There is a reason that the name Egypt is connected with mystical and fabulous images in the minds of people all over the world. With a rich history and considerable civilization, Egypt has become one of the most distinguished tourist countries across the globe. And, it is not only about the historic treasures. In fact, it is the perfect mix of culture, adventure, history, and natural beauty. Here is a top ten list of the most popular attractions in Egypt that you won’t want to miss. While you may not be able to visit them all in one trip, a few of them will leave you with memories of a lifetime.
1. Pyramids of Giza
If you are a history buff, you will be fascinated with the Pyramids of Giza, the last survivors of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. On the Giza plateau, the three ancient pyramids, numerous cemeteries, and a worker’s village have been guarded by the Sphinx for 4000 years. According to an ancient belief, pharaohs were descended from the gods so they had a great position among the Egyptians. As they believed in the afterlife journey, they needed tombs where a pharaoh’s body is placed, along with food, clothing, and precious possessions. That’s how the idea of the pyramids started to emerge.
At first glance, you will be wondering what prehistoric tools and techniques they used.
The incredible architecture has mystified archaeologists for years due to its symmetrical shape and the exact equal casing stones.
Looking for a venture? – Step through a portal to the Ancient Egypt time and have an adventure in the dark corridors of the Great Pyramids. Don’t worry, you won’t be running from a mummified king and Anubis won’t tear out your heart to weigh your sins.
2. The Historical And Cultural Luxor
On talking about the popular tourist destinations in Egypt, we can’t surpass the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. It is considered the most significant open-air museum in the world. The Valley was the main burial place of the royal figures and elites of Ancient Egypt. Although about 63 tombs and chambers have been excavated, only a few are open to tourists. The good news is that you can visit “Tutankhamun’s tomb” and enjoy its decorations that depict the king’s funeral procession and arrival to the afterlife.
Luxor is also known for the Karnak complex, with its chapels, temples, and pylons that attract millions of tourists annually. Lying in the city of Thebes, it is the second-largest ancient religious site and the largest religious building in the world. The Karnak Temple was the religious centre to worship god Amun and a place of pilgrimage for about 2,000 years. Don’t forget to take a photo between the columns of the Hypostyle Hall of the Karnak Temple complex.
Luxor is a remarkable highlight to any Egypt trip that can’t be skipped, with the mighty columns, temples, and museums. Do you want more? – Well, Luxor will never let you down. You can visit the Temple of Hatshepsut, the Tombs of the Nobles, Luxor Museum, and the Mummification Museum. Do you want to add some spice to the journey? – A hot air balloon ride over the city of Luxor will do the trick.
3. Islamic Cairo
Let’s be clear on this, you are not here for fancy destinations or restaurants. What about delving into the Islamic Cairo district to enjoy the ancient Islamic architecture? – Walk into the narrow lanes and rewind the clock to the Fatimid and Mameluke eras. It is full of mosques, madrassas, and monuments that represent the most preserved Islamic heritage. You can visit Al-Azhar Mosque, Sultan Hassan mosque, Cairo Citadel, and Beit El-Suhaymi. Make sure to visit Egypt’s oldest mosque, Mosque of Ibn Tulun. If you saw the movie “James Bond, The Spy who loved me,” you will identify it immediately.
Tired yet? – Come on, let’s take a tour of the shopping souk of “Khan el-Khalili” and buy the coolest souvenirs ever. You can find everything from tobacco, jewellery boxes to painted papyrus. If you want to have a glimpse of the local culture, take a coffee in one of the modest spots in Muizz-street. Wait! The tour hasn’t ended. Ignite your adventurous soul, climb to the top of the minarets of Bab Zuweila, and enjoy a panoramic view for the entire district.
4. UNESCO Heritage Site Saqqara
We can’t really get enough of pyramids, can we?
If you think that Egypt has only three pyramids, you are probably wrong. Numerous pyramids run the area from Giza to Dahshur, representing the necropolis of the ancient capital, Memphis. At Saqqara, you can find Djoser’s Step pyramid, the oldest complex building in history. Another two pyramids, Bent pyramid, and Red pyramid are among the highlights of the place there. The walls of the tombs depict the daily lives, funerals, and ceremonies of the ancient Egyptians. The place has been considered a UNESCO Heritage Site since 1979.
