|WARNING: Algeria's security concerns are mainly due to regional instability. There is a heightened risk of kidnapping and terrorist attacks in rural, mountainous, border and remote desert areas of North Africa. Extremist groups take advantage of porous borders to carry out attacks.|
Government travel advisories
|(Information last updated 05 Jan 2023)|
Algeria is the largest country in Africa. Algeria is overlooked by many travellers, but if you do intend to visit, know that there are a great number of opportunities in this relatively unexplored country. From the bustling markets of Algiers and the Mediterranean coast to the Sahara desert, there is something for everyone to explore. Enjoy traditional cuisine, explore the ancient ruins and take in the breathtaking views. Algeria is a place that will leave a lasting impression on your heart and mind!
|Central Algeria (Algiers, Bejaia, Blida, Boumerdès, Tipasa, Tissemsilt,Tizi Ouzou)|
The traveller's main entry point. Consists of bustling metropolitan areas within the rich cultural region of Kabylie, and the capital, Algiers
|Northeast Algeria (Annaba, Constantine, Batna, Timgad, Tiddis)|
Mountainous and hilly, the region is home to several important historical sites.
|Northwest Algeria (Oran)|
the mountainous coastal area west of Algiers
|Saharan Atlas (Bechar)|
the mountain range inland of the high plateaus
|Saharan Algeria (Tamanrasset, Timimoun)|
The least populated area and home to many deserts. Offers the traveller the opportunity to explore a slice of the Saharan desert.
- 1 Algiers — The capital of Algeria, and the nation's political and cultural center. It is a vibrant and multicultural city, with a mix of French, Arab, and African influences. The city is well known for its beautiful architecture, stunning beaches, and lively nightlife.
- 2 Annaba — a town with 200,000 inhabitants in the east of the country next to the border of Tunisia.
- 3 Batna — the main city and commune of Batna Province, Algeria. With a population of 340,000, it is the fifth largest city in Algeria. It is also one of the principal cities of the Chaoui area and is considered the capital of Aurès.
- 4 Bechar — small city in the Sahara, not far from the Moroccan border.
- 5 Constantine - Algeria's 3rd largest city with a canyon going down through it. Also known as "city of bridges" for having a lot of impressive and beautiful bridges.
- 6 Oran — Algeria's 2nd largest city after Algiers, also called "second Paris" or "Rai city " by Algerians, with many impressive buildings from colonial times and also being popular for making quality rai songs
- 7 Sétif — the trade capital of Algeria, Setif El-Ali (The High) is the capital of high plateaus, with quite moderate temperatures and occasional snow falls in the winter.
- 8 Tamanrasset — largest town in the south and starting point for expeditions to the Sahara and the Hoggar Mountains.
- 9 Timimoun — a small Saharan oasis town which makes a good base for trips to the desert.
- Roman ruins at Timgad - outside Batna
- El-Oued with its domed architecture & nearby Grand Erg Oriental—the Sahara's second largest dune field
- Hippo Regius, 2 km south of Annaba, an ancient Numidian city and early center of Christianity with well preserved Roman baths and forum
- The fantastic architecture of the M'zab Valley
- Tassili N'Ajjer
|Currency||Algerian dinar (DZD)|
|Population||43.9 million (2020)|
|Electricity||230 volt / 50 hertz (Type E, Schuko, Europlug)|
|Emergencies||+213-14 (emergency medical services, fire department), 17 (police), 112 (police), +213-1548 (police), +213-1055 (gendarmerie)|
|edit on Wikidata|
Politics and government
Algeria is officially known as the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (Arabic: الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشعبية, al-Jumhūriyya al-Jazāʾiriyya ad-Dīmuqrāṭiyya aš-Šaʿbiyya), (Berber: ⵜⴰⴳⴷⵓⴷⴰ ⵜⴰⵎⴳⴷⴰⵢⵜ ⵜⴰⵖⵔⴼⴰⵏⵜ ⵜⴰⴷⵣⴰⵢⵔⵉⵢⵜ, Tagduda tamegdayt taɣerfant tazzayrit), (French: République algérienne démocratique et populaire)
Although the term "People's Republic" is commonly associated with communist states, Algeria is not a communist country. The term was adopted primarily because Algeria gained its independence through a revolutionary struggle against France.
Algeria is a multi-party republic with a strong executive branch led by a president. The president is both the head of state and head of government and is elected by popular vote. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of Parliament, the Council of the Nation and the People's National Assembly. The government is led by a Prime Minister who is appointed by the president.
Algeria is made up of 58 provinces and more than 1,541 communes.
