Trains, buses and taxis
Train is a good way to travel between the major cities. They are comfortable, safe, reasonably fast, and mine at least was on time. Tickets are on sale in advance, and I was advised to buy mine the day before, although plenty people were queuing up to buy them minutes before departure. The journey from Algiers took 5-6 hours, longer than the nice lady in the ticket kiosk said it would take, but I didn't mind as train travel is generally enjoyable as long as you have a seat! Seat numbers and carriages are printed on the ticket, but once on the train they don't mean anything. Timetables are available online (see link below), and a useful hint for searching the timetables is that trains heading west from Algiers leave from Agha station and not the main Alger station.
I took one bus, from Tlemcen to Mecheria. This was not a major intercity route, more of a local provincial route and the bus was quite a tired vehicle, stuffed with people and luggage with filthy windows and no air con. The driver was friendly though, and helped me find the right place to get off in Mecheria. I got the feeling not many foreigners take that bus, and my presence caused a lot of stares and gossip!
Shared taxis (grands taxis) are a slightly more expensive way to travel between major cities, and while they are certainly quicker than buses and trains, I'm not convinced they are more comfortable. Similar to shared taxis in other Arab countries, the system is to turn up, find the taxi, wait for enough passengers for it to be full, and off you go. You could be lucky and be the last passenger to arrive, or you could be the first and spend hours waiting. Don't expect lots of leg room, as you'll be sharing that seat with several others.Add to your Trip Planner
Ferries to/from Algeria
Many ferries connect Algeria with France (mainly Marseille) and Spain (Barcelona, Alicante and Almeria).
From France, Algerie Ferries and SNCM have regular services between Marseille and a number of Algerian ports (Algiers, Oran, Bejaia, Skikda and Annaba), although the journey is a long one and costs are high, especially in summer.
From Spain, Trasmediterranea connect Oran and Ghazaouet (between Oran and the Moroccan border) with Almeria once a week, the shortest crossing to Europe at just 8 hours. It is also the cheapest route, and I paid around £70 for a one way ticket.
Ferries can be booked online, and it is a good idea in summer as the ferry was full and tickets weren't available for mine on the day. At the port, a printed confirmation of the booking and your e-ticket is not enough...first you must go to the ferry company office and get them to print you a boarding card. The terminal at Oran was chaotic, as nobody tells you this until you've gone through baggage security and have reached immigration...lots of passengers were sprinting across the port to get their boarding cards, and having to queue up for security a second time. It didn't really matter, as the ferry was very late leaving port anyway...all the ferries carry cars and lorries too, and you can watch from the deck as the customs officials slowly work their way down the never-ending line of vehicles waiting to board.
On the Trasmediterranea ferry, even though it was a daytime crossing, many passengers had booked cabins or reclining seats in one of the lounges, and those who hadn't camped out on patches of carpet, using blankets and bags to create mini tents! I alternated between the outside decks and the cafe, which has more than enough empty seats. The ferry boasts luggage lockers for foot passengers (get there early unless you fancy sitting on your luggage!), a restaurant (open for one hour), a cafe (some food, but not what is advertised on the menu), a bar (no alcohol served), duty free shops (stayed closed all journey), and a television room.Add to your Trip Planner
Flying into Algeria
Algiers is the main gateway, with Houari Boumediene Airport receiving flights from all over Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Air Algerie serves most capitals, and flights from regional airports in France seem to be popular too. I flew in on Turkish Airlines from Istanbul.
On arrival, you have to fill out a landing card in either French or Arabic (my flight had mostly Turkish passengers on it, and language was an issue!). I was expecting to be asked lots of questions, like what I was doing in Algeria, how long I was staying, where I was going, how much money did I have with me, etc., but they took one look at my visa, asked if I was from Scotland, asked why I wasn't wearing a kilt, and stamped me in!
The arrivals hall has a few cafes and shops, as well as a couple of exchange booths. I queued up at one, attracting the attention of a taxi driver on the prowl for a new customer, who told me not to change money there but to go to the mobile phone shop next door...bizarrely, the man in the exchange booth nodded in agreement! I'm told foreigners can get SIM cards at the airport (rumour has it for free, but I can' confirm that).
