Best places to visit in Egypt
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Egypt is considered the oldest travel destination on globe. In a land where the past sits overlooking the present, Egypt is a country that fills the senses. Egypt is a land with well-defined boundaries. To the east and west are vast deserts. To the north is the Mediterranean sea. To the south is the land of Nubia.
Egypt has amassed approximately 7000 years of history and civilization; but besides its breathtaking Pharaonic and other ancient attractions, Egypt also currently possesses unique cultures, traditions, food, people and, Exciting activities in Egypt. For centuries, tourists have flocked to Egypt to admire its ancient pyramids and temples. The country also has its fair share of natural wonders. The River Nile is the longest in the world, and the Red Sea coast is a playground for resort-style relaxation and adventurous watersports.
For those planning to visit Egypt, here are some of the best places to visit and top things to see and do while there:
This is a very large and sprawling city with an abundance of exciting places to visit on Egypt vacations. Probably your first one will be the Egyptian Museum and the best place to delve into Egypt’s amazing history and past glory. It contains one of the world’s most important collections of ancient artefacts and the largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities. The Giza Pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo are the only remaining one of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World. They are 4,000 years old and are amazing because of their extraordinary shape, perfectly made structure, and sheer size. For a true Cairo experience, visit the Khan Al Khalili Bazaar with its mediaeval flavour and shops found in narrow lanes. The Cairo Citadel is a mediaeval Islamic fortification located high on a hill with amazing views of the city. It is now a well-preserved historic site comprising mosques, palaces, and museums.
For more information on Cairo Tours and Travel Highlights click here
Cairo The City of a Thousand Minarets” is the capital of Egypt and with a total population in excess of 20 million people, one of the largest cities in both Africa and the Middle East. It is also the 19th largest city in the world, and among the world’s most densely populated cities. On the Nile River, Cairo is famous for its own history, preserved in the fabulous medieval Islamic city and Coptic sites in Old Cairo.
Cairo’s population, once both ethnically and religiously diverse, is now predominantly Muslim. A significant number of Egyptian Christians, the majority of whom observe the Coptic Orthodox faith, continue to dominate certain districts in the city. Remnants of the old Italian, Greek, Syrian, and Sudanese communities are still found in some locations. Differences in status within the Egyptian population depend largely on one’s place of origin, class, and degree of modernity. About half of the city’s population live in the city proper, while half live in the suburbs.
Cairo attractions draw millions of visitors to Egypt every year, and for good reason. Over and above the Giza Pyramids, Cairo is also home to many other incredibly popular Egyptian attractions, such as the Egyptian Museum for example. Additionally, visitors can explore ancient churches and mosques, some of which are among the most revered in the world. Besides all the wonderful historical sites, Cairo, as a city, also tends to grow on people. It has a really special sort of charm that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. It is a hectic city; it is a chaotic city, but it is also an enchanting city.
There is nothing like getting a close-up view to the Pyramids of Giza. Guarded by the magnificent Sphinx, a cat-like creature carved from a single block of stone, these ancient tombs have been drawing visitors for centuries. While there are over 120 pyramids in the country of the Pharaohs, the ones around the Giza necropolis are the largest, (almost) the oldest, and certainly the most perfect ones.
The Pyramids of Giza are Cairo’s number one half-day trip and a must-do attraction on everyone’s itinerary. Right on the edge of the city, on the Giza Plateau, these fourth dynasty funerary temples have been wowing travelers for centuries and continue to be one of the country’s major highlights. Despite the heat, the dust, and the tourist hustle, you can’t miss a trip here.
The Great Pyramid belonged to the Pharoah Khufu or Cheops, he ruled Egypt some four and a half thousand years ago. Directly behind the Great Pyramid is the Solar Boat Museum, which displays one of the ceremonial solar barques unearthed in the area that has been painstakingly restored to its original glory.
Farther south on the plateau is the Pyramid of Chephren (also known as the Pyramid of Khefre), with an internal tunnel area, which can be entered, and the smaller Pyramid of Mycerinus (Pyramid of Menkaure).
There is something just so iconic about the incredible Sphinx that it really is mind-blowing to see it in real life and the excellent (as well as comedy) photos you can get of it make the experience even more enjoyable.
Tips about visiting the Pyramids:
- There are many camel rides available around the pyramids. Best come with a local guide who can show you around. Truly, no trip to Egypt is complete until you’ve been there.
- There is a sound & light show every evening you may want to check out.
Recommended trips to Pyramids of Giza
- Cairo day tour to the Pyramids of Giza and the Egyptian Museum
- Cairo day tour to the Pyramids of Giza, Saqqara and Memphis
Overlooking Lake Nasser, the Great Temple of Ramses II and the Temple of Queen Nefertari, which together make up the Temples of Abu Simbel, are among the most famous and spectacular monuments in Egypt. In a modern marvel.
