Algiers Travel Guide
Introduction in Algiers
Sitting on the Mediterranean Sea, the capital city of Algiers is where you’ll start your Algerian adventure. Unlike some African cities, though, you won’t be merely passing through this place on your way in and out of the country, as the cultural and historical heritage found here will have you spending a fair amount of time in this bustling city.
Cultural Attractions in Algiers
Start your time off in the capital city of Algeria by checking out the Kasbah of Algiers. The name refers to the citadel that encloses the Old City of Algiers, which was built after the Ottoman conquest of the city.
Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its mosques, palaces, city walls, Arabic architecture, and its mysterious but colourful alleyways, it is a place where you can get happily lost in for hours on end.
While you should definitely check out the Museum of Antiquities recommended in the country guide for Algeria, also make time for Musee National du Bardo. Situated inside a small Moorish palace, it contains a number of artifacts that shed light on Algerian culture, which has existed for thousands of years.
While there are pieces in here that date from the Neolithic era, many also come here to see the building itself. Boasting beautiful Moorish architecture, there are signs that explain what function each room had for its owners, making it a great place to kill a few hours.
Algeria and the city of Algiers are majority Muslim, but it also home to minority community of Christians. The history of the religion here dates back to the days of the Roman Empire when early variants of the religion were brought over from Rome.
While virtually all churches from that era have been reduced to rubble by the ravages of time, the country is still home to some beautiful Christian halls of worship. Notre Dame d’Afrique is the best example of this within the city of Algiers, as this Roman Catholic cathedral was built in the 19th century in the Byzantine Revival style.
While its spectacular exterior makes it a great photographic subject, head inside to check out its stained glass windows as well.
Other Attractions in Algiers
Like much of the rest of Africa, the middle of the 20th century was a fractious time in Algeria, as European colonial powers were busy wrestling with rebel leaders in their African territories, as they were determined to rule themselves.
Algeria was one of those countries, as they wanted France to grant them their independence. The French weren’t willing to do so, inevitably leading to the outbreak of the Algerian civil war. The Memorial du Martyr was unveiled on the 20th anniversary of the end of the war, as it was from this day when Algerians were free to control their own destiny.
A commanding presence at just over 300 feet high, this imposing concrete structure is fashioned to resemble three giant palm leaves, which act to protect the Eternal Flame (the memorial to those killed in the war) that burns beneath it.
While many buildings found in Algiers are built in various Arabic styles common to North Africa, there are some structures that remain from the French colonial area. La Grande Poste d’Alger is the best example of this, as this former post office was constructed in the neo-Moorish style. Effectively the symbol of French power in the country, a large number of demonstrations took place here during the civil war.
Its exterior and grand interior will impress anyone who is a fan of breathtaking buildings, so don’t forget to take your camera when you head over to get this place out.
Looking to get away from the chaos that can sometimes reign on the streets of Algiers? Spend some time walking through the expansive green space that can be found at the Jardin d’Essai du Hamma. Established in 1832 by colonial official Pierre Genty De Bussy, this humble garden grew to eventually become a 140-acre botanical garden where the French and the Algerians test grew many plants over the years.
With over 1,200 species within the park, you’ll get an idea of what can grow in this country, all while relaxing in lush surroundings.