Situated on the Mediterranean coast, in the North of Egypt, Alexandria is one of the country’s biggest and most important cities as well as a region imbued with ancient myth and legend. Founded by Alexander the Great around 2500 years ago, the city was, at one point, the cultural and educational centre of the world. It also saw much of the action that occurred during the turbulent relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony. Throughout history it has changed faces a number of times, from the epicentre of Hellenistic civilisation to small fishing village to opulent metropolis, each fresh new look shaping the cultural heritage and identity of the city today.

With so much history, trying to understand exactly how much Alexandria has changed over the years can be a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, the National Museum does a pretty good job and summing it all up for you. Alternatively, visitors can immerse themselves in history by exploring the city and seeking out some of its ancient monuments. Sadly, the Pharos Lighthouse, a former wonder of the world, perished many years ago but in its place is the impressive Fort Qaitbey.

To get a taste for the more modern side of Alexandria, Corniche is a good place to explore. The broad waterside road is home to much of what remains from the late 19th century period of extravagance that the city underwent. When the hustle and bustle gets too much then travellers should retreat to the Montazah Gardens, an oasis of tranquility and beauty situated on the Eastern edge of the city and filled with lush vegetation and a glorious palace.

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