Casablanca, Morocco: 15 Awesome Things to Do and See

by Fay

Are you planning a visit to Casablanca? That’s amazing! Casablanca is one of my favorite cities in Morocco. Casablanca is viewed by many as overwhelming, and busy. That can be true if you don’t know the secrets and the tricks of navigating its streets and corners.  

Make the most of your trip to Casablanca with these fun activities, from sightseeing and exploring the Old Medina to shopping and food.   

Is Casablanca in Morocco Worth Visiting?

Very often Casablanca is overlooked as a travel destination even though it’s one of the famous cities in Morocco. Instead, tourists prefer Fez and Marrakech for their trips. Casablanca is home to Mohammed V Airport, the biggest airport in Morocco. Therefore, there is a high chance you will end up in Casablanca. So, instead of immediately hopping on a train to Marrakech, give the city a chance by spending a day or 2. After all, Casablanca is home to some of Morocco’s iconic attractions that are worth checking out. 

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Fun things to do in Casablanca

1. Take a Tour of Hassan II Mosque

Casablanca is home to the 7th biggest mosque in the world. The iconic structure was completed in 1993 featuring the world’s second tallest Minaret at 210 meters (689 ft). A part of the mosque is constructed on the water of the Atlantic ocean making it one of Morocco’s postcard pictures. Tourists can take a 45-minute tour of the inside of the mosque for 120 Dhs ($12) per person. 

2. Savor the Moroccan food at La Sqala

You can’t experience a country for real without experiencing its food, right? If there is anything that Morocco is known for best, it’s mouthwatering food. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try La Sqala, the best restaurant for traditional Moroccan food in Casablanca.  

3. Shop until you drop in Bab Marrakech Market 

Bab Marrakech in Casablanca is great for shopping- whether it’s shoes, bags, clothes, or Moroccan souvenirs and gifts, this place has it all. Take a few hours to get lost and do some shopping therapy. It’s good for mental health. 

4. Eat Fish at the Casablanca Port

If you’re a fish lover, you have to try the fish in Casablanca port. Eating fresh fish here is a local experience that is still unknown to many tourists. There are many restaurants in the area offering a rich seafood menu. My favorite is Port de Peche. 

5. Wander Through the Streets of the Old Medina

Unlike Marrakech and Fez, wandering through the narrow streets of the old Medina in Casablanca is not really a tourist experience and honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it if you are not accompanied by a local. However, if you have a chance to do it, you will discover the historical side of Casablanca. The city is not just blocks of buildings after all.   

6. Feed the Pigeons at Place Mohammed V

Place Mohammed V or Mohammed V Square is one of Casablanca’s famous places to go. The square groups some of the iconic public buildings in the city such as the Wilaya with its clock tower that lights up at night, the court of justice with its spectacular Moorish architecture, and the Grand Théâtre of Casablanca. Plus, the exemplary fountain in the center of the square is a popular spot for Casablanca’s pigeons and locals alike.      

Pigeons having a ball at Place Mohammed V

7. Explore the City via the Tramway

Cheap and cheerful! Casablanca’s tramway is a great and quick way to discover the city. With 3 major lines, the Casablanca tramway connects most of the city’s important districts such as Ain Diab beach, and the city center. The fare’s price is only 7Dhs so feel free to jump off in different stations along the way. 

8. Marvel at the Architecture of Mahkama du Pacha

Located in the Habous neighborhood of Casablanca, Mahkamat al-Pasha (the Pasha’s Courthouse) served as a courthouse and residence of the Pacha (Governor) in the 20th century. The Mahkama du Pacha building features traditional Mauro-Andalusi architecture showcased in its tilework art (Zeleej), carved cedarwood, and green-tiled roofs.

9. Stay at a Hotel by the Beach

I love the views of Casablanca beach. My advice when booking a hotel in Casablanca is to pick a hotel with a beachside view. There are many nice hotels overlooking the beach in Ain Diab and Tamaris areas.     

10. Take a Look at Morocco Mall Aquarium

It came as a surprise to me that Morocco Mall is the largest shopping center in Africa. I visited Morocco Mall several times during our stay in Casablanca and I really enjoyed it since I love aquariums. It has an aquarium of 40 different species of fish and they even offer the possibility to take a look inside. 

11. Visit the Church of the Sacred Heart

The Church of the Sacred Heart also called Casablanca Cathedral is one of Casablanca’s important sites. It was constructed in 1930 and operated until 1956, after the independence of Morocco. The Church is now open to the public as a cultural center where numerous art exhibitions and events are held.

12. Stroll the Streets of Habous

Habous is one of the older neighborhoods of Casablanca. Habous or the new Medina was developed during the French protectorate in Morocco. Located near the Royal palace, Habous is a cultural and religious center for Casablanca and for Morocco. The buildings and the structures in the neighborhood boast a unique mix of French colonial and traditional Moroccan architecture styles.

13. Glance at the Royal Palace in Casablanca

While you’re in Habous, go check out the royal palace there. It’s one of Morocco’s popular palaces and a famous tourist attraction in Casablanca. Unfortunately, public access to the palace is restricted and it is always guarded. The good news is that the royal palace is worth a visit for its extraordinary exterior gates and walls.

14. Re-experience Casablanca ‘the movie’ Movie at Rick’s Cafe

I didn’t get a chance to visit Rick’s cafe on my last trip to Casablanca but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it and it’s certainly on my bucket list for my next visit to Morocco. Housed in a 20th century Moroccan Riad, Rick’s Cafe recreates the bar in the classic American drama film Casablanca.

15. Have Dinner at La Corniche

If your trip happens to be in summer, La Corniche (the coast ) in Casablanca is the place to have a romantic dinner or just a promenade. The pleasant weather, the sound of the crashing waves, and the lively nightlife are what attracts tourists and locals alike to La Corniche in Casablanca. Plus, several street foods are sold in La Corniche.

Where to Stay in Casablanca?

Casablanca is the largest and busiest city in Morocco with around 20 different neighborhoods. Therefore, choosing the best place to stay when you visit Casablanca is very important. I’m sure you don’t want to spend 2 hours on public transport to get to Hassan II mosque. Here, I’ve created a detailed guide about the best neighborhoods and hotels in Casablanca to be in when you visit. Make sure to check that out.

Conclusion

When I first visited Casablanca, many years ago, I thought that the whole city needed some serious restoration, starting with a well-deserved paint job. As I learned my way around, I began to appreciate the good and bad about Casablanca. After all, it is the soul of Morocco. It is the biggest and most important city. While Marrakech and Fez are just for tourists mostly, Casablanca is the real Morocco. It may not be pretty but it is what it is, take it or leave it. I’ll take it with open arms.

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