The best way to Plan a One Day Journey to Alexandria from Cairo

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Visiting Alexandria was excessive on my listing of issues to do throughout my journey to Egypt. Having a good friend dwelling there, I used to be typically handled to lovely panoramic photographs of the seafront, and after I lastly determined to go to Egypt, I simply needed to embody Alexandria in my itinerary.  I ended up planning a sooner or later journey to Alexandria from Cairo earlier than I left Egypt.

Because it was my first go to to Alexandria, and having already skilled fairly a while in Egypt, I made a decision to rent an area information to take me across the metropolis. In case you keep in Alexandria for greater than a day, which I extremely advocate after my journey there, then you possibly can undoubtedly go round by yourself. However with restricted time, it’s good to have an area present you round. 

After trying to find over an hour on Viator, I booked Rasha to be my information within the metropolis. I preferred that the tour she provided was personalised to my liking, and it was non-public. I just about had her and her driver Kareem, who can also be a information, for the whole day. I used to be warmly welcomed on the prepare’s platform, as if I used to be a good friend, not a shopper. By the tip of the tour, I felt that I used to be certainly amongst pals. You may guide the identical information by clicking right here. I paid £53 for my non-public tour which included non-public transport as nicely.

Alexandria is so totally different from all the opposite Egyptian cities I visited throughout my 10 days journey to Egypt.

About Alexandria

Alexandria seen from the walls of the citadel, over the sea. There are many boats anchored between the citadel and the shore. The weather is beautiful, with no clouds in the sky

Alexandria is the second-largest metropolis in Egypt, with a inhabitants of over 5 million. The metropolis was based by Alexander the Nice in 331BC, and it’s now some of the fascinating cities alongside the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Alexandria has been well-known for the reason that Historical Instances, when it was residence to the well-known Nice Library of Alexandria and to one of many 7 Wonders of the Previous World, the Pharos of Alexandria.

In Alexandria you will notice the stays of many cultures, from Greek to Roman, to Egyptian, even British. It is because Alexandria was an important metropolis throughout all of the earlier Empires.

The best way to Get to Alexandria from Cairo

The train to Alexandria, on the platform in Cairo. The train is grey, with a red line at the top and at the bottom. The platform is on the left hand side, and on it there is a small kiosk selling refreshments


There are a number of bus corporations that go from Cairo to Alexandria, the most well-liked one for vacationers being Go Bus. They depart from Tahrir Sq. and arrive in Sidi Gaber in Alexandria. The journey time is round 4 hours if the site visitors is mild. The price of a bus ticket from Cairo to Alexandria ranges from 90EGP (£3.7) to 165EGP (£6.8).


I selected to go to Alexandria by prepare. There are hourly trains that depart Cairo for Alexandria. The journey is alleged to take two and a half hours, however this was not the case, as for each instructions my prepare was late.

As a foreigner, you’ll want to guide the VIP prepare, which prices between 70 EGP (£2.9) – 106 EGP (£4.4). That is the quick prepare, has air-conditioned and it’s clear. There may be an attendant on the prepare who will unlock a clear and unused rest room for vacationers in return for a tip, in fact.  

You should buy return tickets prematurely from the prepare station in Cairo. I attempted shopping for a ticket on-line, but it surely was unattainable to create an account, so I simply popped into the ticket workplace after my prepare from Aswan to Cairo arrived at Ramses station. The ticket workplace for the VIP trains is positioned upstairs, previous the café, on the finish of the lengthy hall on the right-hand aspect. I had no points shopping for the ticket, as everybody there spoke English.  

Organised Tour

You too can select to go on a day journey to Alexandria from Cairo on an organised tour. There are many choices that can choose you up out of your resort, provide transport, a information, and drop you again off within the afternoon.

I used to be contemplating this feature however, in the long run I made a decision to do that journey alone as a result of I couldn’t discover a tour that catered for a solo traveller. If you’re fascinated with occurring a day journey to Alexandria with a tour, listed here are some choices beneath:  

Issues to See on Day Journey to Alexandria from Cairo

The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa

The entrance hall in the catacombs, with two columns before entering the first tomb area, decorated with sculptures in Roman, Egyptian and Greek styles.

The primary cease on my day journey to Alexandria itinerary was on the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa. The necropolis has been used for the reason that starting of the twond century AD and it is without doubt one of the most attention-grabbing websites I’ve visited in Egypt.

The archaeological website was found when a donkey slipped and fell by means of its entry shaft, in the beginning of the 20thcentury. Positioned 100 toes beneath floor, entry to the necropolis is down a round staircase that descends across the shaft the place the coffins could be lowered into the tombs. There are a number of burial chambers contained in the necropolis, embellished with a mixture of Egyptian, Roman and Greek parts, which makes the place so fascinating. There are sculptures from the guide of the lifeless, which have been widespread within the Pharaoh’s tombs within the Valley of the Kings, in Luxor, throughout Historical Egypt. Beneath, there are sculptures of males sporting laurel crowns and ladies with Roman hairstyles. On either side of the primary funeral chamber, there are two sculptures of a snake exhibiting Greek, Roman and Egyptian parts.    

