Rabat is the capital of Morocco and an important historic site in the country! Whilst not as popular with tourists as the likes of Marrakech and Casablanca, Rabat still has plenty to offer visitors. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it has a much more laid-back vibe than the other more bustling centres in the country.
Rabat is somewhat sprawling, lining the country’s Atlantic Coast. This can make it tricky to figure out where to stay in the city – especially if you are new to the country.
That’s why we’ve created this guide! We’ve figured out the seven best neighborhoods to stay in during your trip to Rabat, and categorised them based on what they are best for.
So let’s just get started!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Rabat
- Hassan – Best neighborhood in Rabat for your first time
- Quartier des Orangers – Where to stay in Rabat close to everything
- Rabat Medina – Where to stay in Rabat for nightlife
- Souissi – Best neighborhood in Rabat for families
- Agdal – Where to stay in Rabat on a budget
- Hay Riad – Best neighborhood in Rabat for couples
- Salé – Best neighborhood in Rabat for getting away from the city
Where to Stay in Rabat
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Rabat.
Best Hostel in Rabat
As the only hostel in the city, Medina Surfing Association had to take our top pick for backpacker accommodation in Rabat! Despite the lack of competition, it has excellent facilities and great levels of service. The location is simply unbeatable, giving you easy access to all central districts.
Best Budget Hotel in Rabat
This hotel allows you to enjoy the comforts of home whilst still being based relatively close to the city centre! There is free high speed WiFi available in every room – a rarity in Morocco – making it a great option for those that need to stay connected. They also have an expansive breakfast buffet.
Best Splurge Hotel in Rabat
If you want a truly luxurious resort experience, you can’t go wrong with Dawliz Resort & Spa! Though located in Salé, it is only a short walk from Rabat Medina – meaning you get to enjoy the calm ambience of Salé whilst still being able to access all of the main attractions. Their spa facilities are also second to none.
Rabat 7 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in Rabat. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
(Best neighborhood in Rabat for your first time!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Hassan – walk around the Jardin d’Essais Botanique, a large botanic garden that is a calm respite from the busy centre
- BEST place to visit in Hassan – the Hassan Tower is a major landmark in the city and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Hassan is one of the most central neighborhoods in Rabat, and one of the easiest to get around! For first time visitors, it is a great hub to explore the vast city from. It is a little bit calmer than the Medina, and has great connections further afield in Rabat and Salé. There are also plenty of great attractions in the area.
Most of the city’s museums are based in Hassan, allowing you to learn about the history of Rabat as well as Morocco as a whole! This is the administrative hub of the country, as well as a major business district for locals.
- Museum Mohamed VI of Modern and Contemporary Art is the main modern art gallery in the entire country with great exhibits
- Assouna Mosque is the religious hub of the city – though only Muslims are allowed inside, you can observe the call to prayer from here throughout the day
- Dive into Morocco’s anthropological history at the Rabat Archeological Museum – they have exhibits from all eras of the region’s past
- Le Bistro du Pietri offers a modern twist on traditional Moroccan and French cuisine, right from the heart of the city
- Meanwhile, La Menora offers a more traditional offering – and is one of the best places in the city to try a tagine
Best Hotel for Backpackers Hassan
If you want a more Western-style hotel but are still sticking to a tight backpacker budget, ONOMO Hotel Rabat is a great option! Rooms are fully air conditioned and come with modern furnishings. A continental breakfast is provided every morning, and free WiFi is available throughout the property.
Best Budget Hotel in Hassan
Le Pietri is another great modern hotel, and comes with a few extra perks that make your money go further! The hotel WiFi is amongst the fastest in the city, making it a fantastic option for business travellers and digital nomads. The on-site bar and restaurant offer live music performances every evening.
Best Splurge Hotel in Hassan
This five star hotel harks back to Morocco’s Moorish past, with elegant decor and a traditional vibe! Rooms are spacious and offer a modern take on classic Moroccan design. There are three restaurants on-site, and a complimentary buffet breakfast is served every morning. There is also a pool and wellness centre.
