Holidays, climate and customs in Algeria
|January 1||New Year|
|February March||Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice)|
|February March||Islamic New Year|
|February March||Ashoura (Festival of Lent)|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|April May||Moloud (Prophet’s Birthday)|
|June 19||Ben Bella’s disempowerment|
|5th July||Independence day|
|November 1||Anniversary of the revolution|
|November December||Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan)|
Source: Countryaah – Algeria Holidays
The dates for the Islamic holidays are calculated according to the lunar calendar and therefore shift every year. During the fasting month of Ramadan, which precedes the festival day Eid al-Fitr, Muslims do not eat during the day, but only after sunset. Many restaurants are therefore closed during the day. The festivals Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha last 2-10 days depending on the region.
Due to its size, Algeria can be divided into three different climate zones:
On the Mediterranean coast and on the northern slopes of the Tell Atlas (mountain range that lies directly on the Mediterranean), moderate temperatures prevail all year round. In August, the hottest month of the year, the mean temperature is around 25 °C and in January it fluctuates between 12-13 °C. The precipitation, which falls mainly in winter, makes the north relatively fertile.
The high plateaus south of the Tell Atlas are characterized by high, seasonal temperature fluctuations. The mean temperature in August is around 30 ° C and in January mostly below 0 °C. Precipitation usually comes down in short torrential rains, which can turn the rivers into dangerous, torrential currents.
In the Sahara, which covers about 85% of the area of Algeria, the daytime temperature in high summer is 40 °C, sometimes even 50 °C. Temperature fluctuations of up to 20 ° a day are not uncommon. The sirocco comes from the Sahara, a dry and dusty sandstorm that can blow as far as the Mediterranean during the summer months.
Algeria: national customs
In the Arab world, trading plays a major role in buying. A guideline for a real price is about one third to one half of the originally asked price. Therefore one should undercut the usually excessively inflated first price demand of the seller accordingly. However, haggling without the intention to buy is considered an insult to the trading partner.
For guests in an Islamic country, consideration for the local customs is required. Women in particular should pay attention to decent clothing. Beach clothing outside the bathing zone is taboo, and long pants are also recommended for men outside the hotel zones. Photographing locals without their permission must be avoided at all costs, as the image of people is traditionally a taboo in Islamic countries. During the fasting month of Ramadan it is better to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking in public.
The sale and serving of alcohol except in the tourist hotels and restaurants is prohibited on Fridays and Ramadan. Drunkenness in public is strictly frowned upon in all Islamic countries, alcohol should only be consumed in public where it is served. It would also be grossly impolite to encourage a local to drink.
In addition, non-Muslims are generally prohibited from entering mosques and madrasas in which the Friday sermon is still being held.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that DZ stands for the nation of Algeria as a two-letter acronym.
Cities and special places
Algiers is the capital of Algeria with approx. 2.2 million residents. Algiers is the cultural and industrial center of Algeria. The old town and the districts of Sidi-abd-Allah, Sidi Ramdan and Mohammed Sherif are particularly worth seeing. The many Turkish houses and palaces are particularly worth seeing.
Annaba is a coastal city on the Mediterranean Sea with approx. 200,000 residents and is located in the northeast of the country near the border with Tunisia. With around 40,000 students, Annaba has a very high proportion of students.
Constantine is the third largest city in Algeria with around 450,000 residents. The ancient and medieval buildings such as the statue of the Roman emperor Constantine are worth seeing.
The five cities of the M’Zab (Pentapolis of M’Zab)
In the M’Zab region are the so-called five cities (Greek: Pentapolis). The largest of them is Ghardaia, a foundation from the year 1053. The white houses of these villages laid out in desert ditches stand on earth walls.
Oran with its approx. 680,000 residents, also known as the “capital of the west”, is the second largest city of Algeria and is located in the west of the country. The city is considered to be the most liberal of the Algerian cities.
The place Tamanrasset, 1,400 meters high and characterized by strong climatic contrasts, is probably the best starting point to get to know the Tuareg habitat.
The place, located on a plateau at the foot of the western Erg, consists of red mud houses with extensive palm groves and gardens.
Special structures and ruins
Archbishop’s Palace in Algiers
The Archbishop’s Palace of Algiers is located on the Boulevard Che Guevara. It is an old, imposing building that was designed in a Moorish style.
Fortress Santa Cruz in Oran
This breathtaking fortress designed in Spanish architecture rises on the 400 meter high Murdjadjo. It was built in the 16th century and offers picturesque views of Oran and the Mediterranean coast.
Lamounne Fortress in Oran
The Lamounne Fortress is the second outstanding fortress in the city of Oran. The Spanish-influenced structure was completed in 1742.
Kasbah of Oran
The Kasbah of Oran is characterized by an Arab-Spanish influence.
Mausoleum of the Sufi saint Sidi Abdarahman in Algiers
In the municipal cemetery of Algiers you can visit the mausoleum of the Sufi saint Sidi Abdarahman (1384-1469), after which a mosque in Algiers was named. The mausoleum is particularly popular with pilgrims who hope that their wishes will come true.
