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14 Things to Do in Alexandria

Explore Alexandria's wonders: Qaitbay Citadel's history, Pompey's Pillar's grandeur, Kom El Shoqafa's mystique, Bibliotheca Alexandrina's knowledge, El-Mursi Abul Abbas Mosque's spirituality, and more attractions for a memorable visit.

Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal

Summary

  • Explore the historical Islamic citadel, built in 1477 AD by Sultan Al-Ashraf Qaitbay on the site of the ancient Alexandria lighthouse. It features Mamluk architectural elements and served as a maritime defensive stronghold.
  • Visit the tallest monolith column outside of Rome, known for its Greek inscription referring to Emperor Diocletian and its proximity to the Serapeum of Alexandria.
  • Marvel at one of the Middle Ages' seven wonders, showcasing a unique blend of Roman, Hellenistic, and ancient Egyptian art within a necropolis dating back to the 2nd century AD.
  • Discover the modern library built to commemorate the ancient Library of Alexandria, housing extensive collections and serving as a major cultural and educational center.
  • Admire the mosque built in honor of the 13th-century Sufi saint Abul Abbas al-Mursi, noted for its blend of Islamic and Moorish architectural styles and intricate interior decorations.
  • Additionally, the article mentions the Serapeum Temple, Alexandria Corniche, the National Museum, Montazah Palace Gardens, the Royal Jewelry Museum, Stanley Bridge, the Souq District, the Graeco-Roman Museum, and the Ancient Roman Amphitheater as other must-visit sites, each offering its own unique historical, cultural, or recreational experiences.

Things to do in Alexandria can be very fun and entertaining. The goal of this article is to provide every traveler with all the information and details needed to learn about all the delightful activities in Alexandria. This article was written by the ETP team, which is a collection of skilled tour guides and tour operators who prepared all the details before you. Many travelers to Egypt always ask themselves: Is Alexandria worth visiting? What are the things to do in Alexandria for fun?

A long time ago, before the age of modern man, a pearl in the shape of a city rose from the Mediterranean sea named Alexandria to showcase the beauty & glory of the Greco-Roman empire in the most illuminating manner. Alexandria was constructed in 331 BCE by Alexander the Great, who chose to leave a mark on the coast of the Mediterranean and as the point of entry to spread the Hellenistic culture to the rest of Africa and parts of Asia. That's why it served as the capital of Egypt during the Ptolemaic (323-30 BC) and Roman periods (30 BC-640 AD) for about 1,000 years until the Muslim conquest in 641 AD, when Cairo became the official capital today. There is an endless number of incredible monuments and artifacts to explore in Alexandria that will make every moment spent in it truly magical and memorable. Here are the best things to do in Alexandria:

1. Discover the Ancient Qatibay Citadel

Qatibay Citadel - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal
Qatibay Citadel - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal

Alexandria holds many celestial wonders, including the phenomenal Islamic citadel of Qaitbay, which thrives through the eternal spirit of the epic Alexandria lighthouse, created in 1477 AD by Sultan Al-Ashraf al-din Qa'it Bay on the same place that held the majestic lighthouse of Alexandria by using the salvaged rocks from the destroyed lighthouse that was the 3rd longest surviving wonder of the seven ancient wonders of the world until its demise by earthquakes in 956 AD and again in 1323 AD.

The Qaitbay Citadel includes some Mamluk artistic architecture, which comes in the shape of defensive walls, towers, and a mosque. The citadel served as a defensive stronghold against potential invaders and played a significant role in the maritime defense of Alexandria. Visiting Qaitbay Citadel is one of the most famous things to do in Alexandria that every traveler does while going to Alexandra.

2. Explore the Long Pompey's Pillar

Pompey’s Pillar - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal
Pompey’s Pillar - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal

The Great Pillar of Glory Pompey's pillar is known for being the largest monolith column ever constructed outside of Rome. It is 28m tall and 2.7 m wide, built from pure red granite, and possesses a Greek inscription referring to Emperor Diocletian, which is located on its western upper side. It is renowned for being one of the main milestones of Alexandria that convey many epic facts and tales of the glory of the Roman Empire in Egypt.

