Just about everyone I spoke to in Morocco told me to avoid Casablanca. They said it was boring, a waste of time, and just a regular city. These descriptions couldn’t be further from the truth. Casablanca was one of the highlights to my Morocco trip. The reason? It’s not a tourist destination, and because of this it’s the best place to see how actual Moroccans live.
After spending a day surfing in Rabat, I took the one hour train from Gare Rabat Ville to Casa Port right in the center of Casablanca. Fortunately I met a friend at my previous hostel so we traveled to Casablanca together. She was going on a week long tour and had a hotel reservation in Casablanca for her first night. This worked out perfectly because we walked from the train station over to her hotel to store our bags while we explored the city for the day.
The two must-see places in Casablanca are the Medina or Old City and the Hassan II Mosque. Every city in Morocco has an ancient medina, but Casablanca’s was so interesting precisely because there were no tourists. The medina was exclusively used by locals. Anywhere we went Moroccans were haggling over fruit and meat prices with the local vendors or shopping for home goods and cleaning supplies.
It was really the true Morocco and the hustle and bustle of the medina was unlike anything I’d seen before. When tourists are around, the Moroccans go at a slower pace, but when you remove the foreigners, all the Moroccans go all out.
After walking through the medina, we made our way to the coast to see the truly epic Hassan II mosque. You can read all about my visit here.
The mosque is one of the largest in the world and a must see for anyone coming all the way to Morocco. Besides taking some epic pictures, we were able to go on a tour of the inside put on by the onsite museum/cultural center.
After visiting the mosque, we took a taxi back to the hotel. I picked up my bags and made my way to Casa Voyagers Train Station for a long distance train to Marrakech.
A lot of people might tell you to skip Casablanca, but it is 100% worth the stop. I think one day is the perfect amount of time to really see the city before moving on to your next destination.