The Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Egypt

Edukaris

Uncover Egypt’s Timeless Treasures: The Top 25 Sites Not to Miss

Egypt is filled with ancient wonders that will amaze you. From the Great Pyramids of Giza to the vast temples of Luxor, Egypt has no shortage of sites that will transport you back thousands of years. Beyond its famed archaeological sites, Egypt offers amazing scuba diving and snorkeling in the Red Sea, relaxing stays at Red Sea beach resorts, and cruises down the legendary Nile River. Discover Egypt’s best places to visit with this guide.

1. The Pyramids of Giza

No trip to Egypt is complete without a visit to the iconic Pyramids of Giza, the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World. Dating back 4,500 years, the Pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure provide an awesome glimpse into the Ancient Egyptian civilization.

You can enter some of the pyramids through narrow passageways to chambers where pharaohs were once buried. Gaze up in amazement at the monumental structures and learn about the intriguing theories of how the pyramids were built. The impressive sight of these ancient triangle shaped tombs rising from the desert is unforgettable.

Adjacent to the pyramids sits the Sphinx, a limestone statue of a mythical creature with a lion’s body and a human head. Measuring an incredible 240 feet long and 66 feet high, the Sphinx is believed to depict the pharaoh Khafre and is nearly as old as the pyramids themselves.

2. Luxor Temple

One of the best preserved temples in Egypt, Luxor Temple was built over hundreds of years by Amenhotep III, Ramses II and other pharaohs during Egypt’s New Kingdom period from the 14th to 13th centuries BC. This sprawling complex was once connected to the Temple of Karnak by an avenue lined with sphinxes.

Inside the temple, marvel at soaring pillared halls, colossal statues and obelisks. The Great Colonnade features towering papyrus-shaped columns while the interior Sanctuary enshrined the cult statue of the Theban Triad of gods. Don’t miss seeing the Mosque of Abu Haggag housed above the temple’s entrance.

3. Abu Simbel Temples

The awe-inspiring Abu Simbel temples are among Egypt’s most magnificent monuments dating back to the 13th century BC. Built by Ramses II to demonstrate his power to the Nubians, the Great Temple features four massive statues of the pharaoh guarding the entrance. Inside lies a fascinating complex of pillared halls and chambers full of detailed carvings.

Nearby lies the Temple of Hathor, dedicated to Ramses’ chief wife Nefertari. The temple façade displays six colossal statues of Ramses and Nefertari. Look for the well-preserved wall decorations highlighting Nefertari. In a miraculous feat of modern engineering, both temples were entirely relocated in 1968 to avoid being submerged by the Aswan High Dam reservoir.

4. Valley of the Kings

The Valley of the Kings is an ancient royal burial ground located on the Nile’s west bank across from Luxor. For nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th centuries BC, pharaonic tombs were constructed here for Egypt’s New Kingdom rulers. Over 60 tombs have been excavated, many containing incredibly well-preserved paintings portraying Egyptian journeys through the afterlife.

The most famous tomb is that of the boy pharaoh Tutankhamun discovered in 1922 with its gold funeral mask and sarcophagus. Other popular tombs you can explore include those of Ramses IV and Ramses IX with their vivid murals. Descend into these underground chambers to admire the hieroglyphics and vibrant illustrations.

5. Karnak Temple Complex

The Karnak Temple Complex near Luxor lives up to its tag as one of the biggest ancient religious sites ever constructed, covering more than 200 acres. Built over 2,000 years, the temples, pylons, columns and obelisks exemplify Ancient Egypt at its most powerful.

Entering through a sphinx lined avenue, stop to admire the massive scarab and ram-headed sphinxes. The standout Great Hypostyle Hall amazes with 134 columns in 16 rows. Don’t miss wandering past the Sacred Lake structure to the Precinct of Mut temple with its finely carved reliefs. The excellent sound and light shows brings this expansive complex to life.

6. Egypt Museum in Cairo

Housing the world’s most extensive collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, the Egypt Museum should be high on your Cairo bucket list. With over 120,000 relics covering 5,000 years of Egypt’s past, prepare to spend hours marvelling at the treasures.

The highlights are the finds from Tutankhamun’s tomb including his gold mask and sarcophagi. Other galleries showcase mummies, monumental statues, jewelry and ancient scrolls. The Royal Mummy Room reveals the actual mummies of revered pharaohs like Ramses II. An absolute must-see to appreciate ancient Egypt’s grandeur and wealth of history.

