|Stanley beach in Alexandria
||Library of Alexandria
Alexandria better known as the mermaid of the Mediterranean, is the second
largest city in Egypt after Cairo. In fact it is considered to be the second Capital of Egypt. Alexandria was built during the rule of the Greek emperor
Alexander the Great who seek to immortalize his name through this city. The
Greek architect Dinocrates built Alexandria on the site of the old village
Rhakotis 331 BC. Later Alexandria flourished to be a prominent cultural,
political and economic metropolis. It was the renowned capital of the Ptolemies
with monuments many of which remain to be a witness to a great civilization.
Alexandria (31.09N 29.53E ) is located at the north of Egypt. Its geographic
location enabled it to be one the most important ports in Egypt with more than
50% share of Egypt's sea trade.
Today Alexandria is witnessing one of
brightest days of its history with the the work being done to revive the city to
be as it was once called the mermaid of the Mediterranean.
number of historical sites are limited in Alexandria compared to Cairo or Luxor
for example it is considered the most attractive city in Egypt for its moderate
weather, long beached of white sand and blue water, beautiful buildings and
visit Alexandria don't forget to go to the following places :
- Greco-Roman museum : which is the main museum in Alexandria, built
in 1887 and has large collection of exhibits from the Greco-Roman era.
- The Roman theatre : in Kom El Dekka is one of the important sites
in Alexandria which was reserved for thousands of years. Today musical and ballet
shows are held in the Roman theatre to attract Egyptians to this great
- The fort of Qayetbay : which was built in 1480 on the ruins
of the Alexandria Lighthouse to repel raiders from the Mediterranean. The
medieval-style Fort was named after the Mamelouk Sultan Qaitbay, and is
considered one of Alexandria's landmarks.
- Al-Haramlek palace in Montazah : Built on a low plateau east of
Alexandria and overlooking the beach amid about 370 feddans of gardens ,
Montazah comprises a number of buildings, the most important being Al-Haramlek
and Al-Salamlek (now an upscale restaurant). Formerly the official summer
residence of Egypt's King, Al-Haramlek is now a presidential palace. Its
unique architecture combines Islamic, and European elements.
|Hantor or a horse carriage still in Alexandria but only
||The famous Cecil hotel in Saad Zaghloul (Raml station)
Among other modern places to
see in Alexandria today are the following :
- The corniche : It is one of two main roads in Alexandria stretching
alongside the long beaches of the city, it was paved in the 19th century and
expanded throughout the years. It has been widened recently to absorb the
increasing number of vehicles. You can have a walk on the corniche to enjoy
the fresh air and beautiful view of the sea especially during sunrise or
sunset. Many people practice jogging on the especially paved sideway on the
seaside lighthouse shaped wall.
- Stanley bridge : Built over the Stanley bay to be one way
road as part of the expansion of the corniche. It was inspired by the
Montazah Palace with its Islamic style four towers at both ends of the
bridge. Many people walk on the bridge to enjoy the view of the sea and the
bay. You can also enjoy the beach under the bridge which is one of the most
beautiful beaches in Alexandria.
- Saad Zaghloul square : Also known as Raml Station, it is the city's
downtown square . Cleopatra's needles once stood here. The statue of the
Twentieth Century leader celebrates Saad Zaghloul's successful attempt to
unify the Egyptian people in 1919 against the British. The renovated
historic Cecil Hotel is one of the main buildings built early in the 20th
- Al Manshia square : Located at the old Turkish Quarter, Mansheya or
Al Tahrir is Alexandria's main square. Recently renovated, the Square
features a statue of Mohamed Ali, Egypt's viceroy in the early 18th Century.
The courthouse or Al Haqania building is one of the 19th century buildings
that stands a witness to a great civilization that considered art an
essential part of architectural design.
|Towers of the Stanley bridge, similar in design to the
towers of the Montazah palace
||Greco-Roman style columns in Mostafa Kamel square
Tips for you when you visit
- The best time to be in Alexandria is the summer because the weather is
fine and you can enjoy the beach or walking/jogging on the corniche.
- When you walk during the day don't forget to wear a cap or a hat as a precaution
of the sun although it is not hot as other places in Egypt, but be careful
just as well.
- If you visit Alexandria in winter, don't forget to take an umbrella with
you because it might rain. In fact there is a schedule for winter storms you
should know it to enjoy your stay. Your travel agent should advise you the
times it is supposed to rain to avoid being there when the weather is not
- If you would like to take a cab to any where in Alexandria better ask at
the hotel for the taxi fare because taxi drivers tend to charge foreign
passengers more than the fare suggested by the law. You can also enquire
from people in the street for the fare if you intend to go to a specific
- When you buy souvenirs go alone to the shops don't take a local guide he
will not help you get a low price as you might expect and visit more than
one shop to take a look at the merchandise and to know the local prices and
be sure to ask for products made in Egypt because there have been some items
imported from the far east countries sold alongside Egyptian hand made
souvenirs. If you go alone ask the salesman for the Egyptian products and he
will give you a good price.
- Prices of food are low in Egypt and every thing is available so don't take
canned food or drinks from your country when you come to Egypt. If you go to
any supermarket or local food store you will find what you desire of soft
drinks, canned food and even junk food. a tip for you, food items prices are
much lower in shops than in hotel.
- If you sit at a cafe and smoke a shisha be careful because it is much
stronger than cigarette ! exhale a little amount first to know the feeling.
- Tip or Baksheesh as Egyptians call it is very common for hotel servants
that carry your bags or serving food so be prepared with change of pounds
- If you are lost don't be embarrassed to ask for directions. Better
ask at shops because they tend to know the area they work in. Write the name
of the hotel on a piece of paper and take it with you in case you don't
pronounce it clearly. Better ask more than one person to be sure.
- Learn a few words in Arabic to use when you talk to Egyptians they are
friendly people who like to know their language is respected by guests to
their country. one the most famous words you should know is "Shoukran"
which means "Thank you"
We hope you enjoy your stay in Alexandria and come back many times because we
Egyptians like to make you feel at home.
|The corniche of Alexandria, don't forget to take a walk
or practice jogging early in the morning
||Sidi Gaber railway station, one of two main railway
stations in Alexandria