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World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Morocco > Casablanca

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Things to see in Casablanca

Tourist Offices

Délégation Régionale du Tourisme de Casablanca

Address: , 55 Rue Omar Slaoui, Casablanca,
Telephone: +212 522 271 177
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 1000-1700

Website: http://www.visitcasablanca.ma

There are a few tourist offices dotted around Casablanca, but Délégation Régionale du Tourisme de Casablanca is the official one with maps, advice and tour guide contacts.

Attractions

Hassan II Mosque

With the ability to accommodate 25,000 worshippers inside and another 80,000 in its courtyard, Casablanca's Hassan II Mosque is a truly monumental complex right next to the sea. It covers a site of 9 hectares (22 acres), making it the world's second largest religious building after the main Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca. Commenced in 1980 and opened in 1993, it has been the inspired work of French architect Michel Pineau and some 35,000 Moroccan craftsmen. The amazingly ornate minaret is the world's tallest, standing 210m (656ft) high while two laser beams reach 30km (18.5 miles) towards Mecca. The vast prayer hall even has a sliding roof that can be opened to the heavens.

Address: , Boulevard Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah, Casablanca,
Telephone:
Opening times:

Hour-long guided tours at the following times: Winter: Sat-Thu 0900, 1000, 1100 and 1400, Fri 0900 and 1400. Summer: Sat-Thu 0900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1500 and 1600, Fri 9000, 1500 and 1600/p>Website: http://fmh2.ma/fr
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Cathédrale Sacré-Coeur (Sacred Heart Cathedral)

Set on the edge of the Parc de la Ligue Arable, Casablanca's largest park, this is one of several fine Christian places of worship that have survived since the end of the days of the French protectorate in 1956. Though European in style, its ornate edifice employs many Moroccan motifs, but sadly its interior has been neglected as it is no longer used as a place of worship. It's currently under heavy construction, but can viewed from the outside. Another Christian site worth visiting is the still-active Church of Notre Dame of Lourdes, with its outstanding stained glass, on Avenue Zerktouni, by the Ronde de L'Europe roundabout.

Address: , Rue d'Alger et Blvd Rachdi, Casablanca,
Telephone: +212 661 365 954
Opening times: Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Musée du Judaïsme Marocain (Museum of Moroccan Judaism)

Set 5km (3 miles) from the city centre, in the suburb of Oasis, this truly unique attraction is the only known Jewish museum in a Muslim country. Set in this modern and well-maintained building is a collection of religious books, costumes and sacramental artefacts. In part, the museum is a celebration of the traditional mutual tolerance and acceptance between the Muslim and Jewish communities of Morocco, the latter having reduced substantially since the creation of the State of Israel, but still numbered in the thousands. When Islamic extremists killed 45 people in attacks on mostly Jewish properties and businesses in 2003, it sparked the country's biggest ever protest demonstration, marching under the banner 'Jews and Muslims; we are all citizens, we are all Moroccans'.

Address: Oasis-Casablanca, 81 Rue Chasseur Jules Gros, Casablanca,
Telephone: +212 522 994 940.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 1000-1800.

Website: http://www.casajewishmuseum.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Place Mohammed V

Laid out as the Place de France in 1920, then renamed as Place des Nations Allies after WWII, this imposing square has finally come to be known as Place Mohammed V. Undisputedly the heart of Casablanca, its arcades are lined with bustling cafés and souvenir shops while the impressive clock tower keeps time over the hustle and bustle. Running off the square, towards the busy port, is the well-known shop and restaurant-lined boulevard, Houphouët Boigny. This is where you'll find a memorial to Sidi Belyout, Casablanca's present patron saint.

Address: , Place Mohammed V, Casablanca,
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Sidi Abdel Rahman Shrine

One of the more unusual spots in Casablanca is the shrine of Sidi Abdel Rahman on the edge of the Corniche neighbourhood. Set on a tiny island (at which time pilgrims simply walk across the shallow waters), many Muslims come here to chase out evil jinn spirits. A few merchants and healers live on the island. the nearby beaches are a social meeting point, with families gathering to eat snails and looking for crabs, especially on weekends.

Address: , Boulevard de l'Ocean Atlantique, Casablanca,
Telephone:
Opening times:

Only accessible at low tide.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Casablanca Twin Center

A strident piece of contemporary architecture built by Spain's Ricardo Bofill Levi and Elie Mouval in 1999, this twin-tower complex, soaring 115m (377ft) skywards, contains offices, a hotel, shopping malls and a state-of-the-art conference centre. It is seen as an evocation of Casablanca's commercial vibrancy and is one of the pioneers in the city's growing wave of stunning contemporary property.

Address: , Boulevard Al Massira Al Khadra, Casablanca,
Telephone: +212 765 352 433
Opening times: Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Habous

Modelled on the original Casablanca medina, and sometimes known as the 'new medina', the Quartier Habous was constructed by the French during the 1930s. The Habous was supposed to bring French order while preserving Moroccan style, as though to demonstrate the harmonious triumph of occupied life (which came to an end in 1950s). The Moorish-style arches, little lanes and bazaars do a good job of replicating the medina feel. Though there's no substitute for the real thing, it's a good base from which to explore the Royal Palace, and to pick up clothes and traditional pastries.

Address: Habous, Boulevard Victor Hugo, Casablanca,
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Medina

The medina of Casablanca is the oldest part of the city, dating back to before the French protectorate. Two of the original gates of the old city walls still survive. Other attractions include an 18th-century fortress, a jewellery market, and the tomb of Sidi Allal el-Kairouani, who became the city's patron saint in 1350. The medina has not always been the safest part of the city to walk around, but today its mix of Moorish and Portuguese architecture is compelling, as is the fragment of traditional life that survives here. You'll pass children playing football, stalls piled high with fruit and vegetables, cafes serving mint tea, and little shops of every description. In some ways, this is the most Moroccan-feeling part of Casablanca.

Address: , Boulevard des Almohades, Casablanca,
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Marché Central

For an authentic taste of Casablanca's Franco-Moorish past, be sure to visit the Marché Central. An example of a colonial attempt to harmonise French and Moroccan cultures, the so-called Central Market is more an elegant food stop than a chaotic Arab bazaar. If that sounds offensively sanitised, don't be fooled. This is a treasure of pretty white arches, with an impressive ancient gate-style entrance with intricate Arabesques, as well as mounds of spices, vegetables and fish inside. Fresh from the Atlantic, the daily catch arrives in the early morning, and is served grilled in a number of little lunchtime restaurants here.

Address: , Boulevard Mohammed V, Casablanca,
Telephone:
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 0900-1800.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Villa des Arts

Set in a gorgeous art deco building that dates back to 1934, Villa des Arts is Casablanca's essential art stop. Run by the ONA Foundation, responsible for Morocco's most important cultural projects, it is primarily a venue for contemporary art, but also promotes Moroccan traditions and historic artistic trends. There are many compelling paintings of local people and peasants to be seen here as well as more abstract works.

Address: , 30, Boulevard Brahim Roudani, Casablanca, 20000
Telephone: +212 522 295 094
Opening times:

Tue-Sun 0900-1900.

mon-closed

Website: http://www.fondationona.ma/fr/index.php
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No