Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco, is a vibrant hub of culture and history. Known for its bustling markets, stunning architecture, and beautiful beaches, Casablanca has something to offer for everyone.
Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s rich history, trying traditional Moroccan cuisine, or simply soaking up the sun on the beach, Casablanca is the perfect destination
Casablanca is a city rich in history and culture, with numerous historical landmarks that are worth visiting. Here are some of the most notable ones:
Hassan II Mosque
The Hassan II Mosque, perched on a promontory looking out over the Atlantic Ocean, is not just a religious site but an iconic symbol of Casablanca and one of the largest mosques in the world. Completed in 1993, the mosque is a marvel of modern Moroccan architecture, showcasing a blend of traditional Islamic architecture and Moroccan design elements. Its minaret, standing at a staggering 210 meters, is the tallest in the world and is visible from miles away.
Visitors are often awestruck by the mosque’s grandeur, both from the outside and inside. The exterior boasts exquisite marble facades, a massive courtyard, and beautifully manicured gardens, while the interior features hand-carved stone and wood, intricate mosaics, and a retractable roof, a modern touch allowing natural light to flood the enormous prayer hall. The mosque was designed to withstand earthquakes and includes a glass floor overlooking the ocean, a unique feature among mosques worldwide.
The Hassan II Mosque is one of the few mosques in Morocco that allows non-Muslims to enter and offers guided tours in multiple languages, providing a valuable insight into Islamic architecture and Moroccan culture. After your tour, take a moment to appreciate the mosque’s stunning location, where the sea meets the sky, especially at sunset when the mosque is beautifully illuminated. The site serves as both a spiritual sanctuary and a piece of art, making it an essential visit for any trip to Casablanca.
The Old Medina, also known as the Ancienne Medina, is the original city of Casablanca and a must-visit for any traveler interested in Moroccan history and culture. Unlike other Moroccan medinas, Casablanca’s isn’t as old – it dates back to the 18th century, but what it lacks in antiquity, it compensates for with its unique charm and vibrant atmosphere. Enclosed by ancient walls, the medina is a bustling labyrinth of narrow alleyways lined with stalls, shops, and traditional homes.
As you navigate your way through the twisting alleyways, you’ll be exposed to a sensory overload – vibrant colors, the scent of spices, the clamor of vendors haggling over prices, and the call to prayer reverberating from nearby mosques. You can shop for everything from handcrafted leather goods, ceramics, jewelry, and traditional Moroccan clothing to fresh produce and aromatic spices. Remember to bargain, as it’s part of the shopping experience in Morocco.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the cultural landmarks within the medina, such as the 19th-century Ould el Hamra Mosque or the Berber Market. After a busy day of sightseeing, you can refuel at one of the local food stalls or cafés, serving delicious Moroccan dishes like tagine, couscous, and mint tea.
The Clock Tower is a striking landmark located in the heart of Casablanca’s Old Medina. It was built in the early 20th century during the French colonial period and features a unique blend of Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. Visitors can climb the tower and enjoy stunning views of the city and the surrounding area.
The Clock Tower, also known as “Horloge Publique” in French was erected during the French colonial era and served as an essential timekeeping tool for the residents. It’s easily recognized by its pale beige structure and the traditional, yet simplistic, Moroccan architectural style. If you’re a history buff or just love admiring beautiful, antique structures, the Clock Tower is a must-visit spot.
Surrounding the Clock Tower, you’ll find numerous bustling local markets, called ‘souks,’ where you can experience an authentic slice of Moroccan life. A myriad of spices, traditional Moroccan clothing, leather goods, and handmade crafts can be found in these markets.
There are a host of local eateries nearby, offering a chance to indulge in traditional Moroccan cuisine, like tagine or couscous. Don’t forget to take your camera with you; the Clock Tower provides a beautiful backdrop for a souvenir snapshot of your time in Casablanca.
Villa Des Arts De Casablanca
Villa Des Arts De Casablanca is one of the city’s most influential cultural centers and a must-visit for art enthusiasts. Managed by the ONA Foundation, the villa is situated in a grand Art Deco-style building that dates back to the 1930s. As you approach the facility, you’ll immediately notice the distinct architectural design, reminiscent of the French colonial period, featuring a harmonious blend of Moroccan and European influences.
