If the Hollywood image of 'Casablanca' is important to you, prepare for a shock from Casablanca. The city is further away from Oriental romanticism than any other in Morocco, and Casablanca is a modern city — and beautiful in its own respect. The centre of Casablanca is fairly impressive. It's brand modern, with big, lively boulevards, high, white, well-kept buildings. And it's clean and efficient. People visiting Casablanca as their first city, could easily end up hating this place: There are few things here confirming the newcomers conception on the Orient. But for people having visited other parts of Morocco first, Casablanca is good! The city is modern in a Moroccan way, and an excellent example of Moroccans capacity of taking charge of the future of their country. Morocco imageBut as soon as you step out of the impressive centre of town, dark clouds cover the realities of people here. Extreme poverty and prostitution only to be matched by Tangier is what you'll find without even looking for it. No other place in the country displays bigger differences between the haves and the have-nots.
If anything in Casablanca should fit the Casablanca of Bergman and Bogart, it should be the old city. It's small, consisting mainly of smaller houses, which all seem to be from this century, and the alleyways dominating in other old cities, are rarely found here. There is a good market here, but look around before you buy, shop keepers here know their skills. Some thousand people live here, and in one or two spots, true beauty occurs.
The city walls of Casablanca has a strange feeling to them - in this large city, the walls are low and unimposing. A drastic change from many other cities of Morocco, where the city walls often dominate the image of the city.
Excellent on both hotels and restaurants. But prices are higher than in the rest of Morocco, but hotels are often full, but you will always find a hotel with vacancy. For restaurants, prices in the centre are often double of the rest of Morocco, and if you head out to the sea side parts of Casablanca, prices are even higher. Casablanca has a wider range of possibilities, and bars and restaurants are numerous, and some are frequented by both sexes, without any prostitution included. The discos near the small amusement park, near the train station, are apparently clean. Feel free to ask around.
Transportation: The best communications of Morocco. Trains, shared taxis and buses are all working fine, but as Casablanca is a big city, you could soon take a local bus or a town-taxi to get to the right station. There are several small train stations, and many stations for shared taxis -- your hotel receptionist, or anyone in the street will know where. There are a couple of bus stations, too.