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Advice re getting into Casablanca from cruise ship dock

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Worcestershire
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Advice re getting into Casablanca from cruise ship dock

Myself and my husband will be visiting Casablanca for one day during our cruise in October.We dont really want to take part in the organised coach tours and wondered how far the cruise terminal was from the centre and also is it OK for us to walk to the centre from the terminal.Also any tips on where to walk in the centre and anything to watch out for would be much appreciated,Many Thanks.

Tangier, Morocco
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1. Re: Advice re getting into Casablanca from cruise ship dock

There's really not much to see in Casablanca. The main tourist attraction is the Hassan II Mosque. Since you do not have that much time, I would advise you take a petit taxi from Casa port, go and look at the mosque, and then (another petit taxi) head to the Quartier Habous (which is better than the old medina) to do a little gift shopping.

Also check out this previous post from TA archives:

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293732-i9447-k1…

Worcestershire
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2. Re: Advice re getting into Casablanca from cruise ship dock

Many Thanks for your help Zohor !

Tangier, Morocco
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3. Re: Advice re getting into Casablanca from cruise ship dock

Just one other thing: apparently in the Quartier Habous (which I have visited) there is a patisserie shop called CHEZ BENNIS (which I haven't been to). This is reputed to be one of the very best patisseries in Casablanca, where you can buy Moroccan delicacies such as 'cornes de gazelle'. It might be good to stock up on some of these goodies to take back to your cabin ... I believe also that you can sit and have mint tea and a snack at Chez Bennis.

Here are some pics (text in French unfortunatey):

…over-blog.com/article-patisserie-marocaine-…

Enjoy!

casa
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4. Re: Advice re getting into Casablanca from cruise ship dock

The port is not that far from Rick's Cafe and the old Medina. Depending on your fitness level, and openness to walk, it would probably take around 15 min to walk to either. Maybe less.

I would second Zohor's recommendations of starting out by going to the Mosque, it is absolutely stunning. When I was there last I think it was about 180 dh/pp. They do have limited tour times in English (I want to say at 10 or 11 A.M.). The tour will last an hour.

From there, if it's lunch time, do the typical tourist thing and stop at Rick's cafe. Expect to pay at least 200 dh/pp, and that's just if you get an entree and something to drink, depending on your preferences though you could pay as little as 150 dh/pp or as much as 1000 dh/pp, but that depends on whether you order from the bar and how much and your personal tastes.

Either after lunch, or before lunch, head to the Habous (tell the cabbie either Habous souk or just Habous, most cabbies will know where it is, if not, don't get in the cab). Expect to spend a few hours, depending on how much shopping you want to do. The Habous is wonderful and a good place to pick up handicrafts from Morocco if you're not going anywhere else. It has an apparently delicious olive market (I don't eat or enjoy olives myself). You can find wonderful Moroccan handicrafts. Large leather poufs cost about 200dh, smaller around 100. You shouldn't pay more than 80 dh for small henna skin light covers. More for larger ones or floor lamps.These prices are just my experience, and those of who I know, though, yours may differ. Be aware of buying anything "pre-wired" unless you live in Europe as the current is different in Morocco than that of North America. They will have rugs, jewelry, tea sets, light covers (both wall and ceiling), poufs, leather goods, beautiful boxes made in various parts of Morocco.

After the Habous, get some food, if you haven't already, maybe find a yummy patisserie. The pastries are very French in style, but there are also wonderful Moroccan pastries, which seem to be primarily almond based at times.

If you have a ton of extra time, check out the old M'dina, it is a cultural experience.

If you're looking for a more "western" shopping experience, ask a cabbie to take you to the twin center in the Maarif. You will find Zara, Steve Madden, a good sports store and other stores of the like within a small area. You could probably spend part of an afternoon just strolling around and checking out the shops and the architecture by keeping the twin center as a guide. Near the Twin Center (10 min. walk or so) is a big beautiful white Catholic church. I'm not sure of its hours, or if it is open.

If you're looking for a beach outing, ask a driver to take you to the corniche, where there are cafes and restaurant as well as beaches.

Some tips for the Habous:

Take only cash. Very few vendors will accept your credit card. You can decide whether or not to respond to the touts of the vendors or not. Do not accept the first price the vendor tells you, it is inflated. If you are interested in something, ask a couple of vendors to determine what the average price is for the item, and then haggle the price. If you are in a shop, and bargaining for a big purchase, you may be invited to sit and drink tea. Moroccan tea is strong and sweet and often very sugary. Expect this to take some time.

Tips for cabs: Coming from the port you may not have any option but to accept the price the cabbie gives you, but in taking cabs around Casablanca your fare should start at 1.70 dh, if it says anything more on the meter ask them to reset the meter (unless it is nighttime, when cabs are more expensive). It shouldn't cost more than 20dh to go most places in Casablanca during the day time. Cabbies do not automatically go where you want to go, before you get in the cab, tell the cabbie where you are going (e.g. Habous), depending on the cabbie they'll either tell you yes or no. If no, stop the next available cab. I've personally never had a problem, unless going somewhere more remote. The cabs also only hold 3 people. If there are more than 3 of you, you will probably need 2 cabs or a white taxi.

Worcestershire
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5. Re: Advice re getting into Casablanca from cruise ship dock

Thankyou so much for taking the time and trouble to give all this info.It is very useful and much appreciated !

casa
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6. Re: Advice re getting into Casablanca from cruise ship dock

You're welcome! I'm a westerner living in Casablanca, so I'll willingly answer any questions.

If you decide on a beach day at the corniche you may want to do a bit of research into clubs you could go to. The public beaches here in Morocco are really not for westerners and a western woman would feel very uncomfortable wearing a bathing suit.

Enjoy your stop in Casablanca! You can find stuff to do for a day!

Bognor regis united...
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7. Re: Advice re getting into Casablanca from cruise ship dock

It has been very good to read all your advice, we are going in November , what is the currency for Casablanca and how much to the pound, I have been told to use stirling as it is easier to use, can you enlighten us on this.Maggimoo.

marrakech
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8. Re: Advice re getting into Casablanca from cruise ship dock

Hi,

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293730-s601/Morocco:…

This article from the Travel Guide section on the left of the page should help.

Tangier, Morocco
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9. Re: Advice re getting into Casablanca from cruise ship dock

Hi maggimoo43:

There are around 13 dirhams to £1 , so a dirham is worth around seven and a half pence.

It's best to go to an ATM and draw out money with your card, much easier than taking Sterling to a bank to change it. There are ATM's all over town at banks and even in some hotels.

Have a good trip!

Bognor regis united...
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10. Re: Advice re getting into Casablanca from cruise ship dock

Do the shops accept euros or sterling, we will need dirhams to get a taxi from the ship, we intend to do our own thing rather than an organised trip.I would like to hear from the couple who are going in Oct to hear how they got on, we are going in Nov.