Casablanca is a hefty mix of architectural treasures that glisten with gold in the sunshine and near-decrepit old buildings. A sprawling city that brims with a cosmopolitan flair, Casablanca is Morocco's largest city and most hectic port.
Sitting on the country's Atlantic coast, it blends a frenetic lifestyle with stylish restaurants and vibrant shopping opportunities, opening up in a destination that slowly starts living up to its Western counterparts.
Moroccan dirham (Dh or MAD) 1 dirham = 100 centimes
Ambulance/Fire Brigade: 15
L'Observateur du Maroc
La Vie Eco
Shops in Casablanca are generally open Mon-Fri from 8.30am-12pm and 3pm-6pm, from 8.30am-12pm on Saturdays. On Sundays, shops are closed. Banks keep similar hours and the main branches are open from 8.30am–12pm, some are also open in the afternoons.
Approx. 3,72 million
The Regional Council of Tourism of Casablanca
Rue Omar Slaoui, Casablanca
+212 5222 71177
Boasting a romantic flair given by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman's 1942 namesake film, Casablanca is the capital of Morocco in all but name. Rabat has the honour, but Casablanca is widely regarded as the most important city due to its key economic, commercial, industrial and shipping activities.
Such activities have conveyed the city's cutting-edge 21st century feel, an attitude that is seen around Boulevard Brahim Roudaini where modern business centres have helped to create areas of fine-dining restaurants and cultural venues in stark contrast to the tiny streets of the Old Town and the bustling souks littered by dusty colonial-style buildings.
Also known as Casa and Dar el Baida (Arabic), Casablanca has a lively history. This was most notable during the 15th century Portuguese occupation thanks to the country’s desire to curb piracy by using the port to launch attacks. The city was consequentially destroyed by an earthquake in 1755, an event that lessened the Portuguese interest in Casablanca, leading to the city's renaissance under the Moroccan leader Sidi Mohammed III.
Today's Casablanca is a wonderful, cosmopolitan city that can be entirely enjoyed by venturing out on foot, discovering the stunning Hassan II Mosque with its impressive glass floor, the Old Medina in its many traditional Moroccan facets or the Art Deco new town (Ville Nouvelle).
Sample traditional Moroccan cuisine, get lost through Casablanca's maze of streets or set out on a carpet hunt in one of the city's colourful markets - Casablanca is happy clash of old and new that gives away an insight into Moroccan culture and traditions.
Hassan II Mosque
The Old Medina
Cathédrale du Sacré Coeur
Villa Des Arts
Place Mohammed V
Museum of Moroccan Judaism
Beaches Ain Diab and La Corniche
Phare d'el Hank
Parc de la Ligue Arabe
Club Le Barry
Morocco Expert Tours
Musée de la Fondation Abderrahman Slaoui
Anfa Royal Golf Club
Palais Royal de Casablanca
Place des Nations Unies
Port of Casablanca
Parc de Jeux Sindibad
Casablanca is a multi-cultural city, and while many of the restaurants serve a menu consisting of only Moroccan or French delicacies, it also features Oriental, Mexican, Italian, Indian and American-style eateries.
You should look out for Mechoui, a dish made of paprika and cumin-seasoned roasted lamb, or Bisteeya, a chicken and eggs pastry wrapped up in a lemony and onion sauce, topped with crushed almonds, cinnamon and sugar.
Note that there may be restrictions to menus and opening hours during Ramadan.
A Ma Bretagne
Taverne Du Dauphin
Restaurant Le Port de Pêche
Blend Gourmet Burger
L'Entrecôte Café de Paris
Casablanca is renowned for its ice cream parlours and traditional patisseries, enriching the country's passion for sweet tooth's treats with tongue-tickling delicacies.
Moroccan traditions encompass an afternoon coffee and snacks break that predominantly includes nuts or dried fruit-pastries and sweet bread, as well as mouth-watering honey or cinnamon desserts.
