Best Things To Do In Casablanca

Casablanca is a city full of surprises, often overlooked by many. It’s the heart of Morocco’s economy, but there’s so much more to it. Picture a place where modern buildings show off the bold ideas of the past century, standing side by side with stunning examples of various architectural designs. It’s not just about the buildings, though. The city’s a vibrant mix of cultures, something you can see in the colorful street art that brings life to its walls. Imagine walking from the old medina, through the city, all the way to the seaside promenade. That’s Casablanca for you – an unexpected treasure along the kingdom’s coast, waiting to be explored. In this blog post, you will discover the best things to do in Casablanca.

1. Discover the diversity of styles in the historic center

Historic Center Of Casablanca

The heart of Casablanca, shaped when France was in charge (from 1912 to 1956), is like a time capsule of the 20th century’s architectural evolution. Imagine starting your journey at Place Mohammed V, where buildings from the early 1900s, inspired by Moroccan tradition, sit next to the modern, almost futuristic design of a theater by Christian de Portzamparc and Rachid Andaloussi, which hasn’t opened yet.

As you stroll down Boulevard Mohammed V, it’s like walking through an open-air museum showcasing a mix of styles. Look up to see the Glaoui Palace, which strikes with its Art Deco elegance. Then, there’s The Liberty Building, or Immeuble Liberté, which stands out in Casablanca, Morocco, as a shining example of Art Deco design. Built when France had a strong influence in the area.

Each step takes you through a different era, inviting you to explore Casablanca’s rich architectural diversity with wide eyes.

2. Return to origins in the Medina

Medina Casablanca

Redone in the 1700s, Medina in Casablanca is like a big mix of different cultures, which creates a vibe that feels a bit Mediterranean. It’s got all kinds of buildings – from old-style houses with inner courtyards to buildings inspired by new classic designs, Hispano-Moorish styles, or Art Deco. When you wander past the market areas, you might find streets that look a bit worn out but hide cool places. For example, there’s this place called the Heritage Interpretation Center that shows the city’s history in a cool, new way. Or Al Makane, a pretty riad turned into a café and a sort of fancy market that shows off local craftspeople’s work. Not far from there, you’ll find the Sqala ramparts. Théodore Cornut built them in the 1700s, and they’re a great example of the kind of military architecture Morocco had back then.

Heritage Interpretation Center – Abdellaouia School. Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free admission.

Al Makane , Place de Belgique. Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

3. Visit Medina of Habbous, the new city of the 20th century

Makchama Of Pacha Casablanca
Makchama of Pacha

Created in 1917, this new part of town is designed just like the traditional medinas, making a beautifully preserved area that feels totally charming. It’s a joy to wander through the streets with arches, check out the foundouks (which are like old-timey inns for traders), and browse the traditional markets, where you can find everything from carpets to tasty olives.

One spot you can’t miss is the Mahkama du Pacha, built between 1942 and 1948. It’s used as a courthouse and a place for fancy gatherings, and it’s stunning inside. Imagine walking into a courtyard lined with elegant columns that remind you of the Alhambra in Granada, or exploring a big, sweet-smelling garden enclosed by buildings made of glowing golden stone, kind of like the old monasteries from medieval times. The best artisans from all over the kingdom worked together to create this breathtaking place!

4. Decipher Casablanca heritage with Casamémoire

Old Medina Casablanca
Old Medina

Founded in 1995, this energetic group leads thrilling tours focused on architecture. They offer four different routes that last between 2 to 3 hours: there’s a walk through the old medina, a stroll around the new Art Deco area, a tour of the Habous medina, and a visit to Hay Mohammadi, a unique area known for its collective housing, where you’ll ride a bus or tram to get around. Plus, every spring, they host Heritage Days to showcase spots that are normally not open to the public.

