Egypt, a country that bridges the northeast corner of Africa with the Middle East, is a destination that has mesmerized travelers for millennia.
It’s a place of mystery, charm, and history, where ancient wonders blend seamlessly with vibrant city life, and desert landscapes stretch to the horizon.
This article will guide you through the myriad of experiences Egypt offers, from the famed Pyramids of Giza to the bustling Khan El Khalili Bazaar and the tranquil Nile River.
The Ancient World of Egypt
Giza’s Grand Structures
No visit to Egypt is complete without a trip to the Pyramids of Giza, one of the last remaining Seven Wonders of the ancient world. These architectural marvels, built as royal burial grounds, showcase the pyramid building skills of the Ancient Egyptians.
The largest, the Great Pyramid, was constructed for Pharaoh Khufu and is a testament to the grandeur of the ancient city. Nearby, the enigmatic Sphinx, with its lion’s body and human head, guards the pyramid complex, adding an extra layer of mystery to this historic site.
Temples of Karnak and Luxor
Just a short drive from the bustling city located on the east bank of the Nile River, you’ll find the Karnak Temple Complex . This vast open-air museum features a stunning array of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings.
One of the most famous structures within the complex is the Hathor Temple, dedicated to the goddess of love, beauty, and music.
Not far from Karnak, the Luxor Temple awaits, another magnificent sacred site. Once linked to Karnak by an avenue of sphinxes, Luxor Temple is an impressive sight, especially at sunset when it is beautifully lit up.
Valley of the Kings and the Mortuary Temples
On the West Bank of the Nile, opposite Luxor, lies the Valley of the Kings. This barren, desert valley was the chosen burial site for pharaohs of the New Kingdom, including Tutankhamun, whose tomb, filled with unimaginable treasures, was discovered almost intact in the 20th century.
Nearby, the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, one of Egypt’s few female pharaohs, is an architectural marvel with its terraces, colonnades, and towering cliffs.
The Majestic Abu Simbel
Further south, near Sudan’s border, the Abu Simbel temples stand as a testament to the reign of Ramses II.
Carved out of a mountainside, the Great Temple and the smaller Hathor Temple were part of a monumental project to immortalize the pharaoh and his queen, Nefertari.
The four colossal statues of Ramses II guarding the Great Temple are an awe-inspiring sight.
Modern and Islamic Cairo
Cairo, Egypt’s sprawling capital, is a vibrant mix of the ancient and the modern. The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square houses an extensive collection of Egyptian artifacts, including the treasures of King Tut. However, the museum will soon give way to the Grand Egyptian Museum, a state-of-the-art facility near the Pyramids of Giza.
In the heart of Cairo lies Islamic Cairo, a district known for its historic mosques, madrasas, and monuments dating from the Islamic Empire. The Citadel, a medieval Islamic fortification, offers panoramic views over the city. Nearby, the Sultan Hassan Mosque showcases the pinnacle of Islamic architecture.
Don’t miss the Khan El Khalili Bazaar, a bustling market where you can buy everything from spices and perfume to jewelry and souvenirs. The bazaar is a sensory overload, with the aroma of spices, the sound of vendors haggling, and the sight of intricate handicrafts.
The Natural Wonders of Egypt
The White Desert and the Western Desert
Egypt’s vast deserts offer unique landscapes and experiences. The White Desert, part of the larger Western Desert, is known for its surreal, chalk-white limestone formations. A camel ride through this alien landscape is a must-do.
The Red Sea and its Resort Towns
For a change of pace, head to the Red Sea Coast. The resort towns of Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh offer world-class facilities for relaxation and water sports. The Red Sea is a paradise for scuba diving, with its warm waters, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life. The Ras Mohammed National Park, near Sharm El Sheikh, is one of the best dive sites in the world.
Sinai Peninsula and Mount Sinai
The Sinai Peninsula is a stunning region with a rich history and breathtaking landscapes. Mount Sinai, traditionally believed to be where Moses received the Ten Commandments, is a popular pilgrimage site. Nearby, St Catherine’s Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the oldest functioning Christian monasteries in the world.
