Looking for the best things to do in Casablanca, Morocco? As the largest city in Morocco, Casablanca is a bustling metropolis with a mix of modern cityscapes and Old World Moroccan charm.
With tantalizing cuisines, vibrant markets, historic sites, and scenic coastal views, Casablanca offers plenty of attractions and activities for travelers. From touring the awe-inspiring Hassan II Mosque to strolling along the beachfront Corniche, this Moroccan city is full of treasures waiting to be explored.
Keep reading to discover the 25 best things to do in Casablanca, Morocco’s most cosmopolitan city!
Key Takeaways on the Best Things To Do in Casablanca, Morocco
- Visit the magnificent Hassan II Mosque in Morocco, the world’s largest mosque outside Mecca.
- Stroll along the scenic Corniche promenade with coastal views.
- Wander through the lively Old Medina for shopping and food.
- Admire the stunning Art Deco architecture downtown.
- Learn about Jewish history at the Museum of Moroccan Judaism.
- Shop and dine at massive Morocco Mall.
- Relax at family-friendly Sindibad Marine Park.
- Soak up the vibe at main square Place Mohammed V.
- Make a day trip to Rabat to see top attractions.
- Visit the striking Notre Dame de Lourdes basilica.
- Picnic at lush Parc de la Ligue Arabe by the Hassan II Mosque.
- Check out Moorish architecture at Mahkama du Pacha courthouse.
- Marvel at street art murals along the Corniche boardwalk.
- Enjoy dinner theater with shows at Cabaret El Dib.
- Take a food tour for the ultimate culinary experience.
Why Visit Casablanca?
As the economic capital and largest city in Morocco, Casablanca is a dynamic metropolis blending European colonial influences with traditional Moroccan culture.
While many travelers skip Casablanca and head straight to Fez, Marrakech or Rabat, this bustling port city deserves more than just a transit stop.
Beyond the allure of Casablanca captured in the famous Hollywood movie, the real city offers a unique vibe. The downtown area features stunning French colonial architecture and a chance to experience modern Moroccan living. You’ll also find fascinating historic sites, great shopping, happening nightlife and lovely coastal scenery.
Boasting an intriguing East-meets-West character, Casablanca provides a great introduction to contemporary Moroccan culture and lifestyle before venturing deeper into the country.
How to Get To Casablanca?
As the location of Morocco’s largest international airport, Mohammed V International Airport, getting to Casablanca is easy. Direct flights are available from many major European and Middle Eastern cities.
The airport is located about 30 km from downtown Casablanca. You can take a taxi or train to reach the city center. CTM buses also run between the airport and main bus stations in Casablanca.
For travel within Morocco, Casablanca is conveniently connected by train, bus, or shared taxi to all major cities like Marrakech, Fez, Rabat, and Tangier. The high-speed Al Boraq train links Casablanca to Tangier in just over 2 hours.
Best Time To Visit Casablanca
Casablanca enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers. The most pleasant times to visit are in spring (March to May) and fall (September to November), when temperatures are ideal for sightseeing.
Summers (June to August) can be very hot and humid. Winters are milder but rainy. Some attractions may have reduced hours during Ramadan as well. Avoid public holidays and weekends if you want to skip crowds.
From centuries-old medinas to Art Deco downtown districts, here are the top attractions and activities in Casablanca, Morocco’s vibrant port city.
1. Marvel at the Magnificent Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
No trip to Casablanca is complete without visiting the iconic Hassan II Mosque, the second-largest mosque in the world after Mecca. It’s just located about a 30-minute walk from Casa Port train station.
Completed in 1993, this enormous religious complex took over 5 years to construct and involved contributions from over 10,000 Moroccan artisans and craftsmen.
Towering above the Atlantic Ocean, the mosque’s minaret soars 210 meters into the sky, making it the tallest minaret on earth.
Non-Muslims can join guided tours (closed on Fridays) to admire the hand-carved stone and marble, elaborate mosaics, carved wood ceilings, and glittering chandeliers of this architectural masterpiece.
2. Stroll Along the Corniche
For lovely sea views and fresh ocean breezes, head to the Corniche, a beachfront promenade stretching 5 miles along Casablanca’s coastline.
Watch locals playing soccer on the beach, enjoy a picnic, rent a set of wheels at Ain Diab skate park, or relax at a seaside cafe.
