Port Suez is a major port on the Red Sea Coast of Egypt, 123 km east of Cairo.
Standing at the top of the Gulf of Suez, this city has been a port since antiquity. Small canals were twice built to link the Red Sea to the Nile - by Darius of Persia circa 500 BC, and by Amr ibn al-As circa 640 AD - but became sand-clogged, and the sea receded away from them. The present day Suez Canal, stretching 193 km between Suez and the Mediterranean at Ismailia, was opened in 1869 and became a crucial shipping channel. Port Suez developed heavy industry as a result, eg petrochemicals and cement. During the Suez conflict of 1956, it was badly damaged in the fighting, and endured a slump until 1975 while the canal remained closed. This means that very little old architecture remains, and the city's "sights" are limited.
Get in Edit
By bus Edit
- 1 Arba'in bus station (5 km from town). If you need to take a taxi, try to haggle them down to LE10 for town centre, and LE15 for Port Tawfiq.
By train Edit
- 2 Suez railway station (northwest of city centre on 23 July Street).
There are six trains a day from Cairo Ain Shams station, taking about 2½ hr. These do not call at Cairo main station—there is only one train a day from that station. These are all "ordinary" trains, very basic with no booking.
By boat Edit
Ferries for pilgrims sometimes sail between Port Suez and Saudi Arabia, but none are sailing in 2020.
Cruise ships pass through the canal, and sometimes dock here to bus their passengers to the antiquities, but there are no scheduled boat services from the Med.
Get around Edit
This is a great sprawling city with poor public transport, under a hot sun, so you'll need to take taxis, certainly between bus or railway station and the centre.
The main boulevard is 23 July Street, commemorating Nasser's 23 July 1952 overthrow of King Faroukh, and formerly called El Geish Street which means "army". This runs southeast from the edge of the city past the railway station, and 3 km further on it bends more southerly and forms the main downtown thoroughfare of Suez. After another 3 km (by the museum) it bends northeast out of town towards the canal, which it then flanks all the way north to the Great Bitter Lake. Meanwhile the city boulevard carries straight on into Port Tawfiq, which is a clawed hand enclosing the harbour to its west. The entrance to the canal is east, behind the claw.
Traffic between Cairo and Sinai crosses the canal by the Highway 50 Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, 13 km north of the city. This means that most buses to Sharm el-Sheikh bypass Port Suez.
Colonial era architecture in Port Tawfiq.
- 1 Suez National Museum. Daily 09AM-5PM. Displays the 7,000-year history of Suez over 3 floors. There's a colossus of King Sesostris III and a head of Queen Hatshepsut. Other display halls cover local mining and the Suez Canal. Entrance LE80.
- Renaissance Cinema and Ismail Yassin Theatre are side-by-side on Port Said St.
- Watch football: the city's two soccer teams are Asmant el-Suez (which translates as "cement") and Petrojet SC. They both play in the Egyptian Second Division and share Suez Stadium (capacity 27,000) as their home ground. It's at the west end of the Corniche.
Lots of small stores for basics (including pharmacies) along main drag.
The main eating strip is the downtown section of 23 July Street. There's another strip along El Corniche on the shoreline.
The Green House Hotel (see #Sleep) has two restaurants.
- Alf Lela, Canal St. Fish.
- Jeama, 23 July.
- El Khalifa, 320 23 July. Fish.
- Koshary El Tahrir, 30 El Tahrir St. Filling snacks.
- Kushary Palace, Saad Zaghloul St. Filling snacks.
- Pronto, 23 July.
- Red Sea Restaurant, 13 El Riad St (within Red Sea Hotel).
Mint tea is always a good choice hereabouts.
Port Tawfiq Edit
- Arafat Hotel, 23 July Street, ☏ . Single rooms from LE35.
- 1 Red Sea Hotel, 13 El Riad St, Port Tawfiq, ☏ , , (fax), firstname.lastname@example.org. Mid-range place with 81 rooms.
- 2 Summer Palace Hotel, Port Tawfiq, ☏ , , (fax). Upscale hotel with 92 rooms, pools, sauna, tennis, beach and two restaurants.
Budget hotels are around Sharia Nimsa. Head northeast for some blocks to find Hotel Medina with single rooms from LE90–100. Next door is Hotel Shahin with rooms from LE35.