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Is this still the case? I've been to the Casbah a lot of times without an escort. The Algerian government often insists that foreigners who are working on Algerian government projects have police escorts when they leave their living quarters. I know they sometimes require group of visiting pieds noirs French who were born in Algeria, but left after independence to have a police escort too. But, I can't think of any reason that an individual traveler would be required to have an escort.
If you visit the Casbah, leave your passport and money somewhere else and keep your eyes open - it's a good place to be pickpocketed or mugged.
Information from two weeks ago. We all met up in Algiers. My friends who got there earlier in the day had been to the Casbah. They said - "Fine to walk about but after about twenty minutes it was clear that two policemen were keeping an eye on us".
I walked all around the casbah by myself, 30 yr-old female american. I was warned not to go there alone by some algersian women, but when I asked them why they couldn't come up with any real dangers. I went in the daytime, and I was there mainly to shop in the market area. The casbah in algers is really cool to see. It's a real neighborhood, with kids playing, little workshops, and folks hanging out outside. Just watch your pockets, as you would anywhere you are travelling This topic has been locked by a moderator.