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Help Heather Fisher with their trip plan: Going to Casablanca, Morocco

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Baxter Jackson recommended Marrakech
5
Marrakech ticks all the exotic boxes you could think of - snake charmers, pugilists, acrobats, soothsayers, belly dancers, veiled women and hooded men all intermingling in the labyrinth back-alleyways ... read more
of an ancient walled city punctuated with minarets and parapets. The Arab world and Africa had a baby and the result is (as the case is with bicultural offspring) a beautifully exotic wonder equally capable of navigating both worlds and very open to other such possibilities.
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Heather Fisher thanked Baxter Jackson for this recommendation.
Baxter Jackson

If I were you, I'd bookend my trip with Casablanca - a day at the beginning and a day at the end. You're gonna have to be there anyway and there are a few things worth seeing.

Baxter Jackson recommended Djemaa el Fna
Djemaa el FnaRue de la Koutoubia, Marrakech, Morocco
4
Djemaa el Fna is the epitome of exotic. The sights, sounds and smells of Arabic Africa assault your senses at every turn. Snake charmers, soothsayers, amateur pugilists, roaming musicians and water ... read more
bearers alike wander the food labyrinth stalls of smoke and fire serving everything from snail soup to sheep head sandwiches.
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Baxter Jackson recommended Palmerie
4
If you think a trip to Marrakech just wouldn't be complete with a camel ride, grab a taxi and head out to Le Palmerie where you'll find encampments galore eager to get you up on a one hump beast of ... read more
burden for tour around the palm oasis. Camels, palm oasisis and sunsets - what could be more exotic than that?
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Baxter Jackson recommended Imlil
4
With its cool mountain air, babbling stream of snowmelt and walnut, apples and cherry trees, Imlil is a picturesque mountain village cradled in the Atlas Mountains (parts of Seven Years in Tibet were ... read more
filmed here). Although sometimes a movie backdrop, it serves primarily as a gateway for climbers wanting to summit Mt. Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa. Even if you're not a mountaineer, Imlil is a perfect day trip from Marrakech.
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Baxter Jackson recommended Art Deco Buildings
Art Deco Buildings Rue Indriss Lahrizi, Rue Tahar Sebti & the south side of Blvd Mohammed V
4
Along Rue Indriss Lahrizi, Rue Tahar Sebti and the south side of Blvd Mohammed V, are some impressive art deco buildings built in the Mauresque architectural style. If French colonial architecture and ... read more
the traditional Moroccan aestetic AND art deco had a baby, you'd have Le Mauresque - lots of intricate wrought iron work, tiling and carved friezes - beautifully evocative of a bygone era. Oh, and don't miss Hotel Transatlantique, a stunning example of Moroccan Art Deco at it's finest.
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Baxter Jackson recommended Rick's Café Casablanca
Rick's Café Casablanca248 Rue Sour Jdid, Casablanca, Morocco
4
For all those pining for the romantic, war torn intrigues of yesteryear, Rick's Cafe is the place you're longing for. Inspired by the 1942 classic film noir 'Casablanca' - the cafe is like stepping ... read more
onto a film set. There's the former American diplomat owner, time piece furniture, a jazz piano tinkling softly in the background, a French, Moroccan and American menu plus a chill late night vibe all make Rick's just about the best place in town to say, 'Here's looking at you, Kid.'
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Baxter Jackson recommended Ancienne Medina Hammam
Ancienne Medina HammamPl Ahmed El Bidaoui City Centre
4
There's nothing quite so invigorating nor fascinating as watching the dead skin being scrubbed from your body in a traditional Moroccan hammam. Leave your inhibitions at the door and your underwear on ... read more
for this bath, scrub, massage combo that'll leave you all pink and shiny. Admission Price DH7.50; Hours 06:00-12:00 for men, 13:00-22:00 for women.
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David Pessemier recommended Casablanca
3
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David Pessemier

My wife and were also getting hit on by kids and youg folks for money or this and that. Once we started holding hands when walking, they left us alone. Why---Unkown.

Zora O'Neill recommended Sqala Cafe Le Maure
5
I wish I'd gone back and eaten dinner here, after my truly fantabulous lunch. This was possibly the best meal I had on that trip to Morocco, and made my whole Casablanca stay very worthwhile. Unlike ... read more
most Moroccan menus, which have the same five items, Sqala offers all kinds of fascinating dishes you don't see outside of people's homes, and some creative inventions of their own. I had a great stew of lamb, dill, desert truffles and saffron, and a shake with dates, almonds and orange blossom water. The setting is gorgeous, in a shady courtyard with fountains, and it's packed with locals. And the prices are very reasonable. You can walk here from the Hassan II mosque if it's not boiling hot out.
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Heather Fisher thanked Zora O'Neill for this recommendation.
Zora O'Neill

I agree that Casa is not immediately lovable (though Baxter's rec of the Art Deco district, below, is good). This restaurant, however, is pretty stunning--one of the best places I've eaten all over the country. AND Casa now has a tram, which could make getting around easier (and cooler). If you have a long flight to Morocco, I think it's worth staying a night in Casa just to get acclimated.

Zora O'Neill recommended Hassan II Mosque
Hassan II MosqueCasablanca, Morocco
5
This is the only mosque non-Muslims can visit in Morocco. (Phew--that lightens the sightseeing burden!) But it's a doozy. I've been in a lot of mosques, and this one is probably the most ridiculously ... read more
glitzy and huge I've ever seen. You can enter only on a guided tour, where they point out all the vastly huge facilities and over-the-top decoration, and of course the fact that you can see the Atlantic Ocean through the glass floor. Vegas, baby.
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Zora O'Neill

Another Casa sight. It's pretty staggering.

Zora O'Neill recommended Hotel Moroccan House Casablanca
Hotel Moroccan House Casablanca4 Rue Mohamed SMIHA, Cote Avenue des FAR, Centre Ville, Casablanca, Morocco
5
OK, you have to love kitsch to appreciate this place, but even if you don't, it might be worth subjecting yourself to some overdecoration for a night just because the place is great value. The rooms ... read more
are done up in a ridiculous amount of chintz and gauze and tassels, and decorated in one of four colors (I got pink on one stay, and green on another; blue looked the most sensible, at least from outside the room). There's free wi-fi, a big breakfast spread (don't miss the donuts in the hot case) for a small extra price, great water pressure and loads of toiletries in the bathroom (plus a mug that said Merry Christmas! on it--see, kitsch). Staff are quite nice, if not totally strong on English (really depends who's working), and the location on the edge of the Centre Ville is very handy.
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Zora O'Neill

In case you need a hotel in Casa. Other times I've stayed in Casa, I've just used hotel points at the big chains, which are perfectly adequate too...

Zora O'Neill recommended Restaurant au Porte de Peche
1
Bleh. Putting this up as a warning, because the restaurant came so highly recommended from locals and guidebooks. And it was packed! But so, so icky--all the seafood was badly prepared, soggy and ... read more
tasteless. And I don't normally care much about service, but the waiter treated one of our party like a kid (didn't give her her own menu), and then dropped green beans on me, and then forgot about us for a long time. It was not a stellar night at this joint. Even the sardines were blah--and how do you mess up sardines in Morocco?
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Heather Fisher commented on this question

I'm so excited! Thanks everyone for your tips... my trip starts in 5 days!

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