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I'm a Brazilian citizen traveling to Portugal with a connection in Casablanca, Morocco (CMN) that will make me wait 20 hours and 20 minutes for my next flight.

I know that no visa is needed to enter Morocco if you're staying less than 90 days.

The question is: would you recommend sightseeing around considering the time I would have to spend in customs, and moving from one tourist attraction to another? The airport isn't inside the city. It is located 33km south from downtown.

I'm looking for an experienced traveler's opinion to make my decision if is really valuable to get to know Casablanca or it's more logical to stay inside the airport and wait for my next flight. Do you think there is a high probability of losing the flight to Lisboa, Portugal? Also, it would be interesting to hear from someone who knows the place, the local attractions and moral that would interfere the sightsee.

EDIT:

Another important thing. I'm arriving at 17PM. My next flight leaves the next day at 13PM. Is it unsafe to be on the streets at night? Is sleeping in the airport a better alternative than staying in a hotel or something?

  • 1
    Perhaps if you could narrow down a little what you're interested in seeing, you could get better answers. You can definitely do a lot in 20h but it may be deceiving, considering the time you need to reach the city and come back, security, check in etc – blackbird Jan 11 '16 at 16:11
  • That's exactly the point. I'm not sure what to see or expect cause I don't know anything about the local culture or places. That's why I want an answer based on each thing you said: transit time, security, places to go, time to visit those places, places to eat. For example, I would never imagine that I could sightsee everything in 8 hours, as Patrizio said. So I would assume that YES, I have plenty of time to go out the airport and then come back to my next flight. But you came up with a good point. Is it safe? I'm staying there from 17PM until 13PM – joao.arruda Jan 11 '16 at 16:32
  • Are you travelling alone? – Quora Feans Jan 12 '16 at 0:01
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Just my opinion, based on http://wikitravel.org/en/Casablanca (tip of the hat to Grzenio) and http://www.sleepinginairports.net/africa/casablanca-airport.htm:

You arrive from an inter-continental flight and will be tired and jet-lagged at least for some time of a 20h layover. I recommend you get some sleep for at least some time of your layover, either at the airport or in the city:

  1. At the airport: You could stay in transit but not sure if the airport closes and you are forced out. Reviews suggest the airport is a pretty chaotic place that you won't enjoy spending time at.
  2. A hotel close to the airport: the second link suggests plenty of options for that, best if you just want to rest I suppose.
  3. Get into the city, sleep in the hotel there and do some sightseeing on the way. By the time you arrive (and depart) public transport (first link) should still be available or depending on your budget taxi should be faster, check into your hotel and have them advise you what are your options for dinner/sightseeing. For the latter I guess not so much since wikitravel warns:

    It is inadvisable to walk alone in Casablanca at night.

    Your best option is to try to sleep and wake up early and have a quick tour to some sights (pick them beforehand and choose a hotel nearby). Hotel and your experience arriving will tell you when you have to head back to the airport - again the reviews suggest you allow plenty of time.

As suggested before, if somehow possible try to check your luggage through to your final destination and pack your carry-on accordingly. Likely you won't be able to see much but the 3rd option still seems the most exciting to me.

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If you have a so long connection, yes I suggest you to get around Casablanca ,you can visit :

  • The Royal Palace
  • The Old Medina
  • The Habous Zone
  • Mohammed V Square
  • The exterior of Hassan II Mosque
  • The Cathedral of Sacre Coeur

You can spend about 8 hours to visit it , afterwards I suggest you to have a traditional meal in one of the many coffe or restaurant that you can find beside the main square .

Anyway Take care to come back to the aiport on time for your flight , remember that the airport check in process will be longer once you go out from the terminal area

  • That's a great answer so far! Please check that after @blackbird57 comment, I realized that I'm staying there at night and added a few more details to my question that I haven't cared about until now. Do you think you can help about that? – joao.arruda Jan 11 '16 at 16:39
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If I were you I would definitely get out of the airport. It is easiest if you pack all the stuff you need for this day in your hand luggage, so that you don't need to go around with your main luggage (just check it in directly to Lisboa).

I haven't been to Casablanca myself, so I can't give you specific hints what to do during this time, but there are some guides online, e.g. http://wikitravel.org/en/Casablanca

If you are worried you will miss your plane, just make sure you are at the airport early :)

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