Algiers Airport: HOUARI BOUMEDIENE
I travelled from London Gatwick Airport, and the trip was around 2 hours 30 minutes. I travelled using BA and they do not fly Friday or Saturday.
The airport was quite modern, and busy. There is much checking of passports and belongings.
The main duty free shops do not accept the local currency, although the others do.
The have armed security staff on the runway guarding the aircraft.
Train to Oran
"To Oran? Oh it only takes 3 hours," said the nice lady at Algiers Agha train station as she sold me a ticket for the early morning train. I think she must have been new, as it took 5. I didn't mind, as it's quite an enjoyable way to travel between the two cities.
4 trains a day leave the capital for the second city, three of them taking 5 hours and an express one in the evening taking 3 hours. On the ordinary trains, tickets cost 900DA second class, 1200DA first class, while the express train costs slightly more (1020DA and 1320DA). Tickets give a seat number and a letter for the carriage, but this was meaningless...other passengers on the train told me to sit anywhere. I asked if I needed to reserve my ticket, but was told there was no need, so left it until the morning of travel.
Trains to Oran don't leave from the main Algiers station near the ferry port, but instead from the suburban rail hub of Agha, also near the port, but closer to the metro station Khelifa Boukhalfa (and also the hotel I was staying in). Stops include Blida, Chlef and Relizane as well as some other smaller towns. In Oran, the train station is a fair walk into the centre of town, and the few taxis loitering outside fill up fast, so don't dawdle!
www.sntf.dz is the Algerian railways website, with timetable and fare information in Arabic and French. Just bear in mind that if you try searching for trains heading west on the online timetable, search for trains from Agha instead of Alger...searching from Alger will bring up no results.
Algiers is a hilly sort of place, and city authorities have connected hilltop suburbs with the lower city using a number of cable cars, or telepheriques. Far from being a tourist attraction (well...Algiers doesn't have many tourists yet!), these are primarily used as a form of public transport, with the exception of the telepherique between Jardin d'Essais and Maqam ech Chahid (Martyrs' Monument). Ticket prices are low, and the ones I rode were very crowded, although it was a public holiday.
Another telepherique which may be up and running again in the future is the one up to Notre Dame d'Afrique, the basilica on the hill west of Bab el Oued. It had been closed for some time unfortunately, so I missed out on visiting the church...it was too hot to climb, and finding a taxi in Algiers is not easy if you don't know the system.
The one and only metro line in Algiers opened in 2011, running from the centre of Algiers to the eastern suburbs. There are ten stations, with the first two on Rue Didouche Mourad, the main shopping street of Algiers. The main station is Tafourah, with entrances close to the Grande Poste, and the station closest to my hotel at the other end of the street is Khelifa Boukhalfa. For tourists, the main reason to use the metro would be to go to the Martyrs' Monument and the Jardin d'Essais, and the journey out to the Jardin d'Essais metro station only takes about 15-20 minutes, with the entrance right next to the gate of the park, and opposite the cable car station up to the monument.
Trains are modern and clean, and as they are fairly frequent, not too crowded either. Announcements are in Arabic and French, and signs on platforms are in both languages too, so it is easy to use. I can't remember how much I paid for a ticket, but it didn't break the bank.
Walking around central Algiers, you'll notice a couple of huge construction projects closing some roads. One is near Place Port Said near the seafront, and the other takes over most of Place des Martyrs just below the Casbah. Two new metro stations are under construction, as part of a line extension west from Tafourah, so in a few years the metro will be even more useful for tourists,
Transportation in Algiers
You can move around Algiers using bus or taxis, taxis may be better because it's fast, not expensive with the local money and you can ask the driver to get you to a specific destination, almost all of taxi drivers speak french with may be little english so that can make the communication easier!
Algiers Metro is under construction, in 2008 it will be functionnal so that will be very helpful for people to move in greater Algiers.
Algiers is the capital and the biggest city in algeria, so it has a good transportation system.
From Houari Boumedienne International Airport, with its 2 terminals (international and domestic), air flights go to Europe, Canada, North Africa, saharian Africa and the Middle East, as well as all airports in Algeria, Algiers is also linked by ferries to France and Spain.
Excellent connections with trains, buses and taxis to all major cities in Algeria.
The international and domestic terminals are new, very nice, clean with all accomodations.
Houari Boumedienne airport
Houari Boumedienne airport is a public airport located 17 km southeast of Algiers, the capital of Algeria. It is named after Houari Boumedienne. Under French rule, Dar El Beïda, the area at which the airport is located, was known as Maison Blanche and, in much of the literature about the Algerian War of Independence it is called "Maison Blanche" airport.
Les téléphériques d'Alger
This was an enjoyable way to travel to eh 200m or so to the memorial. It costs 20 DA for each journey and was fairly quick once it started. It seems there is a timetable, however it was not visible.