Aden Port is an old city that offers an interesting mixture of traditional Arabic and British influences. Over the centuries, it's been a major trading center, a government seat, and a British protectorate. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Cruise ships dock directly at the Aden cruise port. A mini-bus is a good way to get around, and these vehicles are pretty reliable. Taxis are also a reasonable option, but the fare should be worked out beforehand. Due to tribal conflicts that can arise, it's advisable to consider seeing the sights as part of an organized shore excursion.
Aden offers unique shopping opportunities with a lot of local flavor. Perfume and incense are very popular items, as are jambiyas, a type of knife. The Central Market is a colorful Middle Eastern open-air market. If you're looking for souvenirs or local handcrafts, this is probably the place where you'll find them. The Fish Market has an interesting assortment of fish available, including sharks.
If you're in the market for artwork, be sure to stop by the National Gallery. They sell paintings and postcards. A nice touch is that fact that the second floor of the building offers good scenic views. The Sana'a Trade Center offers good deals on watches, jewelry, and perfume.
Things to See
The Aden area offers some good wildlife-watching opportunities. Lagoons located near the port offer a refuge for several species of birds. Sunsets are lovely in this area, and there are several mountains that can be climbed that offer panoramic views. Be sure to remember to bring plenty of water if hiking.
There are some museums and cultural sights to see. The National Museum offers exhibits highlighting the culture of Yemen, while the Military Museum offers military-related exhibits from several eras. The Sirah Fortress still stands, and gives visitors an idea of how the city was once defended. The whole old city of Sana'a has some beautifully-kept old buildings.
Inviting beaches offer plenty of opportunities for swimmers. The Sheraton hotel even has a private beach just for women. Snorkelers and divers are sure to be pleased with the underwater sights here. There are also some great opportunities for fishing.
The historical site of Ma'rib is fairly close by. This is believed to be the ancient capital of the kingdom of Sheba. One of the most prominent landmarks is what remains of an ancient temple.
Restaurants and Bars
A staple item served at many restaurants is kubz, a giant pita bread. Lamb or fish are served with rice. Many dishes are vegetarian-friendly. Since Yemen is a conservative Muslim country with few bars, many locals frequent juice bars.
Visitors have a number of options to choose from. The Kamusch is a unique restaurant set up in a tent that has good pizza. The Hamedda Tourism Hotel has a chef who literally cooks up a feast for every lunch. Zorbas offers Greek, Western, and local food. Several Western chains that include KFC, Pizza Hut, and Baskin Robbins are found in Aden.
There are very few bars located in Aden. Most locals prefer non-alcoholic options such as juice or tea.