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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!