Crime and Law in Algeria - How to Stay Safe

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel: The situation around the world is changing dramatically. Various governments have changed their travel warnings to restrict travel during this time. To understand how this may impact cover under your policy, please go to our FAQs and select your country of residence.

For the latest travel warnings and alerts around the world, read about lockdowns and border restrictions.

Crime is a part of every country but it shouldn't stop you from visiting Algeria. Here are our tips to avoid petty crime and stay within the law.

Photo © GettyImages/alanphillips

We know the content for Algeria is out of date, but have no fear! We are currently refreshing all of our travel safety content so please check back soon for a newer version.

Petty Crime

Like most developing nations, petty theft and pickpocketing does occur in Algeria. Muggings can also happen, especially after dark. So it's best to avoid dark streets, deserted beach areas and isolated spots when night falls.

Make sure you don't make your wealth obvious either. Dangling cameras, flashing money or credit cards or expensive jewelry is not a good idea.

Potential thieves will watch you carefully and strike when you least expect it. Keep your valuables secure and be aware of your surroundings.

Theft of contents and parts from parked cars, so never leave valuables in sight while the vehicle is unattended or stopped in traffic. Keep your car doors locked and windows up whether you are on the move or have parked the car.

Luggage theft and pickpocketing on buses and trains does happen so make sure your bags are secured, valuables close to you and keep an eye on your belongings.

Thieves have been reported to target hotel rooms. If you do leave things behind, secure your valuables in the room or hotel safe. Hide things out of sight.

Armed Robbery

Thieves posing as police officers or checkpoint guards is an often ploy to get Westerners to open their doors and hand over money.

Unfortunately, many of these men are usually armed and dangerous. Once they enter a house or stop your vehicle, they will hold you for ransom.

These bandits and their methods are common in most parts of Africa. If you do get confronted with an armed robbery, don't resist. Best not to make eye contact and obey commands.

Tour Guide Scam

It's a classic scam in Africa and around the world - men posing as tour guides, which are just con artists desperate to take your money.

You should use a local licensed guide for any tours of the Kasbah area of Algiers.

If you do wish to take a tour, organising one through your hotel is probably the best bet, or ask around.

There will often be people outside hotels saying they are licensed guides, but usually they aren't - be vigilant.

Laws in Algeria


All foreign currency being brought into Algeria should be disclosed when entering the country by filling in an official form.

Each person leaving Algeria will be stopped and asked if he/she has any foreign money and may be possibly be searched.

If foreign currency was declared when entering the country, any disparity between the amount arrived with, and the amount held at departure, must be accounted for.

If a traveler failed to declare any currency when entering Algeria, and is found to possess foreign currency while exiting the country, the penalties may be severe.


Don't take photos of police, military installations, government infrastructure or airports. There is a high level of security in all these places and they won't take it lightly if you disobey the law.


Algeria isn't the place you want to travel to if you wish to indulge in drugs. Whether they are hard drugs or soft drugs, the rules are all the same, and there is no tolerance.

Penalties for drug use or trafficking of drugs include imprisonment.


Homosexuality is illegal in Algeria, so LGBTQ travelers need to be discreet and respectful of local laws at all times.

Punishment is a three year jail sentence and a financial penalty.

Religion in Algeria

Algeria is a conservative Islamic country, so visitors will need to be mindful of this as they travel around. Dress conservatively and be respectful of the local culture, particuarly in rural locations and around places of worship. Women travelers should also consider wearing a headscarf.

In Algeria, it's against the law to convert Muslims to another faith or to distribute religious material that may be seen by local authorities as an attempt to convert Muslims to another faith.

Physical contact between men and women in public should also be avoided. Public displays of affection can cause offence, particularly in rural areas where social attitudes can be more conservative and near places of worship.

Get a travel insurance quote for Algeria

You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.

Related articles


  • GUN said

    85% of the article is False .

    I am an Algerian , and i will describe the true ones :

    About money it's 100% true , cause there is always bad people who steal from others with the name of projects , then escape safely ! it's not a strange rule .


    Of course you don't have to take a picture of Police or Military , it's not in Algeria as exeption , if not all the coutries , and Police , Military are secret this is very logic nothing is strange ! about Bridges and dams it's not true , Bridges of Constantine is a proof and just one example.Whenever it is for terrorists or not , it's very very logic to not to photograph army and security ! what's strange in that !
    Homosexuality it's true that it's HATED in Algeria , we don't see it freedom , how can this be good for humanity if all the mens are together and women all together , how can the humanity advance ! it will disapear , and a lot of problems there in USA and the coutries that support homo .

