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Algeria

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Hilton Alger
Hilton Alger - dream vacation

Pins Maritimes, El MohammadiaAlgiers

Ibis Alger Aeroport
Ibis Alger Aeroport - dream vacation

Route de l\'universiteAlgiers

Mercure Grand Hotel Alger Aeroport
Mercure Grand Hotel Alger Aeroport - dream vacation

Route de l\'université BP 12 - Cité 5 juilletAlgiers

Best Western Hotel Colombe
Best Western Hotel Colombe - dream vacation

06 Bd, Zabour Larbi Hai Khaldia Ex DelmonteOran

Hotel El-Djazair
Hotel El-Djazair - dream vacation

24 Avenue Souldani BoudjemmaAlgiers

Sheraton Oran Hotel & Towers
Sheraton Oran Hotel & Towers - dream vacation

Route des Falaises Avenue Canastel SeddikiaOran

Algeria (Arabic: ???????) is an Arab and Berber country in North Africa. It has a Mediterranean Sea coastline in the north. It is surrounded by Morocco to the northwest, Tunisia to the northeast, Libya to the east, Niger to the southeast, Mali to the southwest, Mauritania and Western Sahara to the west. After the secession of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011, Algeria became the largest country in Africa. It is also the most developed country in continental Africa according to the United Nations' Human Development Index.

Regions

Cities

  • Algiers — With nearly 3 million inhabitants, Algiers is the capital of Algeria, and the nation's political and cultural center.
  • Annaba — A town with 200,000 inhabitants in the east of the country next to the border of Tunisia.
  • Batna
  • Bechar — Small city in the Sahara, not far from the Moroccan border.
  • Constantine - Algeria's 3rd largest city with a canyon going down through it.
  • Oran — Algeria's 2nd largest city after Algiers, also called "second Paris" by Algerians, with many impressive buildings from colonial times.
  • Sétif — Centre of the Kabyle with quite moderate temperatures and occasional snow falls in the winter.
  • Tamanrasset — Largest town in the south and starting point for expeditions to the Sahara and the Hoggar Mountains.
  • Timimoun — A small Saharan oasis town which makes a good base for trips to the desert.

Other destinations

  • 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 once an early center of Christianity with well preserved Roman baths and forum
  • The fantastic architecture of the M'zab Valley
  • Tassili N'Ajjer

Understand

Algeria had a long history of colonization by the French. It won its independence in the famous revolution of the First November 1954, quite a bloody war that left scars. In spite of the brutality of the fighting and French attempts to suppress the independence movement, Algeria and France still maintain close ties, with many Algerians and people of Algerian descent in France and French still commonly spoken as a second or third language in Algeria today.

Algeria's fantastic diversity of landscapes and extremely rich cultural legacy (boasting no less than 7 World Heritage sites), combined with its high level of economical and social development (at least, for African standards), could easily make it one of the most popular tourist spots of the entire Africa. Unfortunately, the country still has a number of security issues, such as activity of armed terrorist groups, often directed against foreigners.

Electricity

Officially, 220V 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 travelers should pack an adapter for these outlets if they plan to use North American electrical equipment in Algeria.

Get in

Entry requirements

Visas are required for most nationalities, except for citizens of Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Western Sahara, Seychelles, Tunisia and Yemen. Issue of a visa can take some time (1–2 weeks).

By plane

Most major European airlines such as (Lufthansa, Air Berlin, British Airways, Air France, Iberia, Alitalia, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines) fly daily to Algiers but there are also some long-haul routes such as (Beijing, Montreal, Doha)

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) or Frankfurt (Lufthansa).

The national airlines Air Algerie flies to many destinations in Europe especially France but also to some cities in Africa and the Middle East. All destinations served by Air Algerie from Algiers: Abijan, Alicante, Bamako, Barcelona, Brussels, Basel, Beijing, Beirut, Berlin, Cairo, Casablanca, Dakar, Damascus, Dubai, Frankfurt, Geneva, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Milan, Montreal, Moscow, Niamey, Paris, Rome, Tripoli, Tunis.

For more information about the Algiers airport check the official site Aéroport d'Alger .

By train

The Algerian train company is named SNTF 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 currently closed.

If you can, try to catch the newer trains as they are more comfortable and climate-controlled.

