What To Do on A Solo Day Trip to Alexandria, Egypt! + TIPS on Train Experience from Cairo

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Solo Day Trip From Alexandria

A Day Trip to Alexandria is always a great idea. This port city is unlike any other city in Egypt.

In fact, it has traces of the Roman Empire, which once ruled this part of Egypt via Alexander the Great.

If you’re a history geek, you can’t finish your Egypt trip without visiting this port city!

Here is a list of Muslim-friendly activities that will make your Solo Day Trip to Alexandria memorable; and various ways to go there!

Solo Day Trip to Alexandria — Is it Worth it?

Is Alexandria worth a day trip?

If you have one more day to spare in your itinerary, then a day trip to Alexandria from Cairo is worth it.

Day Trip to Alexandria

Alexandria is a beautiful city sitting on the coast of the Mediterranean sea. You’ll find historical relics — particularly from the Greco-Roman era.

13 Things To Do on Your Solo Day Trip to Alexandria

If you’re thinking, “How do I spend a day in Alexandria?”…

Here are some must-see highlights and options for Muslim Solo Travelers going on a self-guided day trip.

Check Out Pompey’s Pillar

One of the city’s famous sights sitting on top of a hill in the middle of Alexandria is Pompey’s Pillar.

This column is the remaining structure ruins of the Temple of Serapeum, which once stood at the site in ancient times. Plus, it is also the only free-standing column in Roman Egypt!

Pompey's Pillar
Photo by Daniel Mayer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Tip: this place is also known as Amoud Al Sawari in Arabic — a handy piece of advice when taking public transport! Come early in the morning, before the afternoon heat comes!

Visit Citadel of Qaitbay

If Cairo had Bab al Futuh and Cairo Citadel as its defensive forthold, Alexandria had the Citadel of Qaitbay.

Citadel of Qaitbay

Built in the 14th century by Sultan Qaitbay as a fortress to defend Alexandria from the Ottoman Empire, this is a crucial fortification system located along the Mediterranean sea coast.

Also known as Qaitbay Fort, this fort is located on a narrow land at the end of Alexandria’s cornice from the harbor.

What’s also interesting here is the legendary Pharos Lighthouse, which The Citadel was built together with!

Stroll Around the Corniche during Sunset

What To Do in Alexandria

After a visit to the citadel, check out the panoramic sea views, restaurants, souvenirs, and ice cream shops that line up the street outside the fortress!

Corniche of Alexandria is the street that extends all the way along the Eastern Harbor.

As Alexandria is a port city, the waterfront promenade Corniche is a famous place for locals and visitors alike to stroll on their Day trip to Alexandria, especially during the golden hours!

A stroll here will justify your initial question of “Is Alexandria worth visiting”!

See All Kinds of Jewelries at Royal Jewelry Museum

You must know by now that Egypt is full of historical monuments, structures, and artifacts dating back to the prehistoric era.

One place to see amazing possession of jewelry ranging from gold, diamond, and emerald, that once belonged to the Egyptian Royal Family is in the Royal Jewelry Museum in Alexandria!

Alexandria Museum
Photo by Rawan.Ashraf19, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This museum, which Muhammad Ali Pasha founded in 1805, features a unique mix of Islamic and European styles

Royal Jewelry Museum, Alexandria, Egypt
Photo by Asmaaly8, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have Lunch at a Local Seafood Restaurant

Your Day trip to Alexandria is incomplete without….. eating seafood!

Local seafood in Alexandria

You’ll find lots of seafood restaurants in Alexandria. The ones inside Fish Market Marina can be on the more expensive end, but that depends on the type of fish you choose to have.

And a meal here with the Mediterranean sea view, and breeze, it’s worth it!

Besides, there are other restaurant options you can check out by the Souk! The fresh catches here will be cheaper than the ones sold in restaurants at the Marina.

Go Underground in the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa

This place is one of the representations of Egypt’s complex history, highlighting the times of the Ptolemaic dynasties (under the rule of Alexander the Great with his army of Macedonian and Greek military).

