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Egypt is the land of history and mystery. A country is so rich in culture and heritage that it lures visitors into its mesmerizing past. When you step into Egypt, you can feel the ancient vibes seeping into your bones. This country has managed to preserve its stories and relics astonishingly well, making it a crucial experience destination for anyone who appreciates history and beauty.
From the great Nile to the majestic Pyramids, Egypt offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences you’ll remember fondly for the rest of your life. So, let’s dive into the best things to do on your trip to this timeless destination.
- Best Things to Do in Egypt
- 1. Giza Necropolis
- 2. Karnak
- 3. Abu Simbel Temples
- 4. Salah El-Din Al-Ayoubi Castle
- 5. Cairo Tower
- Where to Stay in Egypt
- How to Get Around in Egypt
- Travel Tips for Visiting Egypt
- Respecting Egyptian Culture and Traditions
- Stay Hydrated and Embrace the Local Cuisine
- Bargaining as an Art Form at Local Markets
- Carry Cash, Especially in Smaller Locations
- Learn a Few Essential Arabic Phrases
Best Things to Do in Egypt
1. Giza Necropolis
There’s no denying that the Giza Necropolis should be on top of your list when visiting Egypt. This breathtaking archaeological site is home to the iconic Great Pyramid of Giza, the last remaining wonder of the ancient world.
Alongside the Great Pyramid, you’ll find the majestic Great Sphinx, a colossal statue with a lion’s body and a pharaoh’s head. This complex takes you on a journey back in time, letting you marvel at the ingenuity and achievements of the ancient civilization that constructed these architectural marvels.
The magnificent Karnak Temple Complex in Luxor is another crucial experience site for anyone exploring Egypt. This massive open-air museum comprises a series of temples, chapels, and other buildings that showcase the architectural prowess of ancient Egypt.
Wander through the vast columns of the Great Hypostyle Hall and stand in awe of the towering obelisks that punctuate the landscape. At Karnak, you will truly feel the passage of time and the greatness of those who came before you.
3. Abu Simbel Temples
The two colossal rock temples of Abu Simbel, dedicated to Pharaoh Ramesses II and his queen Nefertari, are a powerful testament to ancient Egyptian artistry. The stunning temples were painstakingly relocated in the 1960s to avoid being submerged due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam.
The intricate carvings and immense statues will leave you in awe, making this a vital visit destination in Egypt. Also, don’t forget to explore the local market for unique souvenirs and refreshments.
4. Salah El-Din Al-Ayoubi Castle
This imposing fortress, perched on a hill overlooking Cairo, is a striking example of Islamic military architecture. Known as the Citadel of Saladin, it was built in the 12th century by the Ayyubid Sultan Salah ad-Din. The castle offers stunning panoramic city views and houses a few mosques, museums, and other structures. Take your time to wander through the complex and soak in its history.
5. Cairo Tower
For those looking for a modern twist in their Egypt travel experience, the Cairo Tower is a must-visit. This 187-meter-tall tower, situated on the island of Zamalek, offers panoramic views of Cairo and the surrounding area. The observation deck is a perfect spot for taking in the cityscape, including landmarks such as the Nile River, the Pyramids of Giza, and the Citadel of Saladin. Pro tip: visit the tower at sunset for the most magical views!
Where to Stay in Egypt
While planning your adventure through Egypt, finding the perfect place to rest your head after a long day of exploration is essential. This Egypt travel guide has your back, with a curated list of the best accommodations in the country that cater to a range of preferences and budgets. Here are the top 10 totals in Egypt:
- Mena House – Experience the fascinating history of this luxurious property while enjoying modern amenities right at the doorstep of the Giza Pyramids.
- Marriott Mena House Cairo – Opt for a blend of elegance and comfort in this 5-star hotel, offering breathtaking views of the pyramids.
- Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan – Treat yourself to a Victorian masterpiece with classy decor poised on the edge of the Nile River.
- Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa – Rejuvenate in this contemporary retreat overlooking the Nile, with easy access to Luxor Temple and Karnak.
- Mövenpick Resort Aswan – Indulge in the tranquil setting of Elephantine Island, with lush gardens, excellent service, and captivating river views.
- Al Moudira Hotel– Get inspired by the unique setting of this spacious and artistically designed retreat, situated close to the Valley of the Kings.
- Dahab Paradise – Escape the crowds and unwind in this lovely, modest resort set amidst the beauty of Dahab’s Blue Hole, perfect for snorkeling or diving.
- Nubian Guest House – Immerse yourself in an authentic Nubian experience by staying in this colorful and cozy guest house in the heart of Aswan.
How to Get Around in Egypt
Navigating Egypt’s fascinating landscapes requires understanding the various transportation options available. Due to the vast distances between some destinations and the unpredictable nature of public transportation, renting a car is an excellent choice for those seeking flexibility and convenience. You can book a reliable vehicle through RentalCars.com to explore at your own pace.
Travel Tips for Visiting Egypt
Visiting Egypt presents an opportunity to delve into an astonishingly rich cultural and historical tapestry. Remember these unique travel tips to make the most of your trip. Don’t forget to consider investing in travel insurance for your Egypt journey; it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You can find excellent plans at VisitorsCoverage.com.
Respecting Egyptian Culture and Traditions
As you visit Egypt, it’s important to respect the local customs and traditions. Egypt is predominantly Islamic, and modest clothing is expected, especially for women. Covering your knees and shoulders is wise to avoid unwanted attention or cultural insensitivity. Additionally, refrain from taking photos of people without permission – engagement and connection go a long way here.
Stay Hydrated and Embrace the Local Cuisine
Egypt’s climate can take a toll on travelers, so stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle and drinking plenty of fluids. Embrace the local cuisine, which offers mouthwatering delights like koshari, molokhia, and shawarma. Exploring the myriad street food offerings will bring you closer to the heart of Egypt’s soul.
Bargaining as an Art Form at Local Markets
Negotiation is ubiquitous in Egyptian culture, and you can’t leave the country without experiencing the excitement of haggling at a local market. Remember that a vendor’s first price is rarely the final amount, so embrace the opportunity to engage in a back-and-forth dance while browsing various souvenirs, spices, and handicrafts. However, remember to be friendly and fair when making your counter-offers.
Carry Cash, Especially in Smaller Locations
While larger metropolitan areas do accept credit cards, Egypt remains a cash-driven society, particularly in smaller towns or rural areas. When visiting these less-populated parts of the country, carry enough Egyptian pounds to cover your accommodations, food, and souvenirs. Converting currency at a local bank or forex bureau provides the best exchange rates.
Learn a Few Essential Arabic Phrases
Egyptians appreciate any attempts at speaking their language. Familiarize yourself with a few essential Arabic phrases beyond the standard “hello” and “thank you.” A little bit of linguistic effort goes a long way toward building rapport with locals and opening new doors of communication, understanding, and appreciation.
- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.