Situated on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, Casablanca is the country’s largest city and economic hub. The city is a melting pot of cultures, with a rich history dating back to the 7th century. Casablanca is also home to some of the best Moroccan food, architecture, and nightlife. In this guide, we’ll explore all the things that make Casablanca one of North Africa’s most fascinating cities.
History of Casablanca
Casablanca is a city with a long and rich history. Founded in the 8th century by the Berber tribe of the Awraba, it served as a pirate base and later became a haven for Barbary pirates. The city later came under the rule of the Almoravids, and then the Almohads, before being conquered by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The Portuguese held Casablanca until 1755, when it was taken by the Moroccan sultan Muhammad ben Abdallah.
The city grew rapidly under Moroccan rule, becoming an important commercial center and port. In 1912, Casablanca was made an official French colony, and it continued to grow in importance as a major economic center during the colonial period. After Morocco gained independence from France in 1956, Casablanca remained an important city, serving as the country’s economic capital.
Today, Casablanca is a bustling metropolis with a population of over 3 million people. It is home to a number of interesting sights and attractions, making it a popular destination for both business and leisure travelers.
What to See in Casablanca
Casablanca is a city full of contrasts, where the modern and the traditional blend together to create a unique atmosphere. From the bustling Medina to the opulent Hassan II Mosque, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Casablanca. Here are some of the best sights to see during your visit.
The Medina: The Medina is the historic heart of Casablanca, and is a great place to get a taste of traditional Moroccan life. Wander through the narrow streets and soak up the atmosphere, stopping to browse the stalls selling everything from spices to souvenirs.
Hassan II Mosque: This imposing mosque is one of the largest in the world, and is well worth a visit. Non-Muslims are welcome to enter, but should dress modestly and remove their shoes before doing so.
Place Mohammed V: This central square is surrounded by colonial-style buildings, and is a great place to people watch or grab a bite to eat. In the evening, it comes alive with street performers and food stalls.
Corniche: The Corniche is Casablanca’s waterfront promenade, and is the perfect place to relax and take in the city’s maritime atmosphere. Stroll along the board
Where to Stay in Casablanca
Casablanca is a large and vibrant city, and there are plenty of accommodation options to suit all budgets. If you’re looking for a luxurious experience, the Hilton Casablanca is a great choice. For something more mid-range, try the Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche. And if you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of hostels and guesthouses to choose from.
Wherever you stay, make sure to venture out and explore all that Casablanca has to offer. From the atmospheric Old Medina to the bustling markets and vibrant nightlife, there’s something for everyone in this fascinating city.
Where to Eat in Casablanca
There are plenty of great places to eat in Casablanca, whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit-down meal. Here are some of our favorites:
For a quick snack:
Head to one of the many street carts selling roasted corn on the cob. You can find these carts all over the city, and they make for a delicious and cheap snack.
For a sit-down meal:
Check out La Sqala, an open-air restaurant overlooking the harbor. The seafood here is fresh and delicious, and the views are simply stunning.
Looking for something a bit more unique? Then be sure to head to Rick’s Café, which was inspired by the classic film Casablanca. The food here is good, but it’s the atmosphere that really makes this place special.
What to Do in Casablanca
Casablanca is a city rich in culture and history, and there is no shortage of things to do. From exploring the medina to visiting the Hassan II Mosque, there is something for everyone in Casablanca. Here are a few suggestions of things to do in Casablanca:
-Explore the Old Medina: The Old Medina is a great place to start your exploration of Casablanca. This historic district is full of narrow streets and alleyways, and is home to many of the city’s historical landmarks.
-Visit the Hassan II Mosque: The Hassan II Mosque is one of the most important religious sites in Casablanca. This grand mosque is open to non-Muslims, and visitors can admire its beautiful architecture and learn about Islam.
-Check out the Ville Nouvelle: The Ville Nouvelle is the modern center of Casablanca, and is full of chic cafes, shops, and boutiques. This area is a great place to people watch and experience Casablanca’s contemporary side.
-Take a Day Trip: There are many interesting places to visit outside of Casablanca, such as the seaside town of Essaouira
Tips for Visiting Casablanca
Casablanca is a city with a lot to offer visitors. Here are a few tips to make the most of your visit:
1. Explore the Old Medina: The Old Medina is a great place to get a feel for the history and culture of Casablanca. wander through the narrow streets and check out the local shops.
2. Visit Hassan II Mosque: This mosque is one of the largest in the world and definitely worth a visit. Non-Muslims are welcome to enter, but be respectful of those who are worshipping.
3. Eat at Local Restaurants: Casablanca has some great restaurants that offer traditional Moroccan cuisine. Make sure to try dishes like couscous and tagine while you’re in town.
4. Shop at Central Market: This market is a great place to find souvenirs and gifts for friends back home. You’ll find everything from spices to jewelry to handmade goods.
5. Take a Day Trip: Casablanca is centrally located, so it’s easy to take a day trip to nearby cities like Rabat or Fez. If you have time, consider exploring more of Morocco’s stunning countryside.
Casablanca is a city full of history and culture, and there is much to explore. We hope this guide has given you some ideas of what to see and do while you’re in town. Whether you’re interested in the city’s architecture or its food, there’s something for everyone in Casablanca. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!