Mansoura is a town in Lower Egypt. This Nile delta town is virtually unknown to tourists.
The easiest way to get to Mansoura, especially from Cairo or Alexandria, is by train. Egyptian Railways runs daily services and while first class cars are usually not available, second class cabins are air-conditioned and generally very clean and comfortable. Prices and times very over the season. 1 Mansoura railway station is located on Gameat Al Dewal Al Arabiya St, just east of the city centre.
If you prefer to take a bus, you can either take a "Superjet" bus from Cairo's El Ollaly station (9 LE) or from Alexandria's SeedyGaber Station (13 LE). The journey time is 2 hours from Cairo and 3.5 hours from Alexandria. Authentic scenes of rural Egypt can be seen on the way. If you really love saving money or want the true Egyptian experience, you can always take a microbus or Peugeot from any other city in the Delta.
Mansoura is divided into two main sections: Hai Gharbaya and Hai Sharqia. The most convenient way to get around is by taxi. Within each section, expect to pay 2-3 LE for most journeys. If travelling from one section to another, or during times of heavy traffic, expect to pay upwards of 5 LE. More passengers may also increase the price. Taxi meters are not used. To get a cab, flag one of the numerous maroon and white cars down at the roadside and shout "tax." While most taxi drivers do speak at least some English, it's helpful to know the name of your destination in Arabic. Enjoy the ride.
Visit Dar Ibn Lokman, the house of Louis IX of France during his capture in Mansoura. Walk by the mansoura Nile on 'kornish almansoura' or 'almasheya. Take a short boat ride through the Nile to the neighbouring city of Talkha. Visit "Gezirat El-Ward" public garden. You can also take a look at any of the private social clubs in Mansoura "Geziret El-Ward", "El-Hawar" or "Mansoura Stadium".
Mansoura is where King Louis IX of France was captured and ransomed. His prison is the house of a judge called ibn Lokman. So the place is called Dar (house) Ibn Lokman. (located in Portsaid st.) can be visited here. On show are some artifacts and paintings, including his cell toilet.
- Get your grocery and household merchandise from any of the local supermarkets: "El-Wekala" -3 branches in "El-Mashaya", "El-Mokhtalat" and "El-Ter'a" districts-,"Metro market" at "El-Gam'a district" besides Ramada, "Hypermart" at "Toriel district" or "Awad Allah markets" at Qanat El-Swiss street. All are small to medium-sized supermarkets accepting credit cards and offering home delivery. "El-Wekala" is the most popular and probably the least expensive, but if you are looking for a greater variety of imported goods, head to "Metro".
- A downsized Carrefour is located near the Mansoura Law Courts,located in 'Mansoura Down', where you can also find Mazzaya, selling known brands of perfume and cosmetics. There is also Magic Planet Amusements for children, the Coffee Shop Company and other stores under development.
- For shopping, you can walk through the long street of "El-Sikka El-Gedida" downtown, where you will find number of well known shops in Mansoura like ELKenawy, Shehata Hanafy And El Maleka. It is mostly famous for gold jewellery and clothing. You can also find different types of shops and small groceries as you walk. If you are looking for fancier clothes, however, go to the "Gam'aa" or the Mansoura University district. There, you'll find a number of reasonable shops along the Nile bay "El-Mashaya" or in "El-Bahr street" in front of the university. You can also take a look at "PortSaid" street, if you are looking for electric or household appliances.
- Mall el Gama. Here you can find Cinnabon and a fresh juice bar on the ground floor. The mall is relatively quaint but has some great shops for men's, women's and children's clothing. There is a cinema showing Arabic films and an Asian restaurant. There is also a great bookstore selling many well known western titles.
