Algeria - Top Tips

Super Seven


Tipasa Ancient Ruins


A 1 hour drive west along the coast from Algiers and you'll reach the roman ruin site of Tipaza. Located directly on the Mediterranean Sea, you can see why this has been prime real estate over the years, having fallen under the rule of the Romans, Byzantines, and early Christians. The ruins are quite impressive given the age, but obviously appreciated more by those with an interest in history. I would recommend getting a historical guide from the entry desk regardless.


Monument of the Martyr


This monument is erected high up on the site of an ancient military fort, so you can see it from many vantage points across the city. The large monument is made of concrete and is in the shape of 3 standing palm trees, which protect the eternal flame in the centre point. The monument is to commemorate the Algerian War of Independence and opened in 1982 on the 20th anniversary of this date.


Botanical Garden El Hamma I was really impressed with the Botanical Garden of El-Hamma, as I really wasn't expecting a garden of such beauty. There's fountains, palm trees, colourful flowers, and a real community feel around the 32 hectare complex. The garden was established in 1832, but was then closed for a lengthy 8 year restoration period in 2001. You can also get a nice view of the Martyr Monument from the garden as it's located high up on the neighbouring hill.


Basilique Notre Dam d'Afrique


Perhaps the most iconic landmark of the city of Algiers is Basilique Notre Dam d'Afrique, which is a catholic basilica that was opened in 1872. The cathedral is a Neo-byzatine style and had 46 stained glass windows installed in the 19th century, although these were later blown out during WWII, before being replaced. The location fo the basilica is on the north side of Algiers and offers a great view across the Bay of Algiers. Overall, a beautiful building with impressive architecture both inside and out.


Algiers City Tour


The capital of Algiers is a great city to wander round. It's a big city though, so you'll ideally need to use taxi or public transport to travel between the different districts. The Kasbah of Algiers was a very interesting area to check out. It's basically the remains of the old citadel area, has a great community feel so perfect to integrate with locals, and also has UNESCO status. Worth strolling along Rue Didouche Mourad starting at the Grande Post Office and finishing with a tour of the Great Mosque of Algiers.


Annaba


A great alternative city to explore in Algeria is Annaba. You can catch a 1 hour flight from Algiers to head east along the coast. Basilica St. Augustin and the surrounding ruins should definitely be your first stop, followed by taking a walk along the coastal cliffs for some stunning views. Bone War Cemetery is also a nice area to stroll around as there's an adjoined public park and a children's amusement area. The flight schedule enables you to do this as a day trip for those visiting Algiers and short on time.


Sidi Fredj


A 30 minute drive west of Algiers and you can reach the coastal town of Sidi Fredj. This is a nice waterfront town to take a stroll around the marina area, perch yourself in a cafe and people watch. Also spot of historical importance as the French used this town as their landing point for the invasion in 1830.


Accommodation Advice


I chose to stay at ST Hotel in the centre of Algiers. It's a pretty basic hotel on the whole with small standard rooms, but the location is great to use as a base and it's low-cost. An added bonus is that the staff are extremely helpful with providing local guides, drivers, and even booking internal flights. There's definitely more upmarket hotels, but sometimes a personal touch from the staff goes a long way.


Food Factor


Firstly, I was surprised by the number of high-end cuisine options in Algiers. There's food options from so many corners of the world, which means you're definitely not going to struggle finding decent food. Restaurant Le Tyrolien stood out for me. It's a locally run barbecue steakhouse located on Rue Khaled Khaldoune, which is competitively priced and has dozens of top reviews.


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