When the French took control of Morocco more than a hundred years ago, Casablanca was just a small fishing village. But the colonial rulers set about creating a modern European-style city complete with Art Deco buildings.
Today, Casablanca remains the Morocco’s largest and most modern city. Famed for its luxury and modern architecture, as well as for its large sea port and information technology industries, Casablanca makes for a surprising place to visit.
Best Places to Stay in Casablanca
Casablanca is not short on excellent hotels, and while there are plenty of high-quality two- and three-stars hotels to choose from, the city specialises in luxury four- and five-star hotels with lavish indoor swimming pools, spas, fine-dining restaurants and spectacular sea views.
Stay in a hotel in Casablanca’s city centre for easy access to its historic sights, or set up camp along the oceanfront corniche or in plush neighbourhoods such as Anfa.
Discover a Different Side to Morocco
Casablanca is a thriving cosmopolitan city representative of modern-day Morocco, and there is plenty to keep you amused. Enjoy strolls along wide boulevards and through elegant Art Deco buildings, then check out the restaurants for some some of the best food in Morocco.
Head to the centre of the city and Place Mohammed V, a palm-fringed square ringed by buildings takes you back to French colonial times. Or hobnob with the locals as you wander along the seafront corniche at sunset, where luxury hotels and restaurants line the waterfront, and there are beach clubs and public beaches to soak up the hot Moroccan sun.
Along the waterfront, you will also find the famous Morocco Mall, a glitzy and futuristic architectural masterpiece packed with luxury shops and entertainment venues ranging from an ice rink to a IMAX cinema to an aquarium.
Explore Casablanca’s Historic Sights
While Casablanca is proud to show off its modern side, it also has a long and proud history. Get your souk kicks at the old walled Medina where a maze of alleys and stone arches have hundreds of shops selling authentic wares. Practice your bartering skills as you haggle over prices for leather slippers, carpets, brassware and trinkets. After, pull up a chair in the courtyard for lunch of chicken tagine and couscous or a platter of fresh fish and seafood from the little fishing port nearby.
Be sure to visit the grand Hassan II Mosque, one of the icons of Casablanca. The mosque’s huge interior can accommodate 25,000 worshippers and its glinting blue-tiled minaret towers into the air, making Hassan II Mosque the tallest religious building in the world.
Your trip to Casablanca wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the elegant Rick’s Cafe, the setting for Bogart and Bergman’s famous Hollywood wartime epic.
If it's a sunshine you're after you could also have a look at our Marrakech hotels.