Casablanca or Dar al Baïda is the largest city in Morocco. Casablanca has about 3 million inhabitants, the economic capital of Morocco but a less rich past than other Moroccan cities. A more modern city which attracts less tourists than cities like Fez or Marrakech or even than small cities like Essaouira or Chefchaouen. However visiting Casablanca on one day or two days may have its interest.
In this post entirely devoted to visiting Casablanca, I give you the information you need to know before leaving to visit Casablanca: what to do in Casablanca, how to get there, good addresses, where to sleep in Casablanca, …
Visit Casablanca: What To Do in Casablanca ?
As previously mentioned, Casablanca is not the city of Morocco with the richest past. And when you visit Casablanca, you quickly realize, there are not a lot of places of interest or historic sites in Casablanca.
However, visiting Casablance remains pleasant and one can easily take care of one or two days in Casablanca. So what to do in Casablanca?
First place of interest in Casablanca, let’s start with the famous Hassan II mosque in Casablanca. Largest mosque in Africa, 3rd largest mosque in the world and tallest minaret in the world. The Hassan II mosque is really impressive! By itself, it deserves to make the detour to Casablanca to visit the city and the mosque …
visit the Mosque
Also, important to note, it is the only mosque in Morocco that is open to tourists. If your stay in Morocco is your first stay in a Muslim country, it is then in Casablanca that you will have the one and only opportunity to visit the interior of a mosque …
The visit costs 120 DH which is very expensive compared to Morocco because most of the visits cost 10 DH (maximum 30 / 40DH for certain monuments / sites of Marrakech). However, if you plan to visit Casablanca, I can only recommend that you include the Hassan II mosque in your list of visits to do in Casablanca …
A stroll along the beach can also be pleasant.
Then you can head to the Casablanca Medina. It’s nice but if you know Morocco well, there are much more beautiful and much more authentic in other Moroccan cities.
Finally, you can take a tour of the Habous district which, in summary, is a “modern” medina. The area is quite quiet, there are a few souvenir shops if you wish and we will see it below, I share a very good address to taste a delicious pastilla.
It is also possible to visit the Beth-El synagogue in Casablanca. It is the largest synagogue in Casablanca and it is still active.
With these few visits, you will have seen most of Casablanca. However, visiting Casablanca is not necessarily just that. In fact, in a big city like Casablanca, you can also observe daily life in a big city in the country. And it’s also part of the journey. In a country like Morocco which is developing quite quickly, life is not just the Atlas villages or the old medinas …
Where to sleep in Casablanca ?
Casablanca is a fairly sprawling city. To avoid multiple trips between your hotel and places of interest or restaurants where you want to go, it is best to stay in Casablanca in a well located hotel.
In addition, even if the taxi journeys in Casablanca are not very expensive. The traffic is very often dense, very dense. If you decide to sleep in Casablanca in an eccentric hotel, you risk spending a lot of time in traffic …
Here are some hotels I recommend in Casablanca (quite different budgets):
Oum Palace Hotel & Spa is a good place to sleep in Casablanca on an average budget. It is very close to the train station, which is convenient. Its location is also ideal for visiting Casablanca without spending too much time traveling. Also very close to the train station, the Sheraton Casablanca Hotel & Towers is excellent. The best hotel in town. Free parking, convenient if you come to Casablanca by car. And it has a beautiful pool!
Visiting Casablanca: Some Practical Information
Last part of this guide to help you visit Casablanca. Here, I discuss the practical questions of a trip to Casablanca.
In the program ? How to get around the city, how to get there from other cities in the country or good places to eat while visiting Casablanca. Because here as elsewhere in Morocco, when asked what to do in Casablanca, one of the answers is often to eat well!
How to reach Casablanca ?
To get to Casablanca to visit the city, the easiest way is to take the train.
Most of the kingdom’s rail lines pass through Casablanca. It is therefore easy to get there from Marrakech but also from Rabat, Meknes, Fez or Tangier. 2 stations serve Casablanca: Casa Port and Casa Voyageurs.
To check the timetables and prices of trains serving Casablanca, you can consult MYticket official website.
If you plan to visit Casablanca during a road trip in Morocco, know that Casablanca is certainly the city of Morocco where driving is the most chaotic. Nothing is impossible but you have to be vigilant and a little used to driving in Morocco… If you are not comfortable with the idea of driving in Casablanca, you can drop your car off at your Casa hotel and visit Casablanca by taking tram and taxi!
Visit Casablanca: how to get there?
Casablanca is a fairly large city. It is difficult to get around the city on foot.
The tram is very practical, modern and inexpensive (7DH or about 0.7 euros) but does not allow you to go to all areas of the city.
The other alternative for visiting Casablanca and getting around is the small taxi. You will find a lot and they will allow you to go everywhere in Casablanca for a ridiculous amount especially if you are 2 or 3!
Even if Casablanca is a big city and quite large, as a tourist, you are not going to travel all over the place. Few taxi or tram journeys will be enough to take you to the places you want to visit in Casablanca 😉
Eat well in Casablanca
A trip to Casablanca during a trip to Morocco is the right opportunity to take a break from Moroccan gastronomy and have some other meals. I am not saying that you will not find any pizzeria or Mc Donalds elsewhere in Morocco, but in Casablanca, there is a choice, a lot of choices!
Traveling regularly in Morocco, I eat “local” on each trip but not only, I do not force myself to eat 100% “local”.
In Casablanca, there is for example a very good Indian restaurant, the Bombay Palace, in the dynamic district of Maârif. The owner had an Indian restaurant in Paris before settling in Casa.
If you opt for a shopping break in Casablanca, you will find many cafes or tea rooms at the Anfa Place shopping center. Very pleasant shopping center, facing the sea, there is also a Starbucks Coffee.
You will find in different districts of Casablanca many other restaurants such as Lebanese restaurants or Japanese restaurant.
If you want to continue eating local cuisine. I highly recommend the Bennis Habous pastry shop in the Habous district, 2 Rue Fkih El Gabbas. The chicken pastilla is absolutely delicious. One of the best I have eaten in Morocco. If you do not know the pastilla, do not be greedy, it is beefy. This is not displayed but you can request a 2-person pastilla. It’s best to spend the morning ordering it for lunch. You can not eat there but you can eat it in the cafe located 50 meters away 😉
This post on the visit to Casablanca is coming to an end. I think I mentioned what you should know before visiting Casablanca. Often Casablanca is just a short stop on a trip to Morocco. Indeed, even if there are a few places of interest in Casablanca. One quickly wonders what to do in Casablanca if one stays there for more than 2 day. There is so much to see in Morocco. That it is better to devote only one or two days to the visit of Casablanca.
If you have any questions or comments to help you prepare for your visit to Casablanca. Feel free to comment on this post. I respond quickly to comments and our discussions will certainly be useful to other blog readers who plan to visit Casablanca soon.