Casablanca Resources & Recommendations
- Grand Mogador Casablanca– Book the beautiful hotel we stayed in
- Skyscanner– Find the best prices on flights
- Allianz– Be sure to protect yourself and your trip. Get a free quote!
- Lonely Planet Morocco Travel Guide– The best (and my personal favorite) guidebooks out there
Where to Stay
Grand Mogador Casablanca
If you are looking for a luxury hotel located near the medina and the harbor, then the Grand Mogador in the city center is the place. With an art-deco flair, spacious rooms, beautiful views and a fantastic breakfast buffet, this 5-star hotel has it all!
We entered a bright, cheery lobby with modern decor and immediately felt the presence of luxury. I can’t even begin to describe out gigantic it was. This photo doesn’t really do it justice, but let’s just say I felt like I could get my “miles in” walking this lobby!
We were given a nice, quiet room at the end of the hall that featured beautiful views of Casablanca, the Hassan II Mosque and even the Atlantic Ocean!
The beds were very comfortable and as expected of a luxury hotel, each bedside table had its own outlets, switches to turn the lights off from bed, and bottles of water.
And, as you can see, just like the lobby, our room was quite spacious. From the foyer/hallway with its two bathrooms to the main bedroom area boasting a desk, entertainment center, minibar, and a sitting area, the room defined “spacious” really well!
So, the bathroom was actually two different rooms. Not a room within a room, but two separate rooms off the foyer each with its own entrance. It was an interesting concept and the first time I had ever experienced this kind of layout. The shower, garden tub, and sink were in one big room and then there was a separate water closet.
Rest assured that luxury toiletries and big, plush bathrobes were provided.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Grand Mogador and I highly recommend staying there if you are looking to combine luxury with convenience!
Location: Avenue Pasteur, Casablanca 20000, Morocco
You might also like: OUZOUD FALLS: THE PERFECT MARRAKECH DAY TRIP + WHERE TO STAY
Where to Eat
You might have heard of Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca.
Owned by a former American diplomat, the restaurant opened on March 1, 2004, and features a re-creation of the bar made famous by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the movie, Casablanca.
The beautiful piano and the lamp on our table
Our cozy table by the piano on the first floor (where you want to be)
The upscale menu features many different options and it was hard to decide. The break from tagines, couscous and mint tea was really nice. Thankfully, Amanda and I have similar palates and so we decided to each order an appetizer, entrée, and dessert to share.
We started with this Goat Cheese Salad with Figs. It was dressed with a citrusy vinaigrette and the flavor combination was phenomenal. We also shared the Goat Cheese Croquettes with Honey, Lavender, and Crushed Almonds. My regret here? That I didn’t order two plates of these!
And yes, in case anyone noticed, we love goat cheese! 😍
For our entrees, we ordered the Tomato and Ricotta Ravioli and the Roasted Salmon with Risotto. While the ravioli was good, it didn’t blow us away but we did love its pink color! However, the salmon was amazing! It was well seasoned, cooked to perfection, and the risotto was so creamy.
Isn’t the way the lighting fell on the cheesecake beautiful?
In researching what to order at Rick’s, we read that the cheesecake was the way to go. So, I ordered Rick’s Cheesecake and Amanda ordered the Chocolate Lava Cake.
I didn’t try the lava cake because I’m not a fan of them (let’s be clear though-I am a chocoholic), but Amanda said it was yummy.
I love cheesecake, but I’m
very extremely picky about it. Rick’s already came with a strawberry coulis which was great (as I don’t like the typical raspberry), but I enhanced it by asking for chocolate syrup to be added (remember that chocoholic confession?). It wasn’t as creamy or as sweet as I like my cheesecake, but it was still really good.
Location: Place du Jardin Public, 248 Bd Sour Jdid, Dar-el-Beida 20250, Morocco
What to See
Hassan II Mosque
The Hassan II Mosque is the largest mosque in Morocco and either the third largest (according to the tour guide) or the fifth largest (according to most online lists) in the world.