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The pillar is found near the Serapeum of Alexandria, which was dedicated to the god Serapis and was one of the most famous religious sites in the ancient world. It became known as Pompey's pillar because, during the Middle Ages, some Crusaders were mistakenly convinced that the remains of the Roman general known as Pompey were located at the high top of the pillar.

3. Marvel at the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa

Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal
Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal

If you are looking for mysterious things to do in Alexandria, then don't miss witnessing the catacombs of Alexandria, which are found in the underground land of the immortal pearl of the Mediterranean Sea. Alexandria is the home of the unique renowned catacombs of Alexandria, which is one of the seven wonders of the Middle Ages that mixes the beautiful artistic components of both the Roman and the Hellenistic cultures with the Pharaonic ancient Egyptian artistic elements in a magical fashion.

This necropolis was made in the 2nd century AD and is filled with various mesmerizing Greek and Roman artifacts and enchanting decorations found across its three-story levels. The catacombs feature various sculptures, reliefs, and other artworks that depict a mix of ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman mythological themes, as seen in the Hall of Caracalla, which is filled with several sarcophagi and sculptures. 

4. Visit the Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Alexandria Library - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal
Alexandria Library - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal

The modern Alexandria library was constructed as a commemoration of the ancient Alexandria library created in 2002 with the help of UNESCO, which was designed by the Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta. The design incorporates elements reminiscent of the original ancient library, such as the tilted disk shape representing the sun. It was designed to have an expressive exterior and interior design, possessing the world's sixth-largest Francophone library in existing a trilingual library in English, French & Arabic, and a collection of rare books plus art galleries and exhibits.

The library houses numerous research facilities, including specialized libraries, a major cultural and educational center, laboratories, and a planetarium. It also provides access to a wide range of digital resources, including a manuscript museum that displays a collection of rare manuscripts and artifacts, showcasing the rich cultural and historical heritage of Egypt.

5. Witness El-Mursi Abul Abbas Mosque

El-Mursi Abul Abbas Mosque - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal
El-Mursi Abul Abbas Mosque - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal

One of the few Islamic and most known destinations in Egypt is El-Mursi Abul Abbas mosque, which is a magical symbol of cultural and spiritual importance located near the citadel of Qaitbay, in the Anfoushi neighborhood of Alexandria, overlooking the heavenly Mediterranean Sea that was built in honor of the 13th century Murcian Andalusi Sufi saint Abul Abbas al-Mursi that also holds his tomb inside the mosque.

The mosque features a blend of architectural styles, combining traditional Islamic and Moorish influences. It has a distinctive minaret and a domed prayer hall. The interior is adorned with intricate decorations and calligraphy, which is by far the most magical piece of Islamic art in all of Alexandria. The mosque’s beautiful design makes any exploration tour in Alexandria something special and extremely memorable.

6. Find Out the Serapeum Temple

Serapeum - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal
Serapeum - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal

The Serapeum of Alexandria is one of the most significant and hidden monuments, an ancient Greek temple constructed by Ptolemy III  Euergetes (246-222 BCE) in the Ptolemaic Kingdom west of the Alexandria library to honor Serapis (Greco-Roman God), who was titled as the protector of Alexandria plus it was known the minor version of the great library. The entire site was unfortunately plundered, and the only monument left standing is Pompey's pillar.

7. Promenade At Alexandria Corniche

Alexandria Corniche - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal
Alexandria Corniche - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal

Alexandria offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness the beauty of the Mediterranean through a walk across the corniche above a sea of memories and a passage made of glory and a vast history where many people from ancient times and places walked on the same sands. Alexandria Corniche is a true heavenly gem that offers the most magical views of the sunrise and sunset over the immortal horizon of the glorious city of Alexandria.

