Located on Morocco's Atlantic coast, Casablanca is the country's largest city and busiest port with a population of over 3.5 million. For many, the name Casablanca evokes the romance of the 1945 film starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart; but the reality of the city is a little different. Although its older neighborhoods boast their fair share of picturesque French colonial and traditional Moroccan architecture, Casablanca's modern identity is all about progress and development. It's not as atmospheric as the imperial cities of Marrakesh, Fez, Meknes and Rabat but it is a thriving business center full of cosmopolitan arts venues, restaurants and nightclubs.
Best time to Visit Casablanca
Casablanca is blessed with a mild climate.The winters are not too cold, but can be rainy. Summers are hot, but the cooling breeze from the Atlantic makes it more bearable than Marrakech or Fes.
- Hassan II Mosque - It took 6,000 traditional Moroccan artisans, five years to build this magnificent mosque, with its intricate mosaics, stone and marble floors and columns, sculpted plaster moldings, carved and painted wood ceilings. It's the largest mosque in the world, with room for more than 100,000 worshipers. Non-Muslims are not allowed inside, but there's plenty to marvel at on the outside, and official tours do allow you access to certain parts.
- Shopping - Casablanca's medina (old-walled part of town) is quite small and a great place to get lost in as you explore the shops in little nooks and crannies. It offers a nice contrast to the wide streets and modern/dilapidated architecture that marks the rest of Casablanca. You can pick up some good bargains here on authentic wares and crafts. Also check out the Marche Central in the center of town for wonderful displays of food, spices and fish. It takes place daily along the Boulevard Muhammad V, which is Casablanca's busiest shopping street.