5.The Desert Dunes And The River Nile of Aswan
Nothing can beat a relaxing holiday with the mesmerizing views of the orange desert dunes and the Nile River. Now, I am going to portray the scene. You are totally disconnected from the chaos of your life with a coffee in your hand, enjoying the tranquillity of the river. All you do is soaking up the sunny weather while watching the feluccas drift past. Really soothing! You can also take a boat to the Elephantine Island, have a walk through the Nubian villages, and enjoy the colourful houses.
Is that it? – No, we are saving the best for the last. Visit the Philae temple which was dedicated to the goddess Isis, located at the First Cataract of the Nile. The temple includes various shrines and sanctuaries such as Trajan & rsquo. Another site that is worth visiting, Abu Simbel is a great temple, with beautiful paintings on the walls. You can view the twin temples of the pharaoh Ramses II and his wife Nefertari carved into mountains.
6. Egyptian Museum
The Egyptian Museum is a top tourist attraction, housing over 120,000 different items of the ancient Egyptian antiques. Each corner of the two main floors exhibits a different piece of art, including coins, papyrus, statues, and coffins. The extensive collection features several artefacts belonging to the Valley of the Kings, especially the tombs of Tutankhamen and Psusennes I. Two rooms contain about 27 mummies of pharaohs and other royal family members.
7. Tourist Attractions Packed Peninsula South Sinai
South Sinai is basically one of the most treasured diving destinations, including Dahab, Nuweiba, Sharm el-Sheikh, and Taba. South Sinai is famous for the crystal-clear water, rich marine creatures, and corals. The Red Sea is a gold mine for underwater lovers, housing thousands of different sea species, and corals reef. Sharm el-Sheikh is the perfect gateway for a relaxing holiday, with its luxurious hotels. Dahab is famous for the two diving spots, the Canyon and Blue Hole, which is a hole of over 100 meters. Two famous destinations that you will definitely enjoy are Ras Muhammed National Park and Thistlegorm Dive Site. Many activities can be done from diving and snorkelling to windsurfing and kitesurfing. If you are into hiking, take a trip to Mount Sinai and enjoy the sunrise. And while you are there, visit St. Catherine’s monastery which is among the oldest in the world.
Sharm El Sheikh by Cosimo Padula:Flickr [link]
8. The Picturesque White Desert
The Bahariya Oasis is located in the Western Desert of Egypt and became famous for the discovery of 250 buried golden mummies. If you are a dessert lover, you will be dazzled by the two odd geological sites; the White Desert and Crystal Mountain. I can guarantee a jaw-dropping experience. A 300-square kilometre of white sand, rocks, and boulders create a dream-like land or a science fiction movie. The sunrise or sunset in the White Desert Park has a magical impact with no equal.
9. Away From Hustle And Bustle At Siwa Oasis
Located in the Western Desert, Siwa Oasis is an isolated place, perfect to clear your mind away from the hustle of the world. It gained its popularity for the primitive life, numerous palm trees, and water springs. It is called the oasis of beauty, with pure air, clear springs, and blue sky. Tourists head to the Siwa Oasis for its treatment facilities with hot springs and sand treatment. Sand burial treatment help in curing many diseases like rheumatism and joint pain. Whereas the hot springs full of minerals treats psoriasis, rheumatism, and others. The most popular spring is “Kegar Well,” whose temperature is about 67 degree Celsius.
10. The Religious Complex
Get ready for a one-of-a-kind trip to the Religious Complex in the city of Fustat. Coptic Cairo is home to the three Abrahamic religions, having seven churches, mosques, and the Jewish Temple. It is believed that the Holy Family used the Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church as a hideout two thousand years ago.
I have no idea where to start! The place is overwhelming. It encompasses various important historic sites such as the Coptic Museum, the Hanging Church, Babylon Fortress, and the Greek Church of St. George. You can also find Amr Ibn Al-Aas Mosque which isn’t only the first mosque in Egypt but also in entire Africa. Our last destination is Ben Ezra synagogue, which is the remaining survivor of the Jewish community that once lived in Egypt. As you cross the gates, you will see the Star of David and the arabesque ornamentation, symbolizing Judaism.
In Egypt, there is always something for everyone. Do you want to relax by the beach or have an adventure in the desert? Do you want to have a magnificent underwater diving experience or a Bedouin party? Are you a history lover or a modern-life person? – Egypt has it all in one place. And if you are sceptical regarding the best time to visit Egypt, the short answer is “always.”