Anyone who has spent a weekend away from Cairo’s chaos in Alexandria, or lived in a large city, will agree on one thing – the nightlife can be as diverse and strange as it comes.
From cosy bars and seaview restaurants to rooftop clubs, there is something for everyone wanting to explore the bustling seaside metropolis of Alexandria by night.
Located on the rooftop of the Windsor Palace Hotel, SkyRoof is true to its name. The archaic elegance of the hotel’s lobby sets the perfect scene for the breath-taking views.
By day, expect to see the boundless blue of the Mediterranean, and by night, the bright lights of the Corniche can be enjoyed until the early hours. The bar has both indoor and outdoor seating and the dancefloor can be quite lively depending on the day of the week, with the DJ offering a modern fusion of Egyptian and Western music.
SkyRoof offers an international and reasonably-priced food menu with main courses for between EGP 60 and EGP 100. The range of alcoholic drinks is impressive, with a mix of classic (yet sometimes questionable in quality) cocktails available for around EGP 70, and great bar snacks such as lupine beans and chips. For those who don’t drink alcohol, there is also a large range of mocktails available for around EGP 40.
Entry prices can range between EGP 190 on weekdays and EGP 250 on Thursdays and Fridays, and drinks and food within the ticket price are included.
2. Cap D’or (Sheikh Ali)
Is it Cap D’or, or Sheikh Ali? Nobody really knows. This bar is nevertheless a true hidden gem tucked away in a side street in the heart of Alexandria’s Downtown.
Don’t expect anything particularly flashy – it’s quiet and cosy, with a few wooden tables and chairs and a resident Oud player, who is as talented as he is elusive. It’s a great atmospheric place to relax with a few friends away from the crowds, but drinks can be deceptively expensive, with a bottle of Stella beer available for around EGP 65. Options are limited for those who don’t drink alcohol (unless you’re happy with a bottle of 7-Up, of course).
The bar doesn’t serve meals, and there isn’t a huge range of alcohol available, but a serving of tiny fried ‘whitebait’ fish and other small sides are available.
3. White and Blue
Also known as the Greek Club, White and Blue is a popular restaurant situated a stone’s throw away from the famous Citadel, which boasts a beautiful outdoor terrace complete with stunning views across the bay.
The experience is Greek through and through, from the music to the incredible food, which is delicious paired with a glass of wine from their extensive list. It’s easy to forget that you’re in Egypt; you may as well have been transported to a far off island in the Aegean sea.
It’s certainly not cheap, and the service charge is hefty, but you definitely get what you pay for in quality of food and refined atmosphere. Main courses range between EGP 150 and 200, with bottles of wine for around EGP 200. For those who prefer not to drink alcohol, expect to find non-alcoholic Birell and a range of juices and sodas.
On the other end of the scale is Mermaid. Next to the arguably more well-known restaurant Calithea, Mermaid is a cheap and cheerful bar offering an eclectic mix of popular Egyptian songs alongside Western chart hits.
It’s quiet on a weekday but on Thursdays and Friday it almost becomes a club, with some even taking to the dancefloor. Despite its slightly seedy exterior (and interior), the atmosphere is fun and friendly, and the resident DJ often takes song requests.
The drinks available are varied, with a range of spirits available at the bar, and relatively averagely priced – a bottle of Stella is around EGP 50. Reasonably priced juices and sodas are available.
Jeeda‘s claims to be “Alexandria’s first-ever fully authentic tapas bar”, and has a well-deserved reputation for excellent quality food and drinks. Located just off from El Horeya road, this popular restaurant-bar is cosy, modern and highly Instagrammable, and encourages a fun “dance and dine” atmosphere with popular Egyptian and Western music played until the early hours.
For around LE 85, several creative smoothies and mocktails are avaliable, and on the alcoholic side of things, a huge range of cocktails and shots can be ordered. But the price tag isn’t pretty, with most cocktails costing between LE 100 and 150. True to its Spanish theme, delicious and authentic tapas (a series of small sharing dishes) are on the menu ranging from EGP 70 for nachos and EGP 295 for ‘Cordero al Limon’, a type of grilled lamb.
Jeeda’s is definitely on the more expensive end of the scale with a minimum spend of EGP 350 per person. But if you are looking for an elegant and lively venue to celebrate with friends, it’s a great option.
Hidden on a street corner in Downtown Alexandria, Spitfire can be hard to find, but you’d be lucky to stumble across it. The building looks inconspicuous at first, but once inside, it is fascinatingly unique. Old flags, posters, stickers and tributes from those who have passed by plaster the walls, and punk classics from the seventies and eighties blast from the old sound system.
No matter which day of the week, Spitfire is always busy with locals and foreigners alike under the glow of antique lamps. The interior may sound chaotic, but it is renowned for its relaxed and sociable atmosphere.
Prices are reasonable, as long as you don’t mind the slightly-too-loud music, it’s the perfect place to truly appreciate the uniqueness of Alexandria. No food is served, and non-alcoholic drinks are limited, but expect to find a range of spirits, wines and beer on the cheaper end of the spectrum.