The best Things to do in Chefchaouen, the blue Pearl of Morocco

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Chefchaouen, Morocco – also called Chaouen or Xauen – was one of our highlights on our journey through northern Morocco. The small town, also known as the Blue Pearl of Morocco or Moroccos’s blue city, is considered one of the most famous places in the country and is visited by many tourists.

But not only the well-known blue Chefchaouen Medina attracts visitors. In the following, you can find reasons why the blue pearl should also be on your bucket list by looking at the best things to do in Chefchaouen. Besides great places to visit in Chefchaouen we’d like to show you some beautiful Chefchaouen photos that make you want to book your ticket right now.

The best things to do in Chefchaouen, Morocco

Chefchaouen Medina, steps and colorful flower pots

Where is Chefchaouen?

Chefchaouen Map Morroco, Where is Chefchaouen
Source: Google Maps

You can find out where Chefchaouen is located by having a look at this Chefchaouen Morocco map. You can find the blue city pretty much in the North within the Rif mountains. It’s quite far if you are planning to visit the desert in Morocco as well.

When is the best time to visit Chefchaouen – Chefchaouen Weather

Blue and white street in Chefchaouen, Morocco

Due to its high location, it is usually cooler in Chefchaouen than in other towns around. Thus, you might want to bring a jacket with you and maybe even a raincoat to be prepared for every kind of Chefchaouen, Morocco weather you might find.

Best time to go to Chefchaouen

It can generally be said that the best travel time is approximately from March to November.

Dry period in Chefchaouen

The driest season in Chefchaouen takes place between July and August. But it can get pretty warm at this time of year.

Most Rain

In Chefchaouen it rains most often and strongest between December and February. These are also the coolest months. (Between 12 and 17 degrees C °)

How to get to Chefchaouen, Morocco?

Chefchaouen,Morocco view, Things to do in Chefchaouen
View over Chefchaouen

By Airplane

In Chefchaouen itself there is no airport. The nearest airports are in Tangier and Fes. From there several buses go to Chefchaouen and back several times a day.

From around the world, you can often find cheap flight deals to Morocco. Just take a look at and see if you can make a good deal.

By Bus from Tangier to Chefchaouen

Getting to Chefchaouen from Tangier is easy. Several times a day, there are buses going back and forth between Tangier and Chefchaouen. It may be worth it reserving your ticket the day beforehand, otherwise, you might have to wait to catch a bus that still has seats left. (We had to wait 4 hours for a bus that was not fully booked).

Moreover, there is also the opportunity to visit Chefchaouen as part of a day trip from Tangier. All further information and prices can be found here.

By Bus from Fes to Chefchaouen

Also, the Fes – Chefchaouen bus runs several times daily between the two cities. Again, it is advisable to reserve your ticket at least the day before to avoid long waiting times.

Or visit Chefchaouen as part of a day trip from Fes. All further information can be found here.

The Chefchaouen Medina

Medina in Chefchaouen,Morocco, blue door

Sure, the main reason that drives the most visitors to the small town in northern Morocco is its beautiful blue medina. Even though it’s not near tourist hotspots such as Marrakech, it definitely should be part of your Morocco itinerary.

Blue and white street in Chefchaouen, Rif Mountains, Morocco

Despite the rain that spilled over the city during our visit, we could have walked for hours through the narrow streets of Morocco’s Medina, painted everywhere with different shades of blue. At each corner, there is a unique picture and we just couldn’t get enough of it.

Chefchaouen, Blue Pearl of Morocco, things to do in Chefchaouen

But why is the Medina blue?

Orange cat in contrast to the blue city of Chefchaouen

Who would have thought, but the blue color was brought into the city by Jews. In the 15th century, a short time after the founding of Chefchaouen, Jewish refugees from Spain came to the city and brought the custom of blue-painted houses with them. At that time, the small town in the reef mountains was probably still white.

For the Jews, the blue color at that time represented heaven and thus God.

Silly picture in Morocco, Chefchaouen, watering the plants, picture
No trip without his silly pictures 🙂

It is believed that initially only the Jewish quarter was painted blue. However, after some time, the color was taken over for the entire medina.