Inside, Villa Des Arts is home to an extensive collection of Moroccan and international art. The exhibits, which include both permanent and temporary installations, feature a range of works from paintings and sculptures to photography and multimedia art. Works by renowned Moroccan artists share space with those by up-and-coming talents, offering a comprehensive overview of the country’s vibrant and diverse art scene. After viewing the exhibits, you can relax in the villa’s lush gardens, an oasis of tranquility amid the city’s hustle and bustle
Courts of Justice
The Palace of Justice or Courts of Justice in Casablanca is more than just a house for legal proceedings; it’s a showcase of Morocco’s splendid architectural heritage. Built in the 1920s, it’s an impressive structure that embodies a fusion of French and Moroccan architectural styles, with its grand archways, beautifully adorned doorways, and spacious courtyards, creating a photogenic backdrop.
Once inside, you’ll find yourself in an awe-inspiring scene, enveloped by the building’s intricate zellij (tilework) patterns, carved wooden ceilings, and majestic marble columns. A visit here provides a profound understanding of Morocco’s judicial system, its history, and cultural richness. However, do remember that this is an operational courthouse, so it’s essential to maintain decorum during your visit. If you’re fortunate, you may even get the opportunity to observe a court proceeding, offering a unique and intriguing cultural experience.
Situated in the city center, the Palace of Justice is easily accessible and offers an enriching diversion from the typical tourist spots. Nearby, you’ll find an array of local restaurants where you can sample traditional Moroccan cuisine and cafés where you can enjoy a refreshing mint tea.
In Casablanca, there are many cultural experiences to be had. Here are three places that are worth visiting:
Museum of Moroccan Judaism
The Museum of Moroccan Judaism is a great place to learn about the history and culture of the Jewish community in Morocco. The museum has a vast collection of artifacts, including traditional clothing, jewelry, and religious objects. The exhibits are well-curated and provide a fascinating insight into the lives of Moroccan Jews throughout history.
Quartier Habous is a neighborhood in Casablanca that was built in the 1920s. It was designed to be a modern interpretation of traditional Moroccan architecture. The neighborhood is home to many shops and restaurants, as well as several mosques. It’s a great place to wander around and soak up the atmosphere.
Place Mohammed V
Place Mohammed V is the central square of Casablanca. It’s surrounded by several important buildings, including the Palace of Justice and the Bank of Morocco. The square is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, and it’s a great place to people-watch. There are also several cafes and restaurants in the area, making it a good spot to take a break and relax.
Shopping and Dining
Casablanca is a city that offers a wide range of shopping and dining options. From traditional markets to modern malls, there is something for everyone. Here are some of the top places to shop and dine in Casablanca.
The Central Market is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the local culture. This bustling market is filled with vendors selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. Take a stroll through the market and sample some of the delicious street food, like tagine or pastilla. You can also pick up some souvenirs to take home with you.
If you’re looking for a more modern shopping experience, head to the Morocco Mall. This massive mall is home to over 350 stores, including high-end fashion brands and luxury boutiques. You can also catch a movie at the mall’s cinema or enjoy some family fun at the indoor amusement park.
The Morocco Mall’s food court is a great place to grab a bite to eat after a long day of shopping. With a variety of restaurants and cafes to choose from, there’s something for everyone. If you’re a seafood lover, be sure to try the fresh seafood at one of the many seafood restaurants.
Outdoor Activities and Sights
Casablanca is not just about its bustling city life, but it also offers a variety of outdoor activities and sights. Whether you’re looking for scenic drives, scenic walking areas, or beaches to surf, Casablanca has something for everyone.
Ain Diab is a popular beach area in Casablanca, located just a few kilometers west of the city center. It is a great place to relax and soak up the sun, with its long stretch of golden sand and crystal clear waters. Ain Diab has a variety of restaurants and cafes, making it a perfect spot for a day trip.
La Corniche is a scenic coastal road that stretches along the Atlantic Ocean, offering stunning views of the sea. It is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, with its many cafes, restaurants, and shops. La Corniche is also a great place to take a walk or a jog, with its wide sidewalks and fresh sea breeze.
Casablanca offers a variety of scenic drives, including the coastal road of La Corniche and the Boulevard de la Corniche. These drives offer stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the city, making them a must-see for anyone visiting Casablanca.
Scenic Walking Areas
Casablanca also has a variety of scenic walking areas, including the Parc de la Ligue Arabe and the Jardin de la Villa des Arts. These areas offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, with their lush greenery and tranquil atmosphere.
