Land of the Pharaohs: Top 20 attractions of Egypt

The vast majority of travelers know only two things about Egypt - pyramids and resorts on the Red Sea. Nevertheless, the tourist value of this country is much deeper! Once in the mysterious and ancient country of the pharaohs, every traveler can be convinced by his own experience that there is something to see in Egypt besides studying numerous excavations and ancient ruins.
23 may 2024
AUTHOR: Kybukevykh Khrystyna
12 min

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Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza are one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that have survived to this day. They are over 4000 years old, and their unique shape, flawless geometry, and enormous mass still attract many admiring glances and questions. These massive tombs were built by order of the pharaohs, and their construction required tens of thousands of workers. Today, the Pyramids of Giza inspire awe for the power, organization, and achievements of ancient Egypt.

Essentially, this complex serves as a burial ground for true aristocrats, where pharaohs were buried, as well as all those close to them – wives, servants, close relatives, and anyone of noble descent who wished to journey to the afterlife with their lord.

In addition to the pyramids, the entire complex consists of:

  • temples located at the beginning of the causeway leading to the pyramids;
  • cemeteries where close relatives and courtiers of the pharaohs were buried;
  • the world's oldest monument – the sculpture of the Sphinx.

To visit Egypt and not see with your own eyes one of the Seven Wonders of the World can be considered a real tourist crime.

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Great Sphinx

The colossal statue of the Sphinx is the oldest monument that history has preserved for us. According to modest estimates, this majestic guardian of Egypt was created around 5-6 thousand years before our era. However, some scholars believe it to be over 400 centuries old, and sometimes even mention an incredible figure of 200 thousand years.

But the main thing is that the sculpture still takes the breath away of anyone who sees it. The kingly gaze of the lion with a human head is directed at onlookers from a height of more than twenty meters (which is approximately seven stories). The giant is entirely carved from a massive rock. You can find the monument right by the pyramids, which we have already told you about.

Egyptian Museum in Cairo

In the heart of Egypt's capital lies the largest repository of artifacts telling the ancient history of the country – the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. A grand collection of 136 thousand discoveries is housed in over a hundred halls, with another 40 thousand exhibits hidden in the basements.

The museum's collection is so vast that it would take more than a year to study all the exhibits according to general estimates! All items in the museum are arranged chronologically and thematically, with the oldest items dating back five millennia.

Within the complex walls, for example, you can see 11 mummies of pharaohs, sarcophagi, artifacts of art, everyday life, and other items showing the lives of ancient Egyptians. Special attention is given to the collection dedicated to items from Tutankhamun's tomb – this includes the ruler's funerary mask, furniture, pottery, jewelry, and even the royal chariot.

Valley of the Pharaohs

Any guide will suggest you to visit the Valley of the Pharaohs in Egypt – a vast ancient burial ground of rulers with temple complexes.

The Valley of the Pharaohs is a rocky area near the city of Luxor, on the left bank of the Nile. Here, Egyptians buried their rulers for five centuries – from the 16th to the 11th century BCE. So far, archaeologists have discovered 64 ancient tombs, but search efforts are still ongoing.

There are also many burial temples here. Initially, it was in these temples that bodies of the deceased were buried. In the tombs, many ancient artifacts are found, each of which is priceless from a historical point of view. These are treasures of world art, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The most famous of the tombs found in the Valley of the Pharaohs is the tomb of Tutankhamun. It contains vivid frescoes depicting the pharaoh's life and his two-meter golden sarcophagus.

White Desert

To the east of the Sahara Desert lies an unusual area covering about 300 square kilometers – the White Desert, which Egypt designated as a national park in 2002. The white sands of the desert shimmer with a pearly gleam, and in some places, you can find whimsical figures, as if from a fantasy movie.

Millions of years ago, the White Desert was the ocean floor, where the remains of microorganisms settled. Later, the sea dried up, and the wind exposed the massive white layer. Today, at the park entrance, you can see Crystal Mountain, where calcite crystals are scattered everywhere, sparkling in the sun.

Another interesting place in this area is a small oasis with a spring, and further along the route, visitors are treated to an incredible view of the White Desert. Particularly attractive against the backdrop of the sands are huge limestone formations, shaped like mushrooms. The park ends with another oasis, where a small Bedouin village is located.

You can book a hotel in Egypt with a discount of up to -65% on the website.

Montaza Palace and Park

Egypt can impress travelers not only with ancient finds. One of the bright examples of more modern monuments in the country is the Montaza Palace and Park complex, located in eastern Alexandria, on the shore of a small bay. Against the backdrop of most of Egypt's attractions, Montaza Palace stands out for its beautiful natural landscapes, cozy green alleys, and beautiful pavilions.