    Religiously that's not true at 100% , come visit Algeria , especially large cities you will find women just like in the USA or France , with tight pants...etc , but YEAH we don't like that , cause it's not good , it will make a human in passion to do illegal sex , and this one is also a problem when refering to mariage .. BUT it's not forbidden it's free to do what you want , it's like many other countries , it's like when you pee in public , what about seeing a naked woman , this is the strange one ..

    Algeria is a good coutry , has positives and negatives just like anyother thing , Algeria is simple , sometimes amazing , some times strange , but not in a negative way .

    Peace an sorry if it hurts ..

  • GUN said

    Ah , i forgot something , what do you see strange in Drugs laws in Algeria ? drugs are killing the humanity , and some people always describe this as freedom , freedom to smoke weed , freedom homo , freedom in everything is not a good thing , we are humans , we have an organized environment .

  • PhilSylvester said

    Thanks Gun,
    what do you mean by "freedom homo"? I don't understand. Could you explain please.
    Generally though, as I said to a previous poster, we are always open to suggestions for improving our articles. You don't have to be a writer, just send me your contribution to [email protected] and I'll consider them in updating the article.

  • Ekama Noieau said

    Useful and accurate information, I find it strange GUN said most of the information was false and then went onto confirm the vast majority of the information.
    People should be free to take drugs, dress in whatever way they want, take pictures of whatever they want and have sex with whatever they want. These freedoms are the mark of decent society.

  • Sam B. said

    Check out this documentary which was filmed by a French tourist.

    There are certain parts of Algeria that is much more progressive than others. I think the parts about homosexuality are true, and the deeper south you go, the more conservative the country will get -- but Algiers & Oran are places to go if you like to party. Drugs aren't that big of a deal, if you know the right people and are discreet enough.

  • TiredEastener said

    I would not stress yourselves over this article, westerners love to paint the 'east' as foreign, barbaric and backwards and fail to look in their own back yards. You can't take a picture of the police in the UK and US without being arrested on some made up charges. Also you are visiting the country its not like you are going to live there.Be respectful or do not bother going!!!

  • Lizzy said

    I stayed in Algeria for a while and the women are conservative there some wear hijabs some dont.They wear jeans heels makeup dresses they just dont show all their business..i think its nice to have respect for ourselves as women. And i alao like the idea of waiting for the right person before sex less single moms out there.The only thing that sucked is that there isnt night life for women really. And cafes there is for guys only.. But its awesome to go see the roman ruins and beaches in the capitol. And most people there are sweet and i actually miss it nothing like the us..

  • Hatem said

    Thanks nes for clarification that

  • Ralf Schooneveld said

    Is there a government site where the full law including individual articles can be found?

    I am trying to work together with a shoe designer from Algeria.

  • CHRISTINE said

    I personally would like to visit Algeria,But if possible i would love to have my friend come to United States. I just figured it would be easier for me to visit then him.

  • Pasand Bhagat said


    For last three month I was in Algiers, Algeria.
    My view is very different about this country.

    About the money it's 100% true declare the money if you have more than 5000$ in cash or more than that in your traveller card.
    It would be better if you keep more cash in handy because in Algeria card does not work.
    So if you are thinking to use travellers card in your pocket then you will get trouble for yourself later as 90% of the hotels dont accept cards except from big hotels like Hilton and Al-dajerhs. So better keep cash in handy.

    The country is really peaceful if you love spending some time in peace with your family then go for it.
    you can do lot of shopping because you get more money when you exchange your currency as per my currency 1Rupees = 1.60 Algerian Dinar.

    People are really nice. Specially women are very fashionable in Algeria whoever says that they wears only Hijab is wrong some wears Hijab and some wears jeans and t-shirt and It's good that they respect their religion both men and women. Their idea not to have sex before marriage, not drinking alcohols is some thing that they respect their religion which is good but ofcourse exceptions are always there.

    About terrorism and all..Let me tell you every weekend I used to go to the clubs in the midnight and I haven't faced any problems in that country from taking taxi to reaching club. Infact it's very safe place to live.

    Ofcourse In most of the place you will not find alcohol but you can go to the center of the city where you will get lot of place where they serve alcohol and really good food.
    Food is not the problem but those who are vegetarian will be lil bit of problem because in most of the place they serve non-veg dishes obviously you get the Veg food as well but you won't find that much of variety for yourself.(Pizza and Sandwiches are very popular here).