The mosque took 6 years to build (1987-1993) and its minaret is the tallest in the world at 689 feet (210 meters).
The exterior of the mosque is adorned with beautiful mosaic fountains and doors.
Inside the onsite musuem
The mosque was built with all-Moroccan materials except for the chandeliers and marble which are Venetian. There are 57 chandeliers and each one is taken down and cleaned by hand!
Total capacity is 105,000 worshippers at any given time. The interior accommodates 5,000 women upstairs in the mezzanine and 20,000 men downstairs and the overflow gathers outside.
In the winter, the floors are heated which is good to know since you must remove your shoes!
The Hassan II Mosque faces the Atlantic Ocean
Washrooms are located downstairs where men and women wash separately. Washing, a process called Wudu, is done as a ritual where certain parts of the body must be washed three times each. After washing, one then goes upstairs to pray.
Muslims don’t have to wash at the mosque and can wash prior to arrival if they choose.
Location: Boulevard de la Corniche, Casablanca 2000, Morocco
Arabia Parc League
Take a walk through Arab Park League (English). It opened in 1918 and is known for its avenue of palm trees which stretches from one side of the park to the other.
There are fountains and a wide variety of beautiful flowers and plants so it’s no wonder that Muslims go to this peaceful environment regularly to meditate.
We were thankful to have gotten to walk through the park as it was closed for restoration. The maintenance guys allowed us in briefly when they saw how much we wanted to explore it!
Location: Casablanca 20250, Morocco (closest intersection is Boulevard Moulay Youssef and Avenue Hassan II)
Designed by French architect Paul Tournon in the Neo-Gothic style, the Casablanca Cathedral was built in 1930. Although called a cathedral, it actually isn’t one since it was never the seat of a bishop.
In 1956 when Morocco gained its independence from France, the cathedral became a cultural center only. It was under restoration when we were there so we weren’t able to go inside. But, the workers once again let us inside the gate briefly to get photos.
Location: Corner of Rue d’Alger and Boulevard Rachidi, Gothic Quarter, Casablanca 20250, Morocco
Mohammed V Square
Walk through Mohammed V Square which was designed by architect Joseph Marrast.
Along with the beautiful fountain (and lots of pigeons), you can see the Courthouse, Grand Post Office, and the French Consulate which all border the square.
Location: Place Mohammed V, 20250 Casablanca, Morocco
Know Before You Go
- Taxis are hard to get and negotiate in Morocco but ESPECIALLY in Casablanca. You HAVE to be on the side of the road of the direction to which you are going or they won’t pick you up. They’ll literally pull over, listen to your request and then point you to the other side of the road. Also, note that taxis are shared in Morocco.
- Rick’s Cafe is weird about photos taken with cameras. Cell phones? No problem, but keep those cameras put away. When we first walked in, we were taking photos with our cameras and had even asked and were told it was okay. A few minutes later, a woman came up to us and said no photos with cameras were allowed. Although we just had our travel cameras, we’re guessing she thought they were professional ones. Even so, it was quite odd. Also, they state a strict dress code on their website and we went all the way back to our hotel to change and freshen up only to arrive to find grown men wearing jean shorts.
- The Medina: You might have noticed I didn’t mention it on my list. I will be honest. I was “medina’d out” at this point. They are a lot alike and I had already explored so many in other cities. However, I definitely recommend exploring it if it’s your first medina or you aren’t already “medina’d out” like I was!
- Hassan II Mosque: Tickets can be bought on site in the museum to the right of the entrance. The mosque is closed for prayer and only open for tours in between. Prayer times are sunrise, lunch, 5pm, sunset and dinner. You must be accompanied by a tour guide and once inside, you must remove your shoes. They provide bags to carry your shoes in which you return at the end of the tour.
It might have been short, but it was sweet, to the point and fun! This is the perfect itinerary if you don’t have much time, but want to experience the highlights of Casablanca!
Have you been to Casablanca? Have anything to add to my list? As always, I would love to hear from you!
‘Til next time…