Today, however, it is hard to say what caused the Muslim population of the city to use the blue color for the rest of their city. A religious background is rather unbelievable. Rather, it is believed that the color helps to repel mosquitoes and keep the city cool. Others, however, believe that the color should represent the Mediterranean. Or maybe the color makes the city just look nicer. 😉

The markets and shops of Chefchaouen

Markets and souvenirs in chefchaouen, things to do

You can not walk through Chefchaouen without passing by one of the small markets or shops. Here you can mainly by leather goods or souvenirs. Even today, when thinking back of Morocco, I immediately have the smell of fresh leather in my nose that is so typical in the country’s medinas.

If you want to make a good deal, you have to be able to do one thing: bargain. For us Central Europeans, this is usually not particularly part of our culture and it took me a while to get the hang of it. After some time it even becomes like a fun game.

Bargain Tip: Dare to say no. If you do not like the price, you can still try your luck elsewhere. However, shop-owners usually call you immediately after you leave the store and offer you the price you asked for or at least a fair one.

Place Outa el Hammam

Outa el Hammam Square, Chefchaouen, what to see in Chefchaouen

This is the main square of the small blue city. If you want to experience the “real life” in Chefchaouen, come here. On the square, there are many restaurants where you can eat something or drink a typical Moroccan peppermint tea.

Outa el Hammam Square Painting in Chefchaouen, blue
A painting of the Outa el hammam Square in Chefchaouen

Unfortunately, this place is also the tourist hot spot of the city and there are some restaurants charging tourist prices.

Chefchaouen Top Tip: Try to choose a restaurant with no one standing at the door asking tourists to enter. Just check where the locals go. If you are not sure, just have a tea here and eat outside of the square.

The Gran Mosque

Gran Mosque, view, from above, chefchaouen
View on the Gran Mosque (PS. Since people asked: No, I am not wearing a hijab, I am just trying to protect myself from the cold wind) 😀

Directly on Place Outa el Hammam is the mosque of Chefchaouen. Unfortunately, access is granted only to Muslim men. Non-Muslims and women, unfortunately, have to stay outside.

But even from the outside, the mosque is quite impressive and stands out clearly from the cityscape.

The Kasbah Museum

Kasbah Museum, Chefchaouen, Garden
The Garden in the Kasbah Museum

Opening hours: 09 am – 06.30 pm

Entrance fee: 10 dirhams (about € 0.95 /$ 1)

On the Place Outa el Hammam is also the entrance to the Kasbah (Fortress) Museum. Especially when it’s raining, a visit to this place is a pleasant activity

The garden is wonderful and unless it rains you can perfectly enjoy a few quiet minutes here.

View over Chefchaouen, Morocco things to do
View of the city from the Kasbah Museum

The real highlight for us was the view over the city. It is worth to look at the blue pearl from above.

The museum itself is difficult to recommend for us, as all information is available exclusively in Arabic and French. So whoever, like us, doesn’t speak either language will most likely not understand much of the information displayed here.

Hiking in Chefchaouen

Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen, Morocco, Hiking
View over the Rif Mountains and the city wall

Many visitors come to Chefchaouen to enjoy the wonderful nature of the Rif Mountains around Chefchaouen. There are many hiking trails with different levels of difficulty. Starting with mini hikes of 30 minutes to 9 hours excursions up to 2-day hikes in the Talassemtane National Park with a high level of difficulty – here is the right place for all hikers.

More information about the different trails and possibilities you can find here.

The Spanish Mosque

Spanish Mosque, Chefchaouen, Hiking
Isn’t that an amazing view?

The Spanish Mosque is a smaller mosque just outside Chefchaouen. Although like most mosques in Morocco, it is inaccessible to (non-Muslim) visitors, it is a popular destination for hikers. The mosque can be reached on foot in about half an hour.

Especially at sunset, some visitors gather here to enjoy the fantastic view over the blue pearl of Morocco.

The Food Chefchaouen

Couscous, Moroccan dish, morocco food
Doesn’t your mouth water just by looking at this delicious Couscous

The food in Morocco is just amazing. There is something for everyone and there are also many vegetarian options.

You should not leave Morocco without having tasted at least one tagine and a yummy couscous.

Also in Chefchaouen, there are many really delicious places to eat. Although the prices might be a little higher compared to other cities in northern Morocco, they are still very affordable.

The meat or vegetable sandwiches that can be bought anywhere in Chefchaouen are also super delicious.

Of course, what shouldn’t be missing is the typical Moroccan mint tea. Especially on cooler or rainy days, it is perfect for warming up and relaxing. But beware, the tea is usually drunk here very sweet, so you might want to order your tea with few or without sugar.

