The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg. On the facing shore of the river lies Salé, the city's main commuter town. Rabat, Temara, and Salé form a conurbation of over 1.8 million people.
Silt-related problems have diminished Rabat's role as a port; however, Rabat and Salé still maintain important textile, food processing and construction industries. In addition, tourism and the presence of all foreign embassies in Morocco serve to make Rabat one of the most important cities in the country.
Rabat is accessible by train through the ONCF system and by plane through the nearby Rabat–Salé Airport.
The Moroccan capital was recently awarded second place in "Top Travel Destinations of 2013" by CNN. It is one of four Imperial cities of Morocco, and the medina of Rabat is listed as a World Heritage site.
Rabat is an administrative city. It does have many shopping districts and residential neighborhoods. The geographically spread out neighborhoods are as follows:
The heart of the city consists of three parts: the Medina (old town); the Oudayas and Hassan both located to meet the Bou Regreg; and the Atlantic Ocean.
To the west, and along the waterfront, there is a succession of neighborhoods.
First, around the ramparts, the old quarters of the ocean and orange (popular and middle class). Beyond that, a succession of mostly popular neighborhoods: Diour Jamaa; Akkari; Yacoub El Mansour; Massira and Hay el Fath are the main parts of this axis. Hay el Fath, which ends this sequence, evolves into a middle-class neighborhood.
To the east, along the Bouregreg, the Youssoufia region: Mabella; Taqaddoum; Hay Nahda; Aviation; and Rommani (working and middle classes).
Between these two axes, going from north to south, there are three main areas (middle class to very wealthy): Agdal (Ward Building lively mixing residential and commercial functions, predominantly habitants are upper middle class); Hay Riad (affluent villas which has been a surge of momentum since the 2000s); and Souissi (residential neighborhood).
On the outskirts of Souissi, are less dense regions mainly constituted of large private houses to areas that seem out of the city.