Everyone will get to have a direct entrance to the vibrant and dynamic part of the city to enjoy some of the most amazing cultural events, festivals, and celebrations. By promenade at Alexandria Corniche, everyone will get the chance to enjoy all the parks, gardens, and recreational areas, thus providing a pleasant environment to make the most beautiful memories.

 

8. Witness the Artifacts Of the National Museum

National Museum - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal
National Museum - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal

The Alexandria National Museum is a priceless wonder filled with precious treasures that showcase some of the most incredible and majestic collections of artifacts from the rich history and culture of Egypt. Within the walls of the museum are about 1800 artifacts from Pharaonic, Greco-Roman, Coptic, and Islamic nature, constructed in 2003 to prove the ultimate historical exploration adventure. Visiting the Alexandria National Museum is one of the best things to do in Alexandria.

It has three floors filled with artifacts, mainly from the Roman and Hellenistic ages, in the shape of jewelry, weapons, statues, the believed real sculpture of Alexander the Great is by far the most famous item in the museum, a number of mummies plus the modern 19th and 20th-century artifacts. Every second spent in the halls of this museum will be truly magical and entertaining, revealing a great deal of facts about the royal culture of Egypt.

9. See the Montazah Palace Gardens

Montazah Palace Gardens - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal
Montazah Palace Gardens - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal

A vision of natural beauty is located in the 19th AD Montazah Palace Gardens, which are 150 acres (61 ha) of beautifully designed gardens located on the eastern edge of Alexandria that overlook the heavenly Mediterranean Sea. It was made by Khedive Abbas II and functioned as a summer palace in 1732 AD, merging both the Ottoman and Florentine architectural styles with an eccentric Victorian–style bridge that runs all the way out to a small island of pylons.

The Montazah complex has a refreshing and serene atmosphere that mixes perfectly with recreational facilities, such as cafes, restaurants, and areas for various outdoor activities. The place is ideal for families of any age, a marvelous escape to the beauty of the sea and nature, thus offering entertainment, tranquility, mesmerizing historical constructions, and a heavenly view across the Mediterranean.

10. Book A Ticket to the Royal Jewelry Museum

Royal Jewelry Museum - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal
Royal Jewelry Museum - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal

A woman's best friend has always been diamonds, and a living example of that is the royal jewelry museum, where the most epic treasures are present for exploration. It holds a one-of-a-kind collection of jewels from the Muhammad Ali family dynasty, a number of statues, decorative arts dating to about 150 years from 1805 to 1952, and rare 19th-century paintings. It is situated in the Zizenia neighborhood of Alexandria, in the former palace of Princess Fatma Al-Zahraa, the sister of King Farouk, the last reigning monarch of Egypt.

The palace was converted into a museum in the modern age in 1986 to showcase her collections of tiaras, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and other precious accessories. The pieces are made from various materials such as gold, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. This magical piece of architecture also features exhibits on the history of the royal family, showcasing photographs, documents, and other artifacts.

11. Walk Through Stanley Bridge

Stanley Bridge - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal
Stanley Bridge - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal

One of the most important pieces of modern art and incredible architecture is the Stanley Bridge, which was built into the sea with a total length of 400 m and six spans across Alexandria Corniche, offering a panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea. The bridge is a modern cable-stayed bridge with a distinctive design. It features a central tower with cables extending diagonally to support the bridge deck. The design allows for a clear span across the Western Harbor.

Stanley Bridge connects the historic neighborhood of Ras El Tin, known for its historical significance and landmarks, with the Stanley area. The bridge provides a picturesque setting of the Mediterranean Sea, where visitors often come to enjoy the views of the harbor. Stanley Bridge is often illuminated at night, creating a visually appealing display where everyone can relax and capture the beauty of Alexandria. The lights enhance the bridge's aesthetic appeal and contribute to the city's night skyline. The area around Stanley Bridge is home to various attractions, including parks, cafes, and restaurants.

