Immortal lines from the silver screen may have imprinted a warm, fuzzy visage of old Casablanca into our minds, but this thriving city is a curious example of what Morocco’s modernity looks like. Glistening white art deco buildings line the wide pathways that sweep through Casablanca, as the sea sparkles like a thin mirage on the horizon. There’s an aura of creativity amid Casablanca’s culture and chaos, helping to make the city one of Morocco’s most curious and compelling.
The Hassan II Mosque took a staggering seven years and 10,000 artists to craft its legacy as the country's largest mosque, and to bring the world's tallest minaret to sky-high reality. A vision of cool to the touch marble, cavernous prayer rooms and intricate inlays, the mosque is extraordinary in scale and ambition. Retractable roofs let the sun flood in, while dizzying glass floors dazzle, and the blue Atlantic waves surge below your feet.
After that humbling visit, stroll along La Corniche - where surfers glide across rough and tumble waves, and chic cafes offer front-row seats for sweet peppermint teas with a side of people-watching. Casablanca is a diner's city - boulevards laced with French-fusion restaurants, buzzy beachfront joints, and raw seafood bars provide gem-like offerings fresh from the boat. Those seeking a slice of that golden-age Hollywood romance can wander through the medina, with its unabashed ramshackle feel, and maze of alleyways punctuated with busy barber shops and butchers.