Built in the 2nd Century AD, the Catacombs have a depth of 100 feet underground and hold the title of one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages.

What makes this historical site famous is not only Roman civilization inscribed on the walls but also traces of the Greek and Egyptian influence!

Did you know? Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa is also referred to as the Mount of Shards, referencing the leftover mudstone and clay objects!

Pro-tip: Walk to the catacombs from Pompey’s pillar (from the ticketing office, narrow street to the right, go uphill and away from tram tracks, follow for several hundred meters past a mini mosque on your left; and you’ll find the Catacombs on your left! 

Operating hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa is usually included in any Cairo to Alexandria tour with a private guide. Book here on Viator or GetYourGuide

Visit Biliotheca Alexandrina

Alexandria Library

Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a must-visit for the book worm on your Day trip to Alexandria!

Bibliotheca Alexandrina

This spectacular, cylindrical, state-of-the-art facility is an 11-story library revival of what once was the ancient library founded by Alexander the Great some 2300 years ago.

Inside the library, you’ll find books, well-curated exhibitions, and mini-museums (individual tickets separate from entrance tickets required)!

These exhibitions showcase gorgeous folk art and contemporary work of Arab artists.

The Antiquities Museum holds mummy cases and artifacts of various civilizations from the Pharaonic, Greco-Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic eras.

BibliothecaAlexandrina mini museum

Meanwhile, the Manuscript Museum showcase a small collection of ancient text — look out for the surviving scroll from Alexandria’s ancient library!

Pro-tip: Come by before 3 pm! The library has a strict maximum capacity rate of about 300 ticket holders, and the museums are located inside close by 4:00 pm.

Outside ticketing office of Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Explore the Souk District & El-Attarine Souq

Alexandria’s souk (market) district is located in the back narrow alleys from El-Tahrir Square.

Day Trip to Alexandria
Chickens at the market

Here, you’ll see the authentic Egyptian souk bustling with fresh fruit and vegetable produce, meat and fish stalls, spices, and various kinds of shops selling all the household items you can think of.

Food in Alexandria
Traditional pastry
Souk is a term for the traditional outdoor marketplace in most Middle Eastern and North African countries.

A great place to meander around to have a feel of the Alexandrian spirit!

Another souk that’s famous for traditional Egyptian antiques and souvenirs is the Souk El-Attarine (a few meters to the east of the Roman Amphitheatre).

Pro-tip: Come by in the morning for the best experience!

Visit Abu Abbas al-Mursi Mosque

Built in 1775 is Alexandria’s largest mosque.

Inside Abu Abbas Al Mursi Mosque
How the mosque looks on the inside

This cream-colored mosque with an elaborate Arabesque design was built by an Andalusian Sheikh.

Muslim Travel tip: For muslimah coming to pray, make sure you bring your own prayer clothes.

Whether you’re here for prayers or just a visit on your Alexandria Day Trip, do explore what’s around Midan al Massaged (Mosque Square, where the mosque is located).

Admire Montaza Palace & Gardens

Montaza Gardens & Palace
Photo by Manar Elessawy Dahab, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This beautiful palace is situated within the well-landscaped, tranquil gardens with groomed palm trees and rare plants bordered by sand beaches.

While the Palace is off-limits to the public and was once the sanctuary for the Royal Family, the lush gardens surrounding it are open to the public!

Montaza Bridge
Photo by Jerry & Roy Klotz, MD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The palace’s architecture combines Turkish and Florentine influences, and Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio inspired its central tower.

Try Ancient Ruin Diving

The diving excursion in Alexandria differs from the Red Sea Diving in Hurghada or Sharm el Sheikh.

Alexandria Egypt

Divers come here to check out the ancient underwater ruins from the Greco-Romans and Pharaohs eras!

A popular dive site here is Cleopatra’s Underwater City (also known as Cleopatra’s Palace) by the Eastern Harbor, which some tumbled Roman columns and sphinxes statues are still left in their original places here!

If you plan on doing some water sports on your one-day trip to Alexandria from Cairo, do know that it can take up to one full day!

