Protected by powerful ramparts, the medina reflects the soul of the old Almohad city. Souika street and its shops present magnificent rugs, the delicate work of copperware artisans, succulent pastries and appetizing brochettes. Rue des Consuls – which got its name because this is where representatives of foreign nations resided – is flanked by elegant residences where the craftmen practice their art under the watchful eyes of passersby. Tarik El Marsa street, which runs along the Andalusian wall, also boasts a full panorama of the crafts practiced here for centuries.
The historical heart
A fortress erected at the edge of the Rabat medina, the Oudayas Kasbah keeps watch over the city. The magnificent gate pierces the elaborate walls of the citadel and opens on Jamaâ street. On the left stands the city's oldest mosque, El Atiqa, which was built in 1150. Its white-washed houses give the city that Mediterranean character. Your walk could end at café Maure, where the view of the bay and Salé is breathtaking.
An art gallery in the wall
The magnificent Bab Rouah, the "Gate of the Winds", is monumental. It stands out for the richness of its adornments. It has become a gallery for exhibitions. Under the elaborate arches of the four square rooms, the works of famous Moroccan artists have found their venue.
The Chellah necropolis
Be sure to visit this peaceful place. The last residence of the Merinide sovereigns, it is protected by imposing walls, where storks like to build their nests. This is also where the old Roman city of Salé uses to be. You will admire the ruins of a triumphal arch, the forum, thermal bathes and several shops.
Here, many art galleries are set up in the entry ways to monuments. Such is the case of the three galleries at the gates Bab Rouah kasbah and Bab Rouah, the "Gate of the Winds". Rabat is home to two remarkable museum: the archaeological museum and its impressive collection of ancient relics, and the Oudayas Museum, with its array of marvels of Moroccan crafts, of which the Andalusian gardens, a haven of peacefulness and freshness are a work of art in their own right. To ease your ears, be sure not to miss the Mawazine festival of world music.
Arts and crafts
Shopping starts on the Rue des Consuls in the medina. In addition to silver jewelry, the place is famous for its rugs. The traditional rug of Rabat is fine, with short, often red wool with a medallion in the shape of a diamond at its centre. These rugs are qualified as urban as opposed to the rural products from the Atlas. Their auction sale on Monday and Thursday mornings is an unforgettable moment. As you exit the Oudayas Kasbah, take the time to linger in all the Tarik El Marsa arts and crafts boutiques. Here, some of the most beautiful rbati arts and crafts are found in a single place. The same can be said for El Oulja, the potters village on the road to Meknes. The artisans use clay from the neighbouring quarries to shape the typical objects of daily life in addition to true works of art. Many items of basketwork are also produced here.
One of the remarkable things about Morocco is the harmonious blend of tradition and modernity. One of the largest shopping centres in Africa opened recently in Rabat. And this mall is not the city's only s shopping centre! Most of the local and international luxury boutiques are located along Mohammed V Avenue, the new city's true administrative and commercial nerve centre. You'll also find a number of stores in the upscale quarters like Agdal, which is particularly lively.
The national currency in Morocco is the dirham.
It cannot be converted outside the Kingdom's borders, so don't forget to exchange money or bring other means of payment.
The importation and exportation of Moroccan currency is strictly forbidden. However there is no limit on the importation of foreign currency. On presentation of your exchange permit, you can exchange the international currency of your choice for dirhams.
Where can you change money?
There are bureaux de change in airports, certain hotels and most banks. Some counters require your passport for the transaction. Remember to change the dirhams you have left before leaving. You cannot do this for more than 50% of the amount exchanged for your vacation.
Advantage of credit/charge cards
Find out from your bank where you can withdraw cash with your credit/charge card. Banking establishments in large Moroccan cities are often equipped with ATMs. Exchange money as you need it. The vast majority of purchases or services are paid for in cash, after the usual negotiation…
Being in possession of a valid passport is compulsory. Whether you need a visa depends on your nationality. Embassies and consulates can direct you before and during your journey.
To avoid any misunderstandings during your stay in Morocco, check that you have a valid passport in your possession and a copy of the address of the Hotel. This address will be required by the custom officials.
No visa is required for European Union nationals or those from Switzerland and Canada. For all nationalities, the maximum length of a tourist visit is 90 days. For Invitation letter, asks to Organizing Secretariat – Avenue media.
Embassies and consulates
When preparing for your departure, note the contact details for your embassy and the regional consulates. You can renew your papers there in the event of loss and obtain all sorts of advice (health, safety, etc.). In general, all diplomatic offices have an emergency number to be called in emergencies. Most of the time an administrative department will be able to help you, even in the event of an emergency.