By car

The realistic and most secure way to reach Algeria by car is across the Tunisian border. The Mauritanian and Malian borders present some security problems, and the Moroccan border is closed. Note that, if you want to get into Algeria from Niger or from the Tozeur border post in southern Tunisia, you'll have to contract an official guide to accompany you across the Saharan routes; otherwise, police will not allow you to get into Algeria with your car.

There are no problems if you want to get into Algeria from the Tunisian border posts in the north. As of December 2016 the border to Morocco is still closed.

By boat

The prices are usually more expensive than flying so if you can and have no car take a plane. Most connections are offered by Algerie Ferries .

From/to Spain:

From/to France:

  • Marseille to almost every Algerian harbor (Annaba, Skikda, BejaiaJijelAlgiers, Oran)

From/to Italy:

  • Napoli to Tunis & take a road for 1 hour
  • Roma (Civitavecchia) to Tunis & take a road for 1 hour

Get around

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.

By plane

From Algiers you can reach almost every major Algerian city by plane, and it is highly recommended to take a flight when travelling longer routes and to Saharan cities. Houari Boumediene, in Algier, is the only modern airport in the country; the other airports are more like airfields and lacking infrastructure.

Air Algérie 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; airfares to smaller and Sahara ci: Applicants must provide with their application an invitation from their host in Algeria and notarised at the city hall of the place of residence of the Algerian host. The Embassy will not accept invitations faxed or sent separately.

Spouses of Algerian Citizens should submit a copy of the valid Consulate Registration Card of their spouse and a sponsorship letter signed by the Algerian spouse.

Return of passports: Applicants may pick up their passports at the Embassy or send a prepaid self-addressed envelope. The Embassy is not responsible for the lost or delays of document by the post office or other visa services.

Important:

- Complete documentation is required. Any incomplete documentation may extend the processing time or returned to applicant at cost. - Processing of an application may be delayed, if prior agreement by Algerian authorities is required. Furthermore, the Embassy reserves the right to request additional documentation from any applicant. It is not the responsibility of the Embassy if there is any delay in the processing of the visa application. - Applicants should make travel arrangements to Algeria based on the date of entry indicated on their visa. Applicants should not arrive in Algeria before that date; they will not be allowed to enter. In case of change in travel plans, applicants must obtain a new visa.

Cities tend to be pricier than between bigger cities (such as Oran to Algier). The airline uses Houari Boumediene Airport 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 Mesaoud, Bejaia, Ghrardaia, Tlemcen, Illizi, Djanet, Touggourt, and Béchar.

By taxi

It's usual to take a taxi to travel between near cities 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 30 DA per km regardless of what you are told. Tipping is not necessary but you can round up to the next 10 DA.

By car

The road network is well developed in the north, the Algerian government has made much improvements in the last years regarding road building, new highways were built to replace the already marod 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 running public transportation system, but could be sometimes useful to reach more remote areas. Keep in mind that driving habits are completely different compared to western norms and that 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 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 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.

Fuel is extremely cheap and will not cost more than 15 DA per litre.

By train

Algerian railways are operated by SNTF; the trains and lines are being modernised. Ten comfortable high-speed trains named Autorail were bought, two of them are in operation. 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.

Main Routes :

  • Algiers to Oran, the train takes 4 hours and departs each day at 15:00 from Algiers Central Station and arrives in Oran at 19:30, 2nd Class: DA 1 000, 1st Class: DA 1 500.
  • Algiers to Annaba, on this route there's a only a slow and less comfortable nighttrain, departing each day at 20:45 and taking all the night for the way to Annaba. As an alternative you can catch the daytrain to Constantine and take from there a cheap taxi to Annaba.
  • Algiers to Constantine departing each day at 06:45 and arriving in Constantine at 13:30, make sure that you get a window seat because the train will take you through the scenic kabilyan mountains and wonderful landscapes, 2nd Class: DA 1 200, 1st Class: DA 1 800.

See

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 woefully underdeveloped, despite excellent potential, owing to the country's poor security situation scaring off almost all tourists. But if you are in the country for a while, a bit of relaxation will at some point be in order, and there is no need to fly over to TunisiaOran (urban) on the Turquoise Coast, 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 then 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.

Do

Travel on camels in the Sahara desert. Locations:

  • South Algeria,Tassilli-National Park
  • Visit the Roman Ruins located in tipaza.

