According to Baglib, Port Said is an exceptionally young city, by Egyptian standards, of course, located 200 km northeast of Cairo. It was built in the middle of the 19th century along with the Suez Canal, at its northern entrance, and along with Alexandria is considered the “sea gate” of Egypt.
With its wooden houses and Escher-style labyrinths of balconies, Port Said, despite its age, is a dilapidated town that still retains its colonial charm. A mandatory stopover for all cruise ships passing through the canal, Port Said is a pretty enough sight to be worth a two-hour walk.
Few people know that the same Statue of Liberty, which today is considered the main symbol of the United States, was once planned to be installed in Port Said under the name “Light of Asia”. However, the government decided that this monument was too expensive for the city, especially its transportation from France.
How to get there
Uncomfortable trains (19-38 EGP, 5 hours on the way) connect Port Said with Cairo, so it’s better to take a bus (95-135 EGP, 4 hours on the way, departing every hour). In addition, there are buses to Alexandria, Ismailia and Suez. A taxi from the bus station to the city center (3 km) will cost 15-20 EGP; taxi in the city center – from 5 EGP. The prices on the page are for September 2022.
Money, communication and information
You can exchange currency and withdraw cash at the Banque du Caire and the National Bank of Egypt, cash traveler’s checks at the Thomas Cook office (8:00-16:30), which is located next to the gas station. Sharia Palestine has Amex (9:00-14:00 and 18:30-20:00 Sun-Thu), post office (8.30-14:30), telephone center (24 hours) and information office (9:00-18:00: 00 Sat-Thu, 9:00-14:00 Fri). Internet access can be found in many internet cafes.
Despite the fact that Port Said is also considered a beach resort, and boasts a couple of sandy beaches, this city remains underdeveloped in terms of mass tourism. Which, by the way, has a beneficial effect on the quality of services in local hotels. The cost of accommodation per night here is much lower than in the popular cities of Egypt, but the service is much higher.
Entertainment and attractions of Port Said
Port Said was founded in 1859 on a small sandy spit that separated the Mediterranean Sea from the salt lake Manzala. Since then, many houses of the 19th century have been preserved here, as well as the picturesque embankment of the Suez Canal. The city became famous during the Suez war of 1956 for its one-day resistance to the Anglo-French amphibious assault. Since then, Port Said has often been referred to as the “Egyptian Stalingrad”.
The main attractions of Port Said include the Suez Canal embankment and the National Museum located on it with samples of Egyptian culture from pre-pharaonic times to the present day. In addition, the city has preserved several charming churches – Coptic Orthodox and Franciscan.
There are also enough cafes, restaurants and all kinds of eateries here, many of them boast picturesque views of the Suez Canal.
It is worth saying a few words about the canal itself: its length is 162.5 km, through which about 50 ships sail every day (14-16 hours on the way). In the Port Said area, the canal bifurcates, creating a two-lane ship traffic. Above the canal (this is the last boring nuance, honestly) lies a picturesque suspension bridge 70 meters high, about 20 km from the city.
Opened in 1964, the Port Said Military Museum consists of several rooms with displays on: the battles of the Pharaonic era, the 1956 invasion, the wars against Israel (1967 and 1973). In addition, here you can see all kinds of photos, documents, bas-reliefs, paintings, statues, models.
Address: Sharia 23rd of July, city center
Opening hours: 9:00-16:00 Sat-Thurs
Admission: 7 EGP.