If you don’t know anything else about Morocco, you probably do know that Casablanca is located there! While it’s not the capitol, it is the largest city and the financial center of the country. It was also our first stop in Morocco, so check out our tips to know before you go!
Casa Tramway vs. Taxi
Here’s the deal: a taxi from the Casablanca Airport to the medina (or Old City) is 300 dirham (dh; approximately 30 USD) and is a fixed rate set by the government. You can take the taxi at your convenience, and it’s about a 45-minute ride that drops you at your accommodation’s door.
However, the Casa Tramway from the Casablanca Airport to the medina is 50 dh (approximately $5 USD). It leaves the station 50 minutes after each hour, and takes about 46 minutes to arrive at its final destination, the Port of Casablanca. You will still have to take a taxi or walk to your hotel (we walked right across the street to the Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche). The Casa Tramway also leaves the port at 50 minutes after each hour to go back to the airport.
We took the Casa Tramway and were satisfied with that!
It has a Nickname
And that nickname is “Casa,” as you might expect! Don’t be surprised if you hear people mentioning it this way.
It Really was the Way Out of Europe During World War II (and there really is a Rick’s Cafe)
If you’ve seen the movie Casablanca, you’re familiar with the route from Europe to America: A train to Marseille, France; a boat to Oran, Algeria; then by air or land to Casablanca, Morocco; where refugees needed an exit visa to sail or fly to Lisbon, Portugal; from there travelers could catch a boat to the United States.
It’s Home to One of Only Two Moroccan Mosques Non-Muslims May Visit
If you want to visit a mosque on your trip to Morocco, put the Hassan II Mosque on your to-do list in Casablanca. The other mosque non-Muslims can visit is about 100 km (60 miles) outside of Marrakech.
Read on: Visiting the Hassan II Mosque
Be Ready for Construction
There’s a LOT of disruptive construction going on in Casablanca (and in every major city in Morocco, we found). We visited Casablanca in September 2019, and it was very difficult to get around by car or foot because the major road next to the waterfront was completely dug up! Hopefully this project will wrap up before your trip, but if not, ask for the best directions from your accommodation’s staff. They’re local, so they know the best ways to get around the construction!
A side effect of major construction anywhere in the world also tends to mean a significant increase in trash in the streets. This was unfortunate to see, but hopefully when the construction ends, the litter will also subside.
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