Alexandria, Égypte

The 9 essentials not to be missed in Alexandria

Last update : 26/05/2024 15:39

Immerse yourself in the vibrant history and culture of Alexandria, the stunning coastal city of Egypt where ancient ruins seamlessly blend with modern life. With its golden sandy beaches kissed by the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean, Alexandria beckons travelers with its captivating blend of Mediterranean charm and historical richness.

The legendary Bibliotheca Alexandrina, rebuilt to symbolize the city's intellectual resurgence, stands as a beacon of knowledge housing cultural treasures from around the world. Next to this iconic institution rises the majestic Citadel of Qaitbay, an impregnable fortress offering breathtaking panoramas of the infinite blue sea.

The bustling alleyways of downtown reveal a kaleidoscope of experiences, where the intoxicating scents of traditional markets mingle with the enticing flavors of local eateries. Sample authentic Egyptian cuisine while soaking in the captivating ambiance of the city, where past and present collide at every street corner.

For a relaxing break, the lush gardens of Montazah offer a tranquil escape from urban bustle, while the fine sandy beaches beckon for a day of leisure under the Egyptian sun. Whether you're exploring the mysterious catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa or wandering the streets of the historic district, every corner of Alexandria unveils a new chapter of its millennia-old history.

Dive into the enchanting atmosphere of this fascinating city where legends of antiquity blend with modern life, and be captivated by the timeless charm of Alexandria, a must-visit destination for any traveler in search of adventure, discovery, and timeless beauty.

1 - Explore the Library of Alexandria

Explore the Library of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt

The Library of Alexandria, one of the most famous intellectual institutions in ancient history, was once the center of knowledge in the ancient world. Founded in the 3rd century BCE during the reign of Ptolemy I, this library was a true architectural and intellectual marvel of its time.

It housed hundreds of thousands of manuscripts, scrolls, and parchments, gathering knowledge from various cultures and civilizations of the ancient world. Scholars, thinkers, and philosophers from around the world came to study, exchange ideas, and contribute to the enrichment of human knowledge.

Unfortunately, the Library of Alexandria was destroyed in several tragic events throughout history, and today only archaeological remains of its former grandeur remain. However, its legacy lives on in the collective memory, and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, inaugurated in 2002 near the site of the ancient library, aims to perpetuate its legacy as a center of knowledge and culture for future generations.

2 - Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos)

Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), Alexandria, Egypt

The Pharos of Alexandria, also known as the Lighthouse of Alexandria, was a towering marvel of ancient engineering and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Located on the island of Pharos in the harbor of Alexandria, Egypt, it stood as a symbol of the city's greatness and played a crucial role in maritime navigation for centuries.

Constructed during the reign of Ptolemy II in the 3rd century BCE, the Pharos was an architectural masterpiece, soaring to a height of over 100 meters (330 feet). Its impressive stature and distinctive design made it a landmark of antiquity, with its beacon guiding sailors safely into the bustling harbor of Alexandria.

The structure was built primarily of limestone blocks and featured a square tower topped by a lantern room where a fire burned at night, emitting a powerful beam of light visible from miles away. This innovative system of mirrors and lenses allowed the lighthouse to shine brightly, aiding ships in navigation and ensuring safe passage through treacherous waters.

Although the original Pharos was eventually destroyed by a series of earthquakes in the Middle Ages, its legacy lives on as a testament to ancient ingenuity and maritime history. Today, visitors to Alexandria can explore the site where the lighthouse once stood, marveling at its storied past and imagining the grandeur of this ancient wonder that once illuminated the Mediterranean coast.

3 - Visit the Citadel of Qaitbay

Visit the Citadel of Qaitbay, Alexandria, Egypt

Immerse yourself in the rich history and architectural splendor of the Citadel of Qaitbay, a majestic fortress perched on the Mediterranean coast of Alexandria, Egypt. This iconic landmark, dating back to the 15th century, offers travelers a captivating journey through time and a glimpse into the city's storied past.

As you approach the Citadel, you'll be greeted by its imposing walls and formidable towers, evoking a sense of awe and grandeur. Step inside and explore the intricately designed courtyards, halls, and chambers that once housed soldiers and served as a bastion of defense against maritime threats.

From the ramparts of the Citadel, gaze out over the shimmering waters of the Mediterranean Sea, where ships once sailed and history unfolded. Take in panoramic views of the cityscape, with its bustling streets and ancient landmarks, and marvel at the timeless beauty of Alexandria's coastal landscape.

