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Not as exotic as other Moroccan cities, yet the second most important one after the capital; search for cheap air tickets to Casablanca and you’ll soon realise why! A city with a strong European impact, the definition of tolerance and acceptance, where you can hardly see women wearing the veil – in fact, you will most probably see people dressed in the latest fashion trends. This fabulous blending of tradition and modern aspects of lifestyle renders Casablanca especially charming, in a mesmerising way. Moreover, this is the city where you will enjoy one of the liveliest art scenes in Northern Africa, following the steps of the French Art Deco heritage. Find cheap hotels in Casablanca, book your accommodation and allow some more time on your itinerary for this wonderful city, to enjoy it to the most!
It was back in 1515, when the Portuguese colonists decided to found a new city at the Atlantic coast of Morocco. The name of the city? Casa-blanca (White House), a name that was not changed neither by the Spanish merchants that passed by during the 18th century, nor by the French, when Casablanca became a French protectorate in 1907.
Under the French guidance, Casablanca knew a great development and became the primary port of Morocco, as well as its most vastly populated city. Casablanca was soon transformed into a major industrial and financial hub of the country and, along with Rabat, is one of the two most important cities in Morocco.
In Casablanca, you will come across all the pros and cons of a typical North African capital. With a population of 3,000,000, it’s easy for you to understand why!
Your stay in Casablanca though will only leave you with the best impressions. Exactly what one would expect, considering you’ll have the opportunity to experience two different Moroccan eras combined in one place, in the most idyllic background of the magical beaches of the Moroccan coastline!
The airport of Casablanca (Aéroport international Mohammed V) is located 36 kilometres south of the city centre and is served by buses and railway.
Getting around Casablanca
You can get around Casablanca by bus, rail and tram. Fares vary and minimum taxi fare costs around 7.00 MAD.
Casablanca is divided into two areas, the Old and the New Medina. The New Medina of Casablanca stretches across the southeastern tip and represents the modern part of the city.
The main characteristic of the New Medina are the former administrative buildings that line the central Place des Nations Unies square and the main avenue of Victor Hugo. Built during the time of the French protectorate, these buildings represented at the time an attempt to improve the old Moroccan style and enrich it with Art Nouveau details. The result, you see it in these fabulous Art Nouveau buildings.
Continue to the Hassan II Mosque, beyond a doubt the most notable and impressive attraction in Casablanca.
The Hassan II Mosque is the largest mosque in the world, accompanied by the tallest minaret in the world. The mosque was built in 1994 and has a capacity of 25,000 people indoors and 80,000 in the outdoor yard.
Your next stop is the Museum of Moroccan Judaism (Musée du Judaïsme Marocain), the only museum of its kind in the whole Islamic world, a fine manifestation of the religious tolerance that is common in Morocco. 5 kilometres south of the city centre, this museum explores 2,000 years of history of the Jewish community of Morocco, through collections and exhibitions of the community’s lifestyle, tradition and customs.
Within short distance, the Old Medina of Casablanca awaits you, accessible by two main gates; Bab el-Jedid and Bab Marrakech. Tiny, crowded and bustling, the Old Medina is a charming labyrinth of cobbled streets, bazaars and open-air markets; you simply cannot miss it!
Finally, head to Aïn Diab, the most popular and cosmopolitan suburb of Casablanca, stretching across the Atlantic coast, a part of the Corniche coastal paved road. Your experience in Casablanca could not be considered complete without a walk by the beach, a drink in one of the beach bars or a fine dinner in one of the restaurants of Aïn Diab.
The official languages of Morocco are Arabic and Berber. French is also widely spoken by the locals and English seems to become more and more popular.
To travel to Morocco, you need to have:
- a valid passport not expiring for at least 6 months after your travel dates
- a return ticket
Greek citizens are not required to have a tourist Visa, for a maximum stay of 3 months. In case you would like to stay longer, you should visit a local police station and state so, within 15 days of your arrival in Morocco.
When to Go
The best time to visit Casablanca is during the months of spring and autumn, when rainfall is occasional and temperatures remain at pleasant levels, 20ºC-25ºC during daytime and 10ºC lower during the night.
The period from November to January is also appropriate weather-wise, with more or less the same weather conditions and a bit lower temperatures at night.
Summer in Casablanca is extremely hot, temperatures can rise up to 40ºC, but it’s in no way prohibitive, as long as you are prepared and organised.