Rooftop views of Chefchaouen

11 Things To Do In Chefchaouen, The Blue City Of Morocco

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Chefchaouen, better known as the Blue City of Morocco, is one of those picturesque places you must visit once in your life. Nestled amongst the Riff Mountains, the blue houses of Chefchaouen and its charming cobblestone streets should be on everyone’s Morocco itinerary.

The city is laid back and full of charming, blue-washed houses, quaint storefronts, open-air cafes, and views that are seemingly waiting for you around every corner.

Alternatively referred to as the “Blue Pearl” of Morocco, Chefchaouen is one of those fantastic cities that are unique and practically found nowhere else on earth. So, whether you plan on spending one day here or a few, there are plenty of wonderful things to do in Chefchaouen.

The key to visiting Chefchaouen? Walk everywhere, take it slow, and enjoy.

Things To Do in Chefchaouen, The Blue City of Morocco

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1. Roam The Blue Alleyways of The Chefchaouen Medina

Without a doubt, the highlight of visiting Chefchaouen is wandering its alleyways and taking in all the blue houses of Chefchaouen’s medina streets and town.

Our recommendation is simple, just walk. Seriously.

In fact, the best way to get around and enjoy Chefchaouen is by walking.

Leave your accommodation and head out into the blue city of Morocco.

You’ll stumble through alleyways and past storefronts. You’ll see kids playing games and shop sellers going about their day.

Whether you have a destination in mind, like a café or a viewpoint, or you’re just wanting to wander the alleyways with no particular destination in mind, the charming blue houses are easily the top thing to do in Chefchaouen!

TIP: Wake up early to beat the crowds. The streets become flooded with tourists and locals by mid-morning. If you are wanting “people-free” pictures, wake up early. Also, make sure to be respectful at all times, as local people do live inside the iconic houses of Chefchaouen. Some famous doorways and alleys will charge you a small fee to take a photo, so don’t be taken off guard if asked for payment.

When compared to other cities in Morocco, like the Medinas of Fes and Marrakech, the Chefchaouen Medina and town is MUCH quieter and calmer. Making it perfect for a stroll and to take in the daily life and culture of Northern Morocco.

2. Devour Goat Cheese

If you love goat cheese, well, the Blue City of Morocco is your place!

The name “Chefchaouen” refers to a nearby mountain that resembles a goat’s horn. And trust us when we say there is no shortage of goats in the Blue City.

From the goat-horned mountain above to the goats wandering through the streets of Chefchaouen below, you’ll find plenty of goats here.

Since there are so many goats, goat cheese is abundant and practically on every restaurant menu. Goat cheese in Chefchaouen is without a doubt, some of the tastiest goat cheese we’ve ever had! Perfect for eating…at every meal 🙂

3. Watch The Sunset from the Spanish Mosque, The Best Viewpoint in Chefchaouen

The Spanish Mosque, or Mosque Jemma Bouzafar as its locally referred to, was built in the mid-1920s by the Spanish during their colonial rule of the region. Never gaining popularity with the local population, the Spanish Mosque was abandoned and fell into disrepair until ultimately being renovated in 2007.

Today, the Spanish Mosque is one of the best viewpoints in Chefchaouen! Making it a perfect place to watch sunrise or sunset from.

The Spanish Mosque in Morocco

The Spanish Mosque sits up on a hill overlooking Chefchaouen to the east and the only way to get there is to walk. Taking about 30 to 45 minutes (one way), for those wanting to visit the Spanish Mosque the trail starts at the Bab El Onsar Gate.

From here, you’ll hike a paved trail up to the mosque where you’ll find sweeping views of the Blue City and Riff Mountains.

4. Get Your Shopping Fix at the Souks of Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen, like the rest of Morocco, has numerous leather, clothing, and carpet souks for you to browse and buy from.

However, unlike the rest of Morocco, you’ll be able to find local handmade wool offerings here. Items like socks, hats, and carpets are made from sheep’s wool from the area.

Carpet souk of the the Chefchaouen Medina

Wool workers die the wool an assortment of colors for you to choose from, making it the perfect souvenir for you to take home. Whether you want to buy a souvenir or not, you should make it a point to wander the souk stalls and take in the handmade offerings and locally grown spices.

