Casablanca, although not the capital of Morocco, is the commercial and economic hub of the country. Most of Morocco’s largest companies and the offices of some multi-national firms base themselves here, and, more than any other city in Morocco, Casablanca runs very much along the lines of a European city. Here you’ll see a higher percentage of businessmen and women lunching over an international meal with wine than anywhere else in Morocco, and the city is home to some of the plushest villas in North Africa. Although well off the tourist trail, many visitors’ first taste of Morocco is Casablanca (being the main airport hub of Morocco), and many will be surprised by how unlike the rest of Morocco it is. You’ll also quickly realise that it has no connection with the mythical “Casablanca” in the film, which was shot entirely in the United States…

WHERE TO STAY

> LE DOGE HOTEL

Situated in the heart of the city, Le Doge Hotel was built in the 1930s in the peaceful art deco area of Casablanca. It has been carefully renovated and extended but still preserves an authentic 1930s feel. The rooms are spacious and individually decorated, the roof garden a peaceful haven in a bustling city and both the service and food are excellent.

WHAT TO DO

> HASSAN II MOSQUE

Completed in 1994, the Hassan II mosque is the most westerly mosque in the Muslim world and the world’s second largest after Mecca with space for 80,000 worshippers in total. The mosque’s minaret is the tallest building in Morocco (at 700ft) and its interior is a ‘tour de force’ of Moroccan architectural motifs and craftsmanship, amplified by the enormous scale of the building. It also houses a museum, shop and huge hammam in the bowels of the building. It is one of the only mosques in Morocco that you can enter as a non-Muslim, and tours run several times a day.

CASABLANCA

Altitude : 0-130m
Best time to visit : all year round
Population : 3.36 millions
Temperature range : 13-26°C
Environment : city, coastal
Access : by car, train

DESTINATIONS

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