Casablanca or Dar al Baida is the largest city in Morocco. Casablanca is about 3 million inhabitants, the economic capital of Morocco but a less rich past than other Moroccan cities. A more modern city that attracts tourists less than cities like Fez or Marrakech or even small towns like Essaouira or Chefchaouen. Nevertheless visiting Casablanca on a day or two days may have its interest.
In this ticket devoted entirely to the visit of Casablanca, I give you the information you need to know before going to visit Casablanca: what to do in Casablanca , how to get there, good places, where to sleep in Casablanca,…
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Things to do in Casablanca
As noted earlier, Casablanca is not a city in Morocco that has the richest past. And when visiting Casablanca, we quickly realize that there are not many places of interest or historic sites in Casablanca.
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Nevertheless, visiting Casablance remains pleasant and you 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 . The largest mosque in Africa, 3rd largest mosque in the world and the highest minaret in the world. The Hassan II Mosque is really impressive! Alone, it deserves to visit Casablanca to visit the city and 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, then it is in Casablanca that you will have the only and only opportunity to visit inside a mosque…
The tour costs 120 DH which is very expensive compared to Morocco because most of the visits costs 10 DH (maximum 30/40DH for some monuments/sites in 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 walk along the beach can also be pleasant.
Then you can head to the medina of Casablanca . It’s nice but if you know Morocco well, there is much more beautiful and more authentic in other Moroccan cities.
Finally, you can take a tour to the Habous district which, in short, is a “modern” medina. The neighborhood is quite quiet, there are some 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 in operation.
With these few tours, you will have seen the essentials of Casablanca. Nevertheless, visiting Casablanca does not necessarily boil down to this. Indeed, in a large city like Casablanca, one also has the opportunity to observe everyday life in a large city of the country. And this is also part of the journey. In a country like Morocco that is developing quite rapidly, life is not just about the villages of the Atlas or the ancient medinas…
Places to stay in Casablanca
Casablanca is a fairly spreading city. To avoid multiple trips between your hotel and places of interest or restaurants you want to go, it is best to stay in Casablanca in a hotel well located.
Moreover, even if taxi trips to Casablanca are not very expensive, traffic is very often dense, very dense. If you decide to sleep in Casablanca in an off-center hotel, you risk spending quite a lot of time in the caps…
Here are some hotels I recommend in Casablanca (quite different budgets):
- Oum Palace Hotel & Spa is a good place to stay in Casablanca on 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 on the go
- Also 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 swimming pool!
Visiting Casablanca: some practical information
Last part of this guide to help you visit Casablanca. Here, I address the practical questions of a trip to Casablanca.
On the program? How to get around the city, how to get there from other cities in the country or good places to eat well during your visit to Casablanca. Because here and elsewhere in Morocco, when you ask what to do in Casablanca, one of the answers is often eating well!
How to travel to Casablanca?
To reach Casablanca to visit the city, the easiest way is to take the train.
Most of the Kingdom’s railway lines pass through Casablanca. It is therefore easy to get there from Marrakech but also from Rabat, Meknes, Fes or Tangier. 2 stations serve Casablanca: Casa Port and Casa Voyageurs.
To check the timetables and fares of trains serving Casablanca, you can visit the official ONCF website.
If you plan to visit Casablanca during a road trip to Morocco, be aware that Casablanca is certainly the city in Morocco where driving is the most chaotic. Nothing impossible but you have to be vigilant and a little accustomed to driving in Morocco… If you are not comfortable with the idea of driving in Casablanca, you can drop off your car at your Casa hotel and visit Casablanca by taking tram and taxi!
Visiting Casablanca: how to get around?
Casablanca is a fairly extensive city. It is difficult to walk around the city on foot.
The tram is very practical, modern and cheap (7DH or 0.7 euro approximately) but does not allow to go to all areas of the city.
The other alternative to visit Casablanca and get around is the small taxi. You will find a lot of them and they will allow you to go anywhere in Casablanca for a fee derisory especially if you are at 2 or 3!
Even if Casablanca is a big city and quite extensive, as a tourist you will not go through it in every way. A few taxi or tram trips will be enough to take you to the corners you wish to visit in Casablanca; -)
Eating well in Casablanca
A visit to Casablanca during a trip to Morocco is a good opportunity to take a break in Moroccan gastronomy and have some other meals! I’m not saying that you won’t find any pizzeria or any Mc Donalds elsewhere in Morocco, but in Casablanca there is choice, lots of choices!
Traveling regularly in Morocco, I eat “local” with every trip but not only, I do not force myself to eat 100% “local”.
In Casablanca, we can note, for example, a very good Indian restaurant, Bombay Palace, in the vibrant Maârif district. The boss had an Indian restaurant in Paris before moving to Casa.
If you opt for a shopping break in Casablanca, there are plenty of coffees or tea rooms at the Anfa Place shopping centre. Very nice shopping center, facing the sea, you will also find a Starbucks Coffee.
Many other restaurants such as Lebanese restaurants or Japanese restaurants can be found in different areas of Casablanca.
If you want to continue eating local cuisine, I highly recommend the Bennis Habous pastry shop in the Habous neighborhood, 2 rue Fkih El Gabbas. Chicken pastilla is absolutely delicious. One of the best I’ve ever been able to eat in Morocco. If you do not know the pastilla, do not be greedy, it’s strong. This is not displayed but you can request a pastilla 2 people. It is better to spend in the morning to order it for lunch. You can’t eat on site but you can eat it in the café located 50 meters away; -)
This ticket on the visit to Casablanca is coming to an end. I think I mentioned what you need to know before visiting Casablanca. Casablanca is often only a short stop on a trip to Morocco. Indeed, even if there are some places of interest in Casablanca, we wonder quickly enough what to do in Casablanca if you stay there for more than 2 days… And there is so much to see in Morocco that it is better to devote only one or two days to visit 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 exchanges will certainly be useful to other readers of the blog who intend to visit Casablanca coming soon…