Casablanca is the largest city and home to the main port in Morocco. The city is the economic driving force of the country and has the most vibrant lifestyle. Being greatly influenced by Western culture, Casablanca has undergone serious reconstruction over the past few years.
Located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, the city is said to be the second-largest on the African continent following the Egyptian capital, Cairo. In the distant 7th century, Casablanca was a little Berber village by the name of Anfa that was gradually turned into a major port. After it was devastated by the Portuguese in 1515, the locals have built a whole new city and named it Casa Blanca. The contemporary name Casablanca means “white house”.
When visiting this majestic Moroccan city, there are three must-see places that will give you the taste of this lively place combining the modern and the traditional.
1. The Hassan II Mosque
The Hassan II Mosque was completed in 1993 in the memory of King Mohammed V. Its minaret is the world’s tallest at 210 meters with 60 stories topped with a laser whose light points in the direction of Mecca. This is the largest mosque in the country spread over more than 9 hectares and is one of the largest in the world. The Mosque is strategically facing the Atlantic Ocean and can be seen from far away. Its décor is lavish with hand-crafted marble and a rectangular roof. The site is open for Muslims and non-Muslims are not allowed to enter all of the parts of this historical monument. There are tours that give access to some parts of the Mosque that are so picturesque that it is worth a visit.
2. La Cornish
La Cornish is a famous ocean walk in Casablanca. It is also often referred to as the “South Beach of Morocco”. It is a broad line bordering some of the finest restaurants in town and the best night clubs. This is the place where the locals spend time with their families having fun and relaxing. There is a magnificent and breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean and you can have a coffee or a cup of tea in one of many little cafes scattered around. It’s not far away from the city center but you would still need a taxi to get there. It’s highly recommendable to visit La Cornish at sunset where amazing views of the pink painted sky cast light over the beach walk.
3. Place Mohammed V
Place Mohammed V is the perfect place to get some taste of the local life. It is a large square in the heart of the city. It has a large fountain with colorful lights in the evenings that reflect over the neighboring buildings. Here, you can admire the lovely buildings in French colonial style and see locals hurrying to the Post Office, and several large banks. You can feed the pigeons and have a cup of tea. Also, you can walk from here to the historic medina to explore the local culture.