Other diving sites:

  • Pharos Lighthouse
  • WWII Wreck

Take a Horse Carriage Ride

Alexandria day tour from Cairo
Horse Carriage Rides are lined up by the Corniche

This is only if you are pressed for time and want to see all the best monuments in Alexandria.

There’s a caveat, though. The horse ride may be rushed, leaving you little time to enjoy each attraction.

Indulge in Sahlab by the Corniche

Sahlab (or Salep) is a Middle Eastern Milk pudding that will warm you during winter!

Sahlab, Egypt

But really, this drink is known as the official winter drink in the Middle East and Mediterranean Countries!

Usually, it is served with toppings of crushed nuts like pistachio and sprinkles of cinnamon.

The best place to indulge in a warm cup of Sahlab is by the Corniche in Alexandria. You can find them pretty much in every cafe or ahwa in the city.

Ahwa is an open-air, informal coffee establishment found in alleyways.

Muslim Solo Travel Tips For Your Day Trip to Alexandria

Halal Food is widely available in Alexandria. It is advisable to ask about the Halal status before dining if you feel uneasy or unsure.

If you would like to save time on your Alexandria Day Trip, but would love to see all the major attractions, a 45-minute horse carriage ride or going with a certified tour guide is to be considered.

To look for some options for different Alexandria Day Tours from Cairo, book via Viator or GetYourGuide, as most of the activities on these platforms let you cancel up to 24 hours in advance. Great for those who do not have time to arrange for every little thing! Be sure to get pre-arranged day trips that include pick up, drop off, and seafood lunch by the sea!

Alexandria is not a complex city for one to go off the beaten path. Who knows, you might find some hidden gems in Alexandria, Egypt! They may be lurking around in between the alleyways or just by the side of the street.

If you’re going to Alexandria on public transport from Cairo, be sure to board the earliest ride so you can make the most of your time in Alexandria!

Getting To and Around Alexandria

Here are some ways you can get to, and around Alexandria for your Day Trip.

Transportations from Cairo to Alexandria

The distance between Cairo to Alexandria is 218.4km. Hence, many types of transportation run between these two cities.

1- By Train

Alexandria to Cairo train
Alexandria Railway Station

Cairo to Alexandria train schedule is operated on an hourly basis by Egyptian Railways, built by Talgo Trains from Spain. Vice versa too.

You can get train tickets from Cairo to Alexandria (and vice versa) at the respective counters at the train station or online.

Do keep this in mind: In Egypt, it is normal for the first-class and second-class (Air-cond, Reserved Seats, Non-stop) ticketing booth to be located inside, past the security checks. Some are located on the upper floor. Meanwhile, the ticketing booth for the normal class coaches (no air-cond, no reserved seats and full of in-between stops) are usually located outside the train station’s entry (before the security checks). Our recommendations? Book early online as this is easier!

Where to get tickets at Sidi Gaber Station, Alexandria
First & Second class coaches ticketing booths are located above, on the first floor, inside Sidi Gaber Station, Alexandria

The best train is VIP special trains with 1st and 2nd class coaches. These are fully air-conditioned trains with reserved seats. It has an indication of “Special” on your ticket.

Ordinary trains have no reserved seating and are slower in service (can go up to 6 hours with pit stops in between) compared to 1st and 2nd class trains.

Depending on your comfortability, double-check with the officers to which train your train belongs.

MST’s Recommendation: Book early via 12go online ticketing system because buying via walk-in at ticketing booths can be difficult unless you know how to speak Egyptian Masri dialect.

Click here for the latest Cairo to Alexandria train schedule and booking availabilities.

2 – By Bus

Some buses offer services between Cairo and Alexandria (vice versa).

Bus in Alexandria

Check out the best rates for Cairo to Alexandria (vice versa) bus schedule online here

3 – By Mini Vans & Microbuses (Only For Adventurous MSTers Familiar with Egyptian Dialect + Workarounds!)

Mini bus and Mini vans in Alexandria

There are also minivans that offer quick service between Cairo (outside Ramses Station) and Alexandria. But they can be noisy, packed and dangerous–in terms of driving.

