Country-wide demonstrations and other forms of protest, which broke out across Algeria in February 2019, were suspended due to coronavirus and continue to be subject to various restrictions. Different types of protests occur frequently, particularly on Tuesdays and Fridays, and can take place at short notice throughout the country. You should take precautions for your personal safety by avoiding political gatherings and demonstrations. Follow instructions given by local security authorities.
Outside of business and diplomatic travel, currently there are few British visitors to Algeria. While most visits to Algeria are trouble-free, in certain areas of larger cities incidents of robbery and thefts do occur. Avoid areas that you don’t know, especially after dark. Avoid carrying large amounts of money or valuables around with you.
Seek the advice of your hosts about appropriate security measures. If possible you should arrange to be met on arrival in Algiers. You should stay at one of the main hotels where proper security precautions are taken.
Where possible, make journeys by air and stay in pre-arranged accommodation at your destination. Business visitors without established contacts should seek advice in the first instance from the British Embassy Algiers or the Algeria desk in the Department for International Trade.
If you’re travelling as a tourist, confirm your travel plans before you arrive in Algeria, using a reputable tour operator with good local knowledge.
It’s generally safe to move around the centre of Algiers during the day. Ideally, travel around with someone who knows the city well. Avoid areas that you don’t know, particularly in the suburbs of the city and especially after dark. Don’t carry large amounts of money or valuables around with you. If you plan to tour the Casbah area of Algiers, use a good local guide and make sure local police and your hosts/hotel know about your plans. Don’t accept lifts from people you don’t know – use a taxi service recommended by the hotel.
Dozens of wildfires caused significant damage east of Algiers throughout August 2021. Similar fires could flare up in the same or other areas without warning, especially during periods of extreme weather. The fires resulted in numerous deaths. You should follow local advice and avoid travelling to areas where fires may break out.
The Algerian authorities devote considerable resources to the safety of foreign visitors. In cities there’s a clear security presence, which can feel intrusive. Authorities will want to know your travel plans when travelling outside major cities and may assign police or gendarmes to protect you.
If you’re travelling independently, inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or local authorities of your plans. Your hotel should be able to help you with contacting local authorities. This doesn’t apply if you have dual Algerian nationality. You should accept any security escort you’re offered and co-operate with authorities.
Although you may drive in Algeria with a valid UK driving licence for a maximum of 3 months, the Algerian authorities may also request an International Driving Permit (IDP). You’re strongly advised to apply for a valid IDP for your temporary stay in Algeria. You can only get IDPs over the counter from 2,500 UK Post Offices. You will not be able to buy an IDP outside the UK, so get one before you travel. For more information on local regulations, visit the Algerian Interior Ministry website.
If you’re planning to hire a car, check with your car hire company for information on their requirements before you travel.
While the major road system has improved, take particular care on minor roads and at night. Algeria has a very high road traffic accident rate. If possible travel in a convoy of at least 2-3 vehicles outside the main towns.
If you are taking a taxi, ask your hotel to phone a reputable firm and don’t allow other unknown passengers to join you during the journey. Arrange with the driver to collect you for the return journey as taxis are not widely available, particularly after dark.
Algerian family law is different from UK law. If you’re a dual British-Algerian national, take particular care if child custody or forced marriage is likely to become an issue during your stay. Children (under the age of 19 years and one day) leaving Algeria need written authorisation from their parent with legal guardianship to travel if they’re travelling alone or accompanied by an adult. If you have any concerns, seek advice before travelling to Algeria or agreeing to family members travelling to Algeria.