Rabat is the capital of Morocco, and as such is mostly an administrative city with several government offices, foreign embassies and the like. However, it still offers plenty of attractions for curious visitors. Among these are a great number of museums to explore and learn more about Morocco’s rich history and culture. In fact, while there are several museums all over the country, Rabat has the largest collection in one place. Whether you are interested in history, culture, art or industry you can find it all in Rabat.
The Archeological Museum brings together history and culture with exhibits of pottery, tools, jewelry, and many other artifacts dating as far back as pre-historic time. Several different collections from various periods of Moroccan history are on display. Some of the museums most notable features include excavations from Volubilis, namely the “Volubilis Dog”, as well as the "Young man Crowned With Ivy", and the "Heads of Young Berbers". There are plenty of pieces from Pre-Roman and Roman times of rule, boasting a first-rate collection of Hellenic-style bronzes, and the “Drunken Donkey” a well-known masterpiece from the time of Augustus.
The Archeological Museum is open on Monday, and Wednesday through Friday from 8:45 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. For more information including admission prices, contact them at (212) 537 70 19 19.
The museum is located at 23 rue Ifni al Brihi.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum houses a rich collection of Morocco’s geological history, as well as the rest of the world. Among the museums many collections is a skeleton of a sauropod dinosaur, known to have roamed the earth over 150 million years ago, and was discovered in 1979 in the Azilal regions High Atlas Mountains. The exhibit also includes a full-scale replica of what the dinosaur would look like with skin, eyes, nails and muscles. Such a display as well as the many others is excellent for educational trips for anyone traveling with young children.
The Natural Science Museum is located at the Ministry of Energy and Mining. For more
information about open hours, price of admission call (212) 537 77 79 42.
The Oudaias Museum (locally known as the Musee des Oudaias) is a really unique museum housing costumes, textiles and other opulent and artful pieces. Visitors will find a reproduction of an ancient Moroccan room complete with gorgeous fabrics in silk, brocade and gold. More artifacts on display include several very old Qurans, instruments, pottery and jewelry. The museum also has the most impressive collection of hand woven Rabati and Berber carpets. What’s more, the grounds outside the actual museum are within the walls of an old Kasbah with gorgeous pathways and beautiful gardens. Through a door at the end, visitors can enjoy serene views of the Atlantic while sipping an authentic up of Moroccan mint tea.
To enter the museum, visitors are asked to pay an entrance fee of 20 DH and are free to roam and explore the museum from there. For more information about hours of operation, contact the museum at (212) 537 73 15 37. The museum is located inside the Kasbah des Oudaias on the water’s edge in Rabat.
Stamp lovers and collectors will really love the Postal Museum in Rabat. The museum, founded in 1970, not only includes remarkable stamp collections, but also includes a variety of other communication tools such as envelopes, telephones, and telegraph machines, benliographs, and postal vans. The museum collection includes the very first Moroccan stamp from 1912 depicting the Aissaoura Mosque in Tangier. The Postal Museum is located in the Ministry of P&T, but information about hours and admissions fees are hard to come by. Try asking a hotel concierge or local for more information.
Villa des Arts Rabat
Art enthusiasts will enjoy the Saatchi Gallery for its variety in all forms of art. The museum is encompassed in several buildings, each with its own distinct purpose. Installations, sculpture and performance are housed in one building, while another is dedicated to permanent and temporary exhibitions and so on. As with many buildings in Morocco, the grounds and structures themselves are an excellent site to see. The Saatchi Gallery is free to the public and open every day from 9:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. except Mondays and public holidays. There’s a café and boutique onsite, the museum offers group and guided tours as well as art and craft activities and classes for both children and adults.