Stretching twenty kilometres along the coast, Alexandria was founded in 331 BC by 25-year-old Alexander the Great To rival Rome, it is the stuff of legends, and must have been a sight to behold. Pharos lighthouse, marked the ancient harbour's entrance, was one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the Great Library the archive of ancient knowledge.
Open most days, the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina is striking in its architecture and also contains a Planetarium and Science Museum. The complex is one of Egypt’s major cultural venues and a stage for numerous international performers.
Visit the Roman Amphitheatre at Kom al-Dikka. In 1965, a semi-circular amphitheatre was discovered under what was known as Kom al-Dikka or the Mound of Rubble, after the remains of a Napoleonic fort were levelled for a housing project.
The thirteen tiered rows of marble seats were excavated by Polish archaeologists and are dated from the 2nd century. See the section of the original mosaic floor in front of the amphitheatre. Moreover, a little to the north lies the brick ruins of a Roman bathing complex.
On the corniche, admire Fort Qaitbey, situated on the tip of the Eastern Harbour. Although it may look like a toy castle, it was built on the site of Pharos Lighthouse, by Sultan Qaitbey in the Fourteen Hundreds, using stones from the dilapidated building.
Within its keep, there is a small mosque, the oldest in Alexandria, and you can visit the Naval Musuem, displaying relics from sunken ships the result of Roman and Napoleonic sea battles.
Situated in the heart of modern, Alexandria’s Graeco-Roman Museum contains over forty thousand artifacts, covering over 1,000 years of history.
Open every day; the Museum is organised into chronological order running clockwise from the entrance.
Don’t miss the central garden, with some magnificent statues, tombs, a reconstructed temple of the crocodile god from Fayoum, and the head of a once colossal statue of Mark Anthony.