The Moroccan city of Casablanca is an ideal place to spend a few days, and the sights and activities here are definitely worth a look.
The old medina is a must-see for visitors to Casablanca as it has a beautiful network of narrow streets with family homes. You’ll also find some great shops.
1. Hassan II Mosque
Located right next to the ocean, the Hassan II Mosque is one of the best-known sights in Casablanca. This magnificent complex is a sight to behold and can accommodate over 100,000 worshippers at any given time.
The massive building is a masterpiece of Arab-Muslim architectural craftsmanship and was designed by French architect Michel Pinseau. Originally conceived in 1984, it was completed just 6 years later in 1993.
Designed to commemorate the 60th birthday of Hassan II, this elaborate structure was built with the assistance of 35,000 Moroccan craftsmen and laborers. During development, thousands of workers worked around the clock and more than fifty million hours to ensure that it was completed on schedule.
2. Notre Dame de Lourdes Cathedral
Although the city is most famous for its eponymous 1942 film, Casablanca still offers plenty of reasons to visit. It’s home to a vibrant beach, modern shopping centres, top-class eateries and a range of interesting attractions.
The cathedral of Notre Dame de Lourdes is an important landmark in the city. It was designed by Michel Pinceau, a French architect who frequently worked in Morocco.
It blends Islamic architecture and Moroccan elements, reflecting Moorish influences while featuring an urban design. It also displays elements found in other Moroccan buildings, such as the unfinished mosque in Rabat and the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh.
The church has two main entrances, each with their own impressive facade. The interior features marble, wood carvings and mosaics.
3. Ain Diab
Ain Diab, also known as Corniche d'Ain Diab, is a seaside neighborhood that is popular with tourists and locals alike. This beach district boasts luxurious hotels, cafes, clubs and other attractions that can be enjoyed both during the daytime and at night.
This is a great spot to relax on the sand or splash around in the sea, if you're looking for something to do that's a little bit different. The area is also home to a lot of trendy bars and restaurants, and is an excellent place to hang out with friends or to get away from the city for a few days.
4. La Sqala
Located in an 18th-century fortified bastion in the old medina, La Sqala offers a traditional Moroccan dining experience. With a charming environment and excellent service, the restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Casablanca.
The port of Casablanca is home to a large number of seafood restaurants, some of which are famous worldwide. For instance, the Port de Peche is a popular restaurant that serves a variety of seafood, including shrimp, oyster, and calamari.
The Quartier Habous is an interesting neighborhood to visit, dotted with small souks and souvenir shops. This historic district predates the colonial influence and combines Arabic-Islamic architecture with European influences.
5. Quartier Habous
The 1930s result of Morocco's French rulers imagining what an idealized medina might look like, Quartier Habous is a clean and orderly civic space with a relaxed air. A mix of French colonial buildings and traditional Maghrebi architecture, the area's small tree-lined squares, neat alleyways, and elegant arcades offer an atmospheric escape from Casablanca's hustle.
Its narrow cluster of winding streets is filled with nifty arcades, artisans and shops – a shopper's paradise that offers everything from shaggy rugs to slippers, spices to olives. The neighborhood also boasts several excellent cafes where you can stop off for a pastry or a glass of mint tea.