logo chic morocco


A great city that also has a lot to offer tourists

Tourists do not live by historical monuments and vacation resorts alone. And the best example of this is Casablanca, a city that may not stand out for either of these two things but has a lot to offer its visitors. On this page we tell you about it, as well as show you practical information for you to take good note if you are going to start or finish your Morocco tour in this great city.

Table of Contents

Where is Casablanca?

Casablanca is located on the Atlantic coast, in the center of the country, halfway between Tangier and Agadir. It is the capital of the Casablanca-Settat region. But if Casablanca is famous for anything, it is for its large population: it is the largest in Morocco in terms of number of inhabitants, with more than 4.3 million, a figure that exceeds 8 million if we also count its metropolitan area (Greater Casablanca), which also includes other towns such as Mohammedia and Nouasseur.

Its climate mixes the warmth of its latitude and the Atlantic influence, not only for its cold sea currents but also for its cool breeze, which tends to temper the atmosphere in the summer season.

How to get to Casablanca?

If you are planning to include Casablanca in a wider tour of the country, it will be useful to know this list of distances that separate the city from other Moroccan destinations:

  • Agadir: 460 km
  • Rabat: 80 km
  • Ouarzazate: 430 km
  • Essaouira: 370 km
  • Marrakech: 240 km
  • Asilah: 300 km
  • Fez: 290 km
  • Merzouga:660 km
  • Tangier: 340 km
  • Chaouen: 340 km
  • Al Hoceima: 550 km

As is to be expected from the large size of its population, it is also one of the best connected cities in Morocco, not only with other national cities but also with other international destinations. This is because it has the largest airport in the country: Casablanca Mohammed V Airport, located about 30 km from the city. More than 10 million passengers pass through here every year, many of whom are tourists who choose this route to enter or leave the country.

Casablanca has also made a strong commitment to cruise ships in recent years: a huge new terminal has been built in its port for this type of vessel, with the aspiration of attracting the major Atlantic circuits. However, the closed cruise and private crossings are practically the only ways to access Casablanca by sea, since there are no regular ferry lines.

On the other hand, it is perhaps the Moroccan city with the greatest variety of railway lines, which connect it with practically every corner of the country. Special mention should be made of the recent Al Boraq high-speed line, the Moroccan bullet train linking Casablanca with Tangier, running along the entire Atlantic coast and stopping at Rabat and Kenitra.

And those who prefer to travel by road in Morocco will find that there are many bus lines that reach here, and several highways that serve as entry routes: the A1 from Safi and El Jadida, the A3 from Marrakech, the A8 from Beni Mellal and the A5 from Rabat and Kenitra. Therefore, those who resort to private transportation will have many options in their hand to configure a circuit by car in the area.


Casablanca: history and context

In Casablanca, the existence of the oldest human being in Morocco has been documented: the remains of a man who lived about 300,000 years ago were found in a nearby cave. The Phoenicians, in the 6th century BC, already populated the area now occupied by the residential district of Anfa, but the real original nucleus of what we know today dates back to the period following the Arab conquest, when it became the capital of the Berber kingdom of the Berguata.

In the 12th century it was conquered by the Almohads, in their dazzling advance that led them to dominate the whole country and the south of the Iberian Peninsula. During the fifteenth century it was a nest of pirates, which led to reprisals by the Portuguese and a subsequent occupation, making it an enclave to defend their possessions on the coast, especially the nearby Mazagan (El Jadida). It was at this time that she was appointed
Casa Branca
in Portuguese.

The earthquake of 1755 left Casa Branca practically in ruins, but the Alawite Sultan Sidi Mohammed ben Abdallah took over the enclave two decades later and tried to revive it (with the Arabic translated name of Dar el-Beida, by the way) with many of the historical monuments existing today. In this new period, the most influential were the Spanish merchants, who gave it the definitive name of Casablanca, in Spanish, which is also used internationally… although the locals prefer to refer to their city as simply “Casablanca”.

The spread of steam navigation ‘brought’ this port closer to others in the western world, so that the city grew with it, making a strong competition to the port of Tangier. And the period of the French Protectorate, from 1912, was also a time of progress, expansion and beautification of the city, taking advantage of the fact that the new center of power was located ‘only’ 90 km to the north, in Rabat.

After the independence of Morocco in 1956, Casablanca continued its exponential growth, in some neighborhoods under rational urban planning criteria, but in other cases with suburbs that welcomed a large internal immigration in very poor sanitary conditions. Even today these contrasts can still be seen in some areas, although the city’s prosperity due to the installation of multinationals, banks and large companies guarantees its citizens a standard of living higher than the country’s average.