Tip: Throughout Morocco, bargaining is common practice. Always bargain for a price, and don’t accept the first offer. Check out some tips for shopping in the Medinas of Morocco

5. Take A Walking Tour of Chefchaouen

One of our favorite ways to explore a new place is to take a walking tour with a local guide!

While Chefchaouen may be small when compared to other places you may be visiting in Morocco (like Fes or Marrakech), there are still a lot of things to do in Chefchaouen.

For 2-3 hours, a walking tour will you’ll be taken around the Blue City to the best sights in Chefchaouen and offer you the history and significance behind each location.

6. Listen To Live Music in Plaza Uta El-Hammam, The Main Square of Chefchaouen

Plaza Uta el-Hammam, the main square, is where you have a good chance of finding a local band playing music. From the day and into the night, you’ll hear music echoing from Plaza Uta El-Hammam

Take a seat at one of the cafés in the main square, order a mint tea, and let the day or evening float by. After all, didn’t we tell you the key to visiting Chefchaouen is to “take it slow”?

Views of the main square in Chefchaouen

7. Visit The Kasbah Museum

The Kasbah Museum, also called the Ethnographic Museum, is located within the heart of the Chefchaouen Medina in Plaza Uta el-Hamma.

The Museum sits within an old 15th-century Moroccan fort and former prison and today houses collections of artifacts, clothing, and instruments as well as a beautiful Spanish-style garden and courtyard.

Outside of looking at the museum collection, visitors can climb the fort tower to see beautiful views of Chefchaouen.

The Museum costs 60 MAD to enter and is open from 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM daily. Prior to visiting understand The Kasbah Museums descriptions of its pieces are not in English.

8. Enjoy Tajine (or ice cream) From A Rooftop Restaurant

Chefchaouen is home to some great restaurants, some of which have amazing rooftops where you can enjoy a meal. A favorite of ours, Restaurant Bab Ssour, not only has great food but an amazing rooftop too!

Wherever you decide to eat in Chefchaouen, one thing is certain, you need to enjoy at least one meal from a rooftop!

9. Take A Local Chefchaouen Food Tour or Cooking Class

If Chefchaouen is one of your first stops in Morocco, taking a cooking class or food tour is a great idea!

Either option will allow you to dive into the local cuisine and tantalizing spices and flavor profiles that make Moroccan food so incredibly delicious!

Regardless of which you choose, you’ll get to eat some of the staple dishes in Morocco and spend a few hours of your day cooking or enjoying the city’s restaurants and cafes.

Check out some amazing places to eat in Chefchaouen right here!

10. Enjoy A Chefchaouen Sunrise

Sunrise is a magical time of day to experience the quiet and beauty of the Blue City. When making your accommodation reservations in Chefchaouen, be sure your Riad or Dar has a rooftop. Why? For sunrise of course!

Wake up early and make your way to the rooftop to enjoy the sunrise. Enjoy a mint tea and take in those beautiful views of the way the morning light cascades over Chefchaouen.

Sunrise in Chefchaouen

11. Explore Talassemtane National Park

Talassemtane National Park is located some 45 minutes to an hour away from Chefchaouen, making it the perfect place to explore the natural beauty of Northern Morocco.

Within Talassemtane National Park you can hike to waterfalls, discover a natural stone arch, and walk through lush fir forests.

Whether you want to do an overnight hiking trip or looking to get a day trip in from Chefchaouen, you have some amazing options on how to spend time in Talassemtane National Park.

Hiking in The Riff Mountains

If you have several days in Chefchaouen and love the outdoors, then a 3-day trek or a 4-day trek through the Riff Mountains is definitely something you should look into!

Over the course of the 3-day or 4-day trek, you’ll hike through Talassemtane National Park, pass by rural villages, and enjoy the wonders of God’s Bridge Akchour waterfalls.

Akchour Waterfalls & God’s Bridge

One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Morocco is the Akchour waterfalls in the Rif mountains. Akchour is a small-town home to a few shops and cafes as well as the jumping-off point to reach the waterfalls and God’s Bridge.

