Egypt is a land of dreams for travelers looking for a bustling destination with a vibrant culture. That’s why Egypt is one of the most popular destinations among travelers regarding the age and travel style. From luxury villas, with overlooking the Nile, to the Arabian nights on the desert, Egypt has captivated many hearts across the globe. Here’s my Egypt Travel Guide!
Tourism is the backbone of the national economy. Egyptian government has been working for years to integrate the necessary security measures and encourage travelers to explore safely explore the country. On top of this, Egyptians are welcoming travelers, and they have managed to help them create a memorable vacation. Choosing one of Egypt luxury tours can introduce you to the lands of ancient history in a unique way.
Egypt Travel Guide
Safety in Egypt
When I visited Egypt back in 2008 safety wasn’t the biggest concern. Unfortunately, nowadays most of the Middle East is currently in a political or social unrest, but we often forget to see the difference between Egypt and the rest of the continent. Tourist attractions are largely safe and not under threat.
As you may know by now, Egypt is NOT on the travel alert or travel warning list for the U.S Department of State. They’ve been travelers that already visited the country and felt safe such as the former Seattle Seahawks running back who was just there few weeks ago.
Remember to take precautions as in any other travel destination to avoid potential danger, mingle with the locals and try to dress modestly and respectfully towards the cultures as well as traditional aspects of Egypt.
What to Do & See in Egypt?
The Great Pyramids of Giza
As you might expect one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of ancient times are the glorious pyramids. Somewhere far away in the secluded desert, prepare to be amazed as you can see the Great Pyramid of Khufu – the last standing ancient wonder of the world, looming in front of you from the Giza street while approaching them.
As you enter the gate, after a few minutes you’ll gradually approach the front of the Great Pyramid, which you can enter. Remember you have to keep your back hunched while inside due to the narrow passageways.
Afterwards, it’s recommended to take a camel ride to see the rest of the incredible pyramids because the scorching sun can make one feel rather dizzy and honestly, it is all more fun especially if you haven’t ridden a camel before!
The sight of the three pyramids, Khufu’s, Khafre’s and Menkaure’s starting from the largest to the smallest is truly breathtaking. While in Giza the Sphinx, said to have been made in the image of Pharaoh Khafre guarding the Pharaoh’s pyramid, is another must-visit.
Did you know that the missing nose of this magnificent monument is said to have been blown off by a cannon fired by Napoleon Bonaparte?
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo
The Egyptian museum showcases 120,000 items representing the marvelous history of the ancient land. Once inside, the museum greets you with a group of colossi over 10 meters high.
It depicts Pharaoh Amon-Ofis III along with his wife Tiyi and many notable artifacts. It includes a colossal statue of Ramses II, the Mycerinus Triad, statue of King Zoser and the statue of King Kefren. One can touch centuries old pieces and be taken on a journey back in time.
If you are not spooked out by dead bodies, there are two rooms displaying mummies you can visit. However, the most spectacular display in the museum will surely be the treasures of Tutankhamun with his gold sarcophagus and the stunning gold mask. His jewelry is also insane, not to mention his furniture, all of which were found by Howard Carter in the Valley of Kings.
East Bank of Luxor
The Luxor Temple is renowned for being the temple where the ancient kings of Egypt were coronated thus being glamorously built to fit such an important occasion. Surprisingly, the most visited spot in Egypt isn’t the pyramids. It’s Karnak in Luxor. The largest part of the complex – the precinct of Amun-Re is the only one open to public.
West Bank of Luxor
The Valley of Kings has 63 stunning royal tombs. Although not all are open to tourists, you can see 6 of them including the tombs of of Tutankhamun, Ramses VI and Ay with replicas or their artifacts.
During the reign of Ramses I for separate burials of Queens the Valley of Queens, also known as the place of beauty, was constructed. The main valley has approx. 91 magnificent tombs with the highlight of Nefertari’s tomb, wife of Pharaoh Ramses II.
It’s glamorously decorated with paintings of her in the company of Gods and the ceiling painted with gold stars. Other destinations for a quick look at the West Bank of Luxor include Malkata, and Ramesseum and Deir el-Bahari.
Edfu Temple and Kom Ombo Temple
The Edfu temple, dedicated to the ancient Egyptian God Horus, is considered to be the best conserved ancient temple in all of Egypt. The falcon-headed God’s granite statue in the courtyard cements him as the only deity to be worshiped in that temple.
Not far away from the Edfu temple is the Kom Ombo temple. It’s a Double Temple that was built for both Horus and the God of Crocodiles Sobek. The remains of it are stunning, and one should not miss out on it.
There’s also a display of 300 mummies of crocodiles in the Crocodile museum, which seems only fitting to be present in God Sobek’s temple!
Abu Simbel Temples
Ramesses II built two profoundly captivating temples. They were carved solely out of a mountainside in order to immortalize himself and his much-beloved wife Nefertari. However, it was relocated in 1959 when it got sponsored by international donations in order to save it from being flooded by the Nile river.
Thankfully, the iconic majesty of it was preserved thanks to the careful work overlooked by UNESCO. The four 20 meters high colossal of the Pharaoh himself is dazzling. The inside hall is supported by 8 gigantic Osirid pillars, all 18 meters long – walking down this hall in an enthralling experience itself.
Nile River Cruise
The most memorable cruise you can take is down the Nile River on a Felucca. Felucca is a traditional wooden sailing boat with one or two lateen sails. This was also an active means of transport in Egypt for a long time and it still remains popular.
One can also cruise on a proper sailing boat too, and often large ships offer accommodations on board. But trust me – felucca is the best choice.
Tips for visiting Egypt:
- Traffic jam and driving in Egypt, particularly in Cairo, can be quite intimidating. But don’t be afraid to cross the street. You don’t need to ask anyone for assistance and trust me – you’ll be just fine.
- Egypt gets extremely hot, particularly during the summer, so stay hydrated. If you want to save on bottled water get a LifeStraw Water Bottle . You can fill it anywhere even with water from a puddle!
- Always haggle a bit and never say yes to anything without discussing the price.
- Bring your own toilet paper. The toilets here have a built in bidet spray nozzle.