Egypt is mostly known for its pharaonic period and its ancient architecture. Considered a top tourist destination worldwide, it has become synonymous with temples and tombs, but there’s much more to Egypt than that! The expansive surrounding desert makes the Nile a tourist hotspot, and scuba diving is just one of Egypt’s many hidden activities available through Egypt Escapes.
Top 8 Place To Visit
1. Giza Pyramids
Seen as the last few survivors of ancient architecture, the mighty pyramids on the Giza Plateau guarded by the iconic Sphinx draw thousands of tourists each year. These majestic monuments were built by the mighty pharaohs as tombs, but there are a few that say they served a much different purpose. Archaeologists, historians and travellers alike have visited the Giza Pyramids for nearly a millennium and the most enduring question of all remains: how were they built?
2. Karnak Temple In Luxor
Originally named Thebes by the ancients, Luxor was a powerful city during ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom period. It is home to many notable landmarks such as Hatshepsut’s Memorial Temple, The Valley of the Kings, and of course, Karnak Temple. It is a thriving hub of tourist attractions, but perhaps the most enduring is King Tut’s Tomb.
3. Cairo’s Islamic District
A relic of a bygone era, you can glimpse into Cairo’s past by visiting the narrow paths of the Islamic District. It is laden with architectural wonders such as mosques, schools of learning or madrassas, and of course, monuments that serve as a testament to the Fatimid and Mameluke periods. The number one tourist attraction still remains the Khan el-Khalili, a shopping souk, that houses artisans and coppersmiths to this day. You will find a large number of gorgeous works of art ranging from ceramics to tapestry.
Soak up the sun and relax by heading to Egypt’s most picturesque yet relaxing town, Aswan. Situated on the banks of the Nile and backed by a stunning landscape of endless dunes, it is a scenic tourist destination. Nearby Elephantine Island is home to a number of Nubian villages worth the ferry ride to visit. The many riverboat restaurants offer a wonderful way to end the day while gazing out at the setting sun.
5. Ramses II’s Temple At Abu Simbel
Though Egypt’s landscape is dotted with many temples, Abu Simbel is still a powerful monument that very few rival. Built by Ramses II, the temple is guarded by two colossal statues of the pharaoh. The inside of the temple is a true testament to the art of the time with lavishly painted walls. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Abu Simbel is that it’s not currently in its original location. It was relocated in the 1960s as the Aswan dam was set to flood its original home. The operation was one of UNESCO’s largest feats and took four years.
6. Cairo’s Egyptian Museum
Jam-packed with archaeological finds and little to no labelling of artefacts make this old school museum a charming place to visit. The faded pink facade is home to one of the world’s most dazzling art collections of historical interest.
7. The White Desert
Though Egypt is known for its ancient architecture and orange sand dunes, the White Desert is an interesting and weird place to visit. The chalky dunes and the ripples in the sand make it look like a different planet altogether. The sci-fi-esque feeling is echoed by the white boulders and sharp pinnacles. Adventure lovers especially find the White Desert a unique destination as it evokes the feeling of a winter wonderland.
8. The Siwa Oasis
The Siwa Oasis is a romantic and tranquil place located in western Egypt. Home to numerous date palm plantations and many freshwater springs, it’s aptly named. Not only is it picturesque, but the ruins of an old citadel tower over the oasis. It is a great place to take it easy and plan the next step of the journey.