The Sacré-Coeur Cathedral, Place Mohammed V, and the Grand Mosque Hassan II are landmarks worth seeing along the Corniche.
3. Wander Through the Old Medina of Casablanca
For a taste of historic Casablanca, meander through the old medina, located north of Place Mohammed V.
Its maze of narrow lanes is lined with aromatic spice stalls, traditional bakeries, butcher shops, fruit vendors, and artisanal cooperatives where you can see locals pounding copper, embroidering fabrics, and crafting leather goods.
Don’t miss visiting the Central Market to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of a traditional Moroccan souk.
4. Admire Art Deco Architecture
Casablanca boasts one of the world’s best collections of Art Deco architecture, with over 200 buildings featuring this distinctive style. The downtown area around Boulevard Mohammed V and Rue Prince Moulay Abdullah has several excellent examples.
Notable buildings include the main post office, Hotel Lincoln, the Municipality Theater, and the Mahkama Pasha Palace which now houses the courthouse.
Guided Art Deco walking tours are a great way to appreciate Casablanca’s unique architectural heritage.
5. Learn About Moroccan Jewish History
The Museum of Moroccan Judaism (Musée du Judaïsme Marocain) chronicles the 2,000-year history and rich culture of Jews in Morocco.
Located in the city’s former Jewish quarter, its collection includes over 1,500 objects related to Moroccan Jewish life and religion. Interesting exhibits detail traditional costumes, holidays, music, crafts, and synagogue architecture.
6. Shop at Morocco Mall in the City of Casablanca
Craving retail therapy? Satisfy your shopping fix at Morocco Mall, the largest shopping center in Africa. This mega complex houses over 40 restaurants, a massive food court, an aquarium, an IMAX cinema and an indoor amusement park.
Over 200 local and international stores sell everything from fast fashion to luxury designer brands. Pick up souvenirs, sample sweets at one of the many pastry shops, or catch a movie at the multiplex.
7. Relax at the Sindibad Marine Park
Located near Ain Diab, Sindibad Marine Park offers a great escape from the city with activities for the whole family. Rent a paddleboat, enjoy bumper cars and carousels, relax on the grass, or let kids burn energy at the playgrounds.
Street performers and live shows contribute to a fun and festive ambiance.
8. Visit Place Mohammed V
As the main square in central Casablanca, Place Mohammed V is the heartbeat of the city. Surrounded by buildings in French Beaux-Arts style, the plaza has a charming European vibe.
Watch locals playing chess at the shaded parks or sip a cappuccino at one of the many terrace cafes ideal for people-watching. The square comes alive in the evenings and is beautifully illuminated at night.
9. Explore the New Medina
Built by the French in the early 20th century, the new medina provides an interesting contrast to the old medina. Located near the port, its neat grid layout has modern buildings housing boutique shops, galleries, restaurants, and cafes.
Wander through the colorful flower market and browse handicraft shops to find pottery, carpets, jewelry, clothing, and home decor. Be sure to try typical Casablanca street food like spicy fish balls and chickpea soup at the food stalls.
10. Day Trip to Rabat’s Sites
Morocco’s capital Rabat sits about 1.5 hours from Casablanca by train.
Easily doable as a day trip, Rabat has plenty of cultural attractions like the Hassan Tower, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, the ancient Chellah Necropolis, and the Kasbah of the Udayas, a 12th-century fortification.
11. Visit Notre Dame de Lourdes
One of Casablanca’s most famous churches, Notre Dame de Lourdes is a striking Roman-Byzantine style basilica built in the 1950s.
Admire its colorful domes, arches, and elaborate interiors. Visitors are welcome to view the interior and can attend an open mass service on Sundays.
12. Relax at Parc de la Ligue Arabe
Covering 72 acres near the Hassan II Mosque, Parc de la Ligue Arabe is a lovely green oasis in the city.
Have a picnic on the grass, stroll along tree-lined paths, let kids play at the playgrounds or just find a bench to soak up the tranquil vibes of this verdant park.
13. Visit Mahkama du Pacha
For a beautiful example of Moorish Revival architecture, visit the Mahkama du Pacha palace. Built in the 1940s, the building has a striking facade with horseshoe arches, green tilework, carved cedar wood, and ornate painted ceilings.
It now serves as Casablanca’s courthouse.