12. Shopping At Souq District

Souq District - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal
Souq District - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal

If you want to do so little shopping, then you should head to the soup district, where you will find a great open-air marketplace filled with countless goods and items to buy from the endless riches of Alexandria. The area will be filled with markets and small shops across every single corner where everyone can buy from the fish market and the butcher shop, enjoy the cafés, restaurants that provide the most delicious cuisines & drinks, and shops that sell all sorts of artifacts and awesome goods.

In the vendors and markets, you’ll be able to find a variety of textiles, spices, jewelry, clothing, handicrafts, souvenirs, accessories, bangles, and anything else you desire, plus get a taste of the rich culture and delightful atmosphere of the ethereal ancient city of Alexandria. 

13. Discover Graeco-Roman Museum

Graeco-Roman Museum - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal
Graeco-Roman Museum - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal

The Graeco-Roman Museum was created in 1892 as an archaeological museum to hold a number of amazing artifacts dating to the 3rd century BC in the Ptolemaic era. It has 27 halls and an amazing garden that offers a memorable introduction to Egypt's Greco-Roman Period. The museum houses a diverse collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, including the sculpture of Apis made of black Granite, a sacred bull, a number of mummies, a sarcophagus, sculptures, pottery, jewelry, coins, and other items from the Hellenistic and Roman periods, which highlight the fusion of Greek and Roman artistic styles with Egyptian cultural elements during this historical era.

The building itself is an artistic gem that mimics the Hellenistic and Roman periods architectural styles. Touring the museum offers the chance to relearn a great deal of facts about the historical and cultural dynamics of ancient Alexandria.

14. Admire the Ancient Roman Amphitheater

Ancient Roman Amphitheater - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal
Ancient Roman Amphitheater - Things to Do in Alexandria - Egypt Tours Portal

The great ancient theatre of Roman times is one of the most important and popular milestones in the city of Alexandria. It is located in the Kom El Dikka archaeological site and was created in the 2nd century AD as a common feature of the Greco-Roman period. It was discovered in 1960 AD with a diameter of about 33m and 13 rows made of European white marble. It has a circular or oval shape with a smaller size, which represents the architectural style of the Romans during their rule in Egypt.

The area where the amphitheater is found is a number of well-preserved mosaics, particularly in the Roman villa, that depict scenes of daily life and additional layers of history. The site is open to the public, allowing visitors to explore the remains of the amphitheater and other structures that provide some very exciting and enriching facts; so, if you find it near there, check it out.

Enjoy One of the Bespoke Egypt Tours

Alexandria is a heavenly wonderland filled with countless means of entertainment and historical attractions from the Ptolemaic times, where you can create some precious memories in one of the most incredible destinations on earth. You can enjoy one of our Egypt tour packages & Nile river cruises to discover the wonders of Egypt in Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Alexandria, and Hurghada. Look down and find the best suitable tour:

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in Alexandria?

From the city of Alexandria, every traveler will get to discover the magical cities of Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, and Aswan to explore the rare history and culture of these amazing lands and try out some entertain activities like water sports and a super safari across the Sahara

How many days can I spend in Egypt during Alexandria Shore Excursion?

A day or two days maximum is ideal for all travelers to enjoy the Alexandria Shore Excursion then return to their international cruise on time.

Is Alexandria Egypt safe?

Alexandria is considered the second capital of Egypt and one of the safest places in all of Egypt.

How to get from Alexandria to Cairo?

The distance between Cairo and Alexandria is 218.9 km which takes about two hours drive.

What Are the Finest Destinations to Visit in Egypt?

The entire country of Egypt deserve to be explored with its every heavenly detail but there are places that must be seen before any other such as the breathtaking Hurghada's red sea, The wonders of Cairo the pyramids of Giza, the great sphinx, the Egyptian Museum, Khan El Khalili Bazaar, the wonders of Luxor like Valley of the Kings, Karnak & Hatshepsut temple and the wonders of Aswan such as Abu Simbel temples, Philea temple, Unfinished obelisk and The Wonders of Alexandria like Qaitbat Citadel, Pompey's Pillar and Alexandria Library. Read more about the best places to visit in Egypt.

