Are you heading to Algiers, Algeria’s “white city”? Find out where are the best neighborhoods to stay in Algiers!
Located in north-central Algeria, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Algiers is known as El Behdja – “the joyful one” – is the second most populated city in the Maghreb with 2,481,788 inhabitants and 7.8 million people in the entire urban area. Home to the country’s political and economic institutions, and a rich historical and cultural heritage. Algiers is a vast city of 1,190 km². Accommodation rates are high in Algiers: you will be charged $1200 per month for a 1000 sq ft flat, but prices can vary considerably depending on the district. In other words, accommodation in Algiers can be expensive. However, Algerian tourism is on the rise: in 2014, more than 2.3 million tourists visited the country.
Algiers has many districts, the oldest of which – the Casbah – is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the upper city to the lower part of town, the districts include Algiers City Centre, the Sea Front, Bab El Oued, Belouizdad, Birkhadem, Kouba, El-Harrach, Hydra or Bouzareah. Here is our selection of the best neighborhoods to stay in Algiers.
Founded in the 4th century BC by the Phoenicians and now listed as a World Heritage Site, the Casbah – literally, the “citadel” or fortress – is the city’s medina, Algiers’ historic old town. The Casbah of Algiers is built on a steep slope, leaning against the Bouzaréah massif and near the Mitidja plain. The Casbah houses many historical monuments, including the Great Mosque of Algiers, the Sidi Abd al-Rahman Mosque, the Ketchaoua Mosque, the Martyrs’ Square and Dar Aziza Bent al-Bey, a 16th-century palace.
South of the Casbah, you will find the Palais des Rais – also called Bastion 23 -, containing three palaces and six “douerates” (fishermen’s houses). The area boasts a seamless blend of Ottoman and Moorish architectural styles, entangled in a maze of narrow streets lined with gorgeous white-painted dwellings with flat roofs. Visit the National Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions and enjoy beautiful walks along the edge of the fishing port in Bab el Djezira. The Casbah is a great place to visit in Algiers, unfortunately accomodation is scarce, with very few hotels and short term rentals. Is is however easily accessible by foot from the City Center and via metro which is why we recommend Alger Centre or Hydra neighborhoods for housing.
“Alger Centre” – literally the “Center of Algiers” – is the heart of Algiers’ modern city. Adjacent to the Casbah, downtown Algiers houses most of the country’s shopping streets, and administrative institutions (National Assembly, government, Council of the Nation, and ministries) are located. It is also the headquarters of the naval forces and the port. Alger Centre has the advantage of housing both the central train station and the ferry terminal. A convenient place to stay in Algiers due to its easy access to transport facilities.
The district notably houses two exciting museums to visit: the Museum of Modern Art of Algiers (MAMA) and the Parenthesis Museum. The area is also home to the University of Algiers 1, infusing the southern part of the district with a youthful and student-filled atmosphere. The area surrounding the famous building of La Grande Poste is the beating heart of the city of Algiers. As you wander through the district, you will find the Sacred Heart Cathedral of Algiers, Place Audin and the Freedom Park. Delight your taste buds in one of the restaurants by the sea and the port.
Hydra is located South of the city center, a few kilometers from the sea and close to the Hamma Botanical Garden. Perched on the heights of the city, Hydra is a residential, upscale and quiet area to stay in Algiers, attracting well-heeled residents and wealthy expatriates. It is home to high-end restaurants serving fine Algerian and international cuisine. Families with children will particularly enjoy the Ben Aknoun Park, though its zoo has seen better days. The park features merry-go-rounds and above all, a startling green setting nestled in the middle of this urban jungle.
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