Page two -- What to see in Alexandria
Where to Stay in AlexandriaAlexandria has very few good budget hotels, but there are plenty of mid-range to high-end hotels, especially along the Corniche. Below I list a sample of hotels on offer which to the best of my knowledge are good value for money.
Budget Hotels in Alexandria
Remember, this is Egypt and if you're staying in a budget hotel you have to be a little flexible with your idea of what constitutes a clean room and a well run hotel. To book these hotels you should call them directly and try and book in advance. The country code for Egypt is 20, and for Alexandria you add a 3. If you're in Egypt, dial 03 first for Alexandria.
Hotel Union (20-3-480 7312) is at the top of everyone's budget hotel list for Alexandria. It's a friendly, clean hotel with rooms for reasonable rates (about USD 20 per night) and it's situated along the Corniche, so you can even get a room with a harbor view and balcony. Read reviews.
Other budget hotels that are recommended include the Hotel Crillon (20 3 - 480 0330) which is basic, clean and also overlooks the harbor. The Sea Star hotel (20 -3- 483 1787) is a reasonable choice in the Midan Rimla area, if you can't get a room at either the Union or Crillon.
Mid-Range Hotels in Alexandria
Windsor Palace Hotel is full of old charm and nicely situated along the Corniche so there are rooms with a sea view (although traffic noise is significant). Read reviews.
Metropole Hotel is also an old-world hotel like the Windsor, and built at the turn of the 20th Century. It's very centrally situated (you can walk from the main train station) and generally gets decent reviews.
High-End Hotels in Alexandria
Most of the larger chain hotels are represented in Alexandria. The following are all large, clean, 4-5 star hotels that get good ratings from people who stayed there:
- The Four Seasons is very expensive but worth it according to most guests who stay here (see reviews). The hotel has a private beach as well as a swimming pool, restaurant and a gym.
- Hotel Sofitel Cecil is centrally located, overlooking the harbor, and close to the train station. The hotel was built in the 1920's and still retains a lot of its classical charm. Rooftop dining is available at the China House restaurant which tends to get more points for its location than its food. Read reviews.
- Helnan Palestine is situated in the Montazah Gardens (same location as the summer home of the the President) and offers a quiet respite from the busy downtown area. There's a private beach which is good for swimming. The main drawback is that you'll have to catch a taxi to get to most of the sights. Read reviews.
Where to Eat in AlexandriaAlexandria has plenty of good restaurants. Some of the most highly recommended restaurants are:
- Mohammed Ahmed offers traditional Egyptian food including excellent falafel, fuul, fried cheese and kebabs. It's very popular with locals and an excellent place to grab a quick lunch.
- Kadura is a local favorite and is situated along the Corniche as you walk to the Fort. The food is fresh, cheap and always good. You select your fish, say how you would like it cooked and then enjoy it with rice, salad, hummus etc.
- The Seagull - if you enjoy a kitsch setting, the Seagull will delight you. It's inside a mock castle and there's a garden with animals in it. The food is fresh and gets excellent reviews. The Seagull is in the resort section of Alexandria called Agami.
- The Fish Market is an upmarket seafood restaurant offering similar fare as most of the fish restaurants on the Corniche, but with the added bonus of a cold beer or glass of wine to accompany your meal.
If you want to just browse around and see what looks good, head for the Eastern Harbor and select a fish restaurant of your choosing. Anywhere at the fish market overlooking the Eastern Harbour.
Coffee and PastriesOne of the marvelous things about a city like Alexandria with its cosmopolitan heritage, is the old traditional coffee house. Alexandria's many poets and writers got their inspiration in these cafes:
- Trianon facing the Midan Ramla is an old favorite which was frequented by the Greek poet Cavafy.
- Brazilian Coffee Store is perfect to grab a coffee on the go. No seats, just a traditional stand up bar situated in the center of town.
- Delices a local favorite for cakes and pastries, has a store at the central train station.
Sources and Further Information for Alexandria, Egypt
Tripadvisor's Alexandria Hotels
TourEgypt Alexandria information
Travelpod's Alexandria Blogs
VirtualTourist Alexandria Guide
Lonely Planet Egypt Guide
Egyptian Tourist Authority
The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell