Alexandria, Egypt: The Ultimate Guide

Welcome to Alexandria, Egypt’s magnificent and historically rich city that invites you to journey through time. A true gem of Ancient Egypt, Alexandria boasts remarkable landmarks such as the iconic Lighthouse of Alexandria, also known as Pharos, which stood proudly as one of the wonders of the ancient world. Immerse yourself in the enchanting allure of Alexandria, and join us in uncovering all this extraordinary city that has captivated travelers for centuries has to offer in our ultimate guide to Alexandria.

Best Known For: Lighthouse of Alexandria

ancient alexandria lighthouse
Illustration of Pharos Alexandria – Fischer von Erlach (x)

The Lighthouse of Alexandria was a testament to ancient Alexandria’s grandeur and engineering prowess. Once towering over the city’s harbor, this magnificent structure was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Built in the 3rd century BC, the lighthouse was a navigational aid for ships entering the port, guiding sailors safely to shore.

Although the original lighthouse no longer stands, its legacy lives on, and it remains an iconic symbol of Alexandria’s glorious past, and its legacy lives on in the city. To make the most of your Alexandria adventure and explore the highlights of Cairo and Alexandria, why not book our 4-Day Highlights of Cairo & Alexandria Tour? This comprehensive tour takes you on a journey through the ancient wonders of Cairo, including the Pyramids of Giza and the Egyptian Museum, before immersing you in the captivating charm of Alexandria. 

Alexandria: Essential Travel Information

MoneyThe currency of Egypt is the Egyptian pound (EGP).
ATMs are common, especially in tourist areas, so you can quickly get cash. Major hotels and businesses will usually accept payment by credit card. However, it is not uncommon for smaller hotels and businesses to expect cash payments.
Tipping or “Baksheesh” is expected in Egypt. Tips are used to show appreciation for good service and are a living, breathing part of Egyptian culture.
LanguageThe main language spoken in Egypt is Arabic.

Don’t worry, English is commonly taught in schools in Egypt with many of the population speaking at least some English.
TransportationThere are regular local buses operating throughout Alexandria and Egypt as a whole.

Another option is, of course, taxi travel. Taxi drivers in Egypt do not operate a standardized fare system, so you should always negotiate an upfront amount before beginning your journey.

Another great way to explore the area is with one of our amazing Alexandria Tours
CultureWe have a helpful Guide to Egyptian Culture and Customs that will help you to get a handle on local culture and customs. 
ClothingAs an Islamic country, the clothing in Egypt is generally more conservative and traditional. Public modesty is valued very highly, so be sure to dress appropriately. For a more comprehensive overview, check out our Egypt clothing guide.

Interactive Map of Alexandria

More Things to See in Alexandria 

alexandria library
The Library of Alexandria, rebuilt in 2002

In addition to its iconic landmarks, Alexandria offers many other fascinating attractions worth exploring during your visit:

Library of Alexandria: visiting the Library of Alexandria is an absolute must. Rebuilt on the same site as the ancient library, this modern marvel pays homage to its ancient predecessor, renowned as one of the most important centers of knowledge and learning in the ancient world. 

Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa: the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa is an underground necropolis that dates back to the 2nd century AD. Descend into the depths of history as you navigate the intricate maze of burial chambers adorned with intricate artwork and a fusion of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman architectural styles. The catacombs provide a captivating glimpse into the funerary practices of ancient Alexandria. They are a testament to the city’s multicultural heritage.

Ancient Roman Amphitheater: visiting the Ancient Roman Amphitheater is an absolute must for enthusiasts of ancient Roman history. Located in the city’s heart, this well-preserved amphitheater once hosted thrilling spectacles and performances during the Roman era. Marvel at the impressive architecture and imagine the crowd’s roar as gladiators fought valiantly in the arena. 

Where to Stay

Alexandria has a stunning array of gorgeous and luxurious hotels to choose from. When deciding on the perfect area to stay in, Alexandria, several neighborhoods offer unique experiences and convenient access to the city’s attractions. 

Corniche: With its stunning sea views, bustling cafes, and proximity to major landmarks like the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and Qaitbay Citadel, Corniche offers a lively and picturesque setting for your stay. 

Montaza: known for its luxurious resorts and beautiful beaches. Montaza is perfect for those seeking a relaxing seaside retreat, with its tranquil atmosphere, well-manicured gardens, and proximity to Montaza Palace.

Ramleh: for a more authentic local experience, consider staying in the Ramleh neighborhood, rich in history and culture. 

If you still feel spoiled for choice, why not look at our Egypt Package Tours that take care of every detail for you? 

Alexandria’s Restaurants & Markets

alexandria fish market
Fish vendor in Alexandria market. yousef tarek / Shutterstock.com

Alexandria is a culinary delight that tempts food lovers with its vibrant food markets and delectable cuisine. The city is renowned for its fresh seafood, a must-try for visitors. Head to one of the local seafood restaurants or seafood markets to savor the taste of the Mediterranean Sea on your plate. 

Alexandria’s food markets offer a sensory feast for food enthusiasts. Explore the narrow alleys lined with spice shops, bakeries, and stalls selling local produce, where you can immerse yourself in the aromas and flavors of Egyptian cuisine. 

If you are still hungry, consider booking one of our exceptional food tours.

Our Recommendation: Things to Book Ahead 

When traveling anywhere, there is always a list of things you should book beforehand. We recommend ensuring that your accommodation and your airport transportation are arranged before you arrive in Alexandria. Our 4-Day Highlights of Cairo & Alexandria Tour is essential when visiting Alexandria. Be sure to book this one in advance, as spaces are limited.

If you want to explore even more of what Egypt has to offer, consider our 5-Day Best of Egypt Package to see all the stunning sights that make this country unforgettable. 

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