The first time I set foot in Morocco I had never even heard of Chefchaouen. When I finally did learn about the Blue City of Morocco I was so bummed that I missed out on it. Fast forward about 5 years later, I found myself planning another trip to Morocco and at the top of my list was Chefchaouen!

But first, I had to figure out HOW to get to Chefchaouen. It’s not a large city but it’s kind of out of the way. However, that doesn’t mean that getting there is difficult. In fact, it’s actually quite easy. I’ve found that traveling in Morocco is pretty easy country to travel in.

Chefchaouen Morocco - the Blue City - How to get to Chefchaouen

Quick Overview of Getting to Chefchaouen

How to get to Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen does not have an airport or a train station.
Your only options for getting to Chefchaouen is by car or bus.
The two major cities closest to Chefchaouen is Tangier (2 hrs) & Fes (4 hrs).

Where is Chefchaouen?

Located in northeastern Morocco, Chefchaouen is nestled within the Rif Mountains. Chefchaouen is a small town painted in varying shades of blue. Often referred to as The Blue City or The Blue Pearl, Chefchaouen’s claim to fame is all owed to the color blue.

Google map of Morocco showing exactly where Chefchaouen is - How to get to Chefchaouen

The two closest major cities to Chefchaouen are Tangier to the north and Fes to the south. Tangier is about 2.5 hours by car from Chefchaouen while Fes is about 4 hours away.

About Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen might be a small town but it’s a very popular destination. So small in fact that there isn’t an airport or even a train station so that really narrows down your options for reaching Chefchaouen. The less options you have, the easier the decision!

This gem of a city in North Africa promises an immersive experience amidst its maze-like medina. With its distinctive architecture painted in a vibrant splash of blue, every corner of this town will draw you in.

If you’re wondering why Chefchaouen is painted blue, well there are a few theories out there. Chefchaouen’s blue hue dates back to the 15th century when Jewish refugees who settled there during the Spanish Reconquista brought with them the custom of painting the buildings blue. The blue is supposed to symbolize the sky and remind them of God’s power.

Another theory is much more simple. The blue is supposed to help repel mosquitoes and keep the city cooler during the warmer months. By the way…I didn’t get a single mosquito bite while there so it might help!

Another theory for Chefchaouen’s blue paint is that the blue color wards off evil spirits.

Whatever the reason, the practice has been carried out over the centuries and gives Chefchaouen it’s distinct appearance that draws in visitors from all around the world.

Getting around Chefchaouen

Once you reach Chefchaouen you’ll likely be walking everywhere. You cannot drive in the medina of Chefchaouen and that is where most of the sites you’ll visit are. Unless you want to take some day trips outside of Chefchaouen you won’t need a vehicle to get around.

NOTE: Reading a LONG article about directions to a location is probably not the most exciting thing to read. If you already have an itinerary and know which city you’ll be at before going to Chefchaouen, just skip all the other cities and get only the information you need.

How to travel to Chefchaouen

Before you think about getting to Chefchaouen, you first have to get to Morocco. You’ll likely fly into one of Morocco’s major cities that has international flights: Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech, or Tangier. If you’re already in Africa then you might be traveling to Morocco by car or bus.

You can also reach Morocco by ferry! Yep, you can actually travel to Morocco from Spain by ferry. Did you know that on a clear day you can see Spain from Morocco? They’re that close! The ferry from Spain lands near Tangier so that will be your starting city if you come to Morocco by ferry.

Transportation Options to Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen does NOT have an airport or train station so that narrows down the ways of getting there. The only option left for reaching Chefchaouen is by vehicle. Well, you could walk there but that’s just crazy!

And in case you were wondering, Morocco does not have Uber, but there are plenty of other ways to get around Morocco. Let’s go through the different ways of getting to Chefchaouen.


Morocco’s major bus system is run by CTM which is owned by Morocco’s national railway sytem. The CTM buses are pretty clean and reliable and best of all, they’re pretty cheap. The CTM buses travel throughout Morocco and is pretty easy to book.

You can either purchase your CTM bus tickets through the CTM website or at other places online like You can also just show up at the bus station and purchase tickets in person. They do charge extra for your luggage but the fee is very small at just 5 MAD (dirham).

There are also two other bus companies that run in Morocco: SATAS and Supratours but CTM is the most popular bus line.

In larger cities in Morocco, such as Marrakech, there may be more than one bus station so if you booked your ticket online just make sure you go to the right bus station.

If you decide to take the bus to Chefchaouen, you’ll be dropped off at the CTM bus station. It’s the smaller pink circle on the left side of the map below. The Chefchaouen medina is in the big circle. It’s a 6 minute drive or a 25 minute walk from the CTM bus station to the medina.

I don’t recommend walking. 🙂 It will only cost a few dollars for a cab ride.