The palace itself was built relatively recently – at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, as a summer residence for the Egyptian kings. The exterior design of the palace combines elements of Florentine and Turkish architecture, and around the palace stretches a luxurious park, planted with palm trees, pines, and other coniferous trees.

Here, among the greenery of centuries-old trees, flower beds, ponds, and Greek sculptures, one can wander for hours, inhaling the scents of vegetation and enjoying the magnificent panorama.

Mount Sinai

In Egypt, there is another place preserving a history spanning millennia – Mount Sinai, rising in the Sinai Peninsula. It is believed that here, the prophet Moses received the Ten Commandments from the Lord and conveyed them to his people.

Since this story exists not only in Christianity, these commandments are also adhered to by the Jewish and Islamic religions. Therefore, here, at the summit of the mountain, at an altitude of 2285 meters, each of these religions has its own temple. There is a chapel dedicated to the Trinity and a mosque of approximately the same size, and Jews will show the way to the cave, which, according to the narrative, served as a refuge for Moses for 40 days while he communicated with God.

In recent decades, dozens to hundreds of people ascend the mountain every day, pilgrims, and mainly tourists.

Photo author - dzen
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Abu Dabbab Bay

Abu Dabbab Bay is the habitat of dugongs near the resort of Marsa Alam. In addition to the dugong population, you can encounter sea turtles and plenty of fish here. This cute activity is enjoyed by both adults and children.

The bay is famous for its shallow sandy bottom, clear water, and beautiful coral reefs. That's why this location is popular among diving enthusiasts, snorkelers, and beachgoers.

Colored Canyon

The Colored Canyon is an amazing natural creation located in the eastern part of the Sinai Peninsula. To form such a masterpiece created by nature amidst the hot sands, it took not a year or two, but tens of thousands of years of work by raging winds and cold ocean waters. The specific color palette was formed due to the presence of colored sandstone, granite, cobalt, and copper.

When you look at the Colored Canyon, it seems like you're entering an endless futuristic maze, but in fact, the length of the canyon is not that great – only 5 km. Therefore, this natural wonder attracts not with its size, but with its beautiful layers and amazing color palette, starting from white and ending with a dark red hue.

Ras Mohammed Reserve

Ras Mohammed is the first national park in Egypt. It is located on the southern edge of the Sinai Peninsula, not far from the famous resort of Sharm El-Sheikh. However, it is impossible to reach there by public transport: you will need to take a taxi or rent a car.

The reserve is home to a magnificent range of coral reefs, which were once studied by Jacques-Yves Cousteau himself. The national park was created here to preserve the amazing ecosystem of the reefs.

Travelers to Ras Mohammed can engage in underwater swimming among the amazing marine inhabitants. And if desired, you can even spend the night here – there is a camping site within the park.

The Nile River

Since ancient times, the life of Egypt has revolved around its main water artery – the mighty Nile. The river provided water and life to these arid lands. During the hot months, the waters of the Nile flooded vast areas, leaving behind fertile soil instead of dried-up deserts. And in the delta, papyrus grew – a plant that gave rise to the world's first writing system.

And it was this great river that created the valley where the civilization of Ancient Egypt was born and flourished, the cradle of history and culture of all of Europe. Even now, the largest cities of the country are located on the banks of the Nile: Alexandria, Thebes, Aswan, Memphis, Cairo, and others.

Moreover, most people know from school that the Nile is the second longest river in the world. Today, small tourist boats ply its waters, allowing you to see the lands of Egypt from a different perspective and cool off a bit from the country's hot climate.

Temple of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel

One of the most famous landmarks of ancient Egyptian culture is another historical site in Egypt – the cave temple of Ramesses II in Nubia. Constructed around the 1260s BCE, this temple was built following existing traditions of tomb decoration.

The complex is divided into two parts – the Great Temple and the Small Temple. The Great Temple was dedicated to the reigning pharaoh at the time, Ramesses II, as well as several gods.

Interesting fact: Twice a year, on March 21st and September 21st, around 6 a.m., the ray of the rising sun penetrates into all the rooms of the temple, illuminating the figures of Ramesses II and Amun-Ra, and then for a while illuminates the face of the pharaoh in such a way that he seems to "smile". Then the ray moves forward and for a while illuminates the figure of the god Horus, while the figure of the Bird always remains in the shadow, as it is the lord of the underworld, and the sunlight is of no use to it.

The Small Temple was dedicated to the sky goddess Hathor. The decoration here is much simpler, and the temple itself consists of a sanctuary and a columned hall.

El Gouna

El Gouna is a small resort town considered the main modern attraction of the country. This young city is an architectural wonder and unlike any other Egyptian resort. Its entire territory is crisscrossed by a network of canals where boats ply.