A photo looking up the shaft, from the ground floor.

It’s thought that the necropolis was meant to have been for members of a single-family, however then prolonged for a lot of others. On the primary degree of the catacombs there’s a funeral corridor, the place the kinfolk of the deceased would collect for the burial, or commemorations. They’d carry meals and wine, then break the ceramic containers, leaving them behind after they left, as they didn’t need to take them residence from a spot of demise. On the wall, you possibly can nonetheless see the place the torches used to light up the corridor had been.

One other attention-grabbing aspect of the catacombs is the Corridor of Caracalla, which holds the bones of Emperor Caracalla’s horses.

Entry charge: 80 EGP (£3.3)

Serapeum and Pompey’s Pillar

A close-up of the top of the pillar, with its capitol in prim plan.

Serapis was the Greco-Egyptian deity, protector of Alexandria. The Serapeum was a temple devoted to him. Not a lot stays of the as soon as majestic temple and it’s arduous to think about what it used to seem like in its glory days.

The one monument nonetheless standing contained in the Serapeum grounds is Pompey’s Pillar. This spectacular column was constructed after the victory of Emperor Diocletian. The monument is nearly 27 meters tall, weighs 285 tonnes, and is created from pink granite from Aswan. It has a Corinthian capital and in historical occasions, it held a 7 meter statue of the emperor in armour on the highest.

Entry charge: 80 EGP (£3.3)

The Native Hen Market

A few roosters standing on top of a green crate, in the market

It was very attention-grabbing to move by the fowl market in Alexandria. As talked about in my article about what to eat in Egypt, the pigeon is an area delicacy. Within the fowl market you will notice many pigeons sitting quietly on high of crates, ready for patrons. There are additionally many chickens, hens, roosters, geese, and quails.

The market had each livestock in addition to poultry meat. I believe that lots of the mature stay birds have been bought for eggs and never for meat, as they have been lovely exemplars.

The Kom el-Dikka Amphitheatre

A photo of the Amphitheathre and the Roman ruins around it, taken from above. The archaeological site is surrounded by tall residential buildings

The Kom el-Dikka Amphitheatre is one other fascinating place to go to in Alexandria. The amphitheatre was constructed within the 4th century, and it’s the most full Roman wreck in Egypt. The positioning was not found till the late 20th century when staff began digging the foundations for a brand new constructing.

The positioning of the Kom el-Dikka Amphitheatre is fascinating, beginning with the primary constructing itself. Within the centre of the area is a small sq., and for those who stand there and discuss, your voice will echo. The stones on which college students would sit have been numbered, however the earthquake in 535 destroyed the positioning and when it was rebuilt, they weren’t put again so as. Nonetheless, their numbers are nonetheless seen.

Part of the mosaic on the floor of Villa of the birds.

The archaeologists have found 22 lecture halls at Kom el-Dikka, proving how essential training was in Alexandria.

The advanced additionally had a bathhouse and lots of residential buildings. One among them was the Villa of the Birds, and its mosaic embellished flooring with photographs of birds and geometrical motifs, courting from the 1st century, stays intact.

Entry charge: 80 EGP (£3.3)

Bibliotheca Alexandrina – The Library of Alexandria

The interior of the reading hall of the Library of Alexandria

The Library of Alexandria is indisputably probably the most well-known factor concerning the metropolis, although the unique one was unintentionally burned down in 48BC by Julius Cesar. His goal was to burn down the wood ships of the Egyptian fleet, however the hearth unfold into the town and destroyed the library as nicely.

The Library of Alexandria was a contemporary establishment of training, with an estimated 40,000 – 400,000 scrolls in its possession. No one is aware of for certain what number of papyrus scrolls have been contained in the library when it burned down. Additionally it is now recognized that a few of the library survived and was simply left in disrepair for hundreds of years.

The brand new Library of Alexandria, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, was accomplished in 2002 and it’s the work of a Norwegian workforce of architects. It’s designed like a rising solar, with its tilting roof, in recollection of the lighthouse of Alexandria.  The façade is carved with totally different symbols and hieroglyphs. The skylights have the looks of half-open eyes, letting in loads of mild, however not direct daylight, to keep away from damaging the books.

One of the outdoor walls of the Library, decorated with different writings and hieroglyphs

Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a hub of tradition that may host 8 million books and has area for two,000 readers. Its hallways are lined with totally different exhibitions and artworks by native artists.

Throughout my go to, due to Covid, we weren’t allowed to the touch the books.

