tour from casablanca

Why you should visit Casablanca city during your next trip to Morocco

Morocco is a unique country that has inspired visitors and travelers for many centuries. Its vibrant culture and unique landscape are two undeniably attractive characteristics that have lead people from all over the world to its wonders. When visiting Morocco, it is expected to experience new sensations that will leave you breathless, so make sure you are ready for the adventures this entails.  

There is a great number of cities that visitors are attracted to when coming to Morocco, each with its own unique set of qualities. These can be big metropolitan cities, or small off the grid towns as well. In today’s article, we are going to be dedicated to Casablanca city, Morocco’s biggest city and most important financial center. Although Rabat is Morocco’s political capital, Casablanca city is considered the economic and business capital of the country.  

With that being said, it is important to note that Casablanca city is not all just about the businesses and industries. It is first and foremost a Moroccan city with all the aspects that come with that. The culture, the traditional buildings, the Old Medina etc… all of these things and more can be found in Casablanca city. Because of this, we highly recommend you take enough time to explore this Moroccan metropolis during your next visit to Morocco.  

Not convinced yet? Here are below some of the main reasons why you should visit Casablanca city during your next trip to Morocco!

A unique charm: 

There is no denying that Casablanca certainly cannot compare to Fes or Marrakech city for example when it comes to tourist attractions and traditional historical monuments. However, Casablanca city has its own unique charm that locals and returning visitors can definitely tell you a lot about. The city was an important center during the colonial period, where many French architects and artists resided. This resulted in a timeless legacy of Art Deco buildings and landscape, which can be recognized anywhere, scattered throughout the city’s main quarters.  

casablanca-art

Modern: 

Most parts of Casablanca city as we know it today are modern facilities and business oriented. This fact is not at all a problem, since it resulted in so many luxurious and high end facilities, attractions, hotels and cafés all around the city. Just take a look at Rick’s café, Sky 28 Bar, or Morocco Mall for instance. These places make Casablanca perfect for a day of shopping or a fun night out with friends.  

casablanca

Traditional: 

As previously mentioned, Casablanca is still at its core a Moroccan city despite the foreign influences in facilities and architecture. Casablanca city is home to a traditional Old Medina and a Jewish Quarter (Mellah), rivaling those found in more touristy cities like Fes or Marrakech. These two settlements are the pillars that mark an authentic Moroccan city in all of its glory. Besides the architecture, Casablanca city’s vibe is typical to what is spread all throughout Morocco. This can be manifested in terms of cuisine, traditional clothing, local customs and more. 

casablanca-medina

Casablanca city’s attractions: 

Hassan II Mosque: 

The shining star of Casablanca city is unarguably the Hassan II Mosque. The Hassan II mosque is an iconic attraction that showcases the best and finest Moroccan craftsmanship on so many levels. Another unique thing about this mosque is that is it one of the few in the whole world that allow non-Muslim visitors to enter. Use this opportunity to discover this mosque’s mesmerizing interior.  

casablanca

The Church of Sacré-Coeur 

The church of sacré Coeur, also called La Cathédrale Sacré-Coeur, used to be a sanctuary for people of the Christian faith residing in Morocco. The cathedral, finished in 1930 by French architect Paul Tournon, is an extremely important architectural piece that marries both the Gothic aesthetic and the Art Deco movement. Today, this church no longer fulfills a religious role but it can still house cultural events and expositions. 

Cathedral-du-Sacre-Coeur

The Old Medina 

Casablanca city’s Old Medina is the place to go to get a glimpse of the authentic Moroccan lifestyle. It may not be as vibrant or colorful as the Old medina of Marrakech or Fez but it certainly embodies the true Moroccan spirit. Enjoy a walk through the medina’s busy and narrow streets, filled with vendors and small antique shops. You can find genuine artisanal products at Casablanca city’s old Medina just like you can at any other Moroccan city.  

Museum of Moroccan Judaism 

The Moroccan Jewish Museum, or Museum of Moroccan Judaism, was founded in 1997 by Simon Levy (founder of the foundation for the preservation of Moroccan Jewish culture). The museum was originally built in 1948 as an orphanage for Jewish youth, then was later repurposed for the building that we know today. This museum in Casablanca city is one of two Jewish heritage museums in Morocco, which themselves are the only ones that exist in the Arab world.  

Museum of Moroccan Judaism

The Arab league Park 

The Arab league park in Casablanca city was founded in 1913, designed by The French architect and urban planner Albert Laprade. Covering about 30 acres of land, this park was part of a grander plan of restorations to the city’s green spaces that took place during the colonial period. After recent renovation lasting from 2016 up until 2019, the park is now open to the public to enjoy its green spaces and variety of flora.  

