People all over the world know the name Casablanca thanks to the award-winning movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman which was released on January 23, 1943. But how much do you really know about the actual city of Casablanca?
Casablanca is a beautiful, vibrant city that rivals Marrakech. This wonderful city is home to many art galleries, leading fashion designers, fine cuisine, and a very modern nightlife. Casablanca, which means White House in Spanish, is an incredible blend of European and Arabic influences. The city is a cultural melting pot and dynamic destination that welcomes everyone with open arms!
Casablanca is a port and commercial hub in western Morocco that faces the Atlantic Ocean. Visit downtown and discover the city’s French colonial legacy of Mauresque architecture, along with Moorish and European art deco. Standing slightly over the water, you will encounter the enormous Hassan II Mosque which was completed in 1993 with a minaret dressed in lasers that face toward Mecca. Visit the Mahkama du Pacha or Courthouse of the Pasha with its gorgeous Moorish arches and beautifully designed walls. This building dates back to the 50s and is now home for today’s official functions.
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The People Of Casablanca:
Casablanca has a rich history of nautical events. The Amazigh fishermen rode the waves for centuries before the city was ever formed in the 7th-century. Shortly after that, pirates and privateers called this place home and targeted merchant ships travelling passed the city. The city was then taken over by the Portuguese who destroyed the city in 1468 and then built their fortress in 1515. Over the many years that followed, the city was taken over by many cultures including the Spanish and French.
In the 40s 50s, due to its close location to Europe, almost half the population of Casablanca was European. Today, the city retains many images of her past and cosmopolitan nature. Visitors are welcomed by warm and friendly local residents.
Places To Stay:
Casablanca has many five-star hotels to choose from. Stylish modern luxury hotels that will give you the red carpet treatment to old Riads in a more traditional style. You will experience outstanding service, amazing comfort, stunning elegance, a breathtaking design.
While enjoying your stay in Casablanca, you will live in the lap of luxury. There are many gorgeous spas and hammams, gourmet restaurants, world-class golf courses and Africa’s largest, modern shopping centre!
Shop Your Heart Out: Morocco Mall
Visit Africa’s largest shopping centre and browse through many wonderful, modern boutiques and stop by the finest jeweller’s shops and watch the artisans create their beautiful items. You might just take one of these exquisite pieces home with you!
If shopping is on your list, visit the old Medina which is home to the largest shopping mall in all of Africa. You will find well-known designer brands that sit perfectly next to craftsmen and their traditional souk. This modern, enormous mall houses hundreds of shops that you will never cover all in one day! After browsing and shopping, why not stop by and immerse yourself in the beautiful, cool atmosphere of the aquarium that is located in the centre of the mall.
Although Casablanca does not have an enormous population of shops like other places, if you head to the Medina, you can enjoy the very traditional Deb Ghallef neighbourhood. You can wander through the many stalls that sell everything from arts and crafts to traditional delicacies.
Eat, Drink, & Be Merry:
After sightseeing or shopping, grab some light treats. Strawberries are sold from wheeled carts, while tapas restaurants sell wonderful Spanish cuisine or stop by one of their excellent sushi bars. If you’d like to try some traditional Moroccan food, travel to the Medina.
Film enthusiasts will be ecstatic to discover there really is a Rick’s Café! Well, at least it’s a replica from the movie’s stage set! The café is a wonderful place to put up your feet, sip Negroni, and listen to “As Time Goes By”, played by their in-house pianist.
Negroni is a cocktail made with one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, garnished with an orange peel, and is considered an apéritif.
Retreats In Casablanca:
While the city is hustle and bustle with throngs of people, there are also many places for peace and relaxation. Heavily traversed in the 60s and 70s, there are still many areas throughout the city for a laid-back atmosphere.
There is a very popular Yoga Retreat and several organizations that will help you sign up to stay for a while. Another very popular spot is the beauty and wellness retreat where you can just get pampered for a day or for a few days! There are other alternatives, as well, including many spas and hammams for incredible pampering. 849
Most hammams still hold their ancient traditions and exotic culture while giving you an incredibly relaxing experience. The staff members at these hammams will make you feel at home and very comfortable. You can have a deep indulgent scrub that will leave your skin glowing. You will enjoy the gentle sounds of bustling people carrying out their activities. This entire experience is charming, friendly encounters among people or even a little gossip to soak up! Book a stay at one of Casablanca’s wonderful hammams, you will be so pampered, have a nice stay, and come out refreshed and ready to take on a new day!
Fun Activities For You & Your Kids:
If you have young children, you can have a wonderful time at the various parks, the petting zoo, and theme parks that are located throughout the city.
If you’ve got a lively crowd, there are many wonderful places to have fun including go-karting, football, paintball, skating, swimming, climbing, and riding mini quad bikes.
