Chefchaouen blue city
Chefchaouen blue city

The most fabulous Moroccan town is said to be chefchaouen blue city, stretched between the Rif Mountains. I first got to know it in another sunny and wonderful Andalusian town, Frijiliana, a year before my Moroccan trip, when I bought there a very authentic notebook with pictures of blue beautiful doors on the cover and wondered where they were. So my curiosity led me to chefchaoune, the city of blue.

On the present site of the town, in the second half of the fifteenth century, Muslims established a fortress to protect their land from invading Portuguese. And later the place became a refuge for the Jews who had been expelled from Spain. It was they who enriched chefchaouen blue city with the emerald color. According to the Talmud, the Jews painted their houses blue, “the color of the sea like the color of heaven,” and thus brought them closer to the Almighty.

Now there are almost no Jews left in chefchaouen blue city, and the houses are still painted in all shades of blue, which attracts tourists.

And we were among the majority, so we came to this much-promoted town. Only it is not a city at all, but a small charming village. It’s very cozy and sunny, and people are incredibly smiling. If I were to live in Morocco, I would settle in one of the many blue houses in the vastness of chefchaouen blue city, trust in the measured sunny life and would definitely become an artist.

chefchaouen, as the locals call the town, is itself as if painted and rich in creative spirit, so you can often find people drawing, making something or just being inspired in the town.

We could not help feeling the overwhelmingly positive emotions of those who had already been in chefchaouen, and on the second day of our Moroccan trip we were in this legendary city and fell in love with it right away.

How to get there?

chefchaouen, as we have already established, is a village. And villages are notoriously tiny and exist through the nearest large towns, which one way or another must be crossed to get to glorious chefchaouen blue city.

There’s no way to get to chefchaouen blue city itself by air because the city has no air connections even with other Moroccan settlements. However, if you have winged acquaintances willing to give you a lift, then yes, this option will work. But from Europe… you can fly to Fez, Casablanca, Rabat, and from there it’s a stone’s throw from the long-awaited Emerald City. By the way, how to fly to Fez or Casablanca read here and here. On average the flight from metropolitan Russia (St. Petersburg and Moscow) to Morocco (Rabat, Casablanca, Fez) will cost about 200-250 Euro per one way and it will take you about 6 hours without regard to connection, complications, waiting. You can see the ticket prices for the actual dates here.

By train

Train service in Sheffshown is a problem, too. The town is in the mountains, and that was probably an obstacle for the construction of the railroad in those parts.

By bus

Bus is the best, and perhaps the only, way to get to Shefshauen.

CTM bus services connect the blue village with Fez, Casablanca and Rabat, as well as the small town of Tetouan.

There are no bus routes from Agadir or Marrakech to chefchaouen blue city. In this case, from these cities, it is best to go to Casablanca first and from there to chefchaouen.

  • From Fez it will take three hours and 7,5 EUR for a one-way ticket.
  • From Casablanca about 6 hours and 12 EUR.
  • From Tetouan just over 1 hour and only 3 EUR.
  • From Rabat it is 4 hours and 9 EUR.

Buses from Casablanca go only once a day, from Tetouan once five times a day and from other cities up to three times a day. You can buy tickets at the ticket office of the bus station of the respective city, and an hour before the departure of the bus itself you have to be at the place appointed by the ticket seller. Buses, however, always come exactly on Moroccan time, that is, late as they can, but this has its advantages: you can really anticipate what it really is chefchaouen blue city: a peaceful and harmonious. There’s no hurry in the villages!

The Moroccan buses are quite comfortable, the roads are excellent, but the views on the way to chefchaouen blue city are not so good, but they are worth seeing to compare them later with those you meet somewhere in the Atlas Mountains. The country is one, but the views are many, and each one, unlike any other, deserves attention.

The first place you’ll reach in Chefchaouen by bus is the bus station, which is located at the foot of the most interesting part of the city, the Medina. You can get to the city center either by cab or on foot. It will take you about five minutes by cab and will cost about 3 EUR, and about 20 minutes by foot because of the constant rises. We sticked to the second option and did not regret a bit. But when you leave the city (we found out that you can do it the same way you got to the city: only by bus) it’s like you are leaving the city by bouncing down the sloping streets from Medina to the bus station.