14. Explore Place des Nations Unies
Flanked by government buildings and the central post office, Place des Nations Unies is another famous plaza in Casablanca.
The square’s centerpiece is a large fountain ringed by six muscular bronze figures representing athletic prowess. People watch from the many terrace cafes nearby.
15. Visit the Sqala
Overlooking the port, the 18th-century Sqala is an intriguing fortification with a mix of medieval and Portuguese architectural styles.
Its thick defensive walls, rounded bastions, dungeons, artillery tower, and underground tunnels provide a glimpse into Casablanca’s fortified past. Wander the ramparts for excellent panoramic views.
16. Explore the Habous Quarter or New Medina of Casablanca
For a taste of traditional Islamic architecture, head to the Habous quarter, also known as the New Medina of Casablanca, south of the royal palace.
Built in the 1930s, this planned district has neat grids of clean whitewashed houses, shops, mosques, and squares with distinctive regional designs.
Don’t miss the Mahakma Cadi Ayyad, a court building with green tiled roofs and intricate wood carvings.
17. Visit the Catholic Cathedral (Sacred Heart)
Casablanca’s stunning Catholic Cathedral, formally called Église Sacré-Coeur or Sacred Heart, was built in the 1930s.
Designed in a mix of Romanesque and Byzantine styles by French architects, marvel at its green domes, delicately carved stone facades, and colorful mosaic interiors depicting biblical scenes.
Make sure to see the basement crypt chapel as well.
18. Admire La Corniche Lighthouse
At the bend of the Corniche boulevard stands the La Corniche Lighthouse, an elegant white and red striped masonry tower built in 1915.
Climb up the lighthouse for sweeping coastal views and pretty blue tiles decorating the tower gallery balcony. The keeper’s cottages next to the lighthouse now house a charming arts center and cafe.
19. Explore Parc Sindibad
Families traveling with kids should visit Parc Sindibad, an amusement park with over 40 rides and attractions
Located in Ain Diab, both young and old can enjoy bumper cars, carousels, roller coasters, water rides, 4D cinemas, ice skating and bowling at this lively park by the beach.
20. Relax at La Corniche Beach
Casablanca’s most popular beach stretches along the Atlantic coastline near Ain Diab. Rent a sun lounger or umbrella and spend a relaxed day swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing, and trying watersports.
Various operators along the beach offer jet skiing, wakeboarding, surfing lessons, and standup paddleboards for hire.
21. Visit Anfa Park
Located in the uptown Anfa neighborhood, this 78-acre park is one of the city’s greenest lungs. Shady pathways wind past flowerbeds, rose gardens, fountains, and grassy fields.
Kids will love the amusement park, pony rides, mini golf, bike rentals, and playground. Various spots around the park also offer pedal boating on the pond.
22. Explore La Corniche Street Art
Casablanca’s Corniche Boulevard has colorful murals and urban art created during the 2012 Jidar street art festival.
Look out for large eye-catching pieces along the promenade like a giant octopus, surfing turtle, and funky fish. The murals add an edgy, modern vibe to the seaside.
23. Visit Place Mohammed el-Kettani
In the heart of the Habous quarter, this charming square has pretty gardens, fountains, and Islamic architectural details like carved plasterwork, arched colonnades, and green tile accents.
Relax on a bench, enjoy a mint tea at one of the many cafe terraces, or browse through the book stalls.
24. Catch a Show at Cabaret El Dib
Opened in 1974, the historic El Dib Cabaret offers a lively dinner theater complete with singing, dancing, and acrobatic shows.
Tuck into their Middle Eastern buffet as you are entertained by colorful folkloric performances and belly dancers shimmying to Arabic tunes. It’s all good fun for an evening’s cultural immersion.
25. Take a Food Tour
The best way to dive into Casablanca’s dynamic food scene is by joining a culinary tour.
Knowledgeable local guides will take you to the city’s top eateries, street food stalls and markets to sample authentic Moroccan bites like tfaya (deep-fried bread), spicy chorba soup, kebabs, and more.
It’s a delicious way to explore Casablancan cuisine and culture.
Where to Stay in Casablanca?
From budget hostels to upscale beachfront resorts, Casablanca offers a wide range of accommodation options. The Old Medina and areas near Place Mohammed V have lodging choices that put you right in the city center.
For coastal ambiance, look at hotels in Casablanca and rental apartments along the Corniche road or the trendy Ain Diab district. Wherever you stay, book well ahead during summer or holidays.
