Casablanca is the dazzling cultural hub of Morocco. Intense, gorgeous, and massively contradictory, the city is often a blur for many travelers as they change planes or just pass through. This is a pity, as it is one of the greatest cities in the world. Casablancas are known for their sophistication and are fascinatingly cosmopolitan – far more progressive than any other of the Moroccan cities.
The city itself is bustling, with many a stark contrast; heaving and seemingly endless city chaos, gridlocked traffic, dismal industrial architecture are juxtaposed with a virtual paradise in close proximity. Peaceful manicured gardens, gushing fountains, and opulent hotels like the Hyatt Regency Casablanca are basking against a present urban backdrop but overlooking the resplendent Ancient Medina.
What started out as a humble fishing village in the 10th Century BC, has evolved into the heart of Moroccan culture and commerce; the unofficial industrial capital of Morocco and the largest city, and the country’s largest port. But it is the nightlife in Casablanca that really brings people back for more and more. Unlike other countries, restaurants in the city only open at 7 pm in the evening at their earliest, and even then, most people will only eat much later than that.
If you visit the city you absolutely have to make a turn at the world-renowned Ricks Café – a stunning restaurant that has been built to recreate the well-known bar from the eponymous movie. It is a nostalgic destination and something of a tourist icon in the city.
When it comes to authentic local food and a chance to experience the hustle and bustle of a real Moroccan marketplace, then the street markets must not be missed. Sample freshly grilled savory and sweetbreads, cakes, and tasty grilled corn as well as fish and fried eggplant, fresh fruit juices, and drinking yogurts.
But the nightlife itself needs to be seen and rated for yourself. It has received a number of mixed reviews, mainly due to the predominantly male attendance and crowds filling up the nightclubs and pubs. But if you don’t mind that – then you are in for a real treat. There are some brilliant people-watching spots with silent tables to delight in a leisurely drink or tea and watch the night unfold.
La Kasbar is a fantastic place to start an evening off. Temperamental and rich in ambiance, its laid-back and friendly restaurant and pub with brilliant local fare, and the perfect place if you feel like really dressing up for a night out.
Joya can be found in the upmarket suburb of Ain Diab and it is the place to go if you want to mix with the crème de la crème of the local social scene. Strictly bouncer proscribed – entry is only for those who look the part, don’t bother if you haven’t made an effort or if your wallet is empty.
Le Tricia is the place to go if you are after a more chilled vibe in your evening’s entertainment, where the mojitos run freely and the evocative 1960′s décor reveals the very heart of Moroccan nightlife. Very hip crowds and very hip music make this one of the most well-loved nightclubs/pubs in the entertainment strip in Casablanca.
The beachfront is packed with vibey clubs and pubs all spilling out onto the beach, always busy and the parties always carry on until the wee hours.