Casablanca is a large, modern city that represents Morocco’s heartbeat. It was formerly referred to as Anfa and is the largest city in the country. The city boasts architectural gems in Art Deco, Modernist, and Hispano-Moorish styles. Casa, as the residents call it, allows myriad movie moments for tourists who come to visit the former French colonial. Although the tourist attraction sites around the city are not as obvious as those in other places, if you dig deeper, you will find some gems worth exploring.
Here’s our list of 15 best day trips that you can make from Casablanca to add variety and spice to your Moroccan adventure. This list is for you if you have an adventurous spirit and would like to explore further afield this fascinating North African country, to discover its bustling, dynamic, and cosmopolitan vibe.
Rabat is Morocco’s capital city and is located 87 kilometers away from Casablanca. The journey between these two cities takes approximately one hour and ten minutes. Rabat is located at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg.
This modern coastal capital has many fascinating historic sites, such as the exquisite Mausoleum of Mohammed V, the picturesque Kasbah of the Udayas, and the unique Hassan Tower. There is so much for you to do on a day trip to Rabat. You can marvel at the pretty gardens, admire the old architecture of Challah, or take a stroll through the beaches, which offer great relaxation.
The medina of Rabat is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Suggested tour: Casablanca and Rabat: Private full day Tour from Casablanca
2. El Jadida
This small, coastal town with a Portuguese Heritage is located 102 kilometers south of Casablanca. The journey takes approximately 45minutes. El Jadida has beautiful strips of sandy beach, rusty cannon points, European-like architecture, and high walls that are a great vantage point for looking out over the surrounding streets and the ocean. The city is particularly busy in summer with an influx of local holiday-makers.
The Fortified City of Mazagan that was built by the Portuguese was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. In the Citadel area, you can check out the atmospheric cisterns that date back to the 16th century.
This is one of the country’s most beautiful imperial cities. The 240-kilometer journey from Casablanca takes about two hours and 40 minutes. A day trip to Meknes is enough to explore the highlights, which include the Museum of Moroccan Art, Bab el-Mansour, Bou Inania Madrasa, and Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail.
Meknes is a city that is often ignored by tourists. However, this bustling city has so much splendor for you to soak up. Meknes was founded in the 10th century by the Zanatah tribe and became Morocco’s capital in 1673.
Meknes earned its name – “Versailles of Morocco” – from the palaces and mosques that were fortified by four-cornered towers and pierced by nine ornamental gates.
4. The Corniche
Basically, a cornice is a neighborhood on the ocean whose ground rises on one side and falls on the other.
Casablanca’s Corniche is a beautiful beachfront district in the Ain Diab Suburb. Years back, the neighborhood was a thriving resort area. Today, the area resembles the New Jersey Shore because you can find many western fast food chains here.
The Corniche is often referred to as Morocco’s South Beach or the Blackpool of Morroco. It is lined with restaurants, theaters, hotels, and nightclubs. Further along the shoreline is a spectacular public beach that is a great spot for family vacations.
This small, historic town sits along the Atlantic coast about 75 kilometers from Casablanca. This Moroccan city lies on the left bank of the Oum Er-Rbia River.
A day trip to Azemmour allows you to experience the area’s local life. The city’s Portuguese-era walls are covered with interesting street art and graffiti; they’re attractive from outside, belying the shabby streets inside.
Azzemour has history stretching back to Punic times and a wide array of sites that showcase the long tenure. The adobe ramparts that encircle the medina area are a popular attraction in Azemmour.
During the Roman times, the city was an important fort that was later converted into an intellectual and spiritual center by the Almohade rulers after they surrounded it with grand ramparts.
Safi was occupied by the Portuguese in 1508; this explains the building’s architectural designs, as shown by the Dar el Bahar Fortress
This famous ceramic center is located 237 kilometers to the south of Casablanca. There are many vendors here who sell cool pottery that you need to check out.
Safi is one of the oldest coastal cities in Morocco and has a naturally rich history. It has a beautiful coastline and functions as a fishing port.
A one-way trip to Marrakech from Casablanca takes approximately 2.5 hours. Marrakesh is also referred to as the “Jewel of the South.”
Marrakesh is an intoxicating city – a magical place that most tourists fall in love with. After your first visit, you just can’t help but keep going back to experience more of it.
This previous imperial city boasts numerous attraction sites that can satisfy day-trippers as well as those who plan on sticking around for a while longer. The “Red City” of Marrakesh is especially known for its museums, palaces, intimate courtyards, snaking alleyways, art galleries, vibrant souks that sell a variety of traditional items, gardens, and mosques.
