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"Mermaid of Mediterranean"

Alexandria Tourism

Alexandria is the second largest city in Egypt. Being one of the major Mediterranean ports in the country, Alexandria boasts stunning coastlines and beachfronts. Founded by Alexander the Great, the city has a rich history, and is studded with museums, historical neighborhoods, and archaeological parks. The lighthouse of Alexandria was once regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient world.

With a 32 km coastline, Alexandria hosts the Citadel of Qaitbay, Montazah palace, Bibliotheca library (one of the world's largest libraries) and the Roman Theater; coincidentally, it is also where Julius Caesar was thought to be besieged. Most of the attractions in Alexandria lie on or near the Corniche, which stretches for several kilometers. The city is also a great place for diving with underwater ancient ruins. Dining next to the corniche in picturesque cafes and getting lost in the serenity of the vast ocean are some experiences to look forward to while in Alexandria.

Alexandria stretches east to west along the shore for around 50km. A small village with a modern metropolitan vibe, it holds utmost importance in the development of Egypt. Being a significant harbour and a hub for philosophers and scholars, the city has profoundly contributed to the modern world. Ruled by Queen Cleopatra and founded by Alexander the Great, visiting Alexandria will undoubtedly take you a step forward into the history of the Egyptian empire.

Must Know Before You Travel to Alexandria

  • Getting Around: Many attractions are located along the corniche and can be explored on foot. Local yellow and black taxis are the most convenient and economical for places far away. Uber and Careem apps are available. Buses, micro buses and trams are also available.
  • Only Arabic Announcements on Trams: Use navigation apps like google maps as the announcements are only made in Arabic, resulting in missing the stop.
  • Arabic Only Bus Route Numbers: Buses have route numbers written in Arabic only. Familiarise yourself with Rabic numbers in order to use them.
  • Accommodation: For the best city experience, stay in the corniche area. If looking for luxury hotels, stay in the San Stefano area
  • Opening Hours During Summer: Most shops close from noon to 4:00 PM

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Shopping in Alexandria

Shopping in Alexandria, Egypt, is an exciting experience with its vibrant markets and bustling streets. Here are some major areas and markets where you can shop:

1. Souq El Attarine: Located in the heart of the city, this market offers a wide range of goods, including spices, perfumes, jewelry, and traditional Egyptian crafts.
2. Souq El Gomaa: Known as the Friday Market, it takes place weekly and is a treasure trove of antiques, textiles, clothing, and household items. It's a great place to find unique souvenirs.
3. Stanley Bridge: This area is popular for its night market, where vendors set up stalls along the picturesque Stanley Bridge overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Here, you can find handmade crafts, artwork, and local snacks.
4. San Stefano Grand Plaza: A modern shopping destination, San Stefano Grand Plaza is home to international brands, designer boutiques, and upscale restaurants. It's perfect for those looking for luxury shopping experiences.
5. Mahatet El Raml: This bustling square transforms into a lively market on weekends, offering everything from clothing and accessories to souvenirs and local delicacies.

When shopping in Alexandria, you can find a variety of souvenirs to take home as mementos of your trip. Some popular items include:

  • Alabaster Statues
  • Papyrus Art
  • Spices and Perfumes
  • Jewelry
  • Traditional Clothing
Read more about shopping in Alexandria here.

Nightlife in Alexandria

Nightlife in Alexandria, Egypt, offers a vibrant tapestry of experiences, blending modern trends with ancient charm. Here's an overview, highlighting major areas for drinking, dancing, and the thriving hookah culture:

1. San Stefano: Located along the Mediterranean coast, San Stefano boasts upscale bars and clubs with stunning sea views. Popular venues include rooftop bars like Sky Roof Lounge and SEA Lounge.
2. Stanley Bridge: This area is renowned for its picturesque views of the Stanley Bridge and the sea. It hosts several trendy cafes and lounges where you can unwind with a drink while enjoying the scenic surroundings.
3. Raml Station: A hub of activity, Raml Station features a diverse range of bars, pubs, and clubs. Visitors can explore local favorites like Balbaa Village for a lively night out.
4. El-Gaish Road: Known for its bustling atmosphere, El-Gaish Road is lined with bars and clubs catering to varied tastes. Notable venues include La Siesta and La Palma for a memorable night of dancing.
5. Mahta El Raml: Situated in the heart of Alexandria, Mahta El Raml is home to a plethora of cafes and hookah lounges. Visitors can immerse themselves in the city's vibrant atmosphere while indulging in a relaxing hookah session.
6. El Corniche: The picturesque Corniche area is dotted with cafes and lounges offering stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. It's a popular spot for enjoying a leisurely evening of hookah and conversation with friends.
7. Montaza: Located slightly outside the city center, Montaza boasts elegant beachfront venues where patrons can enjoy hookah by the sea. Places like Montaza Beach Club offer a tranquil setting for unwinding with a hookah pipe.

History of Alexandria

Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE, Alexandria, Egypt, stands as a timeless testament to ancient grandeur and cultural exchange. Named after its founder, this city flourished as a center of learning and commerce in the Hellenistic world. Under the rule of the Ptolemaic dynasty, it became renowned for its majestic library, the Library of Alexandria, which housed a vast collection of knowledge from various civilizations. Throughout its history, Alexandria has been a melting pot of cultures, drawing influences from Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and later, Islamic civilizations. It served as a pivotal hub for trade, connecting the Mediterranean world with the riches of the East. Despite facing periods of decline and conquest, Alexandria continues to bear witness to its rich heritage through its ancient monuments, archaeological sites, and vibrant cultural scene. Today, it remains a city of captivating contrasts, blending its illustrious past with the dynamism of modern Egypt.

Daily Budget Expenditure in Alexandria

For budget travelers exploring Alexandria, Egypt, managing daily expenses efficiently is crucial.

