The glorious land of the ancient Pharaohs is a home to a myriad of mesmerizing places to visit in Egypt. From magnificent temples and age-old tombs to robust fortifications and stunning pyramids, Egypt is adorned with a myriad of fascinating destinations, from his length to breadth.
Welcoming all kinds of visitors, starting from romance seekers and family vacationers to adventure enthusiasts and shopaholics, the Egypt places to visit cater to the holidaying needs of every traveler. While Egyptian Antiquities Museum and Museum Of Modern Egyptian Art let history buffs get a sneak peek into the past glories of the country, the Sakkara Pyramids and the Great Pyramid of Giza let the world awe in amazement at the brilliant architectural skills of the ancient Egyptians.
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1. Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx
#1 Best Places To Visit In Egypt
The Giza Plateau is probably one of the most recognizable destinations on Earth. Located on a desert plateau to the west of the capital of Cairo, Giza is its own city but in recent years it’s grown so much that it feels like another district of ever-expanding Cairo.
While once a humble carriage track, Giza is now one of the most touristy parts of Egypt, home to upmarket hotels, big-name restaurants, giant shopping malls, and pulsing nightclubs. But most famously, Giza is the closest part of the city to the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, which is why most people center themselves around this neighborhood for at least a few days during their trip to Cairo.
The three main pyramids of Giza are an ancient necropolis that were built as tombs for three Egyptian pharaohs – Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure. A scattering of satellite pyramids in the area were built as a place to bury their wives and royal family members.
The Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) is the one you can enter if you’re happy to pay extra. Alternatively, you can take a camel ride out into the desert and get a photo with all of the pyramids in the background before heading to the Sphinx for the stock standard Sphinx-kissing tourist photo.
If you happen to be staying close to Giza overnight, don’t miss the Pyramids Sound and Light Show. It’s exactly what it sounds like, but it’s a great way to appreciate the Great Pyramid a little differently. While you’ll have to pay for a seat at the official light show, if you have dinner on the balcony of the nearby Pizza Hut, you can watch both the sunset and the show for free.
2. Egyptian Museum
#2 Best Places To Visit In Egypt
On top of the list is the Egyptian Museum in Cairo which every visitor to the country should not miss. A dream for many history buffs, the Egyptian Museum Cairo houses the famous archaeological treasures from Tutankhamen’s tomb. All sorts of jewelry, handicrafts, and ceramics which the ancient child ruler considered important are displayed inside the museum.
Looking at the ageless golden face of the popular king, checking out the royal mummies exhibit, and admiring the artefacts which tell tales about Egyptian history are just some of the things to do while exploring the Egyptian Museum Cairo. In the second quarter of 2018, some displays were relocated to the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, so you can schedule a visit to both museums for a grander learning experience.
3. Valley of the Kings
#3 Best Places To Visit In Egypt
Located in 4,000 year-old Luxor, the Valley of the Kings is studded with often highly decorated tombs, constructed to house the regal sarcophagi-enclosed mummies of the mighty pharaohs awaiting their passage into the after-life. Some of the best known tombs are those of Seti I, Amenhotep II and of course, the tomb of King Tutankhamun.
In all, more than 60 opulent and lavish tombs have been excavated. There are at least 75 tombs in Biban al-Harim, the Valley of the Queens, around 2 of which are open. Deir al- Bahri, otherwise known as the famous Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, rises out of the desert plain in a series of terraces. Partly rock-cut, partly freestanding, it is one of Egypt’s finest and most photographed monuments.
4. Alexandria City
#4 Best Places To Visit In Egypt
For centuries Alexandria was arguably the most important city in the world, at the heart of developments in sciences and philosophy, and repository of the greatest collection of knowledge in the world, the famous Library.
For such a significant place, precious little of the old Alexandria remains: just Pompey’s Pillar and the catacombs as well as assorted artefacts in the Graeco-Roman Museum. It has been replaced by a modern city where the pace of life is quite gentle, and a Mediterranean air of relaxation pervades.
Whilst not endowed with monuments it is a likeable place to spend time, and a good base for exploring the north of Egypt, or perhaps just strolling through the gardens of the Montazah Palace.
5. Citadel Of Saladin
#5 Best Places To Visit In Egypt
One of the most ancient places to visit in Egypt and declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Citadel of Saladin presents a stunning sight of the mosques, museum and so much more. Built by the widely famed Ayyubid ruler Saladin, the Citadel of Saladan served as a protection for cities like Cairo and Fustat from crusaders. Interestingly, Fustat was the first Egyptian capital under the Caliphate and carried huge importance at the time.
As for the site, the Citadel of Saladin is covered by a number of watchtowers and houses. There are remarkable mosques and the Well of Joseph inside the Citadel that add to the beauty of the place. Speaking of its main highlights, one can never afford to miss some stunning places like Sulayman, the Al-Naseer, and the palace museum of Al Gawhara. These are, in fact, some of the most famed tourist attractions in Cairo that are perfect for sightseeing tours.