Monument des Martyrs (Maquam E’chahid) in Algiers
90 meters high is the Momument des Martyrs, which was built in 1984. It consists of three palm trees and the so-called “eternal flame”. The monument was erected to commemorate the victims in the struggle for national independence.
Ruins of Djemila
These include the ancient Cuiculum, traces of a temple and the triumphal arch of Caracalla.
Roman ruins in Hippone
The remains of a theater, an aqueduct, a market, the thermal baths and mosaic floors were excavated.
Citadel in Algiers
The imposing citadel of the Algerian capital is located in the UNESCO-protected old town (Kasbah) of Algiers, which is so worth seeing because of its narrow streets and many old buildings. The citadel was built in the 16th century.
Attractions and streets
Boulevard Che Guevara in Algiers
The former Boulevard de la République can be reached from the port. From there, outside stairs and streets run to this 2,000 meter long terrace, which was bordered by ornate railings. The terrace is about 350 arches and was designed by Morton Peto between 1860 and 1866.
Algiers water park
The first water park in Algeria is located in the east of Algiers and spreads over an area of two hectares. Components of the water park are, for example, a go-kart track and several swimming pools for adults and children.
Museums and galleries
Archaeological Museum of Constantine
Exhibits collections of Punic, Libyan and Numidian finds as well as steles.
Archaeological Museum in Annaba
You can see numerous mosaics, coins, statues and ceramics.
Bardo Museum for Prehistory and Early History and Ethnography in Algiers
The richly decorated palace from the 18th century houses a wide-ranging collection of fossils, tools and weapons from the Paleolithic and Neolithic, as well as evidence of the history of North Africa as well as costumes and jewelry from the various Regional regions.
Demaeght Museum in Oran
The Demaeght Museum in Oran has many prehistoric collections, including paleontological and Neolithic finds.
Museum in Algiers This collection of carpets and old jewelry is located in the Palais Khadoudja from 1570.
Museum of Classical Antiquities and Islamic Art in Algiers
A collection of glass art and mosaics from the Romans as well as numerous embroideries from the time of Turkish colonial rule can be admired in the Museum of Classical Antiquities and Islamic Art. If that’s not enough, you can also enjoy the Moorish wooden sculptures and ceramics from the time between the 11th and 15th centuries.
Museum in El Qued
The exhibition provides information about the fauna and geology of the region.
You can see Roman mosaics and statues from the time of Juba II.
National Gallery in Algiers
Works by the Orientalists are exhibited here, Renoir’s painting “Women of Algiers” after Delacroix, a collection of miniatures and a collection of sculptures.
National Museum of Fine Arts in Algiers
The National Museum of Fine Arts is also located in Algiers. Friends of modern French painting will get their money’s worth here.
Sahara Museum in Ouargla
In this desert city you can visit the Sahara Museum, which shows many prehistoric finds, tools, paintings and handicrafts from different desert regions.
Mosques and churches
Basilica of St. Augustine in Annaba
The Basilica of St. Augustine in Annaba was built in the Arab-Byzantine style.
Basilique Notre-Dame d’Afrique in Algiers
In the Z’ghara district of Algiers, the majestic Basilique Notre-Dame d’Afrique, built until 1858, is enthroned. It can be reached via a cable car.
Djemaa Ketchaoua in Algiers
The mosque was originally built in 1794, later converted into a cathedral and reconstructed in neo-Moorish style around 1840.
Great Mosque (Jamaa el Kebir) in Algiers
The oldest mosque in the city rises in the old town (Kasbah) of Algiers. It was extensively restored in 1794, but its origins date back to the 11th century.
Pacha Sidi El Houari
Mosque in Oran The Pacha Sidi El Houari Mosque in Oran is a magnificent Islamic building. It dates from the 18th century and was designed in a Turkish-influenced architecture.
New Mosque (Jamaa el Jedid) in Algiers
The New Mosque of Algiers was built in the 17th century and designed in the shape of a Greek cross.
Sidi Abdarahman Mosque in Algiers
The Sidi Abdarahman Mosque in the Algerian capital was dedicated to the Sufi saint Sidi Abdarahman, who lived from 1384 to 1469. He is also the patron saint of Algiers.
Université d’Alger in Algiers
The Université d’Alger is one of the most renowned universities in Algeria. It was opened in 1909.
Universities in Constantine
The city of Constantine is known for its universities. The renowned Mentouri University, for example, was built by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. Other universities in the city are Zerzara and the Islamic University of El amir Abdelkader. A huge university town is currently still under construction. It should be in the new town (Nouvelle Ville).
Botanical Garden of Algiers (El-Hamma)
In the east of the Algerian capital Algiers you can visit the Botanical Garden, which was laid out in 1832 and which also includes an amusement park and a zoo. The now 80 hectare site was designed by A. Hardy and decorated with countless exotic plant species.
