Things to do in Algiers
Algiers is a cosmopolitan city with plenty to see and do. The mixture of cultures creates a unique atmosphere, both familiar and exotic at once. Take some time to explore with these suggestions as your guide.
The Casbah is the city's ancient heart. A maze of narrow, steep streets rises up to the west of the Place des Martyrs with lots of fascinating Ottoman palaces to explore in the area surrounding the Ketchaoua Mosque. It is topped by the city's impressive Citadel. The mosque at Djemaa el-Kebir can trace its history as a place of worship right back to the times of the Phoenicians, and once housed a Roman temple. Since the 11th century it has been a mosque and has a fine 15 metre minaret. The Palais des Rais dates from 1750 and now hosts the Centre des Artes et de la Culture.
The flea market beside El Jedid mosque is the place to go for lots of bargains in Algiers. Look out for fabulous fabrics, scarves, traditional clothing and all manner of goods at knock-down prices. Going with a guide could help you strike a better deal. Ryad El Feth is also known as the Martyr Mall and is located next to the Martyr Monument. It's a modern shopping centre with a cinema, gym and lots of restaurants. Metal artisan products can be found throughout the Casbah and Hassiba ben bouali is an excellent shopping street running from Place 1 Mai to La Grande Poste.
Algiers has a delicious mixture of influences from French and North African cuisines. Kheimat Essaoura is a great place to try out the local Cous Cous dishes, while Hotel St George combines African and European flavours. La Colomba is one of the city's best restaurants and specialises in locally caught fresh fish. For traditional Algerian food, El Mordjane is an excellent choice, while Le Continental specialises in modern French cuisine. There is always good street food to be had in the Casbah.
The Musee National du Moudjahid is a great place to learn about Algeria's struggle for independence from French colonial rule. It has many objects and displays from the time of the French invasion in 1830 up to independence in 1962. The Musee des Beaux Arts is home to the best collection of art in Algeria, with 8000 exhibits telling the story of European and Algerian art. The National Museum of Antiquities, meanwhile, is where to go to learn all about the city's varied history.
The traditional nightlife of Algiers mostly involves drinking tea in small cafes but there are certainly other activities to enjoy. You can enjoy dancing at the Hotel Sheraton discoteque and also at Hotel El Djazair. Charlie Normals is a good place to go for a drink and is situated near the beach at Ain Taya with plenty of outdoor seating. Hotel Albert also has a good bar close to the main post office.