If the Hollywood image of 'Casablanca' is important to you, prepare for a shock from Casablanca. The city is further away from Oriental romanticism than any other in Morocco, and Casablanca is a modern city and beautiful in its own respect.
The centre of Casablanca is fairly impressive. It's brand modern, with big, lively boulevards, high, white, well-kept buildings. And it's clean and efficient. People visiting Casablanca as their first city, could easily end up hating this place: There are few things here confirming the newcomers conception on the Orient. But for people having visited other parts of Morocco first, Casablanca is good! The city is modern in a Moroccan way, and an excellent example of Moroccans capacity of taking charge of the future of their country.
But as soon as you step out of the impressive centre of town, dark clouds cover the realities of people here. Extreme poverty and prostitution only to be matched by Tangier is what you'll find without even looking for it. No other place in the country displays bigger differences between the haves and the have-nots.
If anything in Casablanca should fit the Casablanca of Bergman and Bogart, it should be the old city. It's small, consisting mainly of smaller houses, which all seem to be from this century, and the alleyways dominating in other old cities, are rarely found here. There is a good market here, but look around before you buy, shop keepers here know their skills. Some thousand people live here, and in one or two spots, true beauty occurs.