Do you have only one day to spend in Casablanca? That’s okay! This post is a compilation of ideas on how to spend one day in Casablanca.
Casablanca is a city that you either love or hate. There is no in-between. Some people are fascinated by the city’s gritty charm, while others find it to be dirty and depressing. I personally think it’s a bit of both.
It can be really overwhelming to first-time visitors because it’s such a chaotic city. But once you get to know it, there are things to love about Casablanca.
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About this itinerary
One thing to keep in mind is that this is not a leisurely itinerary but rather a whistle-stop tour of the city.
If you want to take your time and explore at a slower pace, then you can consider booking a half-day tour instead. It will save you time figuring out logistics and how to get to these listed sights.
I suggest not spending more than one to two days in Casablanca. One day is enough to explore the main sights, and maybe do one or two activities. With that said, here’s a one day Casablanca itinerary.
Note: There will be a lot of walking on this itinerary so wear comfortable shoes!
Where to stay in Casablanca
If you have to spend the night in Casablanca, I recommend staying in the city center neighborhood. This is where most of the tourist attractions are located and you will be close to all public transportation.
Some of the hotels in the city center neighborhood I recommend:
- Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche
- Hyatt Regency Casablanca
- ODYSSEE Boutique Hotel Casablanca
- Mövenpick Hotel Casablanca
One day in Casablanca itinerary
Morning (Bab Marrakech, Old Medina, Hassan II mosque, Lunch)
Go souvenir shopping in Bab Marrakech
Bab Marrakech is Casablanca’s covered market. It’s definitely not the best Souk I’ve ever been to, but it’s worth checking out for some small souvenirs.
While other souks in Morocco are more tailored to tourists, this one is more for locals. You’ll find stalls selling everything from fake designer goods to spices and clothes.
On my visit to Bab Marrakech, I noticed the prices for traditional goods were much more expensive than what I had seen in other places, but I bought a few magnets to put on my fridge.
Head to the Old Medina
Don’t spend your whole morning in the Souk, if you can walk to the Old Medina. The Medina is tricky to probably not very safe to navigate on your own. I recommend you hire a local guide or book a Medina tour.
Just outside the ancient part of the Medina, you’ll find the Hassan II Mosque, the biggest mosque in North Africa and the third-largest in the world. This mosque is a marvel and it should be a reason alone to visit Casablanca.
If I’m not wrong Hassan II mosque is the only religious building that allows tourists to enter. However, you can only do so out of prayer times and with a booked tour.
Remember that you have to dress modestly and women will have to cover their hair. I wrote a guide on how to dress when visiting Morocco as a female, check it out. If you are visiting with your kids, check our guide on what to pack for them.
>> Book Hassan II mosque tour
Lunch (La Sqala, Rick’s Cafe)
After your mosque tour, it will be time for lunch. I recommend going to La Sqala. It’s located in the Old Medina just 20 minutes away from the mosque. You can also take a taxi there.
La Sqala is one of the most popular restaurants in Casablanca and it’s one of my favorites too! They serve traditional Moroccan food and the vibes are just lovely.
It’s located in an old fort with gorgeous decorations and colors. The food is a bit pricey compared to local restaurants but it’s definitely worth it. A 3-course meal with drinks will set you back around 300dh ($30) per person.
Rick’s cafe is another popular restaurant in Old Medina. Called and designed to look like the one from the movie Casablanca, it’s one of those places they recommend visiting in Casablanca.
I personally have never been to that restaurant and I’m not planning to. It’s not your typical traditional Moroccan restaurant but rather a more modern and luxurious dining experience with music and drinks. If this is your thing, then definitely go for it.
Afternoon (Mohammed V square, Cathedral du Sacre Coeur, Villa of Arts)
Mohammed V square (Place Mohammed V)
When you’re done with lunch it’s time to explore some more of Casablanca. Start by going to Mohammed V square, also known as Place Mohammed V, the main square in Casablanca.
While the distance is walkable, you can also take the tramway from the nearest station in the old Medina (Station Place Nations Unies). Place Mohammed V is 1 station away from Place des Nations Unies but it’s a way to experience the tramway.
