Algiers' location on the Mediterranean has fueled its fortunes through the centuries. Once a French colony, the city's European influence blends with Arabic and Berber cultures to create a fascinating place with a reputation for hospitality. You'll find the people friendly, and the city full of treasures to explore.
The ancient citadel at the heart of Algiers is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with architecture that dates back to the 17th century. It's home to the famous Ketchaoua Mosque and Mosque Ali Betchnin.
From the Neo-Byzantine glory of the Notre Dame d'Afrique basilica to Ottoman-era landmarks like the Ketchaoua Mosque that dates back to 1612, it's easy to explore Algiers' history through its fabulous buildings.
Enjoy fine dining and international cuisine along with delicious local dishes, featuring lamb, fish, dates, and spices like cinnamon and coriander.
You'll find bargains galore on locally produced artisan work, handicrafts, and souvenirs at street markets, with specialties including leather goods, rugs, copper, and jewelry.
Escape city life and stroll along palm tree-lined paths in the Jardin d'Essai, gorgeous botanical gardens that extend along the bay.
With its Mediterranean location, the weather in Algiers is warm and typically sunny, making it a true year-round destination, with a slight bump in tourist visits during the drier months between May and November.
The Houari Boumediene Airport (ALG) is about 12 miles to the southeast of the city. Taxis are not metered, so be sure to negotiate your fare in advance; it should cost about DA600. There is also a bus service that leaves every half hour, costing DA25.
The Algiers Central Train Station (Gare Centrale) is a hub for the national SNTF train service, and connects the city with most major centers in the country.
Algiers links to Ghardaia via the Trans-Sahara Highway, which connects all the way to Lagos, Nigeria. The East-West highway connects Algiers with Constantine, Oran, Tlemcen, and Blida.
The central bus terminal, La Gare Routière, is located just outside the downtown area in Hussein Dey, with affordable and reliable bus service to most other Algerian cities.
Enjoy views of the sea and a sunny terrace at the Hotel Ikram El Dhayf. At the Hôtel el-Djazaïr, you'll stay in a historic location that once played host to Churchill and Eisenhower.
The Casbah - the centuries-old citadel is located on the slopes, and it's where you'll find the city's most famous mosques, including the Great Mosque of Algiers, begun in 1097.
3rd District - this area centers around rue Didouche Mourad, and is lined with stores and restaurants.
Mohamed Belouizdad - this area north of the Casbah is where you'll find the Jardin d'Essai, along with the Musée National du Moudjahid and the Makam Echahid monument.
There is one subway line with 10 tops that runs from the central railway station to the city center. A single fare is DA150 and day passes are DA400. There is also bus service within the city center and suburbs, with fares starting at DA20.
Be sure to negotiate your fare in advance as all taxis don't use meters. A typical fare within the city should cost about DA200-500.
If you want to rent a car, be advised that you will need a lot of notice as they are in short supply (traffic can also be challenging). Prices start at DA3,000 per day.
You'll find independent local boutiques and artisan stores along the rue Didouche Mourad. For local markets and shops, look to the old city.
Ardis and Galaxy supermarkets can be found in town. A quart of milk costs about DA121.50, while a dozen eggs costs about DA130.
Enjoy local cuisine in upscale style at Le Caïd, where main dishes start at DA24,000. For cheap eats while you're exploring the Casbah, try the Cafe-Restaurant El Salam, where meals start at DA400.