El Aaiun is city in northern Western Sahara. It is the capital and has a population approaching 200,000.
 Get in
Bus services connect El Aaiún to major transport hubs in southern Morocco, particularly Inezgane. Road N1 from southern Morocco to El Aaiún is in good condition, checkposts are frequent. Royal Air Maroc flies into El Aaiún from Casablanca, Agadir and Dakhla. There are regular buses from Marrakech.
 Get around
El Aaiún's central sights can easily be explored on foot. Public transport is virtually non-existent. Grand Taxi services connect to El Aaiún port, El Aaiún plage and places further afield.
[add listing] See
The main roads are lined by shops selling non-descript Moroccan goods, the bird park seems to be closed forever and the adjoining tourism office is very well staffed but doesn't seem to have any ideas on how to spend your time either.
The dunes start on the other side of the small group of reeds and water. Walk over the reeds and stand in the dunes and look at the lights of town.
The town's main square is ok for people-watching, and you can easily observe the high per capita income of this town in comparison with most in Morocco.
[add listing] Do
Desert and deserted beaches are aplenty. Make the most of them.
[add listing] Eat
Moroccan standard fare at most places, nothing to write home about. Wonderfully beefy camel meat available at butchers around town, dates of excellent quality in the markets. Barbecue, fruit and bread is king.
[add listing] Drink
Gofia is a local juice in all Western Sahara cities.
[add listing] Sleep
Hotel Parador on Rue Okba Ibn Nafia seems to have reopened after being used as an army base for years. Should easily be the best bet in town. Hotel Larkaoune is mainly occupied by UN troops, the atmosphere is gloomy, the service personnel try to avoid being helpful as far as possible. Hotel Jodesa 233 Av. Mekka B.P. 23 is around 40 Dirham for a shared bathroom, double room (no singles available). This is a comfortable spot near the main plaza in town (200 meters down the street away from the airport), telephone: 05.28.99.20.64.
 Get out
It is easy to see all the sights and sounds of El Aaiún one day. However, with the Sahara all around and the ocean nearby, it is easy to link a trip here with some other cities: