Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Bibliotheca Alexandrina
4.5
Architectural BuildingsLibrariesArt Museums
About
Located near the site of the ancient library of Alexandria, this modern version is an eleven-story, cylindrical-shaped building that houses more than eight million books. A re-imagining of Alexandria's ancient Great Library, this gorgeously designed cultural center contains a host of museums as well as one of the modern world's most ambitious libraries. Its architecture - a giant sun disk - presides over the waterfront Corniche, while inside, a huge reading room can hold eight million volumes. Below themain library, visitors can explore a range of beautifully curated exhibitions. TheManuscript Museum with its magnificent collection of ancient texts and scrolls and the Antiquities Museum with its Graeco-Roman antiquities and statuary found during underwater exploration in the harbor are the two prime attractions. But there are also rotating art exhibitions, a permanent Egyptian folk art collection, and a Science Museum and Planetarium that are aimed squarely at children.
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  • ricshanshibly1986
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia1,319 contributions
    Biggest library in Middle East
    It was one of the biggest library in world and now it’s biggest library in Middle East. Library having more than 10floors. Entry fee for visitors is EGP 80 per person. Library doing lot of projects and many available for free in online. There will guide taking us inside library and will explain everting. For art museum and antique museum inside library you need pay separate entrance fee. Drinks and foods not allowed inside library
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 18 March 2023
  • Almostgreynomad
    Sydney, Australia1,081 contributions
    Huge !
    I was on a tour - so I coudn't linger .... but would be a lovely place to come and spend an afternoon ..... if you are into libraries, books and history ! Massive reading area and many displays. On the site where the famous, ancient Alexandria Library was.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 15 April 2023
  • Edsurash
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia958 contributions
    Sustainable modern architecture
    The spectacular Bibliotheca Alexandrina was designed by a Norwegian architectural firm called Snøhetta. The firm won an international competition in 1989 to design the new library, and construction began in 1995. The library was completed in 2002. This library is constructed on the same site as the original library which was back in the day considered a major cultural center for this region. This was probably where Archimedes (the ancient Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer) is believed to have studied (or had correspondences with scholars at the library) or was influenced by its collection of works that were available during his lifetime. The new library has a circular shape, which is intended to symbolize the continuity of knowledge and the cyclical nature of time. The murals on the outer wall has writings in multiple languages (without any meaning in particular) to symbolize that the library welcome knowledge from all around the world. The entrance to the library cost EP 70 and there are several museums, cafe’s and a planetarium inside. Addition charges applies to the museum. The library has several levels, with the majority of the collections and facilities located underground. The library's main reading room is located on the ground floor, which is a large, circular space with natural light streaming in from a central oculus. The library’s architecture incorporates several sustainable design elements, such as a rooftop garden that helps to insulate the building and reduce energy consumption, as well as a solar-powered lighting system. It also has a large reflecting pool outside the entrance, which serves as a cooling system for the building and helps to reduce the ambient temperature. Overall, the architecture of the library is a stunning blend of ancient and modern design elements, creating a truly unique and awe-inspiring space for learning, research, and cultural exchange. Go with a tour guide if you have the time as they will explain to you the significance and importance of the various artifacts and art pieces which are on displayed.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 18 April 2023
  • anezreltub
    Ramsey, United Kingdom107 contributions
    Like a Gallery or Museum!
    2nd largest library in the world after Congress in USA. Cost 70egp entry, about £1.50 It's more like a museum or art gallery than a library, lots of paintings, artefacts, maps, models as well as books..obviously! Worth a visit..it's all got air con. No under 4 year old admitted and no food.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 July 2023
  • Harishuv29
    Mumbai, India182 contributions
    Awesome structure with a shelf space for 7 million books
    The Library is one of its kind structure. The reading hall is a Mukti layered structure with a huge skylight that slopes the entire structure. There are some Arti facts in the basement level if one is interested but the reading hall is the main attraction. The only problem is there is no parking there. I parked my car on the street outside opposite the ticket counter. They generally allow short term parking there if you find a place.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 5 October 2023
  • Rajesh K K
    Bengaluru, India1,132 contributions
    Wonderful!
    The old Alexandria Library was considered one of the biggest in the world, and the new one is definitely one of the largest! Built about 20 years ago, the main reading room is an immense 20000 sq mtrs! One has to buy a ticket to enter the Library. Certain sections within require an additional ticket. This structure is modern and well-designed. Other than books, it also contains some busts, statues, paintings, etc.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 3 November 2023
  • Razorfish
    Little Rock, Arkansas3,866 contributions
    Fantastic library with museum quality exhibits
    I visited the Bibliotheca Alexandrina during a two week tour of Egypt. It is supposedly the second largest library in the world. It has a huge reading hall and extensive computer stations for research. The lower levels contain museum exhibits on a rotating basis. One of the exhibits during my visit was of vintage photos of Egypt from the late 1800s. Our tour group spent about two hours viewing the exhibits. I thought the library was fascinating and well worth the visit.
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 November 2023
  • Arthur M
    Hamilton, Canada1,044 contributions
    Massive library worth visiting!
    The library had a long lineup at my time of visit. Turns out there was a fair at the library grounds. So it was busier than normal. But aside from being a library, it also hosts an exhibit of Egyptian artifacts from different parts of Egypt as well as artworks. Those were a great introduction to the country. As for the library itself, it was massive, multiple floors with a loft design across many disciplines, even Quran studies. There are a lot of viewpoints at the upper floors so you can view the library without disrupting its actual users.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 23 November 2023
  • Voyager_Nineteen71
    Pune, India583 contributions
    Great experience - but library is closed on Fridays !
    We had heard about this library and decided to go inside on Saturday, as we could only see the outside of it the previous day in an all day Alexandria tour. We took a combo ticket costing EGY 300 each covering the library visit and all the museums located inside it. Once we were in, we got to know that the guided tour in had already started so rather than wait for the next one, we went to the museums one floor below. The art museum was ok but the antiquities and manuscripts museums were simply brilliant. The antiquities museum is quite self explanatory and inside the manuscripts museum, there was a guide who explained everything - the ancient books across the major religions, history behind them and also the other artifacts. Once we finished this, the next guided tour of the library was some time away so we explored the library on our own. It is really a massive place with different topics covered in different sections across 7 floors. We ran out of time after spending about 2 and a half hours as we had to leave for Cairo - ideally we could have spent about 4 and a half hours minimum here as we are fond of history.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 28 January 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
1,857 reviews
Excellent
1,312
Very good
380
Average
120
Poor
27
Terrible
18

