Place

Shopping for traditional handicraft in Rabat

Rabat is a dynamic capital, especially on streets that bustle with the excitement of shops and open-air markets. Traditional crafts exist alongside artisanal objects reinterpreted by modern designers.

Head to the medina, a historic district teeming with all sorts of stands. Work your way through a maze of themed alleys to discover different trades and skills. In Souk Sebbat and Souika streets, the stalls are bursting with leather goods, slippers and bags, fabrics and traditional clothing. Push on to Rue des Consuls to ogle silver jewelry and the famous Rabat carpets that have sealed the city's reputation. The local cuisine is also worthy of your attention: Moroccan pastries, spices and myriad local foods will delight your taste buds.

Embroidery is another art form for which Rabat's artisans are especially well known. They apply their virtuosity to silk brocade, chiffon, cotton and linen, creating gorgeous fabrics that can be used for anything from upholstery to traditional garments like caftans.

Meanwhile, potters work their magic a few kilometers from the medina. The Oulja complex in Salé is devoted to them. Watch these talented craftsmen shape their clay, playing with the suppleness and textures of their medium to turn out tagines, vases and light fixtures. Any of their pieces can double as souvenirs and functional objects you can use every day. Oulja is also a destination for wrought iron and baskets.

Rabat continues to skate the line between past and present, which is reflected in its crafts. Its artists possess indisputable authenticity and know-how, but they are also adept with daring innovations in tune with the times.