Must see attractions in Algiers

  • Top ChoiceSights in Algiers

    Casbah

    The heart of the city is its ancient Casbah, a steep and narrow maze of streets just west of the Pl des Martyrs. There are several magnificent Ottoman palaces to explore here, most concentrated around the Djemaa Ketchoua at the end of Rue Ahmed Bouzrina; the finest is the Dar Hassan Pacha.

  • Sights in Algiers

    Bardo Museum of Prehistory & Ethnography

    The Bardo, which focuses on the prehistory of Algeria, is one of the best museums in Algiers. The collection is well-displayed with videos, models and excellent diagrams and information panels (in French) that reveal how the climate and environment of the region have changed over the eons and how that has affected human and wildlife development. There are lots of fossils, neolithic pottery, rock carvings and examples of Neanderthal paintings from the Sahara.

  • Sights in Algiers

    Dar Hassan Pacha

    Carrying the name of its original owner, Dar Hassan Pacha, this is one of the city's grandest mansions. The building now houses a collection of illuminated manuscripts and contemporary calligraphy by artists from across North Africa and the Middle East.

  • Sights in Algiers

    Palais des Raïs

    This palace is in fact a row of several large waterfront houses, joined to form a single compound. It is now home to the Centre des Arts et de la Culture, which hosts some excellent art and photographic exhibitions as well as performing arts, but just as much pleasure can be had simply by exploring such a grand, Ottoman-period mansion.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Algiers

    National Museum of Antiquities

    The richness of Algeria’s heritage is brought home in this museum. The collection of antiquities is drawn from sites around the city and throughout Algeria. Among the early works are fine ivory carvings and large, totemic Libyan-period warriors on horseback. There is sculpture from Cherchell and mosaics from Tipaza, a room of bronzes including a wonderful fragment of a horse’s leg and hoof, and an extraordinary 3rd-century figure of a chubby child holding an eagle to its chest.

  • Sights in Algiers

    Grande Poste

    Algiers' beloved main post office is an unmissable piece of living history, a fine example of French-designed, early 20th-century Moorish architecture. Look out for what is possibly the world’s most exquisitely decorated post box near the entrance. At the time of research it was closed to visitors and in the process of being converted into a museum; it's expected to reopen sometime in 2018.

  • Sights in Algiers

    Museum of Popular Arts & Traditions

    This museum is the most accessible of the buildings one can visit in the Casbah. It is housed in a fine example of an Ottoman-period town house, the Dar Khedaoudj el-Amia, which follows the classic town house plan, with an entrance leading to an inner hall and a staircase up to the principal rooms. The museum contains a fascinating collection of traditional Algerian arts and crafts.

  • Sights in Algiers

    Jardin d'Essai

    These bayside botanical gardens date to the first years of French occupation and today they are a sprawling natural hothouse. It's a place of outstanding beauty with avenues of palms and stands of exotic trees. To escape here from the city centre, take the metro to the Jardin d'Essai stop.

  • Sights in Algiers

    Notre Dame d'Afrique

    One of the city's most famous buildings, this Catholic basilica still celebrates mass at 6pm daily, despite its dwindling flock. Its striking neo-Byzantine architecture and freshly restored more-is-more interior are matched by amazing views out to sea and across the capital. The basilica is on a hilltop at the eastern edge of the city and would be a long walk from the city centre. A taxi is around Dh400.

  • Sights in Algiers

    Djemaa Ketchoua

    Of all the mosques in central Algiers, the Djemaa Ketchoua has had the most turbulent history. Its date of construction is estimated as being around the beginning of the 17th century. Its name translates as place or plateau of goats, a reminder of the time when this space – between the port and citadel – was open ground. The mosque was undergoing extensive renovations at the time of research.

  • Sights in Algiers

    Djemma Ali Bitchine

    The Djemma Ali Bitchine, which dates to 1622, is a mosque with an unusual domed design clearly influenced by Italian or Byzantine churches. That it should be so is perhaps less of a surprise when you learn that it was in fact built by a former Christian who converted to Islam. Like several other mosques, this one was used as a church during the French occupation, when it was known as Notre Dame des Victoires. The minaret was destroyed towards the end of the 19th century. The building was reclaimed as a mosque in 1962.

  • Sights in Algiers

    Djemaa el-Kebir

    The city's Grand Mosque has ancient heritage. It's built on a rise above the inner port where early Berber and Phoenician inhabitants built a place of prayer. The Romans later turned this into a temple which was then converted into a Christian basilica. This was later torn down and replaced, in the 11th century, by the mosque, which has since been much altered and enlarged.

  • Sights in Algiers

    Djemaa el-Djedid

    Colonial French town planners cleared many Ottoman buildings when they redesigned the Algiers waterfront and laid out what is now the place des Martyrs, but they left the Djemaa el-Djedid. Contrary to its name, the New Mosque, sometimes also called the Pêcherie Mosque, was built in 1660 on the site of an earlier Quranic school and paid for by public subscription.

  • Sights in Algiers

    Makam Echahid

    One of the most recognisable landmarks in the city, the Makam Echahid celebrates the sacrifice of the unknown martyr who fell for his country. The monument, constructed by the Canadians in the early 1980s, is made up of three massive concrete palm fronds that come together and soar 92m into the sky, representing the coming together of agriculture, culture and industry to make independent Algeria great.

  • Sights in Algiers

    Musée National du Moudjahid

    This museum, which sits directly beneath the Makam Echahid, aims to collect, preserve and display objects and memories of the struggle against colonialism. It starts with the story of the French invasion of 1830, but focuses on the struggle from the uprising in Sétif, Constantine and Guelma in 1944 to Independence Day in July 1962. Although information is in Arabic, the meaning of the exhibits is easy to understand. A taxi from the city centre will cost about Dh400.

  • Sights in Algiers

    Musée des Beaux Arts

    The Musée des Beaux Arts houses the best collection of art in the country. Opened in 1930, it traces the progress of European and particularly French art from the 16th century, starting with Barnaba di Modena, passing through the neoclassicists such as David and Delacroix, Orientalists including Fromentin, and a Renoir painted during the artist’s visit in 1882. There is also a sizeable collection of work by local and international artists.

  • Sights in Algiers

    Dar Aziza Bent el-Bey

    Aziza may have been a bent (daughter) of the bey of Constantine, who built the sumptuous Dar Aziza for her. Its whitewashed facade hides one of the most gorgeous of Algiers’ grand houses. The tile work is especially impressive. Dar Aziza houses the office of the National Archaeology Agency and it's possible to visit the courtyard in normal working hours though photography is not allowed.