Abdelaziz M
1 contribution
Feb 2024 • Family
Rude staff, terrible rules, and regulations that are not clear. We were there for a Lego competition and decided to celebrate by exploring the library. Turns out they are not “family friendly”, actually they are not friendly at all. Kids under 4 are not allowed in, and apparently it’s my fault for not going on their website and reading the fine print to know this. I told them I can respect rules but at least let my husband and the baby sit in the waiting area of the cafe upstairs so they can stay warm. They even refused that! Because to access them, you must enter the building, and the baby isn’t allowed in the building! I can understand not allowed in the library or near the halls. BUT have the decency to let them use the elevator to get to the cafe or sit at the stairs near the gift shop. Or at least provide an alternative so parents can swap or babies and kids under 4 can stay in, rather than stand in the rain. Honestly very mean and inconsiderate staff.

When we took the older kids into the kids section at the library they wouldn’t allow them to touch any of the books or even look at them or read them. How do they call themselves a library or family friendly.

I hated the whole experience and turned me off from even recommending or advising people to go.
Written 5 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Voyager_Nineteen71
Pune, India583 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
We had heard about this library and decided to go inside on Saturday, as we could only see the outside of it the previous day in an all day Alexandria tour. We took a combo ticket costing EGY 300 each covering the library visit and all the museums located inside it.

