Alexandria is known for being a romantic coastal city with pleasant weather all year round. Aside from its romantic energy, Alexandria is actually full of historical gems and unique sites that reflect its cosmopolitan history and diverse culture. A lot of Alexandria Attractions are actually from the Greco-Roman period, which has no real traces in Cairo. If you are into this period of time, we definitely recommend you include at least a quick daytrip to Alexandria. The dazzling coastal town is only three hours away from Cairo by car and makes for the perfect short and sweet trip.
Alexandria attractions are perfect for history lovers and those curious to discover a unique mix of different eras, cultures and periods. The historic sites spell out the long and checkered history of the city. A whirlwind tour across Alexandria’s shoreline will take you through centuries of Egyptian history and culture, from grand museums to sunken Roman cities and beyond.
Alexandria National Museum
Originally the Alexandria National Museum was an Italian palace that was once the location of the United States Consulate. After restoration work, the museum was finally inaugurated in 2003, opening up as one of the most recent Alexandria attractions. The relatively small museum houses about 2000 artifacts and antiques that spell out the rich and long history of Alexandria. Take the chance to admire all the splendid treasures collected from all across different time periods and royalty.
Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa
One of the most famous Alexandria attractions, these massive catacombs located at a site called Kom el Shoqafa were built back in the 2nd century AD. This local attraction is actually the largest Roman burial ground in all of Arabic. The massive ancient cemetery is made up of three levels of tombs and chambers. This is where the dead bodies of royalty were once buried. A really cool site you can’t miss there is the ancient Egyptian god of the dead, Anubis dressed in Roman soldier attire. It is a true representation of the confluence of cultures that is an integral part of Egypt’s history. After you are done exploring the ancient Roman burial ground, take a walk over to the nearby Pompey’s Pillar, located in the same area known as Karmus.
Although it is supposed to be representative of the ancient long-gone Library of Alexandria, the Bibliotheca Alexandria is actually a 21st century invention. Built about two decades ago, the massive commemoration of the ancient library may not be the same in age but it is equally impressive in size and quantity of books. The original Library of Alexandria befell one of the saddest tragedies in history. It was completely burned down and destroyed along with its wealth of unique books and historical manuscripts.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is one of the most visited Alexandria attractions because it is actually an important cultural center that encompasses more than just books. Inside you will find multiple museums, a handful of art galleries, and a restoration lab where they bring old and damaged texts back to life. The huge library also has a fun selection of books for a diverse range of readers and proficiency levels, which makes it a family-friendly place that has a little bit of something for everyone. You can easily spend your whole day exploring the various activities.
Royal Jewelry Museum
This was initially the palace and main home of the Egyptian royal family. Its lavish setting was eventually transformed into a magnificent palace showcasing exquisite goods and antiques that were previously not available for public viewing. This palace was built back in 1919 and was renovated to be able to house about 11,000 items made of the finest material money can buy. Inside you will find diamond-encrusted treasures, gold utensils, antique paintings and a lot of other goods abandoned by the royal family following the revolution in 1952 that unseated them. This is the perfect stop for lovers of art and history as well as those who just want to get a peak of some opulent jewels and rare treasures.
Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque
This mosque is one of the most unique and hidden Alexandria attractions. It has an interesting history that continues to attract tourists from all around the world. The original structure of the famous mosque was actually built in the 1300s but was completely revamped and given a big makeover in the mid-20th century by Eugenio Valzania and Mario Rossi. The mosque was built in commemoration of a 13-century sufi saint from Alexandria by the same name. It was completed toward the end of the Second World War in 1945 and is often considered to be one of the most magnificent mosques in Egypt. It has a striking architectural design following the classic Islamic style and is located nearby the famous Citadel of Qaitbay, meaning you could easily visit both in one day. While you are there, make sure to check out the lively area and have lunch at one of the restaurant’s by the dock. Sunsets here are unforgettable.
Corniche or Seafront Promenade
Alexandria’s corniche or the promenade that runs along the length of its shoreline, the waterfront location is the perfect way to explore the coastal city from beginning to end. You could actually walk the entire length of the sea if you wanted to. As you walk along the paved walkway, you will be delighted o picturesque views of the sea and all the passing attractions that dot the horizon. It is perfect for morning, afternoon, evening and night walks. At night, the entire shoreline comes alive with dazzling cafes, coffee shops and restaurants lining the street on both sides. Romantic strolls here eating ice cream is one of the most quintessential Alexandria experiences.
Montazah Palace Gardens
Lush with trees, greenery and panoramic views of the Mediterranean, the spellbinding Montazah Palace Gardens is one of the most idyllic Alexandria atractions. Located on the easternmost side of the coastal city, the striking palace was originally the home of King Farouk and is characterized by sprawling gardens and relaxation spots. The palace has a unique European-like design, colored in vibrant yellows and reds. This is one of the most romantic spots in all of Alexandria and is perfect for when you are looking for an escape from the sometimes overwhelming chaos of the urban city setting. Lately the spot has been undergoing some pretty big renovations though, so be sure to always be updated and check in to see if it is open to the public at the time of your visit.