The second largest city in Algeria is full of surprises. You will not get bored in such a lively, dynamic and welcoming city set along an azurean sea. Oran is contrasted and cannot be resumed to a city whose buildings remind of the French architecture and where historical visits are not to be missed. It will be love at first sight.
Under the sun, Oran’s « art de vivre » blossoms. As soon as you set foot in the city, you will hear stories on how beautiful Oran is. Hometown of Albert Camus and Yves Saint Laurent, Oran has an old-fashioned charm and magnificent buildings. But in Oran, it is not all about the past. On the contrary, Oran intends to be a city of our time and of the future. A dynamic city and at the same time its lovely squares and the sky-blue horizon of the Mediterranean Sea are invitations to relax and dream on. Between meetings, do not think twice, enjoy the beautiful beaches and take a swim. Oran inhabitants are welcoming and a symbol of the city’s nickname “the radiant”. In the streets, youngsters play football, gazed at by people up on the balconies. Oran has a certain vibe, from cafés to cabarets, Oran has a reputation of free spirit. Raï music whose rhythms symbolizes a will to live freely was born here. Music is everywhere at night: on the promenade night-clubs are numerous.
Oran has lots of stories to tell. « Wahran » is the pronunciation of the name of the town in Arabic. Supposedly, it means two lions in Berber. A local legend tells that two lions were living in the area before being hunted down. Two statues of lions stand in front of the city hall, as a reminder. For centuries, Oran has been a melting-pot. Andalusian, Ottoman, French and Jewish, Oran is diverse. If you love History, have a look at the Great Synagogue which was turned into a Mosque and take a tour downtown. Do not plan ahead, follow your steps: that’s the best way to discover Oran. Theatres, museums among which you will find the Modern Art Gallery, gardens such as the Municipal Mediterranean Garden or the botanical garden which boasts a sea view. The city has numerous landmarks: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Pacha Mosque, Ibn Badis Promenade…
Eat, eat, eat: inhabitants will keep telling you that in the city one cannot eat badly. You will have to stop at a café. It is a ritual one cannot miss. Of course, you have to enjoy a mint tea and to taste local specialities, many are a heritage of the Sephardi cuisine. Meat balls, “mouna” brioche, “chorba”, your mouth is watering. And if you love seafood, well, you will be contented.
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