Rabat, the capital city of Morocco is situated on the Mediterranean coast and its airport is around 8km outside the city, so just a short drive in your rental car. Rabat Airport is relatively small and is only used by a few airlines with flights mainly to France
. If you choose to hire a car from Casablanca Airport,
it is about a one-and-a-half-hour journey.
Heading back into the city in your hire car, visit the Royal Mausoleum, housing the body of the former King Mohammed V. His tomb is in a stunning room adorned with Moroccan flags and gilt work.
Here's a brief overview of Rabat Airport and what you need to know about hiring a car and driving in the area:
Rabat-Salé Airport (RBA):
Rabat-Salé Airport is located in the city of Salé, which is adjacent to Rabat, the capital of Morocco. The airport primarily serves domestic flights, but it also has several international routes, mostly to European destinations.
Collecting a Hire Car:
- Rental Desks: We are represented with several car rental companies operating at Rabat-Salé Airport, and you'll find their desks in the arrivals hall. It's advisable to book your car rental in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
- Documentation: When picking up your rental car, make sure you have your passport, driver's license, and booking confirmation on hand. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is often recommended, although not always mandatory.
- Vehicle Inspection: Before leaving the airport, inspect the rental car for any existing damages and ensure they are recorded in the rental agreement. This will prevent any misunderstandings when returning the car.
Driving Regulations and Practices in Rabat and Morocco:
- Drive on the Right: Morocco follows the right-hand driving system.
- Speed Limits: Typically, 50 km/h in cities, 90 km/h on secondary roads, and 120 km/h on motorways.
- Seat Belts: They are mandatory for all passengers.
- Roundabouts: Cars inside the roundabout typically have the right of way, but it's crucial to be cautious as this isn't always followed.
- Parking: In urban areas, if you park on the street, you might encounter a parking attendant or "gardien" who will watch your car for a small fee.
- Navigation: Having a GPS or a navigation app on your smartphone is beneficial. Google Maps and Maps.me are popular options.
- Communication: Basic French or Arabic phrases related to driving can be handy, such as asking for directions.
Tips for Driving in Rabat:
- Traffic: As Rabat is the capital city, it can get busy, especially during rush hours. Stay patient and be prepared for some congestion.
- Signage: Most road signs are in both Arabic and French. Familiarizing yourself with basic French road signs can be helpful.
- Fuel: There are several petrol stations in and around Rabat. It's good practice to keep the tank at least half full, especially if you're planning longer journeys outside the city.
- Safety: As with most cities, it's preferable to avoid driving at night if you're unfamiliar with the area. Always lock your car when leaving it, even for short durations.
From Rabat, you can explore several nearby attractions, including the historical Chellah ruins, the Royal Palace, the Kasbah of the Udayas, and the Hassan Tower. The city itself offers a blend of modern and traditional, with its medinas, souks, and contemporary areas.
Driving in Rabat, as with many places, requires patience, awareness, and respect for local customs and regulations. Once you're familiar with the local driving style and practices, you'll find it an enjoyable way to explore the region.