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Introduction

Aden is a port city along the southern coastline of Yemen with about 800,000 inhabitants. Aden has a long and complex history. It was a major port on the Maritime Silk Road. Marco Polo described it as a hub of commerce, where goods arriving by ship from the East were transferred to smaller boats for the trip up the Red Sea and on to Alexandria and Christendom. At one point it ruled a small empire, the part of Africa just across from it. In the 19th century, it became a British protectorate. It was the capital of South Yemen until Yemen was re-united in 1990. It is a very picturesque city with a mix of traditional Arabic and British influences. It was the capital of the liberal South, but it has been changing due to the take-over of the tribal forces of the North. For instance the Soviets banned head scarves for women and for decades, women were relatively emancipated and could carry out university degrees abundantly. Now, the scarves are back on the street. There is also notice a sizeable Somali minority (war refugees).

Warning: Travel to Yemen is strongly discouraged because of the ongoing civil war. The U.S. Department of State warns of the high security threat level from terrorist activities. The Australian government advises against all travel to Yemen due to the very high threat of kidnapping and terrorist attack, and other governments have issued similar warnings. Terrorist groups—including al Qaeda—have actively targeted tourists and Western targets, with suicide bombings and armed ambushes occurring yearly since 2007. Depending on your position and timing, you could also be at risk from missiles fired by US drones at suspected terrorists. Western (French, German, Norwegian, UK & US) embassies have closed because of credible threats.

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Sights and Activities

  • The Cisterns of Tawila – an ancient, water-cachement system
  • Sira Fort
  • The Aden Minaret
  • The Palace of the Sultanate of Lahej/National Museum
  • The Aden Military Museum
  • The Rimbaud House
  • The fortifications of Jebal Hadid and Jebal Shamsan
  • The beaches of Aden and Little Aden
  • Al-Aidaroos Mosque
  • The Zoroastrian Temple
  • The historical British churches

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Weather

Aden has a hot desert climate (BWh) in the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system. Although Aden is extremely dry year-round, it is humid throughout the year.

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Getting There

By Plane

Aden International Airport (ADE) is located near the city. Yemenia Airlines flies to/from Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Mumbai, Riyadh, Riyan Mukalla, Sana'a, Seiyun and Socotra. Several other airlines have additional flights to Al Mukalla, Berbera, Mogadishu, Mombasa, Nairobi, Sharjah, Djibouti, Amman and a few more smaller cities in Yemen.

By Bus

Buses are generally comfortable and the journey from Sana'a to Aden takes about 8 hours. A ticket costs ~1500 rials. Be prepared to show a travel permit (Tashrih) on military checkpoints. You can't leave capital Sanaa without it. It's good idea to have also few photocopies of your passport ready.

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Getting Around

Taxis are practical, yet always bargain with the taxi driver before getting in. Otherwise, they have the tendency to get it done at their high price. If you know the city very well, you can use the mini-buses along with the public. The mini-buses are easy to use; they follow an essentially circular path around the city. Find someone familiar with the area to explain their route as the fare for the buses is around 30 rials, or roughly a tenth of the average taxi ride. There are also many boats that will take you whenever on a little cruise on the sea.

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Eat

Aden is especially known for its fresh fish. Moufa or mukbza restaurants have mufa fish, khobez rushwsh, mulwah, rateb (round bread).

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Drink

There are few places in Aden where you can buy alcoholic drinks. Aden is known for its belly dancing events by overseas dancers (e.g. Iraqis and Syrians), which you can find in many tourist places, including Sheraton Aden, Diplomacy Resort, Bahara, Nashwan, and Hotel Aden.

Fruit juice bars offer very nice, cheap and wholesome drinks.

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Sleep

Aden is the tourist and economical capital of Yemen. You have many chances to purchase alcohol, go to clubs and enjoy a sunset in the high-class hotels. There are many 5-star hotels and numerous others.

View our map of accommodation in Aden

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

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Accommodation in Aden

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Aden searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Aden and areas nearby.

Aden Travel Helpers

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This is version 5. Last edited at 10:44 on Mar 8, 19 by Utrecht. 7 articles link to this page.

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