  • Public transport offers an affordable means of getting around, with options like buses and trams typically costing around 1-5 EGP per ride.
  • Accommodation in budget hotels or hostels can range from 100-300 EGP per night, providing basic amenities for a comfortable stay.
  • Eating local cuisine at street stalls or small eateries offers flavorful meals at reasonable prices, with dishes like koshari or falafel averaging around 20-50 EGP.
  • Sightseeing encompasses iconic landmarks such as the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the Citadel of Qaitbay, with entrance fees ranging from 30-100 EGP.
  • Miscellaneous activities like visiting markets or enjoying a shisha session might add an extra 50-100 EGP to the daily budget.

Overall, a budget traveler in Alexandria can expect to spend approximately 200-500 EGP per day, depending on preferences and lifestyle.

Suggested Itinerary for Alexandria

Day 1: Start your day by visiting the Qaitbay Citadel, which dates back to 1477. Next, you can head towards the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, the largest Roman cemetery in Egypt. Stop for lunch and head to Pompey's Pillar, one of the main attractions of Alexandria. The Pompey's column is situated 100 steps above the Temple of Serapeum; make sure you have the energy to climb up and down. Finally, head to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a world-famous library housing books dating back 5,000 years. With over 8 million books, it is subdivided into four museums, each with a different focus, including manuscripts, artefacts from antiquity, Sadat, the late president of Egypt, and scientific history.

Day 2: Start your day at the Graeco-Roman Museum, which houses the records of Alexander during the Ptolemaic Dynasty and the history of Egypt. Next, head to the Royal Jewellery Museum, the highlight of Alexandria. The museum is decorated with stained glass and gemstones and houses precious vintage jewellery and gems. Post this, you can visit the Montazah Palace Gardens, the summer palace and residence of the last king of Egypt, Farouk. 

Day 3: On your last day in Alexandria, start your day at the National Museum, which displays collections from the Pharaoh era, Greek, Coptic, and Islamic eras. Afterwards, head to the villa of birds, located next to the Roman amphitheatre in Kom El-Dikka. This is an off-beat location, and not many tourists know about it, so it is usually quiet. Its natural setting makes it a fantastic spot to watch the sunset, ending your trip perfectly.

Best Time to Visit Alexandria

How to Reach Alexandria

How to Reach Overview

One can reach Alexandria by  using all the modes of transport including flight, buses, cars and ferries.

How to reach Alexandria by flight

Alexandria's airport, Borg El Arab Airport (HBE), is located approximately 40 kilometers southwest of the city center. Travelers can reach Alexandria by flying into Borg El Arab Airport from major cities worldwide. It is majorly function as a domestic airport. Many international airlines operate flights to Cairo International Airport (CAI), and from there, travelers can take domestic flights to Borg El Arab Airport or use ground transportation to reach Alexandria.

How to reach Alexandria by road

Traveling to Alexandria by road is possible via Egypt's extensive network of highways. The city is approximately 220 kilometers northwest of Cairo, and the journey by car typically takes around 2-3 hours, depending on traffic conditions.

How to reach Alexandria by train

Alexandria is well-connected to Cairo and other parts of Egypt by train. The Egyptian National Railways operates regular train services between Cairo and Alexandria, with multiple daily departures. The journey takes around 2-3 hours, depending on the type of train and stops along the route. Travelers can board trains from Cairo's main railway stations, such as Ramses Station or Giza Station, and arrive at Alexandria's main railway station, Misr Station. To reserve tickets foreigners have to visit special oofices for foreigners to reserve train tickets. Alternatively, a special train service, Talgo, has it tickets being sold online. It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach Alenandria from Ramses staition.

How to reach Alexandria by bus

There are several buses that run between Cairo and Alexandria. One can get buses from infrom of Ramses Train Station and look for bus conductors yelling "Alex-and-reaah! Buses take about 2-3 hours to reach. Microbuses can be used by just waving hand on the road. Once a microbus stops, one can ask the driver if he is heading towards your destination. It is wise to use a navigation map to figure out where one wants to stop. Microbuses can practically pull over anywhere to let passangers out. 

Local transport in Alexandria

Getting around Alexandria offers a variety of transportation options to suit different preferences and needs:
1. Public Buses: There is a public bus system in the city center, although it may not be the most convenient option for travelers due to overcrowding and frequent stops, causing significant delays. The double-decker tourist bus system provides a more comfortable option for city tours. Private companies also offer transportation services within the city.
2. Micro-Buses: Primarily used by locals, micro-buses follow specific routes through various areas of the city. Each area typically has its own micro-bus, with fares ranging from 4-35 EGP.
3. Taxis: Taxis in Alexandria are easily identifiable by their black and yellow colors, similar to those in Cairo. While taxis are required to have a meter, some drivers may not use it or may attempt to negotiate a higher fare. It's advisable to agree on the fare in advance and ensure you receive the correct change.
4. Uber & Careem: These popular ride-sharing apps are widely used by tourists in Alexandria. Travelers can select their route within the app and view the exact price before confirming the ride. Note that some local drivers may have limited English proficiency, so it's helpful to take a photo of your destination for clarity.
5. Tram: The tram system is the oldest form of public transport in Alexandria, with 20 rail routes. Some tram wagons are double-deckers. While the tram is a convenient option for sightseeing and commuting but they can be slow taking more time than other modes of travel. It can be crowded during rush hours, necessitating extra caution with personal belongings. Fares for the tram starts from around 3 EGP.

Alexandria Photos

Bibliotheca Alexandrina Library, Alexandria
The Montazah Royal Palace Gardens
Qaitbay Citadel in Alexandria is a 15th-century military fortress. This fort was built where it was the Lighthouse of Alexandria.

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