By Car

If you travel in Morocco by car, it’s very, very cool. The country is tiny and the roads, as I recall, are excellent. So it turns out that getting to Chauvin by car is the best alternative to the bus. There are roads to Chefchaouen from all Moroccan villages, but most often drive from Fez.


You can not get to Chefchaouen by ferry, because the city is rich with mountains and a small river with a waterfall, but the sea and oceans are not about Chavin. But there are ferries to the coastal Moroccan cities (Tangier, Ceuta, Melilla) from which you can get to Chefchaouen with connections in large cities (Fez, Casablanca, Rabat) overland.

chefchaouen in summer

It can get pretty hot in the summer in chefchaouen, but even so, there are plenty of visitors at this time of year. On their way to the ocean, travelers also stop by chefchaouen to see if it’s true that it’s completely blue. They are surprised, convinced, and create proof in the form of lots of stylish photos of blue doors, blue walls, and even blue cats, and decide that the city is indeed beautiful and worth seeing. So then all these travelers come back to chefchaouen more than once or twice, but not in summer, to walk more in the city, not to hide from him in the shadows. Summer is summer, and not everyone is immune to it.

chefchaouen in the fall.

I don’t think the Chefchaouen blue city has any autumn in it. And there is no autumnal weather as such, when it rains, everything fades and the sun disappears until the next summer. And the mood, the kindest and most radiant, only increases. Perhaps the city is very good in autumn, but not because it’s autumn, but because it’s a city that doesn’t care about anything.

chefchaouen in spring

In spring, the city warms up to +30 degrees, but it can sometimes drizzle a little rain, refreshing Chefchaouen from that clear, hot sun. The local river and narrow streets allow you to hide from the heat, and at night it gets fabulously warm after beautiful sunsets. This time of year is one of the best times of year to explore Chavin.

chefchaouen in winter

Winter in chefchaouen is certainly cooler, but even at this time of year it is quite possible to get a tan. It’s up to +15 during the day, but the sun is always very welcoming and warming. And the nights are surprisingly warm and comfortable, which we lacked in Fes.

We had a chance to visit chefchaouen in winter, the deepest in January, but 100% it felt like we were in May.

Neighborhoods. Where is the best place to live?

chefchaouen, like many cities in Morocco, consists of an old and a new town. The old is always called Medina, but the new is so new that it does not even have its own name yet.

The Medina is the heart of chefchaouen, the most curious and charming place of this city. Everything that will make your impression of the city is in the Medina, so it’s best to stay in this area of chefchaouen.

You should definitely stay in a traditional Moroccan house called Dar or Riad. Both are very beautiful, cozy, with patios, terraces and a welcoming atmosphere. Another such accommodation in chefchaouen is often called just a house, which in Spanish sounds like Casa, and in French – Maison. Used in this case, mainly in Spanish and French, apparently, due to the past of the city, and at the expense of many immigrants from southern Europe.

In Chefchaouen accommodation prices range from 8 EUR to 150 EUR. For the first price you can stay for one night in a shared room with 6-10 beds in one of the hostels of the city called Dar, Riad, Casa or Maison. For the second price you can rent a house for one night with all the amenities and maximum comfort.

View the prices of apartments can be found here, and compare the cost of hotel rooms at the link.

From personal experience

During our stay in chefchaouen we stayed at a very nice family-run Moroccan house, La Casa Amina. Finding it among the emerald tangled streets wasn’t easy, but it was real. The house is quite modest, but very stylish in the Moroccan way: yellow and blue walls, wooden ceilings, patterned tiles and everywhere stunning photographs of the life of chefchaouen, taken by the eldest son of the owner of this house. The patio serves mint tea and interesting stories about the town 24 hours a day, and on the terrace you can bask in the sun and wonder what’s out there on the neighboring terraces. The place is really very homey and that’s why it is so sincerely recommended.

To stay at Casa Amina for one night in a room for two people costs 8 EUR per room, but without toilet and shower. The latter seems to be shared by everyone, but is quite comfortable. The house itself is small but always full of guests, so if you still look at this place to sleep, it’s still better to book, because wishing to live in Casa Amina is always quite a lot. Of the minuses of this house – the lack of breakfast, but one of the many pluses – the owners tell the most delicious budget places in chefchaouen, where you can and have a good breakfast and just eat good food. And the atmosphere of the house is still very warm and beckons to go back there again and again.

