capital city of Algeria

Algiers (Arabic: الجزائر, al-Jazāʾir; Berber: ⵍⴷⵣⴰⵢⵔ ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵏⴰⵖⵜ, lezzayer tamanaɣt; French: Alger) is the capital of Algeria as well as the country's largest city.

Located right on the Mediterranean coast, Algiers is a city of contrasts, with a blend of modern and traditional architecture, as well as stunning natural beauty. Tourists to Algiers can explore its rich cultural heritage, including its Ottoman and French colonial influences, or take in the views of the Bay of Algiers. Whether you are looking for a relaxing holiday or an adventure, Algiers is a great destination to explore.

Understand edit

Map of Algiers

Districts edit

The city is divided into 13 districts.

  Zéralda District
  Chéraga District
  Draria District
  Birtouta District
  Bir Mourad Raïs District
  Bouzaréah District
  Bab El Oued District
Home of the Casbah.
  Hussein Dey District
  Sidi M'Hamed District
  El Harrach District
  Baraki District
  Dar El Beïda District
The city's most populous district and the traveller's main entry point to the city as Algeria's main international airport is situated here.
  Rouïba District

Etymology edit

The city's name is derived from al-Jazā'ir (Arabic: الجزائر), which is one of two broken plurals of the word jazīra (Arabic: جَزِيرَة‎, "island").

History edit

Algiers is the capital city of Algeria, located in the northern part of the country. It is situated on the Mediterranean Sea and is the largest and most populous city in the country. Algiers is a bustling city of over 3 million people. It is home to many educational institutions, including the University of Algiers, the country's most prestigious institution of higher learning.

The city has a rich history and culture, ranging from archaeological sites to modern architecture. The city is home to iconic buildings such as the Ketchaoua Mosque, the National Library of Algiers, and the Algiers Opera House. The city also has several museums such as the National Museum of Antiquities and Islamic Art, and the National Museum of Fine Arts of Algiers.

Get in edit

By plane edit

  • 1 Houari Boumediene Airport (ALG IATA) (is 20 km (12 mi) south-east of Algiers). The largest airport is Algiers Houari Boumediene Airport (ALG) with an approximately yearly passenger traffic of 7.5 million people. The airport is named after former president Houari Boumediene.    

It also hosts the national carrier, Air Algérie, which serves the largest Algerian cities such as Oran, Annaba, Tammanrasset, Skikda, Tlemcen, Constantine several times daily. There also many connections to African capitals such as Bamako, Cairo, Abidjan, Dakar, Tunis Ouagadougou, etc.

Air Algérie operates from Hall 1. Hall 2 is reserved for the international airlines.

International airlines

  • Air France (Marseilles, Paris-Charles de Gaulle)
  • Air Canada (Montreal)
  • ASL Airlines France (Lille, Lyon, Paris-Charles de Gaulle)
  • British Airways (London-Heathrow, London-Gatwick)
  • EgyptAir (Cairo)
  • Emirates (Dubai-International)
  • Iberia (Madrid)
  • ITA Airways (Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino)
  • Libyan Airlines (Tripoli)
  • Lufthansa (Frankfurt)
  • Nouvelair (Tunis)
  • Middle East Airlines (Beirut)
  • Qatar Airways (Doha)
  • Royal Air Maroc (Casablanca, Oudja)
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines (Jeddah)
  • Syrian Arab Airlines (Aleppo, Damascus)
  • TAP Portugal (Lisbon)
  • Transavia (Lyon, Montpellier, Nantes, Paris-Orly)
  • Tunisair (Tunis)
  • Turkish Airlines (Istanbul)
  • Tui fly Belgium (Brussels)
  • Volotea (Bordeaux)
  • Vueling (Alicante, Barcelona, Marseille, Valencia)

Airport transfer edit

  • Taxi (Outside of Hall 2). Taxis can be found outside of the Hall 2; as they have no meters, a price should be settled in advance. The ride to the centre of Algiers takes around 20 min and costs about 1000 - 1500 DA. From the center to the airport is cheaper, about 600 DA. Make sure to discuss the price before riding.
  • Bus. The bus operates every 30 min in the daytime to the centre. It costs DA25 paid to the bus driver.
  • Commuter trains (Station is located east of terminal 1). There are commuter trains about once per hour from the airport to destinations within the greater Algiers region.

By train edit

Algiers is the hub for passenger railways in Algeria and there are at least daily trains from most major cities. All trains are operated by SNTF[dead link]. Most long-distance train departures and arrives at Agha railway station.

  • 2 Agha railway station (محطة قطار آغا).  
  • 3 Algiers railway station (محطة قطار الجزائر) (A few hundred meters east of the Khelifa Boukhalfa metro station).    

By car edit

Being the capital of the country most, if not all major roadways in Algeria begin and end in Algiers. So getting into Algiers is quite easy. However, the infrastructure of Algerian roadways is not highly regarded so arriving by road might not be the most desirable option. There are a number of road projects around the country that are aimed at improving the infrastructure, most notably the east–west highway running from Annaba in the east to Oran in the west, of course coming through Algiers.

