A visit to Morocco’s largest city would not be complete without a tour of the Hassan II Casablanca Mosque. In fact many people would say it’s the only reason to visit Casablanca at all, and while we would humbly disagree, it is unquestionably the main attraction here.
Not only is it the largest mosque in Morocco, Hassan II is also the largest mosque in the whole of Africa, and in fact the third largest in the entire world. Only the mosques of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia are larger.
But not only is this Casablanca mosque huge, it’s also incredibly beautiful and, despite being only a few decades old, boasts a fascinating history.
If you’re considering a visit to the Hassan II mosque then, like us, you probably have a number of questions. This post will provide you with everything you need to know to plan a successful visit.
A Brief History of the Hassan II Mosque
The idea to build the Hassan II Mosque was first conceived in 1984. They began building in 1989, and incredibly finished just 6 years later in 1993.
It was an immense feat of ambition, perseverance and workmanship to complete this structure in such a short period of time.
In fact it required a vast workforce of 10,000 of Morocco’s most talented craftsmen to work in shifts for 24 hours a day for the entire 6 years.
99.9% of the construction materials used came from within Morocco. They sourced just two features from elsewhere. These are the chandeliers, 57 of them in total, which came from Venice. And two pillars which stand either side of the Mihrab which are also Italian and made from carrara marble.
Some Fun Hassan II Mosque Facts
The Casablanca Mosque can accommodate a whopping 105,000 worshippers in total. 20,000 men inside, with a balcony that can hold 5,000 women. There is also space outside on the concourse for an extra 80,000 worshippers.
While the building looks timeless, even ancient, it was actually pretty cutting edge for when it was built. Hassan II Mosque boasts electric heated floors for when it gets chilly in winter. As well as possibly the most impressive technical feature, a vast electric sliding roof. The roof opens in just 3 seconds and shuts in only 2 and was installed instead of air conditioning for hotter days when the mosque is full.
1/3 of the Hassan II mosque is actually over the Atlantic sea, a feature inspired by a verse in the Qur’an which says “the throne of God was upon the water”.
The money received from the tours pays for upkeep of the mosque allowing it to be completely self sufficient.
Two of the most frequent questions asked are “Who paid for the Hassan II Mosque?” and “How much did it cost to build?”.
No one knows the exact figure but most estimates put it at around $800 million. Huge sums now, but even more incredible to think that was 30 years ago.
The King Hassan II himself reportedly paid 1/3 of the cost from his personal fortune. The rest was raised from the Moroccan people by way of “public subscription” or mandated donations and is still a contentious issue among many people.
Can non-Muslims visit Hassan II Mosque?
One of the first things you may be wondering is “can non-Muslims visit the mosque in Casablanca?” And the short answer is yes – non-Muslims can most definitely visit the Hassan II Mosque.
But it’s a very valid question because this is actually the only mosque in Morocco that non-Muslims are allowed to visit.
That said, you’re not allowed to simply wander in and nose around. All visits by non-Muslims must be as part of a tour.
The guided group tours are at fixed times throughout the day. Meaning you must book on to one of the scheduled tours, you can’t organise a private tour or pick up your own tour guide.
How to Buy Hassan II Mosque Casablanca Tickets
Tickets for the Casablanca Mosque are not available to purchase from the mosque in advance and it’s not possible to buy them online either.
This means that you’re left with just two options.
The first is to get in line on the day of your visit and simply wait your turn. However, speaking from experience, we can tell you that the lines can get unbearably long.
We actually dipped out on the day we’d originally intended to go and came back the following day because the queue was that long. At peak times you’ll be queuing with hundreds of other people from the dozens of tour buses that ship people in from all over Morocco.
The second option is to purchase them through a company like Get Your Guide. If you’re on a tight schedule, coming to Casablanca specifically to visit the Hassan II Mosque, or simply not a fan of waiting in long lines in the sweltering heat, then this is by far and away the best option.
Please note that the Get Your Guide offerings are not private tours as such, you will still join one of the scheduled official tours. But you have the benefit of not having to wait in line to purchase your own tickets and also being able to purchase them in advance.
