Discover the Wonders of Alexandria: The 10 Best Things to Do and See on Your Trip

Last updated on June 24th, 2023 at 01:53 am

Are you looking for an exciting destination that blends history, culture, and beauty? Look no further than Alexandria, Egypt! This vibrant city boasts a rich and fascinating past, as well as a wealth of sights and attractions that are sure to leave you in awe.

In this blog post, we’ll be sharing with you the 10 best things to do and see on your trip to Alexandria. From the iconic Great Library of Alexandria to the stunning Abu Abbas al-Mursi Mosque, we’ve got you covered. We’ll take you on a journey through time and show you the very best that this city has to offer. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to discover the wonders of Alexandria!

1. Visit the Bibliotheca Alexandrina

This modern library is a stunning structure that pays homage to the ancient Library of Alexandria, which was destroyed in ancient times. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is not just a library but also a cultural center, with museums, art galleries, and a planetarium.

The library’s exterior is an architectural marvel, with a striking glass roof that resembles a giant sundial. Inside, you can explore a vast collection of books and manuscripts, including many rare and ancient texts. The library also hosts exhibitions and events throughout the year, showcasing the best of local and international culture.

One of the highlights of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina is the Main Reading Room, which is a massive space with a capacity for over 2,000 readers. The room is designed to be both functional and beautiful, with natural light streaming in through large windows and intricate patterns adorning the walls.

You can also take a tour of the library’s state-of-the-art digital facilities, which include a virtual reality lab, a multimedia production studio, and a digital archive of historical and cultural materials.

If you’re a book lover, a history buff, or just looking for a unique and fascinating experience, a visit to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a must. It’s a true testament to the enduring importance of knowledge and culture and a symbol of Alexandria’s rich and vibrant heritage.

2. Explore the Catacombs of Kom el-Shoqafa

For a glimpse into Alexandria’s ancient past make sure to visit the Catacombs of Kom el-Shoqafa. These tombs date back to the 2nd century AD and are an incredible feat of engineering with three levels of chambers cut into the rock beneath the city.

The catacombs are thought to have been used for burials by a wealthy family and they contain a mix of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman influences in their design and decorations. You can see intricate carvings and paintings on the walls as well as elaborate sarcophagi and other burial artifacts.

One of the most impressive features of the catacombs is the spiral staircase that connects the levels. This staircase is cut into the rock and is a marvel of ancient engineering.

There are also a number of interesting legends associated with the catacombs including stories of hidden treasure and secret tunnels. It’s a fascinating place to explore, and a great way to learn more about Alexandria’s rich and diverse history.

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as there are many stairs to climb and uneven surfaces to navigate. And don’t forget to bring a camera – the catacombs are a photographer’s dream, with plenty of opportunities for unique and memorable shots.

Overall, the Catacombs of Kom el-Shoqafa is a must-visit for anyone interested in history, architecture, or ancient culture. It’s an unforgettable experience that will leave you with a new appreciation for the incredible achievements of our ancestors.

3. Wander through the Citadel of Qaitbay

The Citadel of Qaitbay is an impressive fortress that dominates the Alexandria skyline. Built in the 15th century by the Mamluk sultan Qaitbay, the fortress was designed to protect the city from invaders, particularly the Ottoman Turks who were a constant threat at the time.

The fortress has been well-preserved over the centuries and is a fascinating example of medieval military architecture. Explore the various rooms and chambers of the fortress which include a mosque, a gunpowder magazine, and a prison.

One of the highlights of a visit to the Citadel is the stunning views from the top of the fortress. From here, you can see the entire city spread out before you, as well as the sparkling Mediterranean Sea in the distance.

In addition to its historical significance, the Citadel is also a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. It’s a great place to wander around and soak up the atmosphere, particularly in the late afternoon when the sun begins to set and the light takes on a golden hue.

Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or just looking for a unique and memorable experience, the Citadel of Qaitbay is definitely worth a visit. It’s a true testament to Alexandria’s rich and vibrant past and a reminder of the enduring importance of fortresses and castles in the development of human civilization.