Abu Simbel is not only a triumph of ancient architecture but also of modern engineering. The mammoth scale of the Great Temple of Ramses II and the Temple of Hathor, sitting on the banks of Lake Nasser, trumps everything else in Egypt and has to be seen to be believed.
Ramesses II built it as a visual sign of his authority over the Nubians and even 3,250 years later the sheer sight of Abu Simbel takes your breath away – especially considering the whole site was relocated by the UNESCO between 1964 and 1968.
There is also a small, and lesser-known temple of Nefertari right next to it. Both temples are rather rustic inside. Simple murals and reliefs telling of Ramesses (battle) prowess. The line of statues inside the sanctuary is quite impressive as well, though.
Recommended Trips to Abu simbel
How to reach Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel is one of those hard to reach historical sites in Egypt.
- You can either take a plane from Aswan (about 1 hour). This private Abu Simbel tour with flights includes a return flight from Aswan to Abu Simbel, temple entrance fees, and a guided tour of both temples with an Egyptologist guide.
- Or Take a cruise on Lake Nasser to visit this magnificent temple, The carvings were painstakingly moved block by block to avoid them being flooded when Lake Nasser was created.
- Or take the bus/taxi (about 3-4 hours each way). This private Abu Simbel minibus tour transports you by minibus to the temples and includes entry and tours of both temples with an Egyptologist guide. It’s an 8 hour round trip, but very worth it.
Aswan is a city in the south of Egypt and is the capital of the Aswan Governorate, Located about 899 km south of Cairo, Aswan is a serene Nile Valley destination where the Nile is more majestic than anywhere else. Those with an interest in Egypt’s modern history should visit the Aswan High Dam. Built to control the flooding of the River Nile and to generate hydroelectricity, its construction was one of the biggest projects of the post-revolution government and has had a massive effect on the Egyptian economy.
Aswan day Tours usually include a visit to the Philae temple complex, Aswan high dam, and the Unfinished Obelisk as well. Many tourists visit Aswan itself as part of a Nile Cruise tour between Luxor and Aswan, with options to either start or end in the town. The four-day, three-night Nile Cruise starts from Aswan and includes entrance and guided tours of Philae Temple, Edfu’s Temple of Horus, Kom Ombo Temple, Karnak Temple, and Luxor Temple; three nights accommodation; and transport on a five-star rated cruise ship with all meals.
Tips about visiting Aswan
- When to visit Aswan: Aswan boils from June to Augustus. Avoid visiting at this time as possible as you can.
- Felucca Tours: In Aswan, it’s all about felucca rides around the islands, and early evening is the best time to take to the river if you like photography.
- Camel Rides: For something more active, the best time for camel rides is at the end of the day, when the worst of the heat has finished. Sunset camel rides on the west bank from the Tombs of the Nobles to the Monastery of Saint Simeon (or vice versa) are hugely popular.
5- The Nubian village
Nubia is a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between the first cataract of the Nile and the confluence of the blue and white Niles (south of Khartoum in central Sudan). Nubia was home to several empires, most prominently the kingdom of Kush, which conquered Egypt during the 8th century BC during the reign of Piye and ruled the country as its Twenty-fifth Dynasty (to be replaced a century later by the native Egyptian Twenty-sixth Dynasty).
Aswan is surrounded by many small islands and Nubian villages on the west bank. The Nubian villages are such a cheerful sight for being painted with bright colors and inhabited by Nubians whom population doesn’t exceed 100,000. They speak their own Nubian Languages and have specific traditions that are different from the rest of Egypt. Their origin goes back to Africa and Sudan when they traveled in antiquity to south Egypt for farming around the Nile. The Nubian Villages are considered to be Aswan city attraction and perfect for a half-day tour in Aswan if you are passing by the city.
Nubian women have really proud heritage, and they could be the reason behind Nubian culture being alive until now. They like to show off their crafts and sell traditional food. They still wear traditional customs and make Nubian jewelry to wear and sell for the tourists. they are the Nubian women who keep their culture survive, they keep telling their children ancient Nubian tales and stories, teach them traditional Nubian dances and songs and marry within their own. Nubians still affected by ancient Egyptian believes.
The villages are located minutes away from Aswan center; you can reach it by taking Nile small boat. It is not hard at all. The most famous village is Sohail village and the best way to reach it is by motorboat across the Nile, it wouldn’t take more than 40 minutes depends on your location. You can enjoy the stunning sunset while sailing to Nubia, breath some fresh air, and enjoy the sight of the Nile. When the picturesque village starts to appear in the water, that’s the beginning of your wonderful tour where you can shop for spices, souvenirs, and food as well.