7. Temple of Hatshepsut

Rising out of the desert cliffs along the Nile’s West Bank near Luxor, the Temple of Hatshepsut dates to Egypt’s New Kingdom era in the 15th century BC. This colonnaded sandstone temple was built by Queen Hatshepsut, one of Egypt’s few female pharaohs who ruled for around 20 years. Wander through the temple’s three levels lined with statues, reliefs and inscriptions telling of Hatshepsut’s reign.

Look for the fine details adorning the Temple of Hatshepsut like the carvings in the pillared sanctuary. The surrounding cliffs add to the serenity as you stroll between the temple terraces. Don’t miss this modern wonder of the ancient world.

8. Red Sea Beaches

Egypt’s eastern coastline along the Red Sea harbors some of the best beaches in the Middle East. Dotted with beach resorts, the turquoise sea here provides amazing snorkeling and scuba diving amongst coral reefs and shipwrecks. The starkly beautiful desert and mountains act as a scenic backdrop.

One top spot for sunning and watersports is Sharm El Sheikh at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula. This popular seaside resort town offers an abundance of hotels, restaurants and nightlife. The nearby Ras Mohammed National Park lures divers with stunning underwater scenery. For a more laidback vibe, head to Dahab, where you can relax at eco-friendly beach camps.

9. Siwa Oasis

For a taste of a traditional oasis, journey to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt’s western desert. Siwa’s dozens of freshwater springs have sustained life here for centuries. Wander around the 13th century mud-brick fortress of Shali Ghadi or explore the Temple of the Oracle, once home to a famed fortune teller Alexander the Great visited.

Try a dip in the salty Lake Siwa, surrounded by palm trees and olive groves. You can also arrange scenic camel rides to admire the sunset over the desert dunes. Stay overnight at one of Siwa’s eco-lodges for a serene desert getaway. The laidback Siwa Oasis feels worlds away from Egypt’s bustling cities.

10. Cruising the Nile River

A cruise down the legendary Nile River provides an unforgettable glimpse into Egypt’s treasures from Luxor to Aswan. Sail aboard a 5-star riverboat and relax as some of the world’s greatest ancient sites drift slowly by. Gaze at riverside Temple of Kom Ombo with its double temple dedicated to the gods Horus and Sobek.

Marvel at the Aswan High Dam before visiting the colossal Unfinished Obelisk. Spend time at the remote Temple of Philae and the quarries where ancient Egyptians mined granite. As you sail serenely down the world’s longest river through picture-perfect landscapes, you’ll discover why the Nile played such an important role throughout Egypt’s history.

Soak up Egypt’s ancient aura and magnificent monuments on a trip to these inspiring top attractions. Let Egypt’s crowning achievements transport you back through the centuries as you explore the best places to visit in this cradle of civilization.

More Top Places to Visit in Egypt

Beyond its most famous sites, Egypt offers many more fascinating destinations to discover. Delve deeper into Egypt’s attractions with these additional top places to visit.

Aswan

Situated upon the Nile River, Aswan has long been an important settlement and ancient frontier town. Take a ferry to wander the ruins on Elephantine Island dotted with the remains of temples and settlements from Egypt’s Old Kingdom period. One highlight is the Temple of Khnum dating to the Middle Kingdom.

Explore the excellent Nubian Museum spotlighting the Nubian culture and civilization that flourished south of Egypt. Don’t miss a visit to the granite quarries just north of Aswan. This site provides insight into how ancient Egyptians carved obelisks and colossal statues from the granite bedrock.

Make time to relax at one of the riverside restaurants along Aswan’s picturesque Corniche. The views of the desert and river are simply sublime.

Alexandria

Founded by Alexander the Great, the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria was once Egypt’s capital and one of the great cities of the ancient world. The Alexandria National Museum housed in a restored Italian mansion showcases ancient Egyptian, Coptic and Greco-Roman artifacts.

One of Alexandria’s top sights is the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a huge modern library and cultural center built to commemorate the legendary ancient Library of Alexandria. Take an underwater tour to see remnants of the Pharos Lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Strolling through Alexandria’s historic streets, you may come across Greek Revival and Art Deco buildings. The seaside Corniche offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.

White Desert

Seeing Egypt’s White Desert is like exploring an alien landscape with its wind-sculpted chalk rock formations. The area lies 300 miles southwest of Cairo within the Farafra Oasis. Take a jeep safari to check out the desert’s starkly beautiful sights.

Marvel at the mushroom-shaped rock sculptures that resemble everything from chickens to icebergs. You may spot fossils embedded within the white and cream colored chalk cliffs and boulders. Camping under the stars in this remote region provides an amazing experience.

Saint Catherine’s Monastery

Nestled at the foot of Mount Sinai, Saint Catherine’s Monastery is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world. First built in the 6th century, this desert monastery still contains remarkable art and architecture.

