Best attractions in Algeria: Top 20

Algeria is an endless expanse of desert Sahara, warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, impressive mountain ranges, oriental color and bright mixture of different cultures.Many sights of Algeria were formed under the influence of different peoples, religions and civilizations. Most beautiful mosques, extremely ancient forts, mysterious ruins of old towns, rock towns and other places of interest strike the imagination of the guests of the country. There isn’t a big influx of tourists to the sights of Algeria - tourism is under development, but despite this, excursions to Algeria today are very interesting and informative, and with an experienced guide in Algeria you can view every monument leisurely and thoroughly. Hotels in Algeria are classified on the basis of a particular set and quality of services. There are a lot of hotels which work on an economic bed and breakfast system, but there are also world-famous hotel brands that offer a full range of services at the highest level.

The following is a rating of the best attractions, which will help you plan the route of your future trip.

What to see first in Algeria

Review of the main sights in Algeria is based on popular guidebooks, reviews of real travelers, and helps to find answers to the questions: what to see in Algeria in 1 day, where to go in Algeria, so that the trip was memorable and full of impressions. Of course, the first day of the tour is worth starting with a visit to the iconic sights located in the capital city of Algiers.

1. The Old Kasbah of Algiers

Panorama of the old part of Algiers Yves Jalabert

In the old part of the city of Algiers is the Kasbah, full of mysterious alleyways and dark dead ends. In general, the word “Kasbah” in Algeria refers to many citadels located throughout North Africa. But it is the old Kasbah that was inscribed on the UNESCO list in 1992. It is a unique type of Islamic citadel, with ancient mosques, palaces and houses behind its walls.

2. Cathedral of Our Lady of Africa

Cathedral of Notre Dame de`Afrique or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Africa

On the rocky coast of the Mediterranean Sea, at a height of 124 meters rises the main religious landmark of Algeria - the Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Africa. There is a popular belief that the idea of erecting the temple came to two Lyon residents who once installed a small sculpture of the Virgin Mary in the hollow of an olive tree here. The cathedral itself, erected in 1872, is designed in an architectural style combining Roman and Byzantine motifs.

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3. City of Constantine

A spectacular view of the bridges and city of Constantine Alaa Benz

Anyone who has been to the city of Constantine will confirm that visiting this city in Algiers is definitely among the first places to visit. The history of the city, located on the border with Tunisia, goes back to antiquity, it has been renamed several times and passed into the possession of different civilizations. A unique feature of the city is its location among spectacular gorges, cliffs and precipices over which many bridges are built at an altitude of several hundred meters.

4. Basilica of St. Augustine in Annaba

Facade of the Catholic Church of Saint Augustine in Annaba ismail soytekınoglu

This 1900 temple is the main attraction of Annaba. According to popular belief, this is where St. Augustine rested and his relics are now kept inside the basilica. The saint was especially famous for organizing the Christian movement of Augustinism, and his writings caused a real revolution in theology. Architecturally, the basilica is unique in its mix of different styles. Inside it is a small altar with a sculpture of St. Augustine, which holds a piece of his relics.

5. Qetshawa Mosque

The Ketschaw Mosque in the old city of the capital, the Kasbe Brahimpic

In the heart of the capital city of Algiers sits the medieval Ketshawa Mosque, which is considered one of the most notable architectural structures in the city. Built by the Turks in 1612, Ketshawa is an unusual mixture of Byzantine and Moorish styles, and over the years it has changed its appearance several times. During the French occupation it was the Catholic cathedral of St. Philip, and it was not until 1962 that the building was converted to a mosque.

See the beautiful places of Algeria in this great video!

6. Tlemsen Cathedral Mosque

A side view of the Tlemcen Cathedral Mosque Noureddine Gori

There is much to see in Algeria among the other oldest shrines, one of them being the Tlemcen Cathedral Mosque, an ancient structure dating back to 1082, built during the era of the ancient emirs. The building is built in the form of an irregular pentagon, has a rich decoration in the form of carved ornaments and many decorative arches. It was this kind of decoration that served as the basis for the development of the Baroque style in the Middle Ages.

7. Monument of Glory and Martyrdom

Monument to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Algerian independence from France Mouh2jijel

This monument was erected in Algiers to honor the soldiers who fell in the struggle for the country’s independence in the mid-20th century. The monument is 92 meters high and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. The author of the monument was a sculptor from Poland Maryan Koneczny. His creation imitates three palm leaves, which soar upwards. When they are united at the top, they create a kind of dome, under which the eternal flame burns. At the very top is an observation deck, where you can find a bird’s-eye view of Algiers - beautiful city panoramas and views of the sea.

8. Mzab valley

The Mzab Valley is five fortified settlements - the Xours

This landmark of Algeria is located in the northern part of the Sahara and is notable for the unusual fortified settlements, the Xours, which were founded by Berber Muslims fleeing from religious persecution. These towns are characterized by extremely simple architecture, as much as possible adapted to the conditions of the region. All the houses are erected in a circle, forming concentric circles diverging from the mosque.

9. The Royal Mausoleum of Mauritania

Mausoleum of Juba III and Cleopatra Selene III

About 80 kilometers from the capital, on the coast, is the small town of Tipaza. It hides an ancient Christian burial place, which has become an unsolved mystery to historians and archaeologists around the world. In different languages this historical monument, created in 3 B.C. by order of the Moorish king, has different names - for example, in English the name “Royal Mausoleum of Mauritania” is established.