Delve into the Citadel's rich history as you wander through its halls, where echoes of the past resonate with tales of conquest, intrigue, and cultural exchange. Learn about Sultan Qaitbay, the visionary leader who commissioned the fortress, and discover the legacy of his reign that endures to this day.

For history enthusiasts, the Citadel offers a fascinating glimpse into Alexandria's maritime heritage, with its Maritime Museum showcasing artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that bring the city's seafaring past to life.

Whether you're drawn to its architectural splendor, panoramic vistas, or rich historical significance, a visit to the Citadel of Qaitbay promises an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking adventure, discovery, and a deeper understanding of Egypt's cultural heritage.

4 - Stroll through the Montazah Gardens

Stroll through the Montazah Gardens, Alexandria, Egypt

The Montazah Gardens, situated along the Mediterranean coast in Alexandria, offer an oasis of greenery and tranquility amidst the bustling city. Once the summer residence of the Egyptian royal family, these historic gardens now attract visitors with their natural beauty, botanical diversity, and panoramic views of the sea.

Stroll through the shaded pathways of the gardens, lined with majestic palm trees, colorful flower beds, and lush lawns. Marvel at the wealth of local flora, from exotic plants to indigenous species, creating an enchanting and soothing landscape.

The Montazah Gardens also boast stunning vistas of the Mediterranean Sea, with its sparkling waters stretching as far as the eye can see. Find a scenic bench or settle on a grassy knoll to gaze upon the seascape and feel the refreshing sea breeze.

For a complete immersion in history and culture, explore the Montazah Palace, once the summer retreat of Egypt's kings. Visit the lavishly decorated rooms, admire the elegant architecture, and uncover the fascinating stories surrounding this iconic venue.

Whether for a leisurely stroll, a picturesque photo shoot, or simply to bask in nature, the Montazah Gardens offer an idyllic getaway from the city's hustle and bustle, where visitors can rejuvenate and connect with the natural beauty of the region.

5 - Discover the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa

Discover the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, Alexandria, Egypt

The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, located in Alexandria, Egypt, are a fascinating underground necropolis dating back to the Roman period. Here's a description to give you an overview of this historical site:

The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa are a remarkable testament to funerary art and the cultural diversity that characterized Alexandria during the Roman era. Carved into the limestone rock, these catacombs consist of several levels, including labyrinthine passages, burial chambers, and decorated tombs.

During your visit, you'll be amazed by the architectural and artistic ingenuity that went into creating this unique burial site. Colorful frescoes, sculptures, and inscriptions bear witness to the influence of various cultures, including Egyptian, Greek, and Roman, on funerary art of the time.

Among the most remarkable features of the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa is the famous "Hall of the Three Niches," adorned with columns mimicking wooden pillars and classical motifs. You'll also discover a wide variety of sarcophagi, steles, and other funerary artifacts that illustrate the beliefs and religious practices of the period.

As you explore the narrow corridors and underground chambers, you'll feel like you're stepping back in time and delving into the fascinating history of ancient Alexandria. The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa offer a unique experience, blending mystery, history, and art, and are a must-visit for any traveler eager to discover the rich heritage of this legendary city.

6 - Visit the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque

Visit the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque, Alexandria, Egypt

The Mosque of Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi, located in the port city of Alexandria, Egypt, is an iconic place of worship and a major spiritual destination for Muslim believers. Here is a description of this magnificent mosque:

The Mosque of Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi is an architectural masterpiece that stands majestically on the waterfront of Alexandria. Its impressive design skillfully blends elements of traditional Islamic architecture with local influences, creating a unique structure that attracts visitors from around the world.

Inside the mosque, visitors are greeted by an atmosphere of peace and serenity. The walls adorned with Arabic motifs and Quranic calligraphy, along with the sparkling chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, create an ambiance of great beauty and deep spirituality.

The heart of the Mosque of Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi is its prayer hall, where believers come to worship and find inspiration and solace in their faith. The prayer hall is dominated by a magnificent adorned dome, symbolizing spiritual elevation and divine grandeur.

Outside, visitors can admire the beautiful gardens and peaceful courtyards surrounding the mosque, offering a refuge of tranquility in the midst of the city.

As one of Alexandria's most important religious sites, the Mosque of Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi is not only a place of prayer but also a symbol of Islamic history and culture in the region. Whether one is a believer or simply an admirer, a visit to this iconic mosque is a rewarding and memorable experience.

