Casablanca is a city in western Morocco, located on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Grand Casablanca region. Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port. It is also the biggest city in the Maghreb region. The 2004 census recorded a population of 3,500,000 in the prefecture of Casablanca and 6,000,000 in the region of Grand Casablanca. Casablanca is considered the economic and business center of Morocco, while the political capital city of Morocco is Rabat.
Casablanca hosts headquarters and main industrial facilities for the leading Moroccan and international companies based in Morocco. Industrial statistics show Casablanca retains its historical position as the main industrial zone of the country. The Port of Casablanca is one of the largest artificial ports in the world, and the largest port of North Africa. It is also the primary naval base for the Royal Moroccan Navy.
Geography and climate Casablanca
Casablanca is located in the Chawiya plain which has historically been the breadbasket of Morocco. Apart from the Atlantic coast, the Bouskoura forest is the only natural attraction in the city. The forest was planted in the 20th century and consists mostly of Eucalyptus, Palm and Pine trees. It is located halfway to the city's international airport.
Casablanca has a very mild Mediterranean climate. Casablanca's climate is strongly influenced by the cool currents of the Atlantic Ocean which tends to moderate temperature swings and produce a remarkably mild climate with little seasonal temperature variation and a lack of extreme heat and cold. Casablanca has an annual average of 74 days with significant precipitation, which amounts to 427 millimeters per year. The highest and lowest temperatures ever recorded in the city are 41.6 °C and −2.7 °C, respectively.
Things to see in Casablanca
The King Hassan II Mosque: Blvd Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah. A relatively recent mosque. It's the largest in Morocco and the third largest in the world, with the tallest minaret in the world.
Old Medina: North of of the Place des Nations Unies There is a small traditional walled town in the north of Casablanca. If you are in town it's be worth a visit, but it's nothing compared to the glories of Fes or Marrakesh.
The Corniche: is a neighborhood on the ocean, west of the Hassan II Mosque. Decades ago, it was a thriving resort area - hotels line the ocean side of the Boulevard de la Corniche, and nightclubs line the other side.
The Shrine of Sidi Abderrahman: is built on a rock off shore, well past The Corniche, and is only accessible at low tide. The shrine itself is off-limits to non-muslims, but visitors are permitted to explore the tiny, medina-like neighborhood that has sprung up around it.
Mahkama du Pacha: This is a Hispanic-Moorish building comprised of more than 60 ornate rooms with delicately carved wooden ceilings. There are many stuccoes and intricate wrought-iron railings as well as beautifully tiled floors.
Central Post Office: Come here to send your postcards in style! Built in 1918 the facade of this building is composed both of round and rectangular shapes. Once you approach you will get a good view of the excellent mosaics.
Nightlife in Casablanca has mixed reviews. Women might feel a bit uncomfortable with the mostly male crowds in many bars and nightclubs. But if you dig a bit, you'll find some excellent spots to drink, dance and people watch. Certain clubs are flooded with prostitutes at night. It is not advised to bring a girl back to a hotel.
If you want a drink in your hotel room, supermarkets like Acima and Marjane carry a wide variety of liquor and wine, though the beer selection is fairly stunted. The best places to drink are either European-style restaurants, which usually have a decent selection, or hotel bars, which are inevitably safer and more relaxed. Many western-style nightclubs exist in the Maarif and Gironde neighborhoods. Pubs will cost around 100 dirhams per head, it will be half if visited in the happy hours from 7PMto 11PM. Pubs to visit Tiger House, La Notte.
Rick's Cafe: 248 Bd Sour Jdid, Ancienne medina. Tel: +212 522 27 42 07
Hooka Happenings: Along the beach, south of the city center
La Bodega: Rue Mohammed 5
Kasbar: 7 Rue Najib Mahfoud, Gauthier, Casablanca. Tel: 022 20 47 47