The Nile Valley and the Nile Cruise
The Nile River, the lifeblood of Egypt, has been the backbone of its civilization since antiquity. A Nile Cruise is a relaxing way to see many of Egypt’s ancient sites. As you glide along the river, you can visit the temples of Luxor and Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, and other ancient sites.
Egypt’s rich culture, ancient history, and diverse landscapes make it a captivating destination. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, diving in the Red Sea, or cruising along the Nile, you’ll find plenty to do in Egypt. But remember, this is just the beginning of what Egypt offers. The country is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.
Egypt’s Lesser-Known Wonders
The Bent Pyramid and the Royal Jewelry Museum
While the Pyramids of Giza steal the limelight, the Bent Pyramid in Dahshur offers a unique perspective on the evolution of pyramid construction. Its bent slope is a result of an abrupt change in angle, providing evidence of the learning curve in pyramid building skills.
In Alexandria, the Royal Jewelry Museum is a hidden gem. Housed in a former palace, it showcases an exquisite collection of jewels and artifacts from the royal family of Muhammad Ali Pasha.
The Ancient City of Memphis and its Enormous Statues
Near Cairo, the ancient city of Memphis was once the thriving capital of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Today, it’s an open-air museum housing an impressive collection of ancient sights, including the colossal statue of Ramses II and the Alabaster Sphinx.
Experiencing Egypt’s Culture and Cuisine
Egyptian culture is a melting pot of influences from the ancient Egyptian civilization, the Islamic empire, and modern Western traditions. This rich culture is reflected in the country’s music, dance, literature, and, notably, its cuisine.
Egyptian cuisine is a flavorful mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences. Staples include ful medames (mashed fava beans), kushari (a mix of lentils, rice, pasta, and tomato sauce), and molokhia (a soup made from jute leaves). Be sure to try these local delicacies in Cairo’s many traditional restaurants.
Aswan High Dam and the Double Temple of Kom Ombo
Further south, Aswan, with its serene Nile Valley scenery, is a must-visit. The Aswan High Dam, a monumental feat of engineering, has a significant impact on Egypt’s irrigation and electricity supply.
Just a short drive from Aswan, the Double Temple of Kom Ombo stands majestically on a hilltop. This unusual double design was dedicated to two sets of gods – the falcon god Horus and the crocodile god Sobek.
Hot Air Ballooning and Camel Rides
For a unique perspective, take a hot air balloon ride over Luxor at sunrise. The view of the Nile, the Valley of the Kings, and the temples emerging from the morning mist is unforgettable.
And no Egypt trip is complete without a camel ride. Whether in the desert, around the Pyramids, or in the Sinai Peninsula, it’s an experience not to be missed.
From the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, from the Pyramids of Giza to the temples of Abu Simbel, from the bustling streets of Cairo to the tranquility of the Nile Valley, Egypt offers a wealth of experiences.
Its ancient ruins, historic architecture, and rich culture make it a must-visit for any traveler. Whether you’re a history buff, a culture vulture, an adventure seeker, or a beach lover, you’ll find plenty to do in Egypt.
Remember, this is just a glimpse of what Egypt offers. The country is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. So, pack your bags, immerse yourself in the ancient history and vibrant culture, and embark on an unforgettable Egypt trip.
FAQ about What To Do In Egypt
What are 3 important facts about ancient Egypt?
Ancient Egypt’s rich history is filled with intriguing facts. Firstly, the civilization had a pantheon of over 2,000 gods and goddesses, showcasing their complex belief systems. Secondly, Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Egypt, lived closer in time to the present day than to the construction of the Pyramids of Giza. Lastly, ancient Egyptian bakers had a unique method of kneading bread dough — they used their feet!
What are five things to see in Egypt?
Egypt is a treasure trove of ancient wonders and vibrant culture. Five must-see attractions include the Pyramids of Giza, the Karnak Temple Complex, the Valley of the Kings, the bustling Khan El Khalili Bazaar, and the serene Nile River.
What entertainment is there in Egypt?