The Akchour waterfalls are a series of cascading waterfalls nestled in the spectacular Rif mountains located in Talassemtane National Park. Whereas God’s Bridge is a towering natural rock arch where the pristine waters of the nearby waterfalls run through.

Visiting the Akchour waterfalls and God’s Bridge is a full active day from Chefchaouen, but a great day at that! Oh, and if you have the time, you can opt to partake in a 2-day hike from Chefchaouen to the Akchour Waterfalls and God’s Bridge.

Akchour Waterfall, Morocco

Where to Stay in Chefchaouen

For The Budget Conscious: Hotel Souika is situated in the historical center of Chefchaouen. The beds are comfy, the staff is friendly and you’re sure to meet a lot of fellow travelers in the shared communal spaces.

For The Luxury Inclined: La Petite Chefchaouen is small and charming with a wonderful terrace overlooking Chefchaouen. The friendly staff is helpful and serves up delicious breakfast. 

For Something In Between: Riad Gharnata is located right in the thick of the blue alleyways of Chefchaouen. A few minutes walk from the town square and restaurants, the location is cute and quiet offering a wonderful terrace and clean rooms.

For more places to stay in Chefchaouen, you can check out the latest places and prices here.

How Many Days in Chefchaouen?

If you are short on time during your visit to Morocco, Chefchaouen can absolutely be done in one day. Day trips from nearby cities like Fes and Tangier are great ways to add Chefchaouen to your Morocco itinerary.

One day in Chefchaouen will give you a few hours to enjoy the city itself and while you may not see everything on the above list, one day in Chefchaouen is 100% doable!

Evening sky in Chefchaouen

However, our recommendation is to spend more than one-day in Chefchaouen.

If you can, plan to spend at least 2 days in Chefchaouen. One day for exploring the blue houses of the city and then one day for exploring the surrounding areas like Akchour waterfalls and God’s Bridge.

Why Is Chefchaouen Blue

Chefchaouen wasn’t always a blue city. In fact, it wasn’t until 1492 that the city received a mass influx of Jews looking to start a community here to escape the Spanish Inquisition.

The Sephardi Jews settled in Chefchaouen and so came with them the blue hue that inevitably become what Chefchaouen is known for. To keep with tradition, Sephardi Jews painted the houses blue to mirror the sky and remind them of their faith and God.

Best Time to Visit Chefchaouen

When planning your visit to Morocco, while a year-round destination, the weather in Chefchaouen is best in the spring months (March, April, and May) and then in the autumn months (September, October, and November).

Views of the city of Chefchaouen

TIP: When planning your visit to Morocco in general, understand the holy month of Ramadan falls at different times. Be sure to understand when Ramadan will be taking place as restaurants, transportation, and attractions may be closed to honor the holy month.

How To Get To Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen is only accessible by car or bus, meaning there is no airport or train station in Chefchaouen.

You can catch a bus, rent a car, or hire a driver/taxi to take you to Chefchaouen.

  • From Fes, expect a 4-hour ride
  • From Tangier, expect a 2.5 – 3 hour ride
  • From Casablanca, expect a 5-6 hour ride
  • From Marrakech, expect a 7-8 hour ride

Hiring a private driver/taxi is a great option if you are traveling with a group and you want to have the flexibility to leave and stop as you please. The same goes for renting a car.

If you want the cheapest option, that option is the bus. CTM is a reputable bus company in Morocco offering routes all through the country.

WANT MORE INFORMATION ON MOROCCO?!

The Perfect 7 Day Morocco Itinerary

14 Can’t Miss Things To Do in Fes

How To Spend On Day In Marrakech

20 Amazing Things To Do in Marrakech

Marrakech To Fes by Train: Everything You Need To Know

Where To Stay In Fes, Morocco – The Best Riads

Morocco Travel Tips: Things to Know Before You Visit

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For more travel tips, guides, and awesome travel shots, be sure to poke around our site, and follow us on Instagram @wanderingstus, on Pinterest, and on Facebook. Oh, and if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section. We’re happy to answer. Or, just leave us a positive note!

Happy Travels,

– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stus)


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