Talk

The official language is Arabic, but the Arabic spoken in the Maghreb Region (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) is quite different from the Arabic spoken in other parts of the Arab World, so don't be surprised if you don't understand anything said to you even if you are competent in standard Arabic. Algerian Arabic contains many French words.

All Algerians learn to speak standard Arabic in school, but it's not used as the main communication language; if you don't understand someone, ask just the person to speak standard Arabic (al-arabiyya al-fus'ha). Egyptian Arabic is also widely understood because of the popularity of Egyptian cinema.

French, the colonial language, is not the main communication language, but it is spoken and understood as algerian schools teach it starting from the second grade.

Berber is also spoken by many people in Algeria, mainly in rural areas, the largest of which is the historic Kabylie region, which includes large parts of central and Northeast Algeria, near the capital.

Generally, only the younger generations in Algeria can understand and speak some English (starting from the first year in high school, some students can speak and understand English very well), but most people are able to communicate in French.

Some common phrases in Algerian Arabic:

  • Washrak— How are you ?
  • Mlih — Good
  • Shukran — Thank you
  • Y'Semoni or wasamni .... — My Name is ....
  • Shehal — How much ? or how much it cost ?

Buy

Money

Algerian currency is the Algerian dinar, denoted by the symbol "?.?" 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 that 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 - it could be hard to find a bank that exchanges less common currencies.

A better exchange rate can usually be found by exchanging money through unofficial money changers on street corners. There are locations where this is incredibly common practice. The exchange rate offered is generally greatly 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 6 numbers is necessary just enter two zeros before your pin. A lot of 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 a very cash-based society and most establishments won't accept credit cards. Some hotels do (in particular larger establishments), but a number don't. Bringing a large supply of Euro in cash can result in much cheaper travels by taking advantage of the much better exchange rates offered by the unofficial exchange market as mentioned above.

Costs

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.

Eat

See also: North African cuisine

Algerian food is delicious. Note that some French dishes are variations from it.

  • 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

Desserts and snacks

  • Qalb El Louz (dessert containing almonds)
  • Baklawa (almond cakes drenched in honey)
  • Ktayef (a kind of baked vermicelli, filled with almonds and drenched in sugar, syrup, and honey)

Drink

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.

Non alcoholic

  • Mediterranean juices (grenadine, orange)
  • Very sweet green tea
  • Strong coffee

Sleep

For housing, it really is not difficult, as there are luxury hotels and cheap ones throughout the country. The price of a beautiful deluxe room for a couple costs between €150 and €250 per day, as there are rooms from €10 to €45 for low budget tourists. It should be noted that many services are available in luxury hotels, such as the cafeteria, bar, restaurant, nightclub, pool. In addition it should be noted that during the summer season 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 pieces, 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 uses the site on the Internet ads, bids are sometimes interesting and even opportunities to be missed, but it is always best to send a loved one to visit the place before paying money to the deal. 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. This is the second source the hottest in the world after the geyser in Iceland. The price, depending on the number of rooms in the bungalow, varies between 1500 and 3000  DA per day.

Learn

The safest way and most friendly to learn is to get closer to a small circle of people and listen. There is also a tradition of oral transmission of knowledge. It is also good to be open to others and not to refuse what they offer: accept it willingly.

also, language courses are available in all large cities, they offer mainly french and english.

Work

Despite high unemployment 'generally who stopped going to school', the government encourages foreign investment in different sectors. Unemployment is, however, one major problem in Algeria. In fact, it is very difficult to identify the phenomenon in the absence of a real substantive work, able to give an exact idea of the exact extent of the phenomenon. What we know, for cons, is that the informal economy and undeclared work occupies a vast majority of Algerians and spares no industry. Some sources estimate that about 40% of the part played by the informal sector in the country's economic activity, and the phenomenon has never been considered in the evaluation of the unemployment rate in Algeria.

Stay safe

Terrorism is highly active in the south of Algeria.

Do not travel after nightfall; travel by plane if you can, instead of by car; 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.

Stay healthy

Algiers is sometimes struck by localised power cuts, 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 'not in familial restaurants'.

Mosquitoes are also a problem in Algeria, but they are just a nuisance, as malaria is not common 'they don't transport diseases'. In urban areas, there is periodic city-wide spraying against mosquitoes.