Main attractions. What to see

The whole town is one big attraction. In Chefchaouen blue city you have to walk a lot, notice everything and take a lot of pictures. The city is very photogenic. The doors alone are worth it!

Top 5

  1. Plaza Uta el-Hammam. This is the main square of the city, dotted with restaurants, cafes, and in the center of the square there is a Christmas tree, around the axis of which local locals and tourists mixed up on the benches. The square is not so much remarkable, except for the people themselves, who now and again want to be photographed on the camera.
  2. Kasbah. This is the same fortress that the Arabs built to defend their land from the Portuguese and around which Chefchaouen later grew up. The fortress settled on the main square and now serves as a museum of artifacts, the entrance to which costs about 2 EUR.
  3. Ras el maa Park. The park is located outside the gates of Medina by the river. The park has mills, laundromats, a waterfall and arched bridges over the river. The place is very domestic, always lively and mischievous, and so strongly attracts all the curious.
  4. Moroccan street graffiti. You can only find it by exploring every street in Chauvin, but it’s definitely worth it.
  5. Viewpoint with a view of the entire Emerald City. It is located on the mountain, within walking distance of the river, next to the Spanish Mosque. All roads lead there, so you will not get lost.

What to see in 1 day

We stayed in Chefchaouen for three days, and that turned out to be as much as enough. But if you have only 1 day in this fabulous city, you need to walk around it, soak up the sun, take tons of amazing photos, get inspired, and come back again someday. And for one day, here’s the plan:

  • 6am – greet the sunrise from the terrace of the house, sipping warm mint tea and smiling at the sunny day.
  • 7 a.m. – get out on the emerald streets and wander around at will, fueled by tangerine juice from the stall.
  • 10 a.m. – have yourself a brunch, snacking on Moroccan sandwiches and oriental sweets at a movie theater stall (read more below).
  • 11 a.m. – find all the cats of Chefchaouen and capture them on camera.
  • 12 noon – have tea and chat with the artists at a local cafe (read more below).
  • Day 13 – find local street graffiti and take pictures of all the city’s most beautiful doors.
  • Day 14 – eat couscous or something tasty at a local homemade restaurant (read more below).
  • Day 16 – stock up on souvenirs, honing your trade skills.
  • Day 17 – go out to the river, to Ras el maa park and dissolve in that atmosphere of life, childhood and freedom. Taking pictures of everyone smiling and basking in the sun at a cafe with colorful chairs, sipping avocado juice.
  • At 7 pm to climb the observation deck, on the way to meet all the mountain goats, and at the very top to be amazed by the beauty of Chavin, so similar to the Albaicín of the Spanish city of Granada, say goodbye to the sun and the city until soon and go to meet new impressions.

Food: What to Try

Moroccan delicacies are well written about here and here, and you can try them all in Chefchaouen. Another must-try in Chefchaouen is avocado and tangerine juices. They are a great energy boost not only for the day, but also for the whole city. With that kind of energy, all the up and down the streets of Medina are effortless. Juices like these are good in a cafe by the river for 1,5 EUR and in the heart of the city, strolling with take-away juice from a stall for only 1 EUR.

For breakfast in chefchaouen, you can buy pre-packaged food in the streets of Medina or in any street café you like. You can have a hearty lunch or dinner in one of the city’s famous restaurants for an average of 10 EUR per person. It is also cheaper, but not as nourishing and tasty.

Recommended places

In our experience, in chefchaouen blue citywe found two highly recommended places to eat. The first is a house restaurant, very modest, delicious, quite for locals, but therefore so attractive to visitors that for lunch and dinner at this restaurant long lines are lined up. But it turns out that the upper floors of the building also belong to the restaurant, so there are enough places for everyone. What is the name of the restaurant and how to find it, I’m sorry, I will not tell, but all the locals know it, you will be recommended and told all where and how. Every Sunday there seems to be a couscous day, and there’s a great terrace at the very top.

Another place is a stall with Moroccan sandwiches and oriental sweets, very tasty, made by the stall owner’s mother. There are tables and benches in front of the stall on a slope and give the impression of an open-air movie theater with an endless movie of Moroccan fast food. The place is cool and the sandwiches are nourishing and even quite tasty and one of them costs 4 EUR, and sweets 0,10 EUR apiece.