(Where to stay in Rabat close to everything!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Quartier des Orangers – take a tour into the Sahara Desert with Sanmao Tours
- BEST place to visit in Quartier des Orangers – learn about the national currency and finance sector at the Currency Museum of the Bank Al-Maghrib
Quartier des Orangers is located just west of Hassan, and close to the Medina area. The main train station is located in the area, giving you easy access across the city as well as towards Casablanca! This makes it the ideal location if you are only visiting for a short period or are coming as part of a larger itinerary in Morocco.
Though there aren’t many tourist attractions in the area, the laid back vibe makes it a great spot to relax after exploring the busy city centre! The neighboring Oceán area also bursts into life during the summer, with marvellous views across the Atlantic and popular beaches.
- Head to the Oceán district during the summer months to cool off in the Atlantic Ocean and mingle with locals on the beaches
- Galerie Bab Rouah is a small art gallery that offers some excellent examples of local contemporary work inspired by classic Arabic design
- The Russian Orthodox Church is a gorgeous building in the south of the area where the large Russian diaspora gather
- Vogue Restaurant offers modern cuisine inspired by Morocco, France and Italy – perfect for soaking up the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city
- Tajine Wa Tanjia offer some of the best tagines you will taste in the city – located next to the station, it can get a little pricey
Best Hotel for Backpackers Quartier des Orangers
This traditional riad is great for budget travellers that want a typical Moroccan experience! Rooms are fully air conditioned and have en-suite bathrooms, giving you a little extra comfort during your stay. A breakfast buffet is included in the rate, getting you set up for a busy day of exploring.
Best Budget Hotel in Quartier des Orangers
Though there aren’t many hotels in the Quartier des Orangers area, this apartment is a fantastic option for those on a budget that want some extra privacy! It comes with a fully equipped kitchen – perfect if you want to self cater whilst staying in the city.
Best Splurge Hotel in Quartier des Orangers
For more of an upgrade, Balima Minaret Suites offer a range of fully serviced apartments, allowing you to experience a touch of luxury in the city! This five star accommodation comes with excellent guest reviews, ensuring you will experience optimum comfort during your stay. Parking is also available.
(Where to stay in Rabat for nightlife!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Rabat Medina – explore the medina which is packed with market stalls and restaurants throughout the day and night
- BEST place to visit in Rabat Medina – Amnésia is the most popular nightclub not just in Rabat, but in Morocco as a whole
Whilst Morocco isn’t an obvious choice for nightlife, Rabat Medina has some great options for partying with other travellers and even locals! In the evenings the area comes alive with a bustling market in the centre, and great bars and restaurants on the outskirts. This is by far your best option for a great night out in Rabat.
Even those not looking for nightlife cannot skip the Medina during a trip to Rabat! This is the heart of the city, with street vendors and typical restaurants lining the streets. It can get quite busy throughout the day, but this is still the best place to discover Moroccan culture.
- La Cabane Bambou is another popular bar with an African theme – it has a very youthful vibe and great themed music nights
- Learn how to cook Moroccan cuisine with Cookly – they offer tagine making classes, as well as sampling sessions
- For golfers, Royal Golf Rabat is the largest course in the country with huge greens and a great clubhouse
- Kasbah des Oudaias offers a similar experience to the Medina itself, but with a more laid-back and historic atmosphere
- Sample some great Moroccan cuisine at Borj Eddar, located right on the waterfront with views across the Atlantic
Best Hostel Rabat Medina
Whilst Medina Surfing Association is the only hostel in the city, it still offers competitive facilities and great service! This is reflected in the fantastic reviews, making it a great option for backpackers that want to stay in the heart of the city. They offer a complimentary breakfast, and air conditioned dorms and privates.
Best Budget Hotel in Rabat Medina
Hotel des Oudaias is located between the Medina and the Kasbah, giving you great access to the two most bustling areas of the city! Rooms come with views across the sea, as well as air conditioning. There is a small on-site restaurant offering typical Moroccan fare throughout the day, and complimentary breakfasts.
Best Splurge Hotel in Rabat Medina
This magnificent five star hotel located right on the riverfront is truly the pinnacle of luxury in central Rabat! It comes with three restaurants offering Moroccan, Italian and other international cuisines. There is a large fitness centre on-site, as well as pool and spa facilities. Breakfast is included.
