Are you planning on visiting Alexandria, Egypt? Situated along the beautiful Mediterranean coast, this city has a lot to offer visitors! From the iconic Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the Alexandria National Museum, to the bustling markets and breathtaking beaches, there’s something for everyone in Alexandria.
Alexandria really is like a shining jewel, glimmering along the Mediterranean coast, waiting to be discovered by travelers from all over the world. In this guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your visit to this remarkable city.
Overview of Alexandria, Egypt
As the second-largest city in Egypt, Alexandria is an important cultural, historical, and economic center in the region. This port city is known for its vibrant nightlife, delicious food, and unique architecture. It’s also home to some of the most famous archaeological sites in Egypt, including the the Catacombs of Kom Ash Shuqqafa. When visiting Alexandria, Egypt be sure to explore the city’s many markets, enjoy the beautiful beaches along the Mediterranean, or take a day trip to other nearby cities like Cairo, Giza, and Luxor.
The Extremely Brief History of Alexandria
The city of Alexandria was founded in 332 BC by Alexander the Great, and it quickly became a major trading port and center of learning. During the Greco-Roman period, it was the capital of Egypt and one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire. Its library, the old Alexandria Library, was renowned throughout the ancient world and contained some of the most important and influential works of literature and science.
How was the Old Alexandria Library Destroyed?
The old Alexandria Library was destroyed in a series of events that began in 391 AD, when Roman Emperor Theodosius I ordered the closure of all pagan temples. This closure led to riots and eventually the burning of the library. The library was eventually rebuilt and expanded, but it was destroyed once again by the Arab conquerors of Alexandria in 642 AD.
Today, the new ultra-modern Bibliotheca Alexandrina is one of the top must-see attractions for anyone visiting Alexandria, Egypt.
Whether you only want to relax and unwind on sandy beaches, or whether you want to learn more about the history of this timeless city which has been shaped a sculptured by some of the world’s most famous historical figures, visiting Alexandria, Egypt will be an experience not soon forgotten.
Cleopatra and Marc Antony
Alexandria is filled with reminders of its ancient past. Visitors can explore the underwater ruins of the royal palace of Cleopatra, who reigned as the last pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty. And of course, visiting Alexandria, Egypt is not complete without a trip to the site where archaeologists are still trying to find the tomb of Marc Antony and Cleopatra.
While Alexandria has a long and fascinating history, it is nowadays a modern city, and the second largest in Egypt.
The Modern City of Alexandria
Today, Alexandria is a bustling port city with a vibrant nightlife and a thriving arts and music scene. It’s known for its delicious cuisine, historical sights, and beautiful beaches along Egypt’s beautiful Mediterranean coastline. With its laid-back atmosphere and Mediterranean charm, it’s the perfect destination for travelers looking to explore Egypt in a unique and exciting way.
Things to Do in Alexandria
Alexandria is packed with attractions for all visitors to enjoy. Take a stroll along the Corniche and admire the city’s beautiful architecture, including the Citadel of Qaitbay. Visit the Quranic library to explore its ancient scrolls and manuscripts. Or, go shopping in the many markets, where you can find everything from handmade jewelry to traditional carpets.
There’s also plenty to do on the beach, from water sports to boat trips. And, be sure to visit the many museums and archaeological sites, where you can learn more about the city’s fascinating history. Visiting Alexandria, Egypt is truly a fantastic experience.
Most Popular Attractions in Alexandria
- Bibliotheca Alexandrina is one of the most iconic sights in Alexandria is the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. This modern library was built in 2002, and it houses over 8000 books, scrolls, and artifacts. The library also hosts regular exhibitions, seminars, and events, and it’s a popular destination for students, tourists, and scholars alike. Additionally, the library has a large auditorium, a planetarium, and a host of interactive exhibits.
