Port Said (Arabic: بورسعيد bōr sa`īd) is Egypt's third city (603,787 people), its second seaport and the entry point of the Suez Canal by the Mediterranean. It has a cosmopolitan heritage seems specially in its various architectural styles for its buildings, It is situated on the west bank of the canal, facing its twin city, Port Fouad (Bur Fouad).
Port Said was founded by Sa'id of Egypt on Easter Monday, April 25, 1859, when Ferdinand de Lesseps gave the first symbolic swing of the pickaxe to signal the beginning of construction.
The Lighthouse of Port Said was built in 1869 by Francois Coignet using reinforced concrete for the first time in the history, The height of the lighthouse is 56 meters. The lighthouse now is the only original building still standing in Port Said.
Port Said flourished particularly during the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century when it was inhabited by various nationalities and religions most of them were from Mediterranean countries, they coexisted in tolerance forming a real cosmopolitan community.
Since its establishment Port Said had a prominent place among Egyptian cities and we do not exaggerate if we said among global cities as well, for instance the city was the third in Egypt to witness a film screening after Cairo and Alexandria in the year 1898, also it enjoyed electricity in 1891, nine years after New York City.
Rudyard Kipling described the vitality of Port Said's community when by saying "If you truly wish to find someone you have known and who travels, there are two points on the globe you have but to sit and wait, sooner or later your man will come there: the docks of London and Port Said".
Port Said suffered from several wars and played an historic role during the Suez crisis in 1956 that failed to achieve any of its objectives.
Today's Port Said is considered one of the Egyptian business centers, as it was declared a duty-free port in January 1976, attracting people from all over Egypt.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
- See also: Egypt#Climate
has a hot desert climate (BWh), but highly influenced by sea breeze, with sunny hot humid summers and mild slightly wet winters. The daytime can be humid in summer, with summer temperatures averaging 31 °C (88 °F), but evenings are usually cooler and breezy, especially by the Corniche. Winters can get cool, with daytime highs down sometimes to 12 °C (53 °F), with occasional rain. Humidity is high throughout the year. The best time to visit Port Said is in spring (March-June) and autumn (September-November), preferably in early autumn when the sea water is warmer, since it's at its busiest in summer, when Egyptians flock down to escape the searing heat of Cairo.
Egyptian Tourist Authority has offices at 8 Palestine st., ☎ +20 66 3235289, Port Said Airport (El Gamil Airport), ☎, Port Said Railway Station, ☎.
Port Said is easily reached by plane, train or bus.
Port Said's airport or El Gamil Airport is (PSD IATA), which has a limited selection of domestic flights. The airport lies 6 km to the center of the city. A taxi will take you about 15 minutes and should cost no more than 15 LE.
Several bus companies offer a bus service into Port Said at a very low price range: 20-35 LE. Buses are air conditioned and come complete with a hostess trolley service. Companies include East Delta, Super Jet and Pullman. Operating times vary from one company to another, but there are trips between Cairo and Port Said virtually every hour from early morning until midnight.
Note that while the buses themselves are perfectly comfortable, the duration of your journey from Cairo to Port Said (and vice versa) will depend on your pick-up/drop-off point. Most buses start out from the El-Torgoman Bus Station in Cairo and stop by the Almaza Bus Station in Heliopolis before finally setting out to Port Said; if you join from El-Torgoman expect a 4 hour trip rather than the average 2-3.
Port Said Bus Station is the place you can catch the bus in order to travel to Cairo and other major cities in Egypt.
From Cairo, there are up to five daily trains to Port Said. Additionally, there are one to two daily direct connections from Alexandria. 1 Port Said railway station is located on Mustafa Kamal Street.
To travel from Cairo to Port Said by car, the journey usually takes around 3 hours, depending on speed and surrounding traffic.
- The Desert road has a speed limit of 100 km/hr for private cars and has 2 lanes in each direction. True to the name, this crosses the desert and is less crowded and faster. There are cafeterias every few kilometers.
The usual cautions for driving in Egypt apply; see Egypt for details.
Port Said is quiet and relatively small city; you can get pretty much anywhere by using the local transportation available anywhere.
Port Said's white and blue taxis are a good way to travel in the city, and a cheap one as well. No taxi ride between any two points in the city should cost more than 5LE.
To get into a taxi, wave at the driver and yell the name of your destination. If the driver agrees they would park at the side of the road as soon as possible. Some taxis will stop to pick you up even if they already have a passenger, but such offers are best refused. Furthermore, always check back once you get out of the taxi, there is no number to call if you lose anything of value, and nearly no chances of having it returned.
Port Said is linked by the ferry to its twin city Port Fouad which is considered the Asian part of this Afro-Asian governorate "Port Said" on the eastern bank of the Suez Canal, the ferry is used to cross the Canal between the two cities holding both people and cars for free, the trip time between the two cities doesn't exceed 10 minutes, It is a nice journey that you can enjoy for free.
There are a variety of local bus services which have improved significantly in the past few years, but they are rather confusing for those who haven't lived in Port Said for a while. Apart from city buses, you will also find "mini-buses", which work on hop-and-go basis. They are easily recognizable 14-person buses, which will stop when you wave and stop where you need to get off. The drivers rarely speak English, so make sure you know the Arabic name of your destination or that you already know where to stop. The routes are usually along the main streets and cost between LE0.25-0.50.
