Chefchaouen unveiled: essential travel tips for Morocco’s enchanting blue city

Chefchaouen Morocco is one of my favorite cities in the world and I have visited many times. In this travel guide, I’ll share personal experiences including safety, money-handling, where to stay, things to do, and more!

📧 Hi Trisha! Thanks to your solo Morocco travel guides, I feel confident in planning my trip. I have bbeen following your amazing journey in a while and I admire you for traveling the world alone! I am considering traveling to Chefchaouen Morocco this winter and I was wondering what your recommendations are? I love food, cities, and taking photos. I would appreciate your tips!

Rosie Coles, United Kingdom
chefchaouen morocco

Hi Rosie!

Thanks for following this adventure! I love Chefchaouen Morocco so I am glad you decided to visit! First, there is nothing to worry about solo female travel safety here – just a few precautions that you’d normally do anywhere else in the world.

Here’s my recommendations for traveling to Chefchaouen and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Enjoy your trip – I am excited for you!

Xx, Trisha

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🇲🇦 Is Chefchaouen Morocco worth visiting?

chefchaouen morocco
Chefchaouen is often called “The Blue Pearl” because of its blue-washed buildings.

YES IT IS! This is one of the destinations I always go back to as it is unique and charming – there is nothing like it! I also made so many friends here and I did not expect that!

It’s a place where every corner tells a story, illuminated by the vivid blue that adorns the walls of its ancient medina.

Walking through the blue-washed buildings feels like traversing a living artwork, creating an environment that is both visually stunning and uniquely photogenic.

Culturally, Chefchaouen is a treasure trove of history and tradition. The town thrives with local artisans crafting everything from textiles to beautiful artworks, each piece echoing the essence of Moroccan heritage.

⛔ Is Chefchaouen safe?

Chefchaouen morocco
Chefchaouen was founded in 1471 as a small fortress to fight the Portuguese invasions.

ABSOLUTELY! I traveled to Chefchaouen Morocco solo and did not feel harmed. The Moroccans are really friendly and the terrain of Chefchaouen is fit for tourists and foreigners.

At times, people can be over-friendly with no boundaries. They would touch you and pull you to check their stores, which for me was too much. I don’t want to be touched by strangers.

However, the vendors are not as aggressive as it is in bigger cities like Marrakech or Fez. I’ve had many incidents where I had to tell them not to touch me but in Chefchaouen, people are more calm and distant.

As a tourist, you may also find yourself buying products you don’t like and get overcharged for it because of their aggressive selling tactics. Learn to say no and walk away.

If you are outdoorsy, do not hike alone. I love hikes and I always hired a guide or went with people from my hostel/hotel to do the hikes. But never alone.

For women who are traveling to Chefchaouen Morocco, dress modestly. They are not very strict with dress code but I did not draw attention to myself. I always had a scarf to cover myself.

It also has lower crime rates compared to other Moroccan destinations. There is nothing to worry about safety in Chefchaouen!

🚌 How to get to Chefchaouen Morocco

chefchaouen morocco
Chefchaouen’s Medina is a UNESCO World Heritage site. | Photo:

If Chefchaouen is the only destination you will visit in Morocco, unfortunately, there is no airport in Chefchaouen.

The closest airport is Sania Ramel Airport (TTU) in Tetouan, which is about 68 kilometers (42 miles) away. From Tetouan Airport, you can take a taxi or bus to Chefchaouen.

There are also flights to Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport (TNG), which is about 115 kilometers (71 miles) from Chefchaouen. From Tangier Airport, you can take a taxi, bus, or train to Chefchaouen.

If you are traveling from other parts of Morocco, here are the best ways to get to Chefchaouen:

Chefchaouen from Casablanca

Casablanca is about 5 hours away from Chefchaouen. The cheapest way to get to Chefchaouen from Casablanca is by bus.

The bus station in Casablanca for buses to Chefchaouen is the CTM Bus Station, also known as the Gare Routière Centrale de Casablanca.

The trip will take 5.5 hours and costs around 150 dirhams ($15 USD) for a one-way ticket.

If you don’t want to take the bus, a private car transfer from Casablanca to Chefchaouen costs around $187 USD.

Chefchaouen from Marrakech

Marrakech is about 7.5 hours away from Chefchaouen (by car). If you are taking the bus, it will be around 8.5 hours. You can take a bus from any of the main bus stations in Marrakech to Chefchaouen.

It will all depend on where you book your tickets but the tickets will say which station you have to be in. Bus fares for a one-way trip cost 150 dirhams ($15 USD).

Chefchaouen from Tangier

Tangier is closer to Chefchaouen and the bus journey will take 2.5 hours. The bus ticket is around 70 dirhams ($7 USD) for a one-way ride.

