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Algeria General Information
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Getting Around in Algeria

By Air

Air Algérie operates frequent services from Algiers domestic airport (adjacent to Algiers International) to the major business centres of Annaba, Constantine and Oran. Less frequent services run from Algiers, Oran, Constantine and Annaba to the other less important commercial centres and gateway oases such as Ghardaia (six hours from Algiers) and Ouargla, as well as important oil towns such as In Amenas and Hassi Messaoud. Services are generally reliable, but air travel to the far south may be subject to delay during the dry summer months because of sandstorms. Despite this, air is by far the most practical means of transport to the far south for the visitor with limited resources of time; Djanet and Tamanrasset are the oasis gateways to the Tassili N’Ajjer and the Hoggar, respectively.

By Sea

Government ferries service the main coastal ports. Main ports are Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Béjaia, Djidjelli, Ghazaouet, Mostaganem, Oran and Skikda.

By Rail

Algerian railways are run by the Société Nationale des Transports Ferroviaires (SNTF). Daily – but fairly slow – services operate in the northern part of the country between Algiers and Oran, Béjaia, Skikda, Annaba and Constantine. The southern routes connect once a day from Annaba to Tebessa via Souk Ahras, Constantine with Touggourt via Biskra (twice a day) and Mohammadia with Bechar.

By Road

Road surfaces are reasonably good. All vehicles travelling in the desert should be in good mechanical condition, as breakdown facilities are virtually non-existent. Travellers must carry full supplies of water and petrol. Traffic drives on the right. Travel by road (outside Algiers) in northern Algeria should be avoided, especially after dark.

If you do choose to cross the border by means of road transportation, you should be prepared to face some tight security at the border posts. This applies for whatever country you plan to depart from other than Tunisia.


Relatively inexpensive coaches, run by the SNTF, link major towns. Services are regular but this mode of travel is not recommended for long journeys, such as travel to the south from the coastal strip. Services leave from the coach stations close to the centres of Algiers and Oran.

Car Rental

Can be arranged at the airport on arrival or in most towns. Many hotels can also arrange car rental. Algeria's car rental companies will be able to advise you on the best car for your purposes. If you are planning on travelling on some rough terrain, a four-wheel drive vehicle is advisable. You should also take extra fuel and water and it helps if these facilities are built into the vehicle. Many of the car rental companies in Algeria will be able to provide you with maps and directions to your areas of interest. Be careful of driving too far off the beaten track.

Documentation: An International Driving Permit is required. A carnet de passage may be required. Cars are allowed entry for three months without duty. Insurance must be purchased at the border. Proof of ownership is essential.

Urban Transportation

Bus & Tram

Municipal bus and tram services operate in Algiers, its suburbs and the coastal area. 10-journey carnets and daily, weekly or longer duration passes are available. There are also two public lifts and a funicular which lead up to the hill overlooking the old souk in Algiers. An underground system is planned, plus a new tramway with a multi-route system projected to carry upwards of 200,000 daily passenger trips.


It is advisable not to use public transport other than taxis recommended by established hotels. All taxis are metred and are plentiful in most cities and major towns, though busy during the early evening in the main cities as many people use them to return home after work. The habit of sharing a taxi is widespread. The amount on the metre is the correct fare, but there are surcharges after dark. Travellers are advised not to use unlicensed taxis, as these are likely to be uninsured.





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