Map of the city of Chefchaouen Morocco showing where the CTM bus station is and the medina


In Morocco there are two kinds of taxis: the grand taxi or the petite taxi. Taking a taxi in Morocco isn’t like taking a taxi in another country. Usually that would be a very expensive way to travel but it’s very common to take a taxi or hire a taxi driver to take you to another town.

However, you do have to take the correct kind of taxi if that’s the way you decide to travel. The petite taxis are smaller taxis that can accomodate up to three other people and they are only allowed to travel within the city they are in, not outside of the city. The rate you pay is based on the distance you travel.

The grand taxis are larger and fit up to six people and are allowed to travel from one city to another. Many times the grand taxis are mini-vans and unless you pay for every single seat in the grand taxi you will likely be riding with others not in your party.

Shared taxis are very common in Morocco and it’s a cost-effective option. You’ll share the cost of the taxi with others going in the same direction as you. They might not be headed to the exact same town but as long as it’s on the way then they might be riding with you.


And finally, you can rent a car while in Morocco. Renting a vehicle is a great way to go if you’re going to be exploring a lot of smaller towns and remote areas that might not get a lot of tourists.

To rent a car in Morocco you have to be at least 21 years old but depending on the type of class of car, the minimum age can be higher. You can rent a vehicle in Morocco with a credit card but you cannot use a debit card. You also need to make sure that you have an International Driver’s License in order to rent a car.

There are a few things to remember when you’re renting a car in a Morocco. The car rental companies will provide basic coverage but you can buy extra if you want. The roads in Morocco between major cities are in pretty good condition but if you plan on traveling to rural areas then you might find they are not.

You’ll also need to consider where to park in these towns. Parking might be limited and if you’re staying in the medina you won’t be able to park there since cars are not allowed in the medinas. There are parking areas and parking along the streets (might be limited) so you may have to walk a ways after you park.

One of the things a lot of people wonder is if you can drink alcohol in Morocco. Morocco’s religion is predominately Islam and drinking alcohol is one of those things that they aren’t supposed to do. But yes, there is alcohol in Morocco but you won’t find it everywhere. Read more about drinking in Morocco including where you can find a cold beer or a glass of wine.

How to get to Chefchaouen Morocco

Since Chefchaouen does NOT have a train station or airport, your only options for getting to Chefchaouen is by taxi or private driver, renting a car, or taking the bus.

How to get to Chefchaouen from Tangier


2 hours & 45 minutes
$6 – 5 buses a day


2 hours

How to get to Chefchaouen from Tangier by car

We traveled to Chefchaouen from Tangier by hiring a private driver. We spoke with our host at the riad we stayed at in Tangier and she arranged everything for us. Our driver was a taxi driver and I know your first thought might be that this has to be expensive. It wasn’t. Getting around Morocco by private driver or taxi is very common.

You’ll find that most hotels or riads know drivers so that is the best way to find a driver if this is the way you want to go. We had 5 people in our group and it cost us just $9 each for a one way ride to Chefchaouen. The drive to Chefchaouen will take about 2 hours.

We only arranged this the day before and had no issues. In fact, we didn’t arrange any of our travel in Morocco until we were there except for our train between Fez and Marrakesh. The nice thing about hiring a driver is that you can stop whenever you want for photos or bathroom breaks.

How to get to Chefchaouen from Tangier by bus

Taking the bus from Tangier to Chefchauoen will be the cheapest way to travel and only takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes. You’ll first have to take a taxi to the bus station but that should only cost a few dollars.

You can buy tickets on the CTM website or show up in person to buy them. Just remember if you’re traveling during the busy season you will want to buy your tickets ahead of time. From Tangier the price of the bus ride is only $6.

The photo below shows the times and prices of the buses that travel from Tangier to Chefchaouen.

A photo showing how many buses a day travel from Tangier to Chefchaouen Morocco and the price

The CTM bus station is about a 15 minute drive from the Tangier medina or a 1 hour and 15 minute walk.

Google map showing where the Tangier medina is and the CTM bus station

How to get to Chefchaouen from Fes


4 hours & 30 minutes
$11 – 4 buses a day


3 hours
$12 a person

How to travel to Chefchaouen from Fes by car

If you hire a driver to take you from Fes to Chefchaouen, it will cost around $12 a person and take 3 hours. The cost can fluctuate up and down depending on the number of people in your party and the size of vehicle.

If there are only two people in your party and the car can seat 6 people then you will need to either wait for the seats to be full or pay for the extra seats so you have it all to yourself. Chances are good that the seats will already be taken since there are always people wanting to travel to Chefchaouen.

If you’re looking for amazing things to do in Fes, I’ve got that covered!

How to travel to Chefchaouen from Fes by bus

When we left Chefchaouen to go to Fes we took the CTM bus. The ride between Chefchaouen and Fes takes around 4.5 hours. The bus will stop in a few towns along the way to let people off and pick others up.

