Alexandria Markets - EgyptAlong the Shorefront, Bustling Every Single Night!
Alexandria Markets Snapshot
The central area of downtown Alexandria is comprised of various open-air markets and alleys with goods for sale (and great bargaining!).
What I like about this place is that it is located along the shoreline of the Mediterranean sea so you will always feel that coastal breeze no matter where you are.
The downtown markets of Alexandria are open every day from morning to well after sunset, bustling with people during all hours of the day. However, keep in mind that but most kiosks close on Sunday.
What You'll Find
Watches! There are TONS of watch vendors around so be sure to shop around. Bags, belts, wallets and hats are also a huge selling point here.
Alexandria, Egypt Bargain Market Escapade!
Even though I’ve been stuck in Egypt for 5 months, I’m still out bargaining for all the hottest gear. In this video, find out what happened in the markets of downtown Alexandria, Egypt. We’re shopping for shoes, wallets, getting scammed from a horse and buggy guy…and giving away sunglasses for free to people on the street! CHECK IT OUT!
Everything to Know About the Markets in Alexandria
How to Get to the Alexandria Markets
I’d recommend walking as much as you can because it is on the shoreline so the walk is quite comfortable.
If you need, I’d say just take a taxi but make sure you get price beforehand or have him run the meter.
Transportation in Alexandria
Public transport within Alexandria is provided by tram service, buses, as well as a system of taxis. The tram was opened in 1863, electrified in 1902, and is now very popular with locals. It is estimated that about 80,000 passengers use the tram system every day.
The trams and buses of Alexandria stop at the most important places in the city, and you’ll have no problem finding one to take you downtown. The route names are written on the sides of the vehicles.
If you choose to go by taxi, ask your hotel for reliable companies. The fare is negotiated before the trip begins.
Shopping at the Alexandria Markets
The markets of downtown Alexandria are packed with everything you can imagine – from fresh produce, piles of seafood, stalls of meat to clothes, dressmaking accessories, jewelry, kitchenware, antiques, and wonderful souvenirs you can take with you back home. If you’re hungry, you can buy something from the bakeries or sit down to have a meal in a restaurant or café.
Where to Stay in Alexandria
Alexandria is an ancient city, even older than Cairo, so there are many historic and traditional hotels with fascinating backstories.
Travelers to Alexandria have plenty of options for accommodations. From numerous luxury hotels and major international brands that stretch from the famous Corniche (seaside promenade) area into downtown.
For those on a budget, there are also a number of moderately priced hotels as well as inexpensive hostels around town. Many of which are located in close proximity to the action of downtown and the markets.
If you want a more local feel, check out some of the Airbnb’s in Alexandria. There are quite a few of them that give visitors the full comforts of home and others that have some spectacular views of the sea!
Neighborhoods in Alexandria
Some of the most popular neighborhoods in Alexandria for foreigners and tourists include The Corniche – a great seafront boulevard designed by Italian Pietro Avoscani, San Stefano – an upmarket district housing some of the most luxurious hotels and shopping malls, and the Downtown – the heart of Alexandria and an unmissable neighborhood for visitors, packed with stores, markets, museums, galleries, and cinemas.
I’d recommend starting out in downtown and branching out from there! Within walking distance, you can get to the citadel and the end of the shoreline.
I’d highly recommend visiting “Old Town” Alexandria (which is also within walking distance) in order to get a true local experience.
Food in Alexandria
Egyptian cuisine combines elements from across North Africa and the Middle East, as well as Greece and France. The foods here reflect the diverse influences that the locals have had throughout Egypt’s history.
When in Egypt, don’t miss out on the Baladi bread! Egypt is also a very vegetarian and vegan-friendly place, with dishes such as hummus, koshari, taameya (falafel), ful medames, baba ganoush, and many other tasty dishes.
Another mark of Egyptian cuisine is cheese, which is often fried. Some of the cheese you might want to try include mish – fermented cheese, domiati – made from cow or buffalo milk, areesh cheese – made from laban rayeb (curded milk), and roumy cheese – a hard yellow cheese enjoyed in melted cheese sandwiches.
Since this is the downtown area of Alexandria, you can get just about anything. McDonalds, KFC, local kebab, you name it. Tons of coffee shops as well that serve cheap but strong coffee. So make sure to dip into a coffee shop while you’re there.
About the Markets in Alexandria
The downtown area of central Alexandria is comprised of a network of streets filled with numerous vendors selling pretty much anything you can imagine. Each shop specializes in something, but it’s often not too different from others in their niche.
This gathering of vendors is called a souq, which is used to refer to an open-air marketplace.
Alexandria’s primary souq is found at the western end of Midan Tahrir. From clothing and souvenirs to food, you can find anything you can imagine here. This area is known simply as Souq District.
At the furthest end of Faransa Street, you will stumble upon one of the most interesting markets: Zan’et El Sittat, which can be loosely translated as “women’s cramped alleyway.” This market is made up of a labyrinth of alleyways packed with items that cater mostly to women.
Another interesting market is Souq El Attarine, in the Attarine district, just a few meters from the Roman Amphitheatre of Alexandria.
This whole area of downtown Alexandria is a nice part of town to visit, with a ton of opportunities for bargaining. And I like that it’s situated along the shorefront because it makes for some nice scenery and fresh breezes off the sea.
Introduction to Alexandria, Egypt
Egypt’s second city, Alexandria, was founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great, king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. With its towering Pharos lighthouse – one of the Seven Wonders of the World and the Great Library – the ancient world’s best-known library, Alexandria thrived as the capital of Egypt during the Ptolemaic era.
Although much of its splendor was lost following the devastating tsunami in AD365, there are still visible remains of its glorious past underwater. Today, Alexandria is a city of over 6 million inhabitants, stretching across the Mediterranean shore for over 48 km (30 miles) and offering numerous attractions for history lovers and foodies.
Trade & Producing Goods in Alexandria
Alexandria played an important role in Mediterranean trade ever since it was founded. As one of the largest ports on the Mediterranean coast, the city was a center of civilization in the ancient world and has continued throughout its history to act as a major crossing point for merchants on the maritime routes between the two neighboring continents – Asia and Europe.
During the ancient and medieval times, Egypt was a major producer of grain, and this was one of the main products to leave Alexandria’s harbors. In the Middle Ages, textiles such as carpets and curtains, as well as luxury goods and spices were the principal wares traded through the city. The metallurgy and glassware industries were also notable.
Gold and silver were bought from the southern regions and turned into products through metalwork in Alexandria. Today, Alexandria still functions as one of the most important centers of commerce in Egypt.