Casablanca, the mirror of Moroccan progress

Casablanca, a Moroccan city, is renowned as the largest city in the Kingdom of Morocco, boasting a population of 3,359,818 as of 2014, making it the third-largest city in Africa, following Lagos and Cairo. It serves as Morocco’s commercial, industrial, and economic hub, hosting 60 percent of the nation’s businesses and factories, spanning various sectors including automotive, aerospace, electronics, and more. The city’s stock exchange ranks third, trailing behind Johannesburg and Cairo exchanges. Originally known as Anfa, Casablanca acquired its current name from the Portuguese, who referred to it as “Casa Branca” due to a white house they encountered upon arrival in the 1600s. The Spanish version “Casa Blanca” and the local Moroccan term “Casa” also were used. Eventually, the name Casablanca was formalized during the reign of the Alawi Sultan, Sidi Muhammad bin Abdullah.

 history of Casablanca

 history of Casablanca

 Casablanca is an ancient Amazighvillage, and it was called Anfa, but its origin is still completely unknown. The city emerged as a significant center in the 12th century AD when pirates used it to launch attacks. Still, it was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1468 AD, before returning to it in 1515 AD, where they built a new city and named it “Casa Branca,” which means the White House. In 1755 AD, it was exposed. The town was shaken by an earthquake that led to the evacuation of its residents. Still, the Alawi Sultan Sidi Muhammad bin Abdullah soon rebuilt it in the 18th century AD. The Spaniards and other Europeans began to flock to it at that time. Most of its residents became explicitly French. In 1907, the French forces occupied the city; the city was placed under French protection between 1912-1956 AD. During that time, the town became Morocco’s main port, boosting its economy and leading to rapid growth. This helped put it on the world map as an essential and central center that isn’t immune to global events. During World War II, the city hosted the British-American summit in 1943. In 1961, the Casablanca Group of African countries was formed at a conference led by King Mohammed V of Morocco.

landmarks in Casablanca

landmarks in Casablanca

Mosque of King Hassan II

Boulevard Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah.

The largest mosque in Morocco and the sixth-largest mosque globally, with the tallest minaret. After a construction period of seven years, it opened its doors in 1993. It is one of the two prominent mosques in Morocco accessible to non-Muslims. Beautiful interior with water features, sky-lit ceiling, huge basement steam room (not in use), and exquisite tile work. Tours are at 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, and 2 am on Saturdays and Thursdays

old medina

(north of Place des Nations Unies. There is a small traditional fortified town north of Casablanca).

It’s worth a visit if you’re in town, but it has nothing to do with the splendors of Fez or Marrakech.

The Corniche

A seaside district west of the Hassan II Mosque. It used to be a bustling resort district, with hotels on one side of Boulevard de la Corniche and nightclubs. Most have seen better days. Many newer and more elegant hotels along the Boulevard de l’Océan Atlantique. Many western fast food chains can be found along the Corniche. There’s also a new western-style movie theater here. Still, the best alternative is to stroll along the Boulevard, stopping at one of the many ocean-view cafes.

Sanctuary of Sidi Abderrahman

Built on a rocky outcrop off the coast, well beyond the Corniche, and accessible only at low tide. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the shrine, but they are welcome to visit the small medina-like community that has grown up around it. It’s best to stroll along the shore and see the stunning white walls before taxiing to less isolated areas.

Pasha’s Mahkama

M-Sat 8:00-12:00 & 14:00-18:00.

Over 60 beautiful rooms with intricately carved oak ceilings make up this Hispano-Moorish structure. Extensive stuccowork, elaborate wrought-iron fencing, and elegantly tiled floors adorn the walls. Although admission is free, entry is difficult. You will need to hire a guide to accompany you. It is worth inquiring, especially if you know French. Take the bus 81 Boulevard de Paris to get there.

Central post office

Send your postcards in style by coming here! The facade, built-in 1918, is composed of round and rectangular elements. As you approach, you can see the beautiful mosaics up close.

octagonal square

One of the best places to see contemporary Morocco is here. Business people flock to this sophisticated urban square to dine in the sun at noon. There are also plenty of opportunities to photograph beautiful landscapes.

Villa of the Arts

30, Boulevard Brahim Roudani, Casablanca (located slightly southwest of Arab League Park on Bvd Brahim Roudani), +212-(0)522 29 50 87, fax: +212-(0)522 27 86 07 9.30 am to 7 pm (except public holidays).

It is a space of the Moroccan artistic scene, managed by the organization ONA. Currently, it is available for free.

