Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt with equally interesting sites as Cairo.
It is definitely worth your visit because of its mix of Ancient Egyptian and Graeco-Roman heritage. You can do many wonderful activities that you will enjoy, such as visiting historical places, going to a new restaurant to experience new kinds of the Egyptian cuisine, and strolling on Corniche at night. There are also many museums that will attract you.
Further, your stay in Alexandria can be more delightful if you choose a distinctive hotel with an amazing view to reside in.
In this article, we will help you discover the secrets of Alexandria.
Let’s delve in!
Backing to the ancient eras can be fulfilled by visiting Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa which are a cemetery divided into underground tombs. They are one of the seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. They lie in the Carmous district presenting a wonderful mixture of Egyptian and Greco-Roman forms.
These tombs are like a maze of tunnels that motivate you to explore and discover but then you find out that you are going around in circles. The tombs are ornamented with colorful carvings. You can enter the main burial chamber which is very large to contain more than 3 mummies.
You can also enter Triclinium Funebre which is a big chamber particularly used for banquets in honor of the dead.
You are called to see one of the hugest libraries in the world; Bibliotheca Alexandrina or the New Library of Alexandria is a great building containing several libraries within. It is considered one of the biggest stores of many books and documents including about 700,000 work most consisting of papyrus.
More than 100 researchers are specialized for serving the works of this massive library. There are also lecture zones, gardens, shrines, a zoo and a number of museums. Furthermore, you can wander in the art galleries. Bibliotheca is also characterized by having distinctive libraries allocated for maps, arts and multimedia, besides, the children, the blind and visually impaired.
In Bibliotheca, you can easily find the English language guided tours that can help you in your librarian tour.
The Roman Amphitheater is like a massive theatre that can accommodate more than 800 spectators. Nonetheless, it is considered smaller than the other roman Amphitheaters. It is situated in the downtown of Alexandria, close the Alexandria port.
If you want to be relaxed having a peaceful mind, you should visit Montazah Palace, or we can say Montazah Gardens because it is considered a bug tranquility zone fruitful with tall palm trees, stripped grasses and flowering plants.
This royal palace is very distinctive by its architectural establishment as it is a haven from the summer heat. Its splendid design of Florentine-inspired towers and Rococo garnish is very spectacular to make you wish to stay in the palace.
However, the palace itself is not always open for the public but the gardens are open.
Do not miss visiting the red pillar; Pompey’s Pillar is a single pillar lied in the ancient Serapeum. It is probably the biggest pillar in the world made out of a single piece of marble; its height reaches 27 meters (84 feet high) and 7 feet thick. It is like a plateau covered by architectural breaks.
This red Aswan granite pillar was named by the Crusaders when they conquered to Alexandria; they found it and called it Pompeii’s pillar.
You will be delighted with visiting Qaitbey fort which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; it is located in the place where the famous great Pharos lighthouse was situated. You can closely observe some red granite pillars related to the ancient Pharos on the external walls of the fort.
Nowadays, Quaitbai contains a Naval Museum. It is deserved to be visited not only because of its elegant view but also because of the wonderful sights across the Mediterranean Sea. This place, alongside the Corniche, lets you enjoy the local life of Alexandrines and their folklore customs.
Kom al Dikka is one of the impressive places in Alexandria; it is like a hill of rubbles. It was anciently a residential region during the Graeco-Roman times. Its main feature is the Roman amphitheater. You will enjoy wandering in this uncrowded site while watching the amazing floor mosaic of the Villa of the Birds sited in a detached building within the place.
If you want to have an educational fun visit, go to the Alexandria Aquarium; it is the only museum with living sea creatures in the governorate, and it is a small museum containing several species of fish and creatures from the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
It is located in El Anfoushy near the Citadel of Quaitbai. It contains rare species of fish and sea plants. A small museum is attached to the aquarium has samples of preserved sea creatures from the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Amazon.