- Qaitbey Citadel is one of the most popular attractions in Alexandria. This 15th-century fortress is a great place to explore, as it houses a variety of historical and archaeological artifacts. Visitors can take a walk around the grounds, explore the different buildings, and even climb up to the top of the walls for a stunning view of the city. If you are going to be visiting Alexandria, Egypt, be sure to add this site to your bucket list of must see places.
- Underground Attractions – Alexandria has a number of hidden attractions, including underground tombs, catacombs, and tunnels. These tunnels are a great place to explore and learn more about the city’s past. Many of them date back to the Roman period and feature interesting artifacts, statues, and inscriptions.
- Pompey’s Pillar is a massive column that stands in the center of Alexandria. It was erected in honor of Emperor Diocletian during the 3rd century AD. This ancient monument is an interesting sight to behold, as it is one of the few remaining structures from the ancient Roman era.
- Alexandria Corniche is a great place to take a leisurely stroll and admire the city’s architecture. This waterfront promenade strip is lined with palm trees, cafes, and restaurants, as well as plenty of shops. Along the way, you’ll also find monuments, statues, and other historical artifacts. Anyone visiting Alexandria, Egypt should make a point of going for a late afternoon or early even stroll along the corniche.
- Beautiful Beaches– Alexandria’s Mediterranean coastline is home to a number of beautiful beaches perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
- Water Activities in Alexandria– Alexandria is an ideal destination for people who love water activities, from swimming and sailing to snorkeling and scuba diving. For more adventurous travelers, Alexandria also offers a range of water sports, including windsurfing, kite-surfing, and wakeboarding. There are plenty of schools and centers offering lessons and equipment rentals.
- Scuba Diving in Alexandria– Alexandria is an ideal destination for scuba divers of all levels. There are a number of sites around the city which are popular with divers, including a number of wrecks. However, the Eastern Harbour is the premier dive location in Alexandria where divers can explore ancient ruins left behind by Egyptian pharaohs, Romans and Greeks.The most popular dive site in the area is Cleopatra’s Underwater City which is full of sphinx statues and Roman columns.
Besides the above mentioned activities, there are also plenty of other activities and things to see to make your visit to Alexandria more memorable than ever.
Recommended: Alexandria Tourist Attractions
Alexandria has something for everyone, from art galleries, museums, and libraries to vibrant markets and parks. There are also a number of local festivals and events that showcase the city’s culture and heritage. One of the most popular events is the Al-Nabulsi Festival, which is held every year in August and celebrates the city’s traditional arts and crafts.
In addition, make sure to check out the city’s many local restaurants, cafes, and bars, which offer a taste of Alexandria’s distinctive culinary culture.
If opera is your thing, be sure to visit the Alexandria Opera House which is a beautiful building that hosts some of the best performances in the city. This stunning building was built in the early 20th century and is home to some of the best ballet, opera, and theatre companies in the region. Visitors can enjoy a show or explore the building, as it is also a great place for sightseeing.
If you enjoy art, the Mahmoud Said Museum is another must-see destination for those visiting Alexandria. Egypt. Located in the city’s historical center, this museum is dedicated to the works of the famous Egyptian painter Mahmoud Said and offers a unique insight into his art. Visitors can explore a range of pieces, from his early watercolors to his more abstract oil paintings.
If you are going to be visiting Alexandria, Egypt as part of a cruise package, tours with pick up from cruise ship in Alexandria Port are the quickest and easiest way to make the most of the city.
The city can also be explored by way of a walking tour, allowing you to take in the atmospheric streets, grand old buildings and monuments, before heading for the waterfront. There, the breeze from the Mediterranean Sea and the sight of ancient monuments will captivate visitors.
There is plenty to do and see for anyone visiting Alexandria, Egypt. The city’s main attractions are the Qaitbay Citadel, the Biblotheca Alexandrina, the Catacombs of Kom El Shouqafa, the oldest and largest Roman burial site in Egypt. Other popular attractions include the Montazah Palace, a 19th-century palace with beautiful gardens, along with a number of museums, such as the Greco-Roman Museum which was erected in 1892, the Royal Jewelry Museum and the Alexandria National Museum, which are all worth visiting.
