Casablanca is one of the largest cities in Morocco. Its location on the coast made it an important port for the country. Trade relations with other states affected the formation of the current Casablanca. The districts combine the traditional Islamic look and modern trends that came from Europe. The city has long held the position of a business, tourist and cultural center.
The construction of the international airport brought new flows of travelers to the city. For their leisure, there is everything you need here: amenities are no worse than in the resorts of the Old World, and local flavor. Christian temples and synagogues are important sights. It is hardly possible to meet such a number of them in another Islamic city. And the Habus quarter and the Old Medina will allow you to understand other features of Casablanca.
What to see and where to go in Casablanca?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
Mosque of Hassan II
Construction ended in 1993. Considered the second largest mosque in the world. Interior decoration - onyx, golden marble. The height of the only minaret is 201 meters. The maximum capacity of the prayer hall is about 25 thousand people. The roof is retractable: in just a few minutes, a spacious room turns into a courtyard. Approximately 80 thousand more parishioners can accommodate the square, which was arranged nearby.
This part of Casablanca is sandwiched between the port and the city's main mosque. The quarters were formed over decades. The Old Medina is like a classic Arab area. The building is dense, the streets are always crowded. Trade is carried on briskly, both in shops and in the open air. In the vicinity there are attractions, such as the sanctuary of Sidi Kairouani, a picturesque square and the "gate of the navy".
The most recognizable part of the city. The quarter was created in the 20th century for immigrants from the provinces. Since there is a palace nearby, the area quickly gained popularity among the rich. The architecture is mixed - modern features are combined with the classic urban buildings of the past. Shops and several markets are concentrated within the boundaries of Habus. They sell everything from olive oil to brassware.
United Nations Square
It was built near the walls of the Medina several centuries ago. However, its modern form took shape only at the beginning of the last century. In the center of the square there is a dome resembling half a globe. It is surrounded by flags of different countries. The design is illuminated in the evening and at night. The area is lively: transport interchanges are nearby, as well as a business district and streets with an abundance of retail outlets.
Muhammad V Square
It is the center of social and business life. Restaurants, the al-Maghrib bank, a post office and a police prefecture were built around. The Arab League park and the public garden come close to the square. The boulevards diverge in different directions - a great place for walking. In the evening, a colorful show "performed" by a light and music fountain takes place.
One of the elite areas of the city. The territory is built up with expensive villas and hotels. The waterfront is always perfectly clean. Almost all the beaches in the area are owned by hotels or private individuals. There are also small public areas, but there is minimal service. Another distinctive feature of the Corniche is the abundance of greenery, gardens and flower beds. Life on the embankment is in full swing mainly in the evening and at night.
Mahkama du Pasha
The palace of the ruler of Casablanca was built from 1948 to 1952. Known as a place of official receptions and the House of Justice. The appearance is modest in terms of decor and more like a fortress. The palace has 64 halls, they are decorated in Moroccan and Moorish styles. The main elements of interior decoration: multi-colored mosaics, white marble, stucco, dark cedar. Mahcama du Pacha is not always open to tourists.
Royal Palace of Casablanca
Located in New Medina. The main residence of the king in Casablanca. In terms of architecture, the palace leans more towards traditional Moroccan and Muslim motifs, but the influence of French culture is also visible. Surrounded by artificial ponds and orange groves. Tourists sometimes have access to the territory of the palace, but not inside. Visitors are especially attracted by the rich decoration of the main entrance.
Cathedral of the Sacré Coeur
Construction took place in the 30s of the last century, when the city was under the rule of the French. The cathedral is made of poured concrete. The architectural style is ambiguous: Neo-Gothic mixed with Muslim architecture. Even the towers of the Sacré Coeur look like minarets. In the 1950s, the building was given to an educational institution. Later, the cathedral was converted into a cultural center, and now exhibitions, festivals and fairs are held.
Cathedral of Notre Dame de Lourdes
The Catholic Cathedral was built by 1956. Plays an important role for Christians living in the Islamic region. The structure is monolithic, cast from concrete. For a Christian church, it has an atypical appearance. This did not prevent the cathedral from receiving the status of a cathedral. Colored stained-glass windows of an impressive size stand out in the design. They are made by the famous French artist and glass blower Gabriel Laura.
Temple of Beth El
The central synagogue of the city, which is considered the oldest in the country. It serves as a religious and cultural center. She runs classes for preschoolers. The Prayer Hall hosts social events. Non-religious tourists are primarily attracted by the design of the premises: carved rosettes, stucco, handmade furniture, stained glass windows, large silver candlesticks.
Abderrahman Slough Museum
In the past, this house belonged to the businessman, after whom it is named. The collection is still in private hands, but for tourists access is unlimited. The collection is based on a collection of objects of Moroccan decorative art. Other exhibits: posters from the 1890s-1950s, Berber jewelry, inlaid furniture, glass boxes, ceramics, perfume bottles.
Moroccan Jewish Museum
Such an exposition is unique for the Islamic region. She talks about Jewish culture, the contribution of this people to the development of the country. Among the exhibits are clothes, jewelry, religious objects, models of iconic buildings, photographs and ancient books. They are divided into themes and halls. The permanent exhibition is complemented by temporary exhibitions. Documentary films are shown in the media center at the museum.
Villa des Arts de Casablanca
The art gallery is located in a building with a picturesque garden. The architectural style is art deco. The collection gathered here was presented to the public in the 30s of the last century. In the halls, visitors are shown paintings, panels, sculptures. Both Moroccan and foreign artists are represented. This center is not only expositional, but also cultural. Many city events are held here.
The Casablanca tram system is one of the most modern in the world. It was put into operation in 2012. The length is 31 km, the number of stops is 48. The cars were purchased from the French. They are equipped with air conditioning, tinted windows, monitors that display all the important information for passengers. The workload limit is about 250 thousand people per day. Now the passenger traffic is 2 times less.
Appeared on the cape of the same name in 1914. The height is about 50 meters. From similar buildings in other cities, the lighthouse is distinguished only by a cornice in the Moroccan style. The lighthouse keeper lets tourists inside for a small fee. To go upstairs, you need to overcome a spiral staircase made of marble. The lighthouse equipment is about 100 years old, but it is fully functional. The light from here is visible for 53 km.
The Twin Towers are located in the commercial area of the city. The tallest of these buildings in Casablanca. The center has been operating since 1998. The project belongs to the Spanish architect Riccardo Bofill. Inside, in addition to offices, there are 130 shops, a chic hotel, a high-level restaurant, a bar and a supermarket. The boutiques sell both brands from Europe and national outfits, as well as products of local famous companies.
The best place for shopping in Casablanca. A modern shopping and entertainment center is located near the coast. Shops of dozens of world brands are gathered under one roof. Entertainment is represented by the Adventureland children's play area, an IMAX cinema complex, a large aquarium, a musical fountain, an ice rink and a garden with a pond. You can have a bite to eat here: the local food court is the largest in the city.
Ain Diab beach
The main place for a beach holiday in Casablanca. The territory is divided into public, closed and private beaches. Service at a high level: there are any amenities and rental of everything you need. Close to the beach are cafes and bars. Leisure: sports grounds, petanque games, the opportunity to ride camels and horses, water attractions. Coastal waters are often rough, but there are also calms.
The largest water park in Morocco. Tamaris is located 15 km from Casablanca. The area of the territory is 7.5 hectares. The children's entertainment area is called "Twistie Paradis". There is a souvenir shop, a cafe, a bar with soft drinks, a mini-zoo. The ticket includes the right to stay in the water park for the whole day and the opportunity to use any of its attractions, pools and the beach.