El Oued is an excellent base for visiting the desert in Algeria. It is a picturesque town with good examples of Saharan architecture and attracts quite some visitors coming down here. There are no real tourist sights, but the market and Sidi Salem Mosque are well worth a look.
El Oued is a great base for excursions Rubbah has great sand dunes. The same goes for Nakhla. Both are some 10 km from the town. Guemar, a bit further afield is a nice little village with an interesting zawiya.