Be careful about traffic jams, especially in downtown Algiers. There are almost no traffic lights. Lights are replaced by policemen. There are police and military checkpoints almost in every municipality. Slowing down is highly recommended. Utilization of mobile phones when driving is strictly prohibited. Be sure to have your seat belts on.

By bus edit

La Gare Routière, Algiers's central bus terminus, in the commune of Hussein Dey (7-10 min drive from downtown), offers a plethora of bus services to most major Algerian cities and towns cheaply and efficiently. Most of the coaches used are modern and air-conditioned so the rides are, more often than not, comfortable. However, there are a few old coaches still in service, so try to avoid those, for the ride won't be as pleasant.

For long distances such as Algiers-Tammanrasset or Algiers-Annaba travelling by plane is recommended due the long duration.

  • 4 Kharouba bus station (Kharouba Gare Routière). Bus station with long distance connections to west, east and south Algeria.
  • 5 1 Mai station (محطة 1 مايو) (Use the pedestrian bridge east of Agha rail station.). Serves suburban routes in the wider Algiers area, including Tipaza to the west.

By boat edit

There are regular ferry services to Algiers from Marseille and Alicante. Algérie Ferries has the most destinations, but there are a few other shipping companies. The ferry terminal is located right in the centre of the city, next to the railway station.

Get around edit

Algiers has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and taxis. Trams are a great way to get around the city quickly, as they cover many of the main areas. Taxis are also available, and you can easily find one in the city center.

By metro edit

Metro stations in Algiers

After three decades of construction, the first segment of the Algiers Metro finally opened in 2011. The main line runs from Place des Martyrs next to the Casbash to Haï El Badr, with stops along several of the most important places in the city. From there it continues to El Harrach Centre. An extension line starts from Haï El Badr and terminates at Aïn Naâdja.

Tickets can be purchased at the station, either from a ticket machine (multiple languages but only takes coins) or from an attendant. A single trip ticket costs DA50, or a 10-trip ticket can be purchased for DA400.

By taxi edit

Taxis are a great way to get around Algiers. The best way to find a taxi is to look for one of the many taxi stands located around the city. You may even hail a taxi at the airport. It is important to check the taxi's meter to ensure that the fare is fair and reasonable; some taxi drivers in Algiers will try to take advantage of tourists and charge more than the regular fare. You can also book a taxi online through services such as Yassir and Careem.

By bus edit

The Grande Poste d'Alger building and access to the Grande-Poste Station of the Algiers Metro

Buses operate within the city centre and to the suburbs: tickets are purchased on the bus for DA20. Typically, a man with a bundle of tickets approaches you when you board.

By tram edit

Getting around Algiers by tram is remarkably economical; a ticket typically costs DA40. The trams are modern, air-conditioned, and are accessible to people with mobility issues. You may buy a ticket at a designated tram kiosk and you can get all the information you need at a tram kiosk.

By rail edit

Algiers has a small regional train network, connecting the suburbs with the central city as well as the airport. While not particular useful for tourists, it might be an good option if you are planning to visit some of the surrounding towns.

By foot edit

Algiers is a large city, so the best way to get around by foot is to plan your route before setting out. The best way to get around is to identify the main landmarks and attractions you want to visit, and map out a route that takes you to each one. Pay attention to street signs and always make sure to stay in well-lit and populated areas. Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of your surroundings at all times. You should also consider the time of day – many shops close after dark and street lighting is often poor, so there will be a lot less people outside.

By bike edit

Cycling is rather rare as many parts of Algiers are built on hills, and traffic can be dangerous. It can however be an option to explore the downtown, coastal or other areas. Bike rental is not so easy to find, but there are some bike shops that are willing to rent too.

At the Sablette beach promenade (see Do), bike rental is also available to cycle the few kilometres of track next to the sea.

1 Culture vélo, +213 550608448. DA2000 for 24h.

See edit

  • 1 Great Mosque of Algiers. Built in 1097 and added upon by the French in the 1840s.    
  • 2 Martyrs' Memorial (Maqam Echahid) (in city center). An iconic concrete monument commemorating the Algerian war for independence. In the basement, there is an exhibition about the independence war, basically an exhibition of various kinds of arms the rebels used. DA50.    
  • 3 National Museum of Fine Arts of Algiers.    
  • 4 Grande Poste d'Alger. A masterpiece of neo-Moorish architecture built in 1910 by the French.    
  • 5 Palais des Raïs. A classified historical monument. DA200.    
  • 6 Jardin d'essais of el-hamma (jardin d'essai) (Take any station metro station of the main line and get out at Jardin D'essai metro station.). 09:00-16:00. DA150.
  • 7 Djamaa el Djazaïr (Great Mosque of Algiers). Large mosque with tallest minaret in the world. Still partly under construction. Some parts are already in use, but seemingly only open during prayer times. Anyone is allowed in during those times, both for prayer or visiting.
  • 8 Bardo National Museum (المتحف الوطني باردو).    
  • 9 National Museum of Fine Arts of Algiers, 178, Place Dar Essalem. One of the largest art museums in Africa with over 8,000 works, includes paintings, drawings, engravings and old prints, sculptures, old furniture and decorative art, ceramics, glassware, as well as a numismatic collection. The museum features both Dutch and French masters as well as emblematic Algerian artists such as Baya, Yellès and Racim.    
  • 10 National Museum of Antiquities and Islamic Art.    
  • 11 Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions.    
  • 12 Museum of Modern Art of Algiers.    
  • 13 Basilica of Our Lady of Africa. Catholic basilica completed in 1872.    

