Annaba City Guide
Annaba is a coastal city in the North East of Algeria. Annaba has been a cultural hub since Roman times, when the city was known as Hippo Regius, the ruins of which can still be visited today. Its port has drawn many different nations to its shores, from Romans to Phoenicians. For this reason, as any Annaba city guide will tell you, the city is full of places of historic interest such as the Great Mosque. Annaba has an air of abundant beauty about it with parks like Jardin el Moukaouama, fertile soil for the growing of fruit, mountains and the perfume of warm sea air. This explains why many people from Algeria retreat to Annaba from the bigger cities and why Annaba tourist information states that it is one of the Algerian cities most favoured by European visitors. It is known as a place of peace and relaxation.
Things to do in Annaba
The must-see attraction of Annaba is the ruins of the Roman city Hippo Regius, covering a green area thriving with flowers and olive trees. There are many elements of the town still visible, including the old basilica and the central market. There’s also a museum accompanying the ruins. The site is overlooked by the grand Basilica St Augustine, an amazing piece of 19th century architecture. It’s a breath-taking building that’s well worth visiting, in part for the view from its commanding position on top of a hill. In central Annaba, the Green Main Street is known for its French colonial architecture and vibrant nightlife. Exploring the 12th century city Kasbah area known as La Place d'Armes is also an essential thing to do in Annaba.
Things to see in
It would be a shame to visit Annaba without enjoying its picturesque Mediterranean coastline. There are many beaches near Annaba to enjoy such as the popular Bouna Beach, and the seafront has much to offer in the way of nightlife, especially on La Corniche which is by the buzzing Chappui beach. One of the key things to see in Annaba that might not be obvious at first glance is the stunning example of a 17th century Turkish Mosque near La Place d’Armes. Its white walls are crowded by the narrow surrounding alleyways. If you fancy a trip up into the mountains to enjoy the fresh air the small village of Seraidi is well worth a visit.
Annaba has a nearby airport, the Rabah Bitat Airport with international flights coming mainly from France. You will need to get a taxi between the airport and the town centre. It’s also possible to catch a ferry to Annaba from Marseilles or Alicante in Spain. Once you’re in Annaba a large amount of the cities attractions can be reached on foot, even the Basilica which is a little way out of town to the South. Otherwise, most Annaba transport is done by taxi and there are regular taxis to areas such as Hippo Regius.
Most of Annaba’s events are based on religious Islamic days. There is Mawlid, the observance of the prophet Muhammad’s Birthday which occurs in January, and is often marked with street parades. The Eid ul-Fitr which marks the end of the month of Ramadan is a time of giving and celebration in all cities, and a key Annaba event. Algerian Independence day on the 5th July is an occasion for festivities and cultural events in Annaba, as is the Anniversary of the Revolution on the 1st November.
Restaurants in Annaba
Surprisingly Annaba is particularly well known for its pizza, with Annaba-style pizza being compared to some of the best in Italy. Picking up a pizza at any local restaurant in Annaba is highly recommended. Another Annaba speciality is Bourek, a sort of Algerian eggroll that should definitely be tasted while in the city. See if you can track down some Jujube, a small red fruit that the city is nicknamed after. The nicest restaurants in Annaba are situated around La Corniche on the Chappui beach seafront. The area really starts to get going as night falls.