
#8 Botanical gardens of Rabat
Want to visit some green in Rabat? Try the botanical gardens of Rabat. This garden is entails over 650 species of plants and provides a nice walk within the city.
#9 Sneak into Salé
Next to the Kasbah des Oudayas on the river Bou Regreg you can find a few small boats who will bring you to the other side of the river. This is already a nice experience by itself! Arriving on the other side of the river, you are now in Salé. Wander around the marina, walk towards the big mosque and visit the beautiful Madrasa.
#10 Avenue Mohammed V.
Avenue Mohammed V is one of the longest streets of Rabat. The street starts inside the medina of Rabat. Here you find shops, restaurants, and beautiful mosques. Continuing the street outside the medina you will pass by the parliament of Morocco, the Rabat train station and you will finally reach the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. This museum is worth. It contains art pieces of the best Moroccan artists and reflects on the Moroccan culture.