Casablanca might not be the first city that comes to mind when planning a trip to Morocco, but it has its own unique charm and offers several attractions worth exploring. Despite some mixed reviews, many travelers find that Casablanca holds some pleasant surprises. Whether you’re here for a short stopover or a longer stay, here are the best things to do in Casablanca.

Explore the Iconic Hassan II Mosque

The Hassan II Mosque is the crown jewel of Casablanca and a must-see for any visitor. As one of the largest mosques in the world, it’s a stunning example of Moroccan craftsmanship and architecture. Situated on the coast, part of the mosque extends over the Atlantic Ocean, creating a breathtaking view. What makes this mosque particularly special is that it’s one of the few in Morocco that non-Muslims can visit.

To tour the inside, you need to join a guided tour, which lasts about 45 minutes and costs 130 dirhams. During the tour, you’ll be mesmerized by the intricate tile work, beautiful wood carvings, and the grandeur of the prayer hall. Don’t forget to bring socks, as you’ll need to remove your shoes. After the tour, spend some time walking around the mosque’s exterior to appreciate its stunning design and coastal backdrop.

Hassan II mosque

Wander Through the Old Medina

Casablanca’s medina might not be as famous as those in Marrakech or Fez, but it’s worth a visit. The medina offers a more relaxed experience compared to the larger, more hectic ones in other Moroccan cities. Here, you can wander through narrow streets lined with white-washed buildings and wooden doors. The atmosphere is laid-back, and you’ll often see locals going about their daily lives, kids playing soccer, and women shopping.

Within the medina, you’ll find small shops selling a variety of goods, from traditional Moroccan crafts to everyday items. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs or just enjoy the local ambiance. Be sure to stop by a café for a cup of mint tea and some people-watching.

Habous Medina in Casablanca

Stroll Along La Corniche

La Corniche is Casablanca’s picturesque beachfront area, offering a delightful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. This coastal strip is lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists. On a sunny day, it’s the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll, enjoy a meal with a view, or simply relax by the beach.

If you’re visiting during the warmer months, you can also take advantage of the pools and beach access available in this area. It’s a great spot to unwind, soak up the sun, and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze.

Corniche ain diab casablanca

Visit the Royal Palace and Place Mohammed V

Casablanca’s Royal Palace is another notable site, although it’s not open to the public. You can still admire its impressive exterior and the grandeur of its surroundings. Nearby, Place Mohammed V is the main square in the city and serves as a central hub. The square is surrounded by striking buildings, including the courthouse, the main post office, and the prefecture, all showcasing French colonial architecture.

The square is also home to a beautiful fountain, and it’s a great place to take a break and enjoy the city’s vibrant atmosphere. It’s especially lively in the evening when locals gather to socialize and enjoy the cooler temperatures.

Marvel at the Cathedral du Sacre Coeur

The Cathedral du Sacre Coeur is a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture in Casablanca. Although it’s no longer used as a church, the building remains an important cultural landmark. The cathedral’s striking white facade and impressive stained glass windows make it a must-see for architecture enthusiasts.

The cathedral is sometimes used for art exhibitions and cultural events, so if you’re lucky, you might catch an interesting show during your visit. Even if there’s no event, the exterior alone is worth admiring, and it provides a quiet spot to escape the city’s hustle.

Sacre coeur cathedral in Casablanca

Enjoy the Culinary Scene

Casablanca offers a diverse culinary scene with a mix of traditional Moroccan dishes and international cuisine. One of the top recommendations is La Sqala, a charming café set in an old fortress. The garden setting is relaxing, and the food is delicious. Here, you can enjoy traditional Moroccan dishes like tagine and couscous, as well as fresh pastries and mint tea.

For a taste of Casablanca’s connection to Hollywood, visit Rick’s Café. Inspired by the famous movie "Casablanca," this restaurant recreates the ambiance of the film with its décor and live piano music. It’s a bit touristy, but it offers a unique dining experience.

If you’re looking for a great view, head to Sky 28, a bar located on the 28th floor of the Kenzi Tower Hotel. It offers stunning panoramic views of the city and the ocean, especially beautiful at sunset. The drinks are a bit pricey, but the view makes it worthwhile.

Navigate the City

Getting around Casablanca is relatively easy. The city has a modern tram system that’s convenient and affordable. Taxis are also plentiful, but be sure to negotiate the fare before starting your journey, as many drivers don’t use meters. For longer distances, consider using the train, which connects Casablanca to other major cities in Morocco.

Walking is another great way to explore the city, especially if you’re staying near the main attractions. However, be prepared for a lack of sidewalks in some areas, as construction is ongoing in parts of the city.

Downtown casablanca

Consider Taking a Guided Tour

If you’re short on time or want to see as much as possible without the hassle of navigating on your own, consider booking a guided tour. There are several options available, from full-day tours that cover all the major sights to half-day tours that focus on specific areas of interest. A guided tour can provide valuable insights into the city’s history and culture, making your visit more enriching.

Is Casablanca Safe?

Safety is a common concern for travelers, and while Casablanca is generally safe, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings. Petty crime like pickpocketing can occur, so keep your belongings secure and be cautious in crowded areas. As with any major city, it’s advisable to avoid walking alone at night, especially in unfamiliar areas.

While some travelers report instances of catcalling or unwanted attention, these experiences vary. Traveling with a companion can make you feel more secure. Overall, exercising common sense and staying alert will help ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

Final Thoughts on Casablanca

Casablanca might not be Morocco’s most exciting city, but it has its own unique appeal. With its blend of modernity and tradition, it offers a different perspective on Moroccan life. Whether you’re visiting for a day or planning a longer stay, there’s enough to see and do to make your trip worthwhile. From the awe-inspiring Hassan II Mosque to the charming medina and the lively beachfront, Casablanca has something to offer every traveler. So pack your bags and get ready to explore the hidden gems of this vibrant city!

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