Traveling internationally is something I haven’t done in a while; In over 11 years to be exact. There’s something about flying over The Atlantic Ocean that scares me, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Maybe it’s because I’ve been flying a lot this year? But nonetheless, the flights to Casablanca and coming home were pretty laid back and easy. It took around 13 hours to get there and a little longer on the way home because we stopped in Madrid, but that’s another blog post I will link to this one once completed!😊 (You can read about my Madrid trip here:21 Hours In Madrid, Spain!)
My mom and I were traveling to Morocco mostly to handle personal business, but also to see some family and spend a few days out there for vacation. Like I mentioned prior, it’s been a while since I went overseas, so it was a little different than I last remembered. I’m also older and more mature now. The last time I visited Casablanca, I was 17. Now being 28, I have a different mindset on life and appreciate things more. It’s definitely interesting to see how others live and the way of life they have adapted to compared to the way we live in America. There are countless differences, yet so many similarities!
When To Visit:
There is really no bad time to visit Casablanca if you’re strictly looking at weather. The lowest temperatures they reach in winter are in the 60’s and honestly that’s wayyyyy better than 10 degree Chicago weather for me! In the summer, it’s obviously warmer and they reach into the 80’s, but it might be more packed with tourist. Traveling during off season is best if you want to beat the crowds and save a little on flights and hotels. We just went in November/December, but I think anything in spring or fall would be ideal!
Where To Stay:
Depending on what you want to do in Casablanca, you might want to stay inside the busy city or on the outskirts like by the beach. My mom and I decided to stay on the beach and enjoy the view. It was really nice to be able to walk alongside the coast in the morning and in the evenings. Nothing beats having the ocean right outside your hotel! It was also super close to the boardwalk and many locations to eat. There was even a mall with a grocery store inside which made things more convenient for us when we needed items for our stay. We stayed at Pestana Casablanca which was pleasant and I would recommend. I would also suggest the Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca if you don’t mind spending extra. The Four Seasons looked absolutely gorgeous and I know the stay with them must be unforgettable with their valuable reputation!
**Both hotels have balconies and offer ocean views. (I’m not sure about the Four Seasons, but Pestana has balconies for every hotel suite).**
Where To Eat:
We obviously tried numerous locations when it came to our meals, but there are a few places that I would strongly suggest and would love to go to again! These restaurants include:
Le Cabestan is a MUST! The ocean view is marvelous, but the food is really good and flavorful! I would also recommend making reservations for prime seating. We went for lunch, but I’m sure the view during sunset is even better!
Sky 28 is also another great location with sky high views of Casablanca and Hassan II Mosque in the distance. You can either sit down for lunch and/or dinner or go upstairs for a drink. We did both and honestly, Sky did not disappoint. The windows were a little dirty, so the view wasn’t the best, but it was still an elegant place to check out.
OSTRÉA II is another good place if you like seafood and LOVE oysters! This restaurant is located right on the lagoon near the ocean in Oualidia, which is about two hours south of Casablanca. We took a day trip down there with my aunt and cousin just to go to OSTRÉA. Apparently my grandpa knew the owner and I had been going there since I was a baby. (I really don’t remember any of this, but my mom has been taking me to Morocco since I was eight months old). Oualidia is a lot different than Casablanca because it’s more of the “country side,” but it was still cool to experience.
What To See:
When most tourist travel to Morocco, they go straight to Marrakech or Chefchaouen. Although Casablanca is not as known as these popular cities (besides for the movie “Casablanca”), it’s still worth visiting! Some places I would suggest are as follows:
- Hassan II Mosque
- The Old Medina of Casablanca
- Morocco Mall
- Boulevard de la Corniche (The Boardwalk)
- Ain Diab
Hassan II Mosque is probably the number one landmark of Casablanca today. The mosque is so big and beautiful! We unfortunately didn’t go inside and we were not praying, but it was still inspiring to see the mosque in person. The architecture alone is breathtaking and all the marble with the gorgeous teal blue granite and stone make the finishing touches on this place. I think this is a location where many tourist come to take pictures, but I had my own photoshoot as well!
Another place to check out is the old medina. Here you can bargain with merchants for all sorts of items, including foods. I know you have to be very careful here because there are many cases of pickpocketing, but it’s nothing too crazy compared to other high pickpocketing places. Just keep your purse or wallet close by and there shouldn’t be any issues. Even if you don’t have intentions of purchasing anything, it’s interesting to see what others are selling and what kind of unique handcrafted items you can come across.
Going back to Morocco after all these years was really enjoyable. I got to spend time with some family I haven’t seen in years and also got the chance to experience Casablanca with a different outlook. I would certainly suggest checking out Casablanca if you ever plan a trip to Morocco! It’s worth the stop and most definitely worth the time!