Algeria, Africa - Stein Travel
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Algeria is not generally considered to be a tourist destination and despite a gradual decline in violence between the 1990s and now, there has been an increase over the last four years in attacks directed specifically at foreigners. A copycat Al-Qaeda organisation has orchestrated violent attacks on UN workers and Americans in particular. That said, for those who can't avoid travel to the region, Algeria is not short on sightseeing opportunities.

The capital city of Algiers, sitting on the northern coastline, is a growing metropolis. Once a strategic point of entry for would be conquerors from Europe and the Middle East, it now welcomes the presence of multi-nationals such as Carrefour and Quick. Historically the most popular remnant of battles waged on the city's coast is the Cashbah, the labyrinth citadel (now a world heritage site) which was first built in 1660. Also along the coast is Tipasa, a pleasant seaside village which holds some spectacular Roman ruins. Timgad, which is further south, holds North Africa's most extensive and best preserved Roman Ruins.

Typically Mediterranean in climate, Algeria has warm sandy beaches, particularly around Oran, a popular tourist destination in the summer months. The infamous Sahara Desert begins right where the coast ends, rocky at first, elevating over the vast Haut Plateaux (High Plateaus) before becoming untold miles of sand and sun. In the far south of Algeria is the Hoggar mountain region which holds the nation's highest peak, the Tahat Mountian, and caverns of rock paintings dating back to the time of the Berbers, over 10,000 years ago.

Information & Facts


Pleasantries are considered essential to business dealings in Algeria. Ask after one another's health and demeanour. Do not back out of a handshake too hastily. Closeness is an expression of warmth and familiarity to Algerians. Business cards are used, if possible though, have them translated to Arabic and/or French.


Algeria holds all the hallmarks of a Mediterranean climate. Warm but wet in the winter along the coast while extremely cold on the higher plateau. Summers are dry along the coast and downright arid as you progress inland. The hot sirocco wind can make for an unpleasant summer.


The international access code for Algeria is +213. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the code.


Being a predominantly Islamic state, visitors would do well to familiarise themselves with the religion before going to Algeria. Holy months and days mean businesses are often closed for lengthy periods. It is advisable not to travel there during the holy month of Ramadan. Homosexual activity is illegal and punishable by imprisonment. Women are expected to dress conservatively and no smoking is allowed in public. Drinking of alcohol is also frowned upon though some locals might partake. Photographing of police or military personnel or establishments is strictly prohibited.

Duty Free

Travellers are allowed to import 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, half a litre of Eau de Cologne and 150ml of perfume in opened bottles and 1 litre of alcoholic beverages per person. Travellers may export an unlimited amount of tobacco products. Narcotics, firearms and gold are strictly prohibited.


Electrical current in Algeria is 230 volts, 50Hz. European 2-pin and 'Schuko' plugs are standard.


Travellers visiting Algeria should be aware of the risk of malaria and the use of mosquito nets and repellent will help reduce the risk of contracting the disease. Travellers should also make sure they receive a booster hepatitis A vaccine before travelling to Algeria. A tetanus booster vaccine is also recommended and rabies occurs in some parts of the country so travellers coming into contact with wild animals should be cautious. HIV/AIDS is also prevalent throughout the country.


Arabic and Berber are the official languages in Algeria. English and French are used in some government departments and media.


The unit of currency is the Algeria Dinar (DZD), which is divided into 100 centimes.

Passport Visa

Passport must be valid for at least six months after intended stay. Visas are required for all visitors except when in transit and spending less than 24 hours without leaving the airport. A transit visa for up to 48 hours can be obtained from airport authorities. Visitors may be required to produce return/onward tickets, other documents for next destination and proof of sufficient funds.


Algeria's president has lifted the two-decade state of emergency, however this is widely believed to be an attempt to pacify growing unrest within the country. Travellers to Algeria should always be vigilant and check with their tour operator or travel agent before embarking. Long trips should be avoided as well as crowds and protests. Terrorism is a big problem in Algeria, taking the form of kidnappings, bombings and cross-country ambushes.


Local time in Algeria is GMT +1.


A 10% tip is expected but may be factored into the price at more upmarket venues.

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