Casablanca is a port city and commercial hub in western Morocco, fronting the Atlantic Ocean. The city’s French colonial legacy is seen in its downtown Mauresque architecture, a blend of Moorish style and European art deco. Standing partly over the water, the enormous Hassan II Mosque, completed in 1993, has a 210m minaret topped with lasers directed toward Mecca.
Elsewhere, the seaside Ain Diab district is favored for leisure and nightlife activities. Its Corniche area is a beachfront promenade with cafes, bars, hotels and restaurants. Located in the residential Oasis quarter, the Moroccan Jewish Museum explores the history of the country’s Jewish community. Downtown is the small Old Medina lined with shops.
Running south of the city toward Oualidia and Essaouira, the beach-lined coast is a major summer holiday destination. Casablanca is also famous for the 1942 Humphrey Bogart film of the same name, with re-created Rick’s Cafe a popular site.
- Winter (Dec–Feb) nights are cool.
- Jazzablanca (dates vary) attracts well-known soloists and ensembles from the Moroccan and international jazz scenes.
- Leading Moroccan urban music acts perform at the Boulevard festival (Sep).