The Best Things to Do in Casablanca
The Best Things to Do in Casablanca, what to do in Casablanca, the best restaurant in Casablanca, things to do in casablanca for a day.
The Best Things to Do in Casablanca
Casablanca is an amazing city that combines Arab tradition and avant-garde spirit. The old winding streets of the medina here are juxtaposed with the lively clubs and bars of the Corniche promenade. Read about what to see in Morocco’s largest city to bring back the luggage of vivid impressions from your vacation.
Best time to visit:
Although Casablanca has warm weather year-round, summer (June through August) is traditionally considered the best time to visit. The weather is warm and dry, although not as unpleasantly hot as during this time in the interior cities of Morocco. Many important cultural events take place in the summer, including the Casablanca Festival.
Like the rest of Morocco, Casablanca has two official languages: classical Arabic and Tamazight (also known as Berber). The most common European language is French, although many people may also speak a little English.
How to travel around the city:
The Casa streetcar offers a convenient, efficient, and affordable way to get around Casablanca. If your chosen destination is not covered by the two streetcar lines, private cabs (known as petit taxis in Morocco) are a useful alternative.
Although summer offers the best weather, consider traveling in spring or fall to avoid crowds of vacationers and inflated prices.
What to do
Casablanca is very different from the imperial cities of Morocco, where medieval architecture and atmospheric bazaars are the main attractions. Instead, the city offers a more authentic, everyday Moroccan experience. Join the locals as they stroll hand in hand along the promenade known as La Corniche. Taste fresh seafood and rich tajines in hidden restaurants, or stroll through the Old Medina to the port and the remains of the 16th-century Portuguese fortress in the city. There are many architectural landmarks throughout the city, from those built in classic Moorish style, such as the Mahama du Pasha, to elegant European structures such as the Church of the Holy Cross.
Visit the souvenir store in the Habous neighborhood, an area built by the French in the 1930s. Its design and architecture combine the best of Moorish and Art Deco influences, creating a unique style known as Mauresque. Wander the cobblestone streets under ornate arches and arcades, buying traditional Moroccan crafts at artisan shops along the way.
Take a stroll along La Corniche, Casablanca’s waterfront. Stop for a swim in the sea or a picnic on the beach, rent a surfboard, sip cocktails at a seafood restaurant overlooking the ocean, or take a guided tour of the city’s most famous landmark: the Hassan II Overwater Mosque.
Discover Casablanca’s rich cultural scene, perhaps by attending an exhibition at the Casablanca Arts Villa or a concert at the historic Rialto Cinema. The city’s most famous cultural events, the Casablanca Festival and Jazz Blanca, usually take place in late summer and April respectively.
What to eat and drink
Thanks to its large size and culturally diverse population, Casablanca has one of the most eclectic culinary scenes in Morocco. Here you will find cuisines from all over the world, represented by the sophisticated dishes of India and China, exquisite Japanese delicacies, to comfort foods full of the flavors of Italy and Mexico. However, it’s also a great place to try classic Moroccan dishes.
Must-try staples include tagine (a rich stew of meat and vegetables seasoned with spices, nuts and dried fruits), couscous, and pastilla (a savory pie made from meat wrapped in layers of paper-thick pastry).
But above all Casablanca is famous for its seafood. Restaurants in the port and on La Corniche offer the opportunity to enjoy freshly caught fish, oysters, and lobsters while admiring the view of the ocean from which they came.
Alcohol is more common in Casablanca than in many smaller Moroccan cities, and you can order imported beer, and wine spirits in most international restaurants and upscale hotels. Some places even offer wine from Moroccan vineyards. However, traditional Moroccan restaurants usually do not serve alcohol for religious reasons. There are many delicious non-alcoholic alternatives, including freshly squeezed orange juice, dark Arabic coffee, of course, Morocco’s most common drink: mint tea.
Where to stay
Accommodation in Casablanca is as varied as the dining scene, there is everything from traditional Moroccan guesthouses to 5-star hotels of international luxury brands. Where you stay depends on personal preference. Those who want to be in the center of the action should choose a central location near Mohammed V Square and Place des Nations, the two most important public squares in Casablanca.
The Gautier district is a fashionable choice with many trendy hotels and many restaurants, bars, and shopping boutiques within walking distance. In addition, many of the city’s most luxurious hotels are located away from the city center in La Corniche or El Hank Peninsula. Both of these areas boast spectacular sea views and easy access to Casablanca’s beaches.
How to get there
Casablanca International Airport Mohammed V (CMN) is the largest airport in Morocco and one of the five busiest in Africa. It is the main entry point for most visitors to the country, and getting from the airport to the city center is easy by train or cab. If you are already in Morocco, you can take a train or intercity bus to Casablanca from most major cities. Trains are operated by the national rail network ONCF.
Culture and customs
Morocco is an Islamic country, so non-Muslim visitors must be careful not to offend with behavior that would normally be acceptable at home. In particular, members of both sexes (but especially women) should dress conservatively in clothing that covers the shoulders and knees. This is especially important if you plan to visit the Hassan II mosque, as otherwise you will not be allowed in.
In Morocco, you should always use your right hand to shake hands, give a gift or tip, and eat. This is because the left hand is reserved for bathroom duties in Islamic countries and is considered unclean. Other important customs include always taking off one’s shoes before entering someone’s home, never consuming alcohol in public (i.e., on the street), and minimizing public displays of affection. The latter is especially true for LGBT+ travelers, as homosexuality is still illegal in Morocco.
Money Saving Tips
The first and most important way to save money in Casablanca is to remember that prices are often negotiable. This applies to souvenirs and food sold in the Old Medina and the Central Market, to cab fares, and sometimes even to sightseeing tours. A good rule of thumb is to offer half the original asking price and then haggle until you both agree on a price somewhere in the middle.
If you are traveling on the Casa streetcar, research the different routes and choose the one that will give you the best value for money (this will depend on the length of your stay and how often you will use the streetcar). For example, the weekly subscription card is cheaper than the standard prepaid card if you plan to use the streetcar more than 10 times during the week.
If you use petit cabs to get around, try to choose one with a working meter. This can be quite tricky, so as an alternative, be sure to negotiate a price before agreeing to a ride. Remember that cab fares in Casablanca increase by 50 percent after 8 p.m.
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