After visiting Marrakesh, Rabat, and Fes it was time to head north to Chefchaouen. This city, also called the “Blue Pearl of Morocco”, is one of the most intriguing and fascinating places I’ve visited.
Even though it’s quite small, Chefchaouen is incredibly beautiful and worth exploring for at least two days. From time to time the blue buildings are partially covered with splashes of color from carpets and flower pots.
Chefchaouen is definitely one of the most colorful cities in Morocco but how do you get there? When I visited, it was hard for me to find online information about how to get to Chefchaouen and the whole trip was pretty confusing.
This is why I want to share with you everything you need to know if you plan to visit the Blue City.
Quick jump list
1. Where is Chefchaouen located?
Chefchaouen is located in the northern part of Morocco, nested in the Riff Mountains. Unfortunately, the city doesn’t have any airports nearby. Therefore the best way to get there is by public transport.
There is an airport at about one hour away from Chefchaouen but you’ll still have to use public transport to get to the city. But don’t worry, I’ll tell you how to get to Chefchaouen from every big city in Morocco.
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2. How to get to Chefchaouen
Most travelers choose to visit Chefchaouen from either Tanger or Fes. Even though my trip started in Marrakesh, I chose to visit Chefchaouen after spending a few days in Fes.
-> Here are the top 10 things to do in Chefchaouen
Here is how you can get to the Blue City of Morocco. Depending on where you’ll start your trip in Morocco, you can choose the best option suitable for your itinerary.
2.1. Rabat to Chefchaouen
Rabat bus station – Rabat CTM station
Ticket Price – $13
Time – 5 hours
The best way to get from Rabat to Chefchaouen is by bus. There is only one CTM bus per day (departs at 3 pm from the Rabat CTM station) but there are also some local companies that are operating on this route. The ride by bus takes 5 hours and costs $13.
It’s best to check out the official CTM website for updated schedules and prices.
Another option would be to rent a car and drive. The trip will take 4-5 hours along highway N1. Keep in mind that there are tolls along the way so make sure to have some spare change on you.
2.2. Fes to Chefchaouen
Rabat bus station – Fes CTM station
Ticket Price – $8
Time – 4.5 hours
The most convenient way to get from Fes to Chefchaouen is by bus. CTM operates six buses per day with the destination Chefchaouen so taking the bus is a great option if you want to have a flexible schedule. Just to make sure, I recommend booking your tickets at least one day in advance.
The ride by bus takes around 4 hours and it costs $8. I recommend checking the official CTM website for updated schedules and prices.
If you’re planning to visit Chefchaouen as a day trip from Fes, you can book a guided tour. With a guided tour, you won’t have to worry about the schedule.
Another option would be to take a private taxi to Chefchaouen. Most hotels and riads have this option but it’s much more expensive. If you’re a group of 4 people, it might be worth it.
2.3. Tangier to Chefchaouen
Rabat bus station – Tangier CTM station
Ticket Price – $5
Time – 3.5 hours
Tangier is a big city in the north of Morocco. It has an airport that operates multiple cheap flights from Europe. When traveling to Morocco, you’ll most probably land here or at the Marrakesh airport.
To get from Tangier (Tanger) to Chefchaouen you’ll have to take the CTM bus. The ride will take 3.5 hours and it costs less than $5. For the latest schedule and price updates, check out the official CTM website.
If you’re looking for a more comfortable mode of transport, you can also arrange a guided tour but it will cost a bit more. The drive from Tangier to Chefchaouen takes a little over two hours.
If you choose to rent a car and drive by yourself, be very careful. The roads are curvy and the drivers may be erratic.
2.4. Casablanca to Chefchaouen
Rabat bus station – Tangier CTM station
Ticket Price – $5
Time – 9.5 hours
Taking the bus from Casablanca to Chefchaouen takes a loooot of time. More specifically, about 9 hours. It’s going to be a long journey so I recommend splitting it in two. Take the bus from Casablanca to Fes, visit Fes for a few days and then continue your journey to Chefchaouen.
However, if you don’t have a lot of time to spend in Morocco, you can definitely do the entire trip at once. There are buses operated by CTM from Casablanca to Chefchaouen and I recommend checking out their official website for updated schedules and prices.
2.5. Marrakesh to Chefchaouen
Marrakesh is pretty far away from the Blue City. There are two possible routes I recommend.
Take the overnight train
One of the options is to take the overnight train from Marrakesh to Tangier. For train schedules, you can check out the official ONCF website. Unless there isn’t a big national holiday, you don’t have to book your tickets in advance. The train ride will take around 9 hours.
A ticket in a four-bed couchette costs $38 while a ticket in a two-bed couchette costs $70. You can also buy regular tickets which are less expensive. When I traveled from Tangier to Marrakesh, there were no tickets left for the couchette so I had to buy a regular ticket but it was pretty comfortable.
Take the plane to Tangier and then take a bus
Another option would be to book a plane ticket from Marrakesh to Tangier and then take the CTM bus to Chefchaouen. This option is faster and more comfortable.
Getting from Marrakesh to Chefchaouen without a stop along the way can be tiring. If you have enough time, I recommend stopping in Fes for a few days. The city is pretty incredible and you can visit the famous tanneries.
3. Where to stay in Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen is a small city and finding the perfect accommodation can be challenging. I’ve been searching for the best accommodation, for every budget. Below are my recommendations.
- Budget – Dar Swiar – good location, awesome view towards the city, clean & spacious rooms
- Mid Budget – Dar Elrio – good location, awesome view, breakfast included, friendly staff
- Luxury – Dar Jasmine – great location, luxurious & spacious rooms, great amenities, breakfast included
I am sure that you’ll love the Blue City as much as I did. If you were wondering how to get to Chefchaouen, I hope that this blog post helped you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section below.
May the travel bug bite you!