Living In Algeria As An Expat – part 2. You can see part one here.
Pros and Cons of Living in Algeria as an Expat
As of the time of writing this article, we can tell you that Algeria seems to be the biggest country in Africa. Not only is that, but it has also emerged as the richest in terms of natural resources. While moving to this country for the first time, you need to understand the advantage, and the likely problems you could face as an expat. In this section, we have come up with the pros and cons of living in Algeria.
Customs and Traditions
The customs and culture of this beautiful nation constitute to why it remains an expat destination. In fact, Algerians are known for their rich culture, which is prevalent throughout all aspects of the citizen’s life. Whether it’s the delicious food, the kind-hearted people, or the festive music, there’s no shortage of opportunities to experience Algerian history and traditions first hand.
Algeria has beautiful nature throughout every region of the country. From the coast to the Atlas Mountains, Algeria provides gorgeous scenery. Hiking, cycling, and even skiing are popular outdoor activities for visitors looking to take in some fresh air and good views. So, be rest assured that you’ll have tons of outdoor activities to explore while visiting this country as an expat.
Public schools provide high-quality education to Algerian students. Depending on the region, and some of the public school curriculums might include French, English, or Arabic language courses. Although most young Algerians attend public schools in their early years, but many end up attending private or religious institutions for secondary and higher education.
Advanced Medical care
Advanced medical care remains another reason why Algeria is the best destination for expatriates. Moreover, this country is certainly known for its modern medical care. For visitors, this is great news; the quality of medical care in Algeria is on par with that of many other developed countries. If you visit a hospital or clinic for any reason while living in Algeria, rest assured knowing your standard of care will be very high.
It’s no secret Algerians are known for their delicious food. From the classic dish Hamam M’Rabet to sweet pastries like Oued El-Makhazine, there’s no shortage of wonderful Algerian cuisine to choose from. So, if you’ve been wondering whether there are lovely restaurants that can serve you the best food in Algeria, worry less, as the country is home to wonderful restaurants that’d give you all you want.
Festivals and Events
From religious ceremonies to local festivals, Algeria has something exciting going on at all times. During holidays, Algeria is filled with beautiful decorations and colourful lights. However, many of these leave lasting impressions on visitors. So, always expect a wonderful celebration or event whenever you plan relocating to Algeria.
Great Transportation Network
Algeria has a decent network of transport options for locals and visitors alike. Whether you choose to ride the bus, taxi, train, or tram, there’s no shortage of ways to get around in Algeria. That’s why you need not to worry about commuting during your first visitation to the country as the locals are there to help you through the process.
Algerians are some of the most kind-hearted people you’ll ever meet. They understand the importance of good relationships with their neighbours, and they do everything in their power to maintain them accordingly. Additionally, Algerian society places a high value on hospitality. So, even if you’re visiting Algeria for only a few days, you’ll never go hungry or feel alone.
Housing in Algeria is very affordable. It’s not uncommon to find a relatively decent apartment for around 3,000 DZD per month – and that’s including utilities. This makes it easy for Algerians to afford homes near their work places if they so desire. Aside from this fact, you can also decide to own an apartment in the long run during your stay as an expat in the country.
Plenty of Work Opportunities
Although the unemployment rate is high in Algeria, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of jobs waiting to be filled. It’s not uncommon for new graduates and young professionals to find open positions right away, and many people enjoy plentiful job security as well. So, if you’re looking for a job, traveling or relocating to this country could be the best decision you’ve ever made.
There are many pros to living in Algeria aside from the ones listed above. On the other hand, there are also some cons. We’ll be taking a look at the five biggest cons of living in this beautiful North African country.
Anyone who’s ever tried to get something done here will know what I mean when I say that Algeria is very bureaucratic. Getting anything done is often a long, frustrating process with lots of paperwork and running around. No one wants to do anything without fingerprints, signatures, copies of your passport, and phone numbers for reference. In this case, it’s always much more difficult than you’d expect.
It gets pretty hot here during the summer months (up to 50˚C in some places), so you’ll have to be careful when you go out. However, stay hydrated; stay inside until the sun goes down. This is considered a pretty good advice if you don’t want to get heatstroke!
