Casablanca: Movie Moments in Morocco

It’s #movienight, and we’re showcasing my all-time favorite movie: Casablanca! It’s one of the most iconic movies of all time, and with good reason: all those one-liners, a complex love triangle, escape from faraway lands, corruption, and excellently timed comic relief! 

The Storyline

Europe is in the throes of World War II, and many people want to flee to America for any number of reasons—the War has not yet reached the States. Refugees come from all over Europe, making their way though dangerous territory and terrain. They end up in Casablanca in hopes of obtaining an exit visa and a seat on a flight to Lisbon: the gateway to America. Many are stuck in Casablanca because visas are very difficult to obtain. 

An American fugitive named Rick is wanted by the Germans and runs a popular restaurant and bar in Casablanca. Some visas are obtained here, deals are struck, but Rick is never directly involved, until his former flame, Ilsa, happens to walk in… with her very secret but very famous husband Victor Lazlo. Rick must decide whether to help her and her husband escape, or choose to turn over Victor to the German authorities and keep Ilsa for himself. And perhaps that’s what Ilsa wants, too. 

The Famous Rick’s Cafe!

Famous Quotes

There are more famous movie quotes from Casablanca than you might realize!

  • “I stick my neck out for nobody.” —Rick
  • “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” —Rick
  • “Here’s looking at you, kid.” —Rick
  • “Kiss me. Kids me as if it were the last time.” —Ilsa
  • “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.” —Rick
  • “Play it, Sam.” —Ilsa
  • “We’ll always have Paris.” —Rick
  • “Round up the usual suspects.” —Louis
  • “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” —Rick
“Play it again, Sam!”

The Sites

Lisbon: Gateway from Europe to America

Lisbon truly was the gateway for many fleeing Europe for America, and the best way to get there was via Casablanca. We did the reverse! We flew from America to Lisbon, then down to Casablanca.

Flying into Lisbon, Portugal on our way to Casablanca!
Rick’s Cafe American

Fun fact: Rick’s Cafe was made up for the movie! The Rick’s Cafe you can visit today actually opened in 2004, and I’m so glad someone took the initiative to create such an iconic place! Hours are Monday-Saturday 11:00am-3:00pm and 6:30pm-1:00am; Sunday 11:00am-4:00pm and 6:30pm-1:00am.

Rick’s Cafe!
Casablanca Medina’s Souks (or Markets)

Surprisingly, Casablanca’s souks were some of the most manageable of all the ones we visited in Morocco! Because Casablanca is the economic heart of Morocco, the vast majority of the city is new and less traditional than the rest of the country, but the souks in the old medina definitely harken back to the old days!

Sunset over Casablanca

Have Your Own Casablanca Movie Moment

Fancy a trip to Casablanca for yourself? I recommend it! Here are a few ways to have your own “movie moments” and have an unforgettable trip to Morocco’s largest city!

Eat at Rick’s Cafe

It’s true! You can have lunch or dinner at Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca. It was inspired by the movie, and it’s a piano bar, too! This is one of the things I was most excited about for our entire trip, and I wrote a whole post about it!

Get there early to eat in the center courtyard!
Read on: Dining at Rick’s Cafe, Casablanca
Haggle at the Markets like Ilsa

Like I mentioned before, the souks in Casablanca’s medina are small and manageable, so if you want to shop like Ilsa in the film, I think you can! Don’t be intimidated by the haggling game; just treat it like a game and have a smile on your face!

A glance at the Casablanca souks!
Catch a Flight to or from Lisbon

The route from Europe to America during World War II in the movie was through Lisbon, Portugal. And wouldn’t you know, that was our gateway to and from Morocco as well!

Flying from Lisbon to Casablanca!

Have Your Own Movie Night

Can’t make it to Morocco in the flesh? No worries! Order some Moroccan food (and maybe a little French food for good measure!), create a Moroccan-inspired Spotify Playlist, and of course, watch the movie! 


Create a Casablanca Playlist

The music from Casablanca is some of the most recognizable and iconic of all time, and Moroccan music is amazing, too! Check out my Casablanca Playlist and feel free to use it to get yourself in the Moroccan mood!

Just search for my Casablanca Movie Moments Spotify Playlist!

Want more Casablanca inspiration? Check out my Morocco Page!

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