The history of Algeria can be traced back to the earliest civilisations that inhabited the region and beyond. The earliest known inhabitants of Algeria were the Berber people, who have inhabited the region since at least 10,000 BCE. From the 8th century BCE, Phoenician traders established trading posts along the North African coast, introducing the region to the wider Mediterranean world.
In the 7th century CE, Algeria was conquered by the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate and subsequently came under the rule of various Muslim dynasties. The region was colonised by the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century and remained under Ottoman control until 1830.
French Algeria (1830-1962)
French rule in Algeria began in 1830 when France invaded the region, defeated the Ottoman forces, and established a colonial administration. After nearly a century of military rule, Algeria was declared a French department in 1848.
French authorities introduced a number of reforms, such as land reform, the secularisation of education, and the introduction of new laws and infrastructure. However, these policies were often accompanied by oppressive measures such as forced labor, restrictions on religious expression, and the suppression of opposition.
Algerians were treated very poorly by the French. Algerians were subjected to oppressive laws, such as the Code de l'indigénat, which denied them basic rights and freedoms. They were heavily taxed, forcibly conscripted into the French military, and stripped of their land and resources. Algerians were also subjected to violence, torture, and other forms of mistreatment by French colonial authorities.
The Algerian War (1954-1962)
The Algerian War for Independence was a bloody eight-year conflict between the French colonial government in Algeria and the National Liberation Front (FLN), a nationalist movement that sought to end French rule and establish an independent Algerian state. The war lasted from 1954 to 1962 and resulted in the death of over 1 million people, the displacement of over 5 million people, and the eventual independence of Algeria as a nation.
The Algerian War for Independence began on November 1, 1954, when the FLN launched a series of attacks against French military and police outposts throughout Algeria. The FLN hoped to spark a popular uprising against French rule, and the attacks were largely successful. The French responded with a massive campaign of repression, employing torture, summary executions, and collective punishments against the population.
The war soon escalated, with the FLN launching guerrilla attacks against French forces, while the French launched counter-insurgency operations that included the use of napalm and other forms of indiscriminate violence. The war was also characterized by atrocities on both sides, including the massacre of civilians by French forces and the use of torture by the FLN.
The war ended in 1962, when the French agreed to a cease-fire and granted Algeria its independence. After declaring independence in 1962, Algeria underwent a period of political turbulence.
Post-war period (1962-1991)
Immediately following independence, the FLN assumed power and established a single-party government. Under the leadership of President Houari Boumediene, Algeria adopted a socialist economic system and sought to strengthen ties with other Arab and African countries.
In the late 1970s, Algeria’s economic situation deteriorated and the government’s popularity declined. In response, the government began to crack down on political dissent and religious expression, leading to an Islamist insurgency.
Algerian Civil War (1991-2002)
The Algerian Civil War was a brutal conflict that caused great suffering to the Algerian people. Over 200,000 people lost their lives in the war, and more than 1 million were displaced. The conflict also had a lasting effect on Algeria's economy and society, as the country struggled to rebuild after the war. Although the conflict officially ended in 2002, its legacy continues to shape the country today.
The conflict began with the cancellation of the 1992 general elections, which saw the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) poised to win a majority of seats in the National Assembly. The Algerian government, a military-backed regime, responded by banning the FIS and arresting its members, sparking a long and bloody conflict.
The war was fought between the government and various rebel groups, most notably the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and the Islamic Salvation Army (AIS). The GIA initially sought to overthrow the government and impose an Islamic state. As the conflict progressed, however, they became increasingly brutal and indiscriminate in their tactics, leading to a sharp decline in popular support. The AIS, on the other hand, sought to negotiate with the government for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Throughout the war, the government employed a range of tactics to combat the rebels. These included a massive deployment of troops, aerial bombardments, and the use of torture and other forms of human rights abuses. The government also sought to co-opt the population by providing economic incentives and social services, such as free health care and education.
Present history (2002 - present)
Since the end of the civil war, Algeria has experienced an economic boom due to increased oil and gas production. This has led to a marked reduction in poverty and unemployment.
In 2006, the Algerian government approved a new constitution, which aimed to protect human rights and improve the country’s political and economic situation. This resulted in a period of political reform, as well as an increase in foreign investment.
Despite its economic progress, Algeria is still facing several challenges. These include high unemployment, poverty, and corruption. The country is also struggling with terrorism, with attacks by extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS).