Food hygiene standards are somewhat lacking. Avoid all unsealed foods and you will avoid food poisoning. A variety of Western, and some local, fast food outlets serve food to the rich in the Gam'a (University) district of town. These provide familiar and safer food that is unlikely to be any less healthy than what the locals eat. Fat is added in enormous quantities to most local food. There are great, clean and really fantastic fast food restaurants like; CookDoor, Mo'men, KFC, Dominos and Pizza Hut. All of them in the University district.
There are a growing number of Syrian restaurants and takeaways opening in the city, including Ahl el Shams, which serves rotisserie chickens with Syrian-style bread, rice, chips and also shawarma, but a definite must try is their shawarma pizza. Spectra, a restaurant with branches across Egypt, offers a good menu with good hygiene and friendly service on Moshaya. It has a sister cafe, Pinci Coffee, which is popular with the youth and families alike, serving desserts, coffees and snacks. Stereo Cafe is very family-friendly, with a children's play area, and is popular with groups for birthday parties. Most venues are not busy until after dark, and you may need to book in advance on a Thursday or Friday; if not, expect a long wait.
If you are looking for desserts, try "El-Baroun" or "La Poire" at the University "El-Gam'a" district.
You may also try one of the local restaurants:
- Fish Corner - offering seafood.
- Green Corner cafe and restaurant - some English speaking staff.
- Gardino Cafe.
- Al-Khan -restaurant at the Gamaa district. Some English speaking staff.
- "Ramadan El-Kababgy"- offering Kebab or grilled meat.
- Elsalamlek - a good cafe and restaurant.
- 1 Bremer, Mahmoud Samy st. (the next right after Jihan st. (from el gomhoria st.)), ☏ . Somewhat upscale, good restaurant serving delicious pizza, burger, sandwiches and even some Chinese cuisine. Reviewed by many as one of the best restaurants in Mansoura.
- King Pizza, Montaser st.. One of the finest pizza restaurants in Mansoura, with kinda good price.
- Nola cupcakes sells the most delicious freshly made cupcakes delivered freshly from cairo daily.
- Sasulita ice cream bar, choose your chocolate bar flavour and they'll mix it into your ice cream.
Hygiene standards are moderate. Stick to canned and bottled drinks. Tapwater is not guaranteed safe; it may be better to use mineral water or tapwater that has been passed through a filter. Mineral waterand canned juices are widely available. Be aware that in Mansoura, like most non-tourist Egyptian cities, alcoholic bevarages are uncommon except in hotels and a few restaurants.
Accommodation is scarce. This is because tourism is not a local industry. There are a few hotels in town and they are known to all locals.
- 1 Marshal El Gezirah Hotel (مارشال الجزيرة), Al Mashayah Al Sofleya St, ☏ .
- 2 Mansoura University Hotel (فندق جامعة المنصورة), El Gomhouria St (Opposite to Metro Market), ☏ . As upscale as it gets in Mansoura. Simple but clean, breakfast is included and there is an on-premise swimming pool
Mansoura is home for the prestigious public Mansoura University, ranked 3rd in Egypt. The University is especially famous for the School of Medicine and a number of medical centers. Several public and private Languages schools exist, a couple offer IGCSE and American diploma qualifications.
Mansoura is somewhat a conservative city and foreigners are not common. So, take care, mini skirts, shorts and skimpy tops will get you stared at twice as much as normal. Public drunkness is not welcomed by most of the conservative community. However, alcoholic beverages are accepted by the less strict Muslims or Christians and are available at the two main hotels and a few restaurants.
Should you need a copy centre for print outs and the like, look for them at the University District.
The Gizirt El Ward Sports Club is where the upper classes of Mansoura spend their weekends. Again, just ask. It is known to everyone. The club is only worth visiting to get a better understanding of the culture and fashions. There is little to do there for the tourist. Entertainment venues are rare in Mansoura. Another activity could be a visit to an Ahwa (Cafe). This can be done more safely and with less hassle in Cairo however, where foreigners are not as much of a novelty.
Be aware that transportation can be an inconvenience owing to Mansoura being very crowded.