Algiers

Mosque with view of Algerian landscape in the background.
Overview

Mix the past with the present in Algeria's capital city, Algiers. Stroll past 17th-century mosques and Ottoman-style palaces in the hilltop Kasbah city. Or see sculptures and mosaics at the Bardo Museum. Then eat spicy tagine stews in bustling restaurants on Rue Didouche Mourade.

Background

The whitewashed city of Algiers sprawls out from its Mediterranean harbour. Head uphill and inland to find the Kasbah at the centre of the old town. Back down at sea level, you can walk along the waterfront, lined with 19th-century buildings. You'll find cafes, restaurants and shops along Rue Didouche Mourade, the busy street which cuts across the centre of the city.

First-time visit

Take the cable car to visit Roman Catholic Notre Dame d'Afrique Byzantine basilica, perched on a cliff top overlooking the harbour. Lose yourself in the narrow streets of the Kasbah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Moorish palaces and Ottoman Empire homes. Take a look inside the 1000-year-old Great Mosque to see its intricate Moorish designs. Then go shopping for carpets, woodwork and brassware along Rue Didouche Mourad, the main shopping street in Algiers. After dark, join locals for couscous, flat bread and meaty tagine hotpots.

Return visit

Take a look around the Bardo Museum in a former Turkish mansion to see Roman mosaics and sculptures dating back centuries. Or visit the studios of Algerian artists at Villa Abd-el-Tif, former home of an Ottoman Turkish ruler. Take a stroll around the iconic concrete Monument des Martyrs which was built in the shape of three palm leaves to mark the end of the Algerian war of independence, 20 years earlier in 1962. Get away from it all by inhaling the scent of exotic flowers in the Garden of Test.

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