Literally translated, Casablanca means ‘white house’. According to Dentistrymyth, the city is therefore known for its white buildings. Yet this city of millions has much more to offer. The city has a long history of different cultures that have left their mark in and around this city. In addition to this long history, the favorable location on the Atlantic Ocean is also a reason why Casablanca has been able to grow into the bustling and lively port city it is today. On this page we will discuss some of the sights that this city houses. This is just a small selection of all the beautiful and interesting things that you can admire here.
Top 10 sights of Casablanca
#1. Hassan II Mosque
Not everything in Casablanca is interesting because it has a history. A good example of a modern building that is certainly worth a visit is the Hassan II Mosque. This mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world and was built by order of King Hassan II of Morocco. The French architect Michel Pinseau designed the building. In total, the area of the complex covers nine hectares. In the mosque there is room for about 25,000 visitors and outside the mosque there is room for another 85,000 people. The huge complex looks very bombastic, partly due to the central minaret and the space that the building has been given to attract all the attention. Not only the outside is very beautiful, the inside also has a finish of unprecedented beauty. This modern mosque may not be very old, but refined mosaics and other traditional Moroccan finishes give the new building a classic look.
The Medina of Casablanca should certainly not be missed when you visit this city. The Medina is the oldest part of this port city and exudes authenticity. The Medina is hidden behind the city walls that date back to the sixteenth century and this part of Casablanca is accessible through the two city gates, which are also worth a visit. Actually, Casablanca has an ‘old’ and a ‘new’ Medina. This part of the city is known as ‘Old Medina’. You will also encounter the typical winding streets and covered souks in this Medina. A visit to this place is therefore an ideal activity during the day, because of the shelter of the narrow streets.
#3. Quarter Habous
Although Casablanca is a port city with millions of inhabitants, Quartier Habous gives you the feeling that you have arrived in a small town. This alone is a reason to visit this part of Casablanca. Quartier Habous is also a photogenic place due to the many cozy shops and elements of traditional woodcarving that can be admired there. In this cozy neighborhood you will find a nice little market with friendly sellers who try to sell you lots of nice things. If you like to negotiate, this is a nice place to develop or practice your bargaining skills. The best time to visit this area is in the morning or around noon.
#4. La Corniche
One of the most important streets of Casablanca is the boulevard ‘De La Corniche’. The street connects the lighthouse of Casablanca and the Hassan II Mosque. La Corische is very atmospheric and cozy. If you want to enjoy a snack and a drink, this is one of the best places in Casablanca. There are numerous restaurants and cafes on and around the boulevard where you can enjoy typical Moroccan meals and drinks. There are also a number of beautiful sights around the boulevard. You can make a nice walking tour through Casablanca along various attractions and make sure you are on or around La Corniche around dinner time.
#5. Sacre Coeur
For a long time it was the French who ruled Morocco; so also in Casablanca. So it is possible that you can still admire a true cathedral in a mainly Islamic environment. The ‘Cathédrale Sacré-Cœur’ was built in 1930. In this period Casablanca had a community of about 40,000 Catholic inhabitants. The cathedral is built in neo-Gothic style. In 1959, the church building became a cultural center where fairs and exhibitions are regularly organized to this day. It is very special to suddenly find such a large cathedral between all the streets where mainly mosques can be found. Certainly the outside of the building still has the association of a church.
#6. Central market
If you would like to take some herbs and spices home and that they are of excellent quality, then you have come to the right place at the ‘Central Market’ on Mohammed V Boulevard. The small market is known for the high quality of food items. Due to the good quality, the central market is also the right place to enjoy a tasty lunch made with freshly prepared ingredients from the market. Lovers of a delicious fish meal are certainly in the right place in Casablanca. In addition to the excellent goods and products, the market is also interesting because of its authentic appearance.
#7. Rick’s Cafe
Although this café only opened its doors in 2004, ‘Rick’s Café’ has quickly become a household name in Casablanca. The bar should therefore look like the bar in the movie ‘Casablanca’, in which Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart played the leading roles. The cafe is on the outside against the wall of the old Medina. Everything in the establishment is reminiscent of the legendary film through the architectural and decorative elements used. Every now and then the resident pianist plays something on the authentic piano that dates from the thirties, the time in which this film was set. This makes Rick’s Café an excellent place to enjoy the excellent food served here.
#8. Beth El Synagogue
Actually, despite the fact that the city is mainly Islamic nowadays, Casablanca is a city where many cultures have left their mark. In addition to the cathedral that can be found here, there is also a synagogue in the large port city. This synagogue is the symbol of the Jewish heritage in Casablanca. On the outside you don’t feel like you’re seeing a synagogue, but once you’re inside you immediately see that you’ve entered a shul. The synagogue is still in use by the local Jewish community. There are not many of them in the city anymore, but they still manage to keep their traditions and customs alive. This hidden diamond is still in use, so it is best to check in advance whether there is no service when you want to visit the synagogue. A small number of Jewish shops can also be found in the vicinity of the synagogue. For example, you can get delicious Jewish biscuits and bread at the bakery nearby.
#9. Musee Abderrahman Slaoui
Abderrahman Slaoui was a businessman who passed away in 2001. In addition to being in business, he was also an avid art collector. His collected work has already been managed by the foundation that bears his name. It was also this foundation that opened the museum in 2012 in order to show the collection of Abderrahman Slaoui to the public. The collection of Moroccan jewelery and gold is impressive, but he also collected old posters, figurative art and crystal objects. This makes it an unusual collection that makes it a unique museum. In addition to the fact that a large part of his collection is on permanent display, temporary exhibitions have also been set up.
#10. Ain Diab
If you want to find peace from your more European culture in the mainly Moroccan culture of Casablanca, a visit to Ain Diab might be a good option. This luxurious neighborhood offers the opportunity to enjoy a little more in a Western way. One of the most attractive places in this district is the beach. Here you can bask in the sun and occasionally cool off in the water of the ocean. The waves of the Atlantic Ocean are also excellent for surfing. There is even a surf school where you can learn the basics of this water sport. Of course you can also walk on the beach and enjoy the sunset.