Getting Around Casablanca
As a large and spread out metropolis, Casablanca offers several convenient ways to get around:
Casablanca’s modern tramway system is the fastest way to zip through the downtown area. Two lines and 48 stops connect key districts like Old Medina, Place Mohammed V, Hassan II Mosque, and more. Buy tickets at the machines before boarding.
Buses provide an affordable network linking central Casablanca with outer neighborhoods and suburbs. Look for routes operated by the STRC company. Buses get very crowded so avoid rush hours when possible.
Bright red petit taxis are great for short journeys across town. Make sure the meter is running to get the correct fare based on the distance traveled. Expect to bargain the price beforehand for longer trips.
Suburban trains are handy for getting from Casablanca to nearby destinations like the airport, Rabat, Kenitra, and Mohammedia. Check ONCF for schedules and fares.
By Car Rental
Day Trips from Casablanca
Thanks to its coastal location and proximity to other top destinations, Casablanca makes a great base for exploring Morocco. Here are some excellent day trips:
- Rabat – Morocco’s capital has historic sites like Kasbah des Oudaias and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V.
- El Jadida – Wander the atmospheric Portuguese cistern and ramparts of this fortified coastal town.
- Asilah – Enjoy the whitewashed medina, ramparts, and beachfront of this laidback seaside town.
- Oualidia – Famous for oyster beds and lovely lagoon, this tranquil village is ideal for relaxing or water sports.
Casablanca Travel Tips
- Dress modestly when visiting religious sites like mosques and medinas. Cover knees and shoulders.
- Use licensed yellow petit taxis which run on meters, and agree on the fare beforehand for long trips.
- Carry small change and lower denomination bills, as many vendors may not have change for large notes.
- Learn some French phrases since French is widely spoken in Casablanca alongside Arabic and Moroccan Arabic.
- Bargain politely when shopping in medinas and markets – it’s part of the local shopping culture.
- Taste delicious street food like spicy chickpea soup, b’stilla pastries, and tangy kefta sandwiches.
Experience the Excitement of Cosmopolitan Casablanca
Blending traditional sights with modern vibes, Casablanca offers an enticing mix of Moroccan culture, architecture, cuisine, and urban energy unique among Moroccan cities.
Beyond the exotic allure of its Hollywood fame, the real Casablanca rewards visitors with fascinating historic landmarks, great shopping and dining, coastal scenery, and contemporary city life.
With so many things to do, from exploring Art Deco downtowns to relaxing at seaside cafes, this exotic port city truly captivates. For an authentic taste of Morocco’s biggest and most eclectic metropolis, be sure to add Casablanca to your itinerary.
Frequently Asked Questions about Best Places to Visit in Casablanca
Is Casablanca worth visiting?
Yes! Though often bypassed for Marrakech or Fes, Casablanca is a vibrant metropolis that wonderfully blends old and new Morocco.
Marvel at the Hassan II Mosque, see medieval medinas, admire Art Deco architecture, enjoy delicious street food, and relax by the atmospheric Corniche coastline for a great introduction to Moroccan culture.
How many days do you need in Casablanca?
2-3 days are sufficient to see Casablanca’s top highlights like Hassan II Mosque, the Corniche, Old Medina, Place Mohammed V, and museums. Stay longer if you want to make day trips, enjoy nightlife, go shopping, or relax at the beach.
What should you wear in Casablanca?
Dress conservatively when sightseeing. Cover knees and shoulders when visiting mosques and medinas. Casual clothes like jeans, shorts, dresses and skirts are fine in modern areas. Bring a light jacket for cool evenings even in summer.
What food is Casablanca famous for?
Casablanca is famous for Moroccan street food like spicy harira soup, chickpea soup, grilled sardines, briouats pastries stuffed with meat or eggs, and fresh fruit juices.
Sweets like gazelle horns and crêpe-like rghaif are also popular local treats.
What is Casablanca known for?
Casablanca is best known for its impressive Hassan II Mosque, being the economic capital and largest city in Morocco, having a large port, and for the classic film Casablanca starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
With amazing historic sites, coastal scenery, delicious cuisine, and vibrant culture, Casablanca offers the best of Morocco’s exotic allure and modern excitement.
Ready for your Moroccan journey? Contact us to help customize your perfect Casablanca itinerary today!