Depending on how long you are planning on visiting Casablanca for, where you’re arriving from, and whether you wish to see some more of the city, you can book onto either a basic tour or one that also includes exploring some more of Casablanca.
Recommended Hassan II Mosque Casablanca Ticket Options
Here are the options we would recommend for visiting Hassan II Mosque Casablanca:
If you’re happy not to purchase a tour in advance then our top recommendation would be to opt for the first tour of the day. They are far less busy at this time and the queue to buy tickets for the Hassan II Casablanca mosque is far shorter in the morning. Large tour buses tend to start arriving outside late morning and the afternoon queues to buy tickets can get pretty long, as already mentioned.
Once you’re inside there are two ways of purchasing your tickets. There is a manned ticket office which is what most people tend to queue in and they take cash only.
Alternatively there are two ticket machines which work in various languages and enable you to pay for your Hassan II mosque tour tickets by card.
Hassan II Mosque Casablanca Ticket Prices
A standard adult ticket to visit the Hassan II Mosque costs 130dh (£10.50GBP, $12.50USD). This is inclusive of the tour which lasts roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour.
There is also a museum on site which costs 30dh for a standalone ticket or an additional 10dh to enter when combined with a tour ticket. We personally wouldn’t recommend bothering with the museum. It is extremely small and doesn’t really provide anything further by way of information than what you get on the tour.
Moroccan residents and foreign students pay half price. Tickets for children between the ages of 4-12 are 30dh.
|Ticket Types||Mosque||Museum||Combined (Mosque & Museum)|
|Children (4 to12 years) and Moroccan students||30||5||30|
|Children (0 to 4 years)||Free||Free||Free|
|Moroccan Residents and Foreign Students||65||15||70|
Hassan II Mosque Casablanca Opening Hours & Tour Times
The tour times for the Hassan II Mosque are as follows:
Saturday to Thursday: 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 15:00
Friday: 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 15:00
Where to Stay in Casablanca to Visit the Hassan II Mosque
Apartment | Mosquee & Sea View Casablanca
Less than a mile from Hassan II Mosque, this highly sought after apartment not only has a terrace with sea views but also has free private parking. There’s two bedrooms, a spacious living room, fully equipped kitchen with washing machine and two bathrooms.
Aparthotel | Family Aparthotel
Just a 20 minute walk from Casablanca Mosque is this modern and stylish aparthotel. There are a number of units available, each with their own kitchen and bathroom. They all have air conditioning and some have a balcony. There’s daily housekeeping and breakfast included.
Hotel | JM Suites Hotel
This luxury eco-friendly hotel is half an hour walk from Hassan II Mosque. The unique building has spacious rooms with deluxe walk in showers. There’s private parking and a spa and wellness centre. Breakfast is served in the on site restaurant and there is also a rooftop bar.
What to Wear to Visit the Casablanca Mosque
Unusually, the dress code for the Hassan II Casablanca Mosque is relatively relaxed.
The main requirement is that visitors wear clothes that cover the shoulders, torso and come below the knees. This means that shorts and sleeveless tops are absolutely not allowed.
Visitors must remove their shoes upon entering the mosque. Your tour guide will provide you with a bag to carry them in for the duration of the visit.
You’re also not allowed to smoke, eat or drink during your visit to the mosque.
Hassan II Mosque Hammams
One of the lesser known features of the Hassan II Mosque are the vast public hammams they house.
If you’re not familiar with what a hammam is, it’s essentially a type of steam bath found all over the islamic world, sometimes also called a Turkish bath.
Encompassing both female and male areas, the combined space of the Casablanca Mosque hammam covers a gigantic 6,000 square metres.
Inside there are changing rooms, Moorish baths with three different temperatures ranging from warm to extremely hot. There is also a scrub room, a hot sea water health bath, and a tea room to relax with cuppa afterwards.
The Hassan II Mosque hammam, like the rest of the mosque, is beautifully decorated providing a tranquil place to treat yourself and relax.
