Casablanca Destination Guide
Stay in Morocco’s largest city and be rewarded with an experience like no other. Set out on a treasure hunt to discover all the jewels that Casablanca has to offer – this place is, after all, much more than just a busy port metropolis.
Get set to sample excellent food, take in gorgeous Art Deco architecture, shop for high fashion, visit modern art galleries and immerse yourself in a unique blend of cosmopolitan lifestyle and the fascinating hustle of the Old Medina.
A must-visit? The urban beachfront suburb of Ain Diab, where you can drink and dance the night away at trendy clubs.
Visitors to Casablanca will instantly be immersed in the distinct cultural and historical ambiance the city is known for, starting with a trip to Hassan II Mosque. Stand in awe as you take in one of the largest mosques in the world – at a whopping 210 metres tall this imposing structure towers over the Atlantic Ocean. Take a guided tour to discover expertly crafted marble walls, a retractable roof and a section of glass floor that looks directly into the sea below.
For a touch of history, you can’t go past Old Medina. Also known as the Old Town, this historic precinct is a literal maze of narrow laneways lined with crumbling buildings and curious merchant stalls. Lose yourself in the labyrinth and discover Casablanca’s soul – just wandering amid the chaos of merchants selling their goods to the throngs of locals is an experience. If you see something you like be prepared to drive a hard bargain. Otherwise simply enjoy taking in the sights and sounds of Casablanca’s oldest surviving district.
Venture just 5 kilometres from the city centre to the suburb of Oasis and discover the only Jewish museum in the Arab world, the Museum of Moroccan Judaism. This architecturally impressive building houses beautiful artifacts and relics that tell the stories of the rich Jewish history that once greatly influenced Morocco.
Casablanca boasts some of the best dining options in Morocco, so don’t be afraid to explore the city’s culinary offerings. To sample national specialties, seek out restaurants serving harira, a deliciously thick soup made of lamb, chickpeas and herbs. A slightly more adventurous option is pastilla, a meat pie that includes pigeon meat (or sometimes chicken) and almonds among its ingredients.
For a cosmopolitan experience head to Quartier Gauthier, a chic area where you can brunch and lunch on international cuisine and blend in with the trendy locals. And be sure to visit the beachside neighbourhood of Ain Diab Corniche, which offers restaurants, cafés, watering holes and clubs that come alive after dark.
Where to Stay
The up-market and trendy area of Anfa offers close proximity to the swish Morocco Mall and the beachside precinct of Ain Diab Corniche, where you’ll also find luxury resorts. If you prefer to stay in the heart of the city, the Boulevard Mohammed-V is a great geographical base from which to explore. Lined with heritage Art Deco buildings, this area is home to a number of hotels. Avenue des FAR, which borders one side of the city centre, is peppered with accommodation options for every budget.
A far cry from the peddlers of the Old Medina, Morocco Mall – which comes complete with high end fashion labels, an IMAX theatre and a mind-boggling cylindrical fish tank in the centre of it all – is a mecca for modern shoppers.
For quality Moroccan handicrafts without the haggling, explore 3 floors of fixed-priced artisan goods at the Exposition Nationale d’Artisanat on Hassan II Avenue. Here you’ll find everything from rugs, leather and jewellery to clothing and souvenirs.
Casablanca Like a Local
Throw yourself into a unique and authentic Arabic experience with a visit to a hammam (public bathhouse). Many locals still visit hammams at least once a week to steam, cleanse, scrub and gossip in a communal environment. Hammams in Casablanca range from traditional public baths to luxurious and private experiences for the elite. While a private hammam experience may be less intimidating, it’s nowhere near as authentic as the real deal.