Street food is also a great way to explore the city’s culinary delights, so don’t forget to sample some signature street food dishes such as foul medames, koshari and kofta.
Tours from Alexandria to Cairo
If you are going to be visiting Alexandria, Egypt and you want to explore further afield, there are many tour operators offering day trips and overnight excursions from Alexandria to the ancient city of Cairo. These tours typically include visits to the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx, and the Egyptian Museum. Some might also feature other attractions such as the famous Mohamed Ali Mosque or even the Step Pyramid at Saqqara.
Alternatively, if you have more time, you can book and enjoy a longer tour that features Luxor which is home to many of Egypt’s most magnificent ancient wonders, including the Valley of the Kings, the Karnak Temple Complex, Luxor Temple, Hatshepsut Temple, and more.
Getting Around in Alexandria
Traveling to Alexandria
The best way to get to Alexandria, assuming you will be traveling from Cairo, is by way of a professionally designed Egypt tour package that includes an expert guide, a private vehicle and a driver. It is also possible to take a taxi, but is not recommended. Flying is, of course, another option but it can actually take longer than travel by road due to things like airport transfers, flight delays and etc.
For those who are looking for a more budget-friendly option, then we would recommend taking a train or a bus. If you would prefer to travel by bus, you should seriously consider using one of the reputable tour bus companies. Our recommendation is to choose the train rather than the bus.
Getting Around the City
When visiting Alexandria, Egypt, there are various transportation options depending on your needs. If you plan on staying in the city, you can use the bus system or taxis to get around. The bus system is reliable and affordable, and taxis are available 24 hours a day.
What about the trams? Alexandria, as a city, takes great pride in its tramway that has been in operation since 1863. Today, the Alexandria tramway has a total of 20 lines with 140 stops and tracks covering a distance of around 32 kilometers. It is also one of the world’s only tram systems that have double-deck tram cars. In short, the trams in Alexandria are a clean, safe, and efficient means of getting around in the city.
For longer trips, trains and flights connect Alexandria to other cities in Egypt and around the world. No matter the type of transportation you want to use, you can find an option that is convenient for you in Alexandria.
If you’re looking to explore the city at your own pace, you may want to consider renting a car. This is a great option if you’re comfortable driving in unfamiliar cities, as it gives you the freedom to go where you want, when you want. However, you should bear in mind that traffic can be heavy, so it’s important to plan ahead and leave plenty of time to get to the various attractions you want to visit.
Visiting Alexandria, Egypt can be an exciting and rewarding experience. By familiarizing yourself with the different modes of transportation available, you’ll be able to make the most of your time in Alexandria.
Private Guided Alexandria Tours
If you’d rather not go it alone and are looking for a local guide to show you the sights, there are some great private guided tours available. These tours can tailored to your requirements and can be customized to include only the attractions and experiences you’d like to experience.
Private Alexandria tours give you the flexibility to explore the city at your own pace, or spend more time in certain areas that interest you. You can also book a private tour for a day trip to Cairo, Luxor, or any of the other sites surrounding Alexandria. These private tours are available from a range of tour operators and can be a great way to get the most out of your trip.
Recommended: Egypt Private Tours
Food and Drink
Alexandria is filled with a variety of local cuisines and drinks to enjoy. From traditional Egyptian dishes to international cuisine, there’s something to suit all tastes. Street food is very popular in the city and is a great way to sample the local flavors. Whether you’re looking for a full meal or just a light snack, there’s something to suit all budgets. There are also plenty of high-end restaurants and bars to enjoy a drink or two.
If you’re looking to explore the local beers and wines, Alexandria has plenty of options. From light beers to full-bodied wines, there’s something for everyone. Be sure to ask your taxi driver or tour guide for their recommendations.
