Known across Egypt as The City of Beauty and Enchantment”, Ismailia is a culturally rich city to explore. Founded only in the 19th century during the construction of the Suez Canal, it has now become a valuable centre for the arts, hosting festivals of film and folklore, as well as being home to Suez Canal University.
Things to do in Ismailiyah
Visit Ismailia during the International Film Festival in June, or the Ismailia International Folklore Arts Festival in September for a look at the city’s cultural heritage. During both these events, the city is buzzing with a well-heeled, cosmopolitan crowd who have come to Ismailia not only from Cairo and Alexandria but from across the Middle East as well.
Perfect for history enthusiasts, spend a day at the Ismailia Museum to admire a fine collection of archaeological finds. Mostly from Upper Egypt and North Sinai, they reveal the historical importance of the region, including a near-complete Roman mosaic and a pharaonic-style sarcophagus.
Meander through town and admire the British and French influence on Ismailia’s architecture. Perhaps the best example of French architecture in Ismailia is the Virgin Mary Church, often called the "Guardian of the Canal”.
Getting around Ismailiyah
You can use a variety of local bus and train lines to get around Ismailia. It is pleasant to walk along the wide tree-shaded pavements in the city centre, or you can hire a horse-drawn carriage for a more traditional way of sightseeing.