Despite many western advisory warnings against traveling to Algeria, you should know that terrorism in 2005 was focused only in the following areas: Chlef, Ain Defla, Relizane, Laarba, Medea, and Collo. As of 2009, terrorist attacks are mostly directed against police offices and other government targets. Terrorism is highly active in the south of Algeria as well.
Do not travel after nightfall; travel by plane if you can, instead of by car; avoid minor roads; ask the police if you are unsure about your surroundings, and nothing unusual should happen to you. Also, you should trust only official travel advisories when it comes to personal safety when are in or travel to a foreign country.
Algiers is frequently struck by power cuts, which means that refrigerated foods may go bad. Therefore, you should take extra care when eating in restaurants, as the likelihood of getting food poisoning is always there.
Mosquitoes are also a problem in Algeria, but they are just a nuisance, as malaria is not common. In urban areas, city-wide sprayings against mosquitoes are periodically carried on.
Do not expect good water quality, for drinking you should buy bottles of water.
Always use protection when traveling in Algeria.
All cigarettes are sold freely.Smoking in the presence of someone who is not a smoker in a public place requires his permission, if someone does not like the smoke, cough or ask you not to smoke, just stop and say sorry. This is what the locals do.If you are invited to someone's house do not smoke unless the host does and after he does, you can ask for permission to smoke is it okay if I smoke in here?If you are in a restaurant or coffee terrace where people smoke, you can smoke, if you are with locals who are not smokers, ask them first if it is okay.Less and less people smoke, it is because of a global health awareness not because of religion. Women smoking, not many, social and not religiously, smoking women are stigmatized by the society.
The official language is Arabic, but the Arabic spoken in the Maghreb Region Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia is quite different from the Arabic spoken in other parts of the Arab World, so don't be surprised if you don't understand anything said to you even if you are competent in standard Arabic. Algerian Arabic contains many French words.
However, all Algerians who have been to school will be able to speak standard Arabic; if you don't understand someone, ask just the person to speak standard Arabic al-arabiyya al-fus'ha. Egyptian Arabic is also widely understood because of the popularity of Egyptian cinema.
French, the colonial language, is still widely spoken, and almost every local that you meet will be bilingual in Arabic and French.
Berber is also spoken by many people in Algeria, mainly in rural areas. The largest being the Kabyle people near the capital.
Generally, only the younger generations in Algeria can understand some English, but most people are able to communicate in French.
Some common pharses in Algerian Arabic :
Wishrak â How are you ?
Mleh â Good
Shukran â Thank you
Sumuni .... â My Name is ....
Salam alaikum â Hello Reply is alaikum salam
Besslama â Good Bye
Sabah al khair â Good Morning Reply is Sabah al noor
Masah al khair â Good afternoon / evening Reply is Masah al noor
As in all of North Africa, the dominant religion in Algeria is Islam, and appropriate religious prohibitions and attitudes should be in order. If visiting a mosque, for example, be sure to be dressed conservatively and remove your shoes before entering it. Alcohol policy is not the same all over the country, with some cities prohibiting bars and/or liquor stores. Keep in mind to drink only at home or in a bar; never in public.
Also, given the ongoing political strife, talking politics is not advisable.