One day in Casablanca is usually enough for most people visiting Morocco for the first time. Often travellers skip it, but it’s actually a pretty good starting point for most trips, as the airport serves many different airlines and it’s easy for most people to fly into. It’s no wonder most of the guided tours around the country also depart from here.
Nick and I went on an eight-day G Adventures Trip, that departed Casablanca on a Saturday, but as the tour itself didn’t spend any time in this city, we decided to fly in one day ahead of schedule and do some sightseeing on our own. In the end we’re happy that we did!
In this guide, we’ll take you along the exact itinerary that we followed during our stay in Casablanca, as we were pretty proud of ourselves for planning our day all by ourselves.
We managed to see all of the highlights, including a visit to the famous Hassan II mosque and got a nice little overview of what this Moroccan city has to offer.
Here are our suggestions on what to see in Casablanca in one day:
ONE DAY IN CASABLANCA ITINERARY
How to Spend Your Morning in Casablanca?
Arrive at the Airport
We arrived around 3 PM on the airport on the Friday, so this itinerary follows the free day that we had on the Saturday. On the Friday, all we did was getting to the airport (this took us about 2 hours from the time we landed, we had a pre-arranged pickup as part of our G Adventures Tour, which was very convenient!)
After checking into our hotel, we went out for dinner, which in this itinerary below, we’ve added as a suggestion for an evening activity. That way, you’ll have tips for a nice morning, afternoon and evening in Casablanca.
Enjoy Breakfast at Cafe de France
If you don’t go for breakfast in your hotel, like we did, you might want to grab a light breakfast in one of the many cafés in Casablanca. We ended up in “Cafe de France“, which is looking out over the entrance of the old city (medina), right across the big, white Hyatt hotel.
The staf was friendly and spoke besides French perfect English. They had set breakfast options, which was perfect. We went for the ‘classic’, which consisted of a croissant, orange juice and hot drink (coffee/mint tea or something like that).
Later during the day, we found plenty of other coffee/juice/brunch places that seems really nice to start the day, such as:
Admire the Architecture of the Mohammed V Square
After some food, we had enough energy to start exploring, and we followed the tram tracks until we reached the Mohammed V Square, designed by architect Joseph Marrast. This gorgeous square is the administrative centre of the city and was built under the French protectorate.
The square was filled with pigeons and kids running after them, and we had a quick look at the new theatre that was being build here. You’ll find there is quite a lot of construction going on in Casablanca at the moment, but if the squares become anything like their mock-up drawings, it’s going to look great!
Walk around the Sacre Coueur Church
From the square, we took a turn into the Boulevard Rachdi, to have a closer look at the fantastic looking Sacre Coueur church. Unfortunately, there was also construction going on here, but you can go into the park at the back of the church (even though also this park is still being build) and enjoy some quiet time among the flowers. Definitely one of the more peaceful places to visit in Casablanca!
The church was designed by French architect Paul Tournon in Neo-Gothic style in 1930. From 1956, the church has no religious function anymore, but is used as a cultural centre open to visitors.
How to Spend Your Afternoon in Casablanca?
By the time we reached the church, we were getting a bit peckish again, so we headed out to find a café that Nick saw recommended online. It was not too far to walk, about 15-20 minutes. And it was well worth it!
Have Lunch at Bondi Coffee Kitchen
By the name of this restaurant, you can already tell there are some Ozzies involved, and you’re right The owner of Bondi Coffee Kitchen is Australian, married to a Moroccan man and together they set up Bondi Coffee Kitchen a few years ago.
In a modern setting, you can enjoy some amazing salads, poke/buddha bowls, fresh juices and even an all-day brunch on the weekend. The food was really good, Nick went for the Avocado & Eggs on toast and I really enjoyed my Coconut/Chia seed pudding with fruits in a glass. They even had Matcha Latte *ahhhh!*
Again, the staff was very friendly here and spoke good French and English. We also saw a lot of people on their laptops (yes, there is wifi), so it seemed a popular spot for freelancers and both locals as tourists/expats.
