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Oran Travel Guide, Algeria

Oran Travel Guide, Algeria: The City Having a Rich Musical Culture

Oran, a city situated on the Mediterranean coast of northwest Algeria, is considered to be the largest metropolitan area in the western part of the former Ottoman Empire. Oran is currently the capital of the Oran Province and has a population of nearly one million. The city has an urban population of 2 million, thus becoming the second largest city in the state of Algeria. Since 1960, the city of Oran has been the main educational, industrial and commercial centre for West Algeria besides serving the state as a major port.


The city of Oran has a rich culture, as the famous folk music Rai has its origin in Oran. In fact, this form of music was first formulated by the local shepherds with European and Arab influences. This particular genre of music was later surrounded by a lot of controversies as women played a key role in various public performances and the lyrics were mainly related to love and alcohol. The government took strict control in the area leading to a lot of injuries, arrests and assassinations. Famous musicians like Rachid Taha, Cheb Hasni and Cheb Khaled come from the city of Oran. Akim el Sikameya, a famous violinist, was also born in Oran.


If you are planning to visit Oran, you would certainly be pleased to hear that the city has numerous hotels in various categories, which range from basic to luxurious. There are hundreds of restaurants, which offer different types of foods including Algerian specialities. Apart from this, the city offers a regional theatre, museum, many cinemas, an open-air theatre, an arts centre, municipal gardens and a number of seaside resorts. A tourist can reach Oran by ferries from the nearby ports of Almeria, Alicante, Sete and Marseilles.


The city of Oran has excellent means of transport but it is quite limited, as it doesn’t cover the non-urban zones. Oran has an excellent network of traditional gypsies and taxies, which run all over the city. The city also has the Oran Es Senia Airport, an international airport, used for domestic and international flights. By the end of 2009, Oran will have its first tram line, comprising of 31 stations and distributed on nearly 17.7 kilometres.

Currently, the city of Oran is a major commercial centre and a major port of Algeria. The city also boasts of having three universities, an 18th century mosque and a casbah.

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