Photograph by Neil Farrin, RobertHarding / Getty Images

 

Read Caption

Dusk falls over the Hassan ll Mosque in Casablanca.

Photograph by Neil Farrin, RobertHarding / Getty Images

 

Discover the best of Casablanca

Get the most of your trip to Casablanca with these ten tips.

Archeological Site

Tourists can't visit this site but the Thomas Quarry hominid cave has had a significant impact on the study of early Homo erectus and the period when African and European populations came together. Along with bone remains archeologists have also discovered cave drawings and animal remains in the same area.

UNESCO Site

Located 100 kilometers south of Casablanca, the city of El Jadida and its Portuguese buildings, fortifications, and cistern are UNESCO heritage sites. This area of Morocco was controlled for about 250 years by the Portuguese and the 16th century cistern provided water for the fortress above which is also a historical site to be visited. Take the train or hire a driver to visit this unique city.

Best Day Trip

Take the train or a car north to the capital Rabat. The train ride is approximately one hour, departing frequently from Casa Port train station. This is the easiest way to reach Rabat. While the drive is along the Atlantic Ocean, housing and commercial developments block much of the view. With plenty of historical sites and the new Mohamed VI Museum of Contemporary Art there's a nice mix of new and old Morocco to experience.

Off the Beaten Path

Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church is a stunning example of 20th century architecture, though it is relatively new having been completed in 1956. Recently renovated it's a beautiful site to see - especially the stained glass windows designed by French artist Gabriel Loire. The interior of the church has an open feel and the towering windows, which depict biblical scenes, create a stunning luminary display.

Most Iconic Place

Hassan II Mosque is the city's most well-known attraction and something that shouldn't be missed. Visitors that want to understand Islam and desire the opportunity to visit an Islamic house of worship will find no better example in the country. Completed in less than eight years with the capacity to hold 100,000 worshippers, it features traditional Moroccan materials and architectural styles and provides an unparalleled glimpse into the major faith of the country and its traditions. Without a tour you can visit the exterior, but opt to go with a guide so you can tour the interior.

Late Night

The Racine neighborhood is popular with the night crowd. There's no shortage of bars and restaurants as well as the Twin Center, a double sky scraper and home to Sky 28 with views of the city, food, drinks and DJs.

Historic Site

While many medinas date far back in history, the old medina of Casablanca dates just to the 19th century. While large parts are residential, the entrance near Bab Marrakech and Plaza des Nations Unites feature more artisan and food goods such as local cured olives and handmade goods like rugs, metalwork and pottery.

Neighborhood to Explore

Ain Diab located on the beach is a trendy spot to get a bite to eat or people-watch. If you're up for more of an adventure head to Derb Ghallef for the largest second hand flea market in Morocco. Here you'll find any and everything you can imagine, and probably plenty you never imagined, too. If you're willing to dig a little and bargain a little more, there are some great antiques to be found.

People-Watching Spot

The Corniche is home to a variety of restaurants and, of course, the beach. There is a long promenade to take a stroll before or after enjoying a meal. Seafood is very popular though keep in mind prices will be higher than in other areas of the city. It's a great spot to see who's who in one of the eateries or cafes.

Sports Fans

Football (soccer) is a big deal in Morocco and Casablanca. For sports fans, taking in a game might be an activity worth considering but keep in mind, supporters can get rowdy. Wydad and Raja are the two main teams of the city and there are games throughout most of the year.