Travel Guide of Oran Algeria – 11 Best Things to Do

Oran is one of Algeria’s largest and most significant cities.

Founded by Moorish Andalusian traders around AD 937, its history has been influenced by the Ottomans, Byzantines, Romans, Spanish & French, and Arabs to name just a few.

Travel Guide of Oran Algeria – 11 Best Things to Do

Oran is one of Algeria’s largest and most significant cities.

Founded by Moorish Andalusian traders around AD 937, its history has been influenced by the Ottomans, Byzantines, Romans, Spanish & French, and Arabs to name just a few.

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We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

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things to do in oran algeria boulevard

This coastal city has relaxed, yet vibrant energy, and the colonial architecture here is stunning. Explore a little further, and the crumbling buildings of Oran’s Sidi El Houari and Derb neighbourhoods will leave you bedazzled.

Oran was part of the Spanish Empire from 1509 until 1708, it was also ruled by the Ottomans and French.

Their influence can be seen in the architecture and structures monopolising the cityscape. 

A Travel Guide of Oran – The most beautiful city in Algeria

things to do in oran algeria chapel

Getting To Oran Algeria

We flew to Oran from Marseille in France with Volotea, we reserved tickets online using our go-to flight booking website, Skyscanner.

Oran is well-connected via Ahmed Ben Bella International Airport and easily accessible by trains from cities like Algiers, Bechar, and Tlemcen in Algeria.

There are options to reach Oran, Algeria, by ferry from France or Spain. Cities worth checking ferry fares are Marseille, Almeria, and Alicante.

Currency in Oran, Algeria

At the time of our visit, (March 2022), the official rate to exchange 1 EUR = 147 DZD. 

The black market rate of exchange was 1 EUR = 215 DZD. As you can see, the black market rate is considerably better.

All prices in this blog are based on the black market rates.

things to do in oran algeria marty on street
Marty walking through the city of Oran Algeria

Transport Options from Oran Airport to the City

The airport is 15 km from the city. The easiest, quickest way to reach your hotel is by taxi. A ride from the airport should cost between 1000-1500 DZD, depending on the time of your arrival. If you arrive on an evening flight, the price will be slightly higher.

Tip: The moment you arrive in Algeria, get a SIM card. Then, download the Yassir ride-sharing App. Use Yassir to book a taxi upon arrival at Oran airport. It’s easy and reliable, and you can see the price of the ride before you book it. Keep smaller notes and coins to pay your driver after completing your ride.

You can also take a shuttle bus to the tram station, Es Sénia Terminus. The shuttle runs every 30 minutes to 60 minutes, and you can buy a ticket on the bus. The single ticket price is 40 DZD. From Es Sénia Terminus, take the tram to the city centre – Place du 1er Novembre. Again, the ride is 40 DZD. 

Please Note: The shuttle bus operates between 07:30 to 17:30.

Good to Know: When you leave Oran, a Yassir ride to the airport from the city centre is cheaper, expect to pay around 600-700 DZD.

Cash is King in Oran

best things to do in oran algeria pay cash
Cash is king in Oran, Algeria

Algeria is a ‘cash’ type of society. If you want to save at least 30% on everything you buy inside this country, I’d recommend bringing enough Euros or USD in cash to change on the black market. The official rate to change cash in the bank is 1 EUR = 147 DZD.

However, the black market rate was 1 EUR = 215 DZD. This is a significant difference, and you will certainly save loads of cash.

Be careful when changing your currency, as it’s not entirely legal. Try and do it out of the view of others if possible. You can find guys on the streets with bundles of cash to exchange or in the back office of ‘shops’ that appear to be selling souvenirs etc. 

The best place to change cash is the ‘Marche de la Bastille’. Ask the locals where you can exchange euros or dollars, and they will point you in the right direction.

Getting Around in Oran Algeria

Walk: Oran is a great city to explore on foot. Be sure to visit the gorgeous Boulevard Soummam to view some beautiful architecture.

Public transport: Oran has a reliable tram system that extends through the city. A single ticket price is 40 DZD. We chose to use the Yassir taxi in Oran, a short ride (between our IBIS Hotel and Centreville, approximately 3-4 km costs a flat rate of 200 DZD).

We found the convenience and affordability of Yassir beneficial during our entire trip to Algeria.



Where to Stay In Oran

best things to do in oran algeria Ibis Hotel
Where to stay in Oran Algeria? Ibis Hotel was a good choice, this was our room.