7 - Relax on the beaches

Relax on the beaches, Alexandria, Egypt

Alexandria, Egypt, is renowned for its stunning beaches along the Mediterranean coast. Here's a list of some of the most popular beaches in Alexandria:

  1. Mamoura Beach: Located approximately 30 kilometers from the city center, Mamoura Beach is one of Alexandria's most popular seaside destinations. It offers crystal-clear waters, golden sands, and a variety of recreational facilities, including restaurants, cafes, and water sports activities.

  2. Agami Beach: Also known as Sidi Abdel Rahman Beach, Agami Beach is another popular destination for beach lovers. It's appreciated for its shallow, calm waters, ideal for family swimming, as well as its beach resorts and lively beach clubs.

  3. Montazah Beach: Situated near the Montazah Palace, this beach offers a beautiful setting with lush gardens and stunning views of the Mediterranean. It's equipped with umbrellas, lounge chairs, and cafes, providing visitors with a comfortable and relaxing beach experience.

  4. Abu Qir Beach: This beach is known for its tranquil atmosphere and pristine natural beauty. Less crowded than some of Alexandria's other beaches, it offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy the Mediterranean Sea in a more peaceful setting.

  5. Ain El Sokhna Beach: Although located outside the city of Alexandria, Ain El Sokhna Beach is popular among locals and visitors alike for its clear waters and sandy beaches. It's ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities.

Whether you're looking for a day of sunbathing, exciting water sports, or simply a peaceful seaside getaway, Alexandria's beaches offer a variety of options to suit every taste.

8 - Shopping at Atarine Market

Shopping at Atarine Market, Alexandria, Egypt

The Atarine Market, located in the heart of the old city of Alexandria, Egypt, is an iconic place where history, culture, and commerce converge. Here's a description of this bustling market:

The Atarine Market, also known as Souk El-Attarine, is a hidden gem nestled within the labyrinth of narrow alleyways of Alexandria's medina. This captivating market is teeming with colorful shops, lively stalls, and stands overflowing with diverse products, creating a vibrant and picturesque atmosphere that attracts visitors from around the world.

As you stroll through the market's lanes, you'll be enveloped in a festival of colors, sounds, and enticing aromas. Local merchants offer a wide range of products, from aromatic spices and medicinal herbs to vibrant fabrics, sparkling jewelry, and artisanal souvenirs.

Beyond its commercial aspect, the Atarine Market is also a social gathering place where locals come together to exchange news, chat, and enjoy a refreshing mint tea in one of the many traditional tea shops.

Beyond its commercial aspect, the Atarine Market is also a social hub where locals gather to exchange news, engage in conversation, and enjoy a refreshing mint tea at one of the many traditional tea stalls.

More than just a marketplace, the Atarine Market offers an authentic immersion into the daily life and local culture of Alexandria. It's the perfect place to explore, unearth unique treasures, and experience an unforgettable sensory journey at the heart of this lively and historic city.

9 - Visit the National Museum of Alexandria

Visit the National Museum of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt

The National Museum of Alexandria is one of the most emblematic museums in Egypt, located in Egypt. in the historic coastal city of Alexandria. Here is a detailed description of this prestigious museum:

  1. History and Location:

    • The museum is located in in an elegant and imposing building, not far from the famous archaeological site of the Library of Alexandria, on the Alexandria Corniche, offering a spectacular view on the Mediterranean Sea.
    • He was background in 2003, making it a relatively new establishment, but it houses an impressive collection of historical and cultural artifacts.
  2. Collections:

    • The museum houses a vast collection of objects ranging from antiquity to ancient times. Egyptian the Greco-Roman era and later the Coptic era.
    • Among the most remarkable pieces, we find statues, sarcophagi, coins, jewelry, ceramics, papyri and other objects that trace the history of history. rich and varied history of the region.
  3. Strengths:

    • One of the main attractions of the museum is the famous black granite statue of the goddess Isis and Osiris, which dates back to 1980. the Ptolemaic era.
    • Another major piece is the statue of Serapis, a Greco-Egyptian god revered in the city. in ancient Alexandria.
    • The museum also houses a collection of rare pieces from the Coptic period, testifying to the religious and cultural history of the region after the era. 39;arrival of Christianity.
  4. Architecture and Development:

    • The museum building is itself a work of art, with its modern design and bright, airy spaces that showcase the artifacts on display .
    • Visitors can enjoy audio guides and interpretive panels to learn more about the exhibits and the history of the region.
  5. Activities and events:
    The National Museum of Alexandria regularly organizes temporary exhibitions, conferences and cultural events to enrich the visitor experience.

