My Favorite Spots in Rabat, Morocco

Dalilah Montesino headshot
Dalilah Montesino
May 23, 2024
Salsa dancing in Rabat

Cafe E'tage

Located in the epicenter of Rabat on Mohammed V Avenue, this cafe is a dream. Unlike other cafes, which are mostly dominated by middle-aged men drinking tea and coffee before getting back to work, this cafe is a safe haven for university students looking for a chill spot to study or to sit and enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice and an avocado toast. With its elegant interior furnished with cozy sofas and view of the city, the ambiance of this cafe is unmatched. Not only is this cafe a nice place to eat and drink while hanging out with your friends, it is also a place where creatives gather and local talent is celebrated. Every Monday, the cafe hosts a music jam session that is open for anyone to participate in. For 30 dirhams (3 U.S. dollars), you can purchase a ticket that includes a free drink. It’s a great way to support local artists and to get involved in the local community.


Latin Dance

Having grown up dancing salsa and bachata in Miami (albeit badly), I was elated to find out that there’s a thriving Latin dance community in Rabat. There’s two main dance studio companies in Rabat– Mambo Rabat and Kukumpa Dance– and both offer semester-long salsa and bachata classes in different levels– from complete beginners to advanced. Not only are there dance classes offered throughout the semester by several dance companies, there are also weekly salsa events that are free to enter and are open to all. Mambo Rabat hosts a salsa night every Sunday at the H restaurant/lounge where you can dance the night away and also relax and enjoy a meal and drink with friends, and Kukumpa Dance hosts a salsa night every Tuesday at a rooftop bar at Rabat Marriott. The atmosphere is so welcoming; even if you’re a complete beginner, people will come up to you and teach you the basics. As someone with Cuban roots and who grew up surrounded by salsa and bachata at family parties, being able to visit these spaces really helped me feel less homesick and feel more at home in Morocco. 


Swing Dancing

Located above Cafe Etage, Rabat City Swing is a swing club offering swing dancing classes and socials celebrating all styles of jazz from the 1920s-1930s. My friends and I went to a swing class dedicated to Black History Month and it was so much fun. Although I’ve gone to swing dance events before at my college, I never really got the hang of it until I went to this class. Established by a Black British expat, this swing club brings swing to life in a way that wasn’t done back in my predominantly white college.  When my friends and I went, we sashayed away dancing to Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday, teleporting us to a time long past.


Aziz Bookstore

In the heart of the old medina, the oldest bookstore in Rabat is nestled in between bustling markets. For over four decades, Mohamed Aziz, a 72-year-old bookstore owner has cultivated a love for reading. Orphaned at a young age and unable to afford finishing his education, Aziz’s career as a bookseller began as a way to make books more accessible to everyone. Dedicated to the written word, his collection of books numbers over 5,000, of which he has read more than 4,000, in Arabic, French, English, and Spanish. For only a few dirhams, I’ve left his hole in the wall shop with an armful of books in Arabic to practice my Arabic language skills. Although he is usually immersed in the pages of a book, he is more than happy to help you look for books and give you recommendations. 


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Dalilah Montesino headshot

Dalilah Montesino

I'm from Miami and I attend Williams College, a small liberal arts college in the middle of nowhere. In my free time, I love journaling, ranting about politics with my friends, and befriending stray cats.

2024 Spring
Home University:
Williams College
Arabic Language/Studies
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