If you’re planning to visit Casablanca, you’ll need to know how to get around. Fortunately, the city has a few reliable transportation options that can make your stay more enjoyable. The two most popular options are the tramway and the international airport.
The Casablanca tramway system is a convenient and affordable way to get around the city. The tramway has two lines that run through the city center, making it easy to get to the most popular tourist destinations. The tramway is clean, safe, and reliable, with frequent service throughout the day. You can purchase tickets at the stations or use a rechargeable card for multiple rides.
The Mohammed V International Airport is the main airport serving Casablanca and is located about 30 kilometers south of the city center. The airport is modern and well-equipped, with several restaurants, shops, and lounges for travelers. There are several transportation options available to get you from the airport to the city center, including taxis, buses, and private shuttles.
If you prefer public transportation, you can take the train from the airport to the city center. The train station is located in the airport terminal and runs every hour. The journey takes about 45 minutes and costs around 40 MAD.
Overall, getting around Casablanca is relatively easy, thanks to the city’s reliable public transportation systems. Whether you’re taking the tramway or flying into the international airport, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to get around without any hassle.
If you’re planning a trip to Casablanca, there are a few things to keep in mind to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. Here are some travel tips to help you prepare for your visit.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Casablanca is during the summer months of June to August when the weather is warm and sunny. However, this is also the peak tourist season, so expect crowds and higher prices. Fall (September to November) is also a great time to visit when temperatures are cooler but still comfortable.
Casablanca is a Muslim country, and it’s important to dress modestly, especially in public places. Women should cover their shoulders and wear long skirts or pants, while men should avoid wearing shorts. It’s also a good idea to bring a scarf or shawl to cover your head when visiting mosques.
Ramadan is an important religious holiday in Morocco, and it’s important to be respectful of local customs during this time. Many restaurants and shops may be closed during the day, and it’s important to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public during daylight hours. However, many restaurants and cafes will be open late into the night, and there will be plenty of delicious food to enjoy after sunset.
Remember, Casablanca is a friendly and welcoming city, and by following these travel tips, you’ll be able to enjoy all that this vibrant city has to offer.
If you’re planning a trip to Casablanca, there are several things you should know before you go. Here’s some tourist information to help you plan your visit.
There are many tours available in Casablanca, ranging from walking tours of the city to day trips to nearby attractions. Some popular tours include:
- Casablanca City Tour: This 4-hour tour takes you to the city’s top attractions, including the Hassan II Mosque, the Royal Palace, and the Corniche.
- Marrakech Day Trip: This full-day tour takes you to the vibrant city of Marrakech, where you’ll explore the medina, visit the Bahia Palace and the Koutoubia Mosque, and shop in the souks.
- Rabat Day Trip: This full-day tour takes you to the capital city of Rabat, where you’ll visit the Hassan Tower, the Kasbah of the Udayas, and the Mohammed V Mausoleum.
The cost of tours in Casablanca varies depending on the type of tour and the duration. Walking tours of the city start at around $15, while day trips to nearby attractions can cost upwards of $100. It’s important to shop around and compare prices before booking a tour to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
If you’re looking for a more personalized experience, consider hiring a professional guide. A guide can provide you with in-depth knowledge of the city’s history and culture, as well as take you to off-the-beaten-path attractions. Look for guides with good reviews and ratings on travel websites to ensure a great experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top attractions to visit in Casablanca?
Casablanca has a variety of attractions to offer visitors. Some of the top attractions include the Hassan II Mosque, the Old Medina of Casablanca, Quartier Habous, Morocco Mall, and the Musée Abderrahman Slaoui.
What is Casablanca famous for?
Casablanca is famous for its bustling port, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture. It is also known for being the setting of the classic film, “Casablanca.”
Is it worth going to Casablanca?
Yes, Casablanca is definitely worth a visit. It has a unique charm and plenty of attractions to keep visitors entertained.
What is the best part of Casablanca to stay?
The best part of Casablanca to stay in depends on your preferences. Some popular areas to stay in include the city center, the beachfront area of Ain Diab, and the upscale neighborhood of Anfa.
How many days are enough for Casablanca?
You can see most of the major attractions in Casablanca in two to three days. However, if you want to explore the city in more depth or take day trips to nearby destinations, you may want to stay longer.
What are the most popular things to do in Casablanca with kids?
Some popular things to do in Casablanca with kids include visiting the Hassan II Mosque, exploring the Old Medina, and spending time at Tamaris Aquaparc.