The best beaches near Casablanca

beaches near Casablanca

Ain Diab

Ain Diab beach is one of the main urban beaches of Casablanca, a popular destination for Moroccans to come with their families. It is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, 3 km from the city. People come here to swim, surf, walk along the beach, or sit in a coastal cafe just admiring the picturesque sunset and the power of the ocean waves.


Monica is a natural beach on the Atlantic coast between Rabat and Casablanca. It is a strip of sand untouched by civilization, surrounded by stones and the ocean. The presence of constant surf has made this beach popular with surfers and bodyboard enthusiasts. The only drawback of the beach is its traps, which can be pretty dangerous for those who go there for the first time.

Entertainment in Casablanca

Entertainment in Casablanca

Sindibad Park

 Sindibad is an amusement park that promises adventure, joy, and new sensations. The visitor will be exposed to various games in this park, from the easiest to the most difficult. The games offered are suitable for different ages. A catering offer is accessible there with a secure and modern space. 


 The largest water park in the Kingdom. It is 10,000 m2 of permanently treated and filtered water in the middle of a landscaped area of 7.5 hectares. 


 The Casablanca Megarama, 1st multiplex in Morocco, is a cinema complex offering an updated program with the latest international films and Moroccan productions.

What to eat in Casablanca?

We see you coming: CouscousTagine… Indeed, it is unimaginable to visit Casa without tasting the famous Tagine or couscous. So to calm your ardor, nothing better than going to a greasy spoon at Place des Nations-Unies, preferably on Friday lunchtime (couscous day), and a glass of quail milk to accompany your meal.

But these two dishes are only some of what Moroccan food is about. Stop by the “Bennis Habous” pastry shop in New Medina to try tasty Moroccan sweets like gazelle horns, almond rusks, and a good chicken pastilla.

Go to “Al Mounia,” a typical Moroccan restaurant where waiters dressed in traditional clothes will show you how good the local food is. It’s a quiet place in this busy city. Lastly, if you want to try fish and shellfish, go to “La Taverne du Dauphin” near the Corniche and open the door to taste fresh products in a lively room.

Getting around Casablanca

Casablanca is a reasonably large city. And even if it is easy to find your way around, getting around on foot takes work. For this, taxis remain the most used means of transport. The “Petit Taxi” (red taxis) swarm the streets. It is not difficult to find them and allows you to go everywhere in Casablanca, for a fair amount (about 2 or 3 euros). The team is another way to get around. It is convenient and modern and will take you to the most desirable places in the city.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called Casablanca in Morocco?

At first, the Amazighpeople who lived in the area called the city of Casablanca in Morocco “Anfa.” In the 15th century, the Portuguese took over the city. They called it “Casa Branca,” which means “white house” in Portuguese because most of the town’s houses were white. The name “Casa Branca” was changed to “Casablanca” after the French took control of Morocco at the beginning of the 20th century.

The French made Casablanca their administrative center and invested much money into its growth. They made it the biggest city in Morocco and one of the most important ports in North Africa. The city’s economy increased, becoming a center for industry and manufacturing and a hub for trade and business.

Casablanca is known for its modern buildings, busy markets, and lively nightlife. It is still an important business and cultural center in Morocco, and people come worldwide to see it.

Casablanca and Marrakech are two distinct Moroccan communities with unique characteristics and attractions.

Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco and is renowned for its cosmopolitan vibe, modern architecture, and busy harbor. It has a more industrial and commercial vibe and numerous contemporary stores, restaurants, and cafes. The Hassan II Mosque, the Corniche shoreline, and the old medina are a few of the city’s most popular attractions.

On the other hand, Marrakech is a more traditional city renowned for its beautiful medieval architecture, bustling souks, and vibrant atmosphere. The Bahia Palace, the Koutoubia Mosque, and the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square are among its well-known historical landmarks. Additionally, Marrakech is surrounded by a stunning natural landscape and serves as a gateway to the nearby Atlas Mountains.

Consequently, although both cities are located in Morocco and share some similarities, they are distinct in culture, architecture, and atmosphere.

Casablanca on the Map



Best Places to Visit in Morocco

Gnaoua music calls for the soul and body

Gnaoua music is quite widespread in Morocco but also...

Golf in Morocco

Golf in Morocco has been a part of the...

Moroccan Couscous: Culinary Delight

Moroccan Couscous is a Friday lunch, so many Moroccans...

Moroccan Hammam: Health and Beauty Benefits

The Moroccan Hammam purifies both the body and mind,...

Moroccan cuisine, another reason to travel

Moroccan cuisine, in itself, is an excellent reason to...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here