    • Guided tours are available for those who want to explore the museum with an expert guide and learn more about the exhibits.
    • The museum also participates in educational programs for schools and groups, providing a unique opportunity to learn about the history and culture of ancient and modern Egypt.

In short, the National Museum of Alexandria is a cultural gem that offers visitors a fascinating immersion in the history and cultural richness of the region. With its exceptional collection, modern facilities and varied activities, it is a must-see stop for anyone interested in ancient history and Egyptian art.< /p>

Alexandria - Where to Stay?

In Alexandria, you have several accommodation options suitable for different budgets and preferences. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Luxury Hotels: For a luxurious stay, you can choose from a range of five-star hotels offering upscale services, spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea, and world-class facilities.

  2. Boutique Hotels: If you're looking for a more intimate and personalized experience, boutique hotels located in the city center or near the corniche could be an excellent choice. They often offer quality accommodation with a unique ambiance and local touches.

  3. Vacation Apartments: For a more self-sufficient experience, you can opt for renting a vacation apartment. This can be ideal if you're traveling with family or a group and want more space and amenities like a fully equipped kitchen.

  4. Hostels and Guesthouses: If you have a tighter budget or prefer a more laid-back and social atmosphere, hostels and guesthouses can be affordable options. They often offer private rooms or dormitories as well as common areas to meet other travelers.

  5. Family-Friendly Hotels: If you're traveling with family, many hotels offer family rooms or suites tailored to the needs of families with children. Be sure to check for amenities like pools or children's play areas.

Make sure to book your accommodation in advance, especially if you're traveling during the high tourist season, to have a wider selection and benefit from the best rates. You can also check online reviews and recommendations from other travelers to find the option that best suits you.

Alexandria - How to get around?

To get around and explore Alexandria, you have several transportation options:

  1. Taxi: Taxis are widely available throughout the city and provide a convenient way to get around, especially if you want to go directly to a specific destination. Make sure to negotiate the fare before getting into the taxi, as rates can vary.

  2. Tram: The tram is an economical and efficient way to travel around Alexandria. It runs through the city along a specific route, serving many neighborhoods and major attractions.

  3. Microbus: Microbuses are another popular form of public transportation in Alexandria. They operate throughout the city and can be a convenient option for reaching neighborhoods less accessible by other means of transport.

  4. Car Rental: If you prefer more independence and flexibility in your travels, you may consider renting a car. This can be particularly useful if you plan to explore sites outside of the city.

  5. Walking: Alexandria is a relatively compact city, and many major attractions are within walking distance of each other, especially in the downtown area. Walking can be a great way to experience the city at your own pace and soak in its unique atmosphere.

Whichever mode of transportation you choose, be sure to plan your travels in advance and consider traffic conditions, especially during peak hours. Additionally, be aware of fares and fees associated with each transportation option to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Alexandria - Best period

The best time to visit Alexandria depends on your preferences regarding weather and tourist crowds. Here's some information to help you plan your visit:

  1. Spring (March to May): Spring is a pleasant time to visit Alexandria, with mild temperatures and sunny days. It's also a period of low tourist crowds, which can make exploring the city more enjoyable.

  2. Summer (June to August): Summer months in Alexandria are hot, with high temperatures and sometimes high humidity. However, if you enjoy the heat and are willing to deal with the crowds, summer can be a good time to enjoy the beaches and tourist attractions.

  3. Autumn (September to November): Autumn is another pleasant time to visit Alexandria, with temperatures gradually decreasing after summer. It's also a time when tourists start to thin out, allowing you to enjoy the city more.

  4. Winter (December to February): Winter months in Alexandria are mild, with cooler but still pleasant temperatures for most visitors. It's also the season when you may encounter occasional showers. Winter can be a good time to visit if you prefer cooler temperatures and want to avoid the summer crowds.

In summary, spring and autumn are generally considered the best seasons to visit Alexandria due to the pleasant temperatures and lower tourist crowds. However, if you're willing to brave the summer heat or prefer cooler temperatures in winter, these seasons can also be viable options.

Last update : 26/05/2024 15:39

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