A former French colony, Algeria attained its independence from France after about a decade of armed resistance on the 5th of July 1962. The country is situated in northern Africa off the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Libya, to the north of Mali. Algeria is the second largest country in Africa (after Sudan), covering a total land area of 2, 381, 741 square km. The country has a population of about 32, 930,091 people.
Administration and government:
Known as the People’s democratic republic of Algeria, the country has an elected government headed by a president. Algiers; situated off the Mediterranean in the north of the country is the administrative capital.
Administrative divisions: the country is divided into 48 provinces: Adrar, Ain Defla, Ain Temouchent, Alger, Annaba, Batna, Bechar, Bejaia, Biskra, Blida, Bordj Bou Arreridj, Bouira, Boumerdes, Chlef, Constantine, Djelfa, El Bayadh, El Oued, El Tarf, Ghardaia, Guelma, Illizi, Jijel, Khenchela, Laghouat, Mascara, Medea, Mila, Mostaganem, M’Sila, Naama, Oran, Ouargla, Oum el Bouaghi, Relizane, Saida, Setif, Sidi Bel Abbes, Skikda, Souk Ahras, Tamanghasset, Tebessa, Tiaret, Tindouf, Tipaza, Tissemsilt, Tizi Ouzou, Tlemcen
The present day Algerian flag was adopted on the 3rd of July 1962 shortly before the country became independent. The flag’s design was adopted from those of Emir Abdel Kadir who ruled in the 19th century.
The green color represents the religion of Islam, white is for peace and the red color is for the blood shed in the independence struggle. The crescent and star are symbols of Islam.
Algeria Facts and Figures:
– Location: Northern Africa, off the Mediterranean, between Morocco and Libya, north of Mali.
– Capital City: Algiers.
– Population: 32, 930, 091.
– Other major towns and cities: Constantine, Tamanrasset, Bechar, Annaba.
– Religion: Mainly Islam, Christian, Jewish.
– Languages: Arabic is the country’s official language though French is widely spoken.
– Currency: Algerian Dinar (DZD).
The Algerian Dinar (DZD) is the title of the Algerian currency. The currency has been in use since 1964 when it replaced the Algerian Franc shortly after independence. One dinar is divided into 100 centimes.
Coin denominations in use are for 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dinars. Banknotes are available for 100, 200, 500 and 1000 dinars.
Currency can be readily exchanged at foreign exchange bureaus and major banks especially in Algiers. It is advisable though to travel with common major currencies such as US$ which is much easier to change in even smaller towns.
Algeria is home to an estimated 32, 930, 091 people. The region within which the country falls has been occupied by Berbers for centuries (dating back to 10,000 BC) and later the Arabs. The country’s present population is composed mainly of people of Arab-Berber origin. There is also a small population of Europeans.
Arabic is the official and national language though French is widely spoken. There are also a number of local tribal dialects.
Most Algerians are Sunni Muslim which is also the state religion. Other minority religions are; Christianity and Jewish religions.
Sports in Algeria:
Football is the most popular team sport in Algeria. The national team known as “the desert foxes” has for decades been one of the stronger teams on the continent. The team participated at the football world cups in 1982 and 1986.
The team has also participated regularly at the Africa Nation Cup and won this tournament in 1990; when Algeria hosted the tournament.
Other popular sports in Algeria are; boxing, volleyball, tennis and athletics. The country will host the All-Africa Games in 2007. The event which features athletes from most African nations will be held in the city of Algiers.
Air Algerie; Algeria’s national airline is one of the largest on the continent. A state owned airline, it was established in 1947 and presently has one of the most modern fleets in Africa.
Air Algerie operates from its main hub at the Houari Boumedienne Airport in Algiers and runs flights to a number of domestic and international destinations such as: Tamanrasset, Casablanca, Tripoli, Tuni, Ouagadougou, Nouakchott, Abidjan, Bamako, Dakar, Dubai, Beijing, Jeddah, Beirut, Brussels, Paris, Marseille, Rome, Berlin, Frankfurt, Milan, Lisbon, Moscow, Geneva, New York, London, Istanbul.
