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City Guide : Algiers

The capital city, Algiers, takes the name of the largest country in Africa. There is Tunisia on the northeast side, Libya on the east side, Niger on the southeast side, Mauritania and Mali on the southwest, Morocco and West Sahara on the west side of the country which is located on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa. The word Algiers (El Cazayir) means “islands” in Arabic. The territory has been a homeland for people for millions of years. The evidence for that is the hominid skeletons, which are found there, that are two million years old. In ancient times, Algeria which had relations with Egypt and Carthage, joined first Rome and then the Ottoman Empire. The country which was conquered by Barbarossa Hayreddin Pahsa and and Oruc Reis, was spreading terror throughout Europe with its pirates in the era as well. The fate of the country changed with the French occupation in 1830. Independence came as late as 1962. The coastline of Algiers does not contain natural ports because of the closeness of the mountains. Still, a major part of the people live in coastal regions. Atlas Mountains, from Morocco to Tunisia, extend from one end of the country to the other. Desert climate is dominant in the country. While the temperature in winter months range between 8-15 degrees Centigrate, averages of 28-30 degrees Centigrate are seen in summer.

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  • Tourist Attractions

    The famous architect Le Corbusier, define the capital city Algiers, with these words: “If urbanization is a sign of life, Algiers is the architectural masterpiece of change regarding man.” The city reflects the desert and the sea combined with the Berber Culture and French living. Even though the streets show signs of inadequate maintenance, they are decorated with French architecture. You may think you are in one of the back streets of Paris. Or as the French say it, “You are in the Marseilles of the northern countries of Africa.”

    The heart and center of history in the city is the Kasbah region which is classified as a universal achievement by UNESCO. The foundation of the region dates back to Ottoman era. The Hasan Pasha Palace, restoration of which is still an ongoing project, was damaged in the 1940s. You can also visit the ruins of what used to be the Great Mosque (Jamaa el-Kebir), the New Mosque (Jamaa el-Jedid) which dates back to the 17th century, the District of Coffees in between, and the approximately 400 year old Ketchaoua Mosque which was transformed from the St. Philip Cathedral.

    In the construction process of the classical Algiers house “La Maison du Millénaire” in  Upper Kasbah, the stones of the houses that used to be at the same place were used. Quite beautiful tiles were also added to the house. The Sapphire Mosque which is the first Turkish mosque of the city, is interesting with its octagonal shape as well.

    The Hamma District which is located on top of a hill is the point  where nature and culture join together. This district located at the center of the Culture Palace is breathtaking with its Nature Museum and gardens. You can also see the Cervantes bust which has “Cervantes has hidden here” written on it. The author of Don Quixote was taken as a prisoner of war fighting in the army of the Queen of Spain and was forced to live there.

    The remembrance of the country about the French occupation, was immortalized with the Monument des Martyrs. The monument is glamorous with its colossal size that reach the sky. It defies the houses of French colonial architecture surrounding it.

    Algeria is the home of the Mediterranean pirates. Such that, in 1500s the navies of countries not at peace with the country were used to beware them. The pirates would tyrannize the English, Spanish, and French navies. Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, who himself was a pirate at first, included the territory to the Ottoman Empire and turned this effective force in the sea to a disciplined fleet. Recollections regarding the pirates in the port area and Barbarossa can be experienced. Districts called Brahim Bey, Mourad Rais, Dely Brahim, and Oruj Rais carry the spirit of those days in their names.
  • Culture & Entertainment

    Islam has an important place in the Algerian culture. But Islam in Algeria is more similar to Turkey than the Arab countries in the Middle East. The Algerian constitution provides freedom of religion for all citizens. However, especially due to the disorder in the country in 1990s, most of the non-Muslim citizens have left the country.

    The involuntary connection to France, have left Algeria with a significant literary heritage. The most important Algerian authors are Muhammed Dib, Albert Camus, and Katip Yasin. The philosopher Jacques Derrida and thinker Augustinus Annaba were born in Algeria, Tunisian Ibn Khaldun has written his famous work Muqaddimah in Algeria as well. Also the famous fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent was born in the city of Oran.

    Rai, which is a mix of the folkloric music of the shepherds with pop, is known throughout the world even though it is the local music of Algeria. Artist such as Khaled and Chep Mami, have managed to make first France then the world love this music. The people also prefer the old chaabi music based on lyrics together with the energetic tribal music. The music of Andalusian immigrants is heard on the streets of the city often as well.

