A vast country that covers everything from tranquil fishing ports to bustling cities and the cinematic beauty of the Sahara – Algeria has a number of draws. And in the capital, Algiers, gorgeous architecture, museums filled with national treasures and the romance of the old quarter are sure to make an impression. Read on to discover the top six reasons why Algiers should lead on your travel list.
Just like the city itself, the neo-byzantine Basilica of Notre-Dame d'Afrique is a melting pot of religious and architectural influences, incorporating sandstone, stained glass, mosaics and Roman frescoes. But there’s also the Grande Poste, located in the city center: A neo-Moorish masterpiece with a highly decorative interior that is unlike any other post office you’ve probably seen before. Another powerful landmark is the Martyrs’ Memorial, a colossal concrete monument that commemorates the country’s struggle for independence.
Come to the Casbah
If there is one place to see in Algiers, it’s the historic Casbah district, which dates back to Phoenician times. Take in the whitewashed buildings, the lively markets and cafes, and the Ottoman palaces that crowd the maze of narrow streets. Built on a hill and descending towards the sea, it’s among the world’s most mythical labyrinths – and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Musings in museums
Nestled on the waterfront, Palais of Rais is one of the most important landmarks in the country. Inside the Ottoman-period mansion is the Centre des Arts et de la Culture, which showcases art and photography exhibitions. Dive into the prehistory of Algiers at the National Museum of Bardo. Next to fossils and pottery, you’ll find the skeleton of Tin Hanan: the queen of Tuaregs. But even more impressive is perhaps the National Museum of Antiques and Islamic Arts, which is the oldest museum in Algeria, as well as the National Museum of Modern Arts, home to over 8,000 artistic works.
The green side of the city
Escape the city in Algiers’ gorgeous botanical gardens. Jardin d’Essai was established by the French during occupation and today is one of the most stunning nature conservation complexes the world over, located at the National Museum of Fine Arts. Approximately a 20-minute drive from the center, step into a world of lush foliage and palm-lined paths, with the Mediterranean as the backdrop.
Drive an hour west from the city and you’ll reach Tipaza: one of North Africa’s most impressive Roman sites. Dating as far back as the 1st century, it features an impressive amphitheater, camel-toned, sandstone walls and remnants of markets and Roman baths. You won’t find a naval battle reenactment, but there are gorgeous coastal hills and a small beach winking at you from between the pine trees.
Stay in style
In Algiers’ dynamic business district, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Algiers Hydra offers convenience and style all in one. Stay in a safe area neighboring government buildings and embassies and reach the centre or the beach within 15 minutes by car. You will be sure to find comfort with contemporary interiors in any of the 140 rooms and make sure to sneak in a taste of the delicious local cuisine in the excellent onsite restaurant, Ziride. End your day relaxing at the Health Club and Spa.
Book your stay with Radisson Blu and experience an unforgettable North African adventure.