Algiers, Algeria Report of what it's like to live there - 12/17/21
Personal Experiences from Algiers, Algeria
1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?
I have lived in South America and Far East Asia.
2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?
DC, currently a long trek with possible overnight in Frankfurt or Paris
3. What years did you live here?
4. How long have you lived here?
5. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?
Housing, Groceries & Food:
1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
In my opinion, housing is meh and filling out the housing survey does not seem to matter. I also think most people in Algiers are not happy with their housing.
2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
Local produce is cheap and plentiful, but only items in season. Meat is of tougher quality.
Anything imported is expensive. Bring liquids in consumables.
3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?
4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
Pizza and burgers seem to be the popular choices. Algerian cuisine is kind of dull and boring.
5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?
1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?
2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?
Good quality and affordable.
3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?
Not that many options.
4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?
Cash economy only.
5. What English-language religious services are available locally?
There are some Sunday services.
6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
Very helpful to learn basic Arabic and/or french.
7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?
1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?
Local Uber service is available.
2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?
Something old as accidents are unavoidable.
Phone & Internet:
1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?
Very slow internet.
2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?
A couple of local providers but patchy connectivity.
1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?
Yes, good options for vets. No quarantine required.
Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:
1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?
Some jobs at the Embassy.
2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?
Conservative for women.
Health & Safety:
1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
None, however to leave Algiers we are required to have escorts with us.
2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?
Mental health issues as this is not an easy post.
Health care providers are of low quality.
3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?
No issues. Can get dusty/sandy during sand storms.
4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?
Dust storms are common.
5. Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?
Mental health seems to be a big issue at post as we are literally trapped in Algiers. Within Algeria travel is difficult, too much red tape. There are few flights out of Algeria, and they are expensive and unreliable.
6. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?
Climate is very pleasant.
Schools & Children:
1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?
For young kids there are a few decent options.
1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?
It is quite insular with very few opportunities to meet other expats.
2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?
People mostly socialize with others in their buildings.
3. Is it easy to make friends with locals here? Are there any prejudices or any ethnic groups who might feel uncomfortable here?
It is hard to make friends with locals as they tend to stick together.
4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?
There is an underground LGBT scene but not mainstream as the country is very conservative.
5. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?
Yes to all.
6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?
Highlight has been the R&Rs.
7. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?
None, used to be easy flights to Europe but not any more.
Words of Wisdom:
1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?
Manage your expectations, this is a hardship post.
2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?
3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:
4. But don't forget your: