Alexandria has a very impressive and storied past, beginning with its founding by Alexander the Great around 331 B.C. Nicknamed the Pearl of the Mediterranean, Alexandria is a Mediterranean port city and the second-largest city in Egypt.
During the Hellenistic period, it was home to the legendary Great Library of Alexandria and the Pharos, a lighthouse ranking among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Alexandria was the setting for the stormy love story between Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, and Marc Anthony as well as a cosmopolitan gathering spot for intellectuals in the early twentieth century.
The city has lost some of the grandeur of its past and today’s Alexandria is filled with apartment buildings, office buildings, and traffic-filled streets. However, with a bit of searching, travelers can still find bits of its glorious past.
In this post, you will find our favorite things to do and plenty of tips for your trip to Alexandria. We stayed for 2 days in Alexandria.
How to get there
Where to stay
We stayed at the Steigenberger Cecil Hotel which we recommend. The Historic Cecil Hotel is a true Alexandria legend! Throughout history, it has welcomed famous guests such as Winston Churchill and Omar Sharif a famous Egyptian movie star.
The rooms are massive with traditional high ceilings, and some of them have a balcony with beautiful views of the sea, Corniche, Fort Qaitbey, and beyond.
How to get around
Underneath the column, steps lead down to the ruins of the great temple of Serapis, the hybrid Greek and Egyptian god of Alexandria. Also here was the daughter library of the Great Library of Alexandria. The temple was attacked during the Jewish Revolt in CE 115-117, but it was the Christians who destroyed the Serapeum and its library, leaving just the lonely pillar standing.
Pompey’s Pillar is open daily from 9 am – 4.30 pm and the entrance fee is 60 LE per person. You can get there by Careem or on foot depending on where you are staying in the city.
Catacombs of Kom Ash Shuqqafa
Entry is through a spiral staircase. The bodies of the dead would have been lowered on ropes down the center of this circular shaft.
The ornate decorations inside the catacombs are an eclectic blend of Roman, Greek, and Egyptian styles.
The Catacombs of Kom Ash Shuqqafa are open daily from 9 am – 4.30 pm and the entrance fee is 60 LE per person. You can get there by Careem or on foot depending on where you are staying in the city.
Kom Al Dikka
This site was discovered in 1967 when foundations were being laid for an apartment building on a site known as Kom Al Dikka.
Kom Al Dikka is open daily from 9 am – 4.30 pm and the entrance fee is 40 LE per person. You can get there by Careem or on foot depending on where you are staying in the city.
Walk along the Corniche
Opened in 2002, it’s now the largest library in the Middle East and has the same aim; to be a learning center with a spirit of openness.
Inside the jaw-dropping main reading room can accommodate eight million books and 2500 readers under its sloping roof, with windows specially designed to let sunlight flood in but keep out rays that might harm the collection.
Besides the impressive library collections, you can also find 4 permanent museums, a planetarium, a conference center, and a range of temporary and permanent exhibitions here.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is open from 10 am – 7 am from Sunday – Thursday, from 2 pm – 7 pm on Fridays, and noon – 4 pm on Saturdays. The entrance fee is 70 LE per person. You can get there by Careem or on foot depending on where you are staying in the city.
Montazah Palace Gardens
The beautiful Montazah Palace is off-limits for visitors, but the surrounding gardens are worth walking through. These perfectly kept gardens cover 150 acres full of swaying palm trees, royal palaces, and lighthouses. In all, it’s a pleasant escape from the busy city.
The Montazah Palace Gardens are open daily from 8 am-midnight and the entrance fee is 15 LE per person. You can get there by Careem from Alexandria’s city center.
Abu Abbas Al Mursi Mosque
You can get there by careem or on foot depending on where you are staying in the city.
You can climb up four floors to the top, each floor has a magnificent view. You can see the waves crashing on the rocks and the fisherman out to claim their catch.
Fort Qaitbey is open daily from 9 am-4 pm and the entrance fee is 40 LE per person. You can get there by Careem or on foot depending on where you are staying in the city. We recommend you to get there on foot, the harbor views along the way are spectacular.
You can get to Kadoura restaurant by Careem or on foot depending on where you are staying.