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Algeria Travel Information

The Basics

Time

Local time in Algeria is GMT +1.

Electricity

Electrical current in Algeria is 230 volts, 50Hz. European two-pin and Schuko plugs are standard.

Language

Arabic and Berber are the official languages in Algeria. The most widely spoken foreign language is French, followed by English.

Travel Health

Travellers visiting Algeria should get vaccinated for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid fever, tetanus and yellow fever. Travellers should also include rabies as the disease occurs in some parts of the country.

Tipping

A 10 percent tip is expected but may be factored into the price at more upmarket venues.

Safety Information

Algeria's president has lifted the two-decade state of emergency, however this is widely believed to be an attempt to pacify growing unrest within the country. Travellers to Algeria should always be vigilant and check with their tour operator or travel agent before embarking. Travel to most of the southern part of Algeria is advised against by most Western governments, including: Tamanrasset, Tindouf, Boumerdès, Bouira and Tizi Ouzou. Long trips and overland travel should be avoided, as well as crowds and protests. Terrorism is a big problem in Algeria, taking the form of kidnappings, bombings and cross-country ambushes.

Local Customs

Greetings and hospitality are very important to Algerians. Male tourists should shake hands with Algerian men, though wait for women to offer a handshake. Female tourists should use their own judgement as to whether a handshake or a polite hello is the right greeting.

As Algeria is a predominantly Islamic country, visitors should avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public during the month of Ramadan. For the same reason, drinking alcohol is generally frowned upon.

Women are expected to dress conservatively. Homosexual activity is illegal and punishable by imprisonment. Photographing of police or military personnel or establishments is strictly prohibited.

Business

Pleasantries are considered essential to business dealings in Algeria. Ask after one another's health and demeanour. Do not back out of a handshake too hastily. Closeness is an expression of warmth and familiarity to Algerians. Business cards are used, if possible though, have them translated to Arabic and/or French.

Communications

The international access code for Algeria is +213. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). The area code for Algiers is 21. Mobile coverage and internet access are steadily improving.

Duty Free

Travellers over the age of 17 do not pay duty on 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 400g of tobacco. The same applies for 250ml of Eau de Cologne, 0.15g of perfume in opened bottles, and 1l of alcoholic beverages per person. Narcotics and gold are prohibited.

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