As a visitor to Alexandria, you’ll rarely use the buses; the tram is fun but painfully slow. Taxis and microbuses are generally the best options for getting around.
The price of using a car-and-driver service can be comparable to the price of hiring a car and saves the headache of negotiating traffic yourself. The tourist office and most of Alexandria's hotels can usually help with recommending a driver.
If you do fancy striking out on the road yourself, car hire starts from US$50 per day (including 100km). Ensure that you’re especially scrupulous with the initial and return inspections to avoid any compensation claims for very minor vehicle damage.
Avis has a full range of cars, with drivers available for an additional US$30-50 per day.
Want to travel like the locals? Hop on a microbus. The most useful are the ones zooming along the Corniche. There are no set stops, so when one passes, wave and shout your destination; if it’s heading that way, it will stop to pick you up. It costs anywhere from LE1 to LE2 for a short trip, to LE5 to go all the way to Montazah.
Minibuses to Sidi Gaber start at Midan Saad Zaghloul.
There are no working taxi meters in Alexandria. Locals simply pay the correct amount as they get out of the taxi, but since fares are both unpublished and subjective, this can be a challenge for a visitor to pull off (especially considering many drivers expect visitors to pay higher fares and won’t hesitate to aggressively argue the point). Negotiate a price before you get in and try to give the driver the exact amount.
Some sample fares are: Midan Ramla to Misr Train Station, LE10 to LE15; Midan Saad Zaghloul to Fort Qaitbey, LE15; Midan Saad Zaghloul to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, LE10 to LE15; Steigenberger Cecil Hotel to Montazah, LE35 to LE50.
Alexandria’s rumbling, clackety old trams are fun to ride, but they can be almost unbearably slow and hence not the best option for getting around.
The central tram station, Mahattat Ramla, is at Midan Ramla; from here lime-yellow-coloured trams go west and blue-coloured ones travel east. Check the easy-to-read route maps at the stations to find the line you’re looking for. The line numbers on each tramcar are in Arabic, but you can tell which line it is by the colour of the sign at the front and then match that to the colour of the line number on the route map. Some trams have two or three carriages, in which case one of them is reserved for women. Fares range from 50pt to LE2.
Tram 14 goes to Misr Train Station; tram 15 goes through Anfushi; trams 1 and 25 go to Sidi Gaber Train Station.