So you’re planning a trip to Alexandria? Well, dear adventurer, you’re in for a treat! A city that was once at the heart of the ancient world, it has more layers of history than you can imagine. If it is not obvious yet, in this Guide you are about to learn everything you need to know about traveling to Alexandria Egypt.
A Little Bit Of History
Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE, Alexandria is one of the world’s oldest cities, boasting over two millennia of history. As a vital center of trade, culture, and learning, it witnessed the rise and fall of empires and hosted the legendary Library of Alexandria, once a center of knowledge and culture. Today, this coastal city in Egypt stands as a amazing blend of ancient ruins and vibrant charm, preserving its rich heritage for all to explore and enjoy.
Is Traveling to Alexandria Egypt safe for tourists?
When it comes to safety, Alexandria is very safe for tourists. Like many other travel destinations worldwide, standard guidelines apply. It’s wise to avoid poorly lit areas late at night, and keep your belongings secure. It’s always smart to familiarize yourself with the local customs and laws, as well.
One of the first things that has to come to your mind when planning a trip is insurance.
Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance is one of the best options available out there. With a maximum coverage of 365 days, they are a great option whether you are a Nomad or not! They offer very low rates, but excellent coverage and immediate support (in a few minutes!). The best part? Nomad Insurance can be purchased even if you have left your home country already.
Lastly, they also cover extreme sports, something that can come in very handy if you are an adventurous soul.
The city takes great pride in its rich heritage and works tirelessly to make sure that tourists feel welcome and secure. Egyptian culture places a high priority on hospitality, so don’t be surprised if the locals go above and beyond to make you feel comfortable and welcomed.
But keep in mind that individual experiences may vary. It’s possible you may encounter situations that make you feel uncomfortable. It’s also very possible you’ll experience nothing but sincere hospitality and kindness. The key, as with any travel, is awareness and respect—and that’s not exclusive to Alexandria or Egypt but holds everywhere.
What is the best time of year to visit Alexandria, Egypt?
When you’re making plans about traveling to Alexandria Egypt, it’s vital to consider the weather. This city by the sea tends to have a more moderate climate compared to other parts of Egypt, making it a destination you can enjoy throughout the year. However, there are still some periods that are particularly appealing.
For those who enjoy warm, sunny days without the extreme heat, the best time to visit the city is during the spring months of March to June. During this time, the average temperature ranges from 17°C to 27°C (63°F to 81°F), perfect for outdoor exploration and beach activities. The sea breeze makes these months even more comfortable. Keep in mind that occasional rain showers may occur, but these don’t usually last very long.
Autumn, from September to November, is another great time for a visit. The weather is similar to spring, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F). The city is less busy compared to the peak summer months, providing a more relaxed vibe and fewer crowds at popular tourist spots.
Summers in Alexandria can get quite hot, although not as intense as in other parts of Egypt. From June to August, temperatures can soar up to 30°C (86°F). But don’t worry, it’s not all scorching sun – the cool Mediterranean Sea waters provide a delightful respite. If you’re a sun-seeker or a beach lover, this is your time to bask in the energy of Alex (a common nickname for Alexandria).
Remember, whenever you choose to visit, Alexandria’s rich history, stunning architecture, and scenic coastlines are all waiting for you to explore and appreciate.
Traveling to Alexandria Egypt From Cairo
- By Train: The train is a popular and affordable travel option between Cairo and Alexandria. The journey takes approximately 2.5 to 3.5 hours, depending on the type of train you choose. Trains usually depart from Cairo’s Ramses Station and arrive at Alexandria’s Sidi Gaber Station. For trains in Egypt, you can visit the official website of the Egyptian National Railways for the latest train schedules and ticket information. This is how we made our day trip to Alexandria from Cairo.
- By Bus: Numerous bus companies operate between Cairo and Alexandria, offering a range of options in terms of comfort and price. The journey lasts 3 to 4 hours, depending on traffic conditions. Buses typically leave from the main bus stations in Cairo, such as Turgoman Station.
