Alexandria Travel Guide

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Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and one of its most historically significant, famous for being the home of the legendary Library of Alexandria. Founded in 332 BC by Alexander the Great, Alexandria remained one of the wealthiest and most influential cities in the Mediterranean world until a tsunami destroyed the city during an earthquake in 365 AD. Nowadays, Alexandria is more modern than other Egyptian cities, with plenty of museums and book shops to explore and bustling literary cafes where you can discuss ideas with other travelers. Alexandria is home to many monuments dating from ancient times. Inland, the Arab Baths (Al-hammam) are worth visiting, and so is the Tower of Marzouq Al-Ghazi, which was built in the 13th century. The Church of Saint Simeon Stylites also has a long-surviving Byzantine column built in Arabic and Roman architecture. These are just a few examples of what you can see while visiting Alexandria, a city full of historical sites and natural beauty.

 

 

Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa

The Roman Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa offer a fascinating insight into ancient funeral rites. Some two thousand years ago, these catacombs were carved deep into the living rock to house the remains of Alexandria’s dead elite. Winding through a maze of tunnels, they are among the largest in Egypt and constitute an important shrine to Wepwawet, the Egyptian deity of canines, protector of the dead and guardian of their passage through the underworld (as well as being associated with hunting and warfare).

 

CLEOPATRA’S PALACE

This beautiful edifice once stood out as one of the mighty relics of Egyptian history. However, a thousand and four hundred years ago, there was an earthquake that caused the palace to sink below the sea. Not to worry though. Tourists are still allowed to have a look at it or at least what remains of it below the sea. You get to put on your diving gear and literarily take a dive-down history.

 

BIBLIOTHECA ALEXANDRIA

This library was also known as Alexandria library. Even though it has now been reconstructed to contain one of the world’s most modern libraries. It has museums where ancient relics are still kept till today. It is built to hold as many as 8 million books and the masterpiece is designed like a gigantic sun disk. Visitors get to see fascinating exhibitions which have been beautifully curated. This, of course, is located below the main library. The museums below are known as the Antiquities and manuscript museum. The Antiquities Museum is filled with greek antiquities and artifacts. The manuscript museum is built to hold ancient writings, books, and scrolls, we also have the science museum.  You’d also get to see a planetarium and an Egyptian folk art collection. They also have a children library and a library for the blind.

 

Fort Qaitbey ( Citadel of Qaitbay )

The site of Fort Qaitbey, was where the ancient Pharos Lighthouse once stood which was well known as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The fort is along the shores of the corniche road. The Pharos had been submerged by an earthquake around 1303. The main reason the fort was built was to serve as a defense for the city from attacks. There is an opportunity for you to climb atop the roof to take a view of the Mediterranean.

 

Serapeum and Pompey's Pillar

The Pillar of Pompey, rising from the rubble of the Temple of Serapeum, is one of the most impressive sights in Alexandria. This massive 30m red Aswan granite column was hewn from a single granite block, and it stands on the site where once stood the splendid Temple of Serapeum. The temple, dedicated to the worship of the ancient Egyptian gods Osiris, Isis and Horus, was built by Ptolemy II (r 276–247 BC) as a memorial to his parents. The columns supporting its roof were made of pink granite brought from Aswan. The Queen Cleopatra VII (r 51–30 BC), the last ruler of ancient Egypt, financed the construction of a library at this site. It was destroyed by fanatical Christians in AD 391 but parts of it were later excavated by archaeologists.

 

KOM el-DIKKA

Kom el-dikka means mound of rubble. It got its name in 1947 after the authorities decided to clear up a mound of rubble which sat atop the site of this ancient relic to build houses. What the cleared-up rubble, however, revealed where a vast array of ancient ruins which included but weren’t limited to a Roman theatre, a mosaic type flooring and a temple that dated back to the era of the Ptolemaic rule.

 

RAS el-TIN PALACE

If there is one sad thing this palace is known for it is that it houses memories of the day Egypt’s last monarch abdicated the throne and was exiled. Yes in 1952 and this beautiful architectural masterpiece king Farouk relinquished his throne and was exiled to Italy. Before then, the palace was a holiday spot for royals to enjoy the cool environment and get away from the heat of the desert wind in Cairo. Although another downside to it is that you might not have access to the interiors of the building as the building is now owned by the navy, it’s still fun to take a walk enjoying the view of the white façade which also serves as a great background for taking beautiful outdoor photos.

 

Abu Abbas al-Mursi Mosque

A major fact about this edifice was that it was built over a dead man's tomb. Well, the fact was that he was a Muslim holy man and thus the mosque was named after him. Located right on MohammedKarimStreet this huge edifice is a major pilgrimage site for his followers to visit yearly as many around Egypt still follow his teachings. For those visitors however who are neither religious nor Muslims, they could just enjoy the site of the beautiful cream colored mammoth sized mosque.

 

Alexandria national museum

It would be considered a tourismsacrilege if one would pay a visit to the city of Alexandria and not pay a visit to the national museum.  When you pay it a visit, it's literally like walking through time as you get to see decorations and artifacts that show the various periods in Egypt. You’ll get to see stuff from thepharaonic era to the time Greek beliefs ruled theworld which was also known as the Hellenistic era to the time the Muslims conquered Egypt and set up their own rules and systems.  The Byzantine or Islamic periods are represented on the first floor, the Hellenistic or Graco-roman period re-represented on thesecond floor while the Pharaonic period is represented by the relics in the basement. You would also get to see on display, the antiques which were collected underwater and also found around the citywhich helps every visitor's imagination of what Alexandria was like in the Hellenistic era.

 

 

HOTELS IN ALEXANDRIA

 

Hilton hotel Alexandria green plaza.

Hilton hotel is just 45 minutes from the Alexandria airport Egypt. This hotel has a shopping mall with 380 shops, ballrooms, and a cinema complex. Youll also gets to enjoy free wifi, 314 guests rooms,and a gym.

Four seasons hotel san Stefano, Egypt

At the four seasons hotel, you'll get to wake up to a beautiful view from the balcony and then go off to have fun on the beach.you also get to see the Mediterranean from the top of your hotel.www.foursseasons.com

Hilton Alexandria Corniche

This hotel offers the tourista mind-blowing view of the Mediterranean,the beachfront,and a few minutes’ walks to the Montaza palace garden and the national museum.

You’ll get to enjoy the rooftop pools, wellness center, freeWi-Fi, 5 restaurants and bars and many more.Visit www.hilton.com

Tolip Hotel Alexandria

At this hotel,you'll get to have your own private parking space, enjoy the spa treatments, free wifi, a private bathroom, and 24-hour room service on hand to attend to your every need.  This hotel Is 42km from the Borg El Arab Airport. www.tolipalexandria.com

 

Helnan Palestine Hotel Alexandria.

One thing this hotel is known for Is it commitment to hospitality and comfort for its visitors. This five-starhotel is uniquely located near the Mediterranean and has a land space of 350 acres. It is located opposite the Montaza Royal Palace.www.helnan.com