One thing: Casablanca is not white! It’s hard to fall in love with this city at first sight, but my chosen home for two years definitely has some charming corners! Come on and discover them with me!
At the bottom of this page you will find a map.
Have a walk in the relatively fresh morning air- discover Gauthier district with its lovely cafés and shops, for example Le Baron, Bondi Coffe Kitchen (home made bread to take away!!) and 152 Concept Store. Shop oils, especially argan, prickly pear, and almond, soaps and other natural products at Coopérative Apia. If you fancy to get some clothes with a Moroccan twist, check out the boutique Moroccan Touch.
Already the small boutique Chez Ilda with its nice selection of jewelry, clothes and little things is worth a detour to Mâarif. And the beautiful market Marché du Mâarif.
Continue your walk through Parc de la Ligue Arabe, have a stop at the former church Sacre Coeur– with a little luck you can pay the guard a coffee and walk up the towers, unless your are afraid of pigeons. Enjoy the view! Around the garden you find some of Casa’s most beautiful art déco houses. While in this corner, check out one of the rare museums of the city. The Fondation Abderrahman Slaoui has a well chosen collection. Continue in direction of the medina. Walk by the post office, tribunal and bank- all of those buildings are stunning examples of Casa’s art déco architecture.
At Place des Nations Unies, turn left to admire the beautiful graffiti on the walls of the medina. Strolling along the walls, you will arrive at Galérie d’Aimance where you can find a lovely choice of contemporary Moroccan design.
Reward yourself with a heavenly breakfast at La Sqala, a peaceful haven far away from the hustle of the streets. On Fridays they serve tasty couscous at lunch time, reservation highly recommended. Actually, everything on their menu is delicious!
The medina of Casablanca is not that famous, but have a brief glance and go to Bab Marrakech if you want to buy some jewelry.
Take a cab to Habous, the old town built by the French. It’s the place to get souvenirs from all over Morocco at really good prices: babouches (Moroccan slippers), other small and bigger leather goods, lamps, pottery, carpets, coffee flavored with a blend of spices, tea glasses and pots, just to give you an idea. You can also check out this post about souvenirs by Monika. Be sure to not miss the patisserie Bennis and the olive market! And don’t forget to haggle! It’s fun! The stalls are closed around noon, esp. on Fridays, and reopening around 4 p.m.
The Mosquée Hassan II is absolutely stunning and with a guided tour (Saturday-Thursday 9, 10, 11, a.m., 2 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m., 2 p.m.) open to non-muslims.
Have a surf lesson at Porte 13 and play beach volleyball at Porte 17. On the way to the beach, drive through Anfa district, a hill with splendid villas. The Villa of Dr. B, also known as Camembert, designed by Wolfgang Ewerth, 1962, is a true architectonical jewel!
For a great view over the city, go to Kenzi Tower Hotel and have a drink at the bar on the top. The bar itself is nothing, but the view is amazing.
Evenings in Casablanca can be astonishingly exciting! Check out Jeudis Casaouis– parties at changing locations once a month. Also the openings of exhibitions at Galérie 38 can turn into wild dancing events!
Check out the jazz festival Jazzablanca, taking place in April.
Some more of my favourites:
Bar du Titan: authentic experience in the art déco district around Marché Central. Enjoy tapas and beer with old Casaouis, students and expats! The bar is closing at 11 p.m. Dinner and drinks.
Some words from my friend Jess, who is managing this great bar in 3rd generation:
Why come to Casablanca? Well, everybody is warmly welcomed by the Casaouis! Hospitality is very important. And the nights in this city can be crazy fun!
What is special about your bar? First- Kader, the irreproachable waiter. Second- the roasted camembert with honey and rosemary. Third- the good, old Moroccan beer Spéciale.
What is your personal favorite spot in the city? The roof of the building L’Assayag, designed by Marius Boyer, 1932. The view up there is breathtaking!
Fence: burgers, drinks and changing exhibitions. Dinner, drinks.
Le Cabestan: fancy and good. You also pay for the view. After dinner go downstairs to the club and dance the night away! Dinner, drinks, dancing.
MaisonB: good atmosphere and lovely garden. Unfortunately, the music is very mainstream. Drinks, dancing.
L’Armstrong: evergreen with live bands. Drinks, dancing.
B-Rock: rock it, baby! Dancing.
Vertigo: underground. Very cool place, electronic music. Dancing.
La Bodega: medium drinks in crazy atmosphere. Drinks, dancing.
Rick’s Café: cocktails and live jazz on Thursday and Sunday nights. Drinks.
Taverne du Dauphin: fish and sea food at its best! Ask for sea spider, chipirones (fried mini squid) and boquerones (fried mini sardines). Lunch, dinner.
La Terrazza: pizza, fish, Moroccan rosé and sea view. Lunch, dinner.
La Cantine de Charlotte: really, really good French food in homey atmosphere! Try the flavored rum. Lunch, dinner.
Blend: best and biggest burgers in town! Very good quality. Lunch.
L’Éspace du Professeur: couscous Friday noon in a calm garden.
Oliveri: best ice cream.
Fruit juice: at the small shop which is at the corner Avenue Mers Sultan and Rue Zair. Forget about smoothies, this is the real stuff!
Getting out of town:
Dar Slaoui ferme bio: wonderful bio farm.
Surfing at Jack Beach
Breakfast at Café Florida
Have drinks at one of the beach clubs
Avoid going back to Casa on a sunday evening, unless you want to spend hours in traffic jams.
For staying at a lovely villa with a huge garden and the best cook in the world, check out this Air BnB stay.
The best time to discover Casablanca and its surrounding is summer. As it’s on the Atlantic shore, it will never get too hot thanks to a fresh breeze from the ocean. Between November and March, though, the humidity is annoying.
For more practical tips, like hailing a cab, etc., don’t hesitate to contact me! I’m happy to help!
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