Popular local cuisine to try when visiting Alexandria, Egypt includes dishes such as falafel, shawarma, and koshary. These dishes are typically served with sides of hummus, baba ganoush, and tahini. If you’re looking for something sweet, try some of the traditional desserts such as basbousa and umm ali. Visiting Alexandria, Egypt can really be a cullinary adventure.
Where to Eat and Drink
Alexandria has plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from. From family-friendly restaurants to hip and trendy bars, there’s something to suit all tastes. To make the most of the local flavor, try to find a restaurant that specializes in traditional Egyptian dishes. There are also plenty of international restaurants to explore.
- Abou El Sid – This renowned restaurant serves up a range of traditional Egyptian dishes and is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Located in the heart of Alexandria, it is a great place to sample some of the city’s best food.
- Abou Ali – This is a popular seafood restaurant that offers a fantastic array of dishes. From classic Egyptian dishes to more exotic seafood creations, you’ll be sure to find something to suit your taste.
- Khabes – With an emphasis on using only the freshest ingredients, this restaurant offers a range of delicious and healthy dishes. Many of the dishes are vegan or vegetarian friendly and all of the ingredients are locally sourced.
- El Sawy Culture Wheel – This restaurant is located in the El Sawy Culture Wheel, a cultural center in Alexandria. The restaurant specializes in international cuisine and offers a range of dishes from around the world.
- La Bodega – This bar and restaurant offers a more laid back atmosphere and is a great place to enjoy a few drinks and some delicious tapas. With a wide selection of drinks to choose from, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste.
Shopping in Alexandria
Visiting Alexandria, Egypt will provide you with some great shopping opportunities. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs, traditional clothing, jewelry, or art, you’ll find plenty of options. The city is home to a number of shopping centers and malls, as well as smaller shops and boutiques. In short, shopping in Alexandria is like navigating an ocean of treasures, with an array of stores and markets offering a bounty of different delights.
The markets in Alexandria are a great place to pick up souvenirs, traditional clothing, jewelry, and art. The markets are vibrant and bustling and you’ll find plenty of interesting items. Some of the popular markets in the city include the vibrant Souq El Attarine. Here, you’ll find a range of items from traditional clothing to jewelry and local crafts.
If you prefer a more modern shopping experience, you’ll find plenty of options in the city’s shopping centers and malls. From international luxury stores to local boutiques, there’s something for everyone. Some of the popular shopping centres in Alexandria include the Smouha Mall and the City Center.
Staying Safe in Alexandria
Staying safe when visiting Alexandria, Egypt is important. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings. It is also recommended to avoid walking alone in certain areas at night, such as deserted alleys and streets. Additionally, it’s also important to be aware of the local laws and customs and to dress appropriately.
Local Laws and Customs
When visiting Alexandria, Egypt, it’s important to be aware of the local laws and customs. It is also important to dress appropriately when visiting religious sites. Additionally, it is also important to respect the local people and their culture.
Tips for Staying Safe in Alexandria
- Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings. While petty crime like pickpocketing is not rife in Alexandria, it does happen.
- Avoid walking alone in deserted alleys and streets at night, and even more so if you are a female traveler traveling alone.
- While the vast majority of Egyptians are very tolerant, you should still avoid getting involved in debates about religion and/or politics.
- Egypt is a conservative Muslim-majority country so it is best to dress modestly, and especially female travelers when visiting religious sites.
- Always try to be respecful towards the local people and their culture.
Explore Egypt your way by selecting only the attractions you want to visit
Explore Egypt your way by selecting only the attractions you want to visit
FAQ: Visiting Alexandria, Egypt
Is Visiting Alexandria, Egypt Safe for Tourists?
Yes, visiting Alexandria, Egypt is generally safe for tourists. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings. It is also recommended to avoid walking alone in certain areas at night, such as deserted alleys and streets. Additionally, it’s also important to be aware of the local laws. For example, don’t take photos of military installations, and refrain from take photos of strangers without their consent.
