Casablanca is not a touristy city, nor the best place to see Moroccan art and architecture, but, if you're there, then one of the best visits should be Perfecture Mechouar, fortified palace with the traditional look of Moroccan architecture.
Don't be impressed by the military appearance. The building must be still in official use but tourists are welcome.
Smoking Argila is very common in daily life,there are many places and cafes that serve Argila s well.
do not be surpised to see women in the cafes that also smoke Argila.
Argila has various tastes ans smells from honey to apple to banana.
Pay 20 dirhams, and you can climb up the tower for an amazing view of the whole city. But before you part with your money, I ought to say that this is only really for those who don't mind pigeons, uneven steps, heights with no railings, pigeon poo, and the dark. First, you head up to the gallery, with a view over the interior, which would be spectacular if only there was something filling the space down below. Still, you do get to see the stained glass windows and white columns in all their glory. Up this far, the steps aren't too bad, but get progressively worse the higher you climb. Every corner you turn, expect to startle and be startled by a flapping pigeon or six. They're everywhere, and the steps are covered in their poo, so watch our head too.
Before reaching the dizzying heights of the belltower, there are two opportunities to get a closer look at the roof. In Europe, this would be either closed off to the public, or a viewing platform would have been built, but as this is Morocco, you can just wander out onto the roof and scare yourself by looking right over the edge. Watch your step!!
The final climb sees yet more pigeons, cooing menacingly as they prepare to defecate on you or flap right past your ear. I found clapping my hands managed to make them move, and finally reached the very top. If you like views but aren't fond of heights, note that the wall only comes up to your waist up here...trip, and that's you over the edge! But the views are worth the climb and the pigeons.
To your right is the modern city, a sea of concrete, cars and blasting horns, the prefecture and tribunal easily spotted. Straight ahead are the low rooftops of the medina, cranes in the dockyartds looming in the background. Look left and the minaret of the Hassan II Mosque stands way above anything else, looking far closer than it actually is. Keep moving round, and you cna look down onto the roof, the Parc de la Ligue Arabe behind stretching into miles and miles of suburbs.
The most impressive part of modern casablanca is probably the Place Mohammed V, a wide open space with fountains and pigeons and palm trees, surrounded by offiicial buildings from the colonial era on most sides. The main courthouse sits on one side, the Tribunal, and next to it, the building with the tall clock tower, is the Prefecture, both lit up colourfully at night.
During the day, the park is filled with Moroccan tourists, feeding pigeons and taking photos of the fountains, with many families sitting under the palms with picnics at the weekend.
On my first day in Casablanca, there was supposed to be a Yawm al-Ghadab or a Day of Anger protest, and since the previous protest had turned a bit nasty, I was slightly wary of being there, especially as my hotel was just behind the tribunal. Scheduled to begin at 11, I looked out of the window, but nothing. Ten minutes later, a few chants could be heard approaching, grew louder and louder as the protesters marched by the hotel, car horns honking continually. I got some stuff together, a camera, a map, a hat, some suncream and a bottle of water...and by the time I was ready to go and investigate some possible history in the making, the protesters had given up. It was a little after half past 11...in the square, where the main action was supposed to take place, a hardcore group of students with placards shouted at police who for the most part ignored them. Women carried on sitting under the palms gossipping and eating nuts, while kids played on the lawns. it was all a bit half-hearted, and by midday, everything was back to normal. I found out that evening that the main event had actually been up the road in Rabat. Oh well...
The market only operates during daylight hours, so I didn't have a chance to see it "in action" despite staying opposite it.
However the small stores/eateries and florists facing the outer streets are still open in the evening, and I had dinner at a restaurant facing the market on a side street.
Notre Dame de Lourdes is a Catholic Church built by the French, and finished shortly before Morocco got its independence in 1956. It is no longer in use. This church doesn't look like much on the outside, but the stained glass in it is amazing—it covers entire walls. I was told the glass weighs 55 tons.
The Technopark is a huge modern building to the south of the city. It is the country’s first industrial park and was opened in 2001. It was built to increase the advancement of information technology in the country and the main areas of expertise are IT projects and software engineering. The Technopark is both entertaining and informative.
The El Hank lighthouse was built in 1905 on a rocky cliff not far from the Hassan II Mausoleum. It stands at 45 metres high and was at the time the tallest building in Casablanca. The French built this lighthouse to aid ships coming into the harbour and get them around the sandbanks. It was renovated between 1914 and 1917 and is quite a landmark on the shores of Casablanca.
