Casablanca is a city in western Morocco. It is one of the most important cities of the country, as it is the first city in number of inhabitants, the economic and industrial capital and the first port of the country. If it is true that Casablanca is not as spectacular as other imperial cities, it is enough to enter between its streets to know secrets of other times that we will not be able to see in other cities of Morocco, like its vast modern heritage between which we can highlight a beautiful set of art deco architecture.
Travelling to Casablanca can be a really interesting option, especially if we make a tour like the one of the imperial cities.
What to visit in Casablanca?
One of the most awaited visits in this city is undoubtedly the impressive Hassan II Great Mosque. It was completed in 1993 and is considered a pharaonic work in our time. Located on the beach, it attracts attention with its enormous minaret over 200 meters high, the highest in the world. Just above this dome, in its highest part, you find a large laser light that marks the direction of Mecca and has a range of no less than 30 km.
The Great Mosque is equipped with a prayer hall that can accommodate about 25,000 worshippers. Similarly, the adjacent esplanade has a capacity of 80,000 people. The interior is truly magnificent. It has 76 pillars supporting a painted cedar wood ceiling. In addition, the roof can be opened, leaving the sky visible and reflecting it into the pond in the center of the courtyard.
After this visit, you can go to one of the most traditional and beautiful parts of the city, the medina or the old town. This area is located next to the port and although it is true that it is not as interesting as the medinas of other Moroccan cities, you can find points of interest such as the 16th century wall that surrounds it, the Clock Tower, the gates of Bab Jedid and Bab Marrakech, Sidi Kairouani, Sidi Bousmara, the Ould el Hamra mosque or a Spanish church, the church of San Buenaventura.
The colonial city is one of the most striking areas. It is perhaps one of the most characteristic parts of the city, since it is here that we find an infinity of modernist buildings with an Art Deco air, which is really difficult to see in the rest of Morocco. While it is true that the buildings are not as well preserved as they could be, it is worth walking along the main avenues of this neighborhood.
Here you will find places as important as the Place des Nations, the nerve center of the city or the Place Mohamed V, where you will see some of the most important colonial buildings, such as the Palace of Justice or the Bank of Morocco.
One of the most pleasant places in the city is known as the Habous neighborhood. Even if it is not very touristy, it is worth going there because you will find a lot of handicrafts at excellent prices. This neighborhood was built by the French during the colonial period. It is currently one of the most important commercial districts of the city.
The Val d’Anfa is one of the richest neighborhoods of Casablanca. One could say that it is the Beverly Hills of this Moroccan city. Here you will find many luxury cars, ostentatious houses that were also built in the 60s and 70s by some of the most famous European architects. This is undoubtedly an excellent opportunity to observe the social inequalities that exist in this country, where the vast majority live much more modestly.
Where to stay in Casablanca?
When it comes to staying in Casablanca, you won’t encounter any problems, as this city has a wide range of hotels. One example is the magnificent Barcelo Casablanca Hotel. It is a beautiful urban 4-star hotel inaugurated in 2006. Located on the Boulevard d’Anfa, you can rely on urban transportation to get to the main sites of the city.
Rooms are equipped with internet access, air conditioning, full bathroom, safe, double bed, minibar, direct dial telephone and satellite TV.
Another really interesting option is the hotel Riad Souss. This 4-star hotel is surrounded by a beautiful flowered garden. A luxurious hotel that overlooks the ocean, offering privileged views to its guests.
The rooms are equipped with air conditioning, safe, heating, ADSL connection, soundproofing, work table, minibar, telephone and television, among others.