The price of the bus ticket will cost around $11 per person. There is storage above the seats for personal items or backpacks. If you have luggage that needs to go under the bus then you will need to pay an extra 5 MAD (Moroccan Dirham) which is only 50 cents.

There are 4 buses a day that travel from Fes to Chefchaouen. The times and prices are below.

There is just one CTM bus station in Fes and it’s the smaller circled area below. The larger circle is where the Fez medina is. It’s a 15 minute drive from the bus station to the medina or a 1 hour walk.

map of Fes Morocco showing where the CTM bus station is and the Fes medina - how to get to Chefchaouen

How to get to Chefchaouen from Casablanca

Most people who fly to Morocco from another country will likely arrive at the Casablanca International Airport. From Casablanca it takes around 4 – 5.5 hours to reach Chefchaouen.


6 hours & 30 minutes
$18 – 2 buses a day


4 hours

How to get to Chefchaouen from Casablanca by car

Getting to Chefchaouen from Casablanca by car will take about 4 hours and cost around $80 for the car no matter how many people are in the vehicle. This is where having more people in your group will help with sharing the cost.

You could also wait and see if there are more people looking for a ride so you can share the vehicle and cost. This is very common in Morocco. Just remember that it ALWAYS costs more when you’re at the airport. They know you don’t have as many options.

If you’re staying in Casablanca then I recommend asking your hotel to help arrange for a driver.

How to get to Chefchaouen from Casablanca by bus

The CTM bus from Casablanca to Chefchaouen will take around 6 hours and 30 minutes and cost around $18. While that sounds MUCH better than $80 (and it is), if you have at least 4 people in your group then taking a private car will be the better option.

The cost will be the same per person but you will save about 1.5 hours. If you’re leaving straight from the airport you’ll have to make your way to the CTM bus station in the city.

There are just 2 buses a day that travel between Casablanca and Chefchaouen.

A photo of the bus schedule between Casablanca and Chefchaouen Morocco

NOTE: Although Chefchaouen does not have a train station, you can take the train from Casablanca to Rabat or Tangier and from there hire a driver or take the bus. If you follow my 10 day Morocco Itinerary then this is the best way to go.

You can see below that the airport is pretty far from the main CTM bus station. You’ll definitely want to take a cab. It’s a 40 minute drive from the airport to the bus station. Obviously if you’re staying in Casablanca for a few days then you’ll take a cab from your hotel.

Map showing the route from the Casablanca International Airport to the CTM bus station.

How to get to Chefchaouen from Marrakech

Marrakech is probably the most complicated city to travel to Chefchaouen from. I don’t recommend going to Chefchaouen from there but I will provide the information just in case.


12 hours


7 hours

How to get to Chefchaouen from Marrakech by car

You can definitely find someone to hire to driver you from Marrakech to Chefchaouen…for the right price. I will cost around $100 for the entire car so if you have a larger group, this might be a good way to go.

Except that it’s a very long ride at 7 hours. Obviously you’ll be able to stop for breaks but it will take up an entire day of travel to get there. For that reason I don’t recommend traveling from Marrakech to Chefchaouen. Hopefully your Moroccan Itinerary includes other cities like Rabat or Tangier so you can break up the trip

How to get to Chefchaouen from Marrakech by bus

Surprise! There isn’t a direct bus from Marrakech to Chefchaouen. If you want to travel by bus you’ll have to take the bus from Marrakech to Casablanca (the closest major city) and from there you’ll have to transfer to another CTM bus to go to Chefchaouen.

All together the trip will take about 12 hours and cost roughly $27.

Other options for getting to Chefchaouen from Marrakech

There are other ways to reach Chefchaouen from Marrakech but there still isn’t a direct way. If you’re starting your trip from Marrakech you can take the train from Marrakech to Fes. That will take about 6.5 hours and cost $20.

The trains in Morocco are clean and somewhat comfortable. Hopefully you’re planning on spending some time in Fes and from there you can either hire a driver or take the CTM bus.

Another way is to fly from Marrakech to Fes. The flight to Fes will cost between $22 and $100 and only take 1 hour. That’s a big price range but it all depends on the day and/or time of day you fly. Flights are limited and there aren’t flights every single day so you would have to do some advance planning for that.

If you’re going to be in Marrakech then consider adding the coastal town of Essaouira to your Moroccan Itinerary. It’s just 3 hours from Marrakech by car and it’s a nice break from the chaotic city of Marrakech. Chaotic in a good way!

How to get to Chefchaouen from Rabat

The final option for reaching Chefchaouen is from Morocco’s capital city of Rabat. Rabat is off the northern coast and sits between Casablanca and Tangier.


