Cheap Flights To Alexandria, Egypt
- Area : 2,679 km² (1,034 sq mi)
- Area Codes : (+20) 3
- Currency : Egyptian Pound (EGP)
- Population (2013) : 4,546,231
- Official Language : Arabic – National: Greek, Italian, Hellenic
- Time Zone : EET(UTC+2)
- Airport : Alexandria International Airport (El Nouzha Airport), Borg al Arab Airport
While Alexandria International Airport undergoes major renovations, Borg al Arab Airport is handling all flights to Alexandria and the Nile Delta region.
Airlines touching down in Alexandria include:
- Turkish Airlines
- British Airways
- Qatar Airways
- Aegean Airlines
Travellers from South Africa can take an SAA flight to Cairo (operated by EgyptAir) and then enjoy a wonderfully relaxing train journey to Alexandria.
Best Times To Visit Alexandria
Alexandria has two main weather phases, both providing warm to hot climates daily. December through March is a popular time for tourists. Summer from May to October provides long hot summer days with virtually no rain and temperatures reaching 30°C and higher in some areas. Winter from November to April is mild and pleasant with rainfall and temperatures around 20/22°C falling at night to 10°C and lower.
Reasons to Visit Alexandria in Egypt
- A modern city with an impressive turbulent history, Alexandria (known as Alex) is Egypt’s second largest city with the largest port and a primary economic hub of the country. Dubbed The Pearl of the Mediterranean it has a welcomed salty breeze that attracts many local tourists seeking respite from the heat of the desert.
- Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 332 BC and become a major focal point for Hellenistic civilisation and the centre of Hellenic scholarship and science. It was capital to Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Egypt for virtually 1000 years before the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641. During the ancient world, Alex was next to Rome, the world’s second most powerful city.
- The city offers tourists an array of historical and religious sites, museums, galleries, mosques, parks, gardens and beaches and has plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars, each with their own unique atmosphere and delectable flavours.
- There’’s a good range of hotels from 5-Star to 1-Star that include the Monaco Alexandria (Kimpton) Hotel thats pet friendly, a handful of B&Bs and Inns, holiday rentals and backpacker/hostel establishments (the latter should be booked in advance).
Places to Visit in Alexandria, Egypt
- The Alexandria National Museum affords visitors a good look into the citys past with a small but well arranged and organised collection of items obtained from other museums in the city. You have three floors to absorb thousands of years of history that covers the periods of Graeco-Roman, Pharaonic, Byzantine, Islamic to modern day with sculptures, statues, weapons, jewels and loads more. Opening hours are 09h00 to 16h30 and youll find the museum at 110 Sharia Tariq al-Horreyya in a lovely restored Italianate villa.
- Located in Carmous, the Catacombs of Kom ash-Suqqafa was stumbled upon in 1900 when a donkey vanished into the earth. This is the biggest known Roman burial site in Egypt and provides much insight of ancient burial procedures.
- Pompeys Pillar, a Roman triumphal column, is one of Egypt’s most popular sights. The solid red Aswan granite column rises up between 25 and 30 metres from the remnants of Rhakotis, the original town Alexandria developed from.
- The Temple of Serapeum was virtually destroyed in AD 391 when Christians, in a final assault on pagan intellectuals, left nothing but the pillar standing.
- The beautifully designed Alexandria Opera House or Sayed Darwish Theatre puts on world-class performances of ballet and opera also hosting recitals, concerts, cultural gatherings and festivals. The Opera House was built in 1918, opened in 1921 and in 2000, was added to Egypt’s National Heritage List.
- Put aside at least half a day to explore the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Alexandria’s ancient library, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was one of the greatest classical establishments until it was replaced in 2002 with a new library that is just as impressive with the main reading room having the capacity to house 8 million books and 2500 people. Besides the main reading room, the library comprises four specialised libraries for children, youth, blind people and a multimedia library. There’s a planetarium, four permanent museums, a conference centre, temporary and permanent exhibitions and plenty of events. Just viewing the building is an event on its own. To get there visitors can enjoy a leisurely walk along the Corniche or take a taxi or microbus. While there are good range of kid-friendly activities, children under the age of six are not permitted into the library complex, but day care is available during opening hours.
- The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue is a stunning Italian built structure that’s one of the largest in the Middle East. The interior with immense marble columns has the capacity for more than 700 worshippers and once served a thriving Jewish community in Alexandria that has sadly lessened due to wars with Israel. Visits need to be arranged through the local Jewish community.
- Mamoura Beach is one of the nicest beaches, just a kilometre east of Montazah, where beach lovers can enjoy the sand and sea without any background traffic noise. There are a few food and ice-cream stalls along a cobblestone boardwalk. To get there hail down an Aboukir-bound microbus along the Corniche.
- In operation since 1922, nothing beats Delices for the best pastries, cheesecakes, tarts and desserts. It once provided Egypt’s royalty with its delicacies and was a very popular hang-out for WWII allied soldiers. Its situated at 46 Sharia Saad Zaghlou and open from 09h00 till late.
- The Cap dOr is one of the few surviving original Alexandrian bars that affords an atmosphere of the city’s past with traditional folk music, ancient memorabilia pasted on walls, stained-glass windows, a great flow of beer and superb seafood. Its located at 4 Sharia Adbi Bek Ishak (just off Sharia Saad Zaghloul).
- The Centro de Portugal with a pleasant garden bar, darts, pool, a small disco and wonderfully cold beverages is a great place for meeting up with local expats. There’s good food and a small playground for children that enter for free.
Getting Around Alexandria
A wonderful scenic city, Alexandria is ideal for walking tours especially in the central and downtown areas.
There are buses operating daily to and from Cairo and to other areas.
It’s not hard to find a black and yellow taxi or have them find you by slowing down and hooting to vie for your business. Agree on a price before climbing in and remember to haggle. Taxis have metres but they are not used.
These 12-seater mini-buses operate day and night and can simply be waived down. Once seated pass your fare to the driver and when youve reached your destination, shout men badlack bass hena, in other words, please stop here and jump out. Not often used by tourists, these micro-buses travel fairly fast late at night when the streets aren’t busy.
Running from Alexandria to Cairo, Luxor and Aswan in Upper Egypt, tourists will experience a comfortable and enjoyable sleep-over train journey. As there are presently no sleeper trains are available for tourists from Alexandria to Upper Egypt tourists need to travel from Alexandria to Cairo and then change over. Dinner comprises fish, chicken, rice, dessert and fruit so vegetarians should bring their own snacks along for the journey. Wine and beer is available to purchase on board.
Suitable for short journeys, these horse-drawn carriages make a pleasant change from the normal mode of travel and can be taken for travelling downtown or along the sea front. Before getting in ensure the horses are well looked after
Running parallel with the coastline, the trams operate through most of the city and although destinations are in Arabic, each tram has a number and a specific colour indicating its destination and for male travellers, note there’s a carriage exclusively for women passengers only.
Visitors can rent vehicles from their favourite companies such as Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Sixt and others, if they haven’t already booked a vehicle together with their cheap flight to Alexandria. These rental agencies have branches in the city and at the airport.