Casablanca is one of the most important and visited cities in Morocco. In fact, it is the economic capital of the country and its most populated city with almost 5 million inhabitants. In this post we tell you 25 things to do in Casablanca, the biggest city in Morocco.
- 25 THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN CASABLANCA
- The Hassan II Mosque
- Walking around the Corniche
- Shopping at Anfaplace Shopping Centre
- Being Humphrey Bogart at Rick’s Café
- Discover the old Medina of Casablanca
- Photographing the Clock Tower
- Getting to know the United Nations Square
- Getting lost in the Central Market
- Visit Mohammed V Square
- Walk around the Art-Deco neighborhood and be surprised by its buildings
- Make a stop at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
- Relaxing in the Arab League Park
- Photograph the Twin Center, the twin towers of Casablanca
- Have a drink at Sky 28
- Don’t miss the Quartier Habous
- Visit the Olive Souk
- Go to the Mahkama du Pacha Palace, one of the best monuments to see in Casablanca
- Eating a sweet at Bennis Habous Bakery
- Shopping at the Morocco Mall
- Approaching the Sidi Abderrahman Shrine
- Visit the imposing Royal Palace, an impressive place to see in Casablanca
- Visit the Museum of Moroccan Judaism
- Go to Derb Ghallef for electronics
- Have fun in Parc Sindibad
- Escape to Rabat
25 THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN CASABLANCA
The Hassan II Mosque
Apart from being the biggest city in Morocco, Casablanca caught our attention because of this incredible mosque. It is the second largest in the world, after the one in Mecca, and the highest ever built. Its minaret measures 172 meters. It was inaugurated in 1993 and its exterior occupies more than 30,000 square meters, generating capacity for more than 90,000 people.
The minaret has a laser that points to Mecca and can be seen from several kilometers away. It is the only mosque in the country that can be visited, although in a guided way. However, you must pay 120 dirhams per person (about 12 euros). A rather high price compared to most monuments in the country, but they have to recover somehow the more than 500 million euros invested in its construction.
Walking around the Corniche
Like Doha, Abu Dhabi and the great Arab cities overlooking the sea, Casablanca also has a Corniche. It would be our promenade. Walking around while enjoying the sea breeze and the view of the beautiful Hassan II mosque is an incredible thing to do in Casablanca. Casablanca also has great beaches.
Shopping at Anfaplace Shopping Centre
Casablanca has more shopping centres than any other city in North Africa. Casablanca is a modern city and if you feel like going shopping or disconnecting from so much tourism, you can do so in this shopping centre. It is located on the Corniche itself and has 3 floors and over 80 shops to entertain you.
Being Humphrey Bogart at Rick’s Café
An interesting thing to see in Casablanca is the famous Rick’s Café, the place that appears in the film Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart. However, this café never existed, since the film was shot entirely in Hollywood. Tourists visited Casablanca and could not find the coffee. Finally, after many disappointments and great expectations, the city decided to build the café, which is decorated just as it appears in the film. If you’re looking for something fun to do in Casablanca, come to Rick’s Café (even if you know it’s the fake one, or the real one, it depends on how you look at it).
Discover the old Medina of Casablanca
Casablanca is the most modern city in Morocco, yes, but it also retains its ancient medina, which contrasts sharply with the city’s grand avenues. Compared to other medinas in other rather touristy destinations in Morocco, the medina of Casablanca is quite small and less authentic. It should be noted that an earthquake in 1755 destroyed it almost completely and that in the last 100 years have taken many urban changes in the city, which obviously have affected and much of the character of this historic place.
Get lost in its labyrinth streets and don’t get tired of haggling to get some product that catches your eye.
Photographing the Clock Tower
It’s one of the emblems of Casablanca. This Clock Tower was built in 1911 by the French captain Dessigny with the aim of convincing the inhabitants of the city of the need to get used to the pace of life marked by the industrial society. However, the one we see today is not the original, but a replica. In 1948 it was demolished because it was in a precarious condition and was not rebuilt until 1993, so look at it with love!
Getting to know the United Nations Square
Right next to the Clock Tower is one of the ugliest squares we have ever seen. Although it is not superfluous to know it since it is one of the neuralgic centers of Casablanca. It is a real chaos: cut off by the tram, full of people, tourists and without many attractions other than shops and restaurants. You have to be careful because it is full of pickpockets who are waiting for any carelessness to take over your things.
Getting lost in the Central Market
This interesting market is surrounded by buildings from the French colonial period. It was created during that time to meet the most select requests of the Europeans who lived in Casablanca. Today it is still the most important market in Casablanca. There you can find everything from fish and meat to a variety of spices. Without a doubt, even if you are not planning to buy anything, visiting it is something to do in Casablanca.
Visit Mohammed V Square
In contrast to the United Nations, this is one of the most beautiful squares in the city. It is considered the heart of Casablanca and contains many architectural gems. Many of the buildings around it are Mudejar in style (combining Moroccan and French influences). Among them are the Palace of Justice, the French Consulate, the National Bank and the Prefecture. It is a quiet space where you can relax and enjoy the beautiful architecture.
