Chefchaouen: The Blue City of Morocco
The number one place I wanted to visit was Chefchaouen, the famous “Blue City” of Morocco.
Chefchaouen (Sheff-shah-win) is a beautiful, tiny village nestled in the mountains of Africa.
It’s famous because the entire city is painted blue!
Chefchaouen is a maze of narrow, colorful, vibrant blue streets winding all throughout the city.
If you’re wondering how many days to spend in Chefchaouen, we spent 2 nights and it was perfect. There’s just enough wandering and exploring to do in 2 days without getting bored and seeing the same stuff over and over.
How to Get There
I’d never been to Morocco before, so I had no idea if safe, reliable public transportation would be available. If you’re researching how to get to Chefchaouen, it can definitely be a bit confusing at first. There’s not a lot of information online, so I was worried it would be difficult to get there!
If this is your first time too, don’t worry! It’s pretty easy to get to Chefchaouen. The CTM Bus line offers direct buses from Fes and Tangier.
Taking the CTM bus from Fes or Tangier is definitely the best way to get to Chefchaouen. The buses are clean, comfortable, luxury coaches with reclining seats and air conditioning. They are also very inexpensive!
We took the CTM Bus from Fes to Chefchaouen. It takes about 4 hours. There are usually only 1-2 departures to Chefchaouen per day, so it’s better to buy your ticket at least one day in advance so you’re sure to get a seat.
You’ll need to buy your ticket from the bus station in Fes. If you’re staying inside the Fes medina (you probably are, it’s the best place to stay!) you’ll have to take a taxi to the CTM bus station.
Once you arrive to the CTM bus station in Chefchaouen, you will need to take a taxi to the blue part of town. There will be plenty of taxis at the bus station waiting to take you. It’s less than 10 minutes to the blue part of town.
A taxi should not cost more than 30 Moroccan dirhams (about $3 USD). If you really want to haggle with them, or walk down the street a bit, you can probably get a taxi for 15-20 dirhams.
There are no cars inside the walls of the blue part of town, so your taxi will drop you off right outside the city walls. Be prepared to drag your luggage to your hotel. The taxi driver will offer to carry it for you, but they will also want a huge tip!!
Where to Take the Best Photos
Chefchaouen is a photographer’s paradise!
Everything is so bright and colorful.
These are the pigments used to paint the city!
I couldn’t stop taking pictures of all the doors!
Here is a map of Chefchaouen with some of the best, most Instagram-worthy locations:
The famous “Instagram alley” is the first photo in this post, the rainbow steps is the second, and the bright blue stairs is the fourth photo from the top of this post.
For everything else, the best thing to do is just wander in this area, around the green dotted paths and you’ll see it all!
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Riad Rifandalus. The rooms are very cute and traditional, and the air conditioning works extremely well.
Breakfast and WiFI are included. Breakfast is served on the rooftop terrace with a beautiful view of the blue city.
The shower had very good water pressure, but the hot water did not last long at all! Maybe 2 minutes max! I had to be very quick in the shower, and I turned off the water when I was shampooing or soaping up.
If you’re here to take pictures, Riad Rifandalus is in the perfect location. It’s right next to the famous blue alley you see in all the Instagram pictures of Chefchaouen.
I also considered staying at the Casa Perleta. It’s a bit closer to where the taxi drops you off, so if you want a shorter walk with your luggage, you might prefer the Casa Perleta.
Both hotels are very close to the famous Instagram alley. Check out the locations of both hotels on the map above.
What to Do in Chefchaouen
There are two main things to do in Chefchaouen.
The first, of course, is wander around and explore this beautiful blue city!
But the other thing you really need to do is hike up to the Spanish Mosque for the best view of Chefchaouen.
How to Get to the Spanish Mosque
If you’re exiting the Riad Rifandalus, take a left and walk all the way down the street until you’re outside of the city walls. Cross the bridge over the little waterfall and cross the street. There you’ll see a trail going up to the right to the Spanish Mosque. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the top.
The Spanish Mosque in Chefchaouen is the perfect spot to watch the sunset!!
For another view of Chefchaouen, if you don’t want to do the hike, there is a store in the main square of Chefchaouen, near the Kasbah. The name of the store is L’art Maroc (look for the name above the door). It is right next to the big green door. The owner of the store very kindly let us go up to his rooftop for this view!
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