4. Stroll along the Corniche

The Corniche in Alexandria is a must-visit destination that offers a long and winding waterfront road that stretches several kilometers along the Mediterranean Sea. This popular spot is a feast for the senses as you enjoy the stunning sea views of crystal-clear waters and picturesque boats in the harbor.

Numerous cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, and snack vendors line the Corniche, offering the perfect spot to relax while sipping a cup of coffee or enjoying a snack. You can also rent bikes, and rollerblades, or take a leisurely walk along the flat, wide path of the Corniche.

In the evenings, the Corniche transforms into a lively and festive atmosphere. With street performers and musicians setting up along the waterfront, both tourists and locals gather to watch the sunset, chat, and soak in the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea.

In summary, a visit to the Corniche in Alexandria is an opportunity to enjoy the local culture and unwind while enjoying the stunning natural beauty of the Mediterranean Sea.

5. Marvel at Pompey’s Pillar

Pompey’s Pillar is a stunning architectural masterpiece that stands tall in Alexandria, Egypt. This towering granite column stands 82 feet (25 meters high) and it’s believed to be the only surviving structure from the ancient Temple of Serapis.

The pillar was erected in 292 AD in honor of the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s victory over an Alexandrian revolt. Still, it’s named after the famous Roman general, Pompey the Great, who never actually visited Alexandria. The column is adorned with intricate carvings and hieroglyphics, making it an impressive sight to behold.

To get to the pillar, you’ll need to take a short walk through the ruins of the ancient temple. Along the way, you’ll come across other fascinating ruins, including statues and sphinxes, which provide a glimpse into the city’s past.

The view from the top of the pillar is also worth the climb and from the top, you can see a panoramic view of Alexandria, including the sprawling city, the Mediterranean Sea, and the surrounding landscape.

In summary, Pompey’s Pillar is a fascinating and awe-inspiring structure that is a must-see for anyone visiting Alexandria. The intricate carvings, historical significance, and stunning views from the top make it a highlight of any trip to this vibrant and culturally rich city.

6. Visit the Montaza Palace

Montaza Palace is an enchanting palace located in Alexandria, Egypt that was built in the early 20th century. This palace is a must-visit for anyone interested in history, architecture or those seeking a relaxing beach getaway.

It is located on a picturesque stretch of beach, making it a perfect destination for a relaxing day trip. You can soak up the sun and sea breeze while taking in the beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Originally constructed as a summer residence for the royal family Montaza Palace is a blend of Ottoman and Florentine architectural styles. The palace boasts a grand facade, high ceilings, ornate decorations, and luxurious furnishings that will transport you back in time.

Surrounded by stunning landscaped gardens, the palace provides a tranquil escape from the busy city. The gardens are home to various plants and animals, such as palm trees, flowers, and a small zoo.

Al-Haramlik, a museum that showcases the rich history and culture of Alexandria, is one of the palace’s main attractions. You’ll be amazed by the architecture and interiors of this former royal residence.

In conclusion, visiting Montaza Palace is an experience that you’ll never forget. The stunning architecture, lush gardens, and beautiful beach make it an excellent place to relax and appreciate the city’s cultural and historical significance.

7. Admire the Roman Amphitheater

As you visit Alexandria prepare to step back in time and witness one of Alexandria’s most captivating ancient structures – the Roman Amphitheatre. This remarkable edifice dating back to the 2nd century AD was once used to hold various performances, including gladiator battles, and was able to seat up to 800 spectators.

The Roman Amphitheatre was rediscovered in the early 1900s, and in the 1960s, it underwent significant renovations to ensure its historical significance. You can now explore the arena and its surroundings including the underground chambers where gladiators and animals were kept before performances.

What sets the Roman Amphitheatre apart from other ancient structures is its location in the center of Alexandria’s modern city, surrounded by busy streets and shops. Stand in the middle of the arena and you’ll feel transported back in time, imagining the loud cheers and dramatic battles that once took place here.

8. Take a tour of the National Museum of Alexandria

The National Museum of Alexandria is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in history and archaeology. This impressive museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts and exhibits, providing a fascinating insight into the city’s rich history.