Safety. What to beware of

About Moroccan security in general you can read in the article about Morocco. The article on Fez has a good description of Moroccan security by personal examples. And as for chefchaouen blue city, not only does the city seem safe, but it is actually very safe. chefchaouen turned out to be one of the few cities in Morocco where even night walks were quite pleasant and comfortable. The only thing that might be disturbing or annoying are the Arabs obsessively selling hashish. So Morocco teaches patience.

What to do

Outside of the usual walks around town, you can snuggle up with a cup of tea in a spacious, cozy cafe, the only one in town that has live music in the evenings and artists working wonders during the day. We found this place on Catholic Christmas Day and planned to go back there for music and fun for the evening. We went back, but the musicians didn’t show up, but what do we care about musicians, we had a concert anyway: playing guitar and singing songs by all those who came for the music. That’s how the fun came out, we all improvised. Chefchaouen is inspiring, after all.

The cafe is very conspicuous: there’s an easel at the entrance, friendly artists and cats. Come on in and you’ll be delighted.

Souvenirs. What to bring as a gift

Here and here is already well written about what and for what should be brought from the fabulous Morocco. And specifically from chefchaouen need to bring all sorts of krafters, handmade things and paints, paints, and something traditional, such as clothes of the townspeople of Chefchaouen.

Pictures. chefchaouen is a city of artists, and they’re really good at drawing. One of the many pictures you should definitely take with you.

Paints. You can use them to paint your house in all the colors of the rainbow or to create your own little Chefchaouen somewhere in the country.

A traditional Sheffshawan hat. They are very rainbow-colored and so similar to Peruvian hats. At the river they offer to take pictures in these outfits, and everywhere in the Medina they sell them, but, alas, I don’t know how much they cost.

How to move around the city

It is possible and necessary to move around the city on foot. The city is as small as the palm of your hand, and to us, as residents of the vast expanse of Russia, some insignificant kilometers, overcome by many in the name of cab, does not seem longer than the road from home to the nearest grocery store. The only thing: due to the fact that Shefshauen is located on the mountainous terrain, the streets now and then weave up and then down, but in this is the joy and the benefit. And all that is really worth going to chefchaouen is the Medina and the stunning views from the observation decks. And to the first and second, except for your own way, and there is no way to get. So equip yourself with comfortable shoes, optimism, conquer and conquer the eternal good chefchaouen.

Cab. What are the peculiarities

Cabs in chefchaouen, as throughout Morocco, are very even common. However, the only reason you will want to use it is to get from the bus station to the Medina or vice versa in a hurry. In that case, a one-way cab ride might cost about 3 EUR and take a couple of minutes. Cabs don’t have meters, they don’t take credit cards and you won’t even have to hitch a ride, there will probably be a line of cabs waiting for you, willing to give you a ride.

Renting Transportation

chefchaouen y is a tiny town, developed at the expense of nearby major cities, so transport rentals in the emerald city is either completely absent or too expensive.

It is better to come to chefchaouen with a pre-rented car in Rabat, Casablanca or Fès. Read here and here and here in the appropriate sections on how to rent a car in other Moroccan cities. See examples of rental prices at the link.

chefchaouen – holidays with children

chefchaouen is full of joy and laughter just because there are so many children in the city. Wandering the streets of the Medina or relaxing by the river, you come across little Moroccans everywhere, frolicking under the clear sky or in the river itself. However, during our entire stay in chefchaouen blue city, we never once encountered any of the little kids who came to visit us, and that’s a shame. In my opinion, kids would love a sunny town like Shefshaven. Although the city is not rich in all sorts of civilized entertainment such as a water park, amusement park and others, but how many other, more true and real joys the city can give its little guests: mountains, mountain goats, river, sun, fruit, soccer field and even maybe new friends.

chefchaouen is a very comfortable city, no matter who you come with: with children, without, with friends, without, and even if you find yourself in this city all alone.

If you miss the sun, friends, and inspiration, then chefchaouen is the place where you have more than enough of these things. Go there and let chefchaouen keep you happy and warm.

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Trips Around Morocco


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