Entry charge: free, every museum has its personal entrance charge. To enter the studying corridor is prices 70EGP (£2.9)

The Antiquities Museum

A statue depicting the head of Alexander the Great, made from marble.

The Antiquities Museum is positioned contained in the Library of Alexandria and has an intensive assortment of various objects present in and across the metropolis. Numerous the artefacts have been discovered within the sea. There are such a lot of various things to see right here, from many various eras.

Entry charge: 30EGP (£1.2)

Abu Abbas al-Mursi Mosque

A wide angle view of the mosque from the outside. It has two round towers on each side, and a minaret on its left.

I solely glanced on the Abu Abbas al-Mursi Mosque from the skin, as my time in Alexandria was operating out. It’s a magnificent construction constructed within the 18the century. While it’s an energetic mosque, it does enable guests. Ladies aren’t allowed in the primary corridor, no matter whether or not they’re locals or guests. 

The Corniche

A panoramic view of Alexandria taken from the walls of the fort. You can notice the site of the Library of Alexandria, as well as the promenade that borders the city from the sea.

Alexandria’s waterfront is lengthy. 10 miles lengthy! Also referred to as the Corniche, this lovely promenade begins on the Citadel of Qaitbay and finishes at Montaza park. It’s a excellent place to see the dawn or sundown from.

There are a number of seashores alongside the Corniche, for those who fancy taking a dip within the sea.  Sadly, I didn’t have time for this.

The Citadel of Qaitbay

The interior of the citadel, made from large creamy stones.

The final cease of my day journey to Alexandria was the Citadel of Qaitbay. That is the place a very long time in the past, the majestic Pharos of Alexandria as soon as stood. Its website is marked with a inexperienced pole which you’ll see from the partitions of the citadel. The lighthouse was an imposing architectural marvel, over 100 meters tall which for hundreds of years was the tallest man-made construction on the planet.

The Citadel of Qaitbay was constructed within the 15th century utilizing the final stones of the by then destroyed lighthouse. It was constructed as a defence fortress, a part of the fortification of Alexandria. To this present day it is without doubt one of the strongest fortifications alongside the Mediterranean Sea.

The Citadel may be very lovely and gives superb views over the town from its partitions. Inside, the citadel has a mosque with a beautiful, patterned flooring. You may climb as much as the tower and watch the ocean from the identical place the place the king did all that point in the past. 

Kareem instructed me that the citadel is the place the place lovers like to fulfill up and spend romantic time collectively, watching the ocean.

Entry charge: 80 EGP (£3.3)

The place to Eat in Alexandria

Avenue Meals

A shawarma being prepared on a metal surface. A hand wearing a plastic glove if squeezing a white sauce from a yellow bottle.

Because it was my final day in Egypt, I actually needed to eat shawarma for lunch, because it was my final likelihood to do that Egyptian road meals staple. So, Kareem took me to his favorite road meals shawarma vendor, who confirmed me how he makes this pleasant dish.

Shawarma is standard all-over Center East and Jap Europe, however every nation has its personal recipes and variations. While in Europe the most well-liked shawarma is impressed by the Turkish kebab, in Egypt it’s principally primarily based on meat. I selected the meat possibility, and I watched rigorously how the seller made the wrap. He stuffed the Egyptian flatbread with loads of meat, chopped greens, crimson onions, tomatoes, and a scrumptious yoghurt-based sauce. He toasted the wrap and gave me a pot of tehina, a scrumptious tahini-based sauce, on the aspect.

The Egyptian shawarma was totally different from some other shawarma I had eaten earlier than, but it surely was simply as scrumptious. I beloved the crunchy texture of the wrap, in addition to the mix of meat and tehina sauce. Scrumptious, well-balanced flavours! If you wish to learn extra concerning the meals in Egypt, verify out my article about it by clicking right here

The King of Quail

Kareem and Rasha really helpful the King of Qual restaurant as nicely, however as I used to be leaving earlier than dinner, I didn’t get the possibility to attempt it. They instructed me that it’s a highly regarded restaurant amongst locals, the place they serve one of the best quail dishes. They don’t actually have a menu.

Actually, you gained’t discover this restaurant anyplace on-line, so, if you wish to dine right here, you will need to ask an area.

Staying the Night time?

I actually want I might have stayed the night time in Alexandria as I beloved the town and I might have preferred to see the nightlife alongside the seafront as nicely. However, as I had a flight at 8 am the next day, I needed to return to Cairo.

If you’re planning to spend the night time in Alexandria, take a look at the historic Cecil Lodge. Positioned on the Corniche waterfront, this resort opened in 1929. The resort is overlooking the harbour and the Mediterranean Sea and it’s elegantly embellished as a reminder of the 1940’s romantic decade. The Cecil has had some very well-known friends over time, from Winston Churchill to Al Capone.

A room on the Cecil Lodge begins at £66/night time. You may verify the evaluations on Tripadvisor, or the newest charges immediately on 

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