5 Things To Do In Alexandria Egypt
Planning a trip to Egypt? Here are 5 things you absolutely shouldn’t miss in Alexandria Egypt. Use this guide to help plan your trip so you don’t miss any of the best things to do in Alexandria!
Where Is Alexandria?
Alexandria is on the northern coast of Egypt on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
Ancient Alexandria — A Quick History
Alexander the Great founded Alexandria Egypt in 331 BC. He named the city after himself.
It’s said that Alexandria is the Mother of Christianity. Mark the Evangelist (who wrote the Gospel of Mark in the Bible) brought Christianity to Alexandria in the year 33 AD.
Alexandria was the site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
1. Montaza Palace
Montaza Palace is a large royal palace. The palace was built in 1932 as a summer palace for the sultan of Egypt. The large gardens surrounding the palace are now a public park overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a morning or afternoon exploring the gardens with a view of the palace and sea.
2. Citadel of Qaitbay
The Citadel of Qaitbay is a defensive fortress on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Qaitbay Citadel was built in the 1400s on top of the ruins of the Lighthouse of Alexandria. They built the fortress using some of the ruins from the Lighthouse.
The Citadel of Qaitbay is open daily for visits. The fortress walls offer beautiful views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.
3. Try Egyptian Ice Cream
Alexandria has a certain type of ice cream you can’t find anywhere else in the world. It’s made with fresh, local ingredients and has a unique, fluffy, gooey, marshmallow-like texture. I’ve never had anything else like it! Our local tour guide brought us to her favorite ice cream shop where she takes her own children. Just like gelato is a must in Italy, this ice cream is a must in Alexandria!
Here is the exact location of the ice cream shop. It is near the Citadel of Qaitbay.
4. Library of Alexandria
The Great Library of Alexandria was one of the largest and most important libraries of the ancient world. All ships that docked at the port of Alexandria had to hand over every single book aboard the ship. The owners got a copy back and the originals were placed in the Library of Alexandria. Because of the Great Library, Alexandria was known as a capital of knowledge and learning.
Today the library is a modern library and museum. The floors are specially made to be super quiet when you walk on them.
5. Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa
The catacombs are an underground burial chamber that were in use from around 100-400 AD. The colorful tombs feature a mix of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman architecture. Seeing the catacombs is a unique experience because it looks like an underground Roman or Greek temple.
Unfortunately you can’t take pictures in the catacombs. Pictured above are some of the large stone coffins and statues found above ground just outside of the catacombs.
More Things To Do in Alexandria Egypt
If you have extra time in Alexandria, here are 4 more fun things to do in Alexandria Egypt:
- Pompey’s Pillar – a famous column from the Roman era that was once part of the Serapeum temple.
- El Gondy El Maghool Square – large, half oval-shaped memorial with columns
- Ancient Roman Amphitheater – Ancient Roman site with the remains of a Roman theater, baths, and mosaics.
- Alexandria Corniche – Have a picnic here with views of the Mediterranean Sea
Transportation in Alexandria
Double Decker Bus
There is a red double decker bus that drives back and forth along the coast from the Sheraton Montazah Hotel to the Citadel of Qaitbay. The top level of the bus is open air and offers amazing views of the city. It’s a great way to get from Montaza Palace to the Qaitbay Citadel. It’s also the cheapest, because a one way ticket is 7 EGP (about 42 cents).
Children Driving Tuktuks
Keep an eye out for the small tuktuks weaving through the traffic. You’ll often see very young children driving them. Children do not need a license to drive these tuktuks in Alexandria.
Taxis in Alexandria Egypt
I highly recommend to use Uber instead of taxis in Alexandria Egypt. The price for taxis in Egypt is negotiated. They do not use meters. The local taxi drivers will see that you are a tourist and try to get as much money from you as possible. If you don’t want to waste time haggling or risk getting ripped off or hassled, Uber is the safest, cheapest solution.
The price for Uber is fixed, you see the price before you book, and it will always be much cheaper than what a regular taxi will charge you.
Use the code amandab85 when you sign up for Uber to get a discount on your first ride.
Hotels In Alexandria Egypt
If you are looking for the best hotels in Alexandria Egypt, we prefer the Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano. The beautiful rooms are spacious, clean, and very comfortable.
The hotel is located right on the beach with amazing views of the turquoise Mediterranean Sea.
The staff is friendly, helpful, and extremely professional.
Four Seasons Mobile App
We used the Four Seasons App for the first time in Alexandria Egypt. With the app we were able to chat with the hotel staff before arrival and during our stay.
With the app you can easily request extra amenities like extra towels, toiletries, and even a sleep mask. You can book spa appointments, restaurant reservations, and get recommendations from the concierge without having to wait in line.
Above all, the Four Seasons app is super convenient. No more waiting on hold or waiting in line. Just send a quick instant message and someone will answer you virtually instantly.
Breakfast at the Four Seasons Alexandria
Enjoy breakfast at the Four Seasons Alexandria with a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea. The breakfast buffet offers a wide variety of options including a made-to-order pancake, waffle, crepes, and omelet station, fresh fruit, juices, smoothies, yogurts, as well as typical Egyptian breakfast pastries and a falafel station.
Four Seasons Alexandria Spa
We had one of the most amazing spa treatments ever at the Four Seasons Alexandria Spa. The 1001 Nights Sensation is a 3-hour experience that starts with a rose petal sea salt bath infused with vanilla, orange, and cinnamon.
The treatment continues with a full-body scrub with a mixture of honey, almond, and sesame seed, followed by a private steam sauna. And finally, the treatment concludes with an 80-minute full body massage, and after you can relax in your own private relaxation room.
If you’re looking for the ultimate spa experience I highly recommend the 1001 Nights Sensation treatment!
Byblos Restaurant at the Four Seasons Alexandria is one of the top-rated restaurants in Alexandria Egypt. They offer authentic Lebanese and Syrian cuisine.
We ordered a few things to share so we could try some of everything! Here were a few of our favorites:
Grilled Halloumi — Warm, gooey, grilled halloumi cheese is one of my favorite appetizers ever! If I ever see it on a menu I always order it!
Meat & Cheese Samboussek — Samboussek is fried dough filled with minced lamb and feta cheese. You can order the cheese or the meat separately, or request a mix of both like we did.
Mixed Grill — We ordered the Mixed Grill to share for our appetizer. It comes to the table on a small grill with a variety of kebabs, meatballs, chicken, and lamb chops.
Afterwards, we had warm baklava with ice cream for dessert. We also tried the Ghazal al Banat, which is a typical Lebanese dessert with a vanilla almond ice cream.