Patisserie Bennis Habous
Bondi Coffee Kitchen
Caffè Vergnano 1882
The versatile Casablanca does certainly not lack of a buzzing bar-scene, though it is considered fairly dangerous for single women to go bar hopping and most nightclubs would not allow them unless accompanied. That said, there are a few bars that welcome holidaying couples. Especially hotel bars are considered the most suitable option for the holidaymakers in need of a relaxing, and danger-free, evening.
Alias Club Mazagan
Morocco is a paradise for anyone who is smitten by traditional home decor or souvenirs. Top choice is usually colourful geometric patterned carpets called kilims or shoedwi, predominately black and white. They are usually handmade and sold in the intimate shops that line alleyways around Boulevard Felix Houphouet Boigny or in the medinas.
Ceramics and pottery, such as tagines, along with woven textiles gifts share popularity with carpets and can be found in most bazaars with dried fruit and spices.
Note that when shopping, haggling is part of the tradition and the golden rule here is to take your time.
Habous (New Medina)
Anfaplace Shopping Center
Mohammed V International Airport
Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport is located around 30 kilometres from the city centre. The airport has frequent connections to Paris, New York, Dubai and Frankfurt.
You can easily reach the city centre by train, taxi and car hire companies. The taxis are stationed at Arrivals and trains can be found on the lower level of the airport.
Trains go to Casablanca Port station every hour, the bus company CTM operates to/from the airport and the journey takes approximately an hour.
Address: Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca
Phone: +212 22 539 040
Passport / Visa
Citizens of the European Union, as well as the Untied States, Australia, and dozens of world countries can enter and remain in Morocco visa-free for up to 90 days. Look up individual prerequisites prior to travel in order to possibly apply for visa in time.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Casablanca is the period from May to October, as these are the driest months of the year. Even when it's hot, the temperatures become doable thanks to the constant sea breeze. Casablanca offers warm temperatures all year round, so if you can live with the possibility of rainfall, you will be good to go in winter as well.
Buses and trains
CTM intercity buses run to most towns in Morocco. There are plenty of routes and they leave from Gare Routière on Rue Léon l'Africain in the centre of the city.
You can also travel by train to reach other parts of Morocco. If you want to catch a train you must head to Gare du Port.
Casablanca opened its network of trams in December 2012. The tram has 49 stops and links the city's main neighbourhoods, running from 5.30am-10.30pm.
You can buy a one-way ticket, a rechargeable ticket which can be used 10 times or a card that can be used for 5 years. Tickets can be bought in ticket machines, agents and retailers.
Phone: +212 522 99 83 83
Taxis are available throughout the city at various spots, especially around the main squares and the Gare du Port. They are generally inexpensive and often quicker than buses. Look for red taxis (Petit) or white taxis (Grand). Shared taxis can be a good idea for longer distances.
Careem - Car-booking app
Post Maroc is the company that runs the postal service in Morocco, offering a reliable service that tends to be open Monday-Friday until 4pm and on Saturday in the morning only. Here you can buy stamps (timbres) which can also be purchased at souvenir shops, kiosks and newsagents.
If you want to mail a postcard you will find several yellow mail boxes in town.
Place Mohammed V is Casablanca's main square and it is where you will find the main post office.
Address: Place Mohammed V, Casablanca
When in Casablanca you should be careful with what you drink and eat. Make sure you avoid drinking tap water and that all food you eat is properly cooked.
Pharmacies are generally open Monday-Friday 8.30am - 12.30pm and 3.30pm - 8pm and only in the morning on Saturday. They operate on a rotation system that guarantees an open pharmacy at night and weekends. You will find the address of the pharmacy on duty at the every pharmacy's front door.
There are several pharmacies scattered around town.
Pharmacie Centre: Boulevard Mohammed V, Casablanca
Pharmacie Val d'Anfa:
Address: 194 Boulevard d'Anfa, Casablanca
Phone: +212 5223 64348
Country code: +212
Area code: 22
220 V, 50 Hz. Generally two-hole sockets. Adapters required.
Although Morocco is developing at a fast pace, it can remain very traditional in some cultural aspects, especially in rural areas. As a tourist, it is important to pay attention to local traditions and act respectfully towards them. It is advised to dress modestly: wear long sleeves and avoid shorts, for both men and women. It is also recommended to not wear expensive designer goods.