(Best neighborhood in Rabat for families!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Souissi – try out horse and camel riding at Royal Club Equestre du Lac
- BEST place to visit in Souissi – visit Megamall, the largest western-style shopping complex in the city
Souissi, located east of Agdal, is a large residential area of the city that is perfect if you want a calm family break in the city! It is well serviced by local transport, meaning you can still venture into the main attractions of the city centre whilst being based away from all the hustle and bustle in the evenings.
Like Quartier des Orangers, Souissi does not feature many attractions. Nevertheless, it is a major shopping hub in the city and a great choice if you want to discover international brands and a wide selection of restaurants!
- Blaqis Hammam is a typical Arabian hammam to the west of Souissi where you can indulge in a number of holistic therapies
- For a more typical spa experience, M Spa also offers fantastic facilities including a sauna and massage tables
- Morocco Vacations specialise in family-friendly excursions across Morocco – including desert trips and camel rides – and depart from Souissi
- Art Patio Restaurant & Lounge is a popular dining venue in the area with a creative atmosphere – great for trying modern takes on Moroccan cuisine
- If you’re missing your home comforts, Gossip Art Cafe offers a great selection of European dishes
Best Hotel for Backpackers Souissi
As a mostly residential area, the best accommodation options in Souissi are apartments. This large apartment is a great budget choice for large groups – especially families that want to save a little cash. The apartment is fully air conditioned, and there is a great balcony area where you can admire the city.
Best Budget Hotel in Souissi
Peacock Flat is a little bit of an upgrade, boasting a private hot tub where you can relax after a day of exploring! It is decorated in a more traditional style, allowing you to live like a local whilst staying in the area. There is a well-equipped kitchen within the apartment.
Best Splurge Hotel in Souissi
This sprawling five star hotel is the perfect choice for families that want to splurge on a trip to Rabat! It comes with excellent facilities – including a mini-golf course for you to while away the hours. There are also three swimming pools on-site that are very popular with kids staying in the hotel.
(Where to stay in Rabat on a budget!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Agdal – learn how to cook with Travelling Spoon – they also offer Moroccan food tasting sessions
- BEST place to visit in Agdal – Valley of the Roses is a huge archaeological site right in the heart of Agdal – perfect for history buffs
Agdal Riyad is a major centre for locals in Rabat, making it a great choice if you want to discover a more authentic part of the city! It is also popular with local students, making it a very budget-friendly area for those that want to dine, party and mingle with locals. Be prepared to barter your way through the local boutiques.
It is also the location of the Valley of the Roses, where you can learn about the ancient history of Morocco and its lasting impact on Berber culture! Agdal Riyad is also surprisingly devoid of tourists compared to the city centre.
- Rabat Old Town is located in the south of Agdal, and features blue-painted houses and quaint, winding streets
- Apia Huiles et Miels is a local boutique offering fresh produce, including honey and oil, to take home as a souvenir
- There are plenty of well-priced spas and beauty salons in the area – we recommend Itry Beauté for a luxury experience at affordable prices
- Too Much is a modern restaurant by day and transforms into a budget-friendly nightlife venue in the evenings
- Harold’s is another popular bar in the area – particularly with the youth crowd – offering innovative cocktails and a laid-back vibe
Best Hotel for Backpackers Agdal
This gorgeous budget hotel is located right in the heart of Agdal! They provide a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning, as well as free parking facilities for those who have opted to brave the Moroccan roads. The on-site restaurant specialises in Moroccan cuisine, however also offers international plates.
Best Budget Hotel in Agdal
Smarts Hotel is a little bit of an upgrade, but still offers well-priced rooms in the heart of Agdal! Most rooms come with a balcony or terrace offering views across the city and a great space to relax. A large breakfast buffet is provided every morning, and high speed WiFi is available throughout.
Best Splurge Hotel in Agdal
This four star hotel is a great option if you want a little bit of luxury at slightly more affordable prices than elsewhere in the city! Rooms are fully air conditioned and come with en-suite bathrooms and modern facilities. The on-site restaurant serves a large continental breakfast every morning, with vegetarian options available.
(Best neighborhood in Rabat for couples!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Hay Riad – sample the many flavours of Morocco with Moroccan Food Tours, based in nearby Yacoub El Mansour
- BEST place to visit in Hay Riad – Ryad Mosque is the local place of worship, and can be accessed by non-muslims when not in use
Hay Riad might be the furthest away neighborhood in this guide, but its upmarket atmosphere make it the perfect choice for couples looking for a romantic getaway in Rabat! The streets are lined with luxury boutiques, stylish restaurants and beautiful spas. It is also well connected to the city centre.
