People planning a trip to Morocco will read and hear of numerous places that are ‘must-see’ attractions – and there indeed many. If ever there was a place that was true of, it is the Medina of Rabat. There are many reasons why this is an exceptional place. For a start, it is one of the safest Medinas in Africa, with a pleasant, laid-back atmosphere that is missing from some larger Medinas. Indeed, the chilled-out mood is typical of Rabat in general.Image Credit: RyansWorld
Although Rabat is essentially a modern city, being built during French colonial times in the 20th century, the Medina predates that, which means it contains more of the traditional styles of architecture rather than the later Francophone influences seen around other parts of Rabat.
The style of the arched cover is particularly notable and while it may have become swallowed up by the capital city that has grown up around it, the Medina remains the beating heart of old Rabat. In fact, the Medina has a kind of European origin, in the sense that it was originally built in the late medieval times when Arabs driven out of Andalusia in Spain crossed the Mediterranean and established the town. Its high walls give it a slightly fortress-like vibe, although this soon gives way to the atmosphere of the marketplace itself. The sense of antiquity is particularly true as one enters via Souika Street, with the feel of tradition thick in the air. Inside, this is everything you want a Medina to be, with a range of curiosities and a real sense of authenticity with its craft shops and street food.
Among the particularly interesting things you can buy are bags of meantha tea, which is often known as Moroccan vodka due to it being the cheapest drink anyone can purchase in the country. With lamps, wooden items, antiques, jewellery, fabrics and much more, the Rabat certainly offers great bargains that offer as much appeal as the surroundings. Indeed, nobody will want to leave this charming place without buying something to remember it by.