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Health & safety

Dangers & annoyances

Algiers is a big and busy city that has seen more than its fair share of violence over the years, as plaques around the centre commemorate. At times tension bubbles up and there is a visible increase in the number of police in the street and roadblocks on the main arteries. At the end of 2006 bombs went off on the outskirts of the city. Most of this violence is targeted at police, but a bus carrying foreigners was also attacked.

Some parts of the city are more difficult for foreigners to visit than others, the upper Casbah being the most obvious example. The greatest risk is of petty theft and, as with big cities throughout the world, you will greatly reduce the risk of being a target if you take care of your valuables and ensure that you are not alone in the busier, and the quietest areas.

Foreigners are also targeted by the city’s thieves, whose scams may include an outward show of friendship leading to an invitation to a meal, during which a theft may occur. The majority of theft, however, is opportunistic: if you leave a camera sitting on a table or a bag hanging over the back of a chair, it may not be there for long.

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While you're there

Medical services

For medical emergencies you should call SOS Santé (115), but for something less urgent, French speaking Dr Maouchi (073 341322) has been recommended.

CHU Mustapha Pasha (021 235555; place du 1 Mai) One of the most central general hospitals.

Pharmacie l’Opéra (021 731342; 4 rue Abane Ramdane; 8am-midnight Sat-Thu, 5pm-midnight Fri) This place is particularly helpful.

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