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walking around Alexandria

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Chicago, Illinois
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walking around Alexandria

I am thinking of taking a day trip up to Alexandria from Cairo during my trip to Egypt in February. I am already spending quite a bit of money (and being guided around alot) on a 13-day organized tour and a day tour of Cairo, so I would really, really like to do Alex on my own.

I would also like to see as much as possible on foot as I really just like to wander around cities to get a feel for them - I find that's the best way usually. It's not unusual for me on a trip to spend an entire day on my feet walking around from sight to sight in a city.

Three questions: one, as a single American woman, is it safe for me to be walking around Alex on my own, assuming I am dressed appropriately, etc? And are there any parts of town I should avoid?

Second, how much can I get to within a walk from the train station? I hear the Greco-Roman and Jewelry Museums are currently closed, so those are out. I definitely want to see the Catacombs and walk around Anfushi and see the Necropolis of Anfushi. Perhaps see the National Museum or Bibliotheca as well?

Third, does it matter what train I take back to Cairo? Looking at the train schedules, it appears the last express train to Cairo leaves at 3:30 in the afternoon and I think I'd rather have more time there. Are there any safety issues with taking an evening train back, either with the train itself or arriving at the Cairo train station late in the evening?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Alexandria, Egypt
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1. Re: walking around Alexandria

Q1) You'll be fine walking round Alex by yourself - just be streetsmart and don't go down any streets that you don't feel comfortable in.

Q2) Taxis are relatively cheap to get from point to point. As you come out of the main train station the Roman Amphitheatre is right across the street. From there you may want to get a taxi to the catacombs of Kom el Shogafa - the distance isn't far - but I wouldn't advise a single woman to be walking in those areas alone. The National Museum is on Fouad Street about the same distance as the catacombs from the train station but in the other direction. From there you could get a taxi to the corniche to see the Library - there is also a museum inside the library that is worth a look.

Q3) The express train takes 2 and a bit hours, the Spanish Train takes 2 and a half and is equally as good. The French Train takes 3 hours - and is not so nice as the other 2 options but still gets you there! So plenty of options to go at so don't feel constricted to the Express train. Take the first class option in the other two and you'll be fine. The toilets in he trains are a bit stinky - but other than that you'll be perfectly safe on them.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: walking around Alexandria

Thanks for your response. I'm a little confused, though, when you say in #1 that it's perfectly safe for me to walk around Alex by myself, but then in #2 you recommend getting a taxi to the Catacombs because you wouldn't recommend a women walking around there alone.

I just really dont' want to have to deal with taking taxis everywhere unless Iabsolutely have to - it just seems like a disaster waiting to happen having to haggle over price and not knowing what is a fair price or if they are taking me the fastest way, etc. I have travelled alot and everywhere I have been, the taxi drivers try to rip you off.

So to clarify my original post a bit, let's say I arrive at the train station and want to see the Catacombs, Anfushi and the Necropolis of Anfushi. How far of a walk is it from the Catacombs to Anfushi? If it would take me 2 hours then, yes, I would give in and take a taxi. But if it's only 30-45 minutes, then I'd rather walk. Likewise, how far to walk from Anfushi out to Fort Qaitbey and how long to walk back in toward the National Museum? (have been reading up on the Bibliotheca and have no real desire to go there).

Thanks!

Alexandria, Egypt
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3. Re: walking around Alexandria

It's just like any other country in the world - there are safe areas - and areas where a single woman walking alone should be wary in. If you can find a decent map of all the streets in Alexandria you may stand a chance walking from location to location - but you are only there for a short period of time and seem to have things that you would like to see. If you really did walk between all of these locations you may find that you run out of time or get lost! I've lived here for quite a while and still find the streets confusing. Also bear in mind that there are no signs directing you to the sites and very few street signs in English.

From the train station to Anfushi it should take just under an hour - so long as you don't get lost on the way there. From there to the Fort it's just a short hop away - maybe 20 mins - but no chance to get lost here as you can see the fort for miles. To get to the National Museum it may take you just a shade over an hour from the fort. All these times are what it would take me to walk from to point, bearing in mind I know exactly where I'm going.

Something you may want to think about - is getting on the tram to take you out to Anfushi and the fort. It will cost you 25 Piastres. Would give you more time without getting robbed by taxi drivers.

Oxnard, CA
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4. Re: walking around Alexandria

First, as the EgyptianGoddess said, the streets of Alexandria are safe as long as you watch traffic. I think she was referring to the poor and narrow streets surrounding the catacomb area. While there are police in the area, it is very poor and the streets are narrow and badly broken up making walking a chore. The catacombs, themselves, are ok but be aware you cannot take pictures inside and the photos you see in the guide books are about all there is to see. Much less than the catacombs of Rome.

The Roman Theatre, the new library (only costs 10LE to get in) and the Alexandria National Museum (a wonderful place and the only museum that lets you take photos and videos inside) are the real highlights of Alexandria. The waterfront is nice especially around the fort.

Oak Park, Illinois
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5. Re: walking around Alexandria

I suggest you don't go to Pompey's Pillar alone. My husband and daughter felt very intimidated by tourist police when they were there last January. However, in general we loved Alex.

Dehra Dun
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6. Re: walking around Alexandria

Hi all,

This is exactly what my wife and I are planning to do on 25th Dec.

8am turbini to Alexandria from Cairo and then take a walking tour of Alexandria.

I believe if one follows the railway tracks from the Station, one can reach the Pompey's Pillars in 10mins, is that right? This is what we plan to do! From there Catacombs are nearby?

Then a taxi to Fort Qaitbey, walk back along the beach to the station and back by 2pm Turbini.

I hope it is doable?

Thanks,

Nitin

Alexandria, Egypt
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884 posts
54 reviews
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7. Re: walking around Alexandria

Hi all,

This is exactly what my wife and I are planning to do on 25th Dec.

8am turbini to Alexandria from Cairo and then take a walking tour of Alexandria.

I believe if one follows the railway tracks from the Station, one can reach the Pompey's Pillars in 10mins, is that right? This is what we plan to do! From there Catacombs are nearby?

Then a taxi to Fort Qaitbey, walk back along the beach to the station and back by 2pm Turbini.

I hope it is doable?

Thanks,

Nitin

Please note that the streets in this area are very crowded due to the proximity of the Karmouz material market. I was walking in this street just last week - and I'm not kidding - there is very limited space to walk due to the ocassional tourist coach, constant traffic, wall to wall trams and street vendors moving their goods off the street everytime a tram comes - it really was eye opening! The good news is thata there will be no shortage of people to ask for help, the bad news is - it may take you longer than anticipated to get there due to the mass of humanity!

When you do finally find you're way there it's just a quick walk round the corner to the catacombs.

I'm not sure you'd be able to do all that and make it back in time for the 2pm turbini though. You won't arrive til 10:15 am and will be just a bit of a squeeze to do it all walking (allowing for getting lost time!) If you do the lot in a taxi - you should be able to accomplish all this. But also note that there are trains every hour to Cairo - and Spanish Trains only take 15 minutes longer to do the trip.

8. Re: walking around Alexandria

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