Officially, 220 V 50 Hz. Outlets are the European standard CEE-7/7 "Schukostecker" or "Schuko", or the compatible, but not always grounded, CEE-7/16 "Europlug" types. Canadian and US travellers should pack an adapter for these outlets if they plan to use North American electrical equipment in Algeria.
|Visa restrictions: |
Entry will be refused to citizens of Israel.
See also: Visa trouble
All citizens, except citizens of Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Western Sahara, Seychelles, and Tunisia require a visa to enter the country.
Algerian visas tend to be very expensive. The Algerian Embassy in the United States usually charges US$160 for any Algerian visa, so plan and prepare accordingly. As a general rule of thumb, the longer you intend to stay, the more expensive the visa will be.
Although visa requirements vary from embassy to embassy, you're typically asked to submit the following with your visa application:
- A copy of your passport (must have a validity of more than six months)
- Two passport-sized photographs.
- Two visa application forms.
- A copy of your travel itinerary.
- A copy of your hotel reservation.
- A copy of your bank statement.
1 Houari Boumediene Airport (ALG IATA). Most major European airlines such as (Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France, Iberia, ITA Airways, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines) fly daily to Algiers but there are also some long-haul routes such as (Beijing, Montreal, Doha, Dubai, Chengdu)
From the United Kingdom flying via Barcelona or Madrid can be cheaper than flying direct.
From the United States the cheapest way to get into Algiers is via London (British Airways), Paris (Air France) Frankfurt (Lufthansa) or Montreal (Air Canada).
The national airline, Air Algerie, flies to many destinations in Europe, especially France but also to some cities in Africa and the Middle East. destinations served by Air Algerie from Algiers: Abidjan, Alicante, Bamako, Barcelona, Basel, Beijing, Beirut, Berlin, Brussels, Cairo, Casablanca, Dakar, Damascus, Dubai, Frankfurt, Geneva, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Milan, Montreal, Moscow, Niamey, Paris, Rome, Tripoli, Tunis, etc.
The Algerian train company is named SNTF[dead link] and tickets can be bought at train stations. On-line booking does not appear to be possible any more; timetables are subject to changes; the best way is to ask at the train station. The network in the north is dense. You can reach Algeria by train from Tunisia, although you will have to change trains at the border post. All border points with Morocco are closed.
If you can, try to catch the newer trains as they are more comfortable and climate-controlled.
Algeria is bordered by six countries: Tunisia, Libya, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, and Morocco.
Entering Algeria from Tunisia is safe and is strongly recommended.
It is impossible to drive into Algeria from Morocco. The two countries have been in a state of diplomatic tension since 1994, when Morocco closed the border due to a territorial dispute over the Western Sahara. The borders will remain closed for the forseeable future.
It is impossible to drive into Algeria from Libya. The two countries have been in a state of diplomatic tension since 2013, when Algeria closed the border in response to the situation in Libya. The borders will remain closed for the forseeable future.
It is possible to drive into Algeria from Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, but it is recommended that you do not take those routes due to political unrest, security, and terrorism concerns. Moreover, if you have no experience with driving in desert, barren areas, you are putting yourself and other people at risk.
The prices aren't usually cheaper than flying so if you can and have no car take a plane. Most connections are offered by Algérie Ferries.
- Alicante to Algiers and Oran
- Almeria to Ghazaouet and Oran
- Barcelona to Algiers
- Valencia to Mostaganem
- Napoli to Tunis & take a road for 1 hour
- Roma (Civitavecchia) to Tunis & take a road for 1 hour
Algeria is a huge country and travelling between major cities can take a lot of time and nerves as well. While the distances in the more populated north are not so big and a trip from the east to the west can be done in a day, travelling to cities in the Sahara is more difficult, since the south is barely connected with good roads, train and bus connections.
From Algiers you can reach almost every major Algerian city by plane, and it is highly recommended to take a flight when traveling longer routes and to Saharan cities. Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers and Oran Ahmed Ben Bella Airport in Oran are the most modern airports in the country; the other airports are more like airfields or under construction.
Air Algérie[dead link] is the national carrier with many flights to almost all Algerian cities with an airport. The prices vary regarding of the length of the flown route; Cities tend to be pricier than between bigger cities (such as Oran to Algier). The airline uses Houari Boumediene Airport (Algiers) and Ahmed Ben Bella Airport (Oran) as its hub, and almost all flights start or land there. There are seven daily flights to Oran from Algiers and five daily flights to Annaba and Costantine. Other destinations served from Algiers daily or several days weekly are Adrar, El Oued, Tebessa, Batna, Biskra, Sétif, In Ames, Tindouf, Timmoun, Tlemcen, Tamanrasset, Tiaret, Tebessa, El Goela, Ouaragla, Hassi Messaoud, Bejaia, Ghardaia, Tlemcen, Illizi, Djanet, Touggourt, and Béchar.