- By Car: You can also try traveling to Alexandria Egypt by car. The distance is approximately 220 km (137 miles), and the journey can take around 2.5 to 3.5 hours, depending on traffic conditions and your driving speed. The route is well-maintained and straightforward, as you’ll primarily use the Desert Road.
It’s essential to check the current transportation options and schedules since things may change.
How many Days do you Need to Visit Alexandria?
You might be wondering just how long you’ll need to fully explore and appreciate this amazing historical city. Well, a visit to Alexandria can easily take up anywhere from two to four days depending on your itinerary and pace.
If you’re someone who loves to dive deep into the history and architecture of a place, spending upwards of four days would provide a thorough experience. In that time, you could visit major landmarks, such as the Qaitbay Citadel, the catacombs of Kom ash-Shuqqafa, the Roman theater, Alexandria’s many mesmerising gardens and don’t forget the renowned Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
Alexandria is also a haven for the food-enthusiast. From fresh seafood served at traditional Mediterranean-style restaurants, to delectable street food and sweet delicacies like Basbousa, the city offers a veritable feast for the senses which might add a day or two for the dedicated food explorer.
However, if you’re short on time or prefer a fast-paced trip, you can still get a feel for Alexandria’s culture and vibrance in just a couple of days. A tightly-planned two-day itinerary could include a visit to Alexandria’s National museum, a stroll along the Mediterranean seafront and a quick tour of the city’s iconic landmarks.
Regardless of your schedule and personal preferences, this city has a lot to offer. Visiting Alexandria, you will find a blend of deep historical roots with a bustling, modern culture that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Can you see Alexandria in One day?
Let’s dive right into it. While it is certainly possible to get a glimpse of Alexandria’s charm in merely one day, experiencing the richness of its historical and cultural wonders might demand a slightly lengthier visit.
For a one-day trip, you can explore the iconic landmarks, such as the the grand Roman Amphitheatre, the towering Qaitbay Citadel, which offers stunning views of Mediterranean Sea, and the Library of Alexandria.
And let’s not forget about the local cuisine! Try out some mouthwatering seafood at a local Dukkah or have a filling Shawarma at a street-side café.
However, do keep in mind that these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Alexandria has to offer. A longer stay will allow you to appreciate the city’s offbeat attractions, unique neighbourhood vibes, and its people’s hospitality and warmth.
Remember, the essence of a city is often found not only in its landmarks but also in its atmosphere and everyday life – aspects that might need more than a day to fully appreciate.
What is the Best way to get around Alexandria, Egypt?
Despite its size, getting around Alexandria, Egypt, isn’t as chaotic as it may initially seem. With plenty of transportation options available, it won’t be hard for you to find a mode that suits your style, schedule, and budget.
If you’re in for an authentic Egyptian experience, hop on one of the city’s iconic yellow and black taxis. These taxis can be the swiftest way to dart about the streets, an adventure in itself. Keep in mind that it’s wise to negotiate the fee beforehand, as meters are rarely used.
Alternatively, Alexandria’s tram system, a vintage spectacle dating back to the 1860s, offers a scenic way to move around. Not as speedy as a taxi, they are an ideal choice if you’d like to blend in the city views at a slow pace. Tickets are cheap, making trams a budget-friendly alternative.
In addition, if you’re planning to visit the famous landmarks found across the city and you feel lost, consider booking a guided tour. These tours typically include transportation and can save you a lot of hassle, especially if you’re not eager to deal with the city’s notorious traffic. Plus, having a local guide can greatly enrich your travel experience, offering you insights you wouldn’t gather otherwise.
so, to sum up
- Tram: Alexandria has an extensive tram network that covers many parts of the city. Trams are a popular and affordable option for getting around. They operate on fixed routes, and you can find tram stops at regular intervals along the streets.
- Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Alexandria and are a convenient transportation mode. It’s a good idea to negotiate the fare before starting the ride if the taxi doesn’t have a working meter. My suggestion would be to prefer Uber, as it is better for tourists.