Around the square, you can discover the newest part of the old Medina with a lot of colonial buildings still standing strong. The highlight of this place is the pigeons though. You can buy a bag of birdseed at 5 cents to feed them and they will come to sit on your arm.
You will be approached by people that sell birdseed and others trying to take photos of you with a price. It’s a bit annoying but it’s one of those things you have to experience when visiting Morocco.
Cathedral du Sacre Coeur
On the other side of the square, you can find one of the most important sights in Casablanca, the Cathedral du Sacre Coeur.
The Cathedral was constructed in 1930 but ceased its religious function in 1956 when Morocco became independent. Unfortunately, you can only admire this building from the outside since it’s closed for renovations
Villa of Arts
A short walk from the cathedral, you can find the Villa of Arts museum. Casablanca doesn’t have many of those but this one is worth visiting. It’s very calm, and a place to hide from the hectic city outside.
The museum is located in an architecturally interesting villa from the 1920s and it was renovated to host different exhibitions by Moroccan artists. Admission is free, which is always a plus.
Night (La Corniche, Dinner )
After a long day of exploring, La Corniche (the coast) of Casablanca is the best place to spend the rest of your day and watch the sunset.
The corniche in Casablance is a large promenade that goes along the ocean with a lot of restaurants and cafes and street food stalls as well. The place gets quite busy at night and on weekends as it’s the only place where people can really hang out.
The easiest and cheaper way to get to La Corniche is by tramway. You can take the tramway from the city center and make sure to take the one that goes straight to the Ain Diab station otherwise you will have to change tramways in Abd El Moumen station if you take the wrong one.
Note: When buying the tram ticket, make sure to buy both ways. Sometimes it gets really busy as the ticket vending machine at night.
Another way to get there is by taxi but expect to pay $6 or more one way.
Address: La Corniche, Casablanca, Morocco
Dinner (Le Cabestan, Sky 28)
La corniche is full of restaurants, you can choose one for dinner or just get some snacks from one of the many food stalls.
But for a luxury dinner with a view, I recommend le Cabestan or Sky 28. Le Cabestan has an amazing view of the beach, and the food is super delicious. Plus, the restaurant is located in the Corniche.
Sky 28 is located on the 28th floor of one of the tallest buildings in Casablanca, so the view is even better. The downside is that it’s located in the business district, so it’s a bit further from the Corniche.
Both restaurants have amazing views and mouthwatering food, and both are on the pricey side. So it’s up to you to decide which one you want to go for.
Le Cabestan Address: Le Cabestan, Phare d’El hank، 90 Bd de la Corniche, Casablanca 20000, Morocco
And that’s the end of our one-day tour of Casablanca. As you can see, I have included just the important highlights that you shouldn’t miss if you’re short on time. If you wanna discover more, check out my other blog post on the best things to do in Casablanca.
Is Casablanca safe?
Yes, Casablanca is certainly safe if you are aware of what you’re doing and where you’re going. Like any other big city, there are areas that are best to avoid but as long as you stay in the tourist areas, you will be fine.
But here are some tips to stay safe in Casablanca:
- Don’t carry all your money with you, just enough for the day.
- Don’t walk around alone at night in poorly lit areas. Take a taxi instead
- Be aware of your surroundings and don’t flash your valuables in public including your phone.
- Keep your bag close to you at all times. Avoid backpacks and use cross-body bags instead.
- If you are using public transport, read our Public transport guide.
- Buy travel insurance. I recommend Safety Wing or World Nomads insurance
How to get to Casablanca from the airport
If you are flying into Mohammed V airport which is about 35 km from Casablanca city center, you have a few options to get to the city center:
- You can take a grand taxi from outside the airport. The price of the ride from the airport to Casablanca should not be more than $30
- You can also take the train from the airport straight to Casa port or Casa voyageur station. There is a station located inside the airport. This option is not ideal if you have a lot of luggage with you as the stairs can be quite steep.
- Use an airport transfer service. You will do away with all the trouble and stress of finding a taxi or navigating the train system with your luggage.
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