City Guide, Lifestyle | March 2024

Journey Through the White City: Casablanca

It’s not just the title of a classic movie; Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco and home to the new Royal Mansour. Set to open this Spring in a stunning 1950s Art Deco building, this hotel stands out with exquisite architecture and mid-century flair and is the perfect first stop on your Moroccan adventure.

Beyond the walls of Royal Mansour, Casablanca, also known as the “White City,” has it all —from stunning architecture and historic sites to vibrant restaurants and nightlife. The city is a cultural melting pot, with its modern skyscrapers, busy markets, and traditional medina. But within the rush, you’ll also find peaceful pockets where time seems to stand still – beautiful mosques and cathedrals, tranquil gardens, and serene beaches.

Casablanca is a city that wears its heart on its sleeve, a city that’s constantly on the move, reinventing itself while honoring its past. To truly experience its soul, engage with the locals. Strike up conversations in the cafes and souks, learn a few words of Arabic and French, and perhaps even join a game of dominoes in one of the city’s parks.

Art Deco Architecture

One of the first things to capture your attention in Casablanca is its incredible architecture. Casablanca is home to the world’s second-largest collection of Art Deco buildings with palm-lined streets to elegant structures, showcasing a rich period in the city’s past. Stroll along the Boulevard Hassan II, admiring the Palais de Justice— a building to admire—or visit the Parc de la Ligue Arabe, where Art Deco’s elegance meets the parks’ lush greenery.

Hassan II Mosque

The iconic Hassan II Mosque, a towering minaret by the ocean, stands proud as a testimony to Moroccan craftsmanship and the fusion of traditional and contemporary design. Its breathtaking location by the Atlantic Ocean provides a sense of serenity, with the sound of crashing waves providing the perfect backdrop.

Traditional Souks

Shopping in Casablanca? Oh, it’s way more than just buying stuff—it’s a cultural experience. Step into the chaotic yet magical world of the souks, where your bargaining skills will be put to the test! Navigating the winding alleys of Quartier Habous and the Central Market is a sensory overload of colorful goods, aromatic spices, and the sounds of the local shops striking deals.

Old Medina 

If you’re searching for something truly authentic, head to the Old Medina where craftsmen still work using the traditional methods, from leather and textiles to brassware and ceramics. Make sure to not leave without sharing a cup of sweet mint tea with the shop owners – it’s the Casablanca way.

Culinary Flavors

The cuisine of Casablanca is a heady blend of Berber, Arab, and European influences, creating a blend of flavors that is distinctly Moroccan. From the bold spices of a tagine, to the delicate pastry of a pastilla, every dish tells a story of the city’s cross-cultural heritage. Inspired by the classic film “Casablanca,” Rick’s Café combines Moroccan and international dishes in an atmosphere inspired by the classic film, while La Scala is renowned as the ultimate spot for authentic Moroccan cuisine, perfect for any meal.

Café Culture

No visit to Casablanca is complete without a sip of sweet, aromatic mint tea in one of the many cafes. From the bohemian Café Maure overlooking the Atlantic, to the chic cafés in the city center, each offer a unique perspective into Casablanca’s social life.

A Note on Nightlife

When the sun sets, Casablanca comes alive with a vibrant nightlife. The city’s bars and nightclubs blend Western-style entertainment and traditional Arabian hospitality. From rooftop bars with panoramic city views to international music festivals that draw crowds from around the globe, there’s always something to keep the night alive in the White City.

Casablanca is a city of contrasts, where the past meets the present and tradition mingles with innovation. From iconic landmarks and rich historical sites to vibrant markets and flavorful cuisine, Casablanca has something to offer to everyone… and Royal Mansour is thrilled to take you on this journey.