Casablanca is the largest port and the most populated city in Morocco. The Spanish translation of the city's name means "white house". It is the Kingdom's main business and industrial center, as well as a crossroads of Europe's, Africa's, and America's major sea routes. Despite its location in a very Arab country with Muslim traditions, Casablanca today is a business center with skyscrapers and is the economic capital of Morocco. It is a city of avant-garde and new technologies, in lifestyle and appearance, similar to southern European cities: people rushing to do their business, women with open faces, miniskirts, high heels, and sunglasses. Casablanca is the best destination to visit in Morocco!
Hassan II Mosque
One of the best attractions in Casablanca is the second largest mosque in the Islamic world after Meccan — the Mosque of Hassan II. The project of the French architect Michel Pinceau and the technologies of the late 20th century allowed us to enjoy a miracle of engineering — a mosque with a retractable roof able to turn a prayer hall into an open terrace and the highest minaret in the world at about 200 m. Lavishly decorated in all the Moroccan techniques — mosaics, stucco, paintings, and wood carvings. The mosque's main hall can accommodate 25,000 worshippers, and 80,000 more can be accommodated in adjoining areas. The mosque is not only a religious but also a cultural center; there are a madrasa, a library, and a national museum.
The most interesting place for sightseeing-oriented visitors in Casablanca is the Old City or Medina. The Medina is notable first of all for its atmosphere and color: the streets-crooked and narrow-of the East, the lack of any means of transportation except donkeys, the souvenir shops located on both sides of the road, and the old white stone buildings (in the Spanish "Casablanca" means "City of White Houses").
This part of Casablanca is sandwiched between the port and the city's main mosque. The neighborhoods have been formed over decades. The old Medina resembles a classic Arab neighborhood. The streets are always busy and the development is dense. The stores and the open air are lively with commerce. Nearby attractions are the sanctuary of Sidi Kairouani, the picturesque public garden, and the "Navy Gate".
The most recognizable part of the city. The district was created in the 20th century for immigrants from the province. Since there is a palace nearby, the area quickly gained popularity among the rich locals. The architecture is mixed — modern features are combined with classic urban buildings of the past. Habusa has a concentration of stores and several markets. Everything from olive oil to brassware is for sale.
United Nations Square
The United Nations Square was built by the walls of the Medina centuries ago. However, its modern appearance took shape only at the beginning of the last century. In the center of the square is a dome resembling half a globe. It is surrounded by the flags of different countries. The construction is illuminated in the evening and at night. The area is lively: near transport interchanges, as well as the business district and streets with an abundance of retail outlets.
Mohammed V Square
It is the center of social and business life. It is surrounded by restaurants, the Al Maghreb Bank, the post office, and the police prefecture. The square is flanked by the Arab League Park and the public garden. The boulevards diverge in different directions and are a beautiful place for strolls. At night, there is a colorful show with a light and music fountain.
One of the elite districts of the city. The area is built up with expensive shops and hotels. The waterfront is always immaculately clean. Almost all the beaches in the area belong to hotels or private individuals. There are also small public areas, but there is minimal service. Another distinguishing feature of the Corniche is the abundance of greenery, gardens, and flower beds. The waterfront comes alive mostly in the evenings and at night.
Mahakma do Paça
The majestic Mahakma do Paça used to be the residence of the Pasha of Casablanca and is now the seat of one of the seven prefectures. The palace was built in the Spanish-Moorish style and features more than 60 rooms and courtyards richly carved. Entrance to the palace is free, but it is difficult to call it "free" — you need to arrange for a local to accompany you.
Casablanca Royal Palace
It is located in New Medina. The main residence of the king in Casablanca. In terms of architecture, the palace is more inclined to traditional Moroccan and Muslim motifs, but the influence of French culture is also visible. It is surrounded by artificial ponds and orange groves. Visitors are especially attracted by the rich decoration of the main entrance.
Construction fell in the 1930s when the city was under French rule. The cathedral is made of cast concrete. The architectural style is ambiguous: neo-Gothic mixed with Muslim architecture. Even the Sacre-Coeur towers look like minarets. In the 50s, the building was given to an educational institution. Later, the cathedral was converted into a cultural center and now holds exhibitions, festivals, and fairs.
Notre Dame de Lourdes Cathedral
The Catholic cathedral was built in 1956. It plays an important role for Christians living in the Islamic region. The structure is monolithic, cast in concrete. It has an atypical appearance for a Christian church. This did not prevent the cathedral from getting the status of a cathedral. Colored stained-glass windows of impressive size stand out in the decoration. They were made by the celebrated French artist and glassblower, Gabriel Laura.
Temple Beth El
The city's central synagogue is considered the oldest in the country. It serves as a religious and cultural center. It holds classes for preschoolers. A prayer hall for public events. Non-religious visitors are primarily attracted by the decoration of the premises: carved rosettes, stucco, handmade furniture, stained glass, large silver candlesticks.
El Hank Lighthouse
It appeared on the promontory of the same name in 1914. Its height is about 50 meters. From similar buildings in other cities, the lighthouse is distinguished only by a cornice in the Moroccan style. For a small fee, the keeper of the lighthouse allows visitors inside. To get to the top, you have to climb a spiral staircase of marble. The equipment of the lighthouse is about 100 years old, but it is fully operational. The light from here can be seen for 53 km.
The best place for shopping in Casablanca. It is a modern shopping mall close to the coast. Hundreds of global brand stores were gathered under one roof. Entertainment is represented by the children's play area "Adventureland", an IMAX film complex, a large aquarium, a musical fountain, an ice rink, and a garden with a pond. Eat here too; the local food court is the biggest in the city.
Ain Diab Beach
The main place for a beach holiday in Casablanca is Ain Diab Beach. It is the area that is divided into public, closed, and private beaches. Service is at a high level: there are all the amenities and rentals of everything you need. Cafes and bars are close to the beach. Leisure facilities: sports grounds, petanque games, opportunity to ride camels and horses, water attractions. The coastal waters are often rough, but there are lulls.
Shopping in Casablanca
Casablanca offers all the usual range of Moroccan markets, but prices are higher than in other tourist cities in the country. When planning a trip around the country, it's best to postpone the shopping for souvenirs to another city; if you are going to spend all your time in Casablanca, one piece of advice is to haggle assertively.