I’m from Casablanca and I clearly see that it is becoming a popular stopover destination. People don’t seem to stay longer than 36 hours there. So whether you are changing planes at the airport and got some free time to kill or you are travelling from Marrakech to Fez and want to make a quick stop in the big city. Then this guide is for you!
Mohammed V International Airport is fairly well connected to the city centre. Trains run daily every hour from the airport to various stations in Casablanca however the last train leaves the airport at 10pm. Then there is one additional train leaving at 23.45pm. Best station to get off is Casa Voyageurs, it only takes 30 minutes. Train costs 40 MAD.
From Casa Voyageurs Station it is best to continue your visit by walk or by tram. Walking along the tram route isn’t a bad idea, it is generally safe during the day and is a good glimpse into Moroccans busy life in the city. It is around 20-30 minutes walk to the Old Town.
Don’t miss Mohammed V Street’s art deco buildings on the way. This pedestrian street is very iconic as it leads from the new city to the old town. By the end of it, there is the United Nations Square and right behind it the old town walls. There are so many things to see there but I would not advise you to get lost in some empty streets as still some parts of it are not tourist friendly. But the tourist trail is very simple to follow: tourist shops, just walk along them. Good place for shopping souvenirs.
It’s not a bad idea to get to Sqala on the other side of the Old Town. But there is an alternative route via the Port and Casa Port Station and Felix Houphouet-Boigny Boulevard. These are Portuguese fortifications overlooking at the Ocean. The Sqala is also a famous Moroccan restaurant which I highly recommend for food! Just behind the Sqala can be found 3 important religious sites.
A mosque, a synagogue and a church all within a 100 meters radius. It’s amazing how they still stand there in harmony for so many years. Another option for food around there is the Rick’s Café, the iconic place from the movie Casablanca. It’s a much expensive option!
Getting around Casablanca by taxi is cheap but you must ensure the driver uses the counter. Hassan II Mosque is an impressive place in the city as it is the biggest mosque in Africa with the highest minaret in the world. A must-see when in Casablanca!
For the best view over the city, climb to the rooftop of Sacra-Coeur Cathedral for only 20 MAD. The view is stunning and so far I haven’t seen better view in my city. SKY 28 at Kenzi Tower Hotel is a bar on top of the tallest tower in Morocco, Twin Centre it has a nice view but it doesn’t beat the cathedral’s in my opinion. However, it’s still a great place to have a drink with a view. The cathedral is actually an art gallery so on the ground floor there are some nice things to see most of the time.
For other nice views, try The James Rooftop at JM Suites Hotel. This rooftop bar is one of its kind in town and I highly recommend on a sunny afternoon.
Another cool thing to do is simply walk along side the Ocean Coast, La Corniche. But don’t start from anywhere, it is best to start your walk from Anfa Place Shopping Centre and you can extend your walk until Morocco Mall a gigantic mall, good for a rest and some food or shopping. This mall has the 3rd highest musical fountain in the world, it’s a nice show. In between those malls there are some interesting places to just sit have a drink and relax in front of the Ocean.
This small and quick guide provides some great things to do for a day stopover up till 36 hours in Casablanca. The city has so much to offer to visitors but sadly it is not yet well branded as a touristy city in Morocco and usually people have higher expectations before visiting due to the famous movie.
You might be interested to read more things I wrote about my hometown:
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