Alexandria in detail


Modern Alexandria lies along a curving shoreline, stretching for 20km and rarely extending more than 3km inland. The centre of the city arcs around the Eastern Harbour, almost enclosed by two spindly promontories. The city’s main tram station at Midan Ramla, where most lines terminate, is considered the epicentre of the city. Two of the city centre’s main shopping streets, Sharia Saad Zaghloul and Sharia Safiyya Zaghloul, run off this square. Just west of the tram station is the larger and more formal square Midan Saad Zaghloul, with a popular garden facing the seafront. Around these two squares are the central shopping areas, the tourist office, restaurants and the majority of the cheaper hotels.

North-west of this central area is the older, atmospheric neighbourhood of Anfushi; south-west is Carmous, which has some notable Roman ruins. Heading east, a succession of newer districts stretches along the coast to the upmarket residential area of Rushdy and the trendy suburbs of San Stefano, and further on to Montazah, with its palace and gardens, which marks the eastern limits of the city. The Corniche is the long and wide coastal road that connects nearly all parts of the city, though crossing it involves playing chicken with swarms of hurtling buses and taxis.

If you’re spending significant time in the city, the street map produced by Mohandes Mostafa El Fadaly is very useful.