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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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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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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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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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El Alamein, situated on the Mediterranean coast around four hours north of Cairo, is the site of where two battles were fought during World War II. The War Cemetery in the town houses the graves of allied soldiers who died during this time, particularly in the Battle of El Alamein of 1942. The cemetery contains over 7000 commonwealth burials from the war, of which 815 are unidentified. There are also more than a hundred war graves belonging to men of other nationalities.

The El Alamein War Cemetery also has an informative museum nearby, which covers the entire story of World War II in this part of the world, as seen from a number of perspectives. The museum serves as a memorial for the battles fought and displays a number of items from the war, including weapons, vehicles, uniforms, and war records.

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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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