Although tourists often overlook Port Said, Egypt, where the Suez Canal meets the Mediterranean 135 mi/215 km northeast of Cairo, there are several reasons to visit, including museums, beaches, shopping, history and daily excursions.
Port Said was founded in 1859, shortly after a decision was made to build the Suez Canal. In 1956, it was bombed extensively during the Suez Crisis, and it suffered damage in the 1967 and 1973 wars with Israel. Port Said's Military Museum, the Tomb of the Martyrs (a memorial to the martyrs of Port Said) and Al Messallah Square were all built to commemorate the city's military history.
Port Said's beaches are all public access, and the best shopping is on Al Togary Street. Watching the ships pass through the canal is a favorite tourist pastime there, and hotel rates tend to be more reasonable than in Alexandria.
Port Fouad, Port Said's sister town, is a five-minute ferry ride across the canal. It boasts a number of beaches, a yacht club and the Suez Canal Club.
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