Buses head to the city centre fairly frequently, although I took a taxi, not really knowing exactly where the bus would take me. Soon, the metro will be extended to include a station at the airport, making transport into the city even easier.
As well as Algiers, other international airports include Oran, Tlemcen, Annaba, Constantine and Tamanrasset in the far south. Not surprisingly, most flights from these cities are from France, but Turkish Airlines has recently started to fly to several Algerian cities daily.Add to your Trip Planner
I prefer to walk as much as I can, but Algiers, Oran and Tlemcen are all quite spread out, so I did try out different transport options in all three.
Metro: Algiers has a brand new metro, just one line at the moment, running from near the post office to the suburbs in the east, but it is being extended west to under the Casbah so will be more useful for tourists when that is completed. Tickets are cheap, trains are modern, fast and regular, and signs and announcements are in both Arabic and French.
Telepheriques (cable cars): As well as the touristy cable car taking visitors up to the Martyrs' Monument, Algiers also has a number of cable car systems used to access various hillside suburbs and they can be fun to use, especially as they offer panoramic views over the bay. Oran used to have one up to the Santa Cruz fort and church above the city, and is planning to bring that back at some point, and Tlemcen has a great one from the city centre up to the Lalla Setti plateau. Algeria seems to be a pioneer in urban cable cars, and they are definitely a fun and cheap way to travel around.
Taxis: Now this I found tricky. I really struggled to flag down a taxi in the street, as most of them were occupied. However, an occuped taxi will often still stop as long as there is a seat available and they're heading in roughly the same direction as you, but here lies the problem...you need some local knowledge of the geography to know whether your destination is in the same direction, and you need to be able to shout that out as they slow down. Oran was the most difficult, as no taxi would even slow down for me, every single on being full. I ended up walking a kilometre out of town to the train station to find an empty taxi to take me to the out of town shared taxi station. Taxi fares are fairly cheap, and there don't seem to be many dishonest drivers around yet...although I did meet one in Oran who wanted to greatly overcharge me.
Tram: Oran has a new tram system which runs from the suburbs near the airport into the city centre and looping back out to another suburb. They're fairly regular with lots of stops, so could prove useful for getting around. Tickets are bought from machines on the platforms, so make sure to have some small change ready.Add to your Trip Planner
It is easy to fly to Algeria that has 31 airports, especially in the desert part (south). Out of them 13 have international lines. Air Algérie is the national carrier and has a fleet of very well maintained planes. Beware, most flights are almost full and do not wait the last time to book you seat !Add to your Trip Planner
To get into the airport you will find several security check points.
So go early, othert wise you may loose your flight
The Argel airport it's quite modern.
Security will ask ( on the way out - to get out of Algeria) if ou have money, how much , etc.
Just tell the truth.
You will have to fill the same papers that you already did when you got there...so don't question, and do it or you will be sent to fill them , go to the end of the line and maybe loose your flight.
Some times domestic flights are canceled. Call o the airport before going there.Add to your Trip Planner
Public transportation in Algeria : taxi/bus
Bus and public taxis are the most comon ways for algerians to move between or inside cities, from the "gare routiere de Kharouba" bus station in Algeirs, you can go almost to all big cities in Algeria, If you are going to a small city or a village, then you have to go the nearest big city and then you will find transportation to your final destination. Generally each city has a taxi station near a bus station, so that make it easy to switch to taxi if there is no bus available, because bus has its own shedule, but taxis are available almost all the day (first arrived first served), on week-ends (especially Thirsday) many people travel back home so expect it to be crowded and you better plan early your trip..
Taxis between cities are yellow, however in cities they could be normal cars tagged with the taxi sign (mostly writen in arabic or french or both). Expect to pay everything in cash!Add to your Trip Planner
Transportation in Algeria
If you want to move in Algeria betweens cities, you have the choice between air, train, bus or public taxis.
Algiers Houari Boumediene International Airport (Domestic Terminal) links Algiers to the major cities in Algeria, such :
Annaba, Jijel, Bejaia, Oran, Constantine, Chlef, Setif, Batna, Tebessa,
Tiaret, Biskra, Tlemcen, El oued, Touggourt, Ghardaia, Ouargla, Hassi Messaoud,
El Golea, Bechar, Timimoun, In Amenas, Adrar, Tindouf, In Salah, Illizi, Djanet,
Tamanrasset, Bordj Badj Mokhtar.