The Arab league Park

Abderrahman Slaoui Museum 

The Abderrahman Slaoui Museum is one of Casablanca city’s carefully hidden gems. Named after the late Moroccan businessman and art collector, this museum features the finest pieces from Abderrahman Slaoui’s art collection that he grew over the years. The collection is known for its orientalist art pieces, and pieces of traditional Moroccan jewelry. Another permanent display at the museum is Muhammed Ben Ali Ribati’s modernist paintings. The Abderrahman Slaoui Museum also holds frequent exhibitions of Moroccan contemporary artists, as well as art workshops for the creative youth.  

musee abderrahman slaouii

Due to its reputation as a business center and economic capital of Morocco, unfortunately Casablanca city doesn’t get enough recognition for its many interesting attractions. Now that we’ve listed some of the main reasons why you should include Casablanca city in your Morocco itinerary, we hope that you will not be skipping it during your next trip to Morocco! 

berber camp 1

Top 9 activities to do while in the Moroccan desert

Morocco is a land of numerous wonders and breathtaking sights to behold. For centuries it has been attracting scientists, scholars, journalists, artists and all other sorts of people, for its inspiring natural landscapes and scenery. Traversed by the majestic Atlas Mountains and limited from north and west by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, Morocco marries both golden beaches and thick green forests.

One other aspect of Morocco’s beauty that attracts millions of visitors from all over the world is the one of a kind Moroccan desert. The Moroccan desert is home to dunes of all sizes, from the smallest to some of the tallest in the world. Being in the Sahara desert is an unforgettable memory that we believe every adventurer and nature lover should experience at least once in their lifetime. Through this article, we will introduce you to some activities you can try out to make the best out of your Moroccan desert experience. We will be waiting for you!

Camel trekking

Now these activities are not listed in any particular order. However, we do believe that camel trekking is one of the best ways to fully enjoy the Moroccan desert experience. There’s just something about a camel ride in the middle of the endless desert dunes that just feels so magical and special, no matter if it’s your first or 100th time doing it. If you are only going to be in Morocco for a short period of time and won’t have enough time to try out the rest of these activities, then at least make sure can fit a camel trek somewhere in your schedule. You will absolutely not regret it.

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Visiting nearby villages

There are many small villages you can visit while in the Moroccan desert, all with different and unique things to offer. For instance, a trip to Khamlia village will allow you to discover the origins of the famous Gnaoua music genre and meet its masters. If you’re a fan of geology, fossils and minerals, then make sure to stop by the village of Erfoud and visit the fossil museum. Another desert village you can visit is Rissani, where you can experience what a traditional weekly open market looks like in Morocco.

Morocco-desert

Visiting nearby villages

There are many small villages you can visit while in the Moroccan desert, all with different and unique things to offer. For instance, a trip to Khamlia village will allow you to discover the origins of the famous Gnaoua music genre and meet its masters. If you’re a fan of geology, fossils and minerals, then make sure to stop by the village of Erfoud and visit the fossil museum. Another desert village you can visit is Rissani, where you can experience what a traditional weekly open market looks like in Morocco.

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Quad bike rides

Besides camel trekking, quad bikes fall as a close second to the most interesting and fun means of transportation through the Moroccan desert. Quad bikes are going to be abundantly available for rent anywhere in the Sahara desert, and we recommend going for a ride at least once! They can be a ton of fun to ride with friends and family, while the desert winds run through your hair and face. Hold a quad bike race with other riders, or enjoy taking cool pictures and videos with your quad, the possibilities are endless!

marrakech quad and buggy ride

Sandboarding

Sand surfing, or sandboarding, is exactly what it sounds like. If you’re a fan of skateboarding or snowboarding and you want to test your skills in a new environment, then sand surfing is the sport for you. This activity is especially interesting when you’re at the Moroccan desert because this is where you’ll find the largest sand dunes in the world, which makes it so much more unique!

Sand bathing

For centuries, desert locals have been using this ancestral practice to help relieve joints pain and rheumatism. Granted, this is an alternative medicine practice so you can’t go in expecting to get cured from your illness, but it definitely helps relieve pain and symptoms. How the “sand baths” work is that you will be buried from the neck-down in the hot Moroccan desert sand and remain there for a few minutes. Although the desert will be hot, it’s still very bearable and not uncomfortable at all. 

Enjoying a bonfire

One of the best parts about spending a night in a desert camp is gathering around the bonfire and sharing unforgettable memories. Every night that you will spend out in the Moroccan desert, you will enjoy local music, Berber drums and interesting stories around a bonfire lighting up the dark. Whether it be desert tunes or classical guitar, there will always be a nightly music session animated by talented locals. Entertainment, good food, a bonfire and fun times, what more are you looking for? 

berber camp

Trying local cuisine

All this talk of wandering through the Moroccan desert is sure to make one hungry, right? You don’t need to worry about going hungry while enjoying your desert excursion, because there’s a ton of local cuisine for you to try out! One of the main specialties of the area is Medfouna, which is a meat filled bread that’s cooked in the sand, as organic as it gets. You might have heard about Medfouna before under the name “Berber pizza”, which is pretty accurate considering the round shape of it.

food of morocco

Observing wildlife

The Moroccan Sahara is home to a diverse wild life, which you might spot during your trip if you’re lucky enough! Barbary sheep, onyx, jackal and the sand fox are some of the most prominent examples of wildlife present in this desert. While spending the night in a desert camp, you can test your luck to see if you might a catch a photo of one of these species. What you can do is leave out a little bit of food after the lights and the fire are off, then wait to see what shows up to get a snack! Worst case scenario is no animals come, best case scenario you can get a really cute pictures of a little sand fox.

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These were only some of the activities we suggest you try out during your next visit to the Moroccan desert. There are of course so many more things to do and experience in this breathtaking part of the world, so don’t hesitate to come and find out for yourself.