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Living in Alexandria
A comprehensive guide about living well in Alexandria
The diverse array of historic and modern sites throughout the city make living in Alexandria an interesting experience. Good international education also can be found in this city. As the second largest city in Egypt, traffic can be a problem. Find out more information in our guide.
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Life in Alexandria
The diverse array of historic and modern sites throughout the city make living in Alexandria an interesting experience. It may be primarily a tourist destination, but the amenities that attract these visitors are equally as enjoyable as a resident, and the bustling atmosphere of the destination make for an exciting atmosphere.
Education in Alexandria
The quality of education in Alexandria is considered to be quite high, with a number of renowned institutions. Alongside the Arabic schools there are many international schools in the city catering to a number of languages. Of the international schools, English is the most popular language, but there are also a number of French schools and schools where German is the primary language. Admittance into the top schools can be tricky, and personal interviews may be required.
There is also a selection of higher education institutions, including Université Senghor, a private university for French-speaking students. The most prominent university is the Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport, regarded as the second finest college in Egypt. Alexandria University also has a number of faculties that are recognized internationally for excellence, including the Faculties of Medicine and Engineering.
Transportation in Alexandria
If you wish to drive while you live in Alexandria, you will need to obtain an Egyptian driving license, as International Licenses are only valid for six months in the country. Egyptians drive on the right of the roads, and road signs are similar to mainland Europe — green signs signify motorways. However, congestion is a major issue in Alexandria. Poor road markings and significant traffic means that drivers who aren’t confident may wish to consider alternatives.
The cheapest public transportation is the tram system, although carriages are old. Buses are more modern and still offer good value compared with many other countries, with standard fares per journey rather than based on distance travelled. Taxis are required to carry meters by law but many still do not, so be sure to negotiate fares before departure.
Culture and Leisure
Alexandria is famous as an ancient city and it can be fascinating as an expatriate living amongst the ruins and structures, with plenty to entertain during down time. There are many sights from the times of the Romans and before them the Ancient Egyptians, but perhaps the most popular attraction is the more recent Citadel of Qaitbay, a magnificent palace looking out to the Mediterranean Sea.
With so much history, there are of course many museums dedicated to learning more about the city. Alexandria is also famous for bookshops, which dominate the Old Town, while more modern activities include multiple cinemas, a prominent casino and a selection of sporting facilities including golf courses.
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