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6. Karnak Temple Complex
#6 Best Places To Visit In Egypt
The Karnak Temple Complex is a very large ancient Egyptian religious site consisting of temples, pillars, and chapels all in various states of disrepair. The construction of the temple, unlike many other of the buildings and sites built by the Ancient Egyptians, spanned over 1,000 years and several dynasties. During this time, the complex was expanded, rebuilt, and redesigned, with Pharaohs piling plenty of cash into the sacred area.
The highlight of the complex is the central temple dedicated to the god Amun. The huge temple is one of the largest religious sites in the world and could easily fit several of the world’s largest cathedrals into its walls. The Karnak Temple Complex is split into four different sections although only one is open to the public. The other sites include large temples dedicated to the family of the god Amun.
The Karnak Temple Complex makes up part of the monumental city of Thebes, which is contained within the modern city of Luxor. You can find the complex at El-Karnak in Luxor.
7- Explore Aswan -Best of Aswan
#7 Best Places To Visit In Egypt
Abu Simbel the jewel of the desert is an archaeological site comprising two massive temples in southern Egypt the twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses the Great as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari. Archaeologists have concluded that the immense size of the statues was intended to scare potential enemies approaching Egypt’s southern region, as they traveled down the Nile from out of Africa. With the passage of time, the temples fell into disuse and eventually became covered by sand until they were rediscovered in 1813 by Swiss explorer Jean Louis Burkhart.
The complex was relocated in its entirety in the 1960s to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River
It has a miracle of the sun pass that happened every year on the 22nd of February and 22nd of October
You should take a trip to Abu Simbel temple.
8. Abu Simbel
#8 Best Places To Visit In Egypt
Built in the honor of the mighty King Ramses II, Abu Simbel is also known as the Great Sun Temple of King Ramses II. Interiors decorated sumptuously with wall paintings, on the outside four colossal statues of the Pharaoh himself stand guard at the entrance and on the sides.
Famous for its megalithic proportions, Abu Simbel is also an engineering marvel as Ramses II was able to orient the temple in such a way that the rays from the sun align perfectly to illuminate the temple’s inner sanctum of the temple twice a year: 21st February (date of his ascension to the throne) and 21st October (his birth date).
(Nothing vain about that at all). This is known today as the Sun Festival of King Ramses. If you visit the temple before sunrise, you can see shafts of sunlight illuminating the statues of Ramses, Re-Herakhte, and Amun-Re inside the temple, while the statue of Ptah-the god of darkness, remains in the shadows.
#9 Best Places To Visit In Egypt
Though mostly wilderness, Sinai is both dramatic and beautiful. The interior of southern Sinai is an arid moonscape of jagged ranges harbouring Mount Sinai and St Catherine’s Monastery – pilgrims climb from the site of the Burning Bush to the summit where God delivered the Ten Commandments. Further north, the vast Wilderness of the Wanderings resembles a Jackson Pollock canvas streaked with colour.
The Sinai is also home to a remarkably high number of plants and wildlife; over sixty percent of Egypt’s plant life thrives in this area, and 33 species are unique to it, including the world’s smallest butterfly, the Sinai Baton Blue. Hyenas, ibex and the rabbit-like hyrax also inhabit the region. Venture into this “desert” on a jeep or camel safari and you will also find remote springs and lush oases, providing insights into Bedouin culture.
#10 Best Places To Visit In Egypt
The name Saqqara refers to an Egyptian village, but more importantly, an age-old necropolis with a scattering of both large and smaller satellite pyramids spread across a dusty desert plateau. Buried beneath the sand overlooking the Nile Valley until the 19th-century, Saqqara has since been undergoing a significant restoration process.
Named after Sokar, the Memphite god of the dead, Saqqara served as a cemetery for the ancient city of Memphis for thousands of years and is the largest archeological site in Egypt. As such, it’s home to hundreds of fascinating tombs and burial sites for pharaohs and other Egyptian royals.
The highlight of Saqqara is the Step Pyramid of Djoser – the oldest pyramid on Earth. You’ll find some of the best views of the Nile from the top of this pyramid, accessible via a wooden ramp when the gate is open. Try one of the many doors and explore any that are unlocked – you never know what kind of mysteries lie behind them. The Pyramid of Teti with its fascinating Pyramid Texts and the Mastaba of Ti with its incredible reliefs are two more must-sees.
11. Islamic Cairo
#11 Best Places To Visit In Egypt
The atmospheric, narrow lanes of the capital’s Islamic Cairo district are crammed full of mosques, madrassas (Islamic schools of learning), and monuments dating from the Fatimid through to the Mameluke eras. This is where you’ll find the labyrinth shopping souk of Khan el-Khalili, where coppersmiths and artisans still have their tiny workshops, and stalls are laden with ceramics, textiles, spice, and perfume.
Surrounding the market is a muddle of roads, home to some of the most beautiful preserved architecture of the old Islamic empires. There is a wealth of history here to explore. Visit Al-Azhar Mosque and the dazzling Sultan Hassan Mosque, and make sure you climb to the roof of the ancient medieval gate of Bab Zuweila for the best minaret-speckled panoramas across the district.