If you are planning a trip to Egypt and want to explore more than just Cairo, Alexandria is a must-visit destination. Known as the “Pearl of the Mediterranean,” this historic city offers a fascinating blend of ancient wonders, a stunning coastline, and vibrant culture. With only two days to spare, it’s essential to have a well-planned itinerary and efficient transport options at your disposal. In this article, we will guide you through the best way to visit Alexandria Egypt in 2 days, ensuring that you make the most of your time in this enchanting coastal city.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases (if applicable).
2-Days Alexandria Itinerary Summary
Day One Cairo to Alexandria
Depart Cairo after breakfast
96 km from Cairo visit St Makarious Monastery
On arrival in Alexandria visit the Catacombs and Pompey’s Pillar
Check into your hotel and have the evening free. We recommend visiting Le Metropole Hotel’s Sky View Restaurant for rooftop drinks and dinner.
Need a hotel recommendation? Check out our YouTube video of our stay at Le Metropole. We can recommend staying here. Le Metropole is in a great location in Alexandria overlooking the Med. Enjoy a sundowner and dine at the Sky View Restaurant in the evening.
Check out our YouTube video on our 2 days in Alexandria below
Day Two Alexandria
Visit the Royal Gardens of Montazah, the National Museum of Alexandria and the Bibliotheca of Alexandria.
Seafood lunch at the Fish Market Restaurant on the Royal Harbour
After lunch visit Qait-bay Fortress which replaced the Ancient Lighthouse of Pharos.
Evening at leisure
One Day Itinerary for Alexandria
If you only have one day to visit Alexandria:
Catacombs and Pompey Pillar in the morning
National Museum and Qaitbay Fortress in the afternoonRead: 3 Days in Cairo Itinerary here
Travel Options for Visiting Alexandria from Cairo
We researched all options from taking the the train, taxi, group tour and private tour with a driver and Egyptologist. As we wanted to make the most of our two days in Alexandria, we chose the latter using the services of Egyptian Edu Travel.
Romani Gaballa, the owner of Egyptian Edu Travel, created our itineraries for Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel.
We have a special offer for our readers – if you book your travel through Egyptian Edu Travel and quote TTT2024 there is a 5% discount available.
Contact email: [email protected]
Let’s look at the other options available.
Bus travel from Cairo to Alexandria.
For the latest ticket prices and schedules from Cairo to Alexandria click here
Several bus companies travel from Cairo to Alexandria – our recommended bus company is Bluebus.
The journey takes around 3 to 3.5 hours depending on traffic. Bluebus’s bus station in Alexandria is at Moharam Bek is 7 km from central Alexandria.
Train Travel to Alexandria
For the latest schedules, booking details and ticketing for train travel from Cairo to Alexandria click here.
The train can take between 2.5 and 3 hours departing and arriving from Ramses Station in Cairo. There are two intercity train stations in Alexandria, the Misr Station and Sidi Garber Station.
2.5 to 3 hours. Most trains leave and arrive at the main Cairo rail station, Ramses Station, and there are two main intercity stations in Alexandria, the Misr Station (primary) and the Sidi Garber station.
For comfort pay the extra and book the 1st class air-conditioned trains.
Private Car Transfer from Cairo to Alexandria
Need an e-sim for Egypt? Click here.
Visiting Alexandria from Cairo Day 1
Cairo to St Macarius Monastery
The 96 km journey to St Macariuus Monastery takes approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 10 depending on traffic.
The monastery was founded in 360 AD by St Macarious. During the restoration in 1969, the crypts of St John the Baptist and Elisha the Prophet were discovered.
Check out our YouTube video on Alexandria to see more of the monastery.
We were met by one of the Monks who runs regular tours for visitors. During our visit, we learned about the daily routines of the 120 Monks who are currently in residence. The oldest Monk is 95 and the youngest is 25. They have 2 meals daily the main one being at 12 and the 2nd meal is taken in their rooms. They start their day at 4 am and retire between 8 and 9.30 pm. They converse with one another in Arabic.
The Monastery produces olives, dates, figs, mangos, bananas, corn, wheat, chicken and fish. They consume 5 – 10% of what they produce and the rest is sold.
You can feel the calmness as soon as you get out of your vehicle and head to the entrance. It is a fascinating visit and one I hope that you can make along the way to Alexandria.
Address: Km 92 Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road (Exit 10 from Cairo, Exit 46 from Alexandria)
There is no entrance fee but a donation is always welcomed.
The Catacombs of Alexandria (Kom El Shoqafa)
Address: 12 متفرع من ش, Ras at Tin, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt (Tawfikeya Street)
Opening hours: 9 am to 4 pm
The Catacombs are one of the main attractions in Alexandria. Kom El Shoqafa dates back to the 2nd century AD and is one of the seven wonders of the Middle Ages. It is the largest Roman burial site in Egypt.
There is a story of how the Catacombs were rediscovered. In September 1900 a donkey stumbled on the grounds and fell through a shaft into a burial ancient tomb below. You can see the site where the donkey fell through.
With their intricate architecture, stunning artworks, and fascinating burial practices, these underground tombs provide a unique glimpse into the lives and beliefs of the people who once dwelled in Alexandria.
There are three levels. Steps lead down to the first level, there are walkways around the 2nd level which are easily accessible. The third level is inaccessible.
Pompey’s Pillar is located close to Kom El Shoqafa on Bab Sidra Hill. The Pillar was dedicated to the worship of the God Serapis and built-in 298 AD.
The pillar was constructed in honour of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. However, contrary to its name, Pompey’s Pillar has no direct connection to the famous Roman general Pompey. The origin of the name remains unclear; it is believed that it might have been associated with Pompey due to his prominence during earlier centuries.
