One day in Chefchaouen | Morocco

Got a day in Chefchaouen? Every shade of blue you can imagine adorn the walls of the Medina in the Eastern half of the city. Each twist and turn brings a myriad of colours, from the many shops selling powered paint, fabrics and souvenirs a plenty. There’s alleyways, alcoves, winding pathways and more to explore. The Medina isn’t so big you feel overwhelmed and lost, but big enough to spend the day exploring, and of course snapping some memorable photos on the variety of blue backdrops. 

Looking for tips for visiting Morocco? Check those out here.

Chefchaouen, my favourite Medina. A likely candidate with it’s blue-washed walls, optimistic corners and colourful fabrics adorning the pathways, enticing you into a purchase. You’ll find the alleyways and paths of Chefchaouen packed with enthusiastic photography tourists, all hoping to get the perfect shot in front the pockets of blue. The Medina is big enough to handle this influx of visitors, yet not so big that you’ll likely get too lost. 

Colourful fabrics line the streets of Chefchaouen

Here’s my top tips for visiting the Blue Pearl, even just for a day.

Just a day in Chefchaouen? What should you do?

If you’ve got a day in Chefchaouen, I’d wander through the Medina, towards the main Plaza Uta el-Hammam. Just off here is the Kasbah, a restored fortress, home to an art gallery and ethnographic museum. I paid 60 MAD to enter which is about a fiver and to be totally honest I wasn’t that impressed. There was a decent view across the city though, but not worth the price in my opinion.

Spend the majority of your day exploring cute corners and the colours, find a lady in the street to do your henna and take a pause for a mint tea if you need a break – Cafe Clock (if you can find it haha I got lost) has a range of hot/cold drinks and views across the city. Top Tip – I would say it is expensive for food and I would recommend a more local, cheaper spot to eat (see below).

I pose in t-shirt and jeans on blue stairs in chefchaouen

Unfortunately I didn’t get chance to do this activity but travel friends I met really enjoyed; if you have another day in the city, take a trip to a hashish farm to see how the local kif is produced. You’ll take a trip into the Rif Mountains and enjoy bashing up some cannabis plants. A fun day out if you’ve come across a group of travel friends to head with – some hostels will organise with local drivers for you.

Where to eat

In the Chefchaouen main Plaza there’s a whole load of shops and restaurants. My favourites for food were Hamsa (here you should try Rghaif, a pancake which you can get sweet or savoury, served with some fluffy goats cheese and pomegranate) and Ban Kasba (they had purple tables / chairs) which served a lovely chicken buttie. Just down and around the corner is Bab Ssour, a traditional Moroccan restaurant with a few floors of delicious eating opportunities. Really great staff and reasonable prices too.

Rghaif Pancake served with cheese
Rghaif Pancake

Where to stay

Loved my stay at Riad Baraka, everyone working and staying there was so friendly. The only negative was the top bunk I had, a personal fear of mine (honestly the steps were very slim and I panicked everytime I had to get up and down hahaah). 

Sunset viewing

A must do if you’ve only got a day in Chefchaouen – take a walk to the top of town, past the waterfall Ras El-Maa and up the hill to the Spanish Mosque. Here you can view the gorgeous city sprawling across the hills and a perfect view of the sunset. Get there in time for a good spot on the wall as many of those keen photographers will be there, tripods ready. Bring snacks and enjoy the view.

silhouettes of photographers and their tripods, set up for the sunset by the Spanish mosque, overlooking Chefchaouen
Photographers awaiting the sunset over Chefchaouen
Sunset over Chefchaouen as it sprawls over the Rif Mountains
The sunset over Chefchaouen

Getting there

To get to Chefchaouen, a wide variety of buses travel from surrounding areas, I took the bus from Fez which took about 5hours. Buses from Casablanca, Fez, Tangier and Rabat frequent the bus station. Other options include Grand Taxis which are more expensive and don’t take much less time.

Top Tip – I took a bus mid afternoon to Tangier which meant I didn’t have a full second day in Chefchaouen – would recommend booking the later buses in the evening so you don’t waste time on a bus when you could be exploring! Read about transport in Morocco here.

Anything else?

Chefchaouen is the place to go if you’re looking to get stoned. Hash is readily available either via a hash farm tour, or if you ask around people have it readily available. A man actually offered it to me literally as I got out my taxi, so if you’re into trying out the local plants, Chefchaouen is your place. If it’s not your thing though, feel free to decline as I did. Ideally if you do want to smoke, smoke with locals as it’s likely to better quality. Although hashish is readily available in Morocco it is actually illegal to bear that in mind. Check out more details on smoking kif here.

Let me know if you have any tips for a day (or more) in Chefchaouen? It’s a gorgeous place!

I stand in an orange dress on some blue stairs in Chefchaouen

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2 Comments

  1. January 1, 2019 / 3:40 pm

    Damn, Chefchaouen seems to have been exploding all over my Instagram feed and coming up in various blogs I follow – I feel like the internet is trying to tell me something…

    Great article Sarah – I’m looking forward to all your SE Asia adventures!

    Also I literally burst out laughing at the bit about this being the place to get stoned…literally had no idea Morocco was like that!

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 1, 2019 / 10:48 pm

      Hasn’t it!! I feel like right before I left photos of it kept cropping up and now I know why, it’s beaut – you’d love it.

      Hahah, yeah it’s a bit unexpected right?!

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