Casamémoire 

5. Discover Abderahmane Slaoui Foundation Museum, a cabinet of curiosities

Abderrahman Slaoui Foundation Museum

Nestled among Art Deco villas near the Arab League park, this museum is a gem within a 1940s house. It holds the collections of Abderrahmane Slaoui, a lover of beauty and humanity. Inside, you’ll find Orientalist posters, gold jewelry, beautiful manuscripts, and chests of Bohemian crystal… all displayed in a way that feels like you’re peeking into a wonder-filled curiosity cabinet. They also put on some pretty special temporary exhibits.

 Abderrahman Slaoui Foundation Museum , Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Price: €5.45. Guided tours by reservation (€9 supplement)

6. Explore Villa des Arts, art in all its forms

Villa Des Arts Casablanca

Tucked away in a stunning garden, this gorgeous 1930s house has been wonderfully redone by the AL MADA Foundation to become a hub for contemporary arts. Their goal is to bring culture to everyone, and the villa serves as a stage for all kinds of art: theater, movies, books, and visual arts, all through top-notch events.

Villa des Arts , 30 boulevard Brahim Roudani. Tuesday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., free entry.

7. Visit Hassan II Mosque, the emblem of Casablanca

 Hassan Ii Mosque
On two hectares, the prayer room of the Hassan II mosque is an ode to excess. vladislav333222 – stock.adobe.com

This iconic building, now a symbol of Casablanca, has stood majestically on the shoreline for 30 years, with much of it extending over the ocean. Visiting it, you must be guided, and you’ll hear a lot of amazing facts. The prayer room alone spans two hectares, showing off lavish designs with its incredible ceilings and domes (using 40,000 m3 of cedar!), Murano glass chandeliers, and columns made from marble, granite, and onyx. Plus, it’s got some pretty advanced features: heated floors and a massive roof weighing 1100 tonnes that can open in just 5 minutes!

BOOK HASSAN II MOSQUE PREMIUM TOUR

Please note: this is currently the only mosque open to non-Muslims in Morocco. Entrance: €11.80.

8. Discover Amazing Street art: the colors of Casablanca

Graffiti Casablanca

In Casablanca, from the Corniche to Boulevard Roudani, colorful graffiti brings the city’s walls to life, making it a hotspot for street art.

A vibrant group of young local artists is behind these masterpieces. Their art is more than just decorations; it leads the way for wonderful tours arranged by the Alouane Bladi association, meaning “the colors of my country.” This group, led by Amine Hannaoui, does an amazing job of promoting the art and engaging with the youth.

Whether you’re exploring by bus or bike, you’re in for a visual treat!

9. Taste Grilled fish feast at the Central Marketplace

Grilled Fish At Central Market

Walking through that big, fancy door with green tile work, we step into a spot that folks from Casablanca really love. It’s like diving into a sea of smells and colors with flowers, fruits, veggies, and spices all over. We head to the Central Marketplace where you can find all sorts of goodies from the ocean, like oysters and fish.

When it’s time to eat, it’s super easy. Just pick out some seafood by how much it weighs and take it to one of the nearby places to get it cooked. You get lemon, bread, and salads (both cooked and fresh) to go with it. And the price? Totally fair – it’s about €15 for a kilo of sea bass.

Central Marketplace

10. Chill out on the Corniche

Cabestan Ocean View In Casablanca
@le.cabestan

This spot is like the heart of Casablanca, a favorite place for locals to enjoy some fresh air by the Atlantic. By day, chill under the sun at Tahiti Beach, a famous club with eight pools overlooking the sea. Come evening, eat at fancy restaurants near the El Hank lighthouse. Over at Corniche by Palmeraie, nine different places offer tastes from all around the world, from Nikkei fusion to classic French dishes.

Right by the lighthouse, there’s a place you can’t miss called Cabestan Ocean View. It’s fancy with private spots to sit facing the sea and top-notch food, including aged meats and fish like sea bass cooked in salt crust. Plus, you can try dishes from two other places next door, Lily’s with its Asian menu, and Ummaya, known for Eastern Mediterranean dishes.