Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Casablanca

| by Assia A. |

| Last Updated March 28, 2023 |

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things to do in casablanca
Casablanca City Tram

Casablanca is often used as a launching point for flights to and from Morocco, but few travelers take the opportunity to explore it. With a modern allure that showcases the “new” Morocco but also retains the historical appeal via Art Deco buildings and more traditional Moroccan-style architecture; Casablanca is a bridge between the two.

Casablanca doesn’t hold the same tourist appeal as some other Moroccan cities like Fes or Marrakesh. However, it is a great place for tourists to start their visit to the country.

A tour of the modern Hassan II Mosque is worth an overnight stay in the city. Architecture-loving travelers will also want to spend some time in Casablanca’s downtown district. This area is home to many preserved Moresque facades, a blend of Moorish style and European art deco, which can be admired on foot.

If you’re looking for the best places to visit and things to do in Casablanca, we’ve compiled a list of attractions that will help you enjoy your trip to the city.

Hassan II Mosque

things to do in casablanca
Hassan II Mosque By RuslanKan

This lavish mosque built at an enormous expense is set high on a seaside cliff, just beyond the northern tip of Casablanca’s medina (old city). It is the second-largest functioning mosque in Africa and is the 7th largest in the world, it covers two hectares and was finished in 1993.

With a minaret (tower) of 210 meters, the world’s second tallest minaret, and its prayer room can accommodate over 100,000 worshippers.

things to do in casablanca
Architecture Details_Hassan II Mosque By sarra22

This majestic mosque is a showcase of the finest Moroccan artisanship. The hand-carved stone and wood, intricate marble flooring and inlay, gilded cedar ceilings, and exquisite zellige (geometric mosaic tilework) can be found here. The location at the tip of the rocky cliff overlooking the ocean is sure to take your breath away.

Non-Muslims can visit the mosque on free Multilanguage guided tours, outside prayer times. There’s also a small museum showcasing the craftwork involved.

Explore Casablanca’s Medina

things to do in casablanca
Old Medina_Casabalnca By ALexeyPnferov

Although Casablanca’s Medina doesn’t have the same historic atmosphere as Fes or Marrakesh, its maze of alleyways is still worth exploring.

Rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake, it is the newest medina in the country and one of the most original. The blend of Moroccan Arabic-Islamic architecture with European influences is seamless inside its walls.

Facing the port on the north side of the medina, you’ll see the last remains of Casablanca’s 18th-century fortifications. The Sqala, the sea-facing defensive wall built in 1800, is the oldest building, dating from the era of Portuguese control. The bastion offers outstanding views over the sea.

A maze & hustle of intersecting market streets and residential within Casablanca’s medina is the perfect place to experience the pulse of Casablanca life.

Casablanca’s Downtown Architecture

things to do in casablanca
Downtown Architecture_Casablanca By typhoonski

This enormous, city-wide central plaza in Casablanca is home to many landmarks, including the main post office, Palace of Justice, Prefecture, and French consulate. The most recognizable landmark is the main Bank of Morocco located in the center of the square.

The buildings here are primarily in the neo-Moorish style, the wide boulevards and the expansive plazas bordered by Art Deco buildings evoke the former colonial occupation.

This type of architecture is seen in abundance in the downtown district of Casablanca, situated between Place Mohammed V and the Boulevard Mohammed V. It combines Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles with traditional Moroccan design.

Corniche of Casablanca

things to do in casablanca
Casablanca Beach By LUKASZ-NOWAK1

Stretched over several kilometers, the Boulevard de la Corniche is a very pleasant long avenue where you can walk or jog, from the Hassan II Mosque to the eastern end, enjoying the beautiful panorama of the Atlantic Ocean with stunning views and sweet sea breezes.

Casablanca’s Corniche is a popular destination to walk along the city’s shoreline, lined with luxury hotels, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, and clubs allowing you, to enjoy food and drinks, all at affordable prices, and revel in the Casablanca nightlife in the evening.

