A Guide to Casablanca's Best Neighbourhoods
Centre Ville is where it’s at with plenty of historical landmarks, iconic establishments and souks: a fusion of attractions (Mohamed 5 square, Zevaco’s Cupola and Cathedral Sacré Coeur amongst others) . You could spend a full day in Centre Ville and still have more to do. Unless you’re an early-bird and venture out before peak hours, get used to crowds. For the skaters out there, there’s a beautiful, modern skatepark in front of Nevada that you must stop at.
Habous is the cultural district by definition and is considered as the new Medina of the city, only less crowded and quieter. The souk offers a spectrum of goods to purchase, mainly artisanal handcrafts and food-related items like olives and spices. With its unique courtyards, organised shops and exotic paths, you can wander the maze-like district for hours. Here, you’ll find the Mahkama, an urban royal residence which took ten years to finish. It’s one of a kind. Based on an incline, it seems to rise over the area, and can be accessed through massive doors. It gives Hogwarts energy. A pitstop at Pâtisserie Bennis, the family-owned, century-old bakery is mandatory.
Bouskoura is the greenest neighbourhood 15 kilometres away from the centre of Casa. Frankly speaking, it has almost become a stand-alone city. More and more chain cafés, restaurants and bars are opening branches in Bouskoura as inhabitants swap the urban sprawl for something greener. It displays the beautiful Bouskoura Forest, close to the airport, where families come to recharge their batteries.
Moving to Ain Diab or La Corniche, north of the city where you can surf, do other leisurely activities, visit the cinema and take in its views. You should definitely watch the sunset by La Colline; located next to a lighthouse, it’s a large parking spot facing the sea with impressive views. After recent infrastructural developments, it’s heartwarming to witness people enjoying green spaces for picnics, and playing sports.
There are a few neighbourhoods to avoid but you wouldn’t tend to visit these neighbourhoods unless invited by friends who actually live there and who’ll likely have your back. Only one or two are relevant to travellers as they are strategically located in lively places such as the Medina. Unfortunately, pickpockets are crawling in those places. Wear a fanny pack or a tight backpack to limit the risk of theft. Unsurprisingly, travellers are the easiest targets so just be extra careful.