Egypt — Attractions
Once thought to be the center of the world and the cradle of humankind, Egypt’s attractions are prolific to the history of civilization. From ancient structures and tombs of pharaohs to stellar museums housing the world’s most comprehensive antiquity collections, you certainly won’t run out of things to see. Whether you’re looking to learn more about the country’s history or simply take in the brilliance of thousand year-old buildings, Egypt will not disappoint.
Pyramids of Giza
The centerpiece of Egyptian culture, the Pyramids of Giza are usually the first stop on any travel plan. Famous the world over, and the last remaining landmark of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the pyramids are the country’s crowning achievement. There are a host of structures to explore, from the Great Pyramid of Cheops, the oldest, to the Sphinx, which stands guard. The area is particularly enchanting after dark when it’s illuminated by a light and sound show.
Address: Giza, Northern Egypt
Egyptian Museum of Antiquities
A great place for anyone even remotely interested in the fascinating history of ancient Egypt, the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities is home to over 120,000 artifacts, the largest collection in the world. It provides a comprehensive guide from the early kingdoms to the Roman Empire. Set aside at least two days to see everything.
Address: Midan Tahrir Downtown Cairo
Valley of the Kings
Located on the West Bank just west of the Nile River, the Valley of the Kings houses the ornately decorated tombs of ancient Egyptian pharaohs. The inspiration for so many elaborate stories and Hollywood blockbusters, the tombs marked an important shift in Egyptian history when pharaohs chose to be buried in the hillside instead of in the pyramids. This, no doubt, was to ensure their eternal existence and avoid the popular sport of grave robbing. Most visitors go to see the remains of King Tutankhamen and Queen Nefertiti, but there are many other beautiful resting places, as well.
Address: Luxor, eastern Egypt
Abu Simbel temples
Along with the pyramids, the Abu Simbel temple is one of the most recognized attractions in Egypt. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the colossal rock temples in Nubia were carved from large sandstone cliffs as part of an order from Pharaoh Ramses II. Standing 65 feet high, they were built as a tribute to Re-Herakhte, the ancient Egyptian sun god and literally