Things to do in Chefchaouen: Morocco’s Blue City

High in the Rif Mountains in Northern Morocco, you’ll find the magical city, Chefchaouen.  This city dazzled in blue, is also commonly known as “The Blue City” or “The Blue Pearl”.

Visiting Chefchaouen, the magical Blue City had been on my radar for ages. This city was actually one of my main reasons for visiting Morocco, along with the Sahara Desert.  With all the hype this city had garnished in the last few years, I needed to finally see this place with my own eyes.

Blue Alleyway in Chefchaouen

How blue is Chefchaouen?

Prior to visiting Chefchaouen, I questioned whether this city was really as blue as its seemed. And whether I was being led on by alluring social media pictures…

Brittany on a blue staircase in Chefchaouen

After less than a minute in Chefchaouen, I had my answer.  YESSSSSS, the Blue City is as blue as it seems in pictures, or maybe even bluer!! I couldn’t have been more impressed.  This city BLUE (pun intended) all my expectations straight out of the water and into the clouds. 

Plants in Chefchaouen

Blue doors in Chefchaouen

Hands down, Chefchaouen is absolutely amazing and everything is painted blue.  I’m literally talking everything! The roofs, walls, doors and sidewalks of this city are drenched in the most mesmerizing shades of blue. As soon as we arrived in Chefchaouen, we were transported straight into a fairy tale. 

Blue alleyway in Chefchaouen

People walking in Chefchaouen

A Land of MAgic

As you enter Chefchaouen’s old town with labyrinth like alleyways, only accessible on foot, you’ll instantly be taken back in time.  On top of the impressive shades of blue, views of the Rif Mountains peek around every corner reminding you just how magical this city really is.

Cat sitting in front of blue doors

An extra bonus if you’re a cat lover like myself, there are cats everywhere!  Every shade of BLUE, mountains, and cats!?  How could you go wrong?? I honestly don’t think you can.  The Blue City is just as epic as it seems!

Why is EVERYTHING Blue?

It is often questioned how this old city became to be so blue, and honestly, I can’t give you a straight answer.  I would also love to know.  What I can tell you, are some theories that have been swirling around.  Depending who you ask, will depend on what you hear.

Some of the most popular beliefs are that the Jewish people that settled in the area, brought the famous blue with them. Or that the blue represents the ocean, sky or heaven. Others believe that the blue has a calming affect.  On the contrary, some people think the blue is in place for a more practical reason, to keep pesky mosquitoes at rest.  I’m not sure how much truth any of these theories hold, or maybe they all hold some truth, I can’t be certain.  I’ll leave it up to you to interpret.

Things to do in Chefchaouen

Wander the Blue Streets

Brittany standing on blue staircase

Most of our time in Chefchaouen was spent chasing the next best place to take in more blue.  Wander the streets, follow the blue alleyways, search for amazing door ways, climb the blue steps, embrace all the aromas, and most importantly, take in the views.  Chefchaouen is truly a photographers dream, as are many other beautiful places in Morocco.

Walking around and finding hidden gems around each corner is the best thing to do in the Blue City.  Being in this secluded city and feeling its charm, is enough on its own.  With absolutely everything painted a millions shades of blue, wandering around in awe, will keep you fairly busy.

Climb to the Spanish Mosque

View of the Spanish Mosque

In about a half an hours time, a steady incline will take you to the Spanish Mosque, giving you an epic view.

View from the Spanish Mosque

The Spanish Mosque is the best place to get a full view of Chefchaouen and the Rif Mountains. The view from here is beautiful all day but gets even better as the sun is setting.

Enjoy some Roof Top Views

Blue roofs in Chefchaouen

Given that Chefchaouen rests in the mountains, sitting on a roof top gives you an amazing view and a new perspective of the city. 

Thruxton eating breakfast on the roof top

We were very lucky that our riad had a great roof top to enjoy. Sitting amongst all the blue roofs and enjoying the view, was a very calming experience.  If you have the opportunity to sit on a roof top, I recommend taking it.

Walk along the City Wall

City wall in Chefchaouen

The old town in Chefchaouen is surrounded by an old wall that was originally meant to protected the city.  With no threat toady, the city wall is a great place to look over the city. 

View of Chefchaouen

From the city wall you’re able to see Chefchaouen from a different vantage point and get closer to the mountains.

Kasbah Fortress Museum

City view of Chefchaouen

Located centrally in the main square, you’ll find the Kasbah Fortress Museum, standing out with tall red walls amongst the sea of blue. 

City views of Chefchaouen

For about $2 CAN, you’ll be granted access to a small garden to explore and a beautiful view from the top level of the Kasbah.

make a Cat friend 

Cat in front of blue door

Cats in Chefchaouen are almost as abundant as the many shades of blue located around the city.  Locals feed the cats and treat them like royalty, but they appear to live outside, so finding a cat friend is not difficult. 

Small kitten

You can find cats in restaurants, sleeping on roofs, wandering blue staircases, running up and down alleyways, resting in front of storefronts and pretty much anywhere you look.  Whether you like cats or not, be prepared to spend some time with cats in this city.  If you’re lucky, kittens with smalls mews will greet you frequently.  For me, this was completely an added bonus, to an already magical city!

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