Planning a Trip
By Bus -- Chefchaouen is well serviced by buses originating in Fes (5 hr.; 50dh-60dh/$6.25-$7.50/£3.15-£3.75) and Tangier (3 hr.; 30dh-35dh/$3.75-$4.40/£1.90-£2.20). Buses from Tangier will often pass through Tetouan, where there are also buses traveling directly to Chefchaouen (1 1/2 hr.; 15dh-25dh/$1.90-$3.15/95p-£1.55). There are also daily departures from Casablanca (6 hr.; 70dh-80dh/$8.75-$10/£4.40-£5) and Rabat (5 hr.; 55dh-65dh/$6.90-$8.15/£3.45-£4.05). All buses, CTM included (tel. 039/988769), operate from the small gare routière 1.5km (1 mile) southwest of town at the very far end of avenue Mohammed V. It's a 20- to 30-minute hike uphill or 10dh ($1.25/65p) in one of the petits taxis that are usually parked at the station.
Tip: Very few bus services originate in Chefchaouen, and many of those passing through the village are full with passengers heading to through destinations. When departing Chefchaouen, try purchasing your ticket the day before or, at the very least, arrive at the station early.
By Grand Taxi -- Beige-color Mercedes grands taxis depart throughout the day to Tetouan (from where others then depart for Tangier) from avenue Jamal Dine el Afghani, just west of place Mohammed V (1 hr.; 30dh/$3.75/£1.90). Some ply the route direct to Tangier (2 hr.; 60dh/$7.50/£3.75), but nowhere near as regularly. For Fes, you'll have to catch a grand taxi to Ouezzane from behind the Central Market at the junction of avenues Abdelkrim el Khattabi and Moulay Idriss (1 1/2 hr.; 40dh/$5/£2.50); from there it's onward to Fes (3 hr.; 70dh/$8.75/£4.40).
By Car -- From either north or south, all roads into Chefchaouen end up on place Mohammed V or its offshoot, avenue Hassan II. The best long-term parking is at place el Makhzen, at the far east end of avenue Hassan II. Although it's in front of the Hotel Parador, nonguests are allowed to park here for around 20dh ($2.50/£1.25) per night. There's also another parking lot outside the Hotel Madrid, about 300m (990 ft.) south of place el Makhzen, still on avenue Hassan II.
Travelers will spend most, if not all, of their time within Chefchaouen's medina, which occupies the eastern half of the ever-expanding town. The main entrances are Bab el Aïn and place el Makhzen. Coming from the town center and bus station, the main entrance into the medina is under the busy arches of Bab el Aïn, from where you can wander uphill all the way along rue Lalla el Hora to the medina's heart, place Outa el Hammam. A second, smaller square, place el Makhzen -- connected to place Outa el Hammam by a short pedestrian-only road -- is the easiest entrance for self-drivers and those staying in accommodations on the west side of the medina on avenue Hassan II. The lanes and alleys north of the two medina squares can be confusing at times, though the general north-south descending slope and the medina's overall small size usually helps to regain one's bearings.
Avenue Hassan II curls around the southern wall of the medina and is the principle street of the Spanish-built new town, where you'll finds banks and the post office along a 300m (990-ft.) stretch heading west from Bab el Aïn to place Mohammed V.
This is a village to be explored by foot, and the need for one of the town's blue petits taxis should only occur when needing to get to/from the bus station.
In the medina there's a Banque Populaire bureau de change in the south corner of place Outa el Hammam, open daily (in theory) from 9:30am to 1pm and 3:30 to 9pm. Note that these hours are rarely adhered to. On avenue Hassan II, you'll find branches of Wafa (tel. 039/986783), Banque Populaire (tel. 039/986531), and BMCE (tel. 039/986094), all with ATMs and open Monday to Friday 8:15am to 3:45pm.
Chefchaouen's post office is on avenue Hassan II, open Monday to Friday 8am to 4:15pm and Saturday 8 to 11:45am.
Hospital Mohammed V (tel. 039/986228) is on avenue al Massira al Khadra, west of place Mohammed V.
Pharmacie Utaa Hammam (tel. 039/987132) can be found between the two medina squares, and Pharmacie Chefchaouen (tel. 039/984692) is at the north end of avenue Moulay Idriss, just below avenue Hassan II. Both are open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 1pm and 4pm to 1am, and Saturday 8:30am to 1pm.
Internet access can be found in the cybercafes Outahammam.com, between place el Makhzen and place Outa el Hammam; the air-conditioned Elkhadarine, up the steps on the north side of place el Makhzen; and at Saadoune.net, the north end of place Outa el Hammam. All are open daily from 9am to 10pm, often later in summer.