What Are Egypt's Visa Requirements?

If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries, have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD in cash, as for the E-Visa for 30 day you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could also be one of the lucky ones who can obtain a free visa for 90 days. Read more about Egypt travel visa.

What Is the Top Traditional Egyptian Food?

Egypt has a variety of delicious cuisines but we recommend “Ful & Ta’meya (Fava Beans and Falafel)”, Mulukhiya, “Koshary”, a traditional Egyptian pasta dish, and Kebab & Kofta, the Egyptian traditional meat dish.

What is the Best Time to Visit Egypt?

The best time to travel to Egypt is during the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a little tropical accompanied by a magical atmosphere of warm weather with a winter breeze. You will be notified in the week of your trip if the Climate is unsafe and if any changes have been made.

What to Pack for Your Egypt Tour?

You should pack everything you could ever need in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.

Why Book With "Egypt Tours Portal"?

We have been creating the finest vacations for more than 20 years around the most majestic destinations in Egypt. Our staff consists of the best operators, guides and drivers who dedicate all of their time & effort to make you have the perfect vacation. All of our tours are customized by Travel, Financial & Time consultants to fit your every possible need during your vacation. It doesn't go without saying that your safety and comfort are our main priority and all of our resources will be directed to provide the finest atmosphere until you return home.

Is it Safe to Travel to Egypt?

You will feel safe in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is quite peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt. Read more about is it safe to travel to Egypt.

What to Wear While in Egypt?

Wear whatever feels right and comfortable. It is advised to wear something light and comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the terrain of Egypt. Put on sun block during your time in Egypt in the summer to protect yourself from the sun.

What are the Best Activities to Do in Egypt?

The best activity is by far boarding a Nile Cruise between Luxor and Aswan or Vise Versa. Witness the beauty of Egypt from a hot balloon or a plane and try all the delicious Egyptian cuisines and drinks plus shopping in old Cairo. Explore the allure and wonders of the red sea in the magical city resorts of Egypt like Hurghada and many more by diving and snorkeling in the marine life or Hurghada. Behold the mesmerizing western desert by a safari trip under the heavenly Egyptian skies.

What are Egypt Festival and Public Holidays?

There are a lot of public holidays in Egypt too many to count either religious or nation, the most important festivals are the holy month of Ramadan which ends with Eid Al Fitr, Christmas and new years eve. Read more about festivals & publich holidays in Egypt.

What are Special Advice for Foreign Women in Egypt?

Egypt is considered to be one of the most liberal Islamic countries but it has become a little bit conservative in the last couple of decades so it is advised to avoid showing your chest, shoulders or legs below the knees.

What are the Official Languages of Egypt?

Arabic is the official language and Most Egyptians, who live in the cities, speak or understand English or at least some English words or phrases. Fewer Egyptians can speak French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Professional tour guides, who work in the tourism sector, are equipped to handle visitors who cannot speak Arabic and they will speak enough English and other languages to fulfill the needs of all our clients.

What is the Transportation in Egypt?

The fastest way is a car, of course, a taxi. If you are in Cairo ride a white taxi to move faster or you could board the fastest way of transportation in Egypt metro if the roads are in rush hour.

What is the Weather is Like?

The temperature in Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c. Summer in Egypt is somehow hot but sometimes it becomes cold at night and winter is cool and mild. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 °C in the wintertime to 23 °C in the summertime and the average high temperatures vary from 17 °C in the wintertime to 32 °C in the summertime. The temperature is moderate all along the coasts.

What are the Reasons That Make You Visit Egypt?

It is the home of everything a traveler might be looking for from amazing historical sites dating to more than 4000 years to enchanting city resorts & beaches. You will live the vacation you deserve as Egypt has everything you could possibly imagine.

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