Many travelers to Egypt flock to see Cairo and the famous Egyptian historical sites, such as the pyramids. There is plenty more to do and see in Egypt’s second largest city, Alexandria. The city of Alexandria, found north west of the Nile Delta, is an ancient city founded by Alexander the Great in 322 BC. He envisioned the city as a trading port and the political and cultural centre of his empire.
Now, centuries later, this interesting, slightly run-down city has much to offer tourists to Egypt. Alexandria is Egypt’s largest port and a major industrial center. It has an ideal Mediterranean climate, waterfront restaurants and cafes, beautiful beaches and an impressive array of museums.
This museum contains relics dating from as early as the 3rd century BC. Collections of rare Greek and Roman artifacts and coins – about 40,000 pieces are exhibited. The collection includes sculptures of Egyptian gods, the most important being the “Tanafra” statues. Mummies, pottery, jewellery, tapestries and terracotta figures are also found here. The museum is found at 5 Sharia al-Mathaf ar-Romani.
Royal Jewellery Museum Alexandria
Formerly one of King Farouk’s palaces, this museum houses jewels from the time of Mohammed Ali’s early 19th century rule in Egypt until Farouk’s abdication. An inestimable collection of jewels is exhibited which includes priceless diamond encrusted gardening implements, bejewelled watches, necklaces and a diamond studded chess set. Its halls contain many rare paintings, statues and decorations.
Alexandria’s Museum of Fine Arts
An interesting collection of modern Egyptian Art is housed here alongside Alexandria’s public library. Also known as the Hussein Sobhy Museum of Fine Arts, the museum organises exhibits from artists around the Mediterranean bi-annually.
Naval Museum at Fort Quait Bey
This 15th century medieval fort houses a small naval history museum. Displays include Ottoman weaponry and items, such as French Republican coins, salvaged from the time Nelson bombarded Napoleon’s fleet in 1798 in these waters.
Other sights worth seeing in Alexandria include Roman catacombs, a Roman amphitheatre and palaces, such as the Montazah palace.
The Tombs of Mustafa Kamel (Rushdy)
These four subterranean rock-hewn tombs date from the 2nd century B.C. and are distinguished by their bright colours and relief inscriptions that tell of the daily activities and religious beliefs of the deceased.
Beaches at Alexandria
There are several public beaches along Alexandria’s waterfront, most of which are not appealing as they are crowded and dirty. A better option is to drive out of the city and find beaches that are cleaner.
Ever wondered how easy it is to travel to Egypt with kids? A visit to the stark but beautiful Sinai Desert in Egypt provides Red sea diving experiences and excursions can be taken into the desert by camel or 4 x 4.