Algeria travel information: Safety and security
Safety and security (Political situation) - addition of information on the presidential election, scheduled to take place on 12th December
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Advice current as at 4:00 am 13 Dec 2019.
The Presidential Election is scheduled to take place on 12th December.
Country-wide demonstrations and other forms of protest, which broke out across Algeria in February after former President Bouteflika stood for a fifth term, are continuing. In particular, these are taking place in central Algiers. You should take precautions for your personal safety, avoid political gatherings and demonstrations and take local advice. Protests or strikes can affect transport. Observe instructions given by the local security authorities.
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.
Tourists should confirm travel arrangements before arrival 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.
Although you may drive in Algeria with a valid UK driving licence for a maximum of three months, the Algerian authorities may also request an International Driving Permit. We therefore strongly advise you apply for a valid International Driving Permit for your temporary stay in Algeria. For more information, please visit the Algerian Interior Ministry website.
You can drive in Algeria with an International Driving Permit (IDP). From 1 February 2019, 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.
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 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 father to travel if they’re travelling alone. If you have any concerns, seek advice before travelling to Algeria or agreeing to family members travelling to Algeria.
Quick Facts Tourist Information for:Algeria
Drive on the: right
Visitors/Tourists: 2,395,000 in 2011
French (official language) 20%