On sunny weekends, people often hit up the Corniche in Ain Diab for a good spot for picnicking and promenading. It’s also a popular destination for local families.

There is also the island of Sidi Abderrahman, which is now connected to the mainland by a bridge.

An unmissable place for tourists coming to enjoy the sea air and to stroll on the beach. You can get to Ain Diab from central Casablanca in just a few minutes by taking the tram.

Visit Casablanca’s Cathedral du Sacre Coeur

things to do in casablanca
Cathedral du Sacre Coeur By Gwengoat

Built in the 1930s, the Roman Catholic church sits on the edge of Parc de la Ligue Arabe. Its extraordinary architecture is a harmonious blend of both European and Moroccan styles, a mix of art deco, Moorish, and neo-Gothic styles, it has twin towers that resemble minarets.

Surrounded by a large public garden, it was designed by the architect Paul Tournon, who also designed several churches in France.

The Cathedral is sometimes left open for tours, including access to the towers which offer great views of Casablanca and the Atlantic Ocean.

Notre Dame de Lourdes is another Catholic church in central Casablanca (on Mohamed Zerktouni Boulevard), was built in the 1950s, and features lots of stained glass windows.

the Central Market

things to do in casablanca
Olives Stall_Central Market By Nisangha

The market was designed by Pierre Bousquet, and construction was completed in 1917, it is characterized by its Neo-Mauresque architectural style. Among its most prominent features is its large gateway, imitating styles of gates in Morocco’s imperial cities; Marrakesh, Fez, Rabat, and Meknes.

The old Central Market is a remnant of the French colonial era that has been converted into a charming and exotic place with over 200 stalls. At the stalls, oysters are shucked to order, and given a squeeze of lemon.

It’s a great place for inexpensive restaurants & authentic Moroccan food! You can buy your fish in the market, then take it to one of the restaurants outside to have it cooked up for lunch.

Fish and seafood straight out of the ocean, pyramids of fruit and vegetables, armfuls of vibrant and colorful flowers, not to mention an unlimited range of products to awaken all your senses.

Souk Habous

things to do in Casablanca
Habous Quarter By Marlene Vicente

Shopping in Souk Habous is one of the many activities you simply cannot miss when visiting Casablanca, full of stores and workshops where you can empty your wallet and fill your suitcase with souvenirs.

The Habous Quarter is made up of an endless number of streets and shops that display their handmade products for you. If you decide to take it slowly, you can easily spend up to three hours browsing among paintings, carpets, and handicrafts of all types.

things to do in casablanca
Olives “Souk”_Habous Quater By Cuyahoga

If you feel like the prices are too expensive for your budget, don’t hesitate to try to get them lowered. Bargaining actually helps you get a good deal, and it is not considered an offense.

A paradise for lovers of the aperitif par excellence is waiting for you at the Olive Souk always in the Habous Quarter. The area is fantastic place to buy traditional, local products, giving tourists a real taste of Moroccan culture.

Mohammedia Beach

things to do in casablanca
Beach view By ppart

Mohammedia is a lovely seaside city about 28 kilometers north of Casablanca. Known for its beautiful beaches with shiny gold sand and a Mediterranean climate characterized by mild and wet winters and hot, dry summers on its magnificent beaches and fine sands.

Most people who visit Mohammedia are here for the beach. During summer weekends, restaurants and cafés bustle and the sand thrums with activity.

The town offers you a long Beach strip with luxurious hotels and resorts and very nice villas for rent just meters away from the beach.

Port cities are best known for seafood dining, from oysters, fresh lobster, shrimps, crabs, or other shellfish, and fish, Mohammedia is the right destination on the Atlantic coast to enjoy the finest seafood dining.

The medina district is a delight to wander through and has many charming sights, while the New Town area is beautifully laid out with grand palm-tree-lined boulevards.

It is easy to travel from Casablanca to Mohammedia by train.