A majority of the best accommodation options in Algeria can be found in the city of Algiers. The city has a decent range of international chain hotels with reputable service levels. Some popular hotels in Algeria are;
The Hilton Hotel Algiers: situated within easy reach of a beach, the Hilton is located a short distance from the Algiers city centre at Pins Maritimes. The hotel offers a good range of facilities such as; a gym, swimming pool, room service, tennis courts, business and conference facilities, internet access, air conditioned rooms with TV.
Sheraton Oran Hotel and Towers: a reputable hotel situated near a bay, a short distance from the airport, the Sheraton Oran offers a good range of amenities such as; swimming pool, air conditioned rooms, conference facilities, restaurant, bar, cable tv, room service.
Tourism in Algeria:
Though still yet to rival its North African neighbours, Algeria is a country with a lot to offer its visitors. The country has a rich history and you can also get a glimpse of the traditions and culture of the Algerian people.
Sightseeing is also a popular activity here and you can visit a number of historic sights, art galleries, museums and traditional markets.
Algiers: The Algerian capital is full of interesting places to visit such as; mosques, palaces, ancient town walls and church buildings. Notable icons in Algiers include: the Monument of the Martyrs and the Jamaa el Jedid mosque. The city also has a number of museums showcasing the rich traditional culture and history of the country’s people.
The Atlas Mountain Ranges: take a drive out to the Atlas Mountains ranges. The ranges extend more than 2,000 km across North Africa and can also be seen in neighboring Tunisia and Morocco. The ranges are a popular destination for hikers.
View related links for details on some Algerian consulates and embassies in Europe, Asia and North America. You should confirm with your nearest consulate whether a visa is required for travel to Algeria as well as for up to date visa requirements as these may change from time to time.
The basic visa requirements for travel to Algeria are:
• A valid passport
• A completed visa application form
• A document declaring your purpose for visiting the country. For tourists, you may present a travel itinerary or letter of invitation from family or friend in Algeria
• Two passport photos
• Visa application fee
Algeria Embassies and Consulates in Asia:
The embassy of Algeria in China
No 7 San Li Tun Lu,
Tel: 86 10 6532 1231
Fax: 86 10 6532 1648
The embassy of Algeria in India
E-6/5 Vasant Vihar
Tel: 91 11 614 6706
Fax: 91 11 614 7033
The embassy of Algeria in Malaysia
No 5 Jalan Mesra
Off Jalan Dama 55000
Tel: 60 3 214 59 604
Fax: 60 3 214 88 154
The embassy of Algeria in Indonesia
Jl H.R. Rasuna Said Kav. 10-1
Kuningan, Jakarta 12950
Tel: 62 21 525 4719
Fax: 62 21 525 4654
Algerian Embassies and Consulates in Europe:
The embassy of Algeria in the United Kingdom
54 Holland Park
London W11 3RS
Tel: 44 020 7221 7800
Fax: 44 020 7221 0448
The embassy of Algeria in Spain
C/ General Oraa 12
28006 Madrid, Spain
Tel: 34 91 562 97 05
Fax: 34 91 562 98 77
The embassy of Algeria in Belgium
Av Moliere 207-209
1050 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: 32 2 343 50 78
Fax: 32 2 343 51 68
The embassy of Algeria in Portugal
Rua Duarte Pacheco Pereira, 58
1400-140 Lisbon, Portugal
Tel: 351 213 041 520
Fax: 351 213 010 393
Algerian Embassies and Consulates in North America:
The embassy of Algeria in Canada
500 Wilbrod Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N2
Tel: 613 789 8505/ 0282
Fax: 613 789 1406
The embassy of Algeria in the United States
2118 Kalorama Rd
NW Washington DC 20008
Tel: 202 265 2800
Fax: 202 667 2174