Are you going to “Algiers la blanche” to discover Algeria? Here is our guide to the best neighborhoods to stay in Algiers!
Located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in north-central Algeria, the city known as “the joyful” – El Bahja – is the second most populated city in the Maghreb with 2,481,788 inhabitants and 7.8 million of people throughout the urban area. Algiers – Al-Djazaïr – is a giant city of 1,190 km², which houses the political and economic institutions of the country and which has a rich historical and cultural heritage. Rent prices are high in Algiers: count 1000 € per month for a 90 m² but depending on the district, prices fluctuate a lot. In other words, finding 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: Algiers-Centre, the Waterfront, Bab El Oued, Belouizdad, Birkhadem, Kouba, El-Harrach, Hydra and even Bouzareah, from the upper town to the lower town. Here are the best neighborhoods to stay in Algiers.
The Casbah is the Medina of Algiers, the historic old town, founded in the 4th century BC. JC by the Phoenicians and now listed as a World Heritage Site. The Kasbah of Algiers is built on a steep slope, leaning against the Bouzaréah massif and near the Mitidja plain. It concentrates many historical monuments to visit, like the Great Mosque of Algiers, the Sidi Abd al-Rahman mosque, the Ketchaoua mosque, the Place des Martyrs and Dar Aziza Bent al-Bey, a 16th century palace. century.
To the south of the Kasbah, you will find the Palais des Raïs – also called Bastion 23 -, containing three palaces and six douerates (fishermen’s houses). The Ottoman architecture mixes with the Moorish style in a maze of narrow streets surrounded by white houses with flat roofs. Visit the National Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions and enjoy beautiful walks along the fishing port at Bab el Djezira. Staying at the Casbah offers a very central and ideal position to discover Algiers on foot.
It is literally the heart of modern Algiers. Attached to the Casbah, Algiers-Centre is an area where most of the country’s commercial arteries and administrative institutions are located (National Assembly, government, Council of the Nation, ministries). It is also the seat of the naval forces and the port. Algiers-Centre has the advantage of hosting the central station and the ferry terminal. This is where you have to sleep in Algiers if you arrive in Algeria, if you return to France or if you have to get on a train the next day.
Two museums to visit are in the area: the Museum of Modern Art of Algiers (MAMA) and the Parenthèse Museum. This is where we find the University of Algiers 1: young and student atmosphere in the south of the district. The Carrefour de la Grande Poste is the beating heart of the city of Algiers. Then, crisscrossing the district, you will find the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Algiers, Audin Square and Liberty Park. By the sea and the port, chic restaurants are waiting to seduce your taste buds.
Hydra is located south of the city center, a few kilometers from the sea and in particular, from the Hamma botanical garden. It is a residential, upscale and quiet area where to stay in Algiers, perched on the heights, attracting the wealthy categories and international expatriates. Within it, chic restaurants of Algerian and international cuisine. One attraction: the Ben Aknoun zoo, with a few rides and above all a large green setting in the middle of this urban jungle.