Visit the Museum of Moroccan Judaism

things to do in casablanca

The museum was founded by Simon Levy, a former professor at Rabat’s University and founder of the Foundation for the Preservation of Moroccan Jewish culture. Located in Casablanca is in a residential neighborhood called Oasis, it is the only museum devoted to Judaism in the Arab World.

It is dedicated to the history and ethnography of Morocco’s Jewish community, which stretches back for 2,000 years. Jewelry, photographs, traditional costumes, religious objects, and other cultural objects raise awareness of the vast diversity among the Moroccan Jewish community.

Many Jews currently living in Israel, Canada, and the United States are originally Moroccan by birth and return on vacation to visit Jewish Heritage sites or as an homage to revisit their past home.

Day Trip to Azemmour

things to do in casablanca
Azemmour Kasbah By johncopland

Azemmour is a small city, lying on the Atlantic ocean coast, 75 km southwest of Casablanca, making it a fantastic weekend or day-trip destination from the big city or a convenient stop when traveling northward from the famous coastal town of Essaouira.

Also called Haouzia, it has a history stretching back to Punic times.

The charming small town’s beach is also one of the best along the Atlantic coast, a great place to relax, and a popular year-round among surfers and kite surfers.

The city’s main historic attractions are the Old Medina’s walls painted by local artists, they connect to the kasbah (fortress), which dates from the 16th century. The medina has three parts, a Jewish “Mellah”, a kasbah, and the old medina.

The medina consists of winding alleyways lined with shops selling the handicrafts of the region, like decorated pottery, Berber baskets, colorful fabrics, and more.

Explore El Jadida

things to do in casablanca
Old Medina Walls_Eljadida By MadrugadaVerde

El Jadida known as Mazagan by the Portuguese is a coastal city on the Atlantic Ocean, located 100 km south of the city of Casablanca, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A bustling, lively and colorful port town on a beautiful stretch of coast with some amazing beaches and plenty of fresh seafood.

things to do in casablanca
El Jadida Cistern By zanskar

El Jadida known as Mazagan by the Portuguese is a coastal city on the Atlantic Ocean, located 100 km south of the city of Casablanca, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A bustling, lively and colorful port town on a beautiful stretch of coast with some amazing beaches and plenty of fresh seafood.

Day Trip to Oualidia

things to do in casablanca
Oualidia Beach By LUKASZ-NOWAK1

If you’re looking for a break from the bustling crowds and noise of the big cities, this charming seaside village is the perfect destination for you. The clear blue waters, sandy beaches, and beautiful sunsets provide a nice place to relax.

the town is famous nationwide for its seafood and in particular, its oysters, (if you visit the oyster parks, you can learn how they’re cultivated).

things to do in casablanca
Oualidia Townhouses By redtea

For birdwatching fans, spring and autumn are the best times to do birdwatching in Oualidia, this is when the migrations happen from Europe to Africa. You can observe birds like flamingos, egrets, and storks.

During summer, Oualidia becomes a popular weekend destination, offering visitors a break from city life.

History of Casablanca

things to do in casablanca
Hassan II Mosque Architecture By AlexmarPhoto

Casablanca has been around for a long time but did not really become a city until it started to expand outside the walls of an ancient city called Anfa. It was founded and settled by Berbers of Barghawata at the end of the seventh century BC. Leo Africanus, in his book Description of Africa, said Anfa was the most prosperous city on the Atlantic Coast because of its fertile land.

Barghawata continued to grow until it was conquered by the Almoravids in 1068. In the 12th century, the Arab tribes’ descent settled in the region mixing with the local Berbers, which led to widespread Arabization.

When the Merinid dynasty controlled the region during the 14th century, Anfa rose in importance as a port and a major center for business but eventually became independent as the dynasty weakened.

In the early 15th century, the Portuguese attacks destroyed the city in 1468 and used the ruins to build a military fortress in 1515. After all they abandoned the area completely in 1755 following an earthquake which destroyed most of the town.

The town was reconstructed, fortified, by Sultan Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah in the 18th century, who gave it the name of Dar al Beida “the white house”, which the Spanish eventually translated as Casablanca.

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