You cannot go to Alexandria without strolling on the Cornish. It is one of the most popular landmarks in Alexandria. It entertains all the people whether rich or poor. It extends along the whole length of the city. To cross the road from one side to another, use pedestrian underpasses because it is very dangerous to cross the road there.
There are a number of elegant hotels on the Corniche which are considered landmarks there such as Cecil & Windsor Palace. There are also some restaurants and old & buildings that will enjoy you if you like to roll around in yore-days.
Change your mood by going to a historical religious place; Abu Abbas Al Mursi Mosque. It is one of the most popular and sacred places in Alexandria; it has a great position according to the Alexandrians’ beliefs. This mosque was established over the tomb of a revered 13th-century Sufi saint, Abu Abbas Al Mursi.
The present structure is new; however, it still keeps its elegance. It has a rakish tower and an internal design ornamented with attractive Islamic mosaics, tiling and woodwork. Its 73-meter minaret rises on the southern side. The high ceiling of the mosque is adorned with arabesque, the floors mosque is paved in white marble, the doors, minbar and windows are made of perfect carved teak, citron and walnut.
You will like the atmosphere surrounding the mosque starting from the horse rides on the Corniche to the arrival of the big midan of the mosque and the entrance of the mosque itself.
Go south after Quaitbai to have a different experience at Rosetta (Rashid). The local tourist police there do not permit anyone to wander by himself. So that, they welcome you once you arrive at the site. You are accompanied to see the markets, touristic sites, museums and open houses. it is a distinctive unusual experience that will please you.
The Royal Jewelry Museum is a very staggering museum as it includes gorgeous objects in addition to its elegant decoration. It was a palace housing for Princess Fatima Al-Zahra who was a member of the Egyptian Royal Family. Its rooms are full of tinted glass, its floors are made of luminous mosaic tiles and its walls are decorated with colorful paintings.
There are many superb columns from the floor to the ceiling and there are gold leaves and wallpaper. Of course, there are a number of fabulous gold, silver and priceless stones.
Alexandria National Museum is an important stop in Alexandria that deserves to be visited. This museum is famous for many displays, statuses, and antiquities which some of them were discovered underwater explorations in the area offshore.
The museum is also distinguished by containing sculptures from one destiny; there is a collection form the Paranoiac era and the Hellenistic heyday. You will also be delighted with watching outstanding map drawings that reflect what the classical city of Alexandria would have looked like; this will help you realize the changing face of Alexandria.
Do not miss visiting Mahmoud Said Museum who was one of the sophisticated Egyptian artists who participated in forming the Egyptian artistic identity in the 1920s and 1930s. Said’s museum includes about 40 of Said’s amazing works collected in the Italian villa where he lived.
One of the surprising things in the museum is that there is a room devoted to naked females; this is very strange because it is different from the conservative life Alexandria lives today.
The museum contains various women portrays with simple accessories such as headscarves, jewelry and bracelets. You will enjoy a different mood in that museum. It is worthy to mention that you should hold your passport to enter the museum.
Graeco-Roman Museum is located close to Gamal Abdul Nasser Road. It has 11 galleries that have been magnified in subsequent stages.
It appears in the displays of the museum had been altered from pagan religions to Christianity including mummies, Hellenistic statues, Roman emperors statues, Tangara figurines, and early Christian antiquities.
If you like reading poets, go to Cavafy museum where you will find your entertainment. Cavafy museum was a flat that belonged to The Alexandrian-Greek Constantine Cavafy. It was then transformed to the Cavafy museum including many editions of his publications and copies of his manuscripts and notebooks spread out on tables throughout the other rooms. A collection of poet’s portraits and paintings decorate the walls of the last room.
If you are interested in having information about one of the late Egyptian presidents and his victories, Sadat museum will be a suitable place.
From its name, Sadat Museum was related to the late President Anwar as-Sadat. Before you enter the museum, you can watch on a screen some shots that include a number of Sadat’s speeches; reports; a display of all the documents on the Egyptian-Israeli peace pact and the October War; and some recordings that were not transmitted in Egypt or the Arab world.
