Constantine is a city in Northeast Algeria.
Constantine is one of the world’s oldest cities. Founded by the Phoenicians, it became the capital of the Numidian Kingdom under the name Cirta. Completely destroyed by Maxence in 311CE, it was rebuilt shortly afterwards by Emperor Constantine who named it after himself. Constantine has preserved the historic relics of three millennia of Numidian, Roman, Muslim, Ottoman and colonial occupation. The ancient city has been listed as an Algerian national heritage site since December 2004.
- 1 Mohamed Boudiaf Airport (CZL IATA). 9 km from city centre, provides several daily flights from major European cities.
International flights that operate from and to Constantine are (note: this was before flights were impacted by COVID-19):
- Air Algérie (Basel, Istanbul, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris CDG, Paris ORLY)
- Air Algérie Seasonal (Toulouse and Nancy)
- Tassili Airlines (Strasburg)
- Transavia (Lyon, Montpellier, Paris ORLY)
- Tui Fly (Charleroi)
- Tunisair (Tunis)
- Turkish airlines (Istanbul)
- Volotea (Marseille)
From the airport it is fairly easy to rent a car or take a shuttle to the city centre.
The train station is near the city centre and it connected to several Algerian destinations.
- 2 Constantine railway station (Gare de Constantine).
The distance between Constantine and Algiers is 318 km. The road distance is almost 400 km.
There are regular buses coming in from Algiers (5 hours) and Sétif (2 hours).
Buses and shared taxis coming from Sétif arrive at the Gare Routière Ouest south of town. There's a tram stop nearby. Taking it to the terminus would cover about half the distance to old town.
Transport from Batna arrives as the Gare Routière Est.
- 3 Gare Routière Est (East Bus Station) (About 1 km north east of the west bus station.).
- 4 Gare Routière Ouest (West Bus Station) (Next to tram stop 'Zone Industrielle Boussof'). Station for buses and shared taxis.
- Skikda port: 80 km from the city center; connected to Marseille (France).
- Annaba port: 150 km from the city center; connected to Marseille (France).
- Tunis port: 250 km from the city center; connected to Naples, Genova & Rome (Italy).
- Algiers port: 450 km from the city center; connected to Marseille & Sete (France), Naples (Italy), Barcelona & Alicante (Spain).
- Bejaia port: 250 km from the city center; connected to Marseille (France)
There's a long tramline starting south of the city center and passing by the Emir Abd Elkader mosque and gare routière ouest before crossing the river. Tickets should be bought at a kiosk near the stops.
The city is framed by a deep ravine and has a dramatic appearance. The city is very picturesque with a number of bridges and a viaduct crossing the ravine.
- The city center bridges: this city is very famous for 7 bridges, especially the Gantaret El Hibal (also called Sidi M'Cid) bridge which is the 2nd highest suspended bridge in the world. It's a perfect place to do a bungee jump. Also the pedestrian passerelle Slimane Mellah has great views.
- Gustave Mercier Museum (displays of ancient and modern art)
- Ben-Badis Mosque
- the Casbah
- Emir Abdel Kader University & Mosque
- Soumma Mausoleum, at Khroub
- the Palace of Ahmed Bey
- ruins of the Antonian Roman aqueduct
Nearby are the Roman city of Tiddis and the megalithic monuments and burial grounds at Djebel Mazala Salluste.
- 1 Emir Abd Elkader Mosque. Large mosque and park to the south of the city center
- 2 Théâtre Régional de Constantine Mohamed Tahar Fergani.
- 3 Bois de la Légion d'Honneur. Large park.
- 4 Salah Bey Viaduct. Futuristic looking viaduct crossing the Rhummel gorge, it is often considered the "eighth wonder" in a city with 7 bridges.
- 5 Sidi M'Cid Bridge (Pont Sidi M'Cid). 24/7. Suspension bridge, held the record of the highest bridge in the world at 175 m until 1929. Also called Gantaret El Hibal bridge. Free.
- 6 Passerelle Slimane Mellah (Entry from the old city is through a building with a staircase.). Foot bridge connecting the old town with the train / bus station on the other side. Stunning views of the gorge. Wobbles when people set foot on it.
- 7 Ahmed Bey Palace.
Constantine is very famous for its universities. And Teachers/Professors are really good at their job. Best universities in the city are:
- University of Constantine 1 Mentouri
- University 1 Annex Zerzara
- Islamic University Emir Abdelkader
- University of Constantine 2 Mehri
- University of Constantine 3 Boubnider
These food are cheap and can be brought for no more than 150 dinars.
- Local pizza. As in all northeast and central Algeria, pizzas in these regions is different. Pizzas in Constantine usually served with tuna, chicken, cheese, or vegetables. Pizzerias in Constantine usually don’t serve ketchup or mustard but instead harisa (a spicy sauce) or mayonnaise.
- BBQ. BBQ, usually known as shewa by locals, is a variety of barbecue and grills. Can be meat or vegetables. And if you want. It can be served as a sandwich.
These food are usually sold for not an expensive price nor cheap price. And the quality is good.
- Bouzelouf. A very popular meal in the city. Served with meat, chickpeas, and tomato soup. Can be found in the city center.
- Baklava. Locals pronounce it as Baklawa. is a layered pastry dessert made of filo pastry, filled with chopped nuts, and sweetened with syrup or honey. usually served In cafeterias.
Here are the best food you can find in Constantine. Usually expensive than other types of food or dishes.
- Couscous. An Algerian meal made from small steamed granules of rolled durum wheat semolina that is usually served with vegetables and a portion of meat.
- Shakshuka. Shakshuka is a simple dish made of gently poached eggs in a delicious chunky tomato and bell pepper sauce. Said to have originated in Tunisia, this breakfast recipe is popular in many parts of North Africa and the Middle East. It is so satisfying, you can serve it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- Tea with mint. Usually called (Atay) by locals.
- Leben. A kind of heavy milk, it looks like liquified yoghurt.
- Hotel Marriott Constantine Five-star hotel
- 1 Grand Hotel Cirta, ☏ +213 31 92 93 64. Four-star hotel in city center. +213 31 219696 (closed for renovation as of February 2019)
- Hotel Protea Marriott. four-star hotel in city center
- Novotel hotel and Ibis Hotel are the closest accommodations to the “Casbah” or old city.
Constantine is somewhat considered a safe place. And common sense will alleviate 99% of problems: try to look as little like a tourist as possible, do not flash large quantities of cash, and so on. Faux guides are much less of a problem here than in the rest of Algeria and are limited mainly to the area around the city. It is inadvisable to walk alone in Constantine at night. Sole women, as in all Algerian cities, should dress modestly to avoid harassment (which almost always consists of lewd comments, but nothing physical).
Pickpocketing and moto-drive-by theft seem more to be a problem here—hide your valuables!
- 1 Tiddis, a Roman city and one of the most important archaeological sites in the region.