Rabat, Morocco's capital, is a modern city with wide boulevards and well-maintained gardens, and is for the most part a far cry from the frantic alleys of Marrakech and Fez. It is, however, no less steeped in history, once serving as a haven for the ruthless Barbary pirates, while its neighbouring city, Sale, dates back to Phoenician times.
The King of Morocco now lives in Rabat, making it the administrative capital. As a result the city is somewhat conservative and serious, but there is still colour to be found in the old part of the city, the Medina, and the Kasbah, where there is a more relaxed atmosphere and many of the chief tourist attractions can be found.
Recreational opportunities abound, with a world-renowned golf course (Royal Golf Dar Es Salam), a few lovely beaches, and some ancient ruins nearby. Rabat sits on the Atlantic coastal plain at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg, opposite Sale.
As Rabat is the capital of Morocco it tends to be the centre of any public dissatisfaction and visitors are advised to avoid any political gatherings or street protests while in the city. However, in recent years anti-government rallies in Rabat have tended to be peaceful and the city is currently considered safe for tourists.