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Despite beautiful ancient ruins and a large share of the Sahara desert, visits to Algeria are commonly stunted by political unrest. It was once among the most popular holiday destinations in North Africa, but its appeal has been long overshadowed by the destruction and strife brought about by the 1992 civil war. If you’re an adventurer, the country remains a promise land for thrill-seekers who want a taste of rich culture and natural wonders. Options for travel in this part of Africa are limited, but if you do decide Algeria is the place for you, have a full grasp of the risks involved.

Measuring 919,595 square miles, Algeria is bordered by Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, and Western Sahara and is the second largest country in Africa. A good percentage of its surface is covered by the Sahara desert, four-fifths to be exact, where most of the tourist attractions lie. The great desert offers stunning gorges, breathtaking dunes, and endless trails. One of the most fascinating and addicting places to visit in North Africa, Algeria is home to dramatic landscapes, historic towns, and well preserved tribal culture like the Hoggar and Tassili N’Ajjer regions.

Being the largest country fronting the Mediterranean, the north coast beaches are undoubtedly among the best in Africa. However, due to Algeria’s poor political situation, they remain underdeveloped. Nevertheless, the sandy shores rival those of neighboring countries, including the Turquoise Coast’s Oran beach and the famed Sidi Fredj resort town in Algiers.

Having been colonized by the French, the Romans, and the Phoenicians in the past, Algeria boasts an eclectic mix of cultures and ancient ruins from various eras can be found throughout the country. Despite being the center of the economy, Algiers is much less touristy than neighboring African towns, and a visit to the historic Casbah is not to be missed.

Accommodation options run the gamut from budget to ultra-luxe. Hotels dot the cities, along with cafés, restaurants, bars, and first-class amenities. During the summer, many coastal cottages are rented out via internet bidding sites, but use caution and common sense when making arrangements with strangers across the world.

Algiers airport is the main international gateway to the country, with service from major European airlines. Flying is the most practical way to travel, but trains and ferries also run in and out. From the US, connect via Paris, London or Frankfurt. It is possible to enter Algeria safely by land through the Tunisian border, however other borders may present security problems. Inter-city travel is relatively easy, thanks to the train system, domestic flight network, and taxis.

Algiers is the capital city of Algeria and even though its economy is reliant on a variety of sectors, agriculture still plays a vital role in the provision of products for the country and for export. Products such as cotton, tobacco, olive oil, cereal, figs, cork, barley, wheat, vegetables and citrus fruits are cultivated in the country. Over recent years the tourism industry has begun to grow and develop, bringing international visitors to Algeria with opportunities to explore its beauty and diversity. 

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Algiers, Sidi M'Hamed, Algiers, Algeria

Wind your way from the whitewashed waterfront through narrow side streets and expansive, French-style boulevards as Algiers peels back her veils to reveal cosmopolitan, colonial and Islamic contrasts seemingly stacked at random. Rooftop views over the Bay of Algiers from Notre Dame d'Afrique, the Kasbah and Maqam Echahid, captivate, especially when accompanied by an evening call to prayer.

Constantine, Algeria

Coined the 'City of Bridges' thanks to the canyon that cuts through its centre, Constantine offers an exciting yet ancient ambience where mosques and minarets stretch skywards whilst the Rhumel River flows below. Despite the dramatic setting, Constantine has remained beyond tourism which makes visits to the old town kasbah and market, and the Palace of Ahmed Bey, all the more enlightening.

Djémila, Algeria

The mountain village of Djémila boasts some of North Africa's best kept ancient ruins with an impressive Roman amphitheatre and numerous arches, columns and paved piazzas to be found straddling slopes some 60km inland. This is a unique example of a Roman citadel built on a mountainous landscape with dramatic views always appreciated just as much as the ancient architecture.

Oran, Algeria

The coastal setting adds impact to a trip to Oran with the gigantic market at Medina Jedida, the 17th century mosque at Sidi El Houari and the all-encompassing views from Santa Cruz Fort, on top of Mount Murdjadjo, all to be found on a sightseeing tour of the city. Seaside resorts and ancient forts vie for space with modern structures as Oran tries to cope with an increasing influx of visitors.

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Algeria is located in northwestern Africa. More specifically, Algeria is the Maghreb Region of Africa. As a country that is almost entirely surrounded by land, Algeria's borders are shared with seven other African countries. In the northeast, Algeria is surrounded by Tunisia.With Morrocco to the west and Libya to the east,Algeria is also bordered by Mauritania, West Sahara, and Mali in the southwestern part of the country.Niger borders Algeria in the southeast. Algeria's only coastal border is along the Mediterranean Sea in the north.


