The second largest city in Egypt and a major economic center, with a large seaport that holds approximately 80 per cent of Egypt’s imports and exports, Alexandria is also a hugely popular tourist destination. With an extraordinary history, founded by Alexander the Great, Alexandria was an important center of the Hellenistic Civilization. If you’re planning to visit this stunning city, check out our guide of its top sights and activities.
Dedicated to Serapis and built by Ptolemy III, the temple of Serapeum is one of the several religious centers in Alexandria. Destroyed by the Romans in 391, a few of the original pieces are left on the site such as the Pompey’s Pillar, which is surrounded by two big sphinxes. In the past the temple was also one of the most important annexes of the Great Library of Alexandria. The Serapeum is definitely worth a visit due to its historical importance and the beautiful location.
Built in 2002 as a memorial to one of the largest and most important libraries in antiquity, the Royal Library of Alexandria. The old library was burnt down and with the fire many of its books were destroyed. The modern library may not be as important and rich as the previous one, yet it’s still a large library and a major cultural center including three museums, four art galleries, a planetary and a laboratory where they rescue and fix old manuscripts. They also have a good section of children’s books which can be fun to explore if you’re on holiday with your kids.
This famous Mosque is dedicated to the 13th century Alexandrine Sufi saint el-Mursi Abul Abbas and it also contains his tomb. It was redesigned and built by Eugenio Valzania and Mario Rossi between 1929 and 1945. The temple is certainly one of the most beautiful mosques in Egypt as well as one of the most spiritually significant places to go to while visiting Alexandria. Its traditional architecture is stunning and it is located right next to the Citadel of Qaitbay.
The Corniche is a gorgeous waterfront promenade which runs along the Eastern Harbour for 10 miles and ends by the Montaza Palaca. The promenade offers a stunning view of the bay and the sea and it’s one of the best places in the city to go for a stroll, where you can explore the businesses in the area as well as admiring the view. Come here on a summer’s evening right after dinner, the lights and atmosphere are enchanting.
Inaugurated in 2003 and located in a restored Italian palace that used to house the United States consulate, this museum contains more than 1,800 artifacts that narrate the history of Alexandria. Most of them come from other Egyptian museums. Visitors will be able to admire works from the Hellenistic period, including a varied range of objects such as jewels, weapons and coins.
Originally built as the palace for king Farouk, this stunning palace located in the eastern side of the city boasts a big garden and a gorgeous view over the Mediterranean sea. The palace, featuring a grand and unique architectural style, is surrounded by many other historical buildings. Its garden is one of the most beautiful in the city, perfect to come for a walk on a day out, where you will be able to relax and enjoy the sunny days. There are some rare plants and trees visitors can admire.
Formerly the palace of the Egyptian royal family, the Royal Jewelry Museum is a hidden gem in the heart of Alexandria which is worth a visit. The whole visit will take at least an hour. The villa has been recently renovated: it has decorated floors, ceilings and stained glasses. Visitors can learn everything about the royal family and its history. If you love art and history this is a good place to go.
This bridge offers great panoramic views of the Mediterranean, becoming an even more special place to visit at night. The bridge has a total length of 400 meters. In the area nearby there are many hotels and restaurants. This is a good place to come and enjoy the sea breeze or have a nice walk around before or after dining at one of the restaurants in the area.
At the western end of Midan Tahrir you’ll find a bustling souq area. The term souq refers to an open-air marketplace or a commercial district. The area is filled with market stalls where you can get fish or meat, cafés, and shops selling all sorts of products and artifacts. In the markets and shops you’ll be able to find clothes, accessories, bangles, jewelry and much more.
Discovered by accident in 1900, these catacombs are the largest known Roman burial site in the country at the moment. The catacombs consist of three tiers of tombs and chambers. The architecture showcases a Graeco-Roman style. Most of the walls are unadorned and nearly all the painting has faded. You can easily walk from the Pompey’s Pillar to the site, both are located in Carmous. Accessing the catacombs costs around 20 pounds but they are worth visiting, especially for history lovers.