Rediscover Casablanca Outside Of The Movies
If you mention to someone that you want to see Casablanca, they may tell you their opinions on the film starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. This wondrous city is more than a Hollywood movie set that was used in 1942 to create such a memorable film. The true Casablanca in Morocco is a travel hub for visitors who are taking their first trip to Northern Africa.
As the largest city in Morocco, the seaside port combines 16th-century European elegance with an industrialized culture that makes it one of the most intriguing destinations for travelers. While many people stop at the international airport on their way of traveling to other Middle Eastern countries when on their Royal Holiday vacation, there are enough hidden tourist attractions in Casablanca to make it an intriguing place to visit.
Sightseeing Stops in Casablanca
Place Mohammad V
Fountains, picnics and cultural sights can be found at Place Mohammad V. Most of the official buildings are located here as you can stop to see the Prefecture, the Wilaya (the governor’s office that was once an old police station), the main courthouse, French Consulate, and Bank Al-Maghrib. Many of the buildings will light up at night creating a splendid view with the backdrop of the Moroccan sky. There are also parks and fountains along the promenade, Parc de la Ligue Arabe, where you can take photos and have a picnic on the grass.
Hassan II Mosque
One of the tallest mosques in Africa, the Hassan II Mosque allows non-Muslims to enter on guided tours to see the exquisite architectural details and stone arches rising above your head. The Hassan II Mosque was completed in 1993 and has the world’s tallest minaret that is 60 stories high. There is a laser at the top of the minaret that beams its light down at night to shine on Mecca. Close to 105,000 worshippers can fit in the mosque (25,000 people in the inner prayer hall and 80,000 people in the courtyard). View the interior decorations while snacking on food from the pushcarts or take a romantic stroll along the shore while basking in the elegance of this mosque before heading back to your Royal Holiday hotel located only minutes away.
If you are looking for some time out in the sun and surf, then La Corniche is the place to relax. The seaside beachfront district has tourist resorts and promenades to make it the perfect stay when you want to be pampered. There are beach clubs and swimming pools so you can catch the perfect sunbathing rays or take a nice, relaxing dip. To enjoy more of the sea, head to the public beach nearby and stroll with your sweetheart, or go shopping for the perfect souvenirs before heading back home.
While Casablanca is a thriving modern city, the older traditions are still found along the open marketplace of Medina. This marketplace is separated into the Old Medina to the north along the boulevard of Tahar-El-Alaoui and the New Medina in the southern neighborhood of Habous. Shop for traditional handicrafts at the souks (bazaars) in the Old Medina while you can find arcades and copperware in the shops along the New Medina. Other sites located in Medina are the Sidi Bou Smara koubba (shrine), the mahkama of the Pasha (courthouse), and Sidi el-Kairouani sanctuary.
El Hank Lighthouse
Sparkling white in the backdrop of the ocean is the El Hank Lighthouse, also known as Pointe d’el Hank and Phare d’el Hank. This lighthouse was created 1905 and renovated in 1919 as the lighthouse helps ships avoid the rocky outcrops. The lighthouse stands at 161 feet tall and flashes a light every 15 seconds. These white flashes can be seen up to 30 nautical miles away.
Yes, there is a Rick’s Cafe in the actual city of Casablanca to commemorate the 1942 film. Inside this pastiche you will find waiters wearing fez hats, a piano player playing classical songs from the film and traditional mosaic architecture. The cafe was first opened by an American diplomat and captures all the kitschy atmosphere of the film. So stop in at Rick’s Cafe to complete your Royal Holiday vacation. This is the perfect place to order a drink and pretend to be Humphrey Bogart.
See the Wonders that Await In the City of Casablanca
There are hidden tourist gems located throughout the economic capital of Morocco. So hop on a plane and fly out to Casablanca as it will show you all of its old world traditions combined with its cosmopolitan attitude. From shopping at the souks to walking along the beachfront, you will have a story to tell even better than the film.