It's usual to take a taxi to travel near or in cities. The prices are pretty moderate but when travelling between bigger cities with large distances taxis are the same or more expensive as flying. Try to avoid unofficial taxis since it's very likely the driver will rip you off. Most taxis have no taximeter so arrange a price in advance. Many drivers will try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge but never pay more than DA30 per km regardless of what you are told. Tipping is not necessary but you can round up to the next DA10.
Uber doesn't operate in Algeria, but a similar app named Yassir does.
The road network is well developed in the north. The Algerian government has made much improvements regarding road building; new highways were built to replace the older roads. The most important highway is the 1200 km long N1 (Route est-ouest) from Annaba to Oran, almost all bigger cities in the north are connected to this highway including Algiers.
A car is not absolutely necessary because of the well run public transportation system, but could be sometimes useful to reach more remote areas. Keep in mind that the driving habits of the locals are completely different compared to Western norms and that driving rules and prohibitive signs are more seen as guidelines, even by the police! It would be a wise decision letting a local Algerian do the driving for you in the first few days to get an impression of the driving style. If this is not possible it's recommended to stay on the highways.
Do not try to reach the Saharan areas with a car other than a 4x4: occasional dunes on the roads and extreme temperature changes will offer a challenge for the driver and the car.
As of 2018, fuel did not cost more than DA50 a liter.
Algerian railways are operated by SNTF[dead link]; the trains and lines are being modernised. Ten comfortable high-speed trains named Autorail were bought, two of them are in operation. Though the website is useful for checking times etc, tickets can not be bought on-line, only at the train stations, prices are quite moderate but more expensive than buses or taxis but in return you will have more comfort and enjoy wonderful landscapes.
- Algiers to Oran, five daily departures from the new Agha Station, this journey takes 4-5 hours, 2nd Class: DA900-1130, 1st Class: DA1200-1530.
- Algiers to Annaba, departing each evening at 19:40 and arriving in Annaba (via Constantine) at 05:38 the following morning. 2nd Class: DA900, 1st Class: DA1270.
- Algiers to Constantine as above
- Algiers to Touggourt, departing daily at 18:10, arriving in Touggourt at 05:00 the following morning. 2nd Class: DA1500, 1st Class: DA2005.
- Oran to Bechar, two daily departures. A daytime train leaves Oran at 10:20, while the night-train leaves at 20:30. 2nd Class: DA975, 1st Class: DA1370.
- Annaba to Tebessa, leaving Annaba at 16:40 and arriving in Tebessa at 21:49. 2nd Class: DA255, 1st Class: DA360.
Algeria has one of the most developed tram networks in all of Africa. As of 2023, there are tram networks in six major cities: Algiers, Oran, Constantine, Sidi Bel Abbes, Ouargla, and Setif.
The agency responible for the operation and maintenance of the tram network is Société d'exploitation des tramways (SETRAM).
Getting around Algeria by tram is remarkably economical; a ticket typically costs DA 40. You may buy a ticket at a designated tram kiosk and you can get all the information you need at a tram kiosk.
Overview of the tram system in Algeria:
- Algiers: 23 kilometres long and has 37 stops.
- Oran: 32 kilometres long and has 19 stops.
- Constantine: 18 kilometres long and has 21 stops.
- Sidi Bel Abbès: 14 kilometres long and has 22 stops.
- Ouargla: 10 kilometres long and has 16 stops.
- Setif: 15 kilometres long and has 26 stops.
By cable car
Due to its highly mountainous and massive geography, Algeria has an extensive cable car network.
Similar to that of Libya, Algerian tourism is best known for its ancient ruins—principally those from the Phoenician, Roman, and Byzantine eras. Some of the most famous include Timgad near Batna, Hippo Regius at Annaba, Djemila at Sétif, Calama at Guelma, and ruins from all three empires at Tipasa.
While better known for the Roman ruins, Algeria's greatest tourist possibilities lie in the Sahara; there simply is no other country on earth that can offer the sort of exciting and exotic adventures around the great desert. The crown jewel is the centre of Mozabite culture in the M'zab Valley. The five interconnected cities are a breathtaking architectural playground evocative of modern cubist and surrealist art. They simply must be seen in person. But the landscapes are impressive as well: the harsh, rugged Saharan Atlas mountains, the endless desert and Hoggar Mountains around the country's desert capital of Tamanrasset, the huge dune field of the Grand Erg Oriental at El-Oued, and the ancient rock carvings of Djelfa and the Saharan National Park of Tassili N'Ajjer.
