Things to Do in Chefchaouen, Morocco’s Gorgeous Blue City

Things to Do in Chefchaouen, Morocco’s Gorgeous Blue City

This city in northwest Morocco has been attracting tourists by the droves mainly because it’s painted blue. Find out the many attractions and activities that make visiting Chefchaouen worth the while.

Chefchaouen is a charming city in the north of Morocco. It is known for its stunning shades of blue that can be found everywhere throughout the old medina. Nestled in the Rif Mountains, the surrounding greens are in striking contrast to the many blue shades. While the main beauty of Chefchaouen is discovered by simply strolling through the narrow streets of the historic medina, there are several local attractions and activities that visitors can add to their must-see lists.

1. Get lost in the small alleys of the Medina

There are several stories as to why Chefchaouen is painted blue. Some people say it has Jewish heritage, others say it’s to deter mosquitoes, and others believe it is simply for aesthetic appeal. Whatever the reasons, the blues of Chefchaouen certainly make it unique. Get lost in small alleys, wind your way up and down the city’s steps, discover enchanting squares, stumble across beautiful street art, and see how locals live.  

2. Hunt for souvenirs in the souks of Chefchaouen

Although Chefchaouen’s souks aren’t among the most famous in Morocco, that doesn’t mean that you won’t find a good selection of local crafts, arts, and traditional Moroccan souvenirs to catch your eye. What makes the local souks particularly charming and photogenic is the fact that the colourful wares are displayed against the blue walls. There are abundant pictures of the blue city, painted by local artists, in various sizes. These make easy local souvenirs to take home and remind you of your trip. Wandering through the souks also reveals many workshops where people craft items from metal, wood, cloth, and other materials.

3. Have a meal in Uta El-Hammam

The peaceful square of Uta El-Hammam sits at the heart of Chefchaouen’s old medina. Trees offer plenty of shade and there are several benches where you can sit and watch the world go by. The lovely plaza is surrounded by restaurants and cafes—it’s one of the best places in the city for a delicious meal. The Kasbah is located on one side of the square.

4. Enjoy history and nature in Kasbah Museum

Chefchaouen’s old kasbah may be small but it’s definitely worth the admission fee. Now home to the Kasbah Museum, the lovely gardens, complete with orange trees and flowers, make for a pleasant stroll. You can climb the old towers and visit the old jail, which still has a few shackles on the walls and bars on the door. Displays about the city’s past and people can be found throughout the complex.  

5. Marvel at the Grand Mosque from afar

Although closed to non-Muslims, Chefchaouen’s Grand Mosque presents an impressive sight from outside. The call to prayer sounds five times each day from the tall minaret. Look closer at the minaret and you’ll realise that it looks different to many other minarets around the country; its octagonal shape is distinctive.

6. Soak up spectacular views from Ras el Ma

Ras el Ma is a river that runs through Chefchaouen. The river’s source provides drinking water for the city, and was the reason why the city was founded on that spot. A small waterfall tumbles into the river with lots of lush greenery all around. From here you can soak up spectacular views of the surroundings too. Locals often come here to wash items in the cool flowing waters—it’s not unusual to see ladies beating rugs with brooms before scrubbing them in the waters and setting them on rooftops to dry in the sun.

Around Chefchaouen

Located outside of the medina, the small Spanish Mosque sits atop a nearby hill. Built by the Spanish in the 1920s, it failed to impress locals and gradually fell into disrepair. It has now been renovated to show its former white-washed beauty. It’s a great place to admire sweeping views over the city and its surroundings.

The lush surroundings offer plenty of opportunities for hiking, with the Rif Mountains attracting local families looking for somewhere peaceful to enjoy the great outdoors. Talassemtane National Park, with its mountains, caves, valleys, and diverse flora and fauna, is also within easy reach. One of the most popular trips to take from Chefchaouen is to the stunning Cascades of Akchour. The natural stone archway known as The Bridge of God is also well worth a visit.

There are definitely plenty of things to see and do in and around Morocco’s glorious Blue City.

About Author

Sarah W
Sarah W

Sarah W is a travelling cat-lover who enjoys exploring places that are a little bit quirky or away from headline attractions. Favourite things include delicious falafel, snuggling under a thick duvet, (badly) belting out karaoke at the top of her lungs, and, of course, her family, friends, and furry pets.

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