Exploring the places to visit in Egypt is like revisiting the history of mankind. After all, history here is one of the oldest in the known world. Start at the very beginning, with the famed ancient monuments that you’ve thus far only seen in history textbooks. Go through the ages, visiting some of the many museums and architectural marvels. Gradually step into the present, as you explore the underwater diving havens of the Red Sea. Pretty much all of them are must-visit places in Egypt.
It’s no surprise that the iconic Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx top this list of places to visit in Egypt. Yes, it can get crowded, but if you pick the right day, you can really explore this wonder of the world with just a handful of other visitors. Luxor, or erstwhile Thebes, is where you’ll find the famous Valley of the Kings, the resting place of all the grandest ancient kings. The Temple of Hatshepsut is delightfully different, while the Karnak Temple Complex is full of relics from towering columns to intricate statues. But it’s just as good to check out some of the less popular Egypt tourist places in the city. Places like the Habu Temple with its detailed wall carvings or the ancient village ruins of Deir el-Medina, once-home to the pyramid building community.
Away from the well-travelled ancient trail, some exquisite monuments stand in other regions of the country too. The Necropolis of Al Bhagawat, the ancient Roman fortress in Qasr Al Labakha both can be found in Al Kharga. While Aswan is home to the hauntingly beautiful Ruins of Abu, the Unfinished Obelisk, and the Temple of Seti I in Abydos — all worthy of your attention amidst the tour of antiquities.
Perhaps you’d like to explore some of the places to go in Egypt that are of religious significance. They hold great importance in the culture of this rich historical land. Some of the churches here go as far back as the 4th century! Make room in your day plans for visits to St. Catherine’s Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Hanging Church in Cairo with its intriguing mix of Coptic and Arabic writings. In the Easter Desert region, you can also visit the Church of St. Paul which is said to be built around the cave where he once lived.
You’ll see plenty of mosques in every city of the country, but some of the older ones are also Egypt tourist places of great popularity. Ones you should make a trip to. They include the Al Azhar Mosque in Cairo built in 970 AD, regarded the highest theological authority in Egypt even today. The 14th century Madrassa of Sultan Hassan in the capital, built in Mamluk architectural style, is a sight to behold. While the Mosque of Qaitbey displays some of the most graceful and intricate floral patterns.
The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is certainly one you should not miss, for it is a treasure trove of relics tracing all the way back to when European archaeology began. The highlight is of course, Tutankhamen’s Tomb. Venture into Old Cairo’s Abdeen district, where the Abdeen Palace that once housed the president of Egypt, now homes priceless artefacts and paintings of the later history. The Manial Palace Museum in south Cairo is a delightful mix of European and Ottoman craft styles. The Coptic Museum and Museum of Islamic Art are some of the other city favourites.
While Luxor Museum may not boast as vast a collection, it more than makes up for it in intrigue and overall experience. When in Luxor, you could also stop at the Mummification Museum and learn all about the ancient embalming process. For ones who love exploring history, you’ll be spoilt for choice of places to visit in Egypt.
It’s not just the museums that give you a glimpse of the old Egypt. The wonderfully exotic marketplaces or souks have their own stories to tell. The most famous of them all is the Khan el-Khalili market in Cairo, where you’ll find everything from boutiques to perfumeries, coffee shops and trinket sellers. The same city is also where you can check out the Birqash Camel Market, Tent Market and Souk al Fustat.
For truly local flavours, make your way to the Luxor open air souk — where aromatics fill the air and natives go about their regular shopping. It is here that you’ll get to witness the beauty of Egypt unfiltered.
Some of the best places to visit in Egypt are those that give you the chance to be in some of the most exquisite outdoors this intriguing country has to offer. There’s the Sinai Peninsula region, by the Red Sea, one of the world’s top diving destinations. Make your way to Sharm El Shaikh’s Ras Mohammed National Park for some of the best dive spots as well as overnight camping under the stars. The exquisite reefs of Dahab are also a sight to behold, amongst others.
The White Desert is a surreal landscape of chalk mountains that’s truly out of this world. You could sail upon the Nile’s tranquil waters in Aswan, for a relaxing cruise experience. A sunrise hike up Mount Sinai is especially enlightening, for this is the very same spot where Moses is supposed to have received the Ten Commandments. In Hurgada you could do a desert safari, best enjoyed by zipping across dunes on an all-terrain vehicle.
Egypt tourist places promise to take you on an unforgettable journey through time and space. Reach out and pick a suitable Egypt tour from SOTC and start planning.