- Uber: Uber is available in Alexandria. You can use their mobile app to book a ride, and they often offer a more comfortable and reliable option than regular taxis.
- Bus: Public buses operate in Alexandria, covering various routes throughout the city. Buses are affordable, but they can get crowded during peak hours.
- Minibusses: Minibusses, often called “microbuses” by locals, are a common form of public transportation in Alexandria. They follow specific routes, and you can hail them from designated stops. These can be crowded but are an economical way to travel short distances.
- Tuk-Tuk: Tuk-tuks are three-wheeled motorized vehicles commonly used as a means of short-distance transportation in Alexandria. Tuk-tuks are a popular choice for quick trips within neighborhoods or to destinations not easily accessible by other means of public transport.
A Plan for a Day trip to Alexandria From Cairo
Morning: Breakfast, The Library, And Roman Ruins
Start your day at Mahmed Ahmed, a local eatery known for its delicious breakfast. Enjoy traditional dishes like Ful Medames, a flavorful fava bean stew paired with fresh falafel, tahini sauce, and freshly baked bread.
This popular spot attracts both locals and tourists, creating a perfect setting for an authentic Egyptian breakfast during your day trip to Alexandria from Cairo. Highly recommended!
2) The Library Of Alexandria
After breakfast, head to Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a modern masterpiece and city highlight that pays tribute to the ancient Library of Alexandria. This impressive library houses a vast collection of books and artifacts, making it a place of knowledge and culture.
The library also houses four museums: the Sadat Museum (dedicated to the memory of the late President Sadat), the Manuscripts Museum, the Antiquities Museum, and the History of Science Museum. The latter two were a complete joy to visit. The museums are open Sunday to Thursday: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, and Saturday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. A great way to delve deeper into the city’s history during your day trip to Alexandria from Cairo!
Entry cost for Non-Egyptian individuals is EGP 70. Entry to the Antiquities Museum is EGP 50 for Non-Egyptian individuals. There are student discounts available too!
No day trip to Alexandria from Cairo would be complete without a visit to the library!
3)The Roman Ruins
Next, venture to the Roman Theatre and Ruins, an archaeological site that reflects Alexandria’s Greco-Roman heritage. Marvel at the ancient amphitheater, which dates back to the 2nd century AD, and explore the surrounding ruins, offering a glimpse into the city’s past. The vibe you get while walking around is just unmatched!
Lunch: Seafood With Wonderful Views
For lunch, head to Gleembay, a local gem known for its delectable seafood dishes. Indulge in the catch of the day, prepared to perfection with aromatic spices and served with a side of Egyptian rice or traditional bread. Gleembay’s coastal charm and fresh flavors will leave you satisfied and ready for more exploration during your day trip to Alexandria from Cairo.
Afternoon: The Citadel And A Sweet Treat
1) The Citadel
After a delicious lunch, continue your journey to the Citadel of Qaitbay. This medieval fortress is located on the Mediterranean shores and offers breathtaking views of the sea and the city. Explore the well-preserved halls and courtyards, and learn about the citadel’s historical significance as a defensive stronghold. This one is a personal favorite!
2) Alsheikh Wafik
Finally, head to Alsheikh Wafik, a renowned dessert shop, to satisfy your sweet tooth. Indulge in Roz Bel Laban, a classic Egyptian dessert both young and old love. This velvety rice pudding is made by slowly cooking rice in milk until it reaches a rich and creamy consistency.
Garnished with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or chopped nuts, Roz Bel Laban is a delightful way to end a meal on a sweet note. This sweet treat is a perfect way to end your day trip to Alexandria from Cairo, as it represents the heart and soul of Egyptian cuisine. The best way to end your day trip to Alexandria from Cairo!
Alexandria’s rich history and culinary delights make it an ideal destination for your bucket list. From exploring the library to tasting authentic Egyptian breakfast in one of the country’s most famous restaurants, there will be a delightful blend of culture, history, and flavors when traveling to Alexandria Egypt.