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Travel to Casablanca

  • morocco travelAccommodation and hotels in Casablanca
    • Auberge de Jeunesse (Casablanca Youth hostel) : on a nice little square in the old souq at 5 min of Casa Port train station, very clean, communal showers with cold water, no IYHF membership card needed, 45 dirham per bed in dormitory room, 120 dirham for a double room, 180 dirham for a triple room, breakfast included. Our first impression was very good, but the very hard matrasses, the noisy and light rooms (the wall only goes halfway the ceiling which makes you hear everything from the other rooms) and the rather expensive doubles made us decide to try one of the many other cheap guesthouses in the old souq, which proved to be better in the end.
    • Hotel Helvetia , one of the many similar cheap budget guesthouses in the old souq (the first two we tried were full), 70 dirham per double room (seems to be the price everywhere), rooms with balcony are clean, quite nice and airy, no shower but water basin on the room, telephone 022276852
    • Hotel Terminus, right opposite the Casa Voyageurs train station, a good budget hotel if you arrive late by train.
  • Internet cafes in Casablanca: are quite hard to find, there is one in boulevard Mohammed V, 81 where you can surf on the internet for 10 dirham per hour.
  • Visiting the Casablanca medina: walking through the medina in Casablanca is quite easy and hassle free. If you are planning to do some souvenier shopping, try to avoid doing it here since Casablanca is the most expensive city in Morocco.
  • Mosque of Hassan II: an arcitectonical master piece built in 1993 with the help of Moroccos most skilled master artisans in traditional handicrafts such as wood carving and tilework. The mosque is situated beautifully on the Casablancan beachside and absolutely worth a visit. Unfortunately you can only enter the mosque if you telephone them and book yourself in on a 10 euro or so visit, but it is possible to peep inside through the large entrance gate. You can make a nice walk starting at the big entrance of the medina and walking through in the direction of the coast. Upon exiting the medina you soon reach the mosque, easily seen from everywhere around with it's 220 meter high minaret. After having a good look at the mosque and surrounding buildings you can continue along the beach promenade to the ville nouvelle. The best view of the Hassan II mosque is actually from that beach promenade
  • Visa for Mauritania in the Mauritanian consulate in Casablanca
    • For more information on our trip through Mauritania see the See my Mauritania report.
    • Embassy in Rabat (T 037656678/75) : does no longer issue visa, you have to go to the consulate in Casablanca
    • Consulate in Casablanca : Route d'El Jadida 382, 15 dirham to travel by taxi from the centre, telephone 022257373 and 022257878. You need 2 photos, a copy of the first 3 pages of your passport (there is a copy kiosk nearby) and 100 dirham (about 10 euro). The Mauritanian visa is valid for one month from the day of issue. The fact that the visa mentions as "place d'entree : aeroport Nouackchott" is only for administrative reasons and gives no problems if you enter Mauritania by land. If you come between 9 and 1030 am you can pick up the visa the same day at 2pm.
  • Traveling by public transport from Casablanca
    • Casablanca Train station : there are two train stations; Casa Voyageurs is the main station where you will most likely arrive. Casa Port is right next to the old town where you want to be. Most trains don't stop, leave or pass by Casa Port. There are connecting trains between the two stations (about 45 minutes travel) but it is a lot easier to take a petit taxi for 15 dirham, which brings you in less than 15 minutes from one station to the other.
    • Travel by train from Casablanca to Marrakesh : train Casa Voyageurs - Marrakesh : 75.5 dirham in second class, 3.5 hours travel, there is a train every two hours.
    • Travel by train from Casablanca to Rabat: the easiest option is with the express shuttle train running every hour from Casa Port station (40.50 Dirham) 1,5 hour.
    • Travel by plane from Casablanca to Mauritania and Senegal : Air Maroc : return flight Casablanca - Dakar costs 4675 dirham and Casablanca - Nouackchott costs 4613 dirham. One way flights are a bit more expensive.
    • Travel by bus from Casablanca to Dakhla : The state bus company CTM (022-438282) has one bus a day which leaves Casablanca at 10am, arrival in Dakhla the next day at 5pm, a ticket costs 460 dirham. The private bus company Supratours (044435525) sells tickets for the about the same price which you can buy in the Casa Voyageurs train station. The Supratours ticket consists of a train ticket from Casablanca to Marrakech, their bus leaves to Dakhla from the bus stop in Marrakesh, next to the train station. In fishing season you better make a reservation at least a day in advance as then Dakhla is a popular destination. There are also 3 CTM buses to Laayoune, from where you can catch more buses to Dakhla.
  • Traveling with your own vehicle in and around Casablanca
    • Driving in Casablanca is not easy, look out well for suicidal motorcyclists, cyclists and taxidrivers. The traffic rules are not always the same as in Europe ie in a roundabout the traffic entering from the right have priority before the traffic already in the roundabout.
    • There is a well maintained pay motorway running along the Atlantic coast between El Jadida about 100 km south of Casablanca, via Casablanca and Rabat to Tanger. An inland branch of the motorway runs between Rabat via Meknes to Fes.