Chefchaouen was by far my favorite place in Morocco! This all blue town is a photographer’s dream and you can wander here for hours and just be in awe the whole time. It’s a little out-of-the-way making it less touristy than other spots in Morocco but it’s worth a visit. Maybe you don’t know that half the worlds’ hash comes from here as well as some of the coolest rugs. You’re about to! Here are my very best Chefchaouen travel tips.
All My Chefchaouen Journey Tips!
This place has a really interesting back story which I go into detail on in I wrote for BravoTV.
It was a safe haven for Jewish people fleeing Spain in the 1400’s and again in the 1940’s. The Jewish people came from Spain to Morocco and set up in the Rif mountains in this town. At first, they were hiding from the Portuguese but later as you can guess it was Hitler. It was painted blue by the Jews. Some say it was because it was a reminder of their faith of the heavens and skies. Theories also suggest it keeps away mosquitos. I visited another all blue city here in India (Jodhpur) and it was said there the blue brings the desert temperature down a few notches.
Morocco wasn’t always “free” so to speak. The French had occupied Marrakesh and other areas at times and the Spanish tried to take the North Chefchaouen is located). To this day most people here speak Spanish. As you go South though no one will know any and will speak Arabic and French. It was fun to try out my Spanish skills! Even when fighting with a taxi driver, I was like wow I know a lot of words!
Jewish people have since left, to Israel. I was always interested in history and chose to take history as my electives in school. Since I was just in Israel, it’s fun to learn as you travel and see how things come together. You definitely remember things more this way.
What I wore in Chefchaouen
Now the people there are Muslim for the most part. This means a few things to a tourist. You should dress appropriately is the first. You should be respectful even when you don’t want to be. Don’t curse and swear at someone, especially a man. You for this where they have strict rules. I don’t know how strict there are here, so better safe than sorry.
The clothing I have on here is from my friend Tia’s collection, who was traveling with me. I’ve mentioned her dozens of times on the blog. I love her clothes and wear them a lot when I travel. I will be writing a post about what I wore in Morocco. In the meantime, you can see what I wore in Jordan (it’ll be similar) and what I packed for this trip of various regions: Morocco, Israel, Latvia, and London which I went to all in one month.
The lanes and alleys here are like a maze, as are all the medinas (markets) in Morocco. You can and most likely will get lost. Because there are many places where you’ll be alone, if you wanted to take a couple of photos in a cute dress or whatever without covering your shoulders you can snap a few.
Inside restaurants that are mostly tourists you’ll see many people take their scarves off and try to cool down. You don’t need to cover your head. I did see some tourists (Spanish I think) wearing shorts and tank tops. No one seemed bothered. As always, do what you want I’m not here to judge, just to advise.
Where to stay in Chefchauouen
We stayed outside of town and I am so happy that we did. We stayed at which is known for having great food. So much so that people in town come outside of town via taxi just to eat here. It was only 10 minutes (5 dollars, but that was we found out in Marrakesh too much) taxi ride each way.
The food WAS that good. Tia and I actually didn’t have many good meals in our 10 days in Morocco and the food here was our favorite of the whole trip. They use the veggies and fruit from their garden to cook with and you smell it cooking all day long. Try the rabbit and fig tagine.
They have a pool here which is a huge bonus!
If you want to stay in the medina there are two highly ranked boutique hotels to consider: and . I looked in on both and they are amazing. Personally, I just wanted to stay outside of town.
Shopping in Chefchaouen
We stayed for two nights and spent just one day inside the town.
It was enough. While the place is stunning, there isn’t much to do except take photos. We did that the first day and went for lunch. We also did some shopping (the whole point of being in a medina). The shopping wasn’t as good as other places.
The vibe here was much more relaxed than elsewhere and people were not aggressive at all. In Fes we encountered issues with aggression which I will share about later.
I recommend coming here first to dip your toes into the Moroccan culture.
Of the places we visited: Fes, Marrakesh, and Chefchaouen, this was the worst place for prices. There were very few shops compared to elsewhere. Most things are made in Fes and Marrakesh so they are delivered here making the prices higher and people are not willing to go down on price.
Rugs are meant to be made in the Rif mountains around here and prices should be good, but we actually got our best rug deals in Fes. Baskets here were twice the price. I would hold of on shopping.
How to get to Chefchaouen
Flights to and from Morocco from Europe are VERY cheap. If you’re coming from the USA I suggest flying to London and then booking these flights separately. Use Ryanair or easyJet. To search for all of them you can use .
I don’t usually book through Kayak, but for their filters and finding deals on these carriers, they were the only one that worked. I found flights for $30 going there and $100 back. With luggage each way it was $250 all together.
Luggage is the killer! But you’re going to want to shop. Make sure to book the luggage online ahead of time to save money. You can add a second bag coming back for 15 kg or 20 kg for $50 or less.
Flying in, go to Fes. Flying out, you can fly out from Marrakesh if you are going there. The trains are great here but slow and flights are cheap enough that going into one place and out another worked best for the budget.
From Fes, it’s a four hour taxi ride to the blue city! You can hire a taxi just outside the airport. Don’t rent a car. You’ll get lost, scammed, and pay way more money that just hiring a taxi. While we paid 70 bucks going there and about 90 bucks going back, it ideally should be about 50 each way.
Airport prices are always higher. You can take a bus to the city center of Fes to negotiate a better deal for a taxi out-of-town, but consider if that extra 20 bucks is worth your time. It wasn’t for us.
Coming back to Fes, the price was higher (90) because less taxis are leaving there (apparently) and we just couldn’t get anyone to budget, whereas taxis at the airport negotiated as they were fighting for work.
As always make sure you tell them the hotel name and make it clear they need to take you there, not just to town. Show them on google maps.
You can get a SIM card at the airport in a little snack shop for about 20 bucks and it will start working right away. The guy there doesn’t speak English. There is also free WiFi at the airport.
What to do in Chefchaouen
Shop, wander, shop some more! There isn’t a lot “to do” in this town. It’s really a place to chill out and just enjoy BEING there. There is a waterfall you can visit just on the outside of the medina (easily walkable) called Ras el Maa. We didn’t venture out as we were tired from all the shopping and wandering!
You could get a hamman or go trekking. I wrote about my hamman experience in Istanbul. Very cool thing to try once, but not something I needed again.
You could take a day trip outside of town into the mountains, or to where they make hash… which is my next point.
Hash in Chefchaouen
I couldn’t give you ALL my Chefchaouen travel tips without mentioning anything about weed and hash here.
More than 800,000 people in Morocco work in the which isn’t legal (yet). It’s been researched that more than HALF of the world’s cannabis comes from Morocco. They also say Moroccan stuff is the best. Well, in Morocco it’s made in the Rif mountains, all around Chefchaouen. I guess you could say it’s the motherload of marijuana, and perhaps the best in the world. You’re going to be offered some. It’s going to be cheap and you’re going to be seeing LOTS of people smoking it.
Just FYI. As I said not here to judge, do as you please! It’s totally safe traveling here and it’s not some sketchy drug town. It is a kind of pilgrimage of stoners. While people like me are there to see the blue town, others could care less and want to go see the hash making farms.
If you want some more photos to inspire your visit, check out my other post on Chefchaouen which is loaded up with them!
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