You can simply go to CTM Bus Station Tanger, buy your tickets at the station. There are typically 10 busses a day doing this route but if you want to be safe, book online.

You can also book a private car transfer from Tangier to Chefchaouen for $75 USD. The car can fit 3 people.

Renting a car in Morocco

I drove around Morocco for 30 days and if you want to do the same, the car rental prices in Morocco start at $25 USD per day. However, only do this if you are confident in driving in another country.

I did not have any issues driving to Chefchaouen however, the streets of Chefchaouen are narrow so you may have to park your rental car at a designated area and then carry your suitcase all the way to the hotel.

There are many people in the parking lot who will offer to bring your suitcase and you can just tip them.

📅 Best time to visit Chefchaouen

Honestly, the best time to visit Chefchaouen is year-round due to its mild climate. Spring is from March to May with moderate temperatures ranging between 13°C (55°F) and 24°C (75°F).

These months are also less crowded compared to the summer months. You will see blossoming flowers and green landscapes make the city even more beautiful!

September to November are autumn months in Chefchaouen. Similar to spring, the temperatures range between 15°C (59°F) and 26°C (79°F). During this time, you will still see fewer tourists.

If you prefer cooler weather and want to avoid crowds, the winter months from December to February are also one of the best times to visit Chefchaouen with temperatures ranging from 8°C (46°F) to 18°C (64°F).

The peak tourist season of summer from June to August will be crowded and hot with temperatures reaching up to 35°C (95°F).

Bear in mind that during Ramadan, the city’s schedule shifts, with many businesses closing during the day and opening at night. Check the dates for Ramadan each year before you plan your trip to Chefchaouen.

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🚕 Getting around Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen is a relatively small and walkable city so you won’t need transportation to get around.

The old part of the city (Medina) is pedestrian-only, making walking the best option. The narrow, winding streets are filled with beautiful blue buildings, shops, and cafes.

Most of the attractions, like the Kasbah Museum and the Grand Mosque, are within walking distance of each other.

If you need to head out of the Medina area, you can always take a taxi and it’s cheap! Petit Taxis are small taxis suitable for short distances within the city. They can be flagged down on the street.

Grand Taxis are larger and can be used for traveling to nearby towns or attractions outside the city. This is your option if you want to travel from Chefchaouen to other cities in Morocco.

Within the city, Public buses are available but NOT commonly used by tourists as most attractions are within walking distance.

🛏️ Chefchaouen Hotels: where to stay

Since I have visited Chefchaouen Morocco frequently, I stayed in many hotels. One of my favorites is Dar Sababa (from $45 USD), a hotel also often referred to as a Riad that has easy access to the Medina and other attractions of Chefchaouen.

Another hotel I love is Puerta Azul (from $82 USD) because they serve a really good breakfast! The rooms are clean, comfortable, and well-decorated, offering a blend of modern and traditional Moroccan styles.

There are many options on where to stay in Chefchaouen and these are my other recommendations that are well-located:

Résidence Hoteliére Chez Aziz$57 USD 9.1/10
Casa Sabila$42 USD9.3/10
Casa El Haouta$25 USD9.5/10
Maison d’hôtes Afassi$47 USD9.3/10
Casa La Hiba$47 USD9.1/10
Dar Jasmine$175 USD9.3/10
Casa Blue Star$54 USD9.2/10

🧭 Things to do in Chefchaouen Morocco

There are many different types of activities in Chefchaouen (from outdoors to culture). Here are my most recommended things to do in Chefchaouen Morocco:

Take pictures around the blue city

This is probably one of the reasons you wanted to visit Chefchaouen. There are many fascinating stories about why Chefchaouen is blue.

In the 1930s, a wave of Jewish refugees arrived in Chefchaouen, fleeing the Nazi regime in Europe. The Jewish tradition of painting things blue, symbolizing the sky and heaven, might have influenced the city’s color scheme. The blue color was meant to remind people of God’s presence.

Blue is believed to keep buildings cool in the hot summer months. The color blue can reflect the sunlight and help maintain cooler internal building temperatures.

It is also said that the blue color helps in repelling mosquitoes and other pests, as these insects prefer not to approach cooler colors.

📸 You’ll definitely want to do this! I recommend hiring a local photographer if you want pro photos for only $53 USD!

You may also check my Instagram photos to see the most beautiful spots in Chefchaouen.

Take a cooking class in Chefchaouen

I love cooking classes and this is one of the best things I did in Chefchaouen! The local chef will host you in his house with a terrace overlooking the city.

Through cooking, you get a hands-on experience of Moroccan culture and traditions. Here, you will learn how to prepare traditional Moroccan dishes such as tagines, couscous, and pastillas.

