Algiers sits enthroned, overlooking one of the most beautiful coasts in the Mediterranean, stretching from east to west along a sickle-shaped bay. With your back to the sea, you can observe its architecture from another era and, if you close your eyes for a moment, the magic will begin.
Legend has it that in the distant past, 20 of Hercules’ companions sailed into the bay of Algiers and decided to stay. And Algiers was born!
Capital of Algeria, “Algiers the White" is an ancient city that has captivated all the peoples of the Mediterranean with its charm and riches. Over the centuries this exceptional location has passed from hand to hand, starting as a Phoenician commercial outpost, then coming under Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and finally Berber rule. Successive civilizations have moulded a city that bears witness to long-gone cultures, but one that is also cosmopolitan, colourful and alive.
Algiers, the eternal... Viewed from the sky or the sea, the city lies bare, unveiling the architectural wealth it has acquired throughout its history. Gazing at the waterfront, it is easy to pick out the buildings with their arcades so characteristic of the nineteenth century. The grand boulevard running through the city is a vestige of the colonial period, lending it the air of a great metropolis. The colonial buildings are many and varied in style: neo-Moorish, art deco, Haussmann ... But as you delve deeper into the city through narrow streets, there are many more historical treasures to be found.
Past the waterfront, to the east of the city you will discover the fabulous Botanical Garden of Hamma, created in 1838. Reputed to be one of the finest gardens in the world with its 3,000 plant species, it is a breath of oxygen for Algiers, offering a magical vista with a profusion of colours. Above it stands the remarkable Martyr Memorial, 93 meters high, erected for the twentieth anniversary of Algerian Independence (1982).
From the garden, looking westward, you can see the Kasbah, the old city of Algiers. You will have to climb the stairs so typical of this city to explore the ups and downs of its narrow streets, ranging in height by 120 meters. It is hardly surprising that this area has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, everything here is a pretext to lose yourself: the traditional houses of the Zirid period, palaces, hammams...
This great capital city is so close geographically and its history is so closely tied to that of France, but paradoxically Algiers is still largely unknown. Yet Algiers is one of the most welcoming cities and the hospitality of its inhabitants is limitless. Visiting Algiers is above all a human experience, to be discovered at any moment, turning into a side street, in a shop or a taxi.
Sites & monuments
- The Basilica of Our Lady of Africa
- The Grand Post Office
- Maqam Echahid (Martyrs Memorial)
- Bastion 23
- Sidi Fredj Port
- Jamaa Kebir Mosque
- Tamentfoust Castle
- Jamaa El Jedid Mosque
- Hamma Botanical Gardens
- May: International cultural festival of Arabic calligraphy
- June: International Festival of Literature and Children’s Books
- July: "Diwan" International Music Festival
- October: International Festival of Comics of Algeria
- November: "Samaa Sufi" International Music Festival
- December: Algiers International Film Festival
Visit the Tipasa archaeological site: Endowed with Roman, Phoenician, paleo-Christian and Byzantine remains, Tipasa is a fine example of the wealth of ancient cities. Enjoy a magnificent view of the sea as you travel back in time.
A traditional lunch in a house in the Casbah: eating in one of the houses in the historic centre of Algiers is an excellent way to meet the local population and experience local culture!
- Chorba: soup made from mutton and vegetables, with variations (Chorba Frik, Chorba Beida).
- Bourek: roll of thin Brik pastry stuffed with meat and other vegetables / spices.
- Couscous: unique, traditional dish with semolina and vegetables.
- Méchoui: lamb roasted on a spit, usually for important events.
- Rechta Algiers: semolina noodles and chicken, one of the local specialties.
Pastries and cakes
- Makrout: honey pastries, with dates and semolina.
- Chakchoukha: mixture of tomatoes, peppers and onions (sometimes with eggs and red pepper).
- Kalb el Louz: semolina cake, with different spices.
- Dziriettes: tartlets with almond stuffing, honey, lemon peel and orange blossom.
- Kesra: made of semolina, olive oil, salt and water.
- Kohbz: homemade bread.
- Water: opt for mineral water to avoid any unpleasant surprises with tap water.
- Refreshing non-alcoholic drinks: Hamoud Boualem or Ifri for local brands.
- Wines and Spirits: White, Red and Rosé (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, El maoui, Farhana...)
- Coffees and Teas.