As the area was only built in the 1970s, it has a very modern feel to it – perfect if you want to keep all of your home comforts! Whilst there aren’t many tourist attractions in the area, it is known by locals as one of the best spots for cuisine.
- For the perfect date night restaurant, head to Latium – they offer a great selection of Italian inspired dishes
- In the morning, wander along to Fauchon where you can sample some French pastries and great coffee
- Yacoub El Mansour is a secluded, coastal neighborhood right next to Hay Riad with some calm beaches during the summer
- Desirs D’Orient is a truly luxurious spa facility with a wide range of holistic therapies and hammams available
- Les 3 Dou’soeurs is a popular patisserie with locals, offering both Moroccan and French treats
- For Asian cuisine, AS’IAM is the best restaurant in the city!
Best Hotel for Backpackers Hay Riad
Like Souissi, Hay Riad is mostly a residential neighborhood, meaning apartments are your best options for accommodation in the area. Apartment Rue Al Barghamout is a great option if you are arriving as a large group and need somewhere budget-friendly! It has a very traditional ambiance and is well located.
Best Budget Hotel in Hay Riad
If you have some extra cash to spend, Dar El Kenz feels a little more done up – giving you a small taste of luxury at a reasonable rate! There is a well-equipped kitchen and two bedrooms – great if you are coming as a group. There is an outdoor terrace.
Best Splurge Hotel in Hay Riad
This luxurious five star hotel is our top pick for couples visiting Rabat! Rooms are fully kitted out with modern conveniences and are soundproofed to give you a peaceful place to sleep. A large continental breakfast is provided every morning, with vegetarian and halal options available.
(Best neighborhood in Rabat for getting away from the city!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Salé – wander around Salé Medina, a smaller and more local alternative to Rabat Medina
- BEST place to visit in Salé – the Pirate Slave Prison is an interesting, if somewhat sobering, attraction for history buffs
Though often regarded as a separate city in its own right, Salé is mostly considered a suburb of Rabat. It is located just across the river, giving you easy access to the city centre! If you want something that feels a bit more local and is less busy than central Rabat, Salé is a great place to base yourself.
The Medina in Salé is mostly used by locals, ensuring that not only will you have a more authentic experience, but you will also be rewarded with lower prices! This small neighborhood will give you a taste of the real Morocco.
- The Great Mosque of Salé can only be entered by Muslims, however, the surrounding area has some interesting monuments to the Moroccan nationalist movement
- Magic Park is a small amusement park just north of Salé – perfect if you are visiting as a family
- Al Marsa, on the riverfront, offers a good selection of Spanish style dishes as well as basic Moroccan fare
- O Saveurs de la Medina is another fantastic restaurant in the area – especially if you want to try Berber cuisine
Best Hotel for Backpackers Salé
This typical riad is a popular choice with backpackers visiting the Salé area! Rooms are beautifully decorated in the traditional Moroccan style, giving you an authentic experience whilst staying in the area. They offer complimentary breakfast and WiFi, as well as airport transfers for a small fee.
Best Budget Hotel in Salé
Marina Rabat Suites & Apartments offer a range of fully serviced apartments – adequate for both individuals and large groups! There is a complimentary continental breakfast served every morning from the on-site restaurant, and rooms also have well-equipped kitchens if you would rather self-cater.
Best Splurge Hotel in Salé
This gorgeous five star hotel is perfect if you want the typical resort experience during your time in the city! There is a luxurious pool area with sun loungers and an on-site wellness centre with great spa facilities. Rooms are decorated in a contemporary style, with modern facilities and large en-suites.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Rabat?
Rabat is a mesmerising city that provides a laid-back alternative to the other major centres in Morocco! As the nation’s capital, it is a great place to learn about the history of the country and soak up the culture.
For the best area, we have to go with the Medina! This central location is where the action happens, and is well connected with all of the other major tourist areas in the city.
That being said, each area mentioned in this list has its own benefits. We hope this guide has helped you to plan your itinerary for your upcoming trip to Rabat!
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments!
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