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21 Awesome Things to do in Chefchaouen Morocco

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One of the highlights of our trip to Morocco was visiting the Blue city of Morocco – Chefchaouen. It is not easy getting to the city, but we hope this detailed activities guide and transportation information will help you visit the city soon. So here are 21 awesome things to do in Chefchaouen Morocco. 

If you visiting Chefchaouen for a FULL day, you can do 1- 16 and maybe 19. To check off everything, a weekend stay in Chefchaouen is required!

21 Awesome Things to do in Chefchaouen – Blue City of Morocco

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The beautiful blue-washed lanes and houses of Chefchaouen have been welcoming travelers to this city for ages. Some go for cannabis, for Rif mountain trekking, or just for a quick weekend getaway from Europe. Whatever your reason is, Chefchaouen will melt your heart.

It is a photographer’s delight and brings peace to anyone to wanders its lanes. 

Chefchaouen Instagram Spots

Chefchaouen or Chaouen for short can be traced back to the 15th century when the city was founded as a defensive town to protect against Portuguese conquests in 1471. It has been a strategic town since then. It is believed that Jews and Moors settled here at some time. 

In the early 20th century, Chefchaouen belonged to Spanish Morocco. With the independence of Morocco from Spain in 1956, Chefchaouen was returned to the kingdom. 

The color – Why is the city painted blue 

Tranquility is believed to be one of the reasons why the city is painted in blue. Some believe it kept mosquitoes away. While others associate the color blue to signify the depth of the sea. Many also believe the Jews introduced blue color when they were fleeing from Hitler’s atrocities. 

Well, when you get there you can decide which theory fits best. But we can tell you the city is not the easiest to get to. No trains or airports. Also, the exact locations are hard to pinpoint in Google maps.

But the hassle is worth it. (We tried to create this to give an estimation)

Chefchaouen Attractions on a map
Chefchaouen Attractions. (Ras el maa and the Andalusian Gardens are located south of the kasbah). Map created by maps.me (offline maps)

Traveling from Tangier? Take a day tour from Tangier to Chefchaouen 

Traveling from Fes? Take a day tour from Fes to Chefchaouen 

1. Walk the blue washed medina quarters of Chefchaouen 

This is the number thing to do in Chefchaouen – walk and wander the blue-dyed lanes of the medina. The entire medina is filled with different shades of blue, white and turquoise-y blue lanes – perfect for an Instagram snapper. 

As you wander through the medina lanes, enjoy the tranquility. Sit, snap, wander and get lost in the moody vibes of Chefchaouen. 

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Chefchaouen medina is not HUGE. Nor is it super crowded. You won’t find shop owners being aggressive or kids asking for money. We didn’t even find anyone staring at us while taking photos. Yea, the place is awesome for the camera shy as well!

2. Capture the beautiful lanes and houses of Chefchaouen 

The entire city of Chefchaouen is a photographer’s delight. Capture the everyday life, the beautiful lanes and the blue washed houses of Chefchaouen. From the houses and terraces, you can see the beauty of the Rif mountains and other quarters of Chefchaouen blue city. 

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3. Find those Instagram-mable lanes of Chefchaouen medina and pose!

There are a few distinct lanes in the medina that are going ga-ga overall social media particularly Instagram. One of them is a lane filled with colorful pots. This lane is located near a line of souvenir shops (western part of the medina). The street is labeled as – Callejon El Asri

You will see a line up of tourists wanting to take a photo here. So it is easily recognizable. 

Girl in yellow dress in Chefchauoen Medina Lanes
Tangier to Chefchaouen Day Trip Itinerary

There are many other lanes in the medina including a paid set which is someone’s patio. The owner charges 5 MAD to take a photo and this lane is located on the eastern part of Chefchaouen medina. 

There are many free lanes called “Blue Street”, Calle Sidi Buchuka, the alley near the white mosque and the list goes on and on. 

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4. Soak in the Rif mountain views – outside of Chefchaouen medina 

When you drive in and out of Chefchaouen, the Rif mountains will welcome you. The Riff mountains have an elevation of 2455 meters and are made of a fertile agricultural belt. 

5. Visit Plaza Uta el-Hammam – the heart of Chefchaouen Medina

Plaza Uta el-Hammam is the central square of Chefchaouen medina. It is a great place to sit, relax and admire the mountains or just people watch.

The plaza is lined with cafes and restaurants – so you will never go hungry in Chefchaouen. 

6. Pay a visit to the Kasbah Museum 

At the center of the medina is an ethnographic museum, also called the Kasbah Museum. Visit this museum to learn about the history and culture of Chefchaouen. 