    Zeralda and Sidi Fredj have tourism complexes built by the government. While Sidi Fredj has outdoor restaurants and a marina, Zeralda has a horse club in addition to bars and restaurants. You can rent horses especially to go around on the beach in the afternoon.

    Two parallel streets of the Staouli district near Sidi Fredj host as many as 30 restaurants and ice cream places. Ice cream is very much liked and  very well made in Algeria. Cherega, located in the east side of the city, resembles a typical Mediterranean town.
  • Food & Drink

    The classical Algerian breakfast consists of tea or coffee with milk and slices of bread with butter and jelly on them. The homemade bread “galette” made of water and semolina is also eaten for breakfast. Their favorite bread is the, again homemade, “khobz dar.”

    The eating habits of Algerians differ according to the climate. In winter, spicy foods are consumed. Cummin, carvi, cinnamon, fresh and dried coriander, mint, parsley, salt, and pepper is used.

    Like many Northern African countries, lamb is the base of the Algerian cuisine. Expecially for lunch, lamb cooked on grill or in a pot is eaten with salad. While lambchops and “merguez” is cooked on the grill, dishes with lamb is also cooked in ovens called “meshui.” They also like dishes cooked in pots with gravy. As the country has a coast of about on thousand kilometers, seafood is prepared very good as well.

    Salads are made of specially cooked green peppers and eggplant, tomatoes, cabbage, and onions with vinegar and olive oil as the dressing. Salads are consumed hot or cold. In winter, usually brads and legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans are preferred.
     
    Couscous is always present on the table of Algerians, who eat lightly at dinner. Couscous is served with vegetables, meat and a special sauce. Couscous with sugar and raisins is always served after traditional dishes. Also, sweet couscous is always eaten at Suhoor during Ramadan.

    Algerians, who eat fruits almost after every meal prefer dessert with afternoon tea. They use flour, semoline, dates, and almonds for these desserts. Baklava and kadaif are the favorite desserts. Baklava is usually made with almonds, and sometimes honey is used instead of sherbet. The French influence in the country is apparent in desserts as well. Baklava with chocolate is an example of that. You can also see a lot of French restaurants in the streets of Algeria.
  • Shopping

    Didane Mourad Street, Khalidj Center, and Bazard are recommended as places to shop in. Lunch and McKiki which are open for 24 hours in Hydra,-an elite district of the city,-are places for young people to gather. Shopping opportunities are vast here, similar to Zeralda, Sidi Fredj , and Staouli districts.
Route Map: Houston – Algiers Flight

Ticket Sales Offices : Algiers

TK Sales
Address Turkish Airlines Inc. Bab Ezzouar Business Center-Tour Nord, 3. Etage Bab Ezzouar – Alger
Phone Call Center : + 213 23 92 42 20
Fax + 213 23 92 42 23
Telex ALGTZTK
E-Mail ALGAGENCY@THY.COM / ALGGROUP@THY.COM / ALGMARKETING@THY.COM
Work Hours

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday : 08:30-17:00

AIRPORT SALES OFFICE
Address AEROPORT INTERNATIONAL HOUARI BOUMEDIENE DAR EL BEIDA-ALGER
Phone 213 23 92 42 20 – 59916 / 59917
Fax
Telex
E-Mail ALGAGENCY@THY.COM
Work Hours

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday : 10:30-17:15 - Friday, Saturday: 10:30-17:00

TK Airport
Address AEROPORT INTERNATIONAL HOUARI BOUMEDIENE DAR EL BEIDA-ALGER
Phone 00 213 23 92 42 20
Fax 00 213 21 50 95 13
Telex
E-Mail ALGOPS@THY.COM / ALGSTATIONMNGR@THY.COM
Work Hours

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday : 10:30-17:15 - Friday, Saturday: 10:30-17:00

  • Algiers : Airport Information

    Houari Boumediene Airport

    Address : Ministere des Transports Direction de l'Aviation civile et de la Meteorologie 119 rue Didouche Mourad Alger, Algeria
    Phone : +213 21 74 06 99
  • Algiers : Airport Map Information

Algiers Hotels

Algiers Info

Wednesday
GMT
  • Wed 21°C
  • Thu 24°C
  • Fri 28°C
Apr May Jun Jul
22°C 25°C 29°C 32°C
9°C 13°C 16°C 19°C
All for the Year Monthly Averages
Area : 16.400 km²
Population : 3.518. 083
Monetary Unit : Algerian Dinar
Phone Code : +213 2
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