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Egypt- Experience Alexandria

For centuries, Egypt has attracted visitors from across the world. For some, the draw is its ancient history: its ancient pyramids, the majestic River Nile and the treasures of the Pharaohs. Other more recent travellers are pulled by its Red Sea resorts. With sunny shores and crystal blue waters, these are idyllic locations for sunbathing and diving. The first group rarely ventures beyond Cairo, while the second are usually happy to spend their trip ensconced in the pleasures of Sharm El Sheikh. However, both groups often miss Alexandria, Egypt’s second largest city and one of its most exciting holiday destinations.

Alexandria is a historic port city, founded by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC and situated on the Mediterranean Sea. Over the years, it went from being second only to Rome in importance during the Hellenic period with the largest library in the ancient world to being smashed to rubble during the Bombardment of Alexandria in the 1882. In the early 20th century, Alexandria was one of the world’s most cosmopolitan and stylish cities and though this glamorous image has waned in the past four or five decades, it still has plenty to offer tourists.

One of its most enticing attractions is the Citadel of Qaitbay, which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea on one side and Alexandria’s cityscape on the other. It’s built on the exact site of the former Lighthouse of Alexandria, which was built in the 3rd century BC by Ptolemy I but destroyed by earthquakes during the 14th century AD. Other must-see historical attractions include Kom el-Shouqafa (built on a part of Alexandria that precedes the time of Alexander the Great), the Roman Theatre (built in the 2nd century AD) and Pompey’s Pillar, a 25-metre high granite column built to honour the Emperor Diocletian in the 3rd century AD. Attractions like the Alexandria National Museum and the Graeco-Roman Museum exhibit archaeological findings for people with further interests in Egyptian history.

However, like Cairo and the rest of Egypt, Alexandria isn’t just about history. Bibliotheca Alexandrina (built on the site of the ancient library) is a distinctive modern building and research centre that houses a conference venue and a planetarium, attracting visitors from across the world. And the Alexandria Stadium is a huge space that holds 13,600 people, and is the frequent site of one of Egypt’s most fervent passions: football. Many local and international football matches are held here, and tickets are available in a range of price brackets from VIP to 3rd degree.

If you’re looking for a unique hotel in Alexandria Egypt, search for accommodation in a trendy area like Alex West or by the seaside Corniche. The Corniche, a 15km long walkway, is particularly popular with tourists, thanks in part to its breezy Mediterranean location, but also to its vibrant atmosphere. If you want to spend a night in Alexandria letting your hair down, this is the place to do it, and the Corniche’s many restaurants, cafes and street food vendors will leave you feeling well fed and relaxed after many hours of sightseeing.