Befriend a lot of cats

kitten in Chefchaouen, cats in Morocco
Hello little kitty

If you like cats, you will love Chefchaouen. At every corner you can meet these fluffy four-legged friends – especially the kittens are just super cute.

cats in Chefchaouen, morocco, cuddling
When it’s raining and cold the cats help each other staying warm

During our entire trip to Morocco, we probably took more photos of cats than of the sights.

cats, taking pictures, in Chefchaouen Morocco
Eduardo taking pictures of cats – Nothing unusual when we are traveling
Cats in Morocco, Chefchaouen, blue city
In case you are wondering how the photo looks like

Where to stay in Chefchaouen – Best Hotels and Riads in Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen Square, blue square, Morocco
Another wonderful square in Chefchaouen

The best Budget Accommodation (Hostel) in Chefchaouen

Hotel Souika

Bed in dorm or private room available. Just 100 meters from Outa El-Hammam Square. Two living rooms available, with TV, DVD player, and reading area. There is a terrace, free Wi-Fi and a music room.

⇒ For more information, prices and availability, click here.

The best accommodation in the middle-price range in Chefchaouen

Usha Guest House

Private room, just 300 meters from Outa El-Hammam Square. All rooms come with en suite bathrooms, free Wi-Fi and tea and coffee making facilities.

⇒ For more information, prices and availability, click here.

Best luxury hotel in Chefchaouen

La Petite Chefchaouen

Private room, just 300 meters from Outa El-Hammam Square. All rooms come with a wardrobe. Some have private bathrooms and mountain views. Some rooms come with air conditioning and verandas. There is free Wi-Fi.

⇒ For more information, prices and availability, click here.

Das beste Riad in Chefchaouen

Dar Dadicilef

Just 300 meters from Outa El-Hamman Square, the riad offers a terrace, a garden and barbecue facilities. The room comes with private bathroom. Breakfast is included and there is free Wi-Fi.

⇒ For more information, prices and availability, click here.

Riad Gharnata

Just 200 meters from Outa El-Hammam Square, this riad offers a terrace, BBQ facilities and a shared lounge. The rooms come with private bathroom, TV and minibar. Breakfast is included and there is free Wi-Fi.

⇒ For more information, prices and availability, click here.

Haven’t found what you’ve been looking for?

Find the list of all accommodation in Chefchaouen here.

Travel insurance for Morocco

On your trip you should definitely have a good travel insurance with you.  A trustworthy and affordable option is the World Nomads travel insurance. Just enter your travel dates and see your insurance price without obligation.

More information, prices and reviews can be found here.

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5/5 - (1 vote)

8 thoughts on The best Things to do in Chefchaouen, the blue Pearl of Morocco

  1. Besides your incredibly vivid photos (wow!), I love how you’ve organized this post, made it very easy to access and find info I needed right away through the TOC. Also, I live in Spain and am literally a stone’s throw from Morocco – why haven’t I been yet??? Will be using you’re guide when I do eventually go ;).

    • Hi Dina,

      Thank you so much for your comment! Actually, Morocco was the first country I visited after I moved to Spain 🙂 It’s just so near and there are usually very cheap flights

  2. I love Chefchaouen. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been! This is an awesome and comprehensive guide, and as we’re headed back next year, I’ll have to save so we can follow some of your tips and tricks. Also loved the cat section – I was always playing with all the cats in Morocco and love that you included a whole section on befriending them 😀

    • Hi Dagney,

      Thanks for your comment. The cats in Morocco are amazing, aren’t day? We could never walk far because we always stopped at some point to pet some cats 😀

  3. Chefchaouen looks like an amazing place. Plus bonus for the cat-obsessed like me 🙂 Aside from the distinctive blue, I’m surprised by the ways in which it feels so similar to spots in Southern Spain that I just visited like Granada. Beautiful.

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your comment! I totally agree. The first thing I said when I walked through Granada for the first time was “It looks so much like Morocco” 😀

  4. We visited Morocco this past month to Marrakesh. I really wanted to visit here as well and your tips and pictures make me want to go back asap! Thanks for the awesome post. Will be saving this for the next one.

    • Hi Summer,

      Thanks for your comment! For me, it is actually the other way around. I would love to go back and visit Marrakesh as I have only been in the North of Morocco 😉


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