“What in heaven’s name brought you to Casablanca?”

The title seemed fitting for this post for so many reasons. Or, maybe just two:

  1. Because this is a quote from the movie Casablanca, and
  2. Because I was asked this question a few times.

Really, the question was asked for a reason. There’s not much to Casablanca since it is just another city. A city in Morocco, yet, still a city. And a city is a city no matter where you are.

With that said, you definitely should not skip over this one!

Where To Eat:

La Sqala Cafe Maure – Here, we had a traditional Moroccan breakfast. And I honestly thought I knew what Moroccan food was before I went to Morocco, but I really had no idea!

Traditional Moroccan breakfast consists of bread, and a lot of it. So, our lovely host ordered our food (since none of us speak Arabic or French and these are the two official languages of the country) and even though she told us what we would be having, I was still surprised to see our plates as they came.

It included four types of bread – a donut of sorts, a fried circle bread with spices cooked into it, a spongy, Ethiopian type bread, and [my favorite] the layer bread that’s kind of like a sweet tortilla. We were also given a spread of jams, butter, oils, and honey along with a side of baguettes. WHOA.

The orange juice is amazing, as well as the honey, and ohhhh the olives!

Rick’s Cafe – Yes, I said it. Go do your tourist thing and eat at the replica of the restaurant from the movie. Yes, there’s a pianist who will play “As Time Goes By”, and they have an actual game table from the movie. Not to mention, the food is incredible and the decor is beautiful.

What To Do:

Hassan II Mosque – At least drive by it. So beautiful!

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Go to the souq – Yes, more shopping! We were sent here to buy a rug, and that was such a cool experience. These guys roll out carpet after carpet, and all you have to do is sit there and drink your mint tea.

After we left the rug shop, we wandered around a little more, and then were led by one of the shop owners to their overflow space behind the souq. Again, a potentially sketchy situation, but we followed along anyway to find this small space filled so much with pictures, lamps, and other trinkets that the path leading in was only big enough to slide in sideways. What a gem!

Besides this, we didn’t do much else during our time there. We stayed here our first night, and stopped back through from Marrakech to Fes for a couple nights, and then again before we left the country.

It was also nice to break up our train rides for a couple days since the transit time between Marrakech and Fes is about 7 hours!

Tip:

  1. Here, you have more variety of food and things that would be familiar so it’s a great place to get a break from eating tajine and couscous!
  2. English is spoken in Casablanca. It’s just not as common as French and Arabic. Which means this is a good opportunity to brush up on, or learn, some words/phrases in a new language!

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