Buses from Alexandria to Siwa leave from the bus station close to Sidi Gaber. But you can buy tickets from the office downtown (in the south western corner of Midan Saad Zaghloul) and it is good to do so at least a day before. A ticket is 27 pounds (August 2005) and the bus journey takes about 9 hours. There are a few buses going every day. Along the way the bus stops three times. First at a cafeteria, then in Marsa Matruh where it stays a bit longer, and finally at another cafeteria (close to where the road takes off to Qara Oasis).
Going back from Siwa to Alexandria (there are no direct buses to Cairo) it was not possible to buy the ticket until the evening before, after 8 pm. If you are going to go to Cairo it could be quicker to change buses in Marsa Matruh rather than in Alexandria (as those direct buses take the desert road to Cairo and not the agricultural road). But be sure first there are seats available on the buses as many people from Cairo go to Marsa Matruh for holiday. The bus I travelled with left Siwa at 7 in the morning. To change to a train for Cairo in Alexandria was quick and before it got dark I had found a hotel room (after trying two other hotels first). From Siwa there is also a night bus to Alexandria.
Alexandria is situated at the distance of 230 kilometers north-west Cairo. We got there by tourist bus. The excursion started at 7.00 a.m. It took us about 3 hours to reach the city and the same time to come back. We spent in the city about 7 hours. The excursion finished at 20.00 p.m. The road was rather good - better than between Hurghada and Luxor for example.
We made a stop at the café for 15 minutes. A cup of coffee costs LE5 ($1). But views out of the bus window weren’t so exciting as usually.
You may watch my VIDEO-Clip on my personal YouTube channel: 2 min 53 sec Egypt Giza-Alexandria by bus 2007
I always walk a lot and I think it is a good way to see more of a place.
Going to the catacombs I was thinking of taking a taxi, but finally decided to walk, and I’m happy for that. The residential area near the catacombs is completely different than the area closer to the Cornish and I now feel I have seen more sides of Alexandria.
The picture shows the traditional carriage in Egypt. I took these photos in Alexandria and I feel that this is the best and most enjoyable way to tour the city. I suppose the carriage can be hired with a driver which can be found in the main street.
-the train to or from Cairo (or any other city) is ok, try to get a ticket with a place to sit. Ask people to help you find your way around. (I did this with a lot of luggage, they will save it for you in the train between compartments, just give them a bit money when you get off)
- at the train stations people will always offer to carry your luggage, they also help you with getting on the train in the right compartment (show them your ticket)
- also taxi drivers will be at the train station and carry your luggage, but these taxi drivers ask like 20 times the normal price. Usually taking a taxi only costs 1 pound. So maximum 5 pound (Cairo is more expensive) But as a tourist it's almost impossible to get the normal price. Best thing is to agree on a price before you get into the taxi
- about crossing the streets... you will see that in Egypt cars don't stop or slow down for pedestrians. Never. You have to walk between them. It's an adventure. If you have fear, you will put yourself in danger. I've watched a lot of locals before I started to cross streets by Myself.
But the smartest thing is to look for pedestrian tunnels or bridges to get to the other side of a big street.
- also taking a taxi can be an adventure. In egypt they don't use lights to tell which way they are going. They drive with 5 cars next to each other on a road with 3 strokes. In a traffic jam, they don't keep waiting patiently, they use horn to communicate and the one that makes the most noise can pass first :-)
So don't drive a car yourself if you are not used to all this.
Nothing more satisfying then getting on an air conditioned double-decker bus after the heat of the day.
The cost of getting on the bus is 3LE per person. A little expensive for the locals but as a visitor I was more than happy to pay the 3LE for a little break from the scorching heat.
Although most local bus routes are too convoluted to bother with, a constant stream of minibuses makes the Corniche run night and day. Flag them down anywhere, using a hand signal to point the direction you want to go, then pile in. They are shockingly cheap (E1 to Stanley, say, and E1.50 to Montazah) and, if anything, too fast. There are two catches to minibus travel: first, you have to know the name of the district to which you are traveling (Manshiya, Sporting, Montazah, and so forth), because you need to shout it in the window to the driver, who lets you know if he goes there. Second, you have to know what your destination looks like so you can tell the driver to stop. It's easier than it sounds, and your fellow passengers always help out.
Word of caution*** If you have to get out of the minibus to let someone out.. be quick to jump back in because they drive like a bat out of hell up and down the corniche
On the way back from Alex to Cairo we chose to go by bus(can`t remembe why,though the train ride to Alex was pleasant).
Anyways,the bus ride was also nice,there was a TV set playing an old classic movie.
no toliets in the bus though.(not really needed as the trip is only 3-4 hours).
but I had to make sure that my daughter`s diaper is clean when we left the hotel.
There are some cruises that goes around greece, cyprus, beirut. This is an enjoyable trip to go visit Alexandria. I have made this cruise twice a long time ago and went to limasol, pyreaus, rhodos.
Check with your local agents re prices.
For me probably the best way to get around Alex is by Taxi. It is usually easy to get one, as long as there is less than 5 people, though some taxis dont mind taking more. Taxi's are also quite cheap, though the price sometimes rises when they see a tourist! I wouldn't really suggest going anywhere by a bus as they are often crowded and as a tourist you may feel like the whole bus is staring at you, not in a horrible way , but because they are interested in you.I wouldn't go anywhere by tram either unless you have a lot of time on your hands as they are quite slow and on a hot day you might feel like you are stuck to the seat. But perhaps if you want to have a slow paced tour of Alex the tram would be a good choice.
Alexandria is well connected to the capital of Egypt. There are two major highways and a railroad line, so you can cover the distance in three or four hours, or even less.
Egyptian people tend to travel to/from work like shown in the picture ... and this car was not full with passengers ... ;-)
You can go out for a small trip with a boat. Just go near the peer and there will be many (even too many) volutears who will offer you their service!
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