If you are adventurous, if you know how to speak Egyptian Masri Dialect, and know where to drop off, then a hop on these mini vans all the way back to Cairo would be a thrilling experience of a lifetime!

4- By Flight

Cairo to Alexandria flights take about 45 minutes, non-stop. That makes it the shortest duration

5- By Tour Guides

For peace of mind and a stress-free day trip from Cairo to Alexandria, going with a tour guide would be best! This private full-day Alexandria tour from Cairo comes with hotel pick-up and drop-off and a tour guide fluent in Egyptologist on your visit to Alexandria’s best sights.

For the best Alexandria Day Tours from Cairo, check their availability on Viator or GetYourGuide

One Day Trip from Cairo to Alexandria
Sidi Gaber Station

Getting Around on Your Alexandria Day Trip

When it comes to getting around Alexandria, you can either:

  • Opt for walking (most attractions are closeby to one another);
  • Take the local tram. It costs as little as 1EGP (0.05 USD). But you may have to squeeze yourself in between tram riders, so be careful of your belongings.
  • Careem, Uber, and Taxi as car transportation options
  • Horse Carriage Ride to most tourist attractions.
  • By Private Tour Guides on Viator or GetYourGuide

Making The Best Out Of Your Muslim Solo Travels to Alexandria – TIPS!

The best time to visit Alexandria as a Muslimah Solo Traveler is either late September to early November; or January to April. The waters during November-February can be chilly so if you’re going to scuba dive, might want to opt out of these dates unless you can handle cold waters.

Editor’s Note: “I went to Alexandria in late-January, which was a nice time to visit the port city, that is… If you’re going to just relax by the sea and do some sightseeing!

The peak season is during mid-summer (usually July-August), when most of the local Egyptians (especially from Cairo) escape the desert heatwave and flock to Alexandria for the sea breeze.

During Muslim festive seasons like Eid ul-Fitr and Eid-ul Adha, the operating hours of shops may differ from usual, so double-check their official social media earlier in advance.

Traveling to Alexandria as a Muslim Solo Traveler
First-class seat on Cairo-Alexandria train.

The most cost-effective way for a Muslimah Solo Traveler to reach Alexandria is from Cairo. Lots of mini buses and trains run in between. This article has in-depth solutions to getting to Alexandria from Cairo via various transportations.

It is useful to memorize Arabic numbers for the ease of your solo trip to Alexandria!

Like anywhere else in Egypt, tipping is common and expected here. Even when you’re walking in the middle of the streets. For your safety as a Muslim Solo Traveler, best to just ignore it and move along. They’ll leave you alone if you do that for long enough.

Beyond a Solo Day Trip in Alexandria

If you are planning to Stay in Alexandria, hotels with panoramic views and Mediterranean sea access should be your priority. Some hotels to consider for Muslimah Solo Travelers are:

Credit: Hilton Alexandria Corniche

Hilton Alexandria Corniche: with access to private beach (great for hijabis!) along the corniche. Book on Hotels.com or Booking.com

Credit: Plaza Hotel Alexandria

Plaza Hotel Alexandria: amazing views of the Corniche from your rooms and classic-looking restaurants! Book on Hotels.com or Booking.com

Credit: Tolip Hotel

Tolip Hotel: Great value for money for access to beach and nearby the famous Stanley bridge. Book on Hotels.com or Booking.com

Alexandria Solo Day Trip Takeaway

We hope this Cairo to Alexandria Day Trip was beneficial!

While one day is enough for you to explore the beautiful port city of Alexandria on your own as a self-guided tour, via meet-ups with Muslimah Solo Travelers, or as we recommend, via a reliable tour guide on Viator or GetYourGuide so you can make the most out of your time.

You can also extend the trip to a 2D1N excursion if going back to Cairo is too late.

Otherwise, how about a Red Sea Scuba Diving excursion to Hurghada, camping in the remote White Desert as your extension in beautiful Egypt?

Don’t forget to share your solo travel tales as a Muslimah Solo Traveler in our Community FB Group!

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