Area : 2381741.0 km2
Population : 32500000 inhabitants
Jet Lag : +1h
London-Algiers (1029 miles): 2 hrs and 45 mins.
The Houari Boumediene International Airport lies 12 miles away from downtown Algiers (30 min drive). Regular, wheezing and overcrowded buses carry passengers to the town centre. So far, although security conditions seem to have improved slightly, we prefer to remain cautious and advice against taking these buses. It is preferable to arrange with the hotel or tour operator for a private vehicle to pick you up or use a taxi. Prepare from 300 to 350 dinars to hire a car in the daytime and close to 500 dinars at night.
Although it is generally safe to move around Algeria, the aftermath of the French intervention in Mali has seen an increased threat of retaliatory attacks. The most recent serious terrorist attack took place on 16 January 2013 at a gas installation near the town of In Amenas near the Algerian border with Libya. Avoid travelling at night outside the major cities.
FCO Update: The FCO advises against all travel to areas within: 450km of the Mali and Niger borders, with the exception of Tindouf town and Tamanrasset city, 100km of the Mauritania border, 100km of the Libya and Tunisia borders south of the town of Souk Ahras.
The FCO also advises against all but essential travel to: Tamanrasset city, In Amenas, Tindouf town, the provinces of Boumerdès, Bouira and Tizi Ouzou east of Algiers. When travelling to In Amenas or Tamanrasset city, you should do so by air.
To prepare your trip, it is preferable to contact a serious tour operator.
Otherwise, book a taxi in advance or hire a car from the airport through the services of your hotel. For accommodation, opt for one of the secure hotels where entry is filtered.
At Algiers: El Djazair, Aurassi, Sofitel, Hôtel International, Sheraton (far from town) and Mercure.
At Oran: the Phénix.
A Annaba: the Seybouse.
A Constantine: the Cyrta.
For the latest developments, see the FCO Travel Advice section for Algeria.
Arabic. French is the second language used. The Berber languare is spoken by 25% of the population.
A passport, a visa and a return ticket are mandatory. For tourist visas, bring a housing certificate or a certified document from the travel agency, or a certificate from your hotel reservation, as well as a revenue justification.
Islam (Sunni) is the state religion. Christian and Jewish minorities.
The currency is the Algerian dinar (DZD). £1 = approx. 113 DZD. Currency exchange transactions are very closely monitored. Visitors are required to change the equivalent of 1,000 dinars upon arrival. An official form must be used for all transactions and handed back to customs on departure. With the exception of major hotels and a few shops, credit cards are not accepted. Bring sterling pounds in cash and travellers cheques. Bank opening hours: from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, Sunday to Thursday.
Road transportation is strongly inadvisable for long distances. It is preferable to limit oneself to the main highways and to travel by day only. The risk of false road blocks mounted by armed groups remains persistent on the most widely-used roads.
Transportation by train is inadvisable, slow and very risky. Attacks with knives and daggers are not rare.
The domestic airline network is dense.
No vaccine is required. It is however recommended to be up to date with the following vaccines: yellow fever, tetanus, polio, diphtheria, typhoid, hepatitises A and B.
Swimming on the coast, in particular near urban areas is unadvised.
Avoid drinking tap water and eating raw vegetables and food.
Voltage is 220 V.
Marked prices include taxes. It is custom to leave tips in restaurants and for hotel staff. Baksheesh and tourist harassment practices are much less intrusive than in the rest of the Maghreb region.
To phone Algeria from UK, dial 00 213 + country code (Algiers: 21 ; Boumerdes : 24 ; Blida : 25 ; Tamanrasset : 29 ; Constantine : 31 ; Biskra : 33 ; Setif : 36 ; Annaba : 38 ; Oran : 41 ; Bechar : 49) + the 6-digit number of your correspondent.
To call the UK from Algeria, dial 00 44 + the number of your correspondent without the initial 0.
Mobile phones are widely used in Algeria. There are actually three operators.
54, Holland Park London W11 3RS.
Telephone:44 020 7221 7800 01 53 93 20 20.
Fax :44 020 7221 0448 . 01 42 25 10 25.
For information, contact the Cultural Service.
Consulate of Algeria (contact for visas)
6, Hyde Park Gate London SW7 5EW.
Telephone:44 (0)20 7589 6885. 01 53 72 07 07.
Fax :44 (0)20 7589 7725. 01 53 72 07 14.
01 45 54 95 31.
National Tourism Authority of Algeria
2, Rue Smaïl Kerrar
Telephone: (213) (21) 71 29 81 (at 84).
Fax :(213) (21) 71 29 85. (213) (21) 71 29 85.
British Embassy and Consulate
12 Rue Slimane Amirat (Ex Lucien Reynaud) Hydra, 1600 Algiers.
Telephone:(213) 21 23 00 68. (213) (21) 69 24 88.
Fax :(213) 21 23 00 67. (213) (21) 69 13 69.
(213) (21) 69 37 37.
(213) (21) 69 17 67.