With two days in Alexandria, you can really get under the skin of Egypt’s second city. You can dive deep into the city’s ancient heritage, stroll the waterfront, explore the fascinating new Library of Alexandria, take a food tour, savor seaside gardens, and enjoy some Islamic architecture. Read on to find out how.
Day 1: Ancient Adventures
Morning: Dive deep into Alexandria’s classical heritage as you explore the city’s essential Greco-Roman ruins. Visit the Serapeum, a temple that’s home to the red-granite column known as Pompey’s Pillar, then descend into the eerie Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa. Don’t miss the beautifully preserved Roman amphitheater and nearby mosaics.
Afternoon: Head to the waterfront for a feast of Mediterranean seafood. Next, take in the Citadel of Qaitbay, a 15th-century sea fort built on the site of the ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria. Travel back in time to the ancient world at the National Museum of Alexandria: The underwater archaeology exhibits are fascinating.
Night: Discover the rich world of Egyptian cuisine, with influences from Ottoman and Arab cultures, on a street-food tour of the city. Savor dishes such as koshary, a tangy blend of lentils, noodles, and sour tomato sauce, alongside kebabs, mixed grills, meze dips, and shellfish. Finish with ice cream and sticky pastries.
Day 2: Modern Magic
Morning: For many centuries, the Great Library of Alexandria was an epicenter of learning in the ancient world. Start the day by touring the spectacular modern building that replaced it, the new Library of Alexandria. Next, take in a couple of Alexandria’s best-known mosques, perhaps the Mosque of Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi and the Nabi Daniel Mosque.
Afternoon: Ride along the corniche, crossing the Stanley Bridge, to the Montazah Palace Gardens. The palace, once home to Egyptian kings, is closed to visitors, but make like a local and soak up the breeze as you stroll the lush grounds that line the seafront.
Night: Head back to the city and make memories with a sunset horse-and-carriage ride along the corniche, then feast on elegant, classically Egyptian cuisine at Abou el Sid restaurant. Finish the night at one of Alexandria’s elite hotels, with a glass of something special in a sea-view rooftop bar.