Citadel of Qaitbay in Alexandria, Egypt

Things to do in  Alexandria

Memories of an epic past

The second-largest city in Egypt, Alexandria offers an excellent glimpse into the role the Greeks and Romans played in the development of the country. The city was founded by Alexander the Great and was a major cultural hub during the Hellenistic period (between 323 and 31 BC). Today, it’s a laid-back, sophisticated port city full of historic attractions ranging from Roman ruins to subterranean catacombs. It’s also a fantastic place for dining out, particularly if you’re a fan of fresh seafood.

Top 5 attractions in Alexandria

Citadel of Qaitbay (Fort Qaitbey)

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Built on the site of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the longest surviving Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the 15th-century Citadel of Qaitbay (Fort Qaitbey) is a postcard-pretty sea fort. The battlements offer sweeping city views, the small museum houses maritime relics and aquariums, and three pillars likely date from the lighthouse.More

Roman Amphitheatre

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The centerpiece of the Kom al Dikka archaeological site, Alexandria’s Roman amphitheater extends in 13 tiers of white-marble seating. Built in the second century AD with space for 800 citizens, it’s the only known Roman theater in Egypt and housed political demonstrations and wrestling matches as well as drama.More

Montazah Palace Gardens

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Alexandria’s most beautiful green space, the Montazah Palace Gardens extend along the seafront and around 19th-century Montazah Palace, which is closed to the public. Highlights include beaches, avenues of palms, and an ornate pink bridge, as well as manicured flower beds and well-maintained lawns.More

El Alamein War Cemetery and Museum

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The El Alamein War Cemetery contains the graves of Allied soldiers lost during the 1940-1942 Western Desert campaign of World War II. Alongside the nearby El Alamein Military Museum, it serves as a memorial to the campaign and its turning point, the 1942 Battle of El Alamein.More

Alexandria National Museum

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Opened in 2003 in a historic villa, the Alexandria National Museum offers a carefully curated journey through the history of Egypt’s second city since its foundation in the fourth century BC. The underwater archaeological finds are fascinating, as are the Greco-Roman discoveries, while ancient Egyptian treasures come from around the country.More

Top activities in Alexandria

Private Alexandria Highlights Guided Day Tour
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Private Alexandria Highlights Guided Day Tour

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Day Tour To Cairo From Alexandria
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Day Tour To Cairo From Alexandria

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Alexandria Full Day Trip

Alexandria Full Day Trip

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Alexandria Full Day Tour

Alexandria Full Day Tour

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Giza Pyramids & Felucca Ride on the Nile from Alexandria port
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Giza Pyramids & Felucca Ride on the Nile from Alexandria port

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Shore Excursion: Alexandria City Tour from Alexandria Port
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Shore Excursion: Alexandria City Tour from Alexandria Port

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All about Alexandria

When to visit

Alexandria is a great place to visit year-round but is particularly popular with domestic travelers during the summer months, when temperatures along the Mediterranean are cooler than elsewhere in the country. If you want to avoid crowds, visit in the fall or spring, when temperatures are mild but international tourist numbers are lower than during the winter high season. Ramadan is best avoided, as many shops and restaurants are closed during the daytime.

Getting around

Many of Alexandria’s attractions are a bit too spread out to visit on foot, but taxis and rideshare vehicles (Uber and Careem) are widely available. Public transportation options include buses and trams, but if you don’t speak Arabic, you may have some trouble navigating them. Guided tours are an excellent option if you want to hit up the major attractions, and tour guides generally speak great English and/or French.

Traveler tips

Alexandria has long been celebrated for its café culture, and spending a bit of time lounging at one of the city’s many coffee shops is a great way to get a good feel for life in the city. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be taken care of at Délices, a pastry shop that’s been run by the same Greek family since it was founded in 1922.

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People Also Ask

Is Alexandria, Egypt worth visiting?

Alexandria is definitely worth visiting, particularly if you’re fond of ancient history and culture. You also don’t need a lot of time to visit Alexandria; the city’s proximity to Cairo makes it a popular spot for day trippers, and you can easily hit up all the major attractions in just one day.

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How do you spend a day in Alexandria Egypt?

With one day in Alexandria, you’ll have enough time to visit all of the major attractions—including the Citadel of Qaitbay (Fort Qaitbey), the second-century Roman Amphitheatre, the Alexandria National Museum, and the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa—with time remaining to check out the massive Biblioteca Alexandrina.

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What was Alexandria in Egypt famous for?

In its heyday, Alexandria was famous for the Great Library of Alexandria as well as for the Lighthouse of Alexandria, where the Citadel of Quaitbay now stands. The lighthouse was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and once one of the tallest manmade structures on earth.

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Is Alexandria better than Cairo?

No, Alexandria is neither better nor worse than Cairo—it’s simply different. Some may argue that the climate is better, particularly during the hot Egyptian summers, and the ambiance is definitely more laid-back and slower than in Cairo. Alexandria offers more Roman and Greek sites, while the Cairo area thrives when it comes to ancient Egyptian history.

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Is Alexandria walkable?

Yes, Alexandria is walkable in places, particularly along the coastal stretch known as the Corniche. If you’re sticking to one neighborhood and aren’t intimidated by wild traffic, you’ll have no trouble getting around on foot. However, attractions are spread out enough that it’s better to travel by car, particularly on hot days.

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What is the best month to visit Alexandria?

April is the best month to visit Alexandria, when there is little to no rainfall and temperatures tend to be warm, but not overpoweringly hot. It’s usually warm enough to swim by April, and you’ll have missed the crowds of international travelers who are most prone to visiting Egypt in the winter.

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