The Mediterranean beaches in Algeria are stunning. Full of all types of beautiful fish No worries fishes in Algeria aren’t dangerous, beautiful sea plants, , beautiful shells, all type of sands in the shore yellow sand, white sand, And Black sand. You can fish, you can swim, and you can just look at the beautiful sunset. One of the best beaches in the county is Turquoise Coast. It’s located in Oran and it’s a good place for relaxation. Annaba, and particularly Skikda and Ghazaouet all have nice beaches. The spot to go near Algiers is undoubtedly the resort town of Sidi Fredj.
Of Algeria's major cities, you may be surprised at just how little of interest there is to see—Algeria's more exotic locales are a much bigger draw than its modern culture (stifled by conflict and abysmal government), Islamic heritage, and colonial legacy. Algiers, the famed White City, is actually a much less touristic city than one might expect, given its central role in the country's economic, political, and cultural life. But all visitors will pass through anyway, so the Casbah—Algiers' historic seventeenth century center—is certainly worth a visit. There are a few nice, more laid-back large cities in the northwest, particularly the country's second largest city of Oran and the historic city of Tlemcen. In the northeast, Constantine is the one major city that deserves a spot on your itinerary.
Algeria is full of Roman ruins & 10th-century desert towns. Some of which are:
- Tassili N'Ajjer National park: A national park in southern Algeria with tons of cave arts and dramatic sandstone formation.
- Monument of the martyrs: Iconic monument honoring independence, the people who died for the country, and veterans.
- The church of Nôtre Dame of Africa: a Catholic church with dramatic views in Oran
- Hamma scientific Experiments Park: gracious 19th-century botanical gardens.
- Fortaliza de Santa Cruz: mountaintop fort with scenic city views.
- Ketchaoua Mosque: grand mosque build in 17th-Century.
- Royal Mausoleum of Mauritania: Likely a tomb of an Egyptian princess in Tipaza, Algeria.
- Grand mosque of Algeria: Minarets viewing platform and a huge hall.
- Tikja: Winter ski resort with hiking in the summer. Located in El asnam, Algeria.
- Chrea National Park: Treks and a ski station amid a wooded peaks.
- Algiers Grand Post Office: Grand colonial-era post office.
- Prince Abdel Kader mosque: Landmark mosque with 2 tall minarets.
- Timgad Roman Ruins: Tons of Roman Ruins, Ancient Roman architecture, and ancient history located here.
- See also: Arabic phrasebook, Berber phrasebook, French phrasebook
Some common phrases in Algerian Arabic:
The official languages of Algeria are Arabic and Berber.
Algerian Arabic (also known as Darja), the local vernacular, is spoken natively by about 75-80% of the population. Algerian Arabic is often considered to be more difficult than other dialects due to its unique features and regional variations. The dialect is used primarily in informal and spoken communication and is not typically used for formal or written communication. If you don't know the local dialect, do not despair; all Algerians learn Modern Standard Arabic at school, so you should have no problems communicating in major cities.
Algerian Arabic has a lot of similarities with other Maghrebi dialects, including Tunisian and Moroccan Arabic. If you know a bit of Moroccan Arabic, you should have no problems getting by since Moroccan and Algerian Arabic are, to a significant extent, mutually intelligible.
Kabyle is the most commonly spoken Berber language and is primarily spoken in cities such as Bejaia, Bouira, and Boumerdes.
French is widely understood in Algeria. It has been referred to as the "lingua franca" of Algeria. It usually serves as people's second language. It is taught in Algerian schools from an early age, and it is widely used in everyday business. The use of French is generally restricted to communicating with non-Algerians.
English is gradually becoming more and more popular, but most Algerians (as little as 5-10% of Algerians are fluent in English) have little to no knowledge of the language, which is why you will most likely be spoken to in either Arabic or French. Most websites are in Arabic and French, which can challenge those not knowledgeable in either of the two languages. The Algerian government is trying to popularise the use of English, however, and many Algerians see English as an essential language to learn.
The average Algerian is fluent in two (Arabic and French) or three languages (Arabic, French, and Berber). Highly educated Algerians are fluent in four languages: Arabic, French, Berber, and English.
|Note: You are not allowed to take Algerian dinars out of Algeria; the Algerian government has strict regulations in place that prohibit the export of Algerian dinars from the country. Visitors are allowed to bring in a maximum of DA 10,000.|
Exchange rates for Algerian dinar
As of January 2023:
Exchange rates fluctuate. Current rates for these and other currencies are available from XE.com
Algerian currency is the Algerian dinar, denoted by the symbol "د.ج" or "DA" (ISO code: DZD). There are coins of DA5, DA10, DA20, DA50 and DA100. Banknotes are issued in DA100, DA200, DA500, DA1000, DA2000, DA5000 denominations.