10. Tipaza

Ruins of a Roman Town in Tipaza

The town of Tipaza itself represents one big attraction in Algeria. Here lurk the ruins of ancient settlements, which are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as evidence of a vanished civilization. The city served as the most important trading post in the Mediterranean, later it was given the function of a military base, so you can see a lot of buildings, testifying to different eras and historical events.

11. The ancient Roman city of Timgad.

The Ancient Roman City of Timgad in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains

The ruins of the lost ancient Roman city of Timgad date back some 2,000 years. The city, built in a desert area, served as a military colony for several hundred years and was one of the origins of Christianity. It is the sands of the desert Sahara, which have covered the abandoned city, that have partially preserved the city’s buildings to the present day.

12. Qala Beni Hammad

Ruins of the ancient city on the background of snow-capped mountains Fdebbi

The ancient city of Beni-Hammad preserves the remains of its first capital, founded in 1007. Kala Beni-Hammad is an ancient landmark of Algeria, which is an amazingly beautiful ancient fortress among the high mountains. Its fortress walls stretch for 7 kilometers, and behind them there are palaces, minarets and a mosque. Of particular note is the beauty of the Beacon of Light castle, located at the very peak of one of the cliffs.

13. The ancient Roman city of Jemila

Ancient Roman city of Djemila - fortress city in Algeria harmony lameche

One of the largest Roman ruins in North Africa was left by the ancient city of Cemila, which has now become an open-air museum. The city was originally shaped like a square with many streets, and the two main ones, perpendicular to each other, divided the area into 4 equal parts. It was a large settlement, including several temples, an amphitheater, a forum, a marketplace, baths, and more.

14. Fort Santa Cruz

View of Mers El Kebir from Fort Santa Cruz

The ancient fort, erected in 1610, has become the main attraction of the city of Oran. It is a fortification, which in the old days was part of the outer defenses. The structure, with walls up to 2 meters thick, was made of sturdy natural stone, and some 2,000 people were involved in its construction.

15. Jurjur National Park

Green area of Giurgioura National Park Amine.Bentoutah

In addition to the many historical monuments, there is something to see in Algeria and among the natural attractions. Among them, the Jurdjoura National Park, in the north of Algeria, deserves special attention. The picturesque scenery of this beautiful place is worth seeing: dizzying mountain peaks covered with dense forests, deep canyons, valleys and gorges - all this strikes the imagination of any traveler.

What else to visit in Algeria

This part of the review contains recommendations, which other sights of Algeria are worthy of attention. We will talk about natural monuments, a brief description of which will give a first idea about them.

16. Tassilin-Adjer Plateau

Mountain formations on the Tassilin-Adjer Plateau

In southeastern Algeria stretches the mountain plateau of Tassilin-Adjer, about 500 kilometers long. Erosion has formed more than 300 natural arches, the ridge is also cut through the dried-up beds of former rivers and numerous caves. Stunning views open from the height - stone arches and pillars, mysterious shadows, steep cliffs, and gaping holes in caves. Some places in the rocks are preserved ancient drawings depicting people, animals and scenes from life. These drawings are 6-8 thousand years old.

17. The Ahaggar Highlands

The highest mountain range in the Algerian part of the Sahara

The highest mountain range is in the Algerian part of the Sahara Desert. Its main peak, Mount Tahat, reaches a height of about 3000 meters. The massif itself was formed over thousands of years, as a result of the movement of subterranean plates and due to active volcanic activity in the region. The result was bizarre rocks of different unusual shapes, basalt walls, huge boulders and a mass of other natural formations.

18. Hammam Meskutin Thermal Springs

Mineral formations of various shades and shapes habib kaki 2

One of the most visited places that everyone should visit in Algeria is the unique thermal spring Hammam Meskoutine at an altitude of about 200 meters, which has unique healing properties. Here flow the keys of boiling water, saturated with minerals, which has a temperature of 95-98 degrees. It is believed that its beneficial properties allow to heal almost all known diseases.

19. The Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains are a chain of mountain ranges Progskynet

It is an entire mountainous country that stretches along the coast from west to east through the territories of the states of Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. Its length is so great that on the territory of the mountains there are alternating climatic belts, from tropical to subtropical. The north and west of the valley are covered with dense picturesque forests, while in the south and in the interior the climate is more arid, and cereals, sagebrush and feather grass are well established here. The old inhabitants of these places are the Berbers, who have adapted well to the local conditions and have erected entire mountain settlements here.

20. The Sahara Desert

Sahara Desert Landscape

It’s no secret that many travelers dream of seeing the famous Sahara Desert in Algeria. The harsh stony desert appears in yellow and red colors, and now and then clay and sand towers appear along the way. But even deep into the desert you can get by bus, the road is paved. Once upon a time these territories blossomed green gardens, growing lush vegetation, but the changed climate has led to a radical change in the landscape, replacing the sea of greenery on the vast sandy expanses, where dry hot winds walk.

The attractions of Algeria described in this article are just a small part of the riches of this wonderful land. To understand its mysteries, it takes more than one trip, but even a few days you can see a lot of interesting things. Visit an ancient mosque, wander through the ruins of ancient settlements, take pictures of Algeria’s beautiful natural landscapes, and this land will conquer you, and the trip will leave a vivid trace in your memory. Read also about the best sights of Malta and be inspired for your next journey to Asia!