The museum’s collection includes pieces from various periods of Egyptian history, including Pharaonic, Roman, and Islamic artifacts. You can see mummies, jewelry, and pottery, among other items, and learn about the daily lives of ancient Egyptians.

One of the most notable exhibits in the museum is the royal jewelry collection which showcases the intricate and exquisite jewelry worn by Egyptian royalty. The collection includes necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and other items, all made with precious materials such as gold and other precious stones.

The museum also features a large collection of Greco-Roman artifacts, including sculptures, coins, and pottery. You can learn about the influence of Greek and Roman culture on ancient Alexandria and see some of the impressive artwork from that era.

The exhibits and artifacts provide a window into the city’s past and the knowledgeable staff are always on hand to answer questions and provide insight into the exhibits.

9. Relax at the Beach

If you’re looking for some relaxation and fun in the sun Alexandria’s beaches are the perfect place to spend your day. With its crystal-clear waters and soft, golden sand, Maamoura Beach is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The beach is equipped with various facilities, including umbrellas, loungers, and beach volleyball courts, making it an ideal spot for families and groups of friends.

Another great option is Abu Qir Beach located a little further out from the city center. This beach is known for its long stretch of pristine sand and tranquil waters perfect for swimming and sunbathing. You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas or bring your own and there are several cafes and restaurants nearby for refreshments.

Alexandria’s two popular beaches, Maamoura and Abu Qir offer mesmerizing views of the Mediterranean Sea and provide a perfect destination for water sports enthusiasts. They offer an array of thrilling water activities such as jet skiing, parasailing, and more.

If you’re looking to relax and bask in the warm sun, you’ll find plenty of space on the sandy beaches. Both beaches are a great place to take a dip in the sea, and you can choose to swim in the calmer waters close to the shore or venture out to the deeper parts of the sea for more adventure.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation or excitement, Alexandria’s beaches are perfect for you. So, pack your sunscreen and beach towel, and head to one of these beautiful beaches for a day of relaxation and fun. You won’t regret it!

10. Take a boat trip to explore the Abu Qir Bay

If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience in Alexandria, a boat trip to Abu Qir Bay is an excellent choice. This stunning stretch of coastline boasts a rich history, natural beauty, and plenty of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

One of the highlights of the trip is exploring the ancient underwater ruins of Heracleion, an ancient city that was lost for centuries before being rediscovered by archaeologists in the early 2000s. You’ll also have the chance to visit the Abusir Fortress, a historic citadel that dates back to the 15th century and played an important role in protecting Alexandria from invaders.

As you cruise along the coast, you’ll see breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, including the sparkling turquoise waters and rugged cliffs. You may even spot some local marine life, such as dolphins and sea turtles.

Many boat tours also offer the opportunity to stop and swim in the crystal-clear waters of the bay or relax on a secluded beach. And of course, no boat trip is complete without some delicious seafood, which you can enjoy at one of the many seafood restaurants along the coast.

Overall, a boat trip to Abu Qir Bay is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Alexandria, combining history, nature, and adventure for a truly unforgettable experience.

Best Time to Visit Alexandria, Egypt

The best time to visit Alexandria, Egypt is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) when temperatures are milder and crowds are smaller.

The summer months (June to August) can be very hot and humid, with temperatures reaching up to 35°C (95°F) or higher.

Winter (December to February) can be cool and rainy but still a good time to visit if you don’t mind the occasional shower.

Remember Alexandria is a popular tourist destination year-round, so plan ahead and book your accommodation and activities in advance to ensure availability. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient ruins, lounging on beautiful beaches, or immersing yourself in local culture, Alexandria has something to offer visitors of all ages and interests.


As we come to the end of our journey through the 10 best things to do and see in Alexandria, we hope you’ve been inspired to plan your own adventure to this amazing city.

Whether you’re exploring the legendary Bibliotheca Alexandrina, marveling at the stunning architecture of the Citadel of Qaitbay, or strolling through the lush gardens of Montazah Palace, Alexandria offers a wealth of experiences that will leave you in awe.

We hope our recommendations have helped you plan your trip and made you excited to visit this vibrant destination. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to Alexandria – we guarantee you’ll have an unforgettable experience!

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