Chefchaouen City Guide

by | Mar 28, 2024 | Locations | 0 comments

Driss Benchemisi is a guest blogger who is willing to share his expertise on the city of Chefchaouen. Driss is born and raised Moroccan, and currently lives in Doha. He can be easily found over on Think Morocco.

Chefchaouen, also called Chaouen, is the beautiful blue village of Morocco that floods the galleries of Instagram. Its photogenic streets and corners have made this small mountain town in northern Morocco’s Rif region, one of the most fashionable destinations in Morocco.

To visit Chefchaouen is to enter a labyrinth of blues and whites, be impressed by its beautiful doors and fountains, let yourself be carried away by its calm rhythm and breathe the fresh mountain air. The truth is that it was quite different from everything else you might have seen in Morocco so far. Although the bombardment of photos on social networks is great, and in part gives the impression that you are already familiar with the city, it is equally surprising.

aerial view of the blue city

What to See and Do in Chefchaouen

The Medina

Chefhaouen’s magic is undoubtedly found in the Medina. Medina is another word for “old city.” The medina has five access doors and, although it is not very big, it is quite labyrinthine, so it is easy to get lost in its streets. Walking through its streets is like being in a huge movie set. All those little blue and white houses, so flirtatious and yet so simple. And as is typical of other places in Morocco, full of cats! Although there are different hypotheses as to why the color blue, the most widespread is that the color repels mosquitoes.

The beautiful blue medina of Chefchaouen in Morocco

The Souk

Everyone loves Moroccan souks, and although sometimes haggling can be exhausting, I like to visit the little shops and stalls and get to know the local crafts. Of course, the souk is the busiest place in the Medina. In the souk of Chefchaouen you will find spice shops, carpets of a very particular style with color special gradients, handicrafts, Moroccan food restaurants, etc. Remember, if you don’t haggle, you get ripped off, it’s that simple.

Uta el-Hammam Square

The main square of Chefchaouen is know by the locals as Uta el-Hammam Square. It can be somewhat touristy, but full of restaurants, street vendors, musicians, and more. It’s a good idea to spend 1-2 nights in Chefchaouen because many of the tourists only do day trips outside the city. Once they’re gone, you have the place to yourself.

The Kasbah

Located in the square, it was built at the end of the 17th century. It is only closed on Tuesdays, and the entrance fee is about 10 dirhams. It houses the Ethnographic Museum and some very beautiful gardens. The best part of the visit is the view from the tower.

Kasbah Fortress in Chefchaouen. Chefchaouen is a city in northwest Morocco. Chefchaouen is noted for its buildings in shades of blue.

The Great Mosque

The Great Mosque is right next to the Kasbah. The interior is only open to Muslims. During the hours of prayer, the mid-day Friday prayer, you’ll observe a lot of activity.

Ras el-Maa Fountain

The laundry area is another of the main attractions of Chefchaouen. This is where the local women wash their clothes in the river. You’ll see colorful carpets, blankets, and clothing. There are several restaurants along this part of the river, where you can eat or drink tea and enjoy a little bit of peace and quiet.

Viewpoint of the wall

The views from the top of the mountain are very beautiful. It’s best to go there first thing in the morning so you can get a fantastic panoramic view of Chefchaouen, perfectly illuminated by the sun that exalts the blue color of the town. It is also an unforgettable location to watch the sun go down. If you are a photographer, it is not to be missed.

sundown in Chefchaouen

Eating Moroccan sweets

The smells of bread and Moroccan sweets baked in wood-fired ovens flood the of the streets of Chaouen. Let yourself be carried away by the aroma and take the opportunity to taste these delicacies, because believe me, they are delightful.

Try the Hammam

Whether it’s your first time in Morocco or not, don’t miss the opportunity to live this experience. It is a very nice experience and it allows you to get to know a little bit more about the way of life in the country. A Moroccan hammam is a type of Turkish bath. This custom dates back to the Roman public bathhouses. The local hammam is the place to hear the local gossip, plan for the next wedding, or just relax with friends. The local hammams can be somewhat shocking to westerners unused to nudity. Not quite ready to try to authentic hammam? No problem, there are spa-like alternatives that have been established for foreigners.

Visit the new city market

If you visit on a Monday or Thursday, take the opportunity to visit the market that is set up outside the Medina where people from the mountains come down to sell their products. You will find there all kinds of articles, from food, to clothes, shoes and various  food items. If you’re in the market for a donkey, you can find one there.

Where to eat

The restaurants in the main square, although touristy, have very good Moroccan food and are very well priced. If you are looking for something more authentic outside the main square, we recommend the Restaurant Al Kassba, where there are more locals than tourists.

Don’t leave without eating couscous, tajin, kefta, Moroccan salad… and if you want to try new things, try Mrozia, which is a dish of lamb in sauce, with raisins and nuts. If it’s cold, try the harira too, which is a rich soup of vegetables, legumes and spices. Another popular soup that originated in Chefchaouen is Bissara. Bissara is a wonderful bean soup, that surprisingly, can be served at any time of day, even breakfast. And don’t forget the Moroccan tea and the delicious orange juice.

If you fancy a few beers, you can get them at Hotel Parador.

Day Trips from Chefchaouen

Akchour Falls

These beautiful waterfalls belong to the great national park of Talassemtane. It is almost an hour’s drive from Chefchaouen. If you’re on a budget, opt for the shared taxi option, which will cost approximately 25 dirhams per person.

The falls have two trails, one on each side of the river.  The Bridge of God Route, which runs parallel to the Farda River and the Waterfalls Route, by the Kelaa River. Both routes are very beautiful and it can take about 2 hours to do them both.

It is important to wear comfortable shoes, and if you go in winter, a jacket because it can get a little chilly.

If hiking is of interest, Open Doors Morocco can arrange a day of hiking near the falls or in a more isolated area that includes a picnic lunch.


Tetouan is a unique city with a beautiful white medina perched up on a hill. No other medina is quite like it. You can get lost in its labyrinthine streets, visit the tanneries and also take the opportunity to do some shopping. Your Open Doors Morocco host will ensure you get to Tetouan and back.

white city of tetouan


If you’ve been to Chefchaouen, I’d love to hear what you loved about it!

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