Quartiers des Habous, Casablanca
Some distance south of the city centre, after blocks of drab apartments and offices, things suddenly perk up a little bit. A stone mosque with what looks like a village green out the front, narrow backstreets with low rise attractive houses, whitewashed archways, decorative fountains, a cluster of souvenir shops in a mock-up of a genuine souk, outdoor cafes and bookstores. This is the Quartier Habbous, a neighbourhood built by the French originally to solve a housing crisis, and the aim was for it to look like a typical Moroccan medina, which they have partly succeeded in doing. It's a nice enough place to wander around, just all a bit odd...a bit too soulless, a bit too twee. But it is relaxed as far as hassle is concerned. Despite a few rows of shops selling souvenirs (who comes here? I have no idea...), nobody seemed overly bothered about trying to sell me anything.
To get here, my guidebook managed to get me lost. Helpfully, the Quartier Habous was just off the map, and the guidebook's directions told me to follow Avenue Mers Sultan to the very end. Well, it neglected to mention that at some point you need to make a left turn and continue for a kilometre, so I ended up miles away. I didn't mind...in doing so, I stumbled across the Notre Dame de Lourdes church, and another former church now used as a primary school...but had I been in a rush, I would have been a little cross. Maybe the best bet is to take a taxi.
At first sight you would say this can't be in a metropolis city, " Eh Houbouss" or "Al Ahbass" is known by Traditional Clothing stores and Berber Rugs, if you have heard about the Moroccan Djellaba so in El Houbouss you can find the good quality in seamstress and tissue, it's fine with prices, everything's controlled by some governors, the king likes that place so it must be a good place, clean and safe, otherwise you can find rugs in the left side just right the entering big door, there's a railroad underground, Rugs there are brand original, you can also visit the antique utensils stores, libraries where you can see a lot manuscripts.
Al-Hoobos is part of the new Casablanca. This part was established by the French in 1920. Al-hoboos is located next to the royal palce. It easily accesable by a red taxi for 15 DH from Down town. Al-Hoboos has a train station which is called Mers Al sultan. There is no real advantage of using this train station unless you are coming directly from out side of CasaBlanca.
In Al-Hoboos you’ll find all the things a tourist is looking for. You’ll find rugs, silver and fossils. This area is more relaxed and less crowded than Bab Marrakesh but you still will need to bargin before you buy. Few meter pass Al-Hoboos there is a very big local market that you can by all kinds of bizarre stuff including this little Hedgehog shown in one of the pictures
Take a walk (+ eventually do shopping) around La Nouvelle Medina (Quartier des Habous) - this area looked very interesting in my opinion.
Casablanca has two medinas: the old one called just medina and the new one built at the beginning of the 20th century called La Nouvelle Medina or the Habbous district (Quartier des Habous). It was interesting to visit little shaded squares and walk along narrow streets lined with arcades lead from one souk to another.
I could see a lot of stores/shops and workshops there.
La Nouvelle Medina (Quartier des Habous = district Habous, Habous, new town) is located about 4 km (2.5 mi) southeast of the centre of Casablanca just behind the royal palace. You can drive there or get a taxi or... take a loong walk.
I found this district of Casablanca very interesting. It was built in 1923 and was a very modern part of city that time. It contains lovely buildings such as the Mahkama (Court House) built in 1952 in the hispano-mauresque style 1952, as well as a vast variety of handicraft shops. You can find streets with numerous arcades there. This is shopping area. Close to Habous I found a few out of the beaten paths :-).
One notice: the main (narrow) street was jammed when I drove there, finding a place for parking a car was not so easy which was a little unusual in Morocco.
Spend an afternoon shopping in Habous for great Moroccan everything!
Don't miss the giant olive area. You can smell it before you reach it. An olive lovers dream...literally dozens and dozens to choose from.
The prices are reasonable, but also open for negotiation.
There's also a nice coffee bar at the edge to relax and enjoy the view.