Algiers has long been associated with romance. Whether you’re staying in Algiers with a partner, friends or the whole family, there’s no better way to see this gorgeous city than by foot. These four fabulous urban hikes will give you an up-close look at Algeria’s capital.
Not far from Algiers lies the picturesque seaside village of Sidi Fredj, which couldn’t be more perfect for walkers. This is the Mediterranean at its most beautiful, with gorgeous beaches, jade-green water and old-world architecture. The French influence is evident in the buildings here, as well as in the many cafes that serve up a delectable French-North African fusion cuisine.
While strolling the whole town is worthwhile, one of the most beautiful walks is the Chemin du Port, which winds for several miles along the marina. While it is possible to drive, it is far better to walk to take in the brilliantly white stucco buildings along the marina and stop in at one of the many open-air cafes. Just to the south is the Plage de Sidi Fredj, a large stretch of beach perfect for sunning and swimming.
Rue Didouche Mourad
If you suddenly feel like you’re on the Champs Elysees while walking through this particular neighbourhood in Algiers, there’s a reason for that: When the French colonised this area in the 19th century, they redesigned it to feel Parisian—and they succeeded.
The Rue winds for several miles down through the heart of Alger-Center, and while it is accessible by taxi, bus and subway, it is pedestrian-friendly and wonderfully designed for urban hiking. Exploring this area on foot allows you to wander through one of the city’s most popular shopping districts and gives you easy access to a great variety of stores, galleries, restaurants and open-air cafes.
There are also cultural opportunities to be had along this urban hike. While walking along Rue Didouche Mourad, you’ll come across the historic Grande Poste (the old post office) and the Museum of Ancient Arts and Relics.
From the time Charles Boyer, in the classic film Algiers, murmured, “Come with me to the Kasbah. We will make beautiful music together,” this particular section of the city has represented the romantic and the beautiful.
This ancient section of the city has been inhabited since the 2nd century B.C., and parts of the older city still remain, interspersed with more modern architecture, including Ottoman palaces, hammams (baths), and mosques as well as several lively souks, or Arab marketplaces. Nearly 50,000 people still call the Kasbah home, and it is so culturally important, it has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A popular walk in this section of the city begins at the Market of Chartre. From there, head north on the Rue Bab el Oued past the Place des Martyrs until you reach the Emir Abdelkader Lyceum. Then veer southwest on the Rampe Louni Arezki and the Boulevard Taleb Mohamed to finish up at the gorgeous el Barani Mosque. This trip is about three miles in length and takes walkers past many historical highlights of the city’s most famous quarter.
The Botanical Garden of Hamma
One of the most gorgeous urban hikes in Algiers doesn’t feel urban at all. The Botanical Garden of Hamma has more than a mile of pedestrian-only trails. Whether you’re strolling on the wide, paved Allee des Washingtonias in the French garden or exploring the rough paths of the jardinanglaise (an informal section of wild, English-style gardens), the botanical garden is an oasis of peace and quiet in an otherwise bustling and vibrant city.
These gardens also have a small but interesting zoo to explore and an arboretum with mature, native trees to wander under, making this one of the most interesting of urban walks.
From the ancient streets of the Kasbah to the wild, English-style area of the botanical gardens, Algiers offers a variety of exquisite urban hiking opportunities that will make travellers will fall in love with this romantic city in a new way.