07 Jan 10 Reasons to see Casablanca
Gritty, bustling and alive with noise, this is a metropolis where East and West meet. Who can ever forget the movie “Casablanca” that captured the grandeur and mystery of the city in its golden era?
A deeply complex and fascinating city on the Atlantic coast, Casablanca is a place that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, that’s exactly why I think you should see it.
1 Sacre-Coeur Cathedral
Church of the Sacred Heart is a fascinating piece of architecture that is no longer used as a place of worship. Now mostly used as an exhibition space, this neo-gothic building boasts two towers that over- look the ocean.
2 The Tram
It was a nice surprise to see this ecological transportation system in the crowded streets. With a ton of stops all over the city, it is a good option for sightseeing and for visiting the major landmarks around the historic city.
3 Central Market
The marché central is a colorful and diverse souk where you can fill your shopping tote. Bring your appetite and come check the food, fruit, flowers, art and souvenirs, are sold here in tiny shops and kiosks. This historic souk is classified among the UNESCO’s world heritage and features beautiful monuments.
Do be careful of pickpockets.
4 The Hassan II mosque
With beautiful arches and intricate detailing, this is the largest mosque in Morocco and the 13th largest in the world. Most noticeably, its impressive minaret is the tallest in the whole world! The extremely high minaret has a laser light that points towards Mecca.
And I add a friendly reminder that this is a place of worship so be respectful inside and outside, and also you must take off your shoes before entering a mosque.
What a surprise it was to find huge shopping malls that hold all my favorite brands, especially the Morocco Mall. This mega huge place will be too busy to visit during the weekend, so make sure you go during the week days. It is also beautifully decorated.
6 Port de pȇche
Stroll about this fishing hub offering the most amazing food and fresh fish. The city’s port is a colorful and busy place where the restaurants are always packed. You will definitely witness fishermen at work, and seagulls on the hunt for fish.
7 Museum Abderrahman Slaui
A great way for a tourist to peak into Moroccan culture, this private residence was transformed into a colorful museum showcasing ceramics, jewelry, furniture and decorative arts. The place is beautiful on the inside as well as on the outside where a flea market takes place every Sunday.
With a rich and diverse history, visitors can find restaurants offering menus from all around the globe. Spanish, French and of course Moroccan specialties are beautifully served and always with the extra twist of spices, fresh fish and delectable sea food. Emphasis on fresh!
Interesting fact: restaurants won’t start serving dinner until 19:30 PM so be sure to note this.
9 Night life
With a distinct European feel, Casablanca has the best nightclubs to offer and the best entertainment. The corniche has the best trendy spots, where people linger long into the night drinking and having fun. With live music, Spanish and Arabic entertainment, there is a range of lounges and dance clubs that cater to all tastes.
10 Mahkama du Pacha
Carved and ornate ceilings adorn this Moorish palace that serves as a parliamentary building for the Moroccan government. It will be very hard to get inside to admire the rich furnishings and astonishing cedar wood decorations, but a visit from outside is still worth it to this unique building.
Casablanca might not be an ideal tourist destination for a relaxing vacation, but it is nonetheless the biggest city in Morocco. And what better way to know a country than by experiencing its backstreets and hidden treasures?