CASABLANCA - GETTING AROUND
Being Morocco`s largest city, getting around on foot while in Casablanca can be understandably difficult for novice travelers. With so much going on, it can be a challenge to find your bearings and the destinations you want to visit, all the while staying vigilant and making sure you won`t be the victim of a robbery or bag-snatching. Exploring the city center on foot is recommended, provided you keep your wits about you, you don't flash money or other symbols of wealth, you walk with purpose, and avoid areas like the medina at night if exploring alone. The souks in the southeast corner of the medina, the La Corniche thoroughfare, and Plage Ain Diab are safe for tourists to explore at night.By bus and tram
Until 2019, M`dina Bus (www.mdinabus.ma, website in Arabic and French) will have the rights to operate Casablanca`s city bus lines. Currently there are over 75 bus lines which run daily in both Casablanca and Mohammedia as well as the suburbs. The following lines will be of most use to tourists:
Line 6: Mekanssa to Place Marechal - Leaving from the plaza adjacent to Place des Nations Unies, the main thoroughfares this line traverses are Boulevard de Paris, Avenue Hassan II and Rue de Beni M'Guild.
Line 9: Lotissement Saklia to Houphouet Boigny - Leaving from Boulevard Houphouet Boigny, this line travels down Avenue des Forces Armees Royales, Boulevard d'Anfa and Avenue Moulay Rachid, eventually emptying out onto Boulevard de l'Ocean Atlantique near La Corniche and Ain Diab.
Line 10: Lahraouienne to Hopital Sofi - Leaving from Hopital Moulay Youssef one block from the Hassan II Mosque, the line travels down Boulevard de Bordeaux, Avenue des Forces Armees Royales, Tremie de Dakar and Avenue Ouled Ziane.
Line 11: Daouliz to Mosquee Salmia - Leaving from Boulevard Driss Slaoui and Boulevard de la Corniche, this route begins approximately 2,000 feet from the El Hank Lighthouse and close to Plage Lalla Meryem. This route travels down Boulevard de Bourgogne, Boulevard Mohamed El Meknessi, Rue de Goulmima, Boulevard de Bordeaux and Avenue des Forces Armees Royales.
Line 38: El Hank to Hay El Falah - Begins from Boulevard TanTan and Avenue Mehdi Ben Barka, traveling down Boulevard Mohamed Zerktouni, Boulevard Abdelmoumen, Avenue Idriss I and Avenue 2 Mars.
Line 200: Quartier Hopitaux to Bouskoura - Begins from Boulevard Abdelmoumen and meanders south to Bouskoura, across the A3 motorway from the Bouskoura Forest.
Line M01: Port to Nahda (Mohammedia) - Travels down a number of important streets in Mohammedia, such as Rue Abdelmoumen, Boulevard Mohammed V and Boulevard de la Resistance.
Casablanca also operates a tramway line, Casa Tramway (www.casatramway.ma, website in Arabic and French), which runs a line from Sidi Moumen in the eastern suburbs of Casablanca to Plage Ain Diab. This line takes 77 minutes to run from west to east and vice versa, stopping at 40 stations along the way. Trams run at least every eight and a half minutes from 6 a.m. to midnight. Casa Tramway offers a weekly tram card and M`dina Bus offers a card called the M`dina Moov Card; both can be purchased from vending machines at bus stations, in person at a city tourism office, or online.
Casablanca`s taxis are affectionately referred to as `petits taxis` (little taxis) and are seen everywhere you go throughout the city (with the exception of the Old Medina, the majority of which is pedestrian-only). Petits taxis are red compact sedans and they are regulated by the government, so they must follow certain rules, such as the activation of the meter at all times during taxi rides. (Insist on running the meter, as some drivers may try to `agree on a price` beforehand, hoping you will agree to a higher fare.) Expect to pay approximately 15 to 25 dh for rides in and around the city center, 40 to 50 dh to Ain Diab and La Corniche, 50 to 75 dh to the Bouskoura Forest and Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport, and 100 to 120 dh to Mohammedia. Prices between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. weekdays, and all day on weekends and holidays, rise by 50%. It is equally common to hail a taxi from the street as it is to reserve one in advance by calling a telephone number. Keep in mind that, unlike in the U.S., taxi drivers may take additional passengers who are traveling in the same direction you are.
While Morocco is a great destination for cyclists, Casablanca does not come very highly-recommended as a cycling destination. The traffic you will see in Casablanca is the heaviest in the entire country and unless you ride out from La Corniche and the city center to the areas west of Ain Diab or south toward Bouskoura, you will be competing with drivers who are, most gently put, aggressive. Casablanca is also not particularly well-known for its bicycle rental shops: your best bet would be to reserve one through the national company MarocBike (www.marocbike.com, website in French and English).
Nearly all of the sights recommended by TripMasters are above the A1 motorway, which connects the southern cities of Safi and Al Jadida with Casablanca and Tangier to the north, and the A3 motorway, which connects Casablanca and Mohammedia. The Old Medina, the Marina, Ain Diab, La Corniche, El Hank and Anfa are north of the R320 motorway, which is known at various points by the names Boulevard d'Anfa, Avenue des Forces Armees Royales (or Avenue des FAR), and Avenue Pasteur. The Place des Nations Unies, Arab League Park, and other sights are located in the ring between the R320 and the N1 motorway (referred to in parts as Tremie Dakar and Boulevard Emile Zola). The Derb Ghallef and Habbous neighborhoods, home to the Royal Palace, are between the N1 and A3 motorways.
Driving can be daunting for visitors, as the accident rate is high and parking is almost always paid at a rate around 10 dh an hour. (Part of that may be used to pay a guard to `watch your car`; refusing to tip this guard isn`t something that is done.) The whole process can be stressful. If you do decide to drive in Morocco, remember that the driving age is 18 and that Moroccan police are very serious about speeding. If you are caught speeding, you will have to pay a fine and you risk losing your driving privileges while in the Kingdom. Keep in mind that, should you reserve your car during the TripMasters booking process, you will be picking up your car at Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport, Terminal 2, and not in the city center.