Do not expect very good water quality, for drinking you can buy bottles of water instead of drinking tap water, they are cheap at DA 30 for 2L, so 5L of good water costs less than US$1.

Respect

As in all of North Africa, the dominant religion in Algeria is Islam, and appropriate religious prohibitions and attitudes should be in order. If visiting a mosque, for example, be sure to be dressed conservatively and remove your shoes before entering it. Alcohol policy is not the same all over the country, with some cities prohibiting bars and/or liquor stores. Keep in mind to drink only at home or in a bar; never in public.

Also, given the ongoing political strife, talking politics is not advisable.

Smoking

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. It is also culturally unacceptable for women to smoke, and women who do so are stigmatized.

If you are a European non-smoker, you will still find it unpleasant in many public places because of smoking.

Connect

Mobile phone connections

There are 3 main mobile services in Algeria - Mobilis, Djezzy and Ooredoo "Nedjma before". It is easy to procure a pre-paid sim card for one of these operators at any airport. Mobilis offers a pre-paid card for DA 200 which includes DA 100 in calling credit. 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 (soon everywhere) by all carriers .

Internet Connection

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 1600 DA to 7200 DA respectively, Also 4G LTE is available but speeds are very slow and service is not very good in rural areas.


Exercise a high degree of caution; see also regional advisories.

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.

Increased threat of attacks and kidnappings

In 2013, the French military assisted the Malian government in efforts to repel armed rebels. Terrorist groups in the region declared their intention to increase attacks and kidnappings targeting Westerners. While the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali has been supporting the transitional authorities in stabilizing the region since July 2013, citizens of countries supporting the intervention are still at particular risk, but all travellers should exercise increased vigilance in the region.

On January 16, 2013, terrorists attacked a Western oil operation in the region of In Amenas in the Sahara desert in order to take foreigners hostage. An estimated 37 hostages were killed in the attack. Canadian companies who are operating in remote areas of the wilayas of Adrar, Béjaïa, Bouïra, Boumerdès, El Oued, Illizi, Ouargla, Tamanrasset, Tébessa, Tindouf, and Tizi Ouzou should advise their employees to register with our Registration of Canadians Abroad service and closely follow the messages of the Embassy of Canada in Algeria.

Travel outside major urban centres in Algeria (see Advisory)

Terrorism-related incidents and counter-insurgency operations occur regularly in the Kabylia region. Terrorist attacks, banditry and kidnappings have taken place in these areas. The security situation remains fragile and unpredictable. The threat of terrorism-related violence, including the use of improvised explosive devices, is high in the Kabylia region, and moderate in other areas of the country. While Algerian security forces are the primary target in most terrorist attacks, some attacks have resulted in the death or injury of civilians. Monitor developments and follow the advice of local authorities.

Banditry and kidnappings have also taken place in outlying areas of Algeria. Monitor developments and follow the advice of local authorities.

Terrorism

Algerian authorities have succeeded in reducing, but not eliminating, terrorism-related violence over the last decade. Terrorism-related incidents, causing deaths and injuries, occur regularly, particularly in the Kabylia region southeast of Algiers, but also elsewhere in the north of the country. Algerian security forces are usually the primary target; however, other interests have also been targeted. The security situation continues to be unstable, and a number of planned incidents have been thwarted by authorities. While urban centres are reported to be more secure than heavily wooded and mountainous rural areas, there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Exercise a high degree of personal security awareness at all times, monitor news reports, follow the advice of local authorities and remain in contact with the Embassy of Canada in Algiers.

Crime

Petty crime, including pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, especially in downtown Algiers. Keep all electronic devices concealed and avoid showing signs of affluence.

Avoid unknown areas of cities and towns, especially at night, as robbery and/or physical attacks are persistent threats. Avoid walking in the Casbah area without a local guide. Other areas to avoid at night include Bachdjarah, Belcourt and Bab el Oued.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations relating to social and economic grievances are commonplace in Algeria and have multiplied since the beginning of 2011. Public protests occur countrywide, including in Algiers, despite a ban on public gatherings in the capital. Security forces respond swiftly, at times resorting to tear gas.  Most demonstrations do not have a significant impact on the security situation, although they can result in disruptions to traffic and public transportation. There have been incidents of unrest that have led to injuries, property damage, and limited deaths. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.

