Cheap flights to Casablanca
The New York of Africa, Casablanca is a vibrant city on the move. This is the modern face of North Africa, but a place with retains a huge amount of traditional Moroccan charm.
Casablanca – the very name of it conjures up romantic images of 1940s film stars. But the ‘Casa’ of today is a long way from the film with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. This is the other side of Morocco, the economic and commercial heart of the country and a vast and interesting city of some four million people. Ok, so it might not have some of the ancient sights and sounds of the likes of Marrakech or Tangier, but it does have bags of its own character and a western feel that makes it seem almost as European as it is North African.
Holidays to Casablanca offer a completely different Moroccan experience, and reveal a country that is modern, vibrant and full of life.
Coin de Brocante is a sort of flea-market shop. Browse once-loved furniture, ornaments, tableware, instruments and a whole load of other random secondhand objects that might choose you to give them a new home. Open Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm (80-90 Boulevard de la Grande Ceinture).
The French Institute is a fantastic place to seek out exhibitions, theatre and dance performances, or brush up on French cinema. It's open every day (121 Boulevard Mohamed Zerktouni, if-maroc.org/casablanca).
For a quirky dance class or an off-the-beaten track show, check the schedule at Casa del Arte. They run all kinds of cultural, artistic activities for various ages and you never know what may come up. Set within the walls of a cute villa with a pretty courtyard, it's a great place learn something new with a creative slant (7 Rue Franceville Oasis, casadelarte.ma).
In the month of Ramadan (late-June till late-July), most nightclubs are closed, as are many restaurants, since alcohol is prohibited. If you need a drink, some eateries will serve tourists, but it's hard to know which before the holy month begins. Hotel bars are a safer bet, although they can be a bit pricey.
Cinema Rif is one of the city's original cinemas and is the place to watch artsy films in original Art Deco surroundings. Alongside mainstream and local films, the Rif also shows operas and ballets. A must for those in search of culture (Avenue des FAR, https://fr-fr.facebook.com/rifcinema).
Loft Art Gallery is an ultra-contemporary art space exhibiting innovative works by renowned Moroccan artists. It's not always easy to access the country's visual artists, so places like this are more than welcome. Well worth a visit (13 Rue Al Kaïssi, Triangle d'Or, loftartgallery.net).
If you need some classy flowers or a chic plant, Petales et Compagnie is your place. What's more, you can sip coffee or tea in a comfy armchair, book in hand, and feel like you're in an indoor garden (24 Rue Ahmed Charci, petales.ma).
L'Atelier Vintage is a veritable Aladdin's cave of one-off pieces. From gorgeous, Liberty-style cushion covers to bijou lampshades, quirky clocks and teapots, you're sure to find something adorable. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-7pm (53 Rue Abou el Kacem el Zehahi).