Earth : Africa : North Africa : Algeria : Central Algeria : Algiers
Algiers (الجزائر) is the capital of Algeria.
Algiers is the capital city of Algeria in North Africa. Algiers is located on a bay of the Mediterranean Sea and is an important port. Algiers was first settled over 1000 years ago and has now grown to a large city with a metropolitan population of over 3 million. While downtown Algiers looks modern, the capital is struggling to keep up with rapid growth and standards of living for most of its population is very poor. Algiers has also been marred by violence in the past decade. A civil war which started in 1991 has destroyed much of the country. In recent times things have quietened down, yet two bombs exploded in the capital in December 2007. The bombings were linked to al-Qaeda. Algiers is known locally as El-Djazaïr and the residents speak Berber, Arabic and French.
Travel to Algiers Algiers is not a tourist hotspot and the US State Department warns against travel to certain parts of the country. In Algiers, most of the interesting sights are in the old part of the city known as the Casbah or Medina. The travelers that do make it to Algiers are impressed with the very friendly and hospitable people. The old French buildings, the promenade along the seafront and the food also get good ratings.
The airport is the home base of the flag-carrier Air Algerie .
Air Algerie serves the most important Algerian cities (such as Oran, Annaba, Tammanrasset, Skikda, Tlemcen, Constantine) several times daily. There also many connections to African capitals such as Bamako, Cairo, Abidjan, Dakar, Tunis, and Ouagadougo.
Air Algerie operates from Hall 1 as Hall 2 is reserved for the international airlines.
Algiers Central Train Station is located near the city centre. The station offers regular services to major Algerian cities such as Oran, Annaba, and Constantine. SNTF (the national Algerian Train company) has made big improvements during the last years: new air-conditioned trains have been purchased and new routes launched.
Being the capital of the country most, if not all major roadways in Algeria begin and end in Algiers. So getting into Algiers is quite easy. However, the infrastructure of Algerian roadways is not highly regarded so arriving by road might not be the most desirable option. There are a number of road projects around the country that are aimed at improving the infrastructure, most notably the East-West highway running from Annaba in the east to Oran in the west, of course coming through Algiers.
La Gare Routiere, Algiers's central bus terminus, located in the commune of Hussein Dey (about 7-10 min drive from downtown), offers a plethora of bus services to most major Algerian cities and towns. It is a very cheap and efficient way to get to/from a pair of Algerian cities. Most of the coaches used are modern and air-conditioned so the rides are, more often than not, comfortable. However, there are a few old coaches still in service, so try to avoid those, for the ride won't be as pleasant.
For long distances as Algiers-Tammanrasset or Algiers-Annaba travelling by plane is recommend due the long duration.
They are regular ferry services to Algiers from Marseille, Nice, Palermo, Alicante .
Algiers Public Transportation is lacking but the city is going to make improvements with the opening of the long-delayed first Metro line: there are buses opereating within the city center and to the suburbs.
After more than three decades of construction (or lack of it) the first segment of Algiers Metro finaly opened on November 1, 2011. Line 1 services ten stations from Tafourah Grande Poste just south of Gare d'Alger, the central railway station, in the city centre to Haï El Badr with stops along several of the most important places in the city.
Taxis are a fast and cheap way to get around in Algiers. They can be found at taxi stands but negotiate the price before riding. A tip is not expected but can be given if the sevice was really good.
Buses are operating within the city center and to the suburbs: tickets are purchased on the bus for 20 dinar. A man with a bundle of tickets comes to you.
The Casbah is the ancient city, dating to the 17th century. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.