There is also regular flights between algerian cities who are far from each other, east-west or north-south.
SNTF (The Algerian Rail company) links the most of north cities together.
Check : http://www.sntf.dz
The most known are the night trains that link Annaba-Constantine-Algeirs and Oran-Algiers.
By Bus or Public Taxi
see tip : Public transportation in Algeria : Taxi/BusAdd to your Trip Planner
Transportation to/from Algeria
Algiers Houari Boumediene International Airport is linked to the major european cities and few middle eastern and african cities, as well as to the major cities in Algeria. So you won't find any problem to get to or leave Algiers by air.
Here are destinations: (It could change, you have to confirm)
Spain : Madrid, Alicante, Palma, Barcelona
Turkey : Istanbul
France : Paris, Metz, Lile, Montpellier, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille, Nice
Italy : Rome, Milano
UK : London
Russia : Moscow
Belgium : Brussels
Luxembourg : Luxembourg
Suitzerland : Geneva
Tunisia : Tunis
Morroco : Casablanca
Lybia : Tripoli
Muritania : Nouakshott
Cote d'hivoire : Abidjan
Senegal : Dakkar
Niger : Niamey
Mali : Bamakou
Burkina faso : Ouagadougou
Middle east :
Egypt : Cairo
Jordan : Amman
Syria : Damascus
Saudia Arabia : Jeddah
Lebanon : Beirut
UAE : Dubai, Sharjah
Many other major cities are linked also to some european cities such as Oran, Constantine, Annaba, Setif, Hassi messaoud, Tamanrasset (check the web site)
Right now the only train that links Algeria to an other country is the train from Tunis (Tunisia) to Algiers throught Annaba (Eastern Algeria).
In the cities near the borders, you can find always a public taxis to get to the borders or to the neighbor country. Such (Tunis - Annaba).Add to your Trip Planner
The road network is close to 100,000 km. There are few highways, only around the main cities (Algiers, Oran, Annaba) but there are 20,000 km of national roads (main roads), usually in good condition but with a very heavy traffic of cars and trucks. There are often accidents. To drive 200 km will often require at least 3 hours. There are many taxis, either in towns or for long distance connections.Add to your Trip Planner
The railway system extends to 4500 km, with 200 stations, such as this one in Annaba. It runs only in the northern part of the country. It is a good mean of transportation; cheap but usually not very fast. If you have a limited time, you will prefer to fly. If you have enough time, the train is for you.Related to:
Algeria has 13 harbors that hold most of the foreign trade. Ferries link with France (Marseille, Sète), Italy (Genoa) and Spain (Alicante) to Algiers, Oran, Bejaia, Skikda and Annaba. The sailing is between 24 and 36 hours.Add to your Trip Planner
desert trip by car
During our trip rounding the Grand Erg Occidental, we travelled by normal car on tarred or gravel roads.Most of the time we travelled in the late afternoon.
At this point where we could choose to go further to the south to Tamanrasset, but we had to return to the north to El Golea.
At this most southern spot of our route was a small place where we could get tea. So time for a tea-stop, before we continued our route to the north.Related to:
- Road Trip
Airport to town transport
From the Algiers airport you can get a Taxi into town which shouldn't cost more than 8 US$. Same story coming from anywhere in town. Or...catch a Bus for just 25 Dinars(1/4 of a Euro). The Bus stop is just 200 meters away from the airport. Go north past the Police Road Block and you'll find a big parking area. Bus to Town leaves from here every half and hour.
In town the Bus leaves along the corniche 300 south of Place Port SaidAdd to your Trip Planner
The better way to travel and cheap is Airplane.
From Algier to Oran and back price is 5800 DA.
From Algier to most touristiuc place town ANNABA is 6500 DA there and back.
Taxi, like every taxi around the world. You can find honest but if they not switch taximeter go out and dont say nothing. Ask for taximeter if they dont switch it go out. Cheating like Bush Iran war attack....hahahahaRelated to:
- Budget Travel
This was the hotel which my local colleagues had suggested to me; it was quite a distance from our...more
06 Bd, zabour larbi-hai khaldia, Oran, 31000, Algeria
Good for: Couples
Boite Postale 59
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
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