Admire the Hassan II Mosque
If there is one thing you don’t want to miss when you’re in Casablanca, it’s visiting the Hassan II Mosque. This is the third largest mosque in the world and YES, outside of prayer hours, you’re allowed to go inside as a visitor! There are a few times a day that you can get tickets to have a guided tour, and we aimed for the 3 PM slot.
We arrived around 2 PM at the mosque and waited half an hour for the ticket office to open at 2:30 PM. There were quite a few people, but the line for tickets wasn’t too long and soon enough we had a ticket (important to hold on to, you’re showing this at the mosque), a sticker (put on your clothing visibly) and a green bag where we could put our shoes in during the tour (everywhere you see carpet, you can’t walk on with shoes, so make sure you bring socks if you don’t want to walk barefoot!).
Other things to keep in mind is that you’re not allowed inside showing shoulders and knees (both men and women!) and you need to cover your chest as a woman if your neckline is too plunging. We were surprised to find out that women didn’t need to cover their hair.
I brought a thin scarf that I ended up just wearing as a normal scarf and didn’t really need in the end, but I would still recommend bringing one you’re also visiting other places in Morocco, just in case.
The mosque was quite impressing and the tours were divided into language groups (Arabic, French, English, Spanish, I think there were a few more) and we got to see the main hall, as well as the bathing area for the men. It was great to see all the details of the building, especially since the materials are all local, really quite some craftsmanship went into it!
Did you know that there is space for about 20.000 people inside, and another 80.000 people on the square?! Apparently, during Ramadan, it really does get so crowded here. Wow! Another impressing fact was that the roof of the mosque is designed to be openend as well, which seems very smart when there are so many people inside.
All in all, we can really recommend a visit to the mosque if you have the time!
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Navigate the Casablanca Medina
After our visit to the mosque, we had some time to kill before our 6 PM meeting with our group for the G Adventures Tour, so we walked back to our hotel via the old city, or the “Medina“, as they call it here. There are tons of small street here and you need a set of extra eyes to take all the scenes in, almost!
From kids playing, to people on little motorbikes, people with carts of fruit, chickens on scales to be sold of, guys chopping up fish in the middle of the street, old guys sitting around, many shops selling god (or allah I suppose) knows wat, haha. It’s amazing!
We were surprised at how relaxed the experience was, as we barely got called into shops or asked to look at merch or things like that. And if we did get invited, a simple smile and ‘no thank you’ was enough for sellers to wish us a good day and continue with their day.
This was clearly not a very tourist-heavy city and just a place were the locals go and buy their daily meat/veggies and other household items. When you get to Marrakech, you will see it’s very different here!
How to Spend Your Evening in Casablanca?
On the Saturday, we went back to the hotel to meet our tour group at night, and went out to dinner together to a place that was alright, but not really something amazing to recommend to you, but on the Friday night, Nick found a really cool restaurant that we loved and you should definitely visit if you have the time and looking for best things to do in Casablanca at night:
Enjoy Dinner at La Sqala
La Sqala is a popular restaurant in Casablanca serving a mix of traditional Moroccan and Mediterranean / Middle Eastern food. If you ask anyone for a great restaurant that’s been to this city, chances are they will recommend you this one, and we will recommend it to you as well 🙂
Besides dinner, where everything is candle-lit and a band is playing, we’re sure this is also a lovely place for breakfast, brunch or lunch, as you’re sitting in a garden and they’re selling great salads and fresh fruit juices are their specialty.
We went for the tagine (Nienke) and kebab (Nick), with a starter of bread, dips and fried pastries called ‘briouats‘. The tagine was very tasty, although you do need to be a bit of a fan of meat on the bone (and in my case also peas, because there were a LOT of them in the lamb tagine, not really my thing!).