The Djurdjura massif in Algeria reaches a height of up to 2,000 meters. The winter sports center Tikjda, which is located at an altitude of around 1,500 meters and is blessed with many hotel facilities, is an outstanding tourist magnet.
Gueltas of Imlaoulaouene and Afilale
Gueltas are rainwater-fed water basins and are typical of the Tassili N’Ajjer.
The Hoggar Mountains – also known as the Ahaggar Mountains – are located in the south of the country. The mountains also cover the Niger and Libya. The mountain range the size of France is of volcanic origin. The highest mountain is the Tahat with a height of 3,003 m, which is also the highest mountain in Algeria.
The largest local oasis is Tamanrasset. Other inhabited oases are Ideles, Hirhafok, In Ekker and Tit. Tuaregs live in the region.
The summit of Mount Assekrem is a special attraction because of the local hermitage built by Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916) in 1911. The researcher, officer, monk and hermit Foucauld was born on November 13, 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI. beatified.
However, it should also be noted that between November 7, 1961 and February 16, 1966, 13 French atomic bomb tests had taken place in “In Ekker” – with the result that there is still an increased level of radiation exposure in some cases.
Jardin d’Essai in Algiers
This botanical-zoological garden is not only home to various tropical plants but also ostriches, zebras, llamas and gazelles.
The Kabylia, which is about 100 kilometers from Algiers, is an area full of mountain ranges, extensive forests, olive groves and fig plantations. The villages of Kabylia, which line up on hills and smaller mountains, are tranquil.
A unique flora and fauna developed in the 6 million year old lake that was formed in the tertiary era.
The Sahara, whose Arabic name means “empty land”, is the main attraction of Algeria with its vastness, its beauty and the adventurous stories that have arisen around it.
In addition to the Bou-Saada oasis, the old Roman city of Biskra and El Oued, the city of 100 domes, the Touggourt dune landscape, bathed by warm springs, is also worth seeing.
The 130,000 km² large volcanic plain, criss-crossed by huge gorges, was originally formed by large rivers.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Beni Hammad mountain fortress
The Al Qal’a of Beni Hammad (Algeria) are the ruins of a mountain fortress at an altitude of about 1000 m.
The city is surrounded by a 7 km long wall. It was founded in 1007 and destroyed again 150 years later. The prayer room of the mosque has 13 aisles.
This makes it one of the largest mosques in the country.
The former capital of the Hammadid emirs with its 13-aisled mosque was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980.
Rock paintings of Tassili n’Ajjer
The Tassili n’Ajjer is a mountain range in the Sahara in the southeast.
The mountain range consists largely of sandstone. Almost 300 stone arches were formed in the sandstone by erosion. Since the sandstone stores water and the altitude is cooler, there are plants here that can not thrive in the desert, e.g. B. the endemic Sahara cypress and the Sahara myrtle.
In 1850, prehistoric rock paintings and finds from the last ice age about 6000 years ago were discovered here. The paintings by Tassili n’Ajjer, some of which are more than 6,000 years old, have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982
Kasbah (old town) of Algiers
The city was founded in the 4th century BC. Founded by the Carthaginians. Kasbah of Algiers is a 16th century castle. It and many historical buildings such as the Great Mosque from the 11th century are among the gems of the old town. It is worth seeing through many winding streets. From the port you can climb stairs to the Boulevard Che Guevara. The boulevard is a large terrace that surrounds a railing that is richly decorated with ornaments.
In 1992 the old town of Algiers was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Roman ruins of Djemila
The Roman ruins of Djémila – testify to the power of the Roman Empire, which expanded far into the North African region. The ruins impressively demonstrate the ability of Roman architects to build cities with residential buildings, temples, basilicas and triumphal arches in inaccessible mountainous terrain.
During the excavations of the Roman ruins near Batna, a forum, several temples, thermal baths and a theater were found.
The excavations were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.
Roman ruins of Timgad
Timgad is about 40 km east of Batna. In the year 100 the Roman emperor Trajan founded the military colony Traiana Thamugadi, which later became Timgad. It still shows the typical structure of Roman city foundations – the square shape and square subdivision – of Roman fortified military camps.
The Roman ruins of Timgad were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.
Tipasa ruined city
The Romans used the Punic trading town of Tipasa, located on the Mediterranean, as a strategic starting point to conquer Mauritanian kingdoms. The Romans left many traces in the city. Later Phoenician, Catholic and Byzantine occupying powers came to Tipasa, and they too left behind impressive monuments of their rule. The well-preserved ruins come from Roman, Punic and Christian buildings.
They were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982
Valley of M’zab
Mainly devout Berbers, the Mozabites, live in the valley of M’zab. In the valley, which lies in central Algeria, there are some oases in the middle of the Sahara.
The villages were founded in the 11th century and each village is surrounded by a wall. The character of the places has largely been preserved over the centuries and you can see great architecture here. In the middle of each place there is a mosque with a minaret that served as a watchtower.
The houses are grouped in a circle around the mosque.
The M’zab Valley was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.