Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco, and is its main port and the economic centre of the country. It originally developed as an independent kingdom called ‘Anfa’ in late Roman times; by the 14th century it had risen in importance as a port but it became a safe harbour for pirates and privateers and was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1468. They rebuilt the area as a military fortress in the early 16th century and renamed the town ‘Casa Branca’, meaning ‘white house’. It later became part of Spain, then a part of Portugal again.
During the early days of the French Protectorate in the 19th century, Casablanca expanded rapidly and since then it has attracted workers from across Morocco. The country gained independence from France in 1956 and these days Casablanca is a cosmopolitan city, with colonial architecture and European-style wide boulevards and public parks, as well as Hispano-Moorish buildings.
Trains from Mohammed V International Airport, Morocco’s busiest airport, and other cities across the country travel to Casa-Voyageurs train station. In Morocco, registered taxis are coloured red and known as ‘petits taxis’, providing a metered service. ‘Grands taxis’ are slightly larger and provide a mini bus-like service. Taxis can also be hired for private service by the hour or day. The majority of the serviced apartments Casablanca has to offer are in the city centre and provide easy access to the city’s business areas.