Egypt is chock-full of beautiful places, both ancient and new, home of the Pharaohs and the much-loved pyramids. The country is full of classic tourist destinations, from the Pyramids of Giza to the Red Sea to vast deserts and the beautiful Nile River. With all these beautiful places, where should you go when visiting the country? Here are some of the best places that will help you capture the essence of Egypt.
1. Pyramids of Giza
One of the things you need to add to your list whenever you visit Egypt is the famed pyramids. The pyramids of Giza are the last of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and act as a nod to ancient Egypt.
The pyramids are the tombs of Pharaohs Chephren (Khafre), Cheops (Khufu), and Mycerinus (Menkaure) and are guarded by a Sphinx. Right on the desert edge of Cairo, these pyramids are a beautiful sight and a must-see for your first trip to Egypt. You can take fun camel rides in the desert when visiting the pyramids.
2. Luxor Temple
The Luxor Temple is a vast temple complex that is different from the typical temples in Egypt. This temple was made as a ceremonial temple for all the greatest of Egypt’s rulers. It has an avenue of sphinxes with human heads that lead up to the entrance with two broad sandstone towers. Inside are giant statues of gods and some remnants of the ancient internal structures. No description can do the temple justice, and visiting the temple is the best way to see all its glory.
3. Valley of the Kings
One of the most evocative ancient Egyptian sites, the Valley of the Kings is where the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered in the 1920s. It is the source of all stories of undiscovered tombs filled with riches and mummies’ curses and is still an exploration, excavation, and conservation site for archeologists.
The Valley of the Kings is in a scorched desert, approachable by boat from Luxor and then by vehicle. It has superbly preserved tombs that look as beautiful as the day they were carved. It is a great place to behold some of the best ancient Egyptian architecture and observe its history.
4. The Nile River
One of Egypt’s best and vastest features is the Nile River, and with the multi-day cruises available, you can sail on the famed river. Cruising the river also gives you a chance to see some of the temples along the bank, including the Temple of Kom Ombo and Edfu’s Temple of Horus. You can also enjoy some fun activities, such as windsurfing and kitesurfing. You can even get some lessons from instructors in the area to better enjoy your visit.
5. Hurghada Grand Aquarium
This aquarium is packed with multiple aquatic species. At 1072.38 feet (327 meters) with a depth ranging between 16-19 feet (5.1-6.1 meters), the Hurghada Grand Aquarium is Africa’s most extensive aquarium, and a wondrous sight to behold. Unlike most aquariums, the Hurghada Grand Aquarium also has a rainforest, a mini zoo with live animals, and a fossil exhibit. It is also a 100 percent water-based aquarium where you’re separated from the aquatic animals by a glass wall, a great way to immerse yourself in the adventure.
6. Islamic Cairo
Another beautiful place to visit in Egypt is the Islamic Cairo district. It is full of madrassas (Islamic schools of learning), mosques, and monuments from the Fatimid through the Mameluke eras. You’ll also find the shopping souk of Khan el-Khalili, where artisans and coppersmiths still work out of their workshops and stalls full of spices, textiles, perfumes, and ceramics. Generally, there is a lot of history to explore and learn from this district.
7. Egyptian Museum
An ode to the Pharaonic world, the Egyptian Museum is home to around 120,000 artifacts. Built in the 20th century, this museum has the most extensive known collection of Pharaonic antiquities worldwide. From the more prominent objects like statues and stone reliefs to the smaller things like mummies and treasures from pharaoh’s tombs, this museum is a treasure trove of ancient Egypt that is a must-see.
8. Karnak Temple
The second most visited site, the Karnak Temple, is an epic temple covering a large area. It used to be connected to the Temple of Luxor by a 1.5-mile avenue of sphinx statues, some of which are still intact today. This temple was constructed over two millennia, so it has gods spanning the decades. Visiting the temple gives you a glimpse into the progression of Egyptian culture through the years.
9. Colossi of Memnon
Located in Luxor, the Colossi of Memnon is one of Egypt’s most revered places to visit. It has a majestic appearance depicted by the twin statues (at 59ft) of Amenhotep III and carvings of his wife and his mother located by his feet. You can take a local bus tour to visit the place and learn more about the statue’s history. It is a great place full of history which can be a learning experience for you, it’s also a great place for taking pictures.
10. Aswan High Dam
The Aswan High Dam is the largest embankment dam globally, standing at 364-feet tall and 13,123-feet wide. It holds back waters from the Nile and was constructed, from 1960 to 1970, to control flooding down the Nile. The dam allowed for regulated irrigation and changed the lives of the people around it. It is one of Egypt’s best structures, and seeing the dam in person is the best way to experience it.
11. Great Sphinx
A sight you must visit while in Giza visiting the Pyramids of Giza, specifically in Al Haram, is the Great Sphinx. Standing at 66 feet (20 meters) the Sphinx is one of the most iconic sights. It has a human’s head and the body of a lion. The face of the Sphinx appears to represent the pharaoh Khafre and it is one of the oldest and largest statues in the world.
12. Nubia Village
Located in Aswan City are the beautiful Nubian villages on the west back. The Nubian population is so small, with around 100,000 inhabitants. Visiting this village gives you a look into their culture; they live in brightly painted houses and have their own language and unique traditions. Get to interact with the friendly villagers and learn more about their culture. You can use a felucca, or a small boat, to reach the villages, collect some souvenirs, get to taste different foods and learn a bit about history.
Egypt is a fascinating and alluring country full of marvelous sites. It is one of those places with a lot of well-preserved history to it. Visit the numerous libraries and temples to see a collection of its best work, see the pyramids with their beautiful structures and tour the Nile River to experience Egypt from a new angle. Other than that, you could also treat your taste buds to some delicious Egyptian dishes including Kushari, Mulukhiya, Fatta, Ta’meya, Sayadeya; etc. The above-mentioned places, coupled with such dishes are guaranteed to fill your days with beauty and wonder.