MOROCCO

5 things to do during your stay in Casablanca

When I first visited Casablanca, I was still a child. All I could remember from that big city was the huge number of cars, always running in the streets. The long hours spent in traffic every day.

When I grew up, I had decided to move to Rabat to attend a business school.
My next visits to the cosmopolitan were only professional.

After a few years, I had realized that moving to Casablanca was the next step in my life. As a Berber, it is a nomadic state of mind that occurs every few years.
Now that I spent almost six years in the white and wild city of Casablanca. I can finally say, that once a tourist in Casablanca, always a tourist.

Zorhan Mokoele | TDO local expert from South Africa

WORDS BY

By Sarra M.

Three things I love the most in life : Words, music and travelling to explore new places. My passion is sharing everything I like to do with my readers and friends. My life motto "Do everything you want and are able to do, while you can do it!"

a Casablanca based traveler

While living here, I discovered many amazing people who come from all over the world. The majority of the visitors comes here for business reasons. The whole infrastructure is made to receive and host investors. Morocco's largest professional gatherings are organised in Casablanca's best Hotels.

Life cost in the city centre is ridiculously high compared to the other cities. Yet, somehow it is the most populated area in the kingdom. A real magnet to everyone who is seeking to succeed in their professional life and live the "Moroccan dream".

What attracts most of its traffic is the airport that is located at the exit of the city. Since the city has grown so large, there are now hotels and new neighbourhoods all the way until the airport. Finding a way to come to the city will certainly not be a problem. A train station is accessible from the airport and taxis are always ready to take you to your destination. The prices are fixed by the authorities and published at the exit door. You will be able to see them as soon as you step a foot outside of the airport.

According to my own experience and many years of exploration. This is the best plan to enjoy most of your stays in Casablanca :

AL HUBOUS
One of the oldest open market places and neighbourhoods in the city of Casablanca. The Moorish style of some government buildings there is splendid and dates back to 1916. It is still one of the most popular places in the grand Casablanca region.
You can find all kinds of Moroccan made products. Moroccan pastries, olives, spices, meats, clothing even furniture.
Walking there is will make you forget everything about the noisy and crowded streets and business buildings.

SIDI ABDERRAHMAN ISLAND
This island is historically known for its unique population. It is a very small island. Inhabited by only women. Some say witches, and fortune-tellers. Mostly visited by local and foreign tourists to ask for protection against the evil eye, or for a simple traditional Henna tattoo. What locals love the most about it, is having a cup of tea in a small cafe on the rocks. This is where you could finally listen to the magic sounds of the waves crushing against the rocks that are sustaining the mini island.
The Moroccan soup they make there is also phenomenal.

Although the access to the island is restricted to day light hours, it is the perfect Sunday escape.
If you are adventurous, or you just need to take the edge off and read a book quietly while you face the Atlantic ocean and enjoy a mint tea. It is very easily accessible and you can be sure to have an unforgettable experience.

THE GIGANTIC HASSAN II MOSQUE
An architectural jewel. A huge one. Talented and well-reputed craftsman, famous traditional designers and architects. Masons, thousands of workers from the whole kingdom participated in building it. The detailed work is absolutely incredible. The height of the building is so big it can be seen from any building's rooftop in the city. It is open for visits during the permitted hours and the best thing I loved about it, is the museum it holds, and especially its library.

YOU MUST EXPERIENCE THE STREET FOOD
There are a few spots you must visit to taste the most delicious and authentic street food in the city of Casablanca :

• The beach
Moroccan donuts, dry fruits, peanuts and coffee ! That's what you get when you walk your feet on the beach near the water.

• La corniche, near Morocco Mall
Snails' soup at its best. If you are going to the Morocco Mall, or coming out from it, you can't miss the dozen stands in the street. Before you think of going back to your hotel room, you must try that special soup everyone comes to taste from the whole region. It is not pricey and totally worth the walk.

• Visit the fish Market in the central market that is located in the medina.
Casablanca holds the biggest fish trade markets in the country. And you can taste the best and freshest kinds of fish the Atlantic coast has to offer.

URBAN SPACES TO DIVE THE VIBE OF CASABLANCA
There are typical Cafés and Restaurants where you can find diversity and hospitality.

• La Cigale
One of the oldest and most popular restaurant and cafes in the city center. You will time travel. The decorative ornaments are a must. The pictures of all the celebrities who have been there are hanging on the walls, young folks dancing and chatting in one room and seniors having a more quiet drink in another space. The owner is always there and welcoming.

• Cafe de France
Sitting In the city centre, drinking your coffee while reading the newspaper on a terrace in Casablanca's famous Cafe de France. The tramway rails are barely visible when the people are crossing the streets and then splitting in every direction. But the wall of the Old medina adds another charm to the whole scene. You will love having a quick breakfast there before entering a meeting or going back to your business program.

It is therefore very important that you keep your GPS on if you decide to take a long walk, or you decide to just roam in the city until you feel like you are done exploring for the day. You might get lost and end up spending unnecessary money on a taxi drive.

If you don’t know where to book yet, here is a list of the hotels in the city centre who also have an amazing service and commodities

• Four seasons Hotel
It holds a big part of the Anfa place living resort. Which has an overwhelming and dreamy view on the Atlantic sea. With a private access to the beach, you won't miss a sand grain in the business capital of Morocco.

• Sofitel Casablanca tour blanche
With #5 best value of 239 places to stay in Casablanca. It is beautifully decorated, very professional and is exactly at the city center near all the places I listed to visit above.

• Kenzi tower hotel
You will enjoy a spectacular view from the second highest tower in the city at a very reasonable cost. The cancellation is free and you can pay at stay. The rooms are very cosy and it has a very large choice of services that will optimise your stay in the middle of the biggest city in the country.