Nick found his chicken kebabs a bit dry, so perhaps you’d want to pick another type of meat or just veggies if you don’t want that. The pastries for starters were perfect and we can for sure recommend them!
I hope this article helped you deciding what to do in Casablanca! Here is more information to help you plan your trip:
Time Zone in Morocco?GMT +1
Currency in Morocco? Moroccan Dirham. Check the latest exchange rate here.
Electrical Plugs in Morocco? 220V, Type C and E. We recommend getting a universal travel adapter to never worry about having the right plug on your travels!
Languages Spoken in Morocco? Moroccan Arabic (Darija), Arabic & Berber + French. We had no trouble getting around with just English and our G Adventure guide helped us everywhere, as he was a local and spoke all the languages needed.
Best time to visit Morocco & Casablanca Travel? Spring (March-May) or Autumn (September-October). Summer can be nice on the coast, but will definitely be too warm more inland. Make sure to also take the date of Ramadan, the month of daytime fasting, in account when planning your trip!
Insurance for Morocco? Make sure to get travel insurance! We recommend checking out worldnomads.com
Which organised tours to do in Morocco? We highly recommend organised tours with G Adventures Tour!!
More Great Resources:
- Skyscanner – Find the best flights to Casablanca
- Booking.com – Find the best hotels in Casablanca
- Get Your Guide – The most popular tours & activities around Casablanca
Hotels in Casablanca, Morocco:
We stayed at Hotel Moroccan House, which was organised by G Adventures as the starting point of our tour. The hotel was alright, but not something we would recommend per se, but worked for larger groups. Here are some other suggestions that we found on Booking.com that look a lot nicer (of course, they are a lot pricier as well):
Map of Casablanca Tourism Spots
Make sure to check out our other Morocco articles:
I hope you enjoyed all the suggestions for Casablanca Morocco things to do!
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Tours & Other Things to Do in Casablanca Morocco
There are many great tours and activities in Casablanca. Here are some great ones to get your started:
- 3-Hour Sightseeing Tour Casablanca City Tour. Click here for availability and current prices
- Wondering what to see in Casablanca in limited time? Experience the rich culture of Casablanca on a 3-hour sightseeing tour. See the highlights of Morocco’s economic capital, such as the Royal Palace, Notre Dame de Lourdes, and Hassan II Mosque. Marvel at the luxury restaurants of Ain Diab Corniche.
- Half-Day Casablanca Sightseeing Tour. Click here for availability and current prices
- Get to know the cultural, historical and economic center of Morocco on this sightseeing tour. This 3-hour tour introduces you to the main sights of this old-world city including the Hassan II Mosque and the United Nations Square.
- Jewish Heritage Full-Day Tour of Casablanca. Click here for availability and current prices
- The one-day tour of Casablanca offers an exploration of Jewish heritage sites. A strong Jewish presence can be felt in Casablanca whether it be in the ancient Jewish Cemeteries, the Synagogues, or in the Mellah (Jewish Quarter).
- Guided Sightseeing Casablanca Day Tours. Click here for availability and current prices
- Explore the cultural, historical and economic center of Morocco on a sightseeing tour of Casablanca. Get an overview of the city and its most characteristic areas, including the maze-like streets of the medina. Go to the colorful Habous Quarter and more.
- Private Half-Day Guided Tour of Casablanca. Click here for availability and current prices
- Visit Casablanca and enjoy a half day sightseeing tour with private tour guide and private vehicle to visit the famous sights in Casablanca or “White House”, in Arabic Dar El Beida. This private tour is just for you, ensuring you’ll receive personalized attention!
Looking for more ‘One Day in…’ City Guides?
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Disclaimer: We were hosted on our tour through Morocco by G Adventures, but everything we did in Casablanca was pre-trip and we arranged ourselves. All photos and opinions in this article are, as always, 100% our own. This post contains affiliate links.