🧑🏽‍🍳 Taking a cooking class in Chefchaouen is one of the most unique experiences. Aman is a great host and chef so support local and take a cooking class with him for as low as $45 USD!

I understand that some of you are not interested in cooking at all. Alternatively, you can explore the local dishes of Chefchaouen with a food tour.

Guided walking tour of Chefchaouen

You can definitely walk around Chefchaouen on your own but on one of my visits, I hired a local guide because there were many historical facts that were unclear to me. I also got lost many times!

Chefchaouen’s Medina (Old Town) is a labyrinth of narrow, winding streets and a guide can help you navigate these effortlessly.

A local guide can provide valuable insights into the city’s history, culture, and architecture – it really enhanced my experienced and changed the way I know Chefchaouen Morocco.

🕌 Abdennour is a great guide for a walking tour in Chefchaouen. He will take you to local spots for 3 hours, for as low as $37 USD! He also speaks Spanish and French so you can book his tours in different languages.

Hiking in Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen, nestled in the Rif Mountains, offers various hiking opportunities ranging from easy walks to more challenging mountain treks. Generally, hiking in and around Chefchaouen is safe. I did this many times!

If you have time for a day trip, I recommend visiting the Akchours Waterfalls which is outside Chefchaouen. You can do it on a half-day tour.

🍲 Chefchaouen restaurants: where to eat

My favorite restaurant in Chefchaouen is Cafe Clock. I first discovered this restaurant during my visit to Fez. So when they opened in Chefchaouen, I had to go!

Café Clock offers a diverse menu that includes a mix of traditional Moroccan cuisine and international dishes, catering to a wide range of tastes. The restaurant is known for creatively fusing traditional Moroccan elements with contemporary influences, resulting in a unique dining experience.

Restaurant Casa Aladin is also another you will often see as a recommendation but honestly, I did not enjoy the food. It is however good if you want to have great views of the city.

Here are more restaurants in Chefchaouen I recommend for specific cuisines and tastes:

Restaurant and food prices in Morocco usually start as low as $7 USD. Eat your heart out and don’t worry about the price – Chefchaouen is cheap!

🗺️ 3 days in Chefchaouen itinerary

3 days is definitely enough for Chefchaouen as it is a small city. Here’s a sample itinerary that you can use for your trip:

Day 1: Exploring the Medina and Local Culture

Morning: Start your day with breakfast at a local café, such as Café Clock. Begin exploring Chefchaouen’s enchanting blue Medina. Wander through the narrow, winding streets and alleyways – take a lot of pictures!

Afternoon: Visit the Kasbah Museum located in the main square, Plaza Uta el-Hammam, to delve into the local history and culture. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at a traditional restaurant overlooking the square.

Evening: Explore the local shops and markets, where you can find unique crafts, textiles, and souvenirs. Have dinner at a restaurant offering traditional Moroccan cuisine, and enjoy the flavors of dishes like tagine and couscous.

Day 2: Nature and Scenic Beauty

Morning: Take a trip to the nearby Rif Mountains. Consider hiring a guide for a hiking trip tailored to your fitness level and interest. Explore the natural beauty, enjoying panoramic views and the refreshing mountain air.

Afternoon: Visit the Akchour Waterfalls or the Bridge of God, marveling at the stunning natural landmarks. Enjoy a packed lunch or find a local spot to dine amidst nature.

Evening: Return to Chefchaouen. Relax and have dinner at a restaurant of your choice, perhaps trying a new culinary delight.

Day 3: Relaxation and Leisure

Morning: Consider visiting the Spanish Mosque, offering breathtaking views of Chefchaouen. Spend some leisurely time at a local café, savoring Moroccan mint tea or coffee.

Afternoon: Participate in a cooking class to immerse yourself in Moroccan cuisine and culture. Enjoy the meal you’ve prepared as part of the class.

Evening: Spend your last evening exploring any parts of the Medina you may have missed or revisiting favorite spots. Choose a special restaurant for your final dinner!

💲 Money handling in Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen is still a cash city so make sure to bring enough Moroccan dirhams with you. You can take out at least $200 USD at the airport (about 2,000+ dirhams) which would be enough for your trip.

There usually is a daily withdrawal limit at ATMs in Morocco often range from about 2,000 to 5,000 dirhams ($200-$400 USD).

If you run out of cash, the safest ATM in Chefchaouen is Société Générale Chaouen but it’s farther. There is also an ATM at Plaza Uta Hamman which will be closer to your accommodation.

In general, you should be able to use your credit card in larger hotels, restaurants, and shops. However, it’s always a good idea to check with the establishment in advance to see if they accept your specific card.

The most widely accepted foreign cards in Chefchaouen are Visa and Mastercard. American Express is less widely accepted, and Discover is rarely accepted.

