5 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Casablanca
An oasis in the bustling city of Casablanca, the White City reflects the sophisticated Moroccan style. The palaces, mosques, and fortresses of the ancient Moorish city date back to the 17th century. Morocco is also known for its beautiful coastal locations, as well as its distinctly North African atmosphere, which is an inviting contrast to the rest of Europe. Its famous rainforests and mountain desert are also extremely popular tourist attractions.
At just a few hours away from the Sahara Desert, the exotic red clay soil of the region gives this beautiful country its own unique beauty and color. For those planning to visit, we’ve put together a list of the top attractions in Morocco.
In 1937 the site of the present-day Casablanca's Museum of Antiquities was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the first to be named in the country. The museum was founded in this location in 1949. The site also includes the Arab Kingdom of Marrakech, home of the sultan Saadid Ibn 'Abdallah, and Saadians' residence of the same name.
Berber Village is situated in the Berber Quarter, an ancient neighborhood dating back to Moorish times, and is a maze of narrow alleys, arches, galleries, and gardens. A center of coffee and mint, Berber Village is the locus of one of the world's great souks (marketplaces), and is also home to art galleries and trendy cafes. Berber Village is made up of a mix of Roman-era columns, Alawi arches, and ancient Berber-style homes, with a local population living in stone and earth-walled houses tucked behind the shops, galleries, and boutiques. If you have some time on your hands and like browsing through fascinating Moroccan fashions and local handicrafts, Berber Village should be on your list of top things to do in Casablanca.
The Berber market town of Marrakesh is the hub of the region, and the old city itself is one of the oldest and most interesting in the Maghreb. This was the first major city in the region and while it was conquered by the Almohads in 1160, the Moors never lost their hold on the town. Today you can see many traces of the Almohads, particularly in the numerous elaborately carved Moroccan minarets. Marrakesh's most interesting quarter is Djemaa El Fna, a large square bordered by the Palace of the Binder, the Djemaa el-Fna Musicians' Forum, and the Saadian Tombs. The medina is incredibly crowded and vibrant.
Set in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains, the Kasbah is a historic former castle in modern-day Casablanca. Lying within the Kasbah, the Djemma el Fna Square is a lively nightlife area with small food stands, including fish, chicken, and kebab sellers. Take a horse-drawn rickshaw up to the Blue City for a scenic ride. The Kasbah area offers one of the best views of the city. From the Cour des Souks the palm-lined Avenue Hassan II offers magnificent views across the Atlantic Ocean, while a staircase at the bottom takes you on a guided tour of the city and an alley leads to the beautiful roofs of the city. As well as the 19th-century Kasbah fortress, the other main attractions include the Blue City and the colonial ramparts.
The Hassan II Mosque
Not all mosques in Morocco are monuments to Islam, with the amazing Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca being a key example. Designed by leading Moroccan architect Mohamed Choukri, who also designed the Louvre, the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is huge, and has 12 marble columns that support the balcony upon which the king proclaims the Faith. Each column carries one of the names of the twelve companions of Mohammed. The huge green copper dome is reminiscent of the one in Al-Masjid-Al-Haram in Mecca. The mosque was constructed from the 1950s to 1965, and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It contains more than 5 million bricks, 75,000 tiles, and 90,000 gold-plated, brass, and copper elements.