Algiers is the capital of Algeria, a big, bustling destination on the dazzling Mediterranean coast. The thousand-year old city was a thriving pirate base in the 16th century before later becoming a cherished French colonial center.
Best Time to Visit
The Algerian coastline is great to explore at any time due to the mild temperatures during winter and supportable temperatures in summer.
Top Places to Visit in Algiers
1. The Kasbah
The Kasbah is the city’s main tourist attraction, founded on the ruins of a Phoenician commercial outpost. The hillside quarter later blossomed into a small Roman town, stretching down toward the sea. Today, the area is marked by gleaming whitewashed houses that stand like sugar cubes just steps from the sea. These houses gave Algiers its nickname as “La Blanche,” or “the white one,” and the area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The area is particularly notable for its high concentration of historic mosques, and the area surrounding them remains quite picturesque. The Ketchaoua Mosque, flanked by two minarets, was built in 1794 and is the best-preserved. Other notable mosques in the area worth a visit include the El Kebir Mosque and the Mosque el Djedid.
2. Martyrs’ Memorial
Dedicated to locals killed during the war for independence. The iconic concrete monument consists of three palm-like sections that join in the middle and reach heights of over 300 feet. The stylized palms are topped with a 25-foot tall Islamic-style turret capped by a dome. Under each palm stands a statue of a soldier, and the monument rests on an esplanade that includes an eternal flame, amphitheater and crypt.
3. Bardo Museum
Highlights the early history and ethnography of Algeria in stunning detail. The large collection includes Neolithic stones and pottery, prehistoric rock carvings, fabulous fossils and ancient urban
artifacts. The upper courtyard is especially a delight, featuring lush gardens and a cooling pool providing much-needed relief on hot days.
4. Notre Dame d’Afrique
A Byzantine-inspired basilica holding a statue of the Virgin Mary. With the Pope’s permission, the statue was crowned “Queen of Africa” in 1876, and the church remains a pilgrimage site for the faithful.