Money can be exchanged at banks or post offices. Make sure the exchanged bills are in good condition; people tend to be picky with accepting ripped and older bills. Be careful with currencies other than euros or US dollars: finding a bank that exchanges less common currencies could be complicated.
A better exchange rate can usually be found by exchanging money through unofficial money changers on street corners. There are locations where this is a widespread practice. The exchange rate offered is generally better than the official rate. It seems to be a very safe practice and is often done in view of police, who don't seem concerned.
ATMs are widely available and can be found in every post office or larger bank where you can withdraw Algerian dinar with any major credit card and Maestro cards. If a pin with six numbers is necessary, enter two zeros before your pin.
Many Algerian-branded ATMs don't work for foreign cards (even when showing that they support Mastercard or Visa). You may have luck with Societé Générale ATMs.
Generally speaking, Algeria is very cash-based, and most establishments won't accept credit cards. Some hotels do (in particular larger establishments), but many don't. Bringing an ample supply of Euros in cash can result in much cheaper travel by taking advantage of the much better exchange rates offered by the unofficial exchange market, as mentioned above.
Algeria has had a parallel currency exchange market for several years, e.g. with exchange rates in August 2018 being DA215 to the euro at the parallel market versus around 140 to the US dollar at the official Forex market. Thus, travellers willing to exchange euros will be roughly 50% more purchasing power. However, take care if exchanging on the parallel market: beware of the possibility of fake bills.
Living in Algeria is very cheap compared to western conditions; for an example DA300 will get you a full meal or a bus ride from Algiers to Oran (400 km). Renting a mid-sized apartment will normally cost about DA60,000 per month, payable 6 months in advance; an underground metro ticket is DA50.
- See also: North African cuisine
Algerian cuisine is a mix of Mediterranean and North African flavors, with a strong French influence. Algerian cuisine is full of flavorful dishes such as tagines, couscous, and pastilla. Despite its rich flavors and vibrant ingredients, Algerian cuisine is not as widely known or appreciated as other Mediterranean or North African cuisines. Still, that shouldn't stop you from fully experiencing Algerian gastronomy.
- Fettate (Sahara speciality, in Tamanrasset)
- Taguella (bread of sand, a nomad speciality)
- Couscous (steamed semolina with sauce containing meat and/or potatoes, carrots, courgette, and chick peas)
- Buseluf (cooked lambs head)
- Dowara (stew of stomach and intestines with courgette & chick peas)
- Chorba (a meaty soup)
- Rechta (hand made spaghetti, usually served with a clear chicken broth, potatoes & chick peas)
- Chakchouka (normally, it has green peppers, onions and tomatoes; egg may be added)
- Mechoui (charcoal grilled lamb)
- Algerian pizza
- Tajine (stew)
- Mhadjeb (A dish which is a kind of flaky pancake made from semolina traditionally stuffed with onion, tomatoes, garlic, pepper, and spices)
Desserts and snacks
- Qalb El Louz (Sweet dessert made from layers of buttery semolina and ground almonds. Flavoured with orange blossom and a honey syrup, it is bursting with flavours and summery aromas. Each slice is topped with a whole almond for a lovely crunch.)
- Baklawa (Almond cake consists of many layers of very thin dough carefully hand crafted and drenched in honey)
- Ktayef (A kind of baked vermicelli, filled with almonds and drenched in sugar, syrup, and honey)
Algeria produces a selection of wine (not in big volume) and also beer. Algeria was once famous for its high quality wines. The new production is also of very high quality, particularly the red wine. Locally produced beer is also of a very high standard. Algeria is a majority Muslim country, so you do not find alcohol sold everywhere, but it is not hard to find it. Wine and alcoholic drinks are sold in the few bar restaurants in the big cities, better hotels, and night clubs. Some bar/restaurants can be found in nice parks, so if you are in a nice wooded park, look for the restaurants. The fast food restaurants that are open and affordable to the public do not sell beer, and the coffee shops do not sell alcohol. If you visit Algiers or coastal cities, there are fish restaurants in almost every fishing port, the fishing is traditional and the fish sold is very fresh; usually, these restaurants sell alcohol but you have to ask (do not expect to see it, some times it is on the menu, some times not).