What to see in Casablanca

Why travel to Casablanca

Many circuits only stop for a few hours in Casablanca. But those who have more time can discover the city from other points of view. Here are some of the reasons that make this city particularly interesting:

  • A city where the twentieth century rumbles with all its force: the unbridled growth of Casablanca during the last century is evident in many aspects. The most interesting from an architectural point of view is the proliferation of Art Deco buildings and neo-Moorish influences.
  • A place to get to know Islam ‘on the inside’: in Casablanca you will find one of the few mosques that can be visited from the inside. And not just any mosque, but the largest in the country: the Hassan II Mosque, a true icon for the city’s tourism.
  • A city where it is difficult to get bored: and this is not only valid for the tourist in general, who will find a very rich leisure program, but also for children, since here you will find the widest variety of children’s spaces such as amusement parks, zoos and many other proposals for those traveling with the family.
  • Shopping for all tastes: although it is not the most outstanding city as far as traditional crafts are concerned, it will be easy to find objects of interest in the stalls of the old medina or in the shops of the new medina. But above all, Casablanca is perhaps the best city in the country in terms of international brands: fashion, accessories, jewelry, electronics…
  • A city with many premium services: in addition to luxury stores, in and around Casablanca you can enjoy signature restaurants, golf courses, high-end hotels, etc.
  • The most ‘Jewish’ city in Morocco: the Moroccan Jewish community has always enjoyed a more peaceful and tolerated status than in other Arab countries. Today, the number of Jews living in Morocco is reduced to only several thousand people, mainly due to the Aliyah of the 1950s. But most of this religious community resides in Casablanca, maintains functioning synagogues and manages the Hebrew Museum of Morocco.
What to do in Casablanca

What not to miss in Casablanca

Because Casablanca has been a small settlement for virtually all of its history, the historic center of the city has less weight as a whole than that of the old medinas in other destinations. Therefore, you will find the places of interest distributed in different areas, which shows the obvious contrasts that exist in the city, not only architecturally but also socially and economically.

  • Old Medina
  • Hassan II Mosque
  • Dar el-Majzen Mosque
  • Royal Palace
  • Place des Nations Unies
  • Arab League Park
  • New Medina
  • Church of Notre-Dame de Lourdes
  • Port of Casablanca
  • Hebrew Museum of Morocco

Casablanca for a premium traveler

Casablanca is a city full of services and proposals for the premium traveler. While Rabat is considered the political center as the capital, Casablanca is the financial and commercial center of the country and has also developed an important luxury and exclusive leisure sector. Here are some ideas that can serve as inspiration for your trip:

Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city, is known for its mix of modernity and tradition. Below is a list of luxury options in the city:

Luxury hotels (5 stars):

  1. Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca: It is part of the international chain and is located near the beach.
  2. Hotel & Spa Le Doge: A boutique hotel with an art deco ambiance.
  3. Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche: It is known for its modern design and excellent location in the city center.
  4. Hyatt Regency Casablanca: Located in the heart of the city, it offers a luxurious ambiance with modern amenities.
  5. Mövenpick Hotel Casablanca: It stands out for its services and its rooftop pool.

Luxury restaurants:

  1. La Sqala: Housed in an 18th century fortress, it offers a traditional Moroccan culinary experience.
  2. Brasserie La Tour: Located in the Sofitel, it is known for its French cuisine.
  3. Rick’s Café: Inspired by the movie “Casablanca”, this restaurant offers a nostalgic atmosphere with first-class gastronomy.
  4. Le Cabestan: It is famous for its sea views and its Mediterranean cuisine.

Streets and luxury shopping areas:

  1. Boulevard Mohamed V: It is the main street of Casablanca, where you will find stores of international and local brands.
  2. Morocco Mall: One of the largest shopping malls in Africa, it houses many luxury brands.

Other luxury options:

  1. Spas: Casablanca has several luxury spas, such as the So Spa at Sofitel and the spa at the Four Seasons.
  2. Royal Golf Club: For golf lovers, this club offers a high-level course in a spectacular setting.

And remember that if you want to organize a personalized trip with the best services, you just have to trust Chic Morocco: we are an agency specialized in experiences of the highest quality throughout the country, so we can integrate Casablanca in a wider circuit of Morocco and with the highest standards of professionalism and satisfaction.

Plan your trip to Casablanca

Hotel reservation
Purchase your travel insurance
Enjoy experiences
Change your currency (Spain only)
Very cheap flights
Rent your car
Sign up for Wifi or telephone
Do you want a card? We have it!

Other destinations

× Whatsapp