Book a flight to Alexandria with Qatar Airways and you‘ll be visiting a city that has helped shaped history and fathered legends. Founded by Alexander the Great, it has provided a seat of power for Cleopatra, housed one of the Seven Wonders of the World and been home to one of the most significant libraries of the ancient world. Yet, with all this behind it, Alexandria is stepping up to take its place in the 21st Century.
The skyline now glitters with great glass buildings and lights, to create a spectacular fusion of past and present. Fly to Alexandria for an opportunity to explore a city that has a rich history behind it and an exciting future ahead.
With so much history to be found, a trip to Alexandria can feel like stepping back in time. The al-Mursi Abu al-Abbas Mosque was built in 1775 over the tomb of a holy man who was buried there in the 13th Century. A festival takes place here annually, celebrating his life. It is widely considered to be Alexandria’s most beautiful mosque, with cream-coloured minarets and stunning marble floors.
The original Ancient Library of Alexandria no longer stands, but it was replaced and opened in 2002 with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. While it might not sound like a family day out, in addition to the millions of books and the four museums it houses, there’s also a planetarium and an interactive Virtual Reality suite, which youngsters are bound to get excited by.
It’s definitely worth checking out what was the Sayed Darwish Theatre. It’s been refurbished and is now known as the Alexandria Opera House, where you can catch a huge and eclectic array of performances, ranging from traditional plays and music to the pomp and ceremony of opera.
For a little rest and relaxation from the frantic pace of city life during your trip to Alexandria, head to the peace and tranquillity of the Montazah Royal Gardens. This is more than 350 acres of beautifully sculpted grounds that form the formal grounds of the Muntazah Palace. The gardens sit on the shoreline of the Mediterranean, giving you access to some spectacular sandy beaches as well as shade-dappled gardens.
Food is a huge part of Alexandrian culture, influenced by Greek, Italian, Indian and Japanese cuisines. Be sure to try some of the local foods, such as aysh, a local bread that comes either as a baguette-style loaf or as a flatbread.
Grilled meat kebabs are popular and can be found served by street vendors on virtually every corner. These are highly-spiced with the kind of herbs you might find in Turkish or Lebanese cooking – and the streets are often thick with the savoury smell of them cooking.
There are plenty of restaurants to be found in the city serving everything from the very best falafel and fuul through to kushary – rice, peas and roasted onions, served in a spicy tomato sauce.
Souks and bazaars are still alive and kicking in the city and a trip to Alexandria wouldn’t be complete without a visit. What you can buy depends very much on which district you’re in (and how good you are at haggling), but you can certainly buy gold and silver jewellery, leather goods and, in the higher-end souks, pungent bundles of incense. However, Alexandria has also discovered the joys of the shopping mall and they are springing up across the city. Perhaps the best to go to is the City Centre Mall on the Cairo Desert Road. This has virtually everything you could ever want - including restaurants and play areas for children!
Qatar Airways Flights to Alexandria land at Borj El Arab International Airport, which is located about 49 kilometres from the city centre. It is well served by car-hire services and taxis but, if you are taking a cab, be sure to agree the fare with your driver before you go anywhere.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Alexandria please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Egyptian Pound (EGP)
Voltage: 220 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type C
International dialing code: +20
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