Casablanca is a large, cosmopolitan city, but the former French colonial post still offers those who visit the medina and Old City a taste of the past. The biggest city in Morocco – with chic bars and a wide choice of stylish restaurants – Casablanca often has a southern European feel. The Old Medina is small, but the crowded streets and tiny, overcrowded shops are an explorer’s paradise. The attractive art-deco Ville Nouvelle is a legacy from the city’s French past, and the enchanting Rialto Cinema is also worth discovering.
Casablanca’s Jewish Museum, the only one of its kind in the Islamic world, offers excellent exhibits of Morocco’s ancient synagogues, cemeteries and other Jewish landmarks. However, it’s the breath-taking Hassan II Mosque that dominates the city. Built on a rocky outcrop, it can accommodate over 25,000 worshippers inside – and another 80,000 in the courtyard. The 210m minaret is the tallest in the world: from the top a laser beam points the way to Mecca at night. Guided tours can be made of the vast and impressive interior.
The Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca
One of Casablanca’s most iconic and most visited monuments is the Hassan II Mosque, a beautiful building which dominates the city’s skyline. The mosque, which is one of the largest in the world, features a minaret 210 metres (688 feet) high – the tallest in the world. From the top, a laser beam points the way to Mecca at night. Built on a rocky outcrop of reclaimed land, the mosque can accommodate over 25,000 worshippers inside, and a further 80,000 in the courtyard.
One of the country’s four imperial cities, Rabat is Morocco’s capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although not as bustling as its imperial counterpart, Marrakech, Rabat is nevertheless impressive, home to striking monuments, an ancient medina and the royal palace.