The cost is 10 dirhams. They are open these hours Thu & Sat-Mon, 9:00 am to noon and from 3:00-6.30 pm. And Wednesday 9:00 am- 1:00 pm and 3:00 -6.30 pm.

Chilling in Chefchaouen

7. Or just chill at the kasbah quarters

The blue city of Chefchaouen was founded as a fortress or a kasbah by Moulay Ali ibn Rashid al-Alami. It was built as a defensive fortress. The Kasbah is from the 15th to 16th centuries. 

8. Play and pose with kittens in Chefchaouen 

Okay. There are tons of kittens lazying and running all over the place in the Chefchaouen medina. See them play and being all cute.

One of them posed with me too! LOVE!

9. Shop (or window shop) souvenirs in the medina

There are so many things that you can buy in Chefchaouen – from jewelry to souvenir magnets. And not to forget woolen clothing, carpets and tons of spices. 

Walk around and pick something that delights you. Shop owners are friendly here – so hard sales. They let you be!

10. Visit the handicrafts souk in the medina

Not in a mood for shopping, no problem. We do recommend walking or wandering through the handicrafts souk in the medina. Traditional and locally made – handicrafts are one of the things that pull tourists here. 

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11. Wander the Jewish quarter of Chefchaouen 

Chefchaouen’s history dates back to the 15th century when many Jewish families fled to Morocco. The blue buildings are living evidence of that. Today very few Jews live here, but once upon a time, mellahs (Jewish quarters) were established here. At the medina, just behind the jewelry souks/alley is believed to be a Jewish quarter. 

12. Eat traditional Moroccan cuisine – homemade food at Lalla Masouda – Chefchaouen 

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Morocco, in general, is food heaven and Chefchaouen is no different. Try out some local – homemade delicacies at Lalla Masouda, located a short distance away from Lina Riad and spa. 

During our visit, we tried couscous with chicken and chicken and chickpeas tagines. They were AWESOME. 

13. Drink orange juice or iced lattes at Jasmine Cafe & Teteria

If you are tired of all the exploring, it’s time for a chilled drink. No alcohol please – try some freshly squeezed orange juice or good ol’ iced lattes at the Jasmine Cafe & Teteria. 

The cafe is lined with colorful pots leading to the entrance. Oh boy, snap away!

"Jasmine

14. See the “head of the water” Waterfall – Ras el maa

Beautiful water fountains flowing through the mountainous terrain and dotted with blue houses (and trees around). This waterfall will definitely watch your attention when you leave the kasbah towards the Andalusian gardens. 

15. Visit the Haouta fountain

Located at the main squares in Chefchaouen is a stunningly decorated Haouta fountain. Place al Haouta is a tiny square lined with benches and shops a few steps away. 

"Haouta

This is also a great spot to capture some beautiful door cravings!

16. Be amazed at the Grand Mosque 

Although not open to non-Muslims, the Grande Mosquée delights travelers and invites them from afar. This mosque was built in the 15th century by  Ali Ben Rachid who is the Chefchaouen founder’s son and is characterized by its octagonal minaret and intricate designs. 

Riad in Chefchaouen

17. Try a traditional Moroccan hammam – Things to do in Chefchaouen 

There are 2 public hammams in Chefchaouen. They are can found near the central plaza. These two traditional Moroccan hammams are open to men and women (bathing at separate times). Ensure you bring soap, towel, slippers with you!

Another option is to check into Lina Riad and Spa – for a luxurious hammam while you are exploring Chefchaouen. 

18. Visit cannabis plantation site 

Chefchaouen is known for the production of hashish. We gave this a pass, but ff interested you can visit a cannabis plantation site. They are offered as farm tours, outside of the medina. They produce the most basic and traditional form of marijuana and Morocco is one of the largest producers in the world. 

"Tangier

19. Watch the sun go down from medina top

Sunset on mountain tops is romantic and beautiful. You don’t have to go far to see the sun rays fall on Chefchaouen. We climbed up the steps and reached the top of the village – from where you stand, you can see the stunning blue-white houses and mountains. 

20. Hike and trek the Rif mountains 

If you are staying for a few days in Chefchaouen, go hiking a few hours every day. You can see the Cascades d’Akchour waterfalls in the Rif Mountains, a natural stone bridge called “God’s Bridge or just to flex your legs after a lazy morning. 

A quick hike from the Medina will also get you to the Spanish Mosque. 

Rif Mountains
Rif Mountains

21. Stay in a riad in Chefchaouen for an authentic Moroccan experience 

Riads are traditional homes in Morocco and they offer an authentic stay. Stay inside the medina, relish Moroccan delicacies and enjoy their hospitality from morning to night! 

