Tlemcen Travel Guide

  • Tlemcen from Lalla Setti
    Tlemcen from Lalla Setti
    by maykal
  • Palais el Mechouar, Tlemcen
    Palais el Mechouar, Tlemcen
    by maykal
  • Cable Car to Lalla Setti, Tlemcen
    Cable Car to Lalla Setti, Tlemcen
    by maykal

Tlemcen Things to Do

  • Kissaria (Souq)

    The narrow lanes surrounding Place Emir Abdel Kader and the Mechouar are known as the Kissaria, a warren-like maze of shops. it's not the most exciting souq in the world, and those looking for souvenirs will be disappointed, but if you fancy a wander around an everyday market area, it can be quite interesting in the morning when it tends to be...

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  • Lalla Setti Funfair

    I noticed a lot of people coming up on the cable car, a constant stream of people actually, but not many of them seemed to be there for the views or the mausoleum. I followed them down the road past a new 5* hotel, and we emerged at a very busy park and funfair around a lake with pedalos . If speedboats are your thing, you can pay for a little lap...

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  • Lalla Setti Plateau

    Late in the afternoon, about an hour or so before sunset, I took some advice from a taxi driver and hopped on a cable car which whisked me up over the rooftops to the top of Lalla Setti Plateau. The cable car is fairly new, and takes about 15 minutes to reach the top, pausing briefly at a halfway station. At the top, a terrace runs along the edge...

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  • Sidi Boumedienne Complex

    On a hill in the eastern suburbs of Tlemcen, the Tomb of Sidi Boumedienne and the surrounding complex including a mosque, a ruined palace and a madrasa, is probably the architectural highlight of Tlemcen. If you haven't been able to enter any mosques in Algeria, it is possible to enter the tomb and the courtyard here, and the guardien was very...

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  • Sidi Boumedienne Madrasa

    As you come out of the mosque and tomb complex, take the alleyway heading behind the mosque and look out for some steps leading up to a large arched doorway. I was curious enough to wonder what this was, and had a quick look through the door to see a beautiful tiled courtyard. A sign on the door claimed it was the National Centre for Manuscripts,...

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  • Sidi Boumedienne Palace Ruins

    Behind the mosque and the tomb, you can pay a small fee to the guardien and he will let you into the ruins of a palace hidden underneath the tomb. There's not an awful lot here to see, and it is hard to tell what was what, but the views over the countryside are nice, and it was good to escape the sun for a bit. Lots of empty rooms to explore,...

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  • Sidi Boumedienne Tomb

    Through a brightly painted wooden door, which the guardien is very keen to show off, steps lead down to a cool tiled courtyard with a couple of headstones of holy men in one corner. Sidi Boumedienne was a Sufi from Andalusia who arrived in Tlemcen in the 12th century, and his tomb is in a room behind this. It was fine for me to enter, although I...

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  • Mansourah

    Just the west of Tlemcen are the ruins of the city of Mansourah. In the 13th century, Tlemcen was the seat of power for the Zianide Kingdom, and an important trading post between Morocco and the Sahara and beyond. It came under siege by the rival Marinids, who built their own fortified city right next door, el Mansourah, complete with palaces,...

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  • Mechouar: Mosque and Museum

    Just inside the gate, turn right and you'll see the little fortress mosque, now an Islamic-themed museum. The building has been newly renovated like most of the Mechouar complex (it had been transformed into a church under French rule, and was apparently sitting in ruins for several years until recently), and the exhibits include old copies of the...

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  • Mechouar: Palace

    The main attraction is the newly rebuilt palace, like a mini version of Granada's Alhambra, all decorated archways and coloured tiles around a central fountain. I think they are planning to fill the rooms with exhibitions and make it into another museum, but for now most rooms are empty. It doesn't really matter too much, as the building itself is...

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  • The Mechouar

    A fortress surrounding the former palace of the Zianide rulers, the Mechouar should be Tlemcen's star attraction, and perhaps it will be in the near future when renovations have been finished. It is currently open, and contains a small museum in a little mosque, and the palace has been rebuilt (apparently it was in ruins not so long ago), both...

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  • Sidi Bel Hassan Mosque and City Museum

    Also on Place Emir Abdel Kader is this small mosque, now a museum with mainly Islamic art on show. The building has been recently restored and has some features reminiscent of mosques in Fes over the border, but it all seems a bit overly new and someone has been a little heavyhanded with the white paint. Still, it is worth a quick look if only to...

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Tlemcen Transportation

  • Taxis and Cable Cars

    Taxis in the centre of Tlemcen are difficult to spot, and like in other Algerian cities, are often already full of passengers if they stop for you. I find this system a bit confusing, as then you have to ask if they're going the same direction, or sometimes they might ask you if you don't mind going via somewhere else first, so a bit of local...

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  • Shared Taxis and Buses

    The bus station in Tlemcen is just outside the old city walls, close to the kissaria market area and the Hotel les Zianides. It's quite a confusing place, with buses heading to several small towns around Tlemcen as well as to Oran and Algiers, and different ticket offices for each company. There is a toilet at the bus station, but you need some...

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