The museum contains several things that belonged to as-Sadat such as gold, silver, bronze awards, a number of medals and some Sadat’s military suits, most important of which is the blood-stained military suit he was wearing on the day of his homicide on 6 October 1981. You can also see some of his properties like his radio set, his desk, and his personal library.
You can wander on the Corniche where the weather is cool and the smell of the sea is pure. There are many places such as cafes and restaurants along the Corniche where you can sit to enjoy the sea atmosphere feeling with the water drizzle on your face and hearing the voice of the choppy waves.
You can sit on one of the many cafes there or you can just wander and enjoy eating the grilled corn which you will find everywhere in the street cart, you can also enjoy your taste buds by eating like Lupine and hot chickpeas flavored with hot spices.
There are many hotels and flats on the Corniche where you can stay and enjoy the view; however, they are categories as they are very luxurious hotels with high prices and there are good hotels with moderate prices. For example, Sofitel Cecil Alexandria is a luxurious hotel enjoying the old form; it has a classical facade with grand interiors and there is a premium French restaurant on the sea’s edge.
Four Seasons Hotel at San Stefano is a lavish hotel; it has adorable suites, spa, and infinity pool as well as sea views. You can also stay at the Sea View Hotel which is a four-star hotel. Many of its rooms are viewing the sea and it has an outdoor pool and a private beach. It is a perfect suitable place for families as it offers convenient communal zones, a health club and free Wi-Fi.
Furthermore, this hotel is characterized by being near Catacombs of Kom which are less than 10 miles away from the hotel. There are also some hotels not viewing the sea but they offer good service equipped with all the mod-cons and their location is peculiar.
For instance, Egypt hotel is located in the heart of the business district offering a view of the bay and the yacht club. You can easily access the beach, clubs and restaurants. To precisely decide what do you want, you can just go to a booking website to decide what category do you prefer and determine the preferable place for your joy.
You can enjoy Egyptian food during your visit to Alexandria. Alexandria is full of many restaurants whether simple or luxurious offering delicious food. We will highlight some of the restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Starting from the breakfast, it is preferable to go to Mohammad Ahmed Restaurant at Qesm Al Attarin. You will really enjoy the Foul Fava bean dip comes with tahini and a light tomato-cilantro salsa, and the falafel wrapped into round balls. Once you arrive, the waiter brings you a table full of delicious side dishes. The prices in this restaurant are very affordable and the service is very good.
How you can visit Alexandria without trying seafood. You can buy all of your favorite seafood fresh from the busy seafood market in Alexandria. After buying, walk about 5 meters to Seafood Joint at Souq al Midan, Bahary; you only pay the cooking fee and they will prepare for you the most delicious seafood you have never tried. You can eat, for example, a scrumptious squid with tomato, onion, chili, and cilantro.
This restaurant is characterized by cooking all of the Egyptian seafood in many different ways whether baked, grilled or sautéed; so that, you can experience many different flavors. Try to buy your favorite fresh seafood form the market in the morning before noon.
El Sayed Mohammad Karim Restaurant is mainly a liver restaurant but there are also many dishes that come with the liver. The side dishes there are toothsome and full of many flavors. Flavors in this restaurant will take your taste in a very different mood; particularly, when you try eating the delicious tahini and baba ganouj offered with the main dish.
Do not prevent yourself from enjoying at Alexandria; the wonderful Mediterranean city that includes several stunning attractions including historical places, museums, mosques, restaurants and hotels. Your visit to Alexandria will motivate you to do many things and go to many places.
Every place you will go, you will acquire a different mood. Selecting your residence place will maximize the trip joy; thus, consider choosing an amazing site with an adorable view. Wandering at Corniche is very interesting to experience which makes you enjoy the Alexandria weather and the folklore atmosphere of the city.
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