Find riads and hotels Chefchaouen below 



Booking.com


 

Getting to Chefchaouen from other Morocco cities: Travel Tips

Chefchaouen is located in northern Morocco, tucked in the Riff mountains. This pearl of Morocco has no airport, seaport or trains. Tangier and Fes are the closest cities with airports (and Tangier has a seaport) and trains to reach Chefchaouen. We have included various ways to reach Chefchaouen below. 

Traveling from Tangier to Chefchaouen 

Tangier is a port city, located in northern Morocco. You can arrive in Tangier by air, land or sea (even via ferry from Spain). Tangier to Chefchaouen is 2 hours 15 minutes by road. 

Here are some options 

  • Drive – Rent a car and drive to Chefchaouen. Don’t forget to get car insurance.
    • Cars cannot be parked or taken to the medina. 
  • Bus – Buses take 3.50+ hours one way and are the cheapest option to get to Chefchaouen from Tangier. Buses detour to Teteoun before arriving in Chefchaouen. Buses are operated by CTM network and private agencies like Nejme Chamal. 
    • One way tickets cost 45 dirhams. Bus stations are located close to the Tangier and Chefchaouen medina. You will need a petit or grand taxi to arrive at the medina entrance.
    • CTM buses leave at 12:15 and 02:45 pm. Nejme Chamal leaves early at 05:45, 08:00, 10:30 am and 01:00, 01:30 and 05:45 pm.
    • Get tips on traveling from Tangier to Chefchaouen here
  • Tours – Taking a private tour is a great option as you don’t have to worry about parking or be restricted from bus schedules. Private drivers and guides will provide a walking tour of the medina and provide shopping and food recommendations. They are also accommodating and will stop for photo opportunities if you request. 

Traveling from Fes to Chefchaouen 

Fes or Fez is one of the imperial cities of Morocco. Many travelers either fly to Fes from their home country or from Marrakesh to explore the blue city. Fes can be reached by air, road, and trains.

Things to do in Chefchaouen
Things to do in Chefchaouen

Fes to Chefchaouen is 3.50 hours by road. 

  • Drive – Rent a car and drive from Fes. Don’t forget to get car insurance.
    • Cars cannot be parked or taken to the medina. 
  • Bus – Buses take 4+ hours one way and are the cheapest option to get to the blue city from Fez. Buses are operated by the CTM network.
    • One way tickets cost 75 dirhams. CTM bus schedules are 08:00 am, 11:00 am, 00:00 pm, 02:00 pm, 04:15 pm, 11:45 pm
    • You will need a petit or grand taxi to arrive at the medina entrance.
  • Tours – Taking a private tour is a great option as you don’t have to worry about parking or be restricted from bus schedules. Private drivers and guides will provide a walking tour of the medina and provide shopping and food recommendations. They are also accommodating and will stop for photo opportunities if you request. 

Traveling from other Imperial cities 

From Casablanca

Casablanca to Chefchaouen is 4.75 hours drive away, one way. Highly recommend staying overnight if you are planning a long trip to the blue city. 

  • Drive – Rent a car and drive from Casablanca
  • Bus – Buses take 7+ hours one way and are the cheapest option to get to the blue city by the CTM network.
  • Tours – No tours. 

You can drive to Tangier and then follow the Tangier instructions as listed above. Flights and high-speed trains connect Tangier and Casablanca. 

From Marrakesh 

Marrakesh to Chefchaouen is 7.25 hours drive away, one way. Highly recommend staying overnight if you are planning a long trip to the blue city. 

  • Drive – Rent a car and drive from Marrakesh. A day-long drive and then stay overnight (or two) in Chefchaouen. 
  • Tours – No tours. 

You can drive to Casablanca – stay for a night. And then follow the Casablanca/Tangier instructions as listed above.

Flights and high-speed trains connect Marrakesh to Fez and Casablanca. A popular route is flying to Fes from Marrakesh after a stay/ Sahara desert tour, and then following the Fes institutions from above. 

We hope you found this post useful to plan your trip to the Blue Pearl of Morocco! 

Read other posts on Morocco Travel Blog

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Admiring blue walls of Morocco - Things to do in Chefchaouen
Things to do in Chefchaouen Morocco

Things to do in Chefchaouen

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7 Comments

  1. I love Chefchaouen! The bus was certainly a bumpy, swaying ride through the Riff mountains but fun. I didn’t visit a cannabis plantation site either, but I think that that would be really fun! It’s on my list if I ever get to go back, for sure. We also took a hike slightly outside of chefchaouen up to a waterfall, but I completely forget the name of it.

  2. Wow! Morocco is so high up on my bucket list – I almost went this January. This blog post is the perfect guide for when I finally get to go!!

  3. Thank you so so much for all the value in this post. The pictures are beautiful and after seeing all this I really want to visit Morocco the end of this year!

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