Women's safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to certain forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Consult our publication entitled Her Own Way: A Woman’s Safe-Travel Guide for travel safety information specifically aimed at Canadian women.

Driving

Road conditions can be poor outside of Algiers and signposts are rare. Rent a car with a driver rather than driving yourself. Traffic can be very congested, especially in large urban centres, and speeding and poor driving habits are prevalent. Traffic-related accidents have injured and killed a large number of people.

Lock all belongings in the trunk and keep doors locked at all times. Park your car in a guarded parking lot.

Checkpoints are set up on the main roads heading into and out of larger cities as well as throughout Algiers.

Random terrorist or bandit roadblocks mean that all travellers, including foreigners, in rural Algeria are at risk of injury, robbery, kidnapping or murder. Be extremely vigilant at roadblocks and stop only for police in official uniforms.

Public transportation

Avoid using public transportation, including taxis, between the airport and the city centre, especially after dark. Make arrangements in advance to be picked up and dropped off at the airport by your hosts or by hotel shuttles.

Avoid buses and trains completely as driving is generally hazardous and both have been targeted by terrorists and bandits.

Taxis are not recommended as they generally service only the city centre and are not always available, especially late at night or at peak hours. Also, they are not dispatched to pick up single clients – they follow a standard route and pick up many clients going in the same direction.

Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards. 

Desert travel

Use a reputable tour operator, accompanied by a professional guide, and obtain permission from the Algerian authorities if you are planning on travelling to the Sahara despite the warning that is in effect (see Advisory). You should also register with the Embassy of Canada in Algiers and contact the Embassy for information and advice.

In the Sahara, the extreme climate, the lack of water and infrastructure, and the visibility of Algeria's petroleum and gas industry (which is well guarded by both the Algerian military and private security services) create a different security environment. Tours organized by reputable tour operators in the region are considered safer; however, the risk of groups being targeted by terrorists and bandits always exists. An Italian citizen was kidnapped in Djanet, in the wilaya of Illizi, close to the Libyan border, on February 2, 2011.

General safety information

Remain vigilant at all times. You should be briefed on hotel security measures on arrival. Retain your hotel key at all times.

Limit travel on foot, especially at night.

Security forces are present throughout the country on roads, at the airport, and in front of government buildings. Fully cooperate with security personnel at all times.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Polio

There is a risk of polio in this country. Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up-to-date.

Rabies

Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from a rabid animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers’ diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in North Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in North Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis is caused by blood flukes (tiny worms) spread to humans through contaminated water. The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in contaminated water. There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in North Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Leishmaniasis, cutaneous and mucosal

Cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis causes skin sores and ulcers. It is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a female sandfly. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from sandfly bites, which typically occur after sunset in rural and forested areas and in some urban centres. There is no vaccine available for leishmaniasis.


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a limited risk of malaria in this country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in North Africa, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Medical services are adequate in large urban centres, though private clinics tend to be better equipped. Outside of major centres, medical facilities are poor to non-existent. Doctors and hospitals usually expect immediate cash payment for their services.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

The general work week is from Sunday to Thursday. State institutions work Saturday to Wednesday.

An International Driving Permit is recommended.

Illegal or restricted activities

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect detention or other penalties.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized, which may limit the ability of Canadian officials to provide consular services. You should travel using your Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times. Consult our publication entitled Dual Citizenship: What You Need to Know for more information.

Under Algerian law, men under the age of 35 must complete their military service. There have been cases of Canadian citizens who also have Algerian citizenship being refused permission to leave the country because they did not possess a card exempting them from military service, a deferment card, or evidence that they have completed their military service. While the Embassy of Canada will attempt to help individuals in this situation, they are considered to be Algerian citizens by Algerian authorities.

Dress and behaviour

Islamic practices and beliefs are closely adhered to in the country’s customs, laws and regulations. Dress conservatively, behave discreetly, and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. It would be prudent for women to cover their arms and legs and wear a headscarf.

Money

The currency is the Algerian dinar (DZD), which is non-convertible. Convert any excess currency prior to departure from Algeria. Cash is the preferred method of payment in Algeria. Traveller's cheques and credit cards are not accepted outside of major hotels and some business establishments such as airline companies. Automated banking machines (ABMs) are available in a few major hotels and banks, although they are often unreliable.

Climate

Algeria is located in an active seismic zone.

Seasonal rains can cause flooding.

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