Water Quality in Algeria
A lot of people drink bottled water because tap water is undrinkable and with good reason. Water is often contaminated with all sorts of chemicals. In fact, it smells bad (sometimes like sewage), and there’s no consistency to the taste. So, we advise you to be careful about how you drink your water.
Internet Speed in Algeria
Algeria still has some work to do when it comes to having fast internet speeds. Sometimes during peak hours the download/upload speeds might be as low as 0.5 Mbps (which is really, really slow). Be prepared to always be using Wi-Fi and not rely on mobile data to get anything done online.
Lack of Skilled Workers
Another thing to put into consideration while living as an expat in this country is the lack of skilled workers. You’ll need a lot of patience when waiting for things here because there simply aren’t enough skilled workers to get it done quickly. You can’t find plumbers; you can only find people who are stitching clothes, and many others. This way, if you’re in a hurry, we recommend calling your friends to help out.
Best Places Suitable for Expats in Algeria
Algeria has a very modern history, formed by the mix of Arabs and Berbers. Today, Algeria is known for its beautiful beaches and old cities, but it also contains some large cities to live in if you prefer that. In this section, we have highlighted some of the best places suitable for expat. Take a look at it below!
Oran is described as a lively city with a rich history and culture. The weather is warm and sunny for most of the year, with an average temperature of 21 degrees Celsius in the summer and 9 degrees in the winter.
There’s a decent transport system, so getting to other cities isn’t usually a problem. The beaches are about 30 kilometres outside of Oran itself, so you can easily get there if you want to sunbathe and relax in the summer.
Tiaret is an important political, economic and cultural centre in Algeria. It is home to over half a million people with plenty of history behind it as well. You can explore museums, old Roman sites or enjoy the nightlife if you are not someone who enjoys museums or old historical sights. Also, the beaches are about 60 kilometres away from Tiaret, so you can visit them if it’s the right season.
Sétif may not be as well-known as other cities in Algeria, but it is a great place to live if you like quiet surroundings where you won’t be disturbed by busy streets. There are plenty of cafés, restaurants and bars where you can hang out with your friends or meet new people.
The beaches here are about 30 kilometres away. Therefore, you don’t have to go too far off to find some hot sand on your feet and clear blue water surrounding you.
The fourth place on our list is Annaba. It is another one of the most important cities in Algeria, with a population of almost 300,000 people. Annaba is famous for its university, and t has many students who study here and then stay on to live there after they graduate because there are plenty of jobs. The beaches are only ten kilometres out of town, so you can easily enjoy a swim in the Mediterranean Sea if you feel like it.
Batna is not only known for its beaches, but also its mountains and caves. There are many activities to do here in this town, from exploring natural beauty spots to going skiing in winter. The city itself has a population of almost 200,000 and is known for its rich natural resources and minerals.
Frequently Asked Questions about Living in Algeria
What is the weather like in Algeria?
Algeria has a Mediterranean climate, with very hot and dry summers and milder winters. The average summer temperature is 35°C (95°F) while the winter temperature averages 11°C (53°F). Meanwhile, annual rainfall ranges from 400mm (16in) along the coast to 800mm (31in) in the Tell region. Most of Algeria is semi-arid, with a desert climate and dry terrain.
How should I dress?
Dress conservatively! Shorts, low necklines and other revealing clothing are not appropriate away from beaches or swimming pools. In general, women’s clothes should cover their legs to the knee and men should wear long pants.
What language do they speak in Algeria?
The official language is Arabic, but Berber dialects are also spoken. Algerians understand French and English to a certain extent. Depending on where you go, you may hear Spanish or Italian too. Yet, while the people of the North, near Morocco, may understand some French or Spanish, the people of the South (Saharan area) will hardly understand anything you say since Arabic is their native language.
Living in Algeria will definitely give you something to remember. While relocating to this country as an expat, it’s quite essential to know the tips, pros and cons, and the best places suitable for expat before you move. And that’s why we’ve compiled this article to guide you through. Nonetheless, read carefully, and follow our updates for more relevant information about living in this country as a foreigner.