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A tale of two Moroccan gems: Casablanca and Fes

Secondary Categories: MoroccoGuide

Welcome to the enchanting land of Morocco, where the past meets the present in perfect harmony. From the bustling modernity of Casablanca to the ancient charm of Fes, let's delve into the magic of two Moroccan gems. 

Captivating Casablanca 

Sea and coastal view of Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco
Hassan II Mosque sits at the gorgeous coast of Casablanca.

Our adventure begins in the coastal metropolis of Casablanca, Morocco's largest city and main economic hub. Famous for its iconic, white-washed buildings and the legendary movie bearing its name, Casablanca boasts a unique blend of European and Moorish influences. Here are our top picks… 

Magnificent mosque: No visit to Casablanca is complete without marveling at the Hassan II Mosque, one of the world's largest and most stunning mosques. Its intricate architecture, and its dramatic location on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, make it a symbol of Morocco's Islamic heritage and modern vision. The guided tours inside the mosque offer a glimpse into the country's religion and culture, making it a must-visit attraction. 

Old meets new: While Casablanca is known for its modernity, the city still preserves its historic charm within the Medina or Old Quarter. Stroll through the narrow alleys filled with vibrant souks (marketplaces) and witness the locals going about their daily business. From spices to handicrafts, the Medina is a wonderland for shopping enthusiasts seeking authentic Moroccan products. 

A dash of Deco: Architecture aficionados will love Casablanca's art deco buildings. Roam the streets to admire the fascinating blend of traditional Moroccan designs with European art deco influences. The Mohammed V Square, with its splendid fountain and palm trees, stands as a perfect example of the city's unique architecture. 

Movie magic: Step into the world of the classic film Casablanca at Rick's Café, a famous restaurant and piano bar inspired by the iconic movie. Located in the heart of Casablanca, this stylish establishment is designed to recreate the ambiance of the film's setting, complete with vintage décor, soft jazz music, and a timeless Moroccan charm. The food’s pretty darned good too. 

Fantastic Fes 

Al-Attarine Madrasa courtyard of intricate tilework in Fes, Morocco
Al-Attarine Madrasa is one of Fes’ stunning treasures, with its lovely courtyard and intricate tilework.

Stepping back in time, we journey to the ancient city of Fes, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a true reflection of Morocco's rich cultural heritage. As one of the oldest imperial cities in the region, it offers a fascinating glimpse into Morocco's illustrious past. Fes is one of those places you could spend months exploring without ever getting bored. But here are a few of our absolute must-visits… 

Medieval medina: The heart of Fes lies in its labyrinthine Medina, a living testament to medieval times. Lose yourself in the labyrinth of narrow streets, where mules and donkeys replace cars, and the air is filled with the scent of spices and freshly baked bread. Marvel at age-old craftsmanship as artisans work on leather goods, pottery, and intricate textiles. 

Marvelous madrasas: Fes is home to some of the most beautiful madrasas (colleges) in Morocco. The Al-Attarine Madrasa, adorned with intricate tile work and carved cedar, is a masterpiece of Moroccan architecture. And the Bou Inania Madrasa, with its stunning courtyard and elaborate decoration, is equally captivating and worth exploring. 

Terrific tanneries: Experience the ancient leather tanning process at the Chouara and Sidi Moussa tanneries. These fascinating tanneries have been in operation for centuries, and the sight of men working in large vats filled with colorful dyes is uniquely Moroccan.

Interior artwork of Nejjarine Museum in Fes, Morocco
We highly recommend a visit at the Nejjarine Museum!

Fit for a king: Located in the heart of Fes, the Royal Palace is an impressive architectural marvel. While the palace isn’t open to the public, you can still admire its magnificent bronze doors and intricately adorned gates from the outside. 

Carve your niche: Step into the world of exquisite Moroccan craftsmanship at the Nejjarine Museum. Housed in a beautifully restored caravanserai, the museum showcases an exceptional collection of wooden artifacts, including intricate carvings, musical instruments, and traditional tools. The rooftop terrace offers panoramic views of the Medina, making it an ideal spot to take in the city's beauty. 

We could go on and on about the wonders of Casablanca and Fes. But it would make for more sense for you to pack your bags and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Check out our most popular Morocco tours here. Or speak to a Destination Expert about designing your own. 

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