Founded by the famous Alexander the Great, the city of Alexandria used to be one of the most important cities of the ancient world. Now, Alexandria is the second largest city and the largest port city in Egypt. Almost all of the maritime trade passes through this port.
Alexandria is also among the most visited places in Egypt. Home of the praised Ancient Wonders – the famous Library of Alexandria – and the birthplace of Queen Cleopatra, the city of Alexandria is an important historical destination.
Outside of its museums, monuments and history, Alexandria is also visited for its great Mediterranean sand beaches, parks and resorts. The city offers a warm and hot climate year round, but is still somewhat cooler than the surrounding Sahara Desert although still perfect for sun bathing and swimming.
The best place to start a tour of the city is at its most famous monument, the Pompey’s Pillar. Made from red granite, this Roman triumphal column was built to honor the victory of Emperor Diocletian after a local revolt. The name was given with the false assumption that the column was built during the time of Emperor Pillar. Later the true meaning of the monument was discovered, but the name was already well known so it was never changed.
The best place to visit to escape the heat, noise and traffic of the city is the Montaza Royal Gardens. Part of the El-Montazah Palace complex; the gardens house an impressive collection of date trees and other Mediterranean plants. The sandy shore, gardens, and the palace offer the perfect place to relax and a great way to recharge your energy before venturing back into the city. Do not forget to bring your camera with you as some of the scenery can be quite breathtaking.
Known for its defensive value, the Fort of Qaitbay is among the best preserved medieval fortifications in all of Egypt. The fort is built on top of the ruins of another Ancient Wonder, the famous lighthouse, Pharos of Alexandria. Some of the stones used in the construction of the fort are come from the original structure of the lighthouse. Today, the fort is considered a top tourist attraction.
The more adventurous traveler will enjoy an underground visit to the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa. Built during the second century, the catacombs are carved into stone and are the home of a large necropolis complex. So far only three sarcophaguses have been discovered, but the explorations are not yet complete. This three level deep burial complex is home to original Egyptian statues and stone carvings that depict the history and function of the catacombs.
Another great place to visit and spend some time at is Maamoura Beach. Located near the Montaza Royal Gardens, the Maamoura Beach is among the most popular sand beaches in the Egypt. The beach complex includes two hotels, a Presidential Palace and a shopping mall. Just pack your credit card together with your beach towel and you’re ready to go swimming, sun bathing and shopping all at the same time.
Places to Visit in Alexandria, Egypt is a travel guide from Tripopedia, a travel encyclopedia. Learn about things to do, places to see in Alexandria and places to eat.