Finally, you can buy your own bottle of Algerian wine to take home in discreet shops that sell alcoholic drinks. It is better to buy it at the Algiers airport, though expect to pay €15 per bottle. In smaller towns, buying alcoholic drinks can be challenging; you usually find them at the edge of the towns in sketchy areas and the conditions in which the alcohol was kept are sometimes questionable. Some Muslims drink but they consider it a sin. It is in private but socially. If someone invites you into his home and does not offer alcohol, he expects you not to be drunk or smell of alcohol, and does not expect you to bring your own bottle or even discuss drinking alcohol in front of his wife and children.
- Mediterranean juices (grenadine, orange)
- Very sweet green tea
- Strong coffee
It is not tricky for housing, as there are luxury hotels and cheap ones throughout the country. The price of a beautiful deluxe room for a couple of costs between €150-250 per day, as there are rooms from €10 to €45 for low-budget tourists. Many services are available in luxury hotels, such as the cafeteria, bar, restaurant, nightclub, and pool. During the summer, from June 15 to August 31, many owners rent houses and cottages on the Mediterranean Sea from Port Say (Marsa Ben M'hidi) in El-Kala. Prices vary depending on the number of rooms, usually €700-3000 per month, electricity included, but it is best to book in advance through an acquaintance or a travel agency. Also, many Algerian use internet ads: bids are sometimes attractive, but it is always best to send a loved one to visit the place before paying money. There is also the complex Meskoutine Hammam (spa, pool, etc.), which is located near a waterfall from which flows a source of hot water at 98 °C (208 °F). This is the second most desirable in the world after the geyser in Iceland. The price, depending on the number of rooms in the bungalow, varies between DA1500-3000 per day.
Generally speaking, it is quite difficult to ascertain the full scope of the Algerian educational system since very few people, if any, take advantage of learning opportunities in the country.
Although Algeria has excellent economic potential, employment matters in the country are highly sensitive, especially for Algerian citizens.
Finding a job in Algeria is next to impossible because the Algerian job market is poorly accessible and developed. Although the official unemployment rate is estimated to be between 10-15%, it is believed that the actual unemployment rate is much, much higher than the official unemployment rate.
The Algerian job market is inaccessible to people because the government has done little to diversify the economy outside of oil and gas. If you know either Arabic, French, or both, you are in good hands.
The government welcomes investment and help and favours companies that can contribute to Algeria's long-term development. This said, do not expect things to be easy; as is the case throughout the Arab world, Algerians take business relationships seriously and expect you to demonstrate sincere and genuine interest.
It's worth mentioning that Algerian authorities do not take too kindly to people abusing Algerian immigration laws; a lot of migrants from West Africa and the Sahel often try to enter Algeria illegally (without any paperwork and documentation) in search of better opportunities in Algeria. Many of these migrants work as labourers. Given Algeria's proximity to Europe, some migrants try to enter Europe. Since 2020, the Algerian authorities have been cracking down on illegal migrants, drawing strong condemnation from many international organisations.
Algeria, by and large, is a safe country.
Do not travel to and in Saharan Algeria overland if you have no experience with driving in desert areas or knowledge of Algerian roads. The area is sparsely populated (which means help is limited) and you can get lost easily if you don't know what you're doing. For this reason, access the area by plane.
Do not travel after nightfall; travel by plane if you can, instead of by car; travel with public transports; avoid minor roads; ask the police or gendarmes if you are unsure about your surroundings. Check the travel advice on the Australian, Canadian, Irish and New Zealand government websites.
Perhaps the biggest danger in Algeria is the extreme weather. Algeria is a very hot country and temperatures can go as high as 50 degrees Celsius. Be sure to hydrate often and wear appropriate clothing to deal with the heat.
If you're thinking about exploring Saharan Algeria, take extra care.
Terrorism and banditry
Areas near the borders with Libya, Niger, Mali, and Mauritania are unsafe due to general lawlessness. Generally speaking, tourists have little or no reason to go to those areas as they have nothing that interests tourists. If you intend to drive into one of those countries, it's recommended that you get an armed escort.
Algeria has strict laws concerning the export of antiquities. If you buy a souvenir that looks old or antiquated, try to obtain the necessary documentation for it. Better to be safe than sorry. Not doing so will land you in serious trouble with the Algerian authorities.
Do not photograph government buildings, security installations, or military/law enforcement personnel. You will be promptly detained by the Algerian authorities.
As is the case throughout the Arab world and the Middle East, homosexuality is frowned upon by the vast majority of Algerians. Open display of such orientations may result in open contempt and possible violence.
