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Things to Do in Alexandria

Egypt's second-largest city, Alexandria, occupies 20 miles of the coast along the Mediterranean Sea. It's an understandably enormous and thriving port, but it's more than just a working city–there are tourist attractions aplenty here, too.

Although very few of the oldest parts of Alexandria are visible today, there are many ancient sights to see. You'll find ancient Roman ruins, including an amphitheater and baths, as well as catacombs beneath the city. There are also remains of a third-century B.C.E. temple that's believed to be Cleopatra's burial spot. The city was once home to what was believed to be the world's largest library, and a modern one is now meant to represent that ancient monument.

You can trace Alexandria's history right through to the present day through structures built during nearly every architectural age, and archaeologists continue to rediscover ancient pieces of the city's past. Alexandria is also a major tourist haven during the summer months, when visitors flock to its many beaches.
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Citadel of Qaitbay (Fort Qaitbey)
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Built on the site of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the longest surviving Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the 15th-century Citadel of Qaitbay (Fort Qaitbey) is a postcard-pretty sea fort. The battlements offer sweeping city views, the small museum houses maritime relics and aquariums, and three pillars likely date from the lighthouse.

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Roman Amphitheatre
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The centerpiece of the Kom al Dikka archaeological site, Alexandria’s Roman amphitheater extends in 13 tiers of white-marble seating. Built in the second century AD with space for 800 citizens, it’s the only known Roman theater in Egypt and housed political demonstrations and wrestling matches as well as drama.

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Montazah Palace Gardens
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Alexandria’s most beautiful green space, the Montazah Palace Gardens extend along the seafront and around 19th-century Montazah Palace, which is closed to the public. Highlights include beaches, avenues of palms, and an ornate pink bridge, as well as manicured flower beds and well-maintained lawns.

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Alexandria National Museum
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Opened in 2003 in a historic villa, the Alexandria National Museum offers a carefully curated journey through the history of Egypt’s second city since its foundation in the fourth century BC. The underwater archaeological finds are fascinating, as are the Greco-Roman discoveries, while ancient Egyptian treasures come from around the country.

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El Alamein War Cemetery and Museum
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The El Alamein War Cemetery contains the graves of Allied soldiers lost during the 1940-1942 Western Desert campaign of World War II. Alongside the nearby El Alamein Military Museum, it serves as a memorial to the campaign and its turning point, the 1942 Battle of El Alamein.

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