Port Said is a city that lies in north east Egypt extending about 30 kilometres (19 mi) along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, north of the Suez Canal, with an approximate population of 603,787 (2010). The city was established in 1859 during the building of the Suez Canal.
Port Said was founded by Sa'id of Egypt on Easter Monday, April 25, 1859, when Ferdinand de Lesseps gave the first symbolic swing of the pickaxe to signal the beginning of construction. The first problem encountered was the difficulty for ships to drop anchor nearby. Luckily, a single rocky outcrop flush with the shoreline was discovered a few hundred meters away. Equipped with a wooden wharf, it served as a mooring berth for the boats. Soon after, a wooden jetty was built, connecting the departure islet, as it quickly became known, to the beach. This rock could be considered the heart of the developing city, and it was on this highly symbolic site, forty years later, that a monument to de Lesseps was erected.
How to Reach
Port Said is served by Port Said Airport located about 6 km (3.7 mi) away from city centre.
The airport was reopened in February 2011 after being modernised to be fit for international flights. Scheduled flights from the airport ceased in 1996.
There are three main highways that connect Port Said to other cities in Egypt:
International coastal road - a 257 kilometres (160 mi) east-west highway that connects Port Said to Alexandria along theMediterranean coast
Desert Road - a 215 kilometres (134 mi) north-south route via Al Ismaileya - Port Saeed and Masr - Al Ismaileya Desert Road from Port Said to Cairo
International Coastal Road - a 53 kilometres (33 mi) east-west highway from Port Said - Damietta
The Port Said train station is on Mustafa Kamal Street and was built around 1904 when the Egyptian Railway Authority extended service in the region.
Places to visit
There are frequent train services from Cairo, Alexandria and other main Egyptian cities to Port Said. The travel time between Cairo and Port Said is about four hours while the Alexandria - Port Said route can be covered in about six hours. Intercity passenger service is operated by Egyptian National Railways. Tickets can be reserved online using the Egyptian National Railways website
The large Harbor (570 acres) and the northern entrance to the Suez Canal are protected by two long piers. The west pier, continuing the line of the harbor quay for some 2.5mi/4km, is designed to prevent the silting up of the channel by the deposit of mud carried down by the Nile. At its near end there formerly stood an imposing statue of Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805-94), constructor of the Suez Canal, but this was pulled down by Egyptian nationalists in 1956. To the south, on the harbor quay, is a 175ft/53m high lighthouse, with a light visible 23mi away. The east pier is almost 1mi/2km long.
The town has recently been considerably extended on the north and west, where new land has been reclaimed from the sea.
Opposite Port Said, on the east side of the Suez Canal and the harbor, is the suburb of Port Fuad (Bur Fuad: ferry service), established in 1926 (and named after the then reigning King) by the Suez Canal Company, with their headquarters and housing for their employees. It has attractive parks and gardens and good beaches.
To the west of the Port Said is the great expanse of Lake Manzala, mainly consisting of marshland and reed beds, with great numbers of water birds.