Algeria is, to a significant extent, a welcoming country. Hospitality is a cornerstone of Algerian culture, and Algerians consider it shameful not to give a guest a warm welcome.
This being said, Black-skinned people may be incorrectly assumed to be migrants from the Sahel and may attract unwanted attention from the authorities. It's not uncommon for the authorities to racially profile Black-skinned people.
Algeria is sometimes struck by localized power cuts during summer in the south, which means that refrigerated foods may go bad. Therefore, you should keep that in mind when eating in restaurants, as the likelihood of getting food poisoning is always there.
Mosquitoes are also a problem in Algeria, but they are just a nuisance, as malaria is not common. In urban areas, there is periodic city-wide spraying against mosquitoes.
Do not expect very good water quality in southern Algeria, for drinking you can buy bottles of water instead of drinking tap water, they are cheap at DA30 for 2L, so 5L of good water costs less than US$1.
Ramadan is the 9th and holiest month in the Islamic calendar and lasts 29–30 days. Muslims fast every day for its duration and most restaurants will be closed until the fast breaks at dusk. Nothing (including water and cigarettes) is supposed to pass through the lips from dawn to sunset. Non-Muslims are exempt from this, but should still refrain from eating or drinking in public as this is considered very impolite. Working hours are decreased as well in the corporate world. Exact dates of Ramadan depend on local astronomical observations and may vary somewhat from country to country. Ramadan concludes with the festival of Eid al-Fitr, which may last several days, usually three in most countries.
If you're planning to travel to Algeria during Ramadan, consider reading Travelling during Ramadan.
As in all of North Africa and the Middle East, the dominant religion is Islam, which means that appropriate religious prohibitions and attitudes should be in order. Much of what is considered good etiquette in the Arab world is applicable to Algeria.
Though many Algerians speak French (usually as a second language), do not act as if Algeria is French. This is likely to cause offense.
Honour is an important cornerstone of Algerian culture. Algerians believe that turning down someone's request causes them to lose honour and they will normally go out their way to fulfil any kind of request.
As a foreigner, it's important to be prudent with your choice of words as Algerians are particularly sensitive to being beckoned directly, particularly publicly and from non-Algerians. Your harsh words, even if it is coming from a good place, may have a huge impact on the locals. It's worth mentioning that Algerians use nonverbal language to express their dissatisfaction and expect that the other person will approach them.
Asking questions about Algerian history, geography, tourist attractions, culture, and so on is a great way to leave a good impression on the locals, and many Algerians will develop a deep respect for you.
Algerians respect their elders. You are expected to act politely around someone older than you, and it would be seen as rude manners if you attempt to challenge someone older than you.
Refrain from criticising or speaking badly about religion, and refrain from talking about religion from an agnostic point of view. Even highly-educated Algerians won't appreciate it.
Algerians have grown increasingly dissatisfied with their government. While it may be common to listen to grumblings about the Algerian government, avoid stating your opinion on local politics; Algerians consider this as "interference" in their internal affairs and will not appreciate it.
Never ask an Algerian what their ethnicity is; ethnic politics are quite sensitive in Algeria and it could raise suspicions.
Unlike in other parts of the Middle East and North Africa, Algerians like to keep their private lives to themselves and do not like to discuss their family life, especially around people they're not well acquainted with. It's not considered rude to ask if someone's married or if they have children, but it's best to not have a whole discussion over it.
All cigarettes are sold freely.
Smoking in the presence of someone who is not a smoker in a public place requires his permission. If someone does not like the smoke, coughs, or asks you not to smoke, just stop and say sorry. This is what the locals do. If you are invited to someone's house, do not smoke unless the host does and after he does, you can ask for permission to smoke.
If you are in a restaurant or coffee terrace where people smoke, you can smoke, but if you are with locals who are not smokers, ask them first if it is okay. Fewer and fewer people smoke, because of a global health awareness campaign.
If you are a non-smoker, you will still find it unpleasant in many public places because of smoking.
Mobile phone connections
There are 3 main mobile services in Algeria - Mobilis, Djezzy and Ooredoo (previously Nedima). It is easy to procure a pre-paid sim card for one of these operators at any airport. In February 2022, a SIM card with 60 GB of data was sold by Ooredoo for DA2500. There are several general stores all over the country which will sell you refill cards for these carriers. 3G services were launched on 1 December 2013, and 4G is available in a selection of major cities by all carriers.
The only internet provider is the government owned Algerie Telecom which offers ADSL internet with speeds that vary from 1 Mbps to 20 Mbps and prices of DA1600 to DA7200 respectively. 4G LTE is also available, but speeds are very slow and service is not very good in rural areas.