During your stay, you must visit Morocco’s largest water park that is located in Casablanca. It’s the perfect place for you and your family to catch a break from the enormous heat of the day. Stop by their IMAX 3D Cinema and take in some entertainment. Did we mention Casablanca’s Aquarium? This is must place to visit and you can even scuba dive!
Many visitors to Casablanca head over to rent bikes and head out to explore the rest of the country. When you book your trip to Casablanca, we highly recommend you plan on staying for awhile, so you will not miss out on the many sights and activities spread throughout this wonderful city.
Motorcycling is the easiest and fastest way to get around the city as well as heading out to enjoy the countryside. You can get around traffic jams, visit places that would be too difficult to see on foot or even on a simple bike. Outside the city, visit traditional Amazigh villages and discover the heart and soul of Morocco.
The Beaches Of Casablanca:
Casablanca is bordered on the northwestern coast with some of the most beautiful beaches in Morocco. Her main beach is Ain Diab which is approximately a mile long with pale soft sand and wonderful views of the Atlantic Ocean. There are also many beach clubs to stop by and enjoy yourself. There are also many restaurants and cafés that run along the beach to stop by and discover their local cuisine. Whether you are looking for a meal or just a light snack, they are all there.
The waves around the shores of Casablanca are quite substantial, and many surfers are drawn here each year. Although it’s a great place to paddle, most people opt for swimming in one of the beach’s pools that run along the seafront.
Surfing The Coast Of Casablanca:
The entire coastline of Morocco offers warm waters that benefit from the great swells, especially when the Atlantic Ocean’s waves come in from the north.
The most notable landmark in the city is the Hassan II Mosque which sits slightly out over the water. This part of the ocean provides the best surfing anywhere, bringing in surfers every year.
Beginning surfers should go to either Jack Beach to the south of the city or other beaches to the north. Dar Bouazza offers clean waves and is perhaps the best left-hand point break in the country. A point break is a permanent or semi-permanent obstructions, such as coral and the wave breaks either left or right depending on the direction the wave breaks from. 600
Casablanca’s Many Festivals:
The city holds different festivals throughout the year, so you might want to plan your trip around a great festival that will be a wonderful experience.
- Casablanca Theater & Culture Festival:
Every April is the annual festival for theatre and culture. Each year, a theme is chosen in which artists and performers display the crafts to happy onlookers.
- Contemporary Dance Festival:
This festival draws people from across the country as well as visitors from far and wide. It is held each October and is a wonderful experience to behold.
- The Music Festivals:
Casablanca hosts the three major music festivals each year. The largest of the three festivals is the Casablanca Festival which attracts musicians from around the world. It’s held each year for three days in July and is a wonderful celebration of music, movies, urban art, dance contests, and so many other wonderful surprises.
- The Boulevard Festival:
This is an urban music festival that celebrates the burgeoning underground music scene. Enjoy hip-hop, rock, electro, metal, and fusion beats that can be heard for three days in the month of September. Some of the greatest acts from Morocco and the United States perform during this festival.
- Jazzablanca Festival:
For the jazz lover in you, this festival is held between March and April and attracts some of the biggest names in jazz. Some of the world-renowned artists include Joss Stone and Ibrahim Maalouf who have performed in past festivals. This is where groups from all over the world get together. The best part of this festival, the gigs are located all over the city to reach the largest number of people. If jazz is your thing, be sure and book your trip to Casablanca for the months of March and April.
Casablanca Welcomes Business Events:
Casablanca, among other things, is the financial hub of Morocco and is the perfect destination for hosting business events. The city can be directly reached from most major European cities by air and has many excellent routes to the rest of Morocco by plane, rail, or vehicle.
Casablanca has a large range of five-star hotels and resorts to choose from. Most of these places provide excellent facilities for business events such as lecture halls, conference suites, workshops, and meetings.
At the end of a long day of meetings and events, business teams and associates can relax in luxury faculties such as swimming pools and spas. Take a day off and leave the city to visit the countryside, along the coast of beautiful beaches, or enjoy a day of golf at one of Casablanca’s five world-class courses. Better yet, put on your walking shoes and explore the amazing city of Casablanca!
The next time you are planning a getaway with family and friends or have a week of business events, book your destination to Casablanca.
Casablanca is as enchanting and engaging as any city in Morocco. With a rich history since the 7th-century to the modern cosmopolitan of today, there are very few places quite this unique. Your stay will be full of many adventures, wonderful activities for families with children, trendy nightlife, and wonderful traditional cuisines.
Step back in time and visit Rick’s Café while film clips of Casablanca race through your thoughts, and Time Goes By wafts across a gentle breeze.
Welcome to Casablanca!