Traveling by train is enjoyable and often more comfortable than by bus. Currently, there are two high-speed train routes in operation between Algiers, Oran, Annaba, and Constantine. Services in the capital converge at two main stations, the Gare de l’Agha and Gare Centrale where tickets can be purchased. You can take the bus to get around town and to reach the main train station. They stop at Place Audin, Place des Martyrs and Place Grande Poste in Algiers. A central terminal is found outside of downtown, where you can catch a ride to major towns like Oran, Ouargla and Annaba.

Languages Spoken

The official languages are Arabic and Tamazight(Berber language).The dialects of Arabic spoken in the North African "Maghreb" Region are closely related to each other,but not to the Middle-Eastern ones.They are called Darja (or Darija) and have been influenced by French and Berber vocabulary to various degrees.


Algeria uses the Algerian dinar (DZD). There are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 dinar coins. Banknotes circulate in denominations of DZD100, DZD200, DZD500, DZD1000 and DZD2000. Money can be exchanged at Banks or Post offices. Make sure that the exchanged bills are in a good condition, people tend to be picky with accepting ripped and older bills. Be careful with other currencies than euro or US dollars it could be hard to find a bank that exchange less common currencies.


Nationals of Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Seychelles and Tunisia, in addition to refugees and stateless persons residing in these countries, may enter Algeria visa-free for up to 90 days. All other nationalities require a visa. As of February 2017, transiting (up to 24h) through Algiers Airport is possible without obtaining a visa.


You can use your electric appliances in Algeria, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220 – 240 volts. Manufacturers take these small deviations into account. If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100-120 volts, you need a voltage converter in Algeria.  (In the US, electricity comes out of the wall socket at 110 volts, alternating at 60 cycles per second.)


Beware of possible water contamination that can cause diarrhea or an upset stomach. While tap water is generally safe to drink, it’s a good idea to rely on bottled water at least for the first weeks. Vaccinations are not required, but advised for hepatitis B, tuberculosis and tetanus. The risk of malaria is low, but travelers are encouraged to use insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites.

Emergency Calls

Police: 17 or 1548

Civil protection (medical emergency and fire department): 14

National Gendarmerie (especially outside cities): 1055

Support for children : 3033 . Numbers of administrations, hospitals and different agencies can be found on the yellow pages (pages jaunes) in airports and some hotels and on the internet.

When to visit
Best time to visit the destination

Temperatures in Algeria reach extremes during the summer, and travelers will be more comfortable visiting during the rainy season, between October and March. It’s best not to visit during Ramadan: Algerians take the fast very seriously, and few businesses will be open. The timing of this holy month is based on the lunar calendar, and it shifts every year; check here to make sure that the time of your visit does not conflict with Ramadan.

What to do?
Don’t miss to challenge your world

Discover prehistoric rock art in Tassili n’Ajjer

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tassili n’Ajjer National Park is the highlight of any visit to Algeria. Located in the deep south of the country over 1,800 kilometers (1,200 miles) from Algiers, it’s a day long bus journey or several hour flight from the capital. A landscape unlike any other awaits with sandstone peaks, rock arches, and Saharan montane woodlands. Meaning “plateau of rivers,” Tassili n’Ajjer once had much more water to sustain civilization.

Relax and wander the Jardin d’Essai du Hamma

The Botanical Garden of Hamma is known the world over for being one of the greatest. Set over an expansive 140 acres of botanical garden and 50 acres of arboretum, the gardens were created in 1832 by the French Civil Intendant and interim governor. Set in Algiers, the gardens now feature over 1,200 species of plants and are a relaxing way to escape the buzz of the city.

Assekrem and the Hoggar Mountains

In the southeast of the country are the breathtaking Hoggar Mountains, near Tassili n’Ajjer. Sharing a similar landscape, the barren Sahara gives way to stone buttes, shrubby desert, and hidden oases. In nearby Assekrem is the hermitage of Charles de Foucauld, a French priest who lived for years amongst the Tuaregs in this desolate region and later beatified as a saint.

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FAQs about Algeria

Is Algiers worth visiting?

Well, the good news is that Algiers, the capital, is very much worth the detour, untouched by Easyjet, and better still, firmly in the 'OK to visit, but be careful' bit of the country.

The legal drinking/purchasing age of alcoholic beverages is 18. Algeria produces a selection of wine (not in big volume in more) and also beer. However, Algeria is a Muslim country, and you do not find alcohol sold everywhere, you have to know where to find it. 

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