Enter the basilica to see ornate chalices and altar coverings. Don’t miss the 6th century Chapel of the Burning Bush said to mark the spot where Moses saw the burning bush. Climbing the mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments offers stunning desert panoramas. Saint Catherine’s timeless monastery is a holy place not to be missed.

Dendera Temple Complex

Found just north of Luxor, the Temple Complex of Dendera contains remarkably preserved temples dedicated to Hathor, the goddess of love and joy. Most visitors are awed by the Dendera Temple with its massive stone columns and inscriptions of Cleopatra VII.

But the real highlight is the Dendera Temple’s crypt covered in mysterious symbols associated with the Dendera Zodiac. This ancient star chart is believed to show the skies over Dendera thousands of years ago. The underground crypt still mystifies archaeologists.

Ras Mohammed National Park

As one of Egypt’s first national parks, Ras Mohammed protects vibrant coral reefs in the Red Sea near Sharm El Sheikh. Scuba divers and snorkelers flock here to swim amongst more than 1,000 species of fish along submerged cliffs and offshore reefs.

Ras Mohammed encompasses stunning desert and coastal scenery across 400 square miles. Look for pods of bottlenose dolphins playing in the turquoise waters. While any time of year is ideal for diving, visibility peaks from August to January.

Khan El Khalili Bazaar

No trip to Cairo is complete without getting lost in the labyrinth alleys of Khan el Khalili, one of the largest bazaars in the Middle East. This bustling bazaar has been a major souk (market) for over 600 years. Squeeze past the crowds to peruse pyramids of spices, gold, silver and herbal remedies.

Stop at one of the traditional coffeehouses to watch the lively bazaar scene unfold. Remember to haggle politely with the shopkeepers selling Egyptian cotton, handmade crafts, perfumes and more. The Khan el Khalili bazaar perfectly captures Cairo’s exhilarating chaos.

The High Dam, Aswan

An engineering marvel, the Aswan High Dam was constructed across the Nile between 1960 and 1970. This massive embankment dam helped provide valuable irrigation and electricity. While the dam also resulted in environmental issues, it has controlled the Nile’s deadly floods.

Visit the Soviet-style High Dam Monument to learn about the dam’s dimensions and construction. Gaze out over Lake Nasser, one of the largest man-made reservoirs. Aswan’s High Dam stands as an impressive feat of modern infrastructure.

Saqqara

In the desert just outside Cairo lies Saqqara, a vast ancient burial ground that served as the necropolis for Memphis, Egypt’s first capital. Although less famous than Giza, Saqqara is home to remarkable monuments. The Step Pyramid of Djoser dating from 2630 BC is considered the earliest large-scale cut stone construction.

Saqqara is also home to the Serapeum’s intricate underground tombs where the mummified Apis bulls were buried. Don’t miss seeing the 4,700-year-old Pyramid Texts, the oldest religious spells known, carved within Unas’ pyramid.

Coptic Cairo

With its warren of alleyways and stone archways, Coptic Cairo transports visitors back centuries to Egypt’s early Christian era. This historic area was settled in Roman times. Today you’ll find numerous Coptic churches, including the 9th century Hanging Church built above a Roman gate.

Stroll past the historic walls of the Coptic Museum to see precious artifacts like textiles, carvings and icons. Soak up the area’s timeworn allure strolling past 4th century Roman Towers and the 11th century Mosque of Amr ibn al-As, Egypt’s first mosque.

Beni Hasan

Along the Nile River’s east bank, 155 miles south of Cairo, the Beni Hasan necropolis holds fascinating tombs dating back 2,000 years. Carved into limestone cliffs, the rock-cut tombs served nomarchs, local governors of the Middle Kingdom.

Many of the 39 tombs depict daily Nile life with scenes like wrestling, hunting and fishing. The Tomb of Khnumhotep II has the most detailed paintings. But the Tomb of Amenemhat stands out for its striking facade meant to resemble a palace entrance. Explore these cliffside tombs for a window into ancient times.

That covers some additional top attractions in Egypt beyond the most famous sights. From oasis escapes to ancient tombs to modern engineering marvels, Egypt offers incredible variety. Use this guide to fully experience the diversity of destinations across this captivating country.

CONCLUSION

and wonder.

Vital Lake Tonle Sap constitutes Cambodia’s largest freshwater lake and one of Asia’s most productive inland fisheries. Connected to the Mekong River, it covers 2,700 square kilometers (1,040 square miles) in dry seasons but expands to 16,000 square kilometers (6,200 square miles) with floodwaters each wet season. Hundreds of floating villages and “stilted” houses line its shores.

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