Most obvious sights includes the port, of which some ancient facilities remains. Also the passing of the huge container ships and supertankers into the canal is an impressive sight. The rests of the old town, bombed during the Suez crisis is also worth a visit.
The local bazaar is a great way of spending a day looking at all the shops.
- 1 Lighthouse of Port Said, Palestine street. One of the icons of the city at a beautiful location in front of the Suez Canal, the Lighthouse built in 1869 so it is the oldest building remains in the city also the lighthouse got his importance from being the first building in the world by reinforced concrete.
- 2 Building of the Suez Canal Authority headquarter. The building was built in 1895 directly on the Suez Canal.
- De Lesseps tourist jetty, Palestine street. An old jetty on the Suez Canal, was constructed in 1899. At the end of the jetty there is the base of the statue of Ferdinand de Lesseps which was removed by the outraged Egyptians after the Suez crisis in 1956. lat=.
- War memorial, 23rd of July street. It is an obelisk that has the shape of the ancient Pharaonic one, commemorating the martyrs of Port Said. lat=.
- Tennis Island, Lake Manzaleh. It was an ancient Islamic city at the site of Port Said, it was well-known for textiles products and was demolished during the crusades, It is 9 km away from Port Said and you can visit by Launch or a boat."
- Port Said National Museum, Palestine street. History Museum with about 9000 archaeological pieces exhibited chronologically: the basement is devoted to Prehistoric and Pharonic times and narrates the story of Port Said.
- Museum of Modern Arts, 23rd of July street. It contains Paintings for artists.
- Port Said Military Museum, ☎ . Inaugurated in 1964. It consists of several halls which showcase several battles fought by the Egyptian Army and the people of Port Said. Includes both ancient battles and recent wars such as the Suez crisis, Six-Day War and Yom Kippur war also displays captured war material. Entry 5 EGP, use of camera 2 EGP.
- El-Abbasy Mosque, Mohamed Ali street. Built in 1904 by Abbas II of Egypt, to be the second mosque for Muslims in Port Said.
- The Latin Cathedral, 23rd of July street. a big magnificent church built in 1934.
Modern Port Said
- Corniche. The Corniche is a glorious 8 km walkway (wharf/pier/boardwalk) along the harbour dotted with restaurants, markets and historic sights.
- Port Said Stadium, 23rd of July street (Tell any taxi driver Al-Istad and he will know where to take you.). Attend an Egyptian League soccer game. Port Said team is: Al-Masry club. Seat can vary from LE5-25 depending on the section of seating. There are 4 sections of seating: VIP, 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree. If you are a foreigner, sit in the VIP section to avoid harassment from local hooligans. 5-25 LE.
Some oldies from the French and English communities can be found from time to time (books...), and of course the unavoidable and omnipresent tourist collectibles.
- Italian Restaurant, Helnan Port Said Hotel, El Corniche Atef Sadai St. The service is good and the food is cooked fresh for you whilst you wait. Choice of alcohol is limited and expensive though.
- 1 Pizza pino, 23 July St. El Shark District, ☎ . Pizza Pino offers fantastic pizzas and also pastas with quality ingredients of your choice. The place is very friendly.
Lots of nice and cheap fruit bars.
- <cub door : offering many alcoholic drinks and very cheap prices with variety of mazza choices located at ( elgomhorya ST in front of coulombous cafe
- <tama hotel and bar : a tiny bar on the first floor of the hotel offering a nice atmosphere of old people and political arguments located at elgomhorya ST
- <east asian restaurant : offering many chinese korean meals, wine menu and cocktails located above coulombous cafe
- <resta bar : located in resta hotel infront of de lossebes
- <helnan bar and cabaret : inside misr travel hotel (helnan hotel)
- 1 Port Said Misr Hotel (Helnan), El Corniche Atef Sadat St, ☎ . 5 star hotel situated close to the beach. The hotel is one of the city's landmarks.
- 2 Resta Port Said Hotel, Palestine St, ☎ . 4 star hotel situated close to the beach and directly in front of the Suez Canal. The hotel staff is very friendly.
- 3 Grand Albatros Hotel, El Corniche Atef Sadat St, ☎ . 4 star hotel situated close to the beach.
- 4 Panorama Hotel (بانوراما - بور سعيد), Saad Zaghloul St, ☎ . 3 star hotel.
- 5 Holiday Hotel, Algomhouria St, ☎ . 3 star hotel.
- Palace Hotel, Ghandi St, ☎ . 2 star hotel.
Although crime is rarely violent, beware of pickpockets and don't flash your valuables or wear a bum bag/fanny pack. Street kids, taxi drivers, and others may harass tourists. They will usually desist after a stern "La!" or two. Or you can say "la shukran!" (no thanks) or "emshi" (go!).
Port Said is a conservative city, so women should cover their shoulders, midriffs, cleavage and legs. Even still, women can expect to be heckled or harassed in the street, especially if walking alone. The best response is to ignore the offender and pretend you don't hear anything. Cover your head when entering places of worship.
- Emergency number: 123
- Police number: 122
- Fire HQ number: 180
- Alsoliman Hospital, Al-Manakh District.
- China, Tarh albahr Street.
- France, Abdelsalam Aref Street.
- Greece, Algazar building, Algomhouria Street, Al-Sharq District, Port Said. 9AM–4PM.
- Turkey, Mahmoud Sedky Street.
No night life in Port Said or Port Fouad, except at the numerous chicha bars.