Marrakesh brims with markets since ancient caravan routes used to rest and trade here on the way from Timbuktu. The city has not paused for a moment.
One of the city’s most scenic and historic mosques is the Jardin Majorelle.
Recommended tour: From Casablanca: Private Day Tour to Marrakech
This charming seaside village is a popular holiday getaway for both local and international tourists. The 182-kilometer long journey from Oualidia to Casablanca takes approximately two hours. Oualidia is located next to a protected natural lagoon.
Oualidia is famous for oyster production. The local restaurants here list oysters as the main dishes, among other seafood fresh from the sea. The cuisine will be the highlight for any foodie.
Oualidia has a chilled-out vibe and is perfect for those who need time away from bustling city life. The golden beaches offer pretty views of the lagoon and flocks of pink flamingoes.
If you’re in Casablanca, you simply cannot afford to miss out on a day trip Oualidia to take in the landscape and the views.
This archeological site dates back to Roman times. Founded in the 3rd century B.C, Volubilis is believed to have been the capital of the Mauritanian capital at some point.
Volubilis is about 260 kilometers away from Casablanca; the journey takes a little over three hours. The stunning sites at Volubilis make the journey worthwhile. This UNESCO-listed site is renowned for its Roman ruins, with mosaics, pillars, arches, foundations, and carvings.
This Roman excavation site is the largest in the country. The main area that attracts visitors covers an area of 2,500 by 1900 ft. Artifacts that were found here are on display in the Archeology Museum in Rabat.
This sleepy seaside city in northwestern Morocco was formerly known as Fedala. Mohammedia is situated 15 kilometers away from Casablanca. It is a relaxing alternative to staying in Casablanca, thanks to its fine beaches and tranquil charm.
Mohammedia is attractively laid out and is a delight to wander through. This calm and lush port city has boulevards that are lined with grand palm trees that make it easy to visit but hard to leave. The locals here are warm and friendly.
There are numerous cafes and restaurants along the beach, so you don’t have to worry about being hungry on a day trip to Mohammedia.
This riverside town sits next to Rabat, on the right side of the Bou Regreg River. This city’s name is sometimes spelled as “Salli” or “Sallee.” Sale was founded by Arab-speaking Berbers in 1030 and became a haven for pirates in the 17th century.
There are quite a number of local and international tourists who come to Sale to absorb the area’s local way of life.
Sale is located about 90 kilometers from Casablanca. A one-way trip takes approximately one hour and 15 minutes. Some highlights of a day trip to this town include the monumental gate of Bab el-Mrisa and the Great Mosque of Sale.
12. The King Hassan II Mosque
This mosque was completed in 1993 and is the largest in Morocco, covering an area of two hectares. It took 6,000 Moroccan artisans six years to build this magnificent structure.
If you’re non-Muslim, you do not have to worry about being denied access to the mosque. Hassan II Mosque is one of two mosques that allow access to non-Muslims.
The mosque has beautiful finishing complete with water features, astonishingly intricate tile work, a rectangular roof that opens to the sky, and a huge hammam in the basement.
13. The Shrine of Sidi Abderrahman
This shrine is built offshore, on a rock well past The Corniche. Visitors are only able to access the shrine at low tide.
The shrine is of great significance to Muslims across the world. The bad news is that non-Muslims are not allowed access into the shrine itself; however, they are allowed to explore the neighborhood around it.
Walk along the beach on your day trip from Casablanca to catch stunning views of the beautiful, hallowed, white walls surrounding the shrine.
14. Old Medina
This traditional, walled town in the north of Casablanca is worth a visit for anyone who comes to Morocco.
The Old Medina remains virtually unchanged since the Middle Ages; the streets are cobbled with an endless run of donkey carts and wheelbarrows.
Take your time as you stroll through this old city district and take everything in. There are numerous bazaars, palaces, and mansions to explore. Most of these date back to the rebuilding that was carried out by Sultan Mohammed bin Abdallah.
Fez el Bali is one of the old medinas in the country. Fez is popular for its numerous souks, museums, mosques, and monuments. It is listed as a UNESCO World Monument.
Fez is a paradise for craft lovers, thanks to the presence of leather tanneries, woodwork, ceramics, and pottery factories. In the early days, it used to be a major attraction site for craftsmen, merchants, lawyers, astronomers, mathematicians, and theologians.
Up to date, Fez’s cultural and spiritual lineage beguiles visitors. It is located 246 kilometers from Casablanca.