Basic entry to the Hassan II Mosque hammam is just 50dh, while there are additional treatments that you can pay for on top.
Here’s a full list of treatments available with current prices:
Hassan II Casablanca Mosque Entry Costs
Adults: 50dhs / 90 min
Children aged 3 to 10: 40dhs / 90 min
Additional hours: 25dhs / 60 min
Supplies included – black soap, mizar and flip flops
Individual Hammam Treatments Costs
*All treatments have entry to the hammam included in the price.
Scrub: 90dhs / 120 min Scrub & Soaping: 120dhs / 120 min
Scrub & Soaping & Rhassoul wrap: 200dhs / 150 min
Scrub & Soaping & Argan oil treatment: 350dhs / 150 min
Scrub & Soaping & Rhassoul wrap & Toning treatment with argan oil: 400dhs / 150 min
Scrub & Soaping & Precious wrap & Toning treatment with argan oil: 450dhs / 150 min
Accessories Available to Purchase / Rent
Kessa glove: 35dhs
Shower gel 10dhs
Disposable underpants 10dhs
Rental of fouta (towel/body wrap) 35dh
Accessories bag (kessal glove, shampoo, shower gel, water bottle, fouta rental): 90dh
What attractions are near Hassan II Mosque?
While Casablanca isn’t the most popular tourist hub in Morocco, it’s certainly a city worth exploring, even if only for a day.
The Medina & Surrounding Market
Casablanca has one of the most interesting and fun medinas we have visited in Morocco. It’s bustling, full of life and we met many friendly and welcoming people there.
The market is not confined to the old walls either, it’s absolutely vast and starts just a few minute’s walk from the Hassan II Mosque.
You will quite literally find anything you want (and plenty you don’t) in this market. From amazing fruit and vegetables, freshly baked warm bread or fish caught that very morning, to the usual touristy trinkets, traditional clothing and everything in between.
If you’re looking for a slice of authentic Casablanca life then this is definitely the place to go.
Mohammed V Square & United Nations Square
These adjoined squares are large, open, palm tree lined spaces of relaxation.
United Nations Square is just outside the Medina walls and is surrounded by lots of shops, cheap restaurants and international fast food joints like McDonalds & KFC. It leads directly into Mohammed V which boasts a large fountain surrounded by hundreds of pigeons – beware of the odd grifter trying to shift bags of feed and take photos for a fee.
It’s a place where local people come to chill out and take the weight off. Kids run around freely playing among the birds as daily life goes on around them.
It’s surrounded by some of the city’s most important official buildings and the architecture is lovely to look at. On one side you’ll spot the courthouse, on another there’s the central post office, there’s also the French consulate as well as a large Bank of Morocco.
Sky 28 Rooftop Bar
If you’re looking for a drink or bite to eat with a touch of luxury and the best aerial view of the city, Sky 28 is undoubtedly the place to go.
From the top floor of the tallest building in North Africa, you’re afforded 360 degree panoramic views out across Casablanca.
It’s an awesome place to get an alternative view of the Hassan II Mosque and a birds eye perspective on the city.
Tuck into some tapas or enjoy a cocktail whilst taking in the sensational sights.
Whilst this is not our type of activity (and in fact we have never actually seen the movie) we know that there are many fans of the Humphrey Bogart / Ingrid Bergman classic flick Casablanca.
So it would be impossible to talk about Casablanca without talking about Casablanca.
But if you’re hoping to see and explore the location responsible for the backdrop to one of your favourite motion pictures, then unfortunately you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Casablanca was actually shot almost entirely in California, and in fact not a single scene was recorded in Morocco.
That said, an enterprising expat from the U.S. decided to bring a bit of the movie magic to town by recreating the famous gin joint, Rick’s Cafe, in its real life location.
You can head here for drinks at the bar or a meal in the restaurant whilst soaking in the beautifully restored 1940’s decor to the sounds of live jazz ringing in your ears.
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Travel lover, professional writer and football (soccer) obsessive, James loves nothing more than getting outside and exploring little known corners of the globe. He’s also very partial to a drop of Guinness.