What is the Best Time to Visit Alexandria, Egypt?
If you’re looking for the best time to visit Alexandria, Egypt, the best suggestion is to visit during the spring or autumn season. Alexandria enjoys mild temperatures during the spring and autumn months and is generally a great time of year to explore the city. During these months, temperatures are usually in the range of 20-25°C (68-77°F) making it perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities. Keep in mind that the months of June, July and August can be quite hot and humid in Alexandria, so this is usually the least popular time to visit for foreign visitors.
What is Alexandria Egypt Famous for?
Alexandria was best known for it old lighthouse which was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. It was also famous for its old Alexandria Library. Today, Alexandria is famous for its beautiful Mediterranean coastline and its rich history. It is also known for its bustling bazaars and markets, and its stunning architecture. Of course, the city is also famous for its magnificent, ultra-modern library, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
What should I Wear when Visiting Alexandria, Egypt?
It is recommended that visitors dress modestly when visiting Alexandria, considering that is a part of a conservative Muslim majority country. For the most part, tourists are free to dress as they wish, but female travelers should try to avoid very revealing clothing if they want to avoid attracting unwanted attention.
It is also important to dress appropriately when visiting mosques. Male travelers should wear long pants rather than shorts, while women should wear slacks or a dress that reaches to below their knees. Women are also required to cover their hair and shoulders when entering a mosque.
Is Alexandria Egypt Worth Visiting?
Yes, Alexandria is definitely worth visiting. There are many interesting things to see and do in Alexandria, such as exploring the ancient ruins, visiting the bustling markets, and enjoying the city’s many bars, pubs and other nightlife venues.
Was Alexandria ever the Capital of Egypt?
Yes, Alexandria was the capital of Egypt from the 3rd century BC to the 11th century AD. It was founded by Alexander the Great and served as the capital until its surrender to invading Arab forces in 642 CE
How Far is Alexandria, Egypt from Cairo, Egypt?
Alexandria is located approximately 223 km (139 miles) from Cairo. It can be reached by car in a little over two hours.
How to Travel from Cairo to Alexandria?
The best way to travel from Cairo to Alexandria is by way of a private guided tour package that includes a professional tour guide, a driver and an air-conditioned vehicle. If you are planning on visiting Alexandria, Egypt for a few days and you don’t want to book a guided tour from Cairo, then your best option would be to travel by train. There are several direct trains from Cairo to Alexandria, which take approximately two and a half hours.
Are there any Events or Festivals I can Attend in Alexandria, Egypt?
If you’re looking for a unique cultural experience in Alexandria, Egypt, there are plenty of annual events and festivals to attend. Popular events include the Alexandria International Film Festival, which is held each year in October and showcases the very best in international cinema. The Alexandria Jazz and World Music Festival is another popular event that takes place in May and features performances from some of the world’s top jazz artists.
The Alexandria Biennale, which occurs every two years, brings together some of the best in modern art, music, and theater from around the world. Finally, the annual Alexandria Comedy Festival celebrates humor and laughter with performances from some of the best comedians and improvisational artists from the region.
Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience, an evening of entertainment, or just an excuse to explore a new city, Alexandria won’t let you down.
Visiting Alexandria, Egypt is a great way to experience rich culture, vivid history, delightful beaches and the pleasant nightlife of this bustling city. From ancient sites and fascinating museums to casinos and world-class events, Alexandria has it all. With the right preparation and knowledge, you can experience the best of this extraordinary destination.
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If you are longing to visit Alexandria, Egypt Tours Plus can turn your dream trip into a reality. With nearly half a million tours already sold, and as proud recipients of the TripAdvisor “Travelers’ Choice” award in 2020, 2021 & 2022, visiting Alexandria, Egypt with us is guaranteed to be an unforgettable and totally flawless experience.
Explore Egypt your way by selecting only the attractions you want to visit
Explore Egypt your way by selecting only the attractions you want to visit