The 5 Best Things to Do In Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen, often dubbed the ‘Blue Pearl’ of Morocco for its enchanting blue houses and streets, owes its unique aesthetic to Jewish immigrants who adorned the buildings in this striking hue. The reason behind this choice remains a captivating mystery, contributing to the city’s charm and making it a perennial favorite among tourists. Spend a day or two indulging in the best things to do in Chefchaouen, and if you desire to immerse yourself further, allocate three days or more to relish the stunning natural landscapes of the surrounding Riff Mountains.
Unmissable 5 Best Things to Do In Chefchaouen:
1. Wander the Blue Streets
Chefchaouen’s biggest draw is its beautiful blue-painted streets. People paint their houses blue for various reasons—some for practicality like keeping mosquitoes away or staying cool, while others see it as a representation of the sky, sea, or nearby waterfall. Locals keep up the tradition, attracting tourists who love the city’s picturesque streets.
Compared to other Moroccan cities, Chefchaouen is quieter, letting you peacefully stroll its blue alleys for hours, snapping photos of charming doorways and porches in the sun. Exploring these blue houses is the top thing to do in Chefchaouen!
2. Shopping in the Medina
3. The Kasbah Museum
4. Plaza Uta El-Hammam
The main square in Chefchaouen, Plaza Uta El-Hammam, buzzes with activity and serves as the heart of the medina. Encircled by restaurants, shops, the Kasbah, and the Grand Mosque, this vibrant hub offers a glimpse into local life.
While the Grand Mosque remains closed to tourists as it’s still actively used for religious purposes, you can admire its distinctive octagonal minaret from the square. Take a moment to relax under the shade of the tree at the center of the cobblestone square. It’s an ideal spot for people-watching, providing a refreshing break from sightseeing—a delightful activity to enjoy while soaking up the lively atmosphere of Chefchaouen.
5. Watch the Sunrise or Sunset from the Spanish Mosque
To catch the most stunning views of Chefchaouen, make sure not to miss the sunrise from the Spanish Mosque! While lots of people come for the sunset, I recommend starting your day here for an incredible experience.
Constructed in the 1920s, the mosque’s history has been somewhat turbulent. Locals in Chefchaouen considered the mosque ‘haram’ or forbidden, resulting in its underuse and lack of attendance for prayers. Presently, it primarily serves as a vantage point, drawing visitors for its panoramic views of the city and surroundings.
Take the road out of Chefchaouen village, passing through Bab El Onsar, the eastern gate of the Medina. After crossing the bridge, seek out the pathway ascending the hillside toward the Spanish Mosque. It’s quite straightforward and hard to miss!
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Morocco is a very safe destination compared to countless worldwide destinations. Tourism plays a major role in the Moroccan economy to the extent that His Majesty King Mohammed VI described as one of the top priorities in the economy.
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Moroccan Arabic is widely spoken in Morocco along with Tamazight, the French, which is spoken in big cities and many administrations. French is also the language of education in many schools and institutions. Spanish is widely spoken in the north of Morocco because of its proximity to Spain as well as this part of Morocco was a Spanish protectorate from 1912 to 1956.
Generally, Moroccans are mostly multilingual and you will easily notice how they keep switching from one language to another.
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water bottles *
ziplock baggies *
toilet paper * (buy it in Morocco)
needle and thread / safety pins
camera, batteries, memory cards, film — bring lots!
sealable bag for your digital camera* (essential!! for sand/dust)