Alexandria is the second largest city in Egypt and has been nicknamed “The Pearl of the Mediterranean”. The region boasts a rich cultural center and an atmosphere that is much more Mediterranean than it Is Middle Eastern. Alexandria is located about 225 kilometers from Cairo and you’ll find plenty of interesting things to do and experience here year round. This part of Egypt was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC and soon became the capital of Graeco-Roman Egypt. It soon turned into a beacon of culture and the Pharos legendary lighthouse was declared one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
From the 19th century onward, Alexandria turned into a commercial district and underwent some maritime expansion. The region grew into a bohemian and cosmopolitan city and is now home to numerous attractions, sites, and historic destinations that are ripe for exploring. The city can be divided into several regions and districts. Many people claim that this is one of the few cities in the world that have maintained such a rich history. This city in particular has witnessed a number of historic events and many locals can tell you about its legends and historic events.
Alexandria today can be described as an historic Egyptian seaside town and is usually humming with tourists year round. Most tourists find their way to the beaches during the summer months and you can find plenty of attractions and unique places to explore year round. The French-style parks and historic architecture are some of the main draws to this region.
It’s fairly easy to travel around this city by taxi, tram, or by bus. The tram system, however, is somewhat slow and old but is still one of the cheapest ways to travel around the city. The tram system dates back to the 1860s and the network is split into the interurban lines and the city lines. You can’t miss the bright blue-and-cream trams and the bright yellow trams throughout the region. The bus services have improved significantly over the years and you can find a number of mini-buses to take you around the main city center and sites on any given day.
Whether you decide to explore some of the historic monuments around the city, want to enjoy some time on the coast, or are looking for some guided tours and excursions around the beaches and districts of Alexandria, you’ll find plenty of things to do and enjoy throughout the region year round.
Alexandria Weather and Best Time to Visit
The climate in Alexandria can best be described as a Mediterranean climate with very warm and humid summers and much milder winters. You will encounter numerous rain showers when traveling to Alexandria during the winter months. Daytime highs during the summer months are typically around the upper-80s but evenings are typically much cooler. Winters can get fairly chilly with highs hovering around the mid-50s. Humidity levels, however, remain high year round.
Alexandria does experience a mild change in the seasons with January and February being the coolest months of the year while June, July, and August are the hottest. Average temperatures during the winter months hover around the mid-60s while the spring daily temperatures tend to be in the low to mid-70s. Summer temperatures typically hover around the mid-80s and can reach nearly 90 degrees in August. It stays relatively warm during the months of September and October, then things start to cool off in November and December. Many people end up in Alexandria during the winter season to escape the cold and enjoy spring-like weather as they tour Egypt. Peak travel season in Alexandria is during the spring months that run from March through June and the fall season which runs from September through November. You’ll find that hotel and resort rates are at their highest during the summer months which is considered to be peak travel season.
The city of Alexandria can be divided into several distinct areas or districts. Old Alexandria is where you’ll find the Heptastadion that Dinocrates built. This causeway connects Pharos and the mainland and this causeway divided the harbors into the Western and Eastern harbors. The Eastern harbor is where you’ll find the actual old harbor that was once a busy port area during the Middle Ages. The oldest section of the causeway now links what was once Pharos Island to the mainland and includes the district of Gumrok and the Cape of Figs. These districts are known as the Turkish Quarter. Old Alexandria is also where you’ll find the site of the former Pharos Lighthouse and the Fort of Quit Bay.
The Greek Quarter and the Bab Rosetta District are some of the most beautiful residential areas in the area and are home to some grand villas and beautiful properties. Here you’ll find the Graeco-Roman Museum and several villas owned by wealthy Greeks. Further east you’ll find the beautiful Shallat Gardens. These gardens were built in 1905 and are home to several waterfalls and other scenic landscapes.
The Corniche is another area well worth exploring and is now dotted with casinos that were built on stilts. This part of the city remains fortified and you can take a guided tour of the region to see the old towers and strips of land. The Mahmudiya Canal is located just south of the Greek district and this region is also home to the Antoniadis Gardens.
El Muntaza is another unique neighborhood to explore around Alexandria. This region sits along the coast about 15 miles east of the old district in Alexandria and is home to several elegant hotels and modern buildings. This is also the site where you’ll find the Montaza Palace.
Whether you’re visiting Alexandria and nearby destinations for a few days or heading to Egypt on a multi-week adventure, you’ll find plenty of unique sites to explore and things to do in this rich cultural city year round. Take some time to learn about the key attractions and unique sites of the region so you can make the most of your visit.