Casablanca

Take a trip to the Moroccan artistic enclave.

Casablanca is a metropolis that captivates the senses and leaves an indelible mark on all who wander its streets. The city pulsates with energy, seamlessly merging the present with the past, creating a dynamic tapestry of culture, architecture, and style. Drenched in sunlight and framed by the Atlantic Ocean, Casablanca’s skyline is a testament to the city’s forward-thinking spirit.

This week, KHAMSA travels to the labyrinthine alleys of Casablanca’s old medina, with a detailed travel guide by KIKI (@kikiuhere on Instagram). Part of the image and communication team at Mugler, KIKI hails from this melting pot of cultures, where every street corner and alleyway tells a story.

Casablanca’s proximity to the ocean makes it a source of inspiration and rejuvenation for both locals and visitors alike. As Kiki will affirm, it is indeed a source of inspiration and rejuvenation for both locals and visitors alike. Here in the Casablanca setting, amidst the azure waters and golden sands, time seems to stand still, offering a moment of respite from the frenetic pace of city life.

Top must-visit food spots in Casablanca?

La Sqala

For a traditional BIG Moroccan breakfast – avoid going during the weekend as it is crowded by tourists.

MILK + HONEY

Healthy and diverse breakfast and brunch food – we love the space and the smoothies.

Lily’s

For great Asian food with a great beach view.

Nori

The best Asian food, and the spot makes me feel so good as it on the second floor of a building and open windows.

Le Medina

Very authentic Moroccan food, and God knows how much I hate eating Moroccan out of home.

Atelier Nude

Here you can eat organic food, order your flowers, and even reserve the whole concept store to host the perfect Pinterest dinner!

L’Abri

For a dinner with friends or family. Calm space and cute interior.

Dar Dada

Too lazy to go till Marrakech for a Riad? Dar Dada is the perfect spot in Casablanca to have dinner.

Café Impérial

I just feel so connected to my city in this one: perfect to grab a coffee or tea in the Habbous neighbourhood.

La Terrazza

Similar to the fancy restaurants by the beach but less crowded 😉 Great to have a coffee and smell the beach.

Best places for sundowners?

James Rooftop

“Center cute rooftop with a view on the Sacré Coeur cathedral.”

– Kiki

Best places for shopping?

Marché Solidaire

Perfect market to get Moroccan oils, traditional decorations, spices, natural skincare products and gifts. If I don’t go there before going abroad, I think I can just die.

Derb Ghalef

Market known for electronics and getting device fixed. However, it’s also a great spot to buy dry fruits, and vintage clothes. People usually think it’s an unsafe place, but you just need to go with someone else and know precisely where you’re going. Dress humble and don’t be afraid to ask for advice there.

Must-visit cultural spots?

Habbous

Located in the old town, Habbous is a must-visit. You can spend such a chill afternoon there, get authentic rubs, paintings, copper decorations and grab a cup of tea in front of Arabic libraries.

Mahkama du Pacha

Technically, Mahkama Du Pacha is just a parliamentary building. However, there is so much more to this Court of Justice. In reality, it is an endlessly fascinating study in Moroccan and Moorish architecture.

Cathédrale du Sacré cœur

Closed since 2016 for renovations, the cathedral just opened its doors again as a cultural venue hosting exhibitions. And you can go on the roof for less than 5 euros.

Hassan II Mosque

It is one of the few mosques you can visit in Morocco, so plan your tour asap. Fun fact – most of my uncles participated in building it.

– Kiki

Beauty and care spots?

Hammams de la Mosquée Hassan II

I always go for a scrub and soaping session, but they offer Moorish baths, massages and more. And the feeling of going out of the hammam IN a mosque is priceless.

Salon Zaz for the best hair treatments and permanent nails. Académie Skandar is my go-to spot since I’m born. It’s a hair and beauty school, which means that the students practice on you and the services are extremely cheap. Last minute blowout? Quick all body wax ? A nail to fix? Here is your address.

– Kiki

Sports spots?

Eko Bootcamp

If you’ve ever been to Barry’s bootcamp before, Eko Bootcamp is as good as it. I go lift some weights, run some kilometres, and go back home for a good couscous.

Flowcycle

I’m a spinning addict, and since I discovered this sport in Paris, my dream was to have a spinning gym in Casablanca. Then Flowcycle realized my dream and opened around a year ago. The space is aesthetic, and the team is so energetic and welcoming.

Run in La Corniche

Go for a run in La Corniche next to the beach. You will usually see other runners or simply people going for a walk, which makes it very safe.

Underrated places?

Café Le Crepuscule – Al Ghoroub

Old spots next to the beach need more recognition. And Crépuscule is an amazing simple spot for a sunset tea.

El Hank

Perfect area for a sunset view with your secret lover.  

What should you avoid?

Using your phone in the street and going for a walk at night.

Must-pack items?

My go-to outfits in Casablanca are kimonos or Abayas on a cute pair of jeans or trousers, sandals and a small bag. Make sure to have at least one caftan, because you will for sure end up invited to a wedding or a traditional event.

Casablanca is pretty warm, but having warm tops are pretty essential for weather and safety reasons. Also pack sunscreen and a good moisturizing cream.

Any tips and tricks to tackle the city?

As I still don’t have my driving’s licence and move a lot when I’m back to Casablanca, it is really mandatory for me to have private drivers apps: Careem and Indriver. These apps are very cheap, safe and very convenient. But I would never hesitate to take a normal taxi – they’re even cheaper and discussions with the drivers are funny and iconic.

Besides that, Morocco is still a country that prioritizes cash over cards. So it is totally mandatory to have some cash on you. People in Morocco are very warm and helpful, so asking for help from anyone in the street is very normal, and people will just stop and give you all their time and attention.

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