    If you are going there explore as much as you can it's beautiful country, check out Tipaza, Constantine, Oran, Dessert safari and Kasbah and do try their traditional food like cuscus, charkchukrah, Titli..
    Bon Voyage!

  • Mimi said

    So even if someone from abroad send you a comic book about homosexuality that'll give you trouble?
    You didn't buy it, it can be sent without you knowing what is it about...... Will you be taken responsible and go to jail?
    Just a question

  • yeet said

    this is pretty lit fam but uh idec about this stuff.

  • Juancho said

    Dear Author,

    Algiers is a beautiful country full of honest, respectful and kind people. Like the rest of the world and any country it has minor issues to be considerate off as a guest which are usually related to ones' own western bias and indoctrination. If visiting any country anywhere remember You are a GUEST so act like one! If you turn off your television and stop watching mind control orientated mass media you will be suprised at the fact that there are more similarities of all common peoples of earth than there are differencies. The sad fact is disharmony is profitable for charletans and they sell you falsehoods from birth to grave in every facet of your social education.

    Algerians are hospitable, believe in God and respect cultural traditions as all good societies do. As for alcohol and drugs they destroy lives and often are created by foreign governments clandestinely to pursue illegal war financing. Ask yourselves this simple question: if western controlled elitist interests truly want peace and democracy then why has the western world's self-professed leading nation (the USA) killed 20 million + humans thanks to their military aggression since WW2? They are the worlds No. 1 military arms dealer along with Great Brittain, France, China & Germany etc etc..

    Guess what? How many wars have been started by so called terrorist nations? Know your facts before talking such nonsense about foreign nations. Terrorism is and has always been state sponsored.

    The more important question is to ask which of those countries invaded in the past 20 years had central banks? Bankstars are gangstars and war profiteers. I am not 'anti anyone or anything' I am instead a peaceful loving human who doesn't swallow bullshit. I am for peace and harmony as is 99.9% of all the people I have ever met from any nation. We are humanity! And yes I've been to Algiers and have felt kindness and respect every day I visited and i dont speak a word of Arabic or French!!. P.S. ignorance is easy to spread so be quiet, open your heart, your mind and most importantly your ears until you have something intelligent to write.


    Drug deaths in USA:

    Who sells the most weapons on our planet:

    Newspeak from 1984: understand the origin of words and you will know your human masters by the language they speak and teach. Doublespeak. From your article I summise you have swallowed 'blackwhite' hook, line and sinker.

    I could go on and on with peer reviewed articles on every single subject/falsehhood you mentioned but I believe softly softly is the best approach with any form of ignorance.

  • Marty W said

    I'm American woman planning to go to Oran to spend time with my Algerian fiance. He owns his own home and my plan is to stay with him there. I've heard that there could be a problem with that because we are not yet married.....Please clarify that for me, if you will please....and advise me on what the views of that are, in Algeria.

    Thank you kindly,,


  • Johnnyboy said

    It’s amazing how theas people try to defend there Stone Age culture. Instead of just reading the article. He even said “homo”
    I am a right wing conservative and I still don’t think we can’t make “homo” illegal with the penelty of death. It’s time to let people live there lives and be kind to one another

  • Swaranjeet Sigh said


    I am a photographer - not professional but serious hobbyist. I completely understand restriction on photographing army, police, defense establishments etc. But I have another question about photography which I did not see asked or answered.

    My photography is about people and cultures. So wherever I go (and it is almost always places with old cultures and traditions) I am interested in taking pictures of the life of the people. Markets, shops, people getting a shave, people discussing something seriously, people laughing, people arguing/fighting . . . you get my idea.

    Similarly I take pictures of people in their traditional clothes, festivals etc.When I go to a place I always stay in the old cities because that is where the culture lies so that is where I use my camera.

    So here is my question.

    Is it okay take pictures of people. It is not possible to photograph life as it is actually happening without having people in it. However, I have found that in Muslim countries people are not comfortable having their pictures taken. The degree of opposition to being photographed varies. In old town Istanbul it is not as strong, let's say, as compared to old town Marrakesh.

    I have been told that it is better to ask. I understand that but the moment you ask before taking the picture, the naturalness of the image is gone. I might as well stay back in India and use models wearing clothes of the place in question and shoot in a studio.

    I have no hesitation to telling people AFTER I have taken a picture, show it to them and delete it from my camera if they so desire. But informing before hand takes away the candid aspect of my work. I would like to capture slices of life as they are happening not stage manage them.

    What should I do because I do not want to offend people nor do I want to get into trouble.

Comments have been disabled for this content.