Casablanca Things to Do Tips by Doctor38 Top 5 Page for this destination
Casablanca Things to Do: 173 reviews and 351 photos
The Rocky island during low tide
Sidi Abdel Rahman is a stretch of beach next to Ain Diab and it includes a rocky island. So who was Sidi Abdel Rahman? He is considered by Moroccan to be the Patron saint of the mentally retarded and epileptics. He was nicknamed (Almajthoob) which means mentally retarded in Arabic.
Moroccans believe that this man has special healing powers for the mentally retarded so you might see families with children having all sorts of problems from Epilepsy to Down syndrome offering gifts and prayers in hope of healing their loved ones from their ailments. The room housing the tomb is very small and I was barely able to take a picture, which made People very upset. I had to show them these pictures and they asked me to delete some before they let me leave. It is interesting to know that this person -Sidi Abdel Rahman- has more than one grave and other places like Meknas claim to be his real burial site.
Sidi Abdel Rahman is very significant site because of the Archeological finding. A cave excavated in the area reveled one of the oldest sites of human or "humanoid" presence. Although they are not as old as lucy but a 500 thousand year "humanoid" skull is still pretty impressive. The caves also had human tools and remains of a bear which disappeared long time ago from the Africa. If you visit today, These Caves are located one km in land and are difficult to locate although I haven’t tried to contact any one for further help.
If you visit during the summer, you’ll see crowds of people swimming, sun bathing, sitting in cafes, playing football (soccer), and just walking around. There was a little fare ground with games and stuff for kids to do. There are plenty of restaurants nearby including a KFC, McDonald and other restaurants and Hotels. This area is full people up to mid night although I wouldn’t go to the island in the dark. The Island is a spooky place. you can walk to rocky island during low tide. the tomb of sidi Abdel Rahman and enjoy the beaches.without any problem.
Directions: Getting to Sidi Abdel Rahman from Casablanca is no problem, it is only 1 Km away from Ain Diab and you can walk to the area if you walk along the beach. A petite taxi ride to Ain Diab or Sidi Abdel Rahman should cost you less than 20. DH
Sidi Belyoott is the Patron Saint of Casablanca. His name is Omar Ben Haroon and he died around 1165 AD. He was a blind holy man who the locals saw being befriended by a pride of barberry lions so he was nick named Abo Alloyooth (the man with the lions). After his death a mosque was built on his grave. This mosque was destroyed along with the city in the late 15th century by the Portuguese. The current building was built in 19th century and it has the graves of others too. The mosque has 2 court yards leading to a prayer hall where the grave is located inside.
This mosque is on the road between Hyatt Regency hotel and Casa Port train station. I would say it is 150 Meter from the station and 200 meter from the hotel. As you leave the train station walk pass the traffic light and you’ll see a police station on you left hand. Behind it you’ll see this white Mosque.
Today Casabanca is devided into 5 sections Sidi Belyoott is the biggest section of the city.
This building is located in Al Hoboos quarter behind the Royal Palace. You’ll find few Arabic book stores near by. To go inside first you’ll have to go to Syndicate du tourism on Mohammad V Avenue and come with a guide.
I asked the guards if they can allow me in and I was lucky that they did let me in. So why not try this before going to down town. One of them walked me around and within 15 minutes I was able to see all the rooms except for the royal office, I was able to sneak a peak into it from the windows. This used to be the Royal office for King Hassan II and King Mohammad VI for a very short period of time but now it is empty.
Visiting the place is delightful experience. It had a nug Garden and several courtyards. The architecture is simply stunning. If you are visiting Al Hoboos Don’t miss this place.
Al-Hoobos is part of the new Casablanca. This part was established by the French in 1920. Al-hoboos is located next to the royal palce. It easily accesable by a red taxi for 15 DH from Down town. Al-Hoboos has a train station which is called Mers Al sultan. There is no real advantage of using this train station unless you are coming directly from out side of CasaBlanca.
In Al-Hoboos you’ll find all the things a tourist is looking for. You’ll find rugs, silver and fossils. This area is more relaxed and less crowded than Bab Marrakesh but you still will need to bargin before you buy. Few meter pass Al-Hoboos there is a very big local market that you can by all kinds of bizarre stuff including this little Hedgehog shown in one of the pictures
When the French took over the country. They established the new neighborhoods of the city. The new colonial building featured a mixture between French and Moroccan styles of building. The new style of building was called Mauresque or New Moorish.
There are plenty of fine examples of this style all over town. When you are walking around down town just look at building aroud you and you'll notice this unique style.
The Lincoln Hotel, The Cathedral plus hundreds of building in the down town area. There are 2 nice renovated Art Deco villas just opposite to the Cathedral that are worth having a closer look.
This was the first Church built in Casablanca. It has lots on Moroccan architecture features. It is no longer used as a church. After independence it was used for a while as a school and later as a theater. Currently it is used to house various governmental agencies. You can still take a tour of the place for free, just go inside and ask for permission to walk around. Avoid coming in August and September because the place might be closed during that time frame.
Near the Cathedral there is a very big park with plenty of green spaces, cafes and restaurants. The American and the Italian consulates are within close proximity of the Cathedral.
The cathedral is located along Hassan II Blvd and it is within a walking distance from down town after passing the French consulate and Mohammed V place, you’ll see this big white building to your right hand.
The Lincoln Hotel is an old establishment that was built in the 1916. The building was abandoned long time ago and the city was thinking of demolishing it and replacing it with a newer building. The building is located within down town opposite to the central market on Mohammed V blvd.
Thanks God that somebody was able to inject some sense into the City authority and they decided to renovate the building. The renovation has just started and I liked to document what the building looked like from the outside prior to the process and what it would look like when everything is over.
Bab Marrakesh is a massive gate at the walls of the medina. It is located behind the Hyatt Hotel. Once you pass through the gate you’ll enter the old Medina. You’ll find all kinds of Souvenirs from silver to fossils. There is a big clothing market.
Beyond the market you wander in the narrow streets of the old medina. At night this place is dangerous and spooky but it should be ok during the day. In the medina there are plenty of cheap hotels if you are looking for a place. There plenty of interesting house including some belonging to a rabbi, others like old schools that are still functioning.
Ain Diab is where people of Casablanca go in the summer and on weekends, Wither it is the beach or for night life or just walking around and killing time. People will come here for swimming, sunbathing, playing beach volleyball or beach football (soccer). The beaches are sandy and perfect.
It is only 7 km away from the city center and a red taxi should take you there for 20 DH. There are around 10 hotels, night clubs, and cafe. There are plenty of restaurants and fast food places like KFC and McDonald. There are private and public beaches. Some of the batches are very exclusive. Side Abdelrahman is 2 km away and it worth visiting.
Vinica Ice (see the photo) is a very nice café and it a popular place to sit and watch people. The ice-cream is particularly good and the view of the beaches is good.
If you want to save time than visit this place and ask for a tour guide who will show you around Casablanca. The tour will cost you 450 DH for 3 people and it will last for 4 hrs. It includes transportation for 3 people plus the guide. The guide will take to Mosque Hassan II, the Old Medina, Alhoboos area and show around the old Royal office.
This office is located on Mohamed V Avenue. The road is easily located in down town Casablanca. At the office you can arrange to meet with one of the official guide. To be honest I have not used this service but I looked into the matter and since J had enough time I thought that I can do it myself. It might be a good idea for someone who is staying for a very short time in Casablanca
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