It is constructed of red granite and stands 20.75 m high with a width of 2.70 m. Two sphinxes positioned majestically on either side of the pillar, they too were constructed from red granite.
Apart from the column and the sphinxes you can visit the Sanctuary with its statue of the Bull God Serapise which dates back to the Ptolemaic period.
Opening hours: 9 am – 4.30 pm
- Address: Corner of Amoud El Sawary and El Shenity Abou Mandour, Karmouz, Alexandria
Day Two Alexandria
The Royal Gardens of Montazah were underwhelming.
The Montazah Palace was built in 1892 for the Khedive and the Royal Family. The Palace was used later as a summer palace for King Farouk.
The complex consists of:
- The Montazah Palace
- Smaller palaces
- Beach Club
- Beach and pools
- The Rose Garden with 50,000 rose bushes spread over 20 hectares
- The Palm Grove
- Gardens, fountains and sculptures
- Helnan Royal Hotel with 4 restaurants
How long does it take to see the Royal Gardens of Montazah? We recommend around 1 hour – 1.5 hours unless you are spending time at the Beach Club and pools.
Opening hours: From 8 am to midnight
Address: Montaza Palace, El-Gaish Rd, Al Mandarah Bahri, Montaza 2, Alexandria Governorate 5527001
National Museum of Alexandria
I enjoyed the National Museum of Alexandria more than the Cairo Museum. The National Museum is well laid out and all artefacts and exhibitions are clearly labelled, unlike the Cairo Museum. It is also not as hot and stuffy as the Cairo Museum. I would allow between 1.5 and 2 hours to visit.
Opened in September 2022 the National Museum of Alexandria displays over 1800 items from the periods of the Pharaonic, Ptolemaic, the Romans, the Byzantine and Islamic spread over 3 floors.
Opening hours: 9 am to 4.30 pm
Address: 131 El-Shaheed Galal El-Desouky, Bab Sharqi WA Wabour Al Meyah, Bab Sharqi, Alexandria
Bibliotheca of Alexandria
Address: Al Azaritah WA Ash Shatebi, Bab Sharqi, Alexandria Governorate 21526, Egypt
Main Reading Area
Sunday to Thursday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm.
Saturday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.
Visits, Museums, and Planetarium Science Center:
Sunday to Thursday: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm.
Saturday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.
Children’s, YP and Taha Hussein Libraries:
Sunday to Thursday: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm.
Saturday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (Taha Hussein Library, which will be closed).
Good to know: It is best to book a tour. Tours are conducted in English, French and Arabic. Check here for more details
It is such a vast space and so much to learn the tour was the best way for us to enjoy the library. Did you know that you can learn the ancient Egyptian language and the hieroglyphs? Downstairs there is a special section dedicated to President Anwar Sadat. At different times of the year, they have specific exhibitions. It is worth signing up for their newsletter to keep up to date with happenings.
Recommended Restaurant For Lunch
We had a great lunch with fresh seafood at the Fish Market Restaurant on Alexandria Harbour on the way to Qait Bay Fortress. It is a popular restaurant and reservations are recommended. Not only great food but excellent views over the harbour too!
Open for lunch and dinner.
Address: El Corniche, beside the Scout Club, Alexandria.
Qaitbay was built from 1477 to 1479 AD on the former Lighthouse of Alexandria which was one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. The lighthouse was destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th century.
Qaitbay Fortress was constructed to guard Alexandria from attacks by the Crusaders. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
There are great views to be had from the top of the fortress. If it is a clear day you may be able to see the coastlines of Italy and Greece. There is a Maritime Museum to visit in the complex.
Address: As Sayalah Sharq, Al Gomrok, Alexandria Governorate 5321431, Egypt
Opening hours: 9 am to 5 pm
In conclusion, Alexandria is a city rich in history and culture that can be explored in just two days. By following this itinerary visitors can make the most of their time and experience the highlights of this beautiful city. From ancient ruins to stunning beaches, Alexandria offers a unique blend of past and present that will leave any traveller in awe. A guide is useful when visiting Alexandria and Egypt in general. There is so much information on the country’s history that I feel if you do it yourself you will miss out on vital historical events and happenings. There is so much to learn and appreciate! In this article I have not delved too deeply into more of the historical facts of each location I visited, I want you to have the pleasure of learning about this city and its historical sites from your knowledgable Egyptologist.
General Travel Information for Alexandria Egypt
For flights to Cairo and Alexandria check the latest deals, availability and schedules here
Borg El Arab International Airport Alexandria is located 40 km from the city centre.
How to travel around Alexandria
Taxis are available, payment is by cash only. Taxis are not metered it would be worth checking with your hotel the cost of your proposed journey.
Uber is available in Alexandria and Cairo only. The first Egyptian ride share Careem is available in both cities.
Individual Tours in and around Alexandria
When is the best time to visit Alexandria?
The best months to visit Alexandria are September to November and March to April.
Where to stay in Alexandria
To Travel Too Travel Shop
Travel smarter and safer with products from our To Travel Too Travel Shop. If you are looking for the latest luggage, guidebooks or travel accessories we have you covered with over 800 travel products to choose from.
Visas for Egypt
There are three options depending on the passport you hold.
- Arrange your visa at the airport on arrival (check whether your country’s passport is allowed to do this)
- Arrange through the Egyptian Government Portal
- Use the services of ivisa who arrange all travel documents on your behalf for a fee
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
Are you on Pinterest? We are at To Travel Too and we have many travel-related boards check us out at Pinterest. If you enjoyed our article why not pin it to your board and read it later?