Casbah edit

Casbah of Algiers

The Casbah is the ancient city, dating to the 17th century. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • 14 Ketchaoua Mosque. Built in 1794 by the Dey Baba Hassan.    
  • 15 El Djedid Mosque. Built in 1660 during the Turk reign.    
  • 16 El Barani Mosque (مسجد براني). Built by the Ottomans in 1653    
  • 17 Ali la Pointe Museum (متحف علي لابوانت).

Do edit

Kasbah Of Algiers
Algiers City Center
Algerian Handicrafts
The Ancient Civilizations Museum

Parks, theme parks, nightclubs and local restaurants are not very difficult to find. Local and casbah shops are relatively cheap and have nearly everything.

Taking a stroll along the beach promenade and park at 1 Sablette. is a popular family activity. It is however not easy to reach as it's separated from the rest of town by a major highway.

Like taking risks? Then you can go to any mountain in the countryside and climb it. Visiting the beach during sunset can feel romantic.

Buy edit

Unofficially exchanging money can be done in the Square Port Said and in Abane Ramdane Street, and in some shops in the area such as mobile phone operators. It's an incredibly common practice and transactions are done openly. The exchange rate is typically 40%-50% better than the official rate. People are most interested in exchanging euro. As of March 2023, you can get about DA215 for €1.

Eat edit

There are several restaurants in the Bois des Arcades area. This is the hill 500 m southeast of the big Martyrs memorial. Particularly good views over Algiers and the coast can be found from here. The hill is also a woodland, so is a nice area for walking too.

  • 1 Al Boustan Restaurant (El Boustene), Bois des Arcades Riadh El Feth. Panoramic restaurant overlooking Algiers. The restaurant is modern and very smart. An outdoor terrace offers the best views of Algiers and the coast. Food is excellent.

Drink edit

Algeria's red wine is of very high quality and will be appreciated by wine aficionados. It is rarely found on the international market. Locally produced beer is good quality. Alcohol is readily available in hotels, good restaurants and shops.

Sleep edit

Budget edit

A good place to look for a hotel is Rue Abane Ramdane, which is in central Algiers. There are several hotels with prices starting from DA2000-2500 for the cheapest category.

  • Central Touring Hotel, 9, rue Abane Ramdane. Has some kind of atmosphere, though for a cheap price. There are various categories of rooms, with shared toilets and showers, private showers only or private toilet + shower. DA2000-5000.
  • Hôtel El Badr, 31, Rue Amar El Kama ex (rue de chartres), . Located in the Casbah, quite run-down inside. It offers online booking, but prices are much cheaper if you just come and pay in cash (especially if you change money the unofficial way). This hotel can send you an official booking confirmation which the Algerian consulates will (hopefully) accept for visa application. From about DA1300.

Mid-range edit

  • 1 Ibis Alger-Aéroport Hotel, Route de l'université, +213 21 98 80 20.
  • 2 Hotel Suisse, rue Lieutenant Salah Boulhart (ex-Drouillet), +213 21631009. Town centre hotel. Old and charming, but reasonably comfortable. Good value for town centre. Wireless internet throughout is fast.

Splurge edit

Stay safe edit

See also: Algeria#Stay_safe

Algiers is a relatively safe place. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and dangers of visiting Algiers, as well as how to stay safe while in the city.

First and foremost, visitors should be aware of the security situation in Algeria, and the political situation in the region. The country has seen its share of violence in the late 2010s/early 2020s, so it is important to stay informed about any potential security threats and to always be aware of your surroundings.

Visitors should also be aware of the local laws and customs. For example, it is important to respect the country's religious beliefs and to dress appropriately when visiting mosques or other places of worship. Additionally, drinking alcohol in public places is not allowed.

Visitors should also be aware of their surroundings and avoid traveling alone, especially at night. The streets of Algiers very quickly empty of women after around 6pm, and of almost all people by 8pm. It may not be unsafe, but it is eerie. It is also important to avoid carrying large amounts of cash or other valuable items, as well as leaving them in plain sight. It is also important to take common precautions such as keeping an eye on your belongings when in public places, as opportunistic bag snatching may occur.

Emergency numbers edit

  • To contact the Algerian police, dial 1548.
  • To contact the Algerian fire department, dial 14.
  • To contact the Algerian parademics, dial 213 (0) 23 54 44 28.

Connect edit

Cope edit

There are more than 90 embassies in Algiers.

Embassies edit

Go next edit

This city travel guide to Algiers is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.