Although it may not be the first place on many people’s Moroccan bucket list, Casablanca has plenty of attractions and activities to keep you busy for a few days. From the famous Hassan II Mosque to one of Africa’s biggest malls, Morocco’s economic heart offers something for everyone. Don’t miss haggling for bargains in the city’s souks and strolling through the medinas.
Casablanca’s Old Medina might not be as big or exciting as the medinas of Marrakech or Fes, for example, but it does let visitors peek into the city’s past. Built before the French colonial era, the Old Medina is mainly a residential area today. You can see how people have lived in Casablanca for many years, with traditional homes found within the high defensive walls. There are also small souks selling an assortment of traditional Moroccan goods.
Built by the French in the 1930s, Casablanca’s New Medina combines a blend of European influences and traditional Moroccan designs. There’s plenty of elegant architecture to admire, including numerous attractive Art Deco buildings. Shopping wise, the area has a mixture of modern shops and traditional souks, including some large open-air markets.
Casablanca’s Central Market features many food stalls and restaurants; it’s a great place to visit if you’re feeling hungry! There are also stalls that sell Moroccan handicrafts and souvenirs, as well as day-to-day items.
Located in the Habous Quarter, the Olive Market is a great place to see local produce. Watch local residents stocking up on olives of all colours and perhaps be tempted to purchase a small bag to sample as you wander around. Olive oil can make a great souvenir to take home, especially if you want to replicate some tasty Moroccan dishes in your own kitchen.
Located in Casablanca’s Quartier Gauthier, Maarif Market is ideal for visitors who want a glimpse of local life. Stalls are brimming with colourful fruits and vegetables, aromatic spices, olives, meat, fish, and fresh flowers. There’s also a wide selection of goods made from argan oil. The area near Boulevard Bir Anzarane has a more traditional vibe.
Marche des Boucheries is one of Casablanca’s main meat markets. Watch as butchers chop up carcasses, preparing cuts of meat for people to buy to cook at home. From whole animals to prime cuts and sheep’s heads, you’ll find meat galore at this pungent market. Locals may also go here to purchase live chickens and eggs.
Situated opposite Gare Oasis, Le Marche Solidaire is a local farmers’ market. Browse an assortment of fresh produce and dry goods, and develop a greater appreciation for the ingredients that are used to create traditional Moroccan dishes. Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle and experience local life. There’s also a selection of clothes and handicrafts for sale.
The neighbourhood of Derb Ghallef is known for its enormous second-hand market. Indeed, it is one of the biggest permanent second-hand markets in the entire country. Cheap electrical items can be found in abundance. It’s a terrific spot for those who enjoy searching for unique items – with books, vintage Moroccan clothing, items of furniture, and more.
Soco de Moina is another large flea market in Casablanca. It’s in the Hay Hassani area. A treasure trove of delights awaits visitors, with second-hand furniture, souvenirs, clothes, electronics, books, ornamental items, and other unwanted goods.
While not a souk or market per se, Exposition Nationale d’Artisanat is a fantastic place to browse and buy traditional Moroccan crafts and souvenirs. Goods are spread over three floors, showcasing the best in Moroccan craftsmanship. There are leather items, such as bags, shoes, belts, and wallets; ornate rugs, wooden carvings, textiles, decorative lamps and tea sets, and more.
The souks and medinas are just a few reasons to plan a trip to Morocco’s Casablanca.