The city is located about 15 kilometers west of Algeria and about 60 kilometers south of the Mediterranean. It is the capital of the Oriental Region of Morocco and the birthplace of the current Algerian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Oujda is served by "Oujda Angad airport". There are direct flights to Casablanca every morning and evening. Direct flights to and from Amsterdam, Paris, Marseille, Madrid, Eindhoven and Brussels Charleroi are available as well.
Taxis are usually waiting outside the airport. From the airport to the city center is usually a flat fare of 150Dh, no matter the number of passengers. For this price you will be dropped off directly at your destination of choice.
Three trains a day arrive from Western Morocco. From Fez, the trip will take about five and a half hours and cost exactly 158/108 Dirhams (First/Second class). From Casablanca the trip will take about nine hours.
A direct night train is available, with either seats in first or second class, couchettes, and beds in double (480Dh) or single rooms (690Dh). The beds include a bottle of water and a bag of toiletries for during your trip, as well as a small breakfast in your arrival station. In Oujda this breakfast is served in the only cafe in the train station and consists of tea or coffee, a pastry and a glass of fresh orange juice.
More details and timetables are available on the site of the ONCF (oncf.ma, oncf-voyages.ma).
Oujda is accessible from the North via Melilla / Nador as well as from the West via Fes / Taza. Arriving from the South is also possible from Figuig and Bouarfa. Currently, the Algerian border is closed which prevents land travel to/from the East. There are grand taxi's to many destinations including: Taza, Saidia (1h10, 30 dirhams), Nador (2h00, 60 dirhams) Berkane, Jerada, Ain Beni Mathar.
The bus station is located next to the grand taxi station in the South of the city. Many destinations are possible. From Oudja to Taza is roughly 30 dirhams, Oujda to Fes around 60 dirhams.
Boat service is via Nador / Melilla, both around two or three hours away.
By petit taxi
Small red taxis, most often Fiats or Dacias, are easy to find almost anywhere at any time of day. They take up to three passengers, traveling together or independently.
Hail one from the roadside and tell them where you want to go (or the nearest well-known point). Depending on the destination of fellow passengers already in the taxi, they will accept or refuse your demand. During any trip, you will encounter several of these short stops for people on the roadside or detours for other passengers.
Rides are metered, and taxi drivers refusing to use this or trying to cheat are rare. Rides cost a minimum of 6Dh, and most rides around the inner city will set you back about 10Dh. There is a 50% surcharge after 8PM.
Not for the faint of heart, as there are no separate bike paths anywhere in the city, and cars and taxis often honk, cut you off or pass by agressively close.
Buses are seen stopping in most places in the city, but I have not been able to find a map of the routes.
As a general rule of thumb: stick to local dishes and you will rarely be disappointed. European, American or Asian dishes are generally a bit more risky.
Sandwiches with kefta (mixed minced meat), turkey or ground beef are the most common choices available. Most sandwiches come in 'sizes', meaning different amounts of meat used (often 7, 10 or 15Dh). Added into the grilled filling are usually a disc of grilled potato and an egg. Depending on your taste, a slice of cheese or tomato sauce (Solis) can be added.
Stalls selling fruit, vegetables or fresh fruit juice are a regular sight as well. More leftfield choices are available too: sheep heads or paws, ...
Cafés serving tea and coffee are easily found all around the city. Noteworthy ones are:
N°1 recommendation to eat breakfast or brunch: take a seat on the sunny terrace with your choice of pastries and a 'café nus-nus', translating as 'half and half', a cafe latte with equal parts espresso and milk.
There are various decent hotels around the Place du 16 Aout, but two of the best are
As all over Morocco, the Hotel Ibis is a safe and well located bet. Always right next to the train station, the Ibis offers wi-fi, hot showers, white sheets, a lovely breakfast buffet, a pool and bar. Even if you aren't staying here, just pop in for an afternoon cocktail poolside (even during Ramadan!)
For a more authentic local experience but with most modern comforts, Dar Al Fassia is a good option. Family-run, and with a host always there to answer your questions or help you, this is possibly the closest to staying with family you will come without actual family living in Oujda.
Another option in Oujda is the Spa and Hotel Atlas Terminus, again, right next to the train station. Swank and brand-new, it's even got a night club (or at least a sign for one).
Oujda is generally a safe city, though the usual warnings apply. Be aware of possible pickpockets in crowded places (mostly the medina), keep a small amount of cash (20-100Dh) in a easily reachable spot for impromptu purchases and hide larger sums away safely. After dark, stick to the larger streets and crowded places. Avoid the small, winding streets of the medina once the shops are closed. One part of the city that's better in this regard (more lively later into the night)
The center mostly consists of seafood restaurants, I had a very positive experience eating at 'Marhaba'. Walking further, past the fisherman's port, there's a rock protruding into the sea where locals come to enjoy the wind and (unusual for the Mediterranean) strong waves. There's also a view onto three small islands belonging to Spain. To get there without a car, the easiest way is to ask for a grand taxi to Nador and tell the driver you want to go to Ras El Ma. This will cost you 60Dh. For the return trip, there are usually a few grand taxis waiting in Ras El Ma, either going to Nador or Saidia, from where it's easy to change over to other destinations.
This river gorge is a green oasis, and great for walking, picknicking, visiting the 'Grotte du Chameau' (Camel cave, named after the shape of the mountain it is in). The people living here live mostly off agriculture of citrus trees or beekeeping. If you are interested in buying honey, ask any of the beekeepers you see working, as they will happily show you their produce. The honey is not cheap (120Dh for 1L), but really really good.