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Home> Destinations> Africa> Casablanca> Overview


Updated: 2014-07-29 / (visitmorocco.com)





City Introduction

Dar el Beida, an ancient city of Morocco, located in the Atlantic Coast, is the largest port city of Morocco, and the economic and transportation center of the country; 70% of modern industry of the country cluster here; its urban and suburb areas have over 1,000 factories, industrial and commercial and financial centers, which is always known as the “lung lobe of Morocco”. It has a population about 2.6 million. Its nearby areas are rich agricultural areas, and the inland is wide and rich in mineral resources such as apatite. The average elevation of the city is 50m. It has a mild climate, with the average temperature of 12℃ in January and 23℃ in August, and its annual precipitation is 400 mm. The city, facing the sea, grows evergreen trees and has pleasant climate and beautiful sceneries, which make it become a famous tourist city in Africa. The city was formerly called Casablanca, meaning “white house” in Spanish.





History and Culture

Casablanca had been inhabited before European people came. In the 16th century, Portuguese came here, razed the local Berber villages to the ground and starts European colonial history; since 1770 when Arabian rebuilt a new city, it had grown into a marine trade center by the end of the 19th century. France occupied the city in 1907, and started the reconditioning of port facilities. During the World War II, Casablanca was under the governance of Pro-German regime and then attacked and occupied by allied forces. In 1956, French army withdrew. In 1942, a film called Casablanca which set the Casablanca as the place of story was released; this film later became a immortal classic in the history of film, and also made Casablanca famous in the world.





Natural Environment

Morocco is complex in terrain, with steep Atlas Mountains in the middle and north, plateau and former Sahara plateau in the east and south, and only long and narrow low plain in the area along the northwestern coast. About 20% of the country is covered with forests, with trees mainly including cedar, fir, needle juniper, wild olive, dwarf palmetto, etc.






Casablanca, bordering on Atlantic Ocean, grows evergreen trees and has pleasant climate. It has a mild climate all the year round, with the average temperature of 12℃ in January and 23℃ in August, and its annual precipitation is 400 mm. Sometimes, waves of the Atlantic Ocean run high while the Casablanca is calm.





Useful Information


Casablanca has three major railway stations, which are operated by Office National des Chemins defer (ONCE, website: www.oncf.org.ma). Casa-Voyageurs in the east of the downtown is a transfer station, leading to Morocco’s large cities; sleeping berths are available on the night trains from the northern Tangier to Marrakech or El Jadida; each car has six berths with extra charge of 90dirhams, which it is worth that much.

Another line starts from northeast Oujda to Marrakech, which joins the Tangier line at Sidi Kacem. Trains are faster and more comfortable than buses. All trains are divided into first-class cars and second-class cars, which have different prices, but no difference in the degree of comfort. More second-class cars are provided in many lines.

Water Transportation

Morocco borders on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, and there are regular ships departing from some ports of Morocco along the Mediterranean coast every day to Europe. You can also go to Tangier by ship firstly and then to Casablanca by train.

Tangier is the busiest port, and you can go there from Algeciras (22-25 euros, 60-70 minutes, every one hour) or Tarifa (21 euros, 35minutes, five flights each day) of Spain; or Sete of France (53 euros, 36 hours, two flights each week).

You will be charged additionally with 8-15 euros for carrying a bike and 50-80 euros for a car. Boat tickets can be bought directly at the port or by entrusting a travel agency.

Information of Embassy and Consulate

Office location: No.16, Avenue Ahmed Balafrej, Souissi, Rabat.

Office hours: From Monday to Friday 9:00-12:00 and 14:30-17:30 (excluding holidays and festivals).

Consulate opening hours: 09:00-11:30 for March 15 - April 15, and 09:00-11:30 for September 15 - October 15. At other times, 09:00-11:30 for every Tuesday through Thursday (excluding holidays and festivals).

Telephone Number of Embassy: (00212-537)754056/92、751897。 Fax of Embassy: (00212-537)757519、653793。

Emergency contact of Embassy: 00212-661193314。 The Embassy website: http://ma.china-embassy.org.





Visa Information

Visa processing

Materials for applying for tourist visa:

1.Original passport (with the valid period of over half a year) 2.Two 2-inch photos in color with white background 3.One front-and-back photocopy of Identification Card. 4.Proof of Employment 5.Bank water bills





Currency Exchange

Dirham is Morocco's current currency, which is issued by the central bank, and the Administration of Exchange Control of the Treasury Department is in charge of foreign exchange control. The face values of Morocco dirham notes include: 5, 10, 50, 100, 200 dirhams and coins with face value of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 centimes and 1 dirham. 1 dirham is equal to 100 centimes. Please check real-time daily dirham foreign exchange rates before your travel.






Islam is the official religion of Morocco. More than 99% of the residents believe in Islam, mainly Sunni; and the rest of the population believes in Christianity and Judaism.





Tourism Service Number

International code: 212, also 00212, 00 212, 00-212, + 212, +212-, + 00212, 212, 0212, 000212, etc.

Example: The order of dialing a number in place A in Morocco from China by using a fixed-line telephone or mobile phone is "00212-place A's district code-place A's number", hyphen "-" is not required in actual dialing.






1. Local currency: 1 Moroccan dirham = USD 0.12 = 0.95 (RMB)

2. Local voltage: 220 V, Europe double-cannon plug. Domestic tourists have to take a changeover plug for electronic devices.

3. Local time: 8 hours later than Beijing time

4. Local climate: Subtropical Mediterranean climate and desert climate, the temperate in April is ideal for tourism. The daily average temperature is 26℃, with the minimum temperature of 16 to 18℃; it is hot at noon.

5. Local customs: Morocco is an Islamic country where eating pork is banned. And tourists need to take off shoes during visiting the mosque or museum.

6. Guidance for dressing: Long-sleeved unlined garment is appropriate, and jacket should be prepared for the early morning and evening. Ladies should wear a long skirt over knees and coat over shoulders in public places, and over revealing and short clothes are taboo here.

7.Please don't shoot the local military facilities, as well as local women due to the Muslim traditions.

8.Wireless communications: China Mobile is available in Morocco, but you need to open international roaming service (please consult the China Mobile service hotline 10086 for detailed information). 10086)





Festivals(Important/Historical/Folks Ones)

Declaration of Independence Day: January 11

Labor Day: May 1

National Day (the day when the king ascended the throne): July 30

Return Day: August 14

King & People's Revolution Day: August 20th

Youth Day/King's Birthday: August 21

Green March: November 6

Independence Day: November 18

Mohammedian calendar festivals: Mohammedian calendar New Year, Hari Raya, Eid Al-Adha and the Prophet Birthday (dates of festivals change each year as they are calculated according to Mohammedian calendar).

August every year sees staff in Moroccan governments and enterprises have a vacation.


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