Getting Around, El Alamein Travel, Transport and Car Rental
(El Alamein, Egypt)
Getting to El Alamein is fairly straightforward, although there is no direct air connection to the town. Most visitors will likely arrive by air at Cairo
, and then use local train or bus transport to travel into El Alamein.
Due to its somewhat isolated location, the nearest city of consequence is Alexandria
, to the east of El Alamein. Visitors can make their way there first, and then easily find ground transportation to El Alamein.
El Nouzha Airport (ALY) / Arriving by Air
Located just 7 km / 4 miles from Alexandria, El Nouzha Airport (ALY) is the nearest airport to El Alamein. Although it has limited facilities, travellers will find this to be the most convenient air transport hub for reaching El Alamein. The main airlines serving El Nouzha Airport include EgyptAir, British Airways, Lufthansa and Emirates. Fortunately for international travellers, there are a few direct flights each day to London, Frankfurt
, Vienna and Dubai. There are also regular domestic flights from Cairo's airport, which services an even wider range of global destinations.
If it is not convenient for you to fly to El Nouzha Airport, you can also fly into Borg El Arab Airport (HBE), which is 25 km / 16 miles from Alexandria. This smaller airport primarily services British Airways, Lufthansa and Emirates flights, connecting Alexandria with London, Frankfort, Dubai and Addis Ababa. Transportation into Alexandria is limited to taxis, which wait for fares outside the Arrivals area. Once in the city, you can arrange for a bus or train ride and travel westwards to El Alamein.
If neither of Alexandria's two airports can be accessed directly from your country, Cairo International Airport offers the most likely means of flying into Egypt and the greatest selection of flights. Frequent service on EgyptAir makes it easy to make a connecting flight to Alexandria, or you can simply take the train or bus and travel all the way from Cairo to El Alamein.
Driving in Egypt is generally considered to be a chaotic and dangerous undertaking for the brave of heart. Traffic rules are ignored both in the cities and in the countryside. At night, many drivers in El Alamein don't bother to turn on their lights, and with scant medical facilities outside of the major cities, accidents are often fatal. If you want to rent a car, always use your horn and hands to communicate with other drivers. You must be 25 years old to rent a car, which can be hired at the airports or in the city centres.
Buses and Coaches
Budget-minded travellers can travel to El Alamein by bus and will find the buses offer the most affordable means of reaching the western part of Egypt. It is advised to pay a little more and to book a deluxe ticket, as the regular bus transport can be uncomfortable and slow. Superjet, West Delta and the Upper Egypt Bus Company are the main operators offering comfortable air-conditioned coaches from Cairo and Alexandria to El Alamein. Within the city itself, there is a limited bus network, which services the main areas of El Alamein and the Marina.
One of the best ways to travel from Cairo or Alexandria to El Alamein is by train, operated by Egyptian National Railways. Arguably better than the coach service, travellers who choose the recommended first or second-class air-conditioned express trains will be quite satisfied. Fortunately, El Alamein is at the western end of the most developed of Egypt's train transport and railway routes, so you won't have to suffer the crowded, slow and rickety trains, which ply the lesser-travelled lines. Tickets can be bought at the train station just before departure, otherwise you can have a local travel agent arrange your seat for just a small fee.
Taxi transport provides the most convenient way to travel to the sites of El Alamein. They are cheap, safe and fairly reliable. Although most of them have meters, they are rarely used, so travellers should settle on the fare before starting off. Taxis are also a great means for travelling between regional towns, with Toyota minibuses becoming an increasingly popular alternative to the bus. El Alamein's taxis can even be rented for the entire day, with drivers happy to sit around and wait while you take in the sights.