Largest city and economic capital of Morocco, home to Morocco’s main international airport, Casablanca is the main gateway into the country for many visitors. Industrial and economic locomotive of the country, it does not compete with the exotic charms of Marrakech and Fez. Yet, there is a European flair to much of its architecture, and the city has a modern air not seen in other parts of the country. You will definitely find some pearls to visit in Casablanca. For starters the Medina district is charming and much smaller, and easier to discover than elsewhere. And the monumental Hassan II mosque is unmissable.
So, what to see in Casablanca?
Well, we got you, we present to you the ultimate Casablanca guide from its monuments, squares and districts to its malls and museums.
The Old Medina
In the north of the city between the port and the seafront Hassan II Mosque, this Historic district of the white city contains the last vestiges of pre-20th century Casablanca.
The old media was destroyed by an earthquake in 1755 and rebuilt in 1770 by Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah. Though the modern Casablanca has grown in all directions, the old medina remains a maze of dark narrow alleyways, sprawling souks and dilapidated buildings. Walking there feels like a trip back in time, it transports you to an authentic setting where customers are rummaging through piles of goods in the stalls haggling for bargains, or sipping mint tea in front of the shop and watching the world go by.
Although the old town of Casablanca does not have as much atmosphere and exoticism as the Medina of Fez or Marrakech, this maze of alleys still hides a lot of things to discover and you’ll even find it much easier to navigate in comparison. No Casablanca guide would be complete without it, you can find everything there, from delicious Moroccan food, weird antiques, wooden statues, hand-made soap and vintage memorabilia. Next time you’re in Casablanca, don’t forget to hit the old medina and start your visit at United Nations Square, then pass by the Great Mosque and the Kouba Sidi Bou Samra. Finally, end your visit with the Sqala square.
Quartier Habous (New Medina)
Habous Quarter, in the southeastern part of the city, about four miles from the city center, mostly known as the New Medina, is one of the city’s most atmospheric districts.
Built by the French between 1918 and 1955 to create a new Medina who were occupying Morocco at the time. The new Medina, or new town resembles traditional old Moroccan towns with a few more things: bigger streets and modern facilities.
The district is today a successful example of a modern medina which has kept a traditional style. Also, a home to different traditional markets as well as the Royal Palace which is worth seeing while walking around.
Habous is certainly one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Casablanca and an valuable part of any casablanca guide. a calm and relaxing landmark that is also full of monuments with attractive architecture, cozy restaurants, trendy bars, etc. It is the ideal area to settle down for a vacation with family in Casablanca or for couples.
The best thing to do in this charming part of the white city is to get lost wondering its magical alleys and take the opportunity to do some shopping!
Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca, Morocco
No Casablanca guide is complete without the one and only Hassan II Mosque. And no walking tour of Casablanca would be complete without encountering the city’s most impressive mosque. Located by the sea, with its large capacity and stunning architecture, the majestic Hassan II Mosque is one of the best destinations and must-sees in Casablanca.
A monument of exceptional beauty, on the shore, just beyond the northern tip of Casablanca’s medina (old town), the Hassan II Mosque dominates the entire city. Completed in 1993, it is the fourth largest mosque in the world, covering 9 hectares with the tallest minaret in the world (201m high). The prayer hall can accommodate 25,000 worshipers while the courtyard (which has a retractable roof) can hold another 80,000. Its decoration from surprisingly intricate Moroccan craftsmanship covers every centimeter of its surface. Located by the sea, its location is quite spectacular.
Non-Muslims can also visit the mosque on guided tours that start from the west entrance of the mosque several times a day. So, we really recommend that you take a trip there to admire its exquisite architecture. This impressive religious monument of Morocco is to be visited at all costs during a stay in the white city.
Located in the Habous district, the former royal palace of Casablanca is certainly one of the most beautiful monuments in the city. Built in the 1920s in a relatively modern Arab-Muslim style, it has superb Mediterranean gardens. And like all the many properties of the Moroccan King, this royal palace is of an exceptional beauty. Huge from every point of view, the royal palace has huge windows and especially breathtaking external facades. However, like all the palaces held by the King in many Moroccan cities, that of Casablanca is extremely well guarded. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to get inside. However, its incredible external architecture is well worth a look… even from a distance!
A high place in the history of the city not to be missed!
Malls of casablanca: guide
Shopping, cafés and restaurants with a sea view, ice skating, arcade games and an IMAX (the only one in Morocco) , Morocco Mall has it all. A stay in Casablanca would necessarily be incomplete without visiting the largest shopping center in the Maghreb.
Opened in 2011, the Morocco Mall is the 20th largest shopping center in the world and the 2nd largest in Africa. True national pride, it is a shopping paradise and one of the most important symbols of Casablanca’s economic dynamism.
Located at the end of the beautiful Corniche, the Morocco Mall is a shopping hub that allows you to do several fun activities. You will find absolutely everything in the Morocco Mall: large boutiques (Dior, Channel, etc.), modern restaurants, cinemas, aquarium (to the delight of children), ice skating, etc. And, for those who cannot travel to the old medina, the Morocco Mall has specially created souks on its premises.
And when it rains, Morocco Mall is a shelter of choice. Indeed, the Morocco Mall is an extraordinary economic complex that allows you to do several activities with family, friends, girls or as a couple. The places have been specially created to please both the young and old among you!
