24 hours is a good amount of time to explore in and around Casablanca. There isn’t much sightseeing to do here in Casablanca compared to other Moroccan cities, and so often tourists leave Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city feeling a bit unimpressed. However there are some nice parts and you can get a good feel for the city in just one day if you know where to go! From visiting one of the largest mosques in the world to enjoying a delicious tagine and watching the sun go down over the Atlantic Ocean, read on to discover how you can make the most of your 24 hours in Casablanca, Morocco!
Morning stroll along the corniche:
Start your day by heading to the Corniche: Casablanca’s seafront area. Stroll along the promenade right next to the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy the pristine views out to sea. Avoid the crowds especially in the summer by getting here early as it gets much busier later on in the day. There are many nice cafes and beach bars along the way for you to stop and enjoy a delicious Moroccan mint tea.
Hassan II Mosque:
Your stroll will end at Hassan II mosque on the Corniche: one of the most beautiful and largest mosques in the world. It is Morocco’s largest mosque and Casablanca’s main attraction. The mosque was commissioned by King Hassan II as he felt Casablanca lacked historical and architectural monuments. It is estimated to have cost $800 million to build, all of which the money came from donations from the people of Morocco.
Completed in 1993, its newness and wealth makes for a big contrast to the rest of Casablanca. It sits on a platform over the Atlantic Ocean with part of the floor made of glass so worshippers can pray directly over the sea. There is also a sliding roof for special occasions. It’s minaret, at 210metres high, is the tallest in the world and at night a laser shines from the top of the minaret towards Mecca.
Hassan II Mosque should be the highlight of your trip when in Casablanca – it is a really beautiful building and also one of the only mosques in Morocco open to non-Muslims.
Visiting inside Hassan II Mosque
Non-Muslims can enter the mosque by going on a guided tour on Saturday-Thursdays (as Friday is the Holy Day in Islam) starting at 9am, 10am or 11am. The guided tours cost 120 dirhams (12.50USD). The inside of the mosque is just as beautiful. Remember it is a holy place of worship so come dressed appropriately.
You can even go down and see the hammams and ablution rooms used for cleansing downstairs – see pictures below.
Lunch at La Sqala
By now I’m sure you’ll be hungry so make your way down to La Sqala for some lunch – a great restaurant just on the edge of the medina in the remains of the old Portuguese fortress by the port. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the mosque. It is a beautiful and decently priced restaurant which offers a quiet break from the hustle and bustle of the Medina in it’s peaceful gardens.
This is one of Morocco’s best restaurants so make sure to visit here if you have the chance! Indulge in a traditional Moroccan tagine and of course, finish it off with my favourite: Moroccan mint tea! I am literally addicted to this stuff and drink so much of it whenever I am in Morocco – it is an absolute must when you are here!
Visit the souq:
After lunch head down to the souq (market). Unlike the sprawling souqs of Marrakech and Fes, Casablanca’s souq is fairly compact. You’ll see lots of souvenirs for sale such as leather bags, typical Moroccan slippers, tagine pots, beautiful paintings and the famous Moroccan organ oil. Don’t buy the argan oil here as the quality is not good (it is very diluted) – you need to go to the south of Morocco (Agadir) to get the real stuff! Remember to haggle for your products as they will put the price up for tourists.
The old town (medina) is next to the souq, so spend some time wandering round the narrow streets and absorbing the local life. The medina shows the real life in Casablanca in its maze-like alleyways. Only visit this place during the day – locals advise to not visit this place after dark as it is not safe.
Sunset dinner at La Cabestan:
Head to Le Cabestan to watch the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean. This is THE place to enjoy the sunset in Casablanca, whether just for drinks or for dinner as well. It is a super stylish bar-restaurant and located in a beautiful setting, but definitely not for those who are short on cash. You will see a classy, upmarket mix of people here, and inside Le Cabestan I felt a million miles away from the chaos on the streets outside. Definitely the best place to spend an evening in Casablanca! PS make sure to head to the toilet here – one of the best toilet views in the world I’m sure!
Afterwards go to the rooftop bar Sky28 at Kenzi Tower. It is open from 3pm-2am and offers wonderful panoramic views of the city and the mosque lit up at night.
I hope you enjoyed this 24 hours guide to Casablanca – let me know in the comments below if you have ever visited!
Advice for visitors to Casablanca:
I would just like to add that, and Moroccans say the same thing themselves, Casablanca is Morocco’s craziest city and the people in Casablanca can sometimes seem less open-minded and welcoming than people from other Moroccan cities.
You need to be cautious in Casablanca, especially when travelling as a female solo traveller. This doesn’t just apply to tourists, but even Moroccans from other cities in Morocco will exert caution here. Taxi drivers will try to rip you off so always agree a price before you get in the taxi. It also helps if you speak some French as Moroccans speak French fluently and are less likely to rip you off than if you just speak English. See the picture below of the taxis here: called “petit taxi”. Also always dress modestly, avoid going out alone after dark as a female and be aware of your surroundings and your belongings at all times. Read my article Travelling solo around Arabic countries as a Western woman to learn more.
Personally I don’t recommend travelling here alone as a solo female and the last few times I have been here I have always been with a Moroccan male friend and have felt much safer with them. I have often felt intimidated and a bit wary by some people here. Nevertheless, it is an interesting city to explore and I hope you enjoy your time in Casablanca!
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