Walk around the Art-Deco neighborhood and be surprised by its buildings
Just west of Mohammed V Square is the so-called Art-Decó neighborhood. Along the busy Mohammed V Avenue, you can enjoy numerous facades of this artistic movement that transformed part of the city.
Make a stop at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
Also known as Casablanca Cathedral, it is not really a cathedral. It is named after its monumental appearance, in the neo-Gothic style. It was built in 1953 to serve the Catholic community that lived in Casablanca but its stage as a church lasted a few years. In 1956, with the political independence of the country from France and Spain, lost Catholic faithful and ceased to operate. Today it is used as a cultural center.
Relaxing in the Arab League Park
Casablanca is a rather chaotic city and to be able to enjoy spaces like this one is appreciated. After a busy day of sightseeing, there are few better things to do in Casablanca than to stroll around surrounded by beautiful palm trees.
Photograph the Twin Center, the twin towers of Casablanca
At 118 metres high each, these twin towers are the tallest in Morocco. Both have 28 floors and were built in 1998. Inside is the second largest shopping centre in Africa, a supermarket and many shops.
Have a drink at Sky 28
You can’t leave Casablanca without seeing the city from above. To do so, the best thing you can do is go up to the 28th floor of the Twin Center, where the Sky 28 restaurant is located. Although the dishes are well above Casablanca’s average, it’s a place worth visiting. Especially at night, with a cocktail in hand, with music in the background and Casablanca at your feet, is there a better plan possible?
Don’t miss the Quartier Habous
Or also known as Nueva Medina. Even if it falls a bit far from the city centre, it’s worth a visit. It is much quieter and more authentic than the old one, without so many crowds or tourists. If you want to buy some local crafts, this is one of the best places to do so.
Visit the Olive Souk
In the Quartier Habous there are several things that caught our attention: one of them was a souk dedicated to olives. Although it’s nothing fancy, getting closer and discovering it is an interesting thing to do in Casablanca.
Go to the Mahkama du Pacha Palace, one of the best monuments to see in Casablanca
This is one of the best treasures in the city, although visiting it is not easy. You are not always allowed to enter and if you are lucky, you must visit it with a guide, as it is used as a court of justice. It is located next to the neighborhood market and its interiors are spectacular. Don’t miss it!
Eating a sweet at Bennis Habous Bakery
If none of the above attractions in the Quartier Habous catches your eye, at least you can take advantage of your visit to the neighborhood by enjoying the typical Moroccan pastries. The Bennis Habous bakery is one of the most famous in the city and trying some of its sweets is a must in Casablanca.
Shopping at the Morocco Mall
It’s the largest shopping mall in Africa. It is located on the outskirts of the city, although it is perfectly accessible on foot from the Hassan II mosque. It takes approximately 40 minutes on foot. In the mall you will have an infinite number of options: many shops, IMAX, restaurants and even a fish tank with sharks that will take you to the shopping malls of Dubai.
Overall, it’s good, but if you want to get a feel for the country, you’d better go shopping in the souks!
Approaching the Sidi Abderrahman Shrine
This is one of the funniest things to do in Casablanca. The site hides a rather fascinating history. Sidi Abderrahman, considered a saint by some Muslims, came from Baghdad in the 19th century and settled on this islet. The marabout lived there until the end of his days and is now a pilgrimage site.
Access to the temple where Sidi Abderrahman is buried is forbidden to non-Muslims. The rest can be visited.
Visit the imposing Royal Palace, an impressive place to see in Casablanca
The King of Morocco has Royal Palaces in all the important cities of Morocco and Casablanca is no exception. The city’s Royal Palace is located in the Quartier Habous. Entry to the building is prohibited, as in all the Royal Palaces in the country, although it is possible to see its doors (with the permission of the guards).
Visit the Museum of Moroccan Judaism
If you are looking for something different to do in Casablanca and you have enough time, it is not bad to visit the Museum of Moroccan Judaism. It is the only Jewish museum in the entire Arab world, which makes it even more special. There you will learn a little more about the history of the country and its religions. Interesting but not essential.
Go to Derb Ghallef for electronics
Although you can find everything in this souk, it is basically attractive because there are many electronic devices, especially mobile ones. Many are counterfeit and some are probably stolen. You’ll also find a lot of pirated movies. Without a doubt, it is one of the most fun things to do in Casablanca.
Have fun in Parc Sindibad
If you have several days in Casablanca and you travel with children you can visit the playground Sindibad. Although it’s not a big deal, I’m sure your children will appreciate it if you take the time to disconnect from the stress of Moroccan markets. As for the entrance, the prices are really cheap: 75 dirhams a ticket with unlimited attractions.
Escape to Rabat
Although Rabat is usually a place to escape from the main tourist routes in Morocco, it never hurts to get to know the country’s capital. We were pleasantly surprised. Besides breathing its institutional air, hides many attractions like the beautiful Kasbah of the Udayas or the Necropolis of Chellah. Besides, it is relatively close to Casablanca: you will not take more than 1 hour by train.