As the country’s largest city and economic center, Casablanca is both a historic port settlement and a breeding ground for contemporary Moroccan culture with cosmopolitan restaurants, theaters, and galleries; as well as one of the world’s biggest mosques and the most vibrant nightlife scene in Morocco. The best time to visit is from June to August, when the weather is warm and sunny and there is little chance of rain. Many of the city’s best festivals take place in summer, too, while the fact that Casablanca sees fewer tourists than the Imperial Cities of Fez, Marrakesh, Meknes, and Rabat means that there’s no need to worry about peak season crowds.
Weather in Casablanca
For many people, weather is the main deciding factor when timing a trip to Casablanca. The city enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. It is significantly less hot in summer than the cities of the southern interior, however, thanks to the moderating effect of the Atlantic’s cool Canary Current. This makes Casablanca a popular retreat for Moroccans seeking to escape the summer heat of cities like Marrakesh and Ouarzazate. As a guide for American tourists, Casablanca’s climate and temperature range is often compared to that of coastal Los Angeles.
The hottest month is August, with average highs of 79 degrees F (26 degrees C)—although the record high, 105 F (41 C), was recorded in September. The coldest month is January, with average lows of 49 F (9 C). The coldest temperature on record was a reading of 27 F (-3 C), taken in December. Casablanca also sees much more rainfall than Morocco’s desert interior, with an average of 72 rainy days per year. The wettest month is December, and the driest months are July and August. Travel in the peak of summer, and you’re unlikely to experience any rain at all.
Casablanca’s Busiest Periods
Although Casablanca doesn’t experience the same volume of international tourism as some of Morocco’s more iconic destinations, the city does experience an influx of domestic visitors during national and school holidays. The two main vacation periods for Moroccan schoolchildren include one week at the end of January, and two weeks in spring (usually around the end of March/beginning of April). At these times, many Moroccans choose to decamp to the Atlantic coast, with Casablanca being the obvious choice for families that want to combine both beach and culture.
The other time of year that often sees an increase in Moroccan visitors is Eid al-Fitr, the three-day national holiday that marks the end of the month-long Ramadan fast. The date of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr changes every year in accordance with the Islamic lunar calendar, but it’s worth checking to see if it coincides with your trip. Accommodation tends to fill up quickly over Eid al-Fitr and should be booked well in advance; while many business close for the duration of the holiday. If you plan on traveling during Ramadan itself, you won’t be expected to join the fast—but some locally-owned restaurants may not open during the day and other businesses may have reduced hours.
Casablanca’s Biggest Festivals
Those that aren’t worried about the weather or avoiding potential crowds may want to plan their trip around one of Casablanca’s internationally renowned festivals instead. Perhaps the most famous is the Festival de Casablanca. Founded in 2005 and held annually in July or August, it sees more than 2.5 million festivalgoers descend on the city for a celebration of Moroccan music, cinema, and urban art that lasts for four days. Performances are held on the street and at stages erected throughout the city.
Another major attraction for music lovers is Jazzablanca, another long-running annual festival dedicated to showcasing both up-and-coming and globally established jazz artists. Over the course of nine days, attendees can listen to tens of concerts with the main stages located at Casa-Anfa Racecourse and Place des Nations Unies. Jazzablanca has traditionally been held in April, although the dates for the 2019 festival fell in July.
Religious festivals, including Eid al-Fitr (held to celebrate the end of Ramadan) and Eid al-Adha (which commemorates Ibrahim’s willingness to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son) are also held annually but on dates that change according to the Islamic calendar.
Spring (March to May)
Spring in Casablanca sees mild temperatures, with a daily mean of 60 F (16 C) in March rising to an average of 65 F (18 C) in May. Rainfall is less likely than in winter, although visitors can still expect an average of around seven rainy days per month. It’s a great time to travel for those that want to avoid the hotter temperatures of summer, and plan to spend their time wandering the Old Medina and the Quartier Habous, rather than on the beach. Remember that school holidays mean you can expect accommodation to fill up quicker than normal at the end of March/beginning of April.
Events to check out:
- Jazzablanca: Usually held over a nine-day period in April, this festival celebrates Moroccan and international jazz musicians at all stages of their career.
Summer (June to August)
Summer brings with it ideal temperatures for strolling the Corniche or picnicking on the beach. With a daily mean of 70 F (21 C) in June rising to 74 F (23 C) in August, you’re unlikely to need a jersey and there’s very little chance of rain. Those planning to combine a trip to Casablanca with a visit to Marrakesh will find the coast to be pleasantly cooler at this time of year. This is the busiest and most atmospheric time to be at the seaside, where Moroccans and foreigners alike gather to swim, jog, people-watch and eat al fresco at street-side stalls.
Events to check out:
- Festival de Casablanca: Held over four days in July or August, this annual event showcases the best Moroccan talent across a wide range of different artistic disciplines.
- Feast of the Throne: A public holiday held on July 30 to commemorate the coronation of the Moroccan king with feasting, celebrations and fireworks.
Fall (September to November)
September remains pleasantly warm with daily mean temperatures of 72 F (22 C) and very little precipitation. The weather gets progressively cooler and rainier as the season progresses, making this a good time of year to enjoy the city’s cultural attractions. These include theaters, museums, art galleries, and the Hassan II Mosque (home of the second-tallest minaret in the world). With no school holidays scheduled for this time of year, fall is the best time to travel for a balance of moderate weather and uncrowded attractions.
Events to check out:
- L’Boulevard Festival of Casablanca: Held in September, this 10-day music and arts festival is a multi-genre celebration of Morocco’s urban culture particularly known for its Tremplin competition, which allows new musicians to play for a large audience.
Winter (December to February)
The winter months are probably the least popular time to visit Casablanca, thanks to much cooler temperatures that hover around 55 F (13 C). There is much more rain at this time of year as well, with roughly a third of winter days seeing significant precipitation. If you plan on traveling near the end of January, make sure to book accommodation in advance since your stay will likely coincide with the Moroccan school holidays.