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How to Spend One Day in Casablanca, Morocco

Do you have a long layover in Casablanca? Are you wondering how to best spend your time?

A few years ago I was in this exact situation and was able to explore some of the city’s gems in just a day. Here is exactly how I spent one day in Casablanca:

How to Spend One Day in Casablanca:

Due to an itinerary change that resulted in my 1.5 hour layover turning into a 1.5 day layover, Royal Air Marocc offered me one night in a nearby hotel. To my delight, everything was organized by Royal Air Maroc upon my arrival and I was soon on my way to the hotel on a complimentary hotel shuttle.

With so much uncertainty due to the last-minute flight changes, I had not set any expectations for where I would be staying. I ended up at the Sky Atlas Hotel, which isn’t particularly close to town but very conveniently situated near the Mohammed V International Airport. The grounds resembled a tropical resort with palm trees and a large swimming pool. My room was modern and immaculately clean with a flat screen TV and wifi. What more could I ask for? (If you prefer to stay right in town, there are some absolutely gorgeous apartments on AirBnb — take advantage of $30 off your booking if you haven’t tried AirBnb yet).

After a leisurely nap to recharge in the comfort of my AC room, I set off for town to make the most of my one day in Casablanca. I decided to hire a taxi driver for the afternoon and evening, but if you prefer to book a tour ahead of time, there are both tours of Casablanca and day trips to Marrakech from Casablanca.

Hammad II Mosque: Casablanca’s Masterpiece

My first stop was to see the Hammad II Mosque – an exquisite architectural masterpiece towering over the Western coastline.

I was not able to catch a tour because they are only offered in the morning, however as a trade-off I conveniently arrived just in time to watch the sunset. Simply walking around the mosque was worth the taxi ride – that’s how beautiful it is.

How to Spend One Day in Casablanca

The main square was filled with people! Some of them were gazing with just as much wonder as I was at the beauty of the mosque. Others were relaxing on the large stone steps, or walking down along the promenade, weaving in and out of food stalls.

How to Spend One Day in Casablanca

The exterior of the mosque has giant ornate doors and gorgeous mosaic patterns!

How to Spend One Day in Casablanca

One Day in Casablanca

One Day in Casablanca

I found myself meandering down the oceanside path to get a wider view of the mosque.

One Day in Casablanca

I sat on the concrete wall that towers over the sea and was approached by a few families who wanted to say hello or take a photo. The sheer kindness I experienced was humbling!

One Day in Casablanca

After about 20 minutes, the sun began to set and the mosque lit up, creating a soft glow around the entire square. It was so beautiful!

One Day in Casablanca

Moroccan Cuisine in Casablanca:

Next, I wanted to try some authentic Moroccan food and decided on Basmane. It’s elegant with ornate décor of intricate wood, mosaic designs, candles and ceramic accents.

One Day in Casablanca

One Day in Casablanca

One Day in Casablanca

I ordered the mint tea and vegetable couscous (as recommended by the locals I met earlier). The couscous was light and fluffy, containing flavourful chunks of potato, cabbage, zucchini and squash. The serving was so large I could just barely eat half of it. I would literally book a layover in Casablanca just so I could eat here again.

Basmane Moroccan food - Casablanca Morocco

Basmane Moroccan food - Casablanca Morocco

Overall, my Casablanca layover was a success, even as a solo female in Morocco! While one day in Casablanca is not ideal, it was just enough time to explore and photograph the stunning mosque and get some Moroccan cuisine for dinner. I hired a taxi driver to take me around on my layover in Casablanca independently of a tour agency, but if you prefer to book a tour ahead of time, you can find a full-day guided tour of Casablanca via GetYourGuide. They also offer day trips to Marrakech from Casablanca.

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Yara said:
Thank you for this! I followed your blog on my recent layover, and found a few more cool places to check out.
October 4, 2018 at 12:24 am
thepinkbackpack.com said:
Thank you for the correction Jossus!
February 27, 2018 at 5:02 pm
Jossus Travelpics said:
Its not Hammad II mosque, it´s Hassan II mosque. But I agree with you, its very beautiful and worth the taxiride from the beach.
February 21, 2018 at 4:48 am
thepinkbackpack.com said:
Sounds great! Safe travels and wishing you a fabulous time in Morroco <3
May 19, 2017 at 9:28 am
Sanjay & Sonal said:
Hey Stephanie, its Sanjay & Sonal here. Sorry we havent commented in a while. We are going to Morroco in June. We'll let you know once we write up the blog post. Keep in touch :)
May 13, 2017 at 11:17 am
Satish Menon said:
Glad to hear your "turbulent" flight ended in remarkable form. The photos of the tile work is mesmerizing.
July 13, 2016 at 9:41 pm