TRAVEL | 04.15.20
What to Expect When Visiting Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen is a city in Morocco that's about a 2 hour bus ride from Tangier. Known for its blue color, this city is a place that should be on your bucket list when visiting Morocco.
Ok so here's the breakdown!
If you plan on making the trip, I would not suggest going on your own. The streets are all blue and look alike so getting lost is very easy! Make sure you have enough money with you because in this particular area they do not accept debit/credit cards.
People are always trying to make a dollar or in their currency, a quick Dirham. Just getting dropped off at the bus station from Tangier to go to Chefchaouen was crazy! People were yelling left and right trying to get me to buy a ticket from them. Thankfully the hotel driver escorted me and my friend in. If I could relate the experience to anything, it would be those videos you see of people in the trading pits trying to trade stock. The bus isn't like Greyhound so make sure you use the bathroom before departing! When you get to the blue city, there is a restroom but be aware, it's not clean so bring hand sanitizer! It also costs to use it! It's not that far of a walk up to the city from the station. Not knowing the distance originally, I took a car up and then ended up walking back to the bus station when it was time to leave.
I must admit, Chefchaouen wasn't as blue as I thought. I had to find spots where the color was more distinct. When entering the city, you see tourists from all around the world. Two girls even stopped me to take my picture. They were so intrigued by my hair and my eyes. This goes to show how important it is to get outside of your own country. This way you can have encounters with more diverse groups of people. As I continued to walk, I saw so many different shops that sold items from clothing down to small little trinkets.
Nothing is truly free, so if a local young man comes up to you letting you know he can take you around for good views be mindful. Also be careful of dangerous situations. I had one boy tell me he knew of a better view but in order to see it, I'd have to go through a house to the top. He claimed it was his, but there was no way I was going into some random person's house!
According to some, the city is blue because when the Jews were being persecuted during the Spanish Inquisition, they fled to Chefchaouen and brought their tradition of painting their houses blue. There are other explanations as to why the city is this color. However, it turned out to be extremely profitable for the city. With the help of social media, tourism has increased. Overall my trip was great! Most people tend to do day trips and for me that timespan was enough. Last but not least, buy your bus ticket back ahead of time. It will be easier to plan your time accordingly and the times for departure are not back to back.