Some significant areas to stay in Oran are around Batna, Boulevard Soummam in the city, or Rue Khmisti if you prefer to be closer to the beaches of Oran. 

We stayed at IBIS Hotel, approximately 3.5km from the city centre. The rooms were clean and comfortable, and the price was 9000 DZD (approx 42 EUR) per night for two people. The price for a single room is only 500 DZD less.

This price is based on paying cash at the black market rate. At the time of our visit (March 2022), the rate was 1 EUR = 215 DZD. 

When you search all hotels in Oran on Booking.com and other hotel booking websites for hotels in Algeria, the search will give you very few options. But once you arrive in Oran, Algeria, or other cities, you can find many hotels at a much cheaper price, such as the one I suggested below.

For a better-valued hotel in the Batna area in Oran, I recommend Hotel Timgad. Rooms are clean and comfortable, and the hotel is in a fantastic location amongst some beautiful buildings just outside.

Rates are 4800 DZD for a standard double room (2 people), including breakfast. 

Email them for a reservation at [email protected] or call them at 00213 (0) 41 36 15 01/11/14.

Are you craving a little more comfort? For a very comfortable stay in Oran, Algeria, I recommend staying at Four Points Sheraton or Le Meredien Oran Hotel.

11 Best Things to Do in Oran, Algeria

1) Walk along Front De Mer

things to do in oran algeria front de mar

One of the most beautiful walks you can take in the city of Oran is along the Front de Mer or seafront boulevard. Overlooking the port, it offers nearly 2km of a palm tree-lined boulevard with sea views on one side and a mix of captivating buildings, boutique shops, and ice cream parlours on the other. 

You will also see the famous Santa Cruz Chapel and Fort of Santa Cruz straddled the mountains in the distance.

2) Marché de la Bastille and Mdina Jdida Market

You will soon discover that markets are an essential part of Algerian culture. Algerians shop daily for fresh meat from the butcher stalls and fresh produce from market vendors. The markets are also a meeting place for locals to meet and shop together or catch up over a mint tea on the street or even a game of dominoes on the corner.

The markets have the freshest produce

If you’re after an experience and some of the freshest fruit and vegetables I’ve seen for quite some time, head to Marché de la Bastille or Mdina Jdida market. The produce usually has prices per kg for food, so you don’t need to haggle over the price to pay for a few oranges or a punnet of strawberries.

I appreciate this when travelling, especially if your French or Arabic language skills are not so good. In saying that, the locals will greatly appreciate a smile, hello, and thank you in these languages.

Don’t miss the street food in Medina Jdida. Vendors set up in this market selling fruit, cakes, and various sandwiches.

Keep your eye out for a sandwich called Karantica. It’s simple, cheap, and tasty.

3) Eat the best Chicken Shawarma Sandwich in Oran

best things to do in oran algeria eat schwarma
Eat the best chicken shawarma in Oran, Algeria right here!

Need a quick bite while you’re out exploring Oran? Stop by 31 Rue Larbi Ben M’hidi for the best poulet shawarma (chicken sandwich) you’ve ever eaten.

If you have the time, this is a super clean eatery to sit down and enjoy a super affordable meal, or order your shawarma and eat on the go. You can’t miss the large turning chicken meat grilling at the front of the shop.

Delicious chicken shawarma is 200 DZD (that’s less than $1) and is loaded with yummy marinated and grilled chicken, chips, and the best sauce ever!

If you like it spicy, ask the guys for a bit of harissa (chilli sauce) inside your sandwich. It is highly recommended.

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4) Visit Oran Library

things to do in oran algeria Sacré Coeur
One of the best things to do in Oran Algeria is to visit Sacré Coeur.

Built in the early 1900s as a Catholic cathedral, Sacré Coeur was converted into a library after independence. The building is a good example of Byzantine architecture, I highly recommend a visit.

5) Fortaleza de Santa Cruz

The fort of Santa Cruz is one of the most recognised landmarks in Oran. It is visible from just about every crossroad of the city. Sitting high on top of the mountains, the Spanish built the fort in the 16th century after defeating the Ottomans.

I’d recommend taking a Yassir taxi to the top. We paid 280 DZD ($1.45). The views are fantastic!

The entry fee to Santa Cruz Fort is 160 DZD (0.83c)

6) Santa Cruz Chapel

best things to do in oran algeria Santa Cruz Chapel
Santa Cruz Chapel in Oran, Algeria

The French built this chapel in 1850 during the outbreak of Cholera that took the lives of thousands of people in Oran. The chapel is situated just below the fort.

