Rabat vs Casablanca: Which One To Visit?

Fatima O.

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Rabat and Casablanca are two popular Moroccan cities that are worth visiting. Both cities are absolutely amazing in their own ways.

But what if you had to choose and you could only visit one? 

This post will help you decide which city is the best fit for your trip to Morocco. 

Rabat vs Casablanca: Which one is better?

Reasons to visit Rabat

Rabat is a calm city, much smaller and cleaner than Casablanca. It’s also recognized by UNESCO for its amazing monuments and historic spots. 

rabat morocco hassan tower
Hassan tower monument in Rabat

In Rabat, you can explore the Hassan II tower, the old port, the Chellah, and the Kasbah des Oudayas. Or, you can also relax on one of its beautiful beaches.

It’s super easy to get around too, with several public transport options and walkable streets, you can explore a lot just on foot. 

Lake in Morocco Rabat
River Abu Regreg in Rabat Morocco

Plus, Rabat has lovely lakes, gardens, and forests for a bit of nature, something Casablanca doesn’t have. 

Why you may not like Rabat

If you’re someone who loves parties and a city that never sleeps, Rabat might not be your cup of tea. 

The selection of spots to go out and party isn’t vast, so if you’re looking for a place that’s buzzing with activities and the hustle and bustle of city life, Rabat could feel a bit too laid-back.

rabat city morocco
Rabat city

Rabat is a pretty quiet place, where the evenings are more about tranquility. It’s perfect for those seeking peace and cultural experiences.

Reasons to visit Casablanca

Casablanca is the vibrant heart of Morocco, making it a compelling reason to visit at least once in your life. 

And I think It’s a destination you’ll want to tick off your bucket list.

Casablanca is way busier than Rabat and it’s where you’ll find Morocco’s biggest airport, which means you might snag a cheaper flight landing there.

Hassan II mosque in Casablanca Morocco
Hassan II mosque in Casablanca

Casablanca has a vibrant nightlife, so if you love staying up late, you’ll find lots of cool places to hang out and eat.

Also, the city’s history was influenced by different cultures over time including Amazigh, Arab, Spanish, and Portuguese. So, plenty of interesting things to see. 

And you can’t miss the Hassan II Mosque. It’s the biggest one in Africa and looks amazing by the sea. 

Getting around Casablanca is super easy with good public transport. 

Why you may not like Casablanca 

Unlike Rabat, which is more laid-back, Casablanca can be overwhelming if you’re looking for a quiet trip. 

It’s definitely a bustling city, much louder and busier, with fewer parks and green spaces. Also, I personally think it’s not as safe as Rabat, so you’ll need to keep an eye out a bit more.

If you’re visiting Morocco for the first time, Casablanca might not be the best starting point.

Casablanca or Rabat? Maybe both!

Visiting both Rabat and Casablanca isn’t out of the question. Rabat is just a short drive from Casablanca, and you can get there in about an hour by train. So, you can definitely plan to see both if you want. 

But if you have to pick one, your choice really depends on what you’re hoping to get from your visit.

If you’re in search of a peaceful city vibe, Rabat is your go-to. It’s quieter and offers a more laid-back experience. 

But, if you’re eager to dive into the action and really experience the local Moroccan life, Casablanca is the place to be. It’s bustling with energy and gives you a taste of the vibrant Moroccan culture.

Read more about Casablanca & Rabat

Planning a trip to either Casablanca or Rabat? Fantastic! Here are our detailed guides to help you make the most of your visit to each city.


Deciding between Casablanca and Rabat depends on what you’re looking for in a visit. Casablanca is bustling, with a vibrant nightlife and a mix of modern and traditional Moroccan life. Rabat, on the other hand, offers a quieter, more laid-back experience with rich historical sites and cleaner, safer streets​​​​.

Absolutely! Rabat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its beautiful historical monuments, cleaner streets, and a more relaxed vibe compared to Casablanca. It’s great for those interested in culture, history, and a quieter atmosphere​​.

Rabat is special for several reasons: it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to fascinating historical sites like the Hassan Tower, the Chellah, and the Kasbah des Oudayas. It’s known for its cleanliness, safety, and the slow-paced vibes.

No, Rabat is smaller than Casablanca. Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco in terms of population and one of the largest economic centers, while Rabat is the political capital with a much smaller population​​​​.

Rabat is considered one of the more affluent cities in Morocco, being the political and administrative capital of the country. It has a higher standard of living and lower crime rates compared to other cities.

The word “Rabat” in Arabic can mean “fortified place” or “fortress,” reflecting the city’s historical significance as a fortified city.

Casablanca is famous because it’s a major economic and business hub in Morocco, home to the largest mosque in Africa (Hassan II Mosque), and a unique blend of modernity and tradition. Also, the classic film “Casablanca,” contributed to its fame​​.

About Fatima O.

Fatima, born and raised along the foothills of the Atlas mountains, in the heartland of the indigenous Amazigh peoples. She loves Moroccan tea and travel. Now, she travels and writes about the beauty of her homeland.