Last updated: 02:00 PM ET, Tue March 12 2019
Montazah Palace, Alexandria (Photo via  jaguarjj/ iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Alexandria

Destinations Home | Africa | Egypt

About

the pompey pillar in the city centre in the city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean sea in Egypt in north africa (Photo via urf/ iStock / Getty Images Plus)
the pompey pillar in the city centre in the city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean sea in Egypt in north africa (Photo via urf/ iStock / Getty Images Plus)

It all began around 332 BCE when Alexander the Great wanted to form a naval base and link to the Nile Valley. He envisioned a powerful city which would surpass Naucratis as a major Hellenistic center in Egypt. So, the famous leader instructed his architect Dinocrates to design a New Greek city, whose skilfully planned infrastructure and architecture were unparallel to any other Egyptian town. He combined the settlements of Rhakotis and Neapolis and established one of the greatest destinations in the world. The city of Alexandria plays a dynamic role in ancient Egypt’s civilization. So magnificent, it has influenced the lives of many ancient royalties such as Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, and Marc Anthony. With such a rich culture, Alexandria, Egypt bursts at the seams with an exquisite atmosphere and its attractions tell of wonderful stories about its enchanting history. For a glance into ancient Egypt with a modern twist, Alexandria is the perfect destination.

Also referred to as the Pearl of the Mediterranean, Alexandria is the second largest city in Egypt. Before Cairo became the capital, Alexandria reigned as Egypt’s main city for approximately 1000 years. However, it continues to be an important trading area and seaport. For centuries Alexandria has blessed many people with its charismatic ambiance and classical antiquities. The city’s national museum pays homage to Egypt’s past with its exquisite décors of mesmerizing exhibitions. Preserving the tomb of el-Mursi Abul Abbas, the mosque bearing his name is a sacred presentation of architectural magnificence. Ptolemy’s Pillar is a testament to history signifying the triumph of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Taking the place of the ancient Alexandria Lighthouse (one of the Seven Wonders of the World), Fort Qaitbey is a remarkable monument which houses an interesting display of naval artifacts and offers panoramic views of the Mediterranean and Alexandria’s majestic landscape.

While stumbling onto the city’s charming sights, do not miss the opportunity to visit the vibrant shopping areas. Malls and trendy shops provide an array of unique fashions and collectables. The souk is a feast for all five senses. The narrow pathways are crowded with colorful merchandise like clothing and spices. Explore the art of negotiating to get the best deals on authentic products specifically relating to the Egyptian culture. From teahouses to bars, Alexandria’s nightlife is an exciting social scene where tourists are invited to enjoy enticing conversations over music, food, and drinks.

Montazah Palace, Alexandria (Photo via  jaguarjj/ iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Montazah Palace, Alexandria (Photo via jaguarjj/ iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Eat like the pharaohs and indulge in mouthwatering Egyptian delicacies. From the aromas of fresh bread and sweet desserts to digestive dinners, the culinary experience of Alexandria is a cultural phenomenon. Restaurants are filled with gastronomic temptations flavored to perfection in exotic African spices and ingredients.

Alexandria experiences a hot desert climate. During the months of June to October (warm season) the temperatures averages from a high in the 80s to the mid 70s. In December to March (cold season) the weather ranges from the high 60s a low within the 40s.

The city’s beautiful weather makes traveling throughout the city a pleasant experience. The tram station is located in Alexandria’s center and services transportation to a variety of highlights around the city. Taxis are also available and tourists are expected to haggle before getting into the car. For tourists willing to venture outside of the city, there are buses and trains that are accessible from Alexandria to different locations throughout Egypt. However, the city’s exotic jewels and friendly locals are best discovered by walking along the narrow streets.