Tipping is customary in Morocco. It is customary to leave a tip of around 10-15% of the bill in restaurants if you are satisfied with the service. In hotels, you can tip the 20 dirhams ($2 USD) per bag.

✨ Chefchaouen Morocco travel tips

Visit the blue streets early in the morning or late in the afternoon for photographs. This will help avoid crowds and allow for a more peaceful photo-taking experience.

Explore off-the-beaten-path artisan workshops to witness the creation of local crafts, textiles, and artwork. Engaging with artisans can provide a more authentic insight into the town’s creative culture.

Visit the local markets early in the day. You’ll find fresh produce, and it’s also a good time to interact with locals and enjoy the lively market atmosphere.

For a less touristy experience, consider visiting the Spanish Mosque at sunset. The serene atmosphere and stunning views make it an exceptional time to visit.

While haggling is expected in the markets, try to do it respectfully. Showing genuine interest in the products and engaging in friendly conversation with sellers can lead to a more successful haggling experience.

Consider day trips to nearby villages such as Akchour. These villages offer a different perspective on rural Moroccan life and natural beauty.

Try dining where the locals do. Spots away from the main tourist areas often offer a more genuine taste of Chefchaouen’s cuisine at more affordable prices.

Dress modestly to respect the local culture. Women, in particular, should consider wearing clothes that cover their shoulders and knees.

Learn a few basic phrases in Arabic or Moroccan Darija. Simple greetings and thank-yous can go a long way in creating warm interactions. Also, ask for permission before taking photos of locals, especially in more remote areas.

Consider buying a reusable water filter bottle. Tap water in Chefchaouen might not be suitable for all travelers, and a filter bottle can be a sustainable choice to ensure access to clean water.

✅ Travel safety in Chefchaouen Morocco

Be cautious when dealing with overly persistent individuals offering unsolicited guidance or services. Politely decline and move on if something doesn’t feel right.

Chefchaouen’s old medina has many narrow and winding streets. Ensure you have an offline map or a reliable navigation app to help prevent getting lost.

The medina is relatively safe, but it’s advisable to avoid dimly lit and deserted areas at night. Stick to well-trafficked and well-lit paths.

If you plan to hike in the Rif Mountains, consider hiring a reputable local guide. They can navigate the trails and help avoid any potentially unsafe areas.

Use a money belt or hidden pouch for essential items like passports, credit cards, and cash when exploring the town.

Dress modestly and act respectfully towards local customs and traditions. This helps in avoiding unwanted attention and ensures smoother interactions with the locals.

Be cautious with tap water; it might not suit everyone. Opt for bottled water, and avoid ice and raw foods rinsed with tap water to prevent stomach issues.

Choose accommodations with safety amenities like lockers or safes. Ensure that the property is well-reviewed regarding safety and customer service.

When using taxis or public transport, ensure that the vehicle seems safe and the driver is reputable. Agree on fares beforehand to avoid disputes.

Keep a list of emergency contacts, such as local hospitals and your country’s embassy or consulate. Also, familiarize yourself with the location of these facilities.

⁉️ FAQ: Chefchaouen Morocco Travel Guide

Chefchaouen is renowned for its blue-washed old Medina, a maze of charming alleyways filled with artisanal crafts, cafes, and historical landmarks, situated amidst the Rif Mountains.

Two to three days are enough to explore Chefchaouen’s main attractions, including its blue streets, local markets, and nearby hiking trails.

No, Chefchaouen maintains authenticity and charm, although popular, it is less crowded compared to other Moroccan tourist cities, and prices are generally reasonable.

Yes, it’s possible, but it will be a long day. The drive one way is about 3.5 to 4 hours, so it involves around 7-8 hours of traveling in one day.

No, there isn’t a direct train from Marrakech to Chefchaouen. You’d typically take a train to Tangier, Fez, or Casablanca and then a bus or taxi to Chefchaouen.

Tangier is the closest major city to Chefchaouen, located about 110 kilometers to the north-west.

There are no direct flights from Casablanca to Chefchaouen. You can fly to Tangier, then travel by road (car or bus) to Chefchaouen.

Yes, driving from Fez to Chefchaouen is generally safe, but roads can be winding and narrow. I did this drive many times but I am comfortable with mountain driving. Make sure you are confident to drive in another country.

A taxi from Fez to Chefchaouen costs 1,200 dirhams ($116 USD) to 2,000 dirhams ($190 USD), but prices can vary based on negotiations and availability. If you want to hire a driver, the price is more or less the same.

No, there’s no direct train from Fez to Chefchaouen. The best option is to take a bus or taxi, as the train network doesn’t extend to Chefchaouen.

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