Countless hotels stand on separate greenish islands here. Architecturally, they also differ from typical Egyptian buildings and rather resemble houses in southern Italy and Spain. If after visiting the numerous ancient landmarks of the country you want to breathe in a bit of modernity, the young resort of El Gouna is the best place for it.

Church of St. Mary

In Cairo, you can visit a unique building - the "hanging Church of St. Mary." It was built in the 7th-8th centuries AD by Orthodox Copts and Byzantines. The peculiarity of its construction is that the landmark is built directly on an ancient Roman tower with gates and hangs over the city streets.

The simple rectangular building also surprises with its decorations: on the outside, it is adorned with columns, delicate Byzantine stone carving, and reliefs. Inside, the entire space is covered with rich paintings and carvings in stone, wood, and ivory. The church houses rare examples of Byzantine and Arabic art, ancient icons, and frescoes.

Alexandrina Library

The Library of Alexandria is the largest and most famous book center of ancient Egypt. Its collection included 700,000 scrolls and manuscripts. For six centuries, it was a beacon of science and technology until it was plundered and destroyed by barbarians.

Today, a new library has emerged on the site of the legendary library, opened in 2002 as its successor. The architectural ensemble of the library combines tradition and modernity. The same applies to the arrangement of its reading rooms. The library's collections offer users access to 8 million books and texts. In addition to paper materials, readers have access to electronic copies of rare manuscripts.

You can book a hotel in Egypt with a discount of up to -65% on the website.

Photo author - arabmir

Kite Bay Fortress

Not far from Alexandria, you can visit one of the most interesting attractions in Egypt - the Fortress of Qaitbay. It is visible from any point in the city, so it is considered the hallmark of this Mediterranean coast.

The fort was built of white stone and limestone in 1477 by order of Sultan Qaitbay. Its function was to protect the eastern ports from raids by the Ottoman Empire, but the wall did not withstand and became the property of the Turks for 500 years. The history of the fortress is rich in military events, and only in 1984 was it restored and handed over to the Egyptian Maritime Museum.

The beauty of the fort attracts tourists from all over the world, as its walls offer amazing views, and the museum is famous for its interesting exhibits and cultural events.

Khan El-Khalili Bazaar

Noisy trading bazaars, abundant in a variety of goods, can be found anywhere in the world, but only some of them become iconic for both locals and visiting tourists.

The world-famous market in Cairo - Khan El-Khalili - attracts guests from all over the world with its assortment, impressing even the most experienced visitor's imagination. Here you can find everything to acquire and take a piece of this country with you: various spices, jewelry, scarves, perfumes, lamps, and much more that can leave a memory of a trip to Egypt for many years. During a stroll through the narrow streets of the market, you can distinctly feel the atmosphere of the Middle Ages, which allows you to enjoy shopping and gives you the opportunity to glimpse into the ancient past.

Photo author - kuku
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Al-Azhar Park

Al-Azhar Park is a large-scale garden and park project, officially opened in May 2005. The work to create a city park covering an area of 30 hectares began in 1997. The park of astonishing beauty and size grew right in the place where there used to be a wilderness of shrubs.

Currently, there are huge reservoirs of the city's water supply system on the park grounds. Seedlings and saplings for the park are prepared in special nurseries. 655,000 such seedlings already adorn the complex's territory. Local residents and visiting travelers love to stroll through the luxurious, green area here, visit picturesque restaurants on the hilltop, or cafes on the lake shore.

Abu el-Abbas Mosque

Amidst the bustling square in the city of Alexandria stands the gigantic Abu el-Abbas Mosque with four symmetrically arranged domes. The entire facade of the building is covered with lace-like Arabic patterns - arabesques, which can be admired for hours.

This large beautiful mosque was built in the 14th century over the tomb of a prophet, after whom it was named. This holy prophet is the patron saint of sailors and fishermen. The main interior hall of the mosque has an octagonal shape, each side of which is 22 meters long. The inner surface of the walls and ceiling is adorned with intricate mosaics, and the ceilings are decorated with traditional Arabic paintings.

Photo author - AlexGukBO

Suez Canal

The Suez Canal is one of the most important maritime arteries on the planet, allowing ships to travel in both directions without circumnavigating Africa. Previously, cargo transportation involved unloading ships for overland transport between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Today, however, the canal provides the shortest route between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean waters.

Currently, between 60 and 80 ships pass through the canal daily, and the revenue from its operation constitutes one of the main sources of income for the Egyptian budget.

Using our website, tripmydream, you can find airline tickets starting from 15 EUR. Look for the cheapest flights in the Flight Discounts section. To do this, select the departure point, and the service will find the most advantageous offers for you.

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