The second largest city in Egypt was founded in 331 BC by 25-year-old Alexander the Great, Alexandria is a legendary city. The towering Pharos lighthouse that marked the entrance to the ancient harbour, was one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the Great Library was considered the archive of ancient knowledge. There is little left of these historical sites as the lighthouse collapsed and the Great Library was torched.
In more recent times, from the late 19th century up until the 1950s, Alexandria was home to writers, poets, and artists. More than any other large city in Egypt, Alexandria has a romantic atmosphere that can't be beaten and that history lovers shouldn't miss. Today the modern library of Alexandria sits amongst faded remnants of the seafront Corniche, as a symbol of Egypt's cultural capital.
Many of Alexandria's attractions are on or near the Corniche, the city's broad waterfront boulevard. This is a great place to start your sightseeing to make the most of your trip. The most popular places to visit whilst in the city are:
- Pompey’s Pillar and Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa
- Alexandria National Museum and Bibliotheca Alexandrina
- Montaza Gardens (Al-Haramlik Palace) & Stanley Bridge
- Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque
Alexandria has a Mediterranean climate, with warm humid summers and mild rainy winters. Winters can get cold, with ocassional rain and sometimes hail. Humidity is high throughout the year. The best time to visit Alexandria is in spring (March-June) and autumn (September-November). The city is at its busiest in summer, when Egyptians flock to escape the heat of Cairo.