It was evident why the charm and multicultural outlook Alexandria inspired several poets, authors, novelists to live and write about the place. It is indeed very diverse in spite of technically being a part of the African continent, i.e., geographically!
We were in Alexandria for a very short time! In fact, we chose to day trip to Alexandria from Cairo.
Why should you go to Alexandria atleast for a day?
Alexandria, the Pearl of the Mediterranean, intrigues all its visitors with its blend of history and novelty. Distinct from the rest of Egypt, I see that Alexandria has the feel of old European homes, Roman-Greek Monuments and similar café jaunts.
Though there is not much left of the old city, it has still managed to retain interesting sights in place such as the underwater ruins of Montazah, the Maamoura, Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque, the Catacombs of Kom el-Shouqafa, or the Coptic St. Mark’s Cathedral to name a few.
The coastline of the city ranges between the north-western side of the Nile delta and Mariout Lake in the east. The Alexandrian Eastern Harbor and the view of the Qaitbay Fortress are worth seeing landmarks around the coast.
Things you could see in a day
Historically, Alexandria attracts visitors to witness structures such as the Qaitbay’s Citadel, Roman Theatre, El Montazah Palace and the Pompey’s Pillar. Besides these, there are several museums displaying pieces from the BC era, the Greco-Roman period and some Coptic Islamic antiques.
Few museums are dedicated to fisheries and Middle Eastern jewelry. Additionally, Alexandria also entices tourists to its very famous modern Library – Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Students from several geographic locations come here.
Lastly, if nothing, Alexandria is still very popular for a layman to enjoy its beautiful cornice, a 15 Kilometers wharf along the harbor with numerous eateries and shops. The cornice was something I loved the most! I spent most of my time walking around seeing the fishing boats and taking loads of pictures.
If you have time, do not forget to sight-see the nearby destinations of Borg El-Arab (where the main airport is located) and Abu-Mina. These are around 55km away from the main city and are home to fascinating historic sites (St. Mena Monastery, and the Roman Necropolis in Borg El-Arab) and fancy resorts (the Hilton Borg El-Arab, and Golden Beach).
What would be the right time to go?
The Mediterranean weather in Alexandria is cool summers and warmer winters than compared to other parts of Egypt. The winters are typically pouring with temperatures reaching between 8 and 18°C. That said, the summers are well-known for the uplifting sea breeze with temperatures sandwiched between 22 and 32°C.
We managed to cover Alexandria in a day and get back to Cairo after sunset. We chose to take a cab but there are direct trains to and from Alexandria!
Read about our days in Cairo