Algiers is the capital city of Algeria in North Africa. It is a coastal city and an important port in the Mediterranean. Flights into Algiers arrive in Houari Boumediene Airport (ALG), which is around 20km to the south east of the city. Visitors tend to flock to the old part of the city known as the Casbah.
Algiers car hire is one of the best ways to see the city. You can pick up your vehicle at the airport. However, you should check the FCO's advice about local regulations before you book.
The people of the Casbah region of the city are renowned for their hospitality and welcome visitors with open arms. It is believed that the area was first settled around 1000 years ago and there are plenty of historical sites and museums to be explored.
Algerian Arabic, known as Darja, is the official language of the country although French is widely spoken. Clues the country's connection to France are evident everywhere and particularly in the Musse National Moudjahid. This fascinating museum explores the French occupation and charts the country's rise to independence in the 1960s.
The Mosque and Tomb of Sidi Boumediene is located just outside the capital in an area known as Tlemcen. It is one of the country's most beautiful buildings and attracts many visitors. Sidi Boumediene was a 12th-century mystic and poet and was very significant in Algerian history. Indeed, the president at the time of the country's independence took the name Boumediene and it is after him that the airport was named.
There are also a number of Roman ruins to be explored, including Timgad in the Aurrs Mountains about 35km east of Batna. Remains of an ancient Roman fort dating back to the 3rd century AD can found at Tiddis. Algiers is a fantastic place for those interested in Roman architecture as there are so many brilliantly preserved sites. Lambbse Tazoult was founded by the Roman military at the time of Hadrian and one of his speeches is inscribed on a pillar and can be viewed to this day.
However, arguably the most impressive ruins can be found at Djjmilia. These ruins became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 and are the remarkably well-preserved remains of a first-century Roman settlement. They include theatres, temples, streets, houses and basilicas. There is also the ancient Roman city of Hippo Regius, which is not so well preserved but equally as breathtaking.
Bey's Palace in Oran is also worth a visit. Much of the area around this site is a military zone and you may be not able to get there in your hire car, but don't let this put you off. This 14th-century fort has a fascinating history.
Hajj Ahmed was the ruler of Constantine in the 19th century. His palace is one of the finest examples of Ottoman architecture in the country, with beautiful courtyards and tiled arcades. Orange trees and olive groves surround this impressive palace.
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