So, Morocco Mall is a must visit on your next trip to the white city Casablanca.
AnfaPlace mall in Casablanca offers a wide choice of stores, restaurants, it’s among the best malls in Morocco. Ideally located on the cornice of Anfa, it lies directly on a beach!
Designed by Sir Norman Foster, Anfaplace Mall was inaugurated in 2013 and is part of a mixed-use complex located on the Atlantic coast, west of Casablanca. Anfaplace Mall comprises two floors of commercial spaces and offers two levels of underground parking, including more than 1000 parking spaces spread over the 2 levels.
In November 2018, the renovation site was launched. Objective: to offer a unique shopping experience to Casablanca residents, to propose an intelligent layout of the food court and to add a touch of modernity to the spaces as well as green elements.
You can see this stylish mall on Boulevard des Almohades. On a walking distance from the Hassan 2 mosque with a beautiful view on the sea facing the Atlantic Ocean shore. Marina mall is a shopping center over a dedicated area totaling 43,000 m2 of leisure spaces, restaurants and famous store brands. In total, Marina Shopping includes 147 stores spread over two levels. There is a huge parking lot. The general space of the mall is very artistically decorated. It is an open, congestion free shopping mall with a stunning ocean view.
Mesumes of casablanca guide
Musée Abderrahman Slaoui
A visit to the famous museum named after and dedicated to the life of the Moroccan businessman and art collector, Abderrahman Slaoui is also to be included in your list of things to do in Casablanca. A unique addition to our Casablanca guide. This will be an unexpected opportunity to learn more about the life of the man and his travels all while learning more about Moroccan culture.
The tiny and beautiful Abderrahman Slaoui Foundation Museum is a small building hidden in the middle of downtown Casablanca city.
In this calm and enriching space, you will find a showcase of engravings, Moroccan jewellery, figurative paintings by Muhammad Ben Ali Rbati, landscape paintings by Jacques Majorelle and crystal objects and above all the incredible private collection of Abderrahman Slaoui.
A morning spent in this gem will give you a new appreciation for the art of Morocco and beyond.
Villa des Arts
For those who want an even more cultural visit, the Villa des Arts in Casablanca opens its doors to discover an exhibition of Moroccan art.
Built in 1934 in an Art Deco style, the Villa des Arts in Casablanca hosts many cultural events with the aim of sharing and promoting Moroccan culture.
As an integral part of the ONA foundation, the Villa des Arts is the museum to visit at all costs in Casablanca and a must on our Casablanca guide’s list. Located near the Arab League Park, this museum houses nearly 800 works of art and regularly hosts exhibitions by the most talented contemporary artists. Visiting this museum in Casablanca will be an opportunity for you to take a closer look at all of Moroccan history and culture.
Cathedrals of Casablanca: Guide
Featuring both gothic and art-deco architecture, this charming church was completed around the 1930s. Although left unrestored, the Church of Sacré-Coeur is a monument that has lost none of its beauty .
Just a few places from the Arab League Park, We really advise you to visit this church with its rich and exceptional history. Even if the facades of the church have not been renovated, it still retains its legendary appeal!
Also, not far away, you can see the Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes cathedral, built 24 years later. and do not hesitate to visit the vast garden and public park of the Arab League that are around the area too.
Notre Dame de Lourdes Cathedral
Next to the Cathedrale Sacré-Coeur, the church of Notre Dame de Lourdes is the next stop on your Casablanca guide.
Built in 1953, the Church of Notre Dame de Lourdes is another monument of the white city that is really worth a visit. It must be said that the exterior of this Casablanca cathedral is not very rosy. Which is the complete opposite of its interior! The beauty of this monument is celebrated with its incredible stained glass windows designed with a master hand by Gabriel Loire, that transports you to a setting that is both idyllic and spiritual. We really suggest that you gather in this sumptuous church during your future stay in Casablanca. And don’t judge it by its external appearance… it’s more beautiful than it shows!
La corniche (Ain Diab)
The Casablanca Corniche (waterfront) also known as Ain Diab, is a perfect backdrop for a walking tour of Casablanca. Indeed, this idyllic corner is known to house the most beautiful beaches, A popular spot for locals who go there for some fresh air on the weekends, to relax and have fun.
The corniche is also home to some of the most welcoming restaurants, the trendiest bars and the largest shops in the white city. In the evening, the nightlife becomes lively, the corniche is definitely where you’ll find the hottest spots for a casaoui night so it definitely making it to our ultimate Casablanca guide.
And for those not a fan of the nightlife, the corniche is without a doubt the perfect spot to take a walk along the ocean during the day and enjoy the panorama!
We couldn’t do without adding this one to our Casablanca guide. SINDIBAD PARK is a subsidiary of SINDIBAD BEACH RESORT and is located in the heart of Ain Diab, in Casablanca, the park covers 32 hectares and includes 3 different universes: An amusement park, An animal park, and a forest recreational park. The park has more than 20 surprising attractions, more than thirty animal species, souvenir shops, themed restaurants, as well as sandwich shops. Diversified entertainment is also offered throughout the day for even more of a change of scenery.
Its 20 attractions will immerse you in the depths of the new world of SINDIBAD and give you a breath of nature in the heart of the city, for young and old, solos and groups.