Places To Go In Port Said
The heart of Port Said is located along the edge of the canal, on and around Sharia Palestine. Here, the waterfront neighbourhood seems infused with a ‘back in the good old days’ atmosphere, the streets lined with late 19th-century and early 20th-century buildings complete with rickety wooden balconies, louvred doors and high verandahs. The raised boardwalk all the way along Sharia Palestine affords sweeping views over the canal.
Take a stroll down Sharia Memphis, with its old Woolworth’s building, Sharia Al-Gomhuriyya, and around the streets just north of the Commercial Basin. There are wonderfully odd colonial remnants, such as the old canal shipping agency building, the once highly fashionable Simon Arzt department store and the archway entrances still announcing the Bible Society building.
Northeast of here, on Sharia 23rd of July, is the Italian consulate building, erected in the 1930s and adorned with an engraved piece of the propaganda of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini: ‘Rome – once again at the heart of an empire’.
Several blocks inland, on and around Sharia Salah Salem, is an impressive collections of churches, including Coptic Orthodox Church of St Bishoi of the Virgin and the Franciscan compound.
At the very northern end of Sharia Palestine is a large stone plinth that once held a statue of Ferdinand de Lesseps, until it was torn down in 1956 with the nationalization of the Suez Canal.
Suez Canal House
(Commercial Basin) If you’ve ever seen a picture of Port Said, it was probably of the striking green domes of the Suez Canal House, which was built in time for the inauguration of the canal in 1869. As it’s currently fenced off (it’s not open to the public), the best way to get a good look at the building’s famous facade is by hopping on the free ferry to Port Fouad.
This little museum is worth a peek for its information on the canal and also some rather curious exhibits (complete with toy soldiers) documenting the 1956 Suez Crisis and the 1967 and 1973 wars with Israel. In the museum gardens you can view a few captured US tanks with the Star of David painted on them, as well as an odd collection of UXOs (unexploded ordnance).