Once we were in, we got to know that the guided tour in had already started so rather than wait for the next one, we went to the museums one floor below. The art museum was ok but the antiquities and manuscripts museums were simply brilliant. The antiquities museum is quite self explanatory and inside the manuscripts museum, there was a guide who explained everything - the ancient books across the major religions, history behind them and also the other artifacts.

Once we finished this, the next guided tour of the library was some time away so we explored the library on our own. It is really a massive place with different topics covered in different sections across 7 floors.

We ran out of time after spending about 2 and a half hours as we had to leave for Cairo - ideally we could have spent about 4 and a half hours minimum here as we are fond of history.
Written 28 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shafaet A
Singapore, Singapore155 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
It's a huge library but as with anything else in Egypt, it has strange rules. In the children section, they don't let the kids browse the books, the kids must ask the librarian to touch any book! The last show of the planetarium ends at 1:30PM which is too early. Unless you are a history geek, there is nothing much to see here.
Written 26 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

papillon2020
Brisbane, Australia637 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
A definite "must-visit", you will be overwhelmed by the enormity of this library that is so much more! I've never seen anything so large and imposing. And, in the lower level there is a fascinating display of all things Egypt.
Written 14 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Arthur M
Hamilton, Canada1,044 contributions
Oct 2023 • Solo
The library had a long lineup at my time of visit. Turns out there was a fair at the library grounds. So it was busier than normal. But aside from being a library, it also hosts an exhibit of Egyptian artifacts from different parts of Egypt as well as artworks. Those were a great introduction to the country.

As for the library itself, it was massive, multiple floors with a loft design across many disciplines, even Quran studies. There are a lot of viewpoints at the upper floors so you can view the library without disrupting its actual users.
Written 23 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Razorfish
Little Rock, AR3,866 contributions
Jan 2023 • Couples
I visited the Bibliotheca Alexandrina during a two week tour of Egypt. It is supposedly the second largest library in the world. It has a huge reading hall and extensive computer stations for research. The lower levels contain museum exhibits on a rotating basis. One of the exhibits during my visit was of vintage photos of Egypt from the late 1800s. Our tour group spent about two hours viewing the exhibits. I thought the library was fascinating and well worth the visit.
Written 17 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rajesh K K
Bengaluru, India1,132 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
The old Alexandria Library was considered one of the biggest in the world, and the new one is definitely one of the largest! Built about 20 years ago, the main reading room is an immense 20000 sq mtrs!

One has to buy a ticket to enter the Library. Certain sections within require an additional ticket. This structure is modern and well-designed. Other than books, it also contains some busts, statues, paintings, etc.
Written 4 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amr
Australia5 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
Great experiences, tickets are very cheap for egyptains ( Adults ) , just 1 EGP Pound for Egyptian students, one of the best site seeing in Egypt , lovely and professional staff, greatly proud of them
Written 9 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Harishuv29
Mumbai, India182 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
The Library is one of its kind structure. The reading hall is a Mukti layered structure with a huge skylight that slopes the entire structure. There are some Arti facts in the basement level if one is interested but the reading hall is the main attraction. The only problem is there is no parking there. I parked my car on the street outside opposite the ticket counter. They generally allow short term parking there if you find a place.
Written 5 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ISLAM H
Dubai, United Arab Emirates10 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
The visit to the touristic site turned out to be extremely disappointing. There was no parking available for visitors, despite the vast size of the location. The parking area was exclusively reserved for staff. The picturesque landscape that should have offered a stunning sea view was marred by fences, a reflection of the unprofessional management approach. Even the main reading hall was off-limits to those under 16 not because the content was inappropriate, but due to valuable items within and the legal responsibility of individuals under 16. In essence, while the site's infrastructure and offerings were exceptional, the poor management made it an utterly unfavorable experience.
Written 20 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Alexandria) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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