I have a spot in my heart for minarets. I can't explain why they appeal to me so much. But I adore these 'horned' mosques and always take pictures of them.
In Casablanca minarets are mostly brown (except the one of Hasan II Mosque). Spires on them can have three or five 'beads'. Three beads mean three religions - Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Five of them stand for five commandments of Islam.
This is not only an excellent activity for travellers but also an initiative that is helping single mothers and creating social change in Morocco. An organization called Solidarité Féminine runs a traditional Hammam and health center which is not only one of the cleanest and most attractive in Casablanca but also provides valuable job training for single mothers who would otherwise be illiterate, jobless and who face all kinds of discrimination in the Muslim and Berber cultures that exist here. This Hammam offers excellent prices and all the funds raised go to support the programs of the organization which is truly helping to change Moroccan society. This is a local initiative, founded and run by Moroccans and is an excellent opportunity for tourists to support local development and have an excellent experience at the Hammam.
Hammam is beautiful, beauty salon, massage, sport facility all available on site as well. Sample Price List:
Unassited Hammam- 30dhs
Hammam and scrub-50dhs
Hammam with just soaping-60dhms
Hammam with scrub and soaping-70dhs
45 Massage only-100-120dhs
45 Thermal wrap with oil-100dhs
45 Thermal wrap with algae -120dhs
1hr Massage and thermal wrap/oil-120dhs
1hr Massage and thermal wrap/algae-140dhs
Dye (with clients product)-50dhs
Leg-cold wax 120dhs, hot wax 100dhs
Drop in fee-50dhs
One month-300dhs plus one time payment of insurance 250dhs
Many different and interesting architectural styles can be seen in Casablanca. This includes French Colonial, Moorish, Art Deco etc.
The best way to find these buildings is to just walk around and you will see many different examples.
This building is located in Al Hoboos quarter behind the Royal Palace. You’ll find few Arabic book stores near by. To go inside first you’ll have to go to Syndicate du tourism on Mohammad V Avenue and come with a guide.
I asked the guards if they can allow me in and I was lucky that they did let me in. So why not try this before going to down town. One of them walked me around and within 15 minutes I was able to see all the rooms except for the royal office, I was able to sneak a peak into it from the windows. This used to be the Royal office for King Hassan II and King Mohammad VI for a very short period of time but now it is empty.
Visiting the place is delightful experience. It had a nug Garden and several courtyards. The architecture is simply stunning. If you are visiting Al Hoboos Don’t miss this place.
When the French took over the country. They established the new neighborhoods of the city. The new colonial building featured a mixture between French and Moroccan styles of building. The new style of building was called Mauresque or New Moorish.
There are plenty of fine examples of this style all over town. When you are walking around down town just look at building aroud you and you'll notice this unique style.
The Lincoln Hotel, The Cathedral plus hundreds of building in the down town area. There are 2 nice renovated Art Deco villas just opposite to the Cathedral that are worth having a closer look.
This was the first Church built in Casablanca. It has lots on Moroccan architecture features. It is no longer used as a church. After independence it was used for a while as a school and later as a theater. Currently it is used to house various governmental agencies. You can still take a tour of the place for free, just go inside and ask for permission to walk around. Avoid coming in August and September because the place might be closed during that time frame.
Near the Cathedral there is a very big park with plenty of green spaces, cafes and restaurants. The American and the Italian consulates are within close proximity of the Cathedral.
The cathedral is located along Hassan II Blvd and it is within a walking distance from down town after passing the French consulate and Mohammed V place, you’ll see this big white building to your right hand.
The Lincoln Hotel is an old establishment that was built in the 1916. The building was abandoned long time ago and the city was thinking of demolishing it and replacing it with a newer building. The building is located within down town opposite to the central market on Mohammed V blvd.
Thanks God that somebody was able to inject some sense into the City authority and they decided to renovate the building. The renovation has just started and I liked to document what the building looked like from the outside prior to the process and what it would look like when everything is over.
I worked very hard during the day in a office witout air conditioned. You can understand how I was...more
We arrived late into Casablanca ... around 7:30 pm so we didn't want to haggle and try to find a...more
Wouldnt recommend the hotel - we just got some fantastic rates from opodo - triple room for Eur 110....more