Rabat's medina lacks the chaotic hustle and bustle of its imperial sister cities. Its typical maze of narrow streets is largely residential, and its whitewashed houses reflect the city's Andalusian heritage, resulting in one of the country's more photogenic and authentic-feeling walled cities. It's a great place to stroll around, taking in the everyday lives of its residents, which include businessmen walking to their offices in the centre ville, children rushing to and from a dwindling number of medina schools, dust-filled workshops staffed by artisans and tradesmen, and, of course, shopkeepers selling everything from fresh produce to wedding gowns. Depending on the time of day, it can take from 30 minutes to 1 hour to wander through the medina from avenue Mohammed V, along rues Souika and Souk as Sabbat, and up the wide rue des Consuls, a quarter reserved for diplomats from the 18th century until the French construction of the centre ville and ville nouvelle. The late-afternoon congestion on rue Souika, as both hawkers and buyers cram the narrow street, can make progress slow, though it's a fantastic time to absorb the medina atmosphere.