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7 Things to do in Chefchaouen City, Morocco’s Blue Pearl

Chefchaouen in Morocco
Written by Jesca

There are several things to do in Chefchaouen City, nicknamed the “blue pearl of Morocco.” If you are a Pinterest or Instagram lover, then you know about Morocco’s famous blue city-Chefchaouen.

The city is a gorgeous treasure in Morocco’s northwest and is a popular tourist destination. This small blue city in the Rif mountains is probably one of the prettiest things in Morocco. 

The city got its nickname “the Blue Pearl of Morocco” because of its blue-washed streets and buildings. Nestled across the slopes of the Reef mountains, Chefchaouen City is rich with remarkable ancient buildings, painted in vibrant shades of blue. 

Is the Blue City in Morocco Worth Visiting?

Chefchaouen is an enchanting destination worth visiting. The blue city is a relatively relaxed area, where visitors take a stroll through the streets and admire the vivid sights. Whether you just stay in town and meander amid its painted periwinkle alleyways, hike to its waterfall or the viewpoint above the skyline, the blue city is absolutely worth visiting on your trip to Morocco.

In order to enjoy the beautifully unique views of Chefchaouen, visit the city in April or early May, when beautiful flowers are blooming. This adds a touch of vivid colors to the blue architecture. And the weather in Chefchaouen is also relatively cool during this time of the year. 

Regardless of the weather, visitors are treated with warm Moroccan hospitality.

What is Special about Chefchaouen?

The number one reason to visit Chefchaouen is for its beautiful streets, filled with blue-painted houses. The most interesting and colorful part of Chefchaouen is the Old City or medina.

In the blue city, there is a Byzantine maze of narrow streets and alleys through blue and whitewashed homes of Spanish and Moorish architecture. Medina is definitely a great and fun place to get lost.

Why is Chefchaouen Blue?

If you’ve ever gone to Morocco, you’ve probably seen the blue buildings and architecture of this Moroccan city. The vibrant blue paint covers almost every building in Chefchaouen city. 

The iconic city in the mountains has a historical past, as they have well preserved many of the ancient buildings for generations. Jews who fled from the Spanish during the late 15th century.

Many say they chose the color blue because it’s the spiritual color for the Jewish people. While some historians believe the color was a tribute to a nearby mountain spring, that made their settlement possible in this arid land. Locals also claim that the blue color keeps mosquitoes away. 

If you’re swamped for the time during your visit to Morocco, you can opt for a day trip tour from major cities such as Fes, Tangier or Rabat. But if blue is your favorite color, you’re all set for your next travel destination!  Expect the following things.

Wander the Blue Streets

Chefchaouen in Morocco

Chefchaouen in Morocco. Photo/Lonely Planet

The number one reason to visit Chefchaouen is its beautiful streets, filled with houses painted with various blues. Chefchaouen is much calmer than other cities in Morocco, so expect to spend hours wandering in the blue alleys calmly.

And taking photos of cute porches and doorways in the sun – the blue houses are the best thing to do in Chefchaouen!

2. Get a Good Scrub at a Hammam

Things To Do In Chefchaouen

A good scrub at a hammam. Photo/discovertuscany.com.

If you are in the city on a rainy day, visiting one of the local hammams for a traditional Moroccan massage is one of the best things you can do in Chefchaouen. A traditional Moroccan hammam is an unforgettable experience. The hammam entails a wash with Moroccan olive oil soap and a lengthy full-body scrub. 

3. Visit the Spanish Mosque 

The Spanish Mosque is a beautiful building sitting isolated on a hill above Chefchaouen. The mosque was built in the 1920s, during the war and has never been used. It now sits abandoned, looking out across the city. An easy 30-minute hike to the top will reward you with the best views.

Watching the sunset is magical, as the golden colors hit the background of the earthy Riff mountains. However, there can be crowds, as watching the sunset is one of the most popular things to do in Chefchaouen. If you prefer it to be quieter, take an early morning hike to watch the sunrise.

4. Shopping in the Medina

Chefchaouen in Morocco.

Chefchaouen in Morocco. Photo/Planet Janet Travels

Visiting the narrow, blue, twisting streets of Medina, and its sound is another best thing to do in Chefchaouen! The souks may not be as big as in other Moroccan cities, but Medina remains a popular shopping destination. This is because it offers several unique handicrafts, like wool garments, woven blankets, and woven baskets.

In between the handicrafts, you’ll often trace bright-coloured paint pots in a variety of pastel colours- a beautiful scene against the backdrop of blue walls. 

5. The Kasbah Museum

In the main square, sits the Kasbah museum, an old Moroccan fort. This building has served for the ages, most notably as a prison. And today, it is an ethnographic museum and art gallery. Inside there are beautiful Spanish-style gardens, which provide a nice space of calm away from the city.

Learn about the fascinating history of Morocco, through the ancient artefacts at the museum, clothing, instruments, and traditional decorations and crafts on display. You can climb the fort tower to discover beautiful city views.

6. Plaza Uta El-Hammam

Plaza Uta El-Hammam is Chefchaouen’s cultural and commercial center with excellent restaurants and shopping malls.

Many things happen around the hustle and bustle at Plaza Uta El-Hammam. Sitting in the center of the medina, restaurants, shops, the Kasbah, and the Grand Mosque surrounded the square. They use the Grand Mosque for religious worship, so it is not open to tourists. However, its remarkable octagonal minaret can be seen from the square. 

7. Experience Delicious Food

The flavor of Moroccan food is unlike anywhere else. A strong Spanish influence is still noticeable in the city with cuisine and traditions. On each corner of the cute blue streets, you will find homemade bread baked by locals in their wood-fired ovens.

At restaurants in the city, they serve typical Moroccan spiced dishes of couscous, fish, and vegetables. Enjoy sitting on beautiful Moroccan cushions, in romantically lit dining rooms, and eating tagine out of a locally made tagine bowl. This is truly an authentic way to understand the culture of Morocco and Chefchaouen city.

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Jesca

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