In January and February, my husband and I had some annual leave so we decided to visit his family in Alexandria in Egypt. I absolutely loved my time in Alexandria back in July 2020 so I was really excited to visit again and see more of the city. After spending time with family, we ventured into the city and did a full day of exploring.
The weather in Alexandria was great – around 16-18 degrees in the daytime, with glorious sun. Down by the sea it can get chilly and at night it can be very cold too as most of the buildings do not have central heating.
Library of Alexandria
Our first stop was the Library of Alexandria which is one of the largest, and most significant libraries in the world. The architecture is beautiful, but unfortunately what we didn’t realise was that it was closed on Saturday’s so we didn’t actually get the chance to look inside. Hopefully next time!
We walked along the corniche and took in the stunning views of the Mediterranean sea. The water was crystal clear and the weather was warming up at this point. The corniche is always buzzing with people, both night and day. There is a lovely atmosphere along the seafront with families and couples walking up and down, or just sitting on the wall chatting.
We then found a cafe right on the seafront where we stopped off for some juice. The name of the cafe was Selsela Cafe and it had gorgeous sea views – it was absolutely freezing though as it was so windy so we didn’t stay for very long.
Alexandria National Museum
Next up, we visited the Alexandria National Museum which turned out to be amazing! Mamdouh has lived in Alexandria his whole life, and didn’t even know it existed so we didn’t have high expectations. The museum had 3 floors and each floor had a different collection. Floor one consisted of Pharaonic history and mummy tombs, floor two had artefacts from the Roman Empire and floor three was focused on the Muslim world. It really was a fantastic museum and I would highly recommend it for anyone visiting Alexandria.
Comparing Alexandria with Cairo, there are many differences. In my opinion, Cairo is chaotic, crowded and polluted whereas Alexandria is much more laid back, calm and has the fresh sea air. Although there are more things to do in Cairo, Alexandria has a local charm with so much character. You can reach Alexandria from Cairo by bus or fly directly to HBE (Alexandria Borg El Arab Airport) from Dubai. There are also barely any tourists in Alexandria which I really like as it feels undiscovered and not crowded.
Something I love about Alexandria is how old the buildings and streets are. There is so much history in this city and it is evident when walking around. You can often see horse and carts and people selling food and other products on the streets. Everyone seems to know each other and there is a lovely, friendly atmosphere.
I had a wonderful time in Alexandria and visiting in January was the perfect time to go! I can’t wait to come back again in May for Ramadan & Eid.
Thanks for reading.