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Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco. It is also the economic heart of the country. Although it doesn’t attract as many tourists as cities like Marrakech, Fes, and Tangier, Casablanca still offers plenty of great things to see and do.
Perhaps the most famous sight in Casablanca, the Hassan II Mosque is a striking architectural jewel that showcases the very best of Moroccan artisanship. The large mosque, complete with a towering minaret, is one of the largest mosques in the world. It was built in the early 1990s to celebrate the 60th birthday of the previous king.
Casablanca’s old 19th-century medina is mainly a residential area today. Nonetheless, walking through the narrow streets and resting for a while in one of the many nice cafes and restaurants is a pleasant way to understand a bit more of what makes the city tick. Look for the street art that adorns some of the walls.
Bab Marrakech is one of the main gateways into the medina. Although the arched gap in the tall wall could hardly be called exceptional, the adjacent clock tower does add a certain charm to this section of wall.
The Sqala (also spelt Scala) is all that remains today of an 18th century fortress. Overlooking the sea, some sections of the outer walls of the Portuguese-style fort have now been painted a vibrant hue of canary yellow.
Casablanca’s main square, Place Mohammed V is surrounded by attractive buildings and palm trees. The paved square is the administrative heart of the city.
A huge former Roman Catholic church, Sacre Coeur Cathedral was built in the 1930s. Painted in gleaming white, the front is flanked by two tall towers.
Although visitors are not permitted to enter Casablanca’s Royal Palace, it’s a great place to make a quick photo stop. The detailed architecture of the main gate is impressive, and you can see the armed police officers who pace the front tiled courtyard, ready to defend the palace if necessary.
Another of Casablanca’s architectural beauties to be admired from the outside, Mahkama du Pacha is a courthouse. Constructed from marble and wood, it was built in a Hispano-Moorish style.
The Museum of Moroccan Judaism tells the story of Morocco’s previously large Jewish population. It’s an interesting place to learn more about the nation’s Jewish heritage and history, as well as about Jewish culture in general. What makes the museum exceptional, however, is the fact that it is the only museum dedicated to Judaism in the entire Arab world.
Casablanca’s Jewish Cemetery is another reminder of the city’s Jewish past. Still in use today, the somber place of rest is well kept, with headstones in Hebrew, French and Spanish.
The enormous Morocco Mall is one of the biggest shopping centres in Africa. It’s a top place for anyone looking for a modern and fixed-price shopping experience. As well as being home to a huge assortment of shops and eateries, the mall also contains Aquadream, a large aquarium with many species of fish.
The lively Central Market is one of the best places in Casablanca to see how locals shops and to pick up an array of traditional goods and souvenirs. Colourful babouches (traditional leather slippers) and clothes hang in front of stalls. Women shop for spices and fresh produce. Cookware and home items are abundant.
The two skyscrapers that form Casablanca’s Twin Centre soar 28 floors above the city. They contain a hotel, residential and office units, restaurants, bars, shops and other facilities. Ride the elevator to Bar 28, on the top floor of Tower B, for panoramic city views.
Sindibad Park is the only amusement park in Morocco. After being closed for many years, it has now reopened, offering a good place to take kids for a few hours. There are rides for smaller children and a small zoo.
The slides, chutes, and pools of Tamaris Aquaparc make it a popular place for families and friends looking for somewhere to have fun and cool down on a hot summer’s day.
A pretty park, the Arab League Garden is a pleasant place for a stroll. Palm trees overhang the main pathway, offering plenty of welcoming shade, and there are several terrace cafes where you can stop for a spot of people watching.
Located in one of Casablanca’s suburbs, Bouskoura Merchich is one of the city’s green lungs. Wander through the greenery and escape city life for a few hours.
Housed within an attractive art deco building, the Villa des Arts is a great place for fans of modern art. Works include those by local and international artists.
The coastline in the suburb of Ain Diab, known for the cornice, has many high-end accommodations and restaurants. Stroll along the waterfront and relax on the public sandy beach.
Plage de Ain Sebaa is another of Casablanca’s beaches. The strong waves and winds make it a popular place for surf enthusiasts. Alternatively, sit on the rocky shore and watch surfers trying to conquer the waves.