Egypt offers a diverse array of entertainment. You can enjoy Arabic music concerts at the Cairo Opera House, witness mesmerizing belly dancing performances, or experience Western classical music. For nightlife, there are numerous bars and discos, while rock and jazz performances are also popular.
What is the most visited place in Egypt?
The Pyramids of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, is the most visited site in Egypt. This complex of royal burial grounds is a testament to the pyramid building skills of the Ancient Egyptians.
What should be visited in Egypt?
Egypt offers a plethora of sites to explore. Key attractions include the Pyramids of Giza, a Nile River cruise, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, the Pyramids of Dahshur, the historic city of Alexandria, and the resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh.
Why Egypt is the best place to visit?
Egypt is a captivating destination due to its blend of ancient history, rich culture, and diverse landscapes. From the ancient pyramids at Giza to the tombs of pharaohs in the desert, and the world-famous temples and monuments, Egypt offers a unique travel experience.
What was used as entertainment in ancient Egypt?
Ancient Egyptians had a variety of entertainment forms, including juggling, swimming, rowing, dancing, pageants, wrestling, and javelin throwing. Hunting and fishing were also popular activities that required courage and patience.
What do Egyptians do for entertainment?
Modern Egyptians enjoy a variety of activities, including watching or participating in sports like football, visiting cinemas, and socializing in cafes. Traditional forms of entertainment, such as music, dance, and storytelling, also remain popular.
What kind of activities can you do in Egypt?
In Egypt, you can marvel at the Pyramids of Giza, learn to dive in the Red Sea, sail along the Nile, explore the Karnak and Luxor temple complexes, visit the Valley of the Kings, or even sleep in the desert. Camel rides offer a unique way to experience the landscape.
What are three different places to visit or see in Egypt?
Three must-visit places in Egypt include the Abu Simbel temples near Sudan’s border, the White Desert with its surreal, chalk-white limestone formations, and the bustling market of Khan El Khalili Bazaar in Cairo.
Why Egypt is a good place for tourists?
Egypt is a tourist’s paradise due to its rich ancient history, stunning architecture, vibrant markets, and warm hospitality. The country offers a mix of experiences, from exploring ancient ruins to relaxing on the Red Sea coast.
What do Egyptians do for fun?
Egyptians enjoy a range of recreational activities, from sports like football and swimming to social activities like visiting cafes and watching movies. Traditional entertainment forms, such as music and dance, are also popular.
Why should tourists visit Egypt?
Tourists should visit Egypt to explore its ancient wonders, including the pyramids, temples, and tombs. The country also offers beautiful landscapes, from the Nile Valley to the Red Sea coast, and a rich cultural heritage.
What is the most special thing in Egypt?
The most special thing in Egypt is undoubtedly the Pyramids of Giza. These ancient structures are a testament to the architectural genius of the ancient Egyptians and remain one of the world’s most iconic sights.
What do people in modern Egypt do for fun?
Modern Egyptians enjoy a variety of pastimes, from playing board games like chess and backgammon to watching football matches. Many also enjoy socializing in cafes, smoking hookah, and attending music concerts.
Is 7 days in Egypt enough?
While a week in Egypt allows you to explore key attractions like Cairo, Aswan, and Luxor, it is the minimum recommended time. Egypt’s wealth of historical sites, cultural experiences, and natural beauty ideally requires more time to fully appreciate.
What is the must see and do in Egypt?
The must-see sights in Egypt include the Pyramids of Giza, the Karnak Temple Complex, and the Valley of the Kings. Must-do experiences include a Nile River cruise, exploring the markets of Cairo, and diving in the Red Sea.
What are five places to visit in Egypt?
Five essential places to visit in Egypt include the Pyramids of Giza, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the temple complex of Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, and the resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh on the Red Sea coast.
What are 3 famous things in Egypt?
Three famous aspects of Egypt are its ancient pyramids, particularly the Pyramids of Giza, the Nile River, which has been the lifeblood of its civilization since antiquity, and its ancient gods and goddesses, of which there were over 2,000.