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Casablanca, Morocco is where you will find a vibrant modern atmosphere. This city attracts many visitors but also foreigners looking for business opportunities and to live in. Acting as a commerce hub to the country, Casablanca has a particular spirit and lots to offer in terms of nightlife, art, restaurants. Plus it counts with great weather and ocean view.
It is bordering the Atlantic Ocean, in the central-western part of the country. Due its location Casablanca is an important port in Africa, being Morocco's primary industry zone and, therefore, considered a business centre. The city is the largest in the region (about 3.35 million inhabitants in the urban area and over 6.8 million in the Casablanca-Settat region) and the 8th amongst Arab countries.
What is Casablanca's story?
The city belonged to the Berbers and by mid-8th century it was an important center. A couple of centuries later the Merinids used it as a port and by the 15th century pirates took it as a safe harbor.
Portuguese took control over and built there a town called Casa Branca (White House) which was abandoned after a earthquake in mid-18th century. Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah rebuilt the city, and as Spanish merchants named it Casablanca so did other European traders.
During the 20th century Casablanca was under French protectorate and served as strategic port during the II World War. When Morocco gained independence in 1955 so did the city.
Hassan II Mosque: This is the second-largest mosque in the world and fortunately it is open to non-Muslim visitors. It was completed in 1993 and can accommodate up to 25 thousand and 80 thousand people inside and in the courtyard, respectively. Around 6 thousand artisans worked on the building over 6 years, and the result is a beautiful interior with carved wooden ceilings and stunning mosaics.
The Old Medina: This is a must-see in Casablanca and it is linked to the old story of the city, dated back to Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah. Take time wondering down the narrow streets and visiting shops that sell many local products, handmade crafts, and spices. Getting lost there is easy but it is also part of the beauty of the place.
Quartier Habous: This quarter offers an interesting view on the blending of Moroccan and French cultures.
Walking along the corniche: Either you like to swim or not, the corniche in Casablanca means kilometers of fun and good time. The boardwalk offers beach clubs, nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, theaters, and street performers will surely keep you entertained.
Place Mohammed V: It is true that this is the administrative centre of Casablanca but it is your chance to admire the beautiful architecture in French style. In the middle of the square there is a statue of the first French resident general in the country, Marshal Lyautey, and a fountain from 1976 that hosts a water show accompanied by music.
King’s Palace: Even though it is not possible to enter the palace, it still is a nice stop-by. Visitors can enjoy the exterior and the big open square right in front of it - as admiring the building's architecture.
Is it worth to visit Casablanca?
Casablanca is different if compared to the four imperial cities in Morocco, it is much more business-oriented, modern and has less of the Moroccan traditional feel, for example. However it does have its own beauty and authentic attractions, and as a former French colony it offers beautiful architecture. Casablanca benefits from the ocean view and pleasant temperatures year-round, even though winters are quite humid. A visit to the city is particularly nice if you have more time in Morocco and wants to add it as an extra option.