6- Nile River cruise
Probably the best way to get in contact with ancient Egypt is a Nile cruise. It’s not the cheapest option, but it offers by far the best excursions, food is safe and the best service. Highly recommended, don’t leave Egypt without cruising the Nile. There are countless different options, from historic steamships like the S.S. Sudan to luxury cruisers.
For a Nile trip, the five-day Nile River Cruise from Luxor to Aswan is a great option. Two nights are spent actually cruising. You sleep on board at the port in Luxor on night one and at the port in Aswan on night four. It includes guided tours of the Valley of the Kings, Deir al-Bahri, Karnak Temple, and Luxor Temple on day one, and stops at the Temple of Horus and Kom Ombo Temple on the way to Aswan.
Another option is the four-day Nile River cruise from Aswan to Luxor with the same program included with the five- day program.
Multi-day Lake Nasser cruises give you the opportunity to admire beautiful scenery and wildlife, to fish for Nile perch and tiger fish, and to visit the lake’s ancient sights. The most famous of these is Abu Simbel.
Recommended Cruise options
- Movenpick Royal Lotus Nile Cruise
7- The white desert National Park
White Desert National Park is a national park in Egypt, first established as a protected area in 2002. It is located in the Farafra depression, 45 km north of the town of Farafra. The White Desert stretches for 50 km between Bawati and Farafra, or 70-120 km from Bawati / Bawiti. The most photographed area is the southern end closest to Farafra.
Perhaps the most beautiful of Egypt’s natural destinations is the White Desert, a national park of white calcium rock formations in the Sahara Desert. The area around the White Desert is full of interesting geological formations like the “crystal mountain,” the Black Desert, and the salt lake Lake Marun.
Upon the first glimpse of the 300-sq-km national park of the White Desert, you’ll feel like Alice through the looking-glass. About 20km northeast of Farafra, on the east side of the road, blinding-white chalk rock.
Recommended tours to the WHITE DESERT:
8- Luxor, Egypt
Luxor is often called the world’s greatest open-air museum, but that comes nowhere near describing this extraordinary place. Nothing in the world compares to the scale and grandeur of the monuments that have survived from ancient Thebes. The Nile River flows directly between the modern city and the necropolis, tombs, and temples on the west bank. There is a great deal of history to discover in Luxor as you explore these unprecedented archaeological sites.
The modern city of Luxor sits on the east bank of the River Nile, on top of the ancient pharaonic capital of Thebes. Its temples, statues, and monuments give a sense of the city’s past grandeur. The top attraction is Luxor Temple, which was commissioned by Amenhotep III in the late 14th century. Monumental statues of Ramesses II guard the temple gate, and walking in between them is a breathtaking experience.
- Luxor temple
- Karnak temple
- Valley of the kings
- Temple of Queen Hatchepsut
- The colossi of Memnon
- Luxor museum
- Valley of the queens
Hurghada is Egypt’s oldest and most famous resort. Offshore is the colorful and bizarre Red Sea world of coral and fish life that first brought Hurghada to worldwide attention, while back on solid ground, the once tiny fishing settlement has mushroomed into a resort city catering directly to tourism.
Hurghada is a popular getaway for divers, watersports enthusiasts, and sun worshippers. Once a simple fishing village, this famous resort town has hundreds of high-end hotels along the seafront, yet the focus is still mainly on relaxation. This section of the Red Sea is renowned for its excellent scuba diving opportunities, with gorgeous colorful coral reefs to discover just offshore. Other watersports, like snorkeling, windsurfing, and jet-skiing, are just as popular.
Snorkeling in Hurghada
Makadi water world
Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic center. With a population of 5,200,000, Alexandria is the largest city on the Mediterranean – also called the Bride of the Mediterranean by locals – the sixth-largest city in the Arab world and the ninth-largest in Africa. The city extends about 40 km (25 mi) on the northern coast of Egypt along the Mediterranean Sea.
Alexandria has a prime location on the edge of the Mediterranean. Founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great, the city was once considered the crossroads of the world. Exhibits of Alexandria’s long history are on display at the Alexandria National Museum. The museum’s more than 1,800 artifacts are arranged chronologically, from the Greco-Roman period to the Coptic and Islamic eras.
- Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
- Alexandria National museum
- Visit Pompey’s Pillar and Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa
- Citadel of Qaitbay
- Visiting Bibliotheca Alexandria
Sinai is a peninsula in Egypt and the only part of the country located in Asia. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the south and is a land bridge between Asia and Africa. Sinai has a land area of about 60,000 km2 (23,000 sq mi) which is 6 percent of Egypt’s total area.
- Ras Mohamed National Park
- Nama Bay
- Mount Sinai
- St Catherine Monastery
- Resorts of Dahab, Nuweiba, and Taba
Where to stay in Sinai
- Sun rise Arabian beach resort
- Dahab Plaza Hotel
- Tirana Dahab Resort
- Coral Sea Aqua Club Resort
- Xperience Golden Sandy Beach
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