5 hours – 8 hours
$16 – 4 buses a day


3 hours

How to get to Chefchaouen from Rabat by car

Just like the rest of the cities, you can hire a driver to take you from Rabat to Chefchaouen. It will take around 3 hours and will cost $60 for the entire vehicle. Again, you can split this with people in your group or other people who are heading that way.

How to get to Chefchaouen from Rabat by bus

You can take the CTM bus from Rabat to Chefchaouen for just $16 per person and depending on the bus it will take either 5 hours or 8 hours. The longer bus rides stop at other out of the way cities so I would not recommend taking those.

The bus schedule for traveling between Rabat Morocco and Chefchaouen Morocco

It’s a 15 minute drive from the Rabat CTM bus station to the Rabat medina. Google maps says it’s a 3 hour and 48 minute walk but I am pretty certain their estimate is WAY off. It’s most likely a 1 hour walk.

A map showing the distance between the Rabat medina and the CTM bus station. How to get to Chefchaouen Morocco

Where to stay in Chefchaouen

In Chefchaouen, most people want to stay in the medina. This is the older part of the city and really beautiful. You can find plenty of riads (traditional Moroccan homes/hotels) in the medina but you will be doing a LOT of walking up and down stairs. Keep this in mind if you have more than one piece of luggage. It’s not easy even with just one suitcase.

Another option is to stay outside the medina. You can find some hotels right next to the main tourist area of Chefchaouen and you won’t have to worry about getting your luggage up and down the stairs.

Luxury Hotel Options

If you don’t want to stay in the medina you should consider staying at Dar Jasmine. It’s considered a luxury hotel in Chefchaouen but because this is Morocco, it’s not as expensive as other luxury accomodations in other cities around the world. The hotel sits between the medina and the mountains so you’ll have good views of both.

If you want to stay in the medina a luxury hotel option is Casa Hassan. Every room has it’s own fireplace in case you’re traveling to Chefchaouen during the cooler seasons and the hotel is just inside the medina so you won’t have to hike up too many stairs. 🙂

Mid-Range Hotel Options

The Alkhalifa Hotel is outside the medina and is actually right next door to Dar Jasmine but the price is much more affordable. No worrying about carrying your luggage up and down the stairs.

If you want to stay inside the medina (my first choice) and don’t mind going up and down stairs with your luggage then you have quite a few options. We stayed at Dar Solaiman and loved our location and the hotel. It wasn’t super fancy but it was affordable and we had a lot of room.

Budget Hotel Options

There are a LOT of budget hotel options in Chefchaouen and they run around $20-35 a night. All you have to do is find one that appeals to you. One riad that I like is Vallparadis Pension Familiar. It has great views of the mountain and city and is very inexpensive.

Another riad to stay at is Casa Mrabet. It’s in the medina and while it’s not fancy it’s a good value. You’ll have views of the mountains and city from the rooftop terrace.

What to do in Chefchaouen

One of the best things to do in Chefchaouen is to explore the medina. Every alley you turn on is beautifully decorated and picture worthy. Another thing to do in Chefchaouen is to hike up the mountain (a quick 20 minute walk) to an unfinished mosque and watch the sunset over the city.

You can read all about the best things to do in Chefchaouen in another blog post of mine.

A wire decor piece on a restaurant window frames the Kasbah Fortress outside at sunset

Final Thoughts on how to get to Chefchaouen

While Chefchaouen is kind of isolated on its own from the larger cities it’s really not that difficult to get to. Just plan your Morocco itinerary to minimize your travel between cities so you’re not spending your time crossing the country just to reach Chefchaouen.

Fes and Tangier are close enough to Chefchaouen that you should visit at least one of those (I recommend Fes over Tangier) so your travel won’t take very long. You’re going to LOVE Morocco’s Blue Pearl!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to get to Chefchaouen Morocco?

You can only reach Chefchaouen by bus or car. The bus will take longer to reach Chefchaouen than a car but it’s typically cheaper. However, hiring a driver can be close to the same price as a bus IF you have at least 4 people in your group. A car will arrive in Chefchaouen faster than a bus.

Can I fly into Chefchaouen?

There is no airport in Chefchaouen Morocco. You can only reach Chefchaouen by car or bus.

How many days do I need in Chefchaouen?

Two days is a good amount of time to see Chefchaouen. If you want to take some day trips to the mountains and waterfalls then plan on 3 days.

Is Chefchaouen worth visiting?

Definitely! Chefchaouen was my favorite city in Morocco. It’s really pretty and so laid back. The medina is an amazing place to explore!

When is the best time to visit Chefchaouen Morocco?

Chefchaouen is in the Rif Mountains and it does get cold and can snow in the winter. Summer will be hot but not as hot as other cities in Morocco because it’s in a mountainous area. You can’t go wrong with Spring and Autumn!

Is Chefchaouen safe?

Yes, Chefchaouen is very safe. But always exercise caution anytime you’re in a country that isn’t your own.

Similar Posts