Algeria is an Arab country situated in the northern subcontinent of Africa. With a Mediterranean coastline and a large portion of the Sahara within its borders, Algeria is a delightful place for any tourist visit. While this country is not known for a booming tourism industry (the country made an average of $207.30 Million in 2017 out of the estimated $34.37 billion export industry).
This makes it all the more exciting to visit as it contains several hidden gems. The best part is due to its relatively low popularity as a tourist hub, it will never be crowded, ensuring you receive a truly authentic experience. Therefore, whether you’re a solo traveler or are with your family and friends, Algeria will hold the perfect vacation for you!
However, due to strict laws, Algeria only allows a handful of countries to be exempt from having a valid visa. These countries are as follows:
- Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Do note, that if you do not hold a passport from these countries, you will be asked to follow the normal visa procedure.
Below is a summary of the visa process that you may use as an overview.
Visa process for Algeria:
Do note, that if successful, it will take up to 10 working days to receive a visa to Algeria.
Step 1: Create an online appointment
As per Algerian law, you will first have to arrange for an in-person interview when submitting your documents. This interview will have to take place at your country’s relevant Algerian embassy.
Step 2: Application form
Next, you will have to fill in an application form, this form is generally available online or at the relevant Algerian Embassy.
Step 3: Collecting relevant documents
Now, you will have to ensure that you have the following documents ready to hand in with your application form.
Do note that in addition to the original document, you will be asked to submit clear copies of all documents as well.
The documents are as follows:
- Your original passport (needs to be valid for at least 6 months)
- A completed Algerian visa form (you may need to have two copies of this)
- Two recent passport sized photographs, with a preferably white background
- Proof of residency of the country you are visiting from
- Flight tickets or proof of booking of flight tickets. These should include the return ticket as well.
- Proof of accommodation, either hotel bookings or a letter of invitation from friends/family if you are staying them.
- A statement from your bank as proof that you have sufficient funds for travel. (Visitors from certain countries may require a pre-set minimum amount)
- A letter of invitation from an Algerian national
- Certificate of birth
- Proof of employment from the country you are visiting from
- A return envelope for your passport
Step 4- In person interview
As stated above, some countries may require an in-person interview when submitting the application.
This interview is relatively simple, however, do not that you may have to dress in a business-casual manner.
After the interview is concluded, you will have to pay the relevant visa processing fee. However, in general the visa fee for tourists is $160.
Now that we’ve covered the process towards obtaining your visa to Algeria, below are some of the best places to visit as well as the best dishes to eat in Algeria!
Best places for tourists to visit in Algeria
A port city, Annaba contains many beautiful ruins of villages and temples of times past. As such it is a scenic and idyllic place for a visit.
Ghardaia is a city located in the middle of The Sahara. Full of colours and rich traditional sights, Ghardaia, is the perfect place for souveniers.
A sleepy seaside town. Djanet actually is home to a national park as well as having a full view of the mountains.
The capital of Algeria. This city strikes an intricate balance between being a metropolis and having gorgous natural scenery.
If you are looking for a place with remnants of Roman history, Setif is the way to go. Filled with the ruins of ancient Roman civilization, Setif also has much of French culture still imbued within it.
Best dishes to eat in Algeria
This a common breakfast dish and is made of shredded bread that is blended into a stew with a meat such as lamb. It is commonly served with vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and garbanzo beans.
A hot soup, Harira is common during the fasting month. A hearty dish, it contains a meat, typically beef or lamb, beaten eggs, rice and a variety of herbs.
A favourite across the globe, Couscous is made of steamed semolina. This dish is usually accompanied by a meat and vegetables.
A long bread originally from France. Baguettes can be found in any bakery across Algeria!
Those with a sweet tooth, rejoice! Makroudh is Algeria’s favourite dessert. This sweet pastry made from a semolina and flour-based dough is stuffed with nuts, dates and an almond paste.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a visa to Algeria cost?
The fee may vary depending on the country you apply from, however, in general, a tourist visa costs $160.
How long will this process take?
The process has been known to take up to 10 working days, therefore, you are advised to hand in all documents as early as possible.