The unmissable statue of the Virgin Mary that stands atop the chapel with her arms open wide was set there to guard the city against the pandemic. There is no fee to visit the chapel. The views of Oran from this perspective are magnificent.

7) Eat lunch at Cintra Restaurant

One of Oran’s oldest restaurants, Cintra Restaurant has enticed several well-known artists, historical figures, and writers. 

The restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine, and it’s one of the few places where you can enjoy a beer or a glass of wine in Oran, Algeria. This restaurant is near one of my favourite streets in Oran, the stunning Boulevard Soummam- I love the architecture on this street.

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8) Place d’Armes 

The Place du 1er Novembre, also known as the Place d’Armes, is the central hub of Oran. The square is easy to find, and an obelisk stands in the centre of the square.

It includes a portrait of Emir Abdel Kader- one of the country’s greatest anti-colonial leaders and topped by a statue called La Gloire. Place d’Armes is famous for landmarks that include the Opera House and Hotel de Ville and its impressive statues of lions.

9) Stop for coffee and enjoy the views

best things to do in oran algeria coffee
Take a break and enjoy a coffee in Oran, Algeria.

Take a break from exploring this gorgeous city and enjoy a coffee at Le Petit Royal Coffee, a cute little cafe overlooking Boulevard Soumman.

10) Explore the Old Town of Sidi El Houari 

The old town of Sidi El Houari is equal to what the Casbah is in Algiers. Home to many landmarks and historic buildings, the crumbling architecture here has unfortunately not received any restoration or efforts to preserve this landmark district. 

The entire Sidi el Houari district overlooks the sea, as it is built along the Aïdour and Wadi Rhi slopes. It’s worth catching a taxi here to wander the streets and uncover what real life is like for its residents. 

11) Spend a day at the beach

best things to do in oran algeria beach
Go and chill on the beach in Oran, Algeria.

The seaside resort area of Ain el-Turck is 15 km outside Oran city centre. The area was named after the beach, a significant draw for visitors to Oran.

Sure, it’s a little touristy over this side of town, and the strip is lined with cafés, restaurants, and hotels that cater to tourists – but if you’ve been craving some beach time, you can find it here.

We hope you enjoyed our list of the best things to do in Oran, Algeria. It was undoubtedly one of our favourite places to visit in Algeria. It also features on our list of 8 AMAZING places to see in Algeria

Travel Tips for Algeria

We have some helpful travel guides and tips for Algeria—what a beautiful country!

Here are the top 8 amazing places to visit in Algeria.

Don’t miss our post on 13 essential things to know before you travel to Algeria.

We really loved the beautiful city of Oran. Here’s our complete guide to visiting Oran, including the best things to see and do, how to get around and where to stay.

And the cuisine is a major highlight! Check out these 10 delicious Algerian foods.

Tunisia is the country next door to Algeria. Consider visiting Tunisia after Algeria; it’s an exciting nation. We’ve got some helpful travel guides for Tunisia to help you plan your visit.

Check out our Food Map of Africa to learn more about what they eat in all 54 nations.

You’ll need to stay connected while travelling in Algeria. We recommend eSIM. It’s easy, reliable and affordable. View eSIM options in Algeria.

If your travels in Algeria are part of a larger global adventure, then a Global eSIM may be the answer. It connects you in 124 countries, offering data-only eSIM and data/call/text eSIM. The Global eSIM has been a game-changer; we couldn’t imagine travelling without it now.

Want to travel in Algeria with like-minded travellers? View the best deals on group adventures in Algeria.

Check out our best-ever travel tips compiled from more than twenty years of experience.

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5 Comments. Leave new

  • abd errahmane
    March 14, 2022 12:59 am

    from a local , i can say that this blog will be helpful for a lot of people , cheers !

    Reply
  • Sa fait plaisir d’entendre un très jolis compliment de la part d’une personne expérimenté en voyage et tourisme a propos de ma très chère ville où j’ai né est je vis La Ville d’Oran.
    Si vous passez une autre fois je vous invite à la maison et de déguster les meilleurs plat traditionnel que ma très chère femme les faits.

    Sa me fait plaisir d’accepter l’invitation

    Reply
  • it is very kind of you to compliment my beautiful city Oran, know that you are always welcome, I am sure that you have visited only 0.5% of all the beautiful places, natural and historical sites

    Reply

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