Insider tips from an Expater in Algiers

Say bonjour to Charlotte, founder of Little Voyageurs.

Charlotte is a reporter by trade. Her work has taken her across the globe, from challenging environments such as Syria and Yemen to the sunshine capital of Miami, and having two kids hasn’t slowed her down.

The French national decided to put her love of travel with kids to use and founded Little Voyageurs, a beautiful bilingual English / French ‘travel reference for cool parents’.

Here she gives us the scoop on her current home of Algiers:

Algiers, an undiscovered gem

Algiers is a very singular city, not really exposed to much tourism. You won’t find here any specialty coffee shop or any of the big restaurant chains either.

Out of the few options available here for a good meal with the kids, I would mention Rosso Pomodoro, a delicious Italian eatery serving amazing house made pizza and pasta as well as Ali Bab, a waterfront seafood restaurant located one hour away from Algiers. For a nice romantic dinner, I would go to Pere Jego, serving delicious French food and alcohol!

Shopping like a native

In Algiers, there are really few supermarkets. Most people shop in small ‘epiceries’ and my favorite one is called Chetouani and is located on the busy market street called Sidi Yahyia. For gifts, I like to go to Brokk’art, Medina Mood concept store or l’Artisane.

Time out

The best place to relax in Algiers is Spa l’o in Cheraga. It’s a wonderful day spa with jacuzzis, a sauna, and a hammam where you can get pampered according to local traditions.

As far as a special Algerian eperience, I would recommend a Hammam with the “rituel gourmand” at the Spa l’O, eating some grilled sardines in Ali Bab, visiting the nearby ruins of Tipaza and tea a the Aurassi Hotel – it has the best view of the bay al Algiers.

As for drinks, to be honest Algeria is not the best place – alcohol is a sensitive topic here and there are only few bars around often filled with men and very smoky.

Expat life

The best thing here is social life. The expat community is small and very united. There are very few places to go to or things to do in Algiers so we tend to get together very often.

The biggest challenge is to deal with cultural differences. For instance, you get “stood up” a lot here when you make appointments with people. I had to chase my plumber for weeks for him to come fix our toilet!

Home sickness

I do miss walking around with a stroller (there are few sidewalks in Algiers and there are filled with holes!), playgrounds, clean outdoor spaces and the food!

Tips for newbies to Algiers

Definitely allow time for the traffic, put away your credit cards as we only use cash here, start learning French as it is the most useful language to speak with locals, and mingle with the expats.

Get in touch with “Alger Accueil”, the association will help you answering any questions you might have setting up here and finding friends and activities for the entire family.

But don’t say… 

I would say avoid telling people “I don’t believe in God” or any topics related to the President.

Little Voyageurs is the travel reference for cool parents who travel around the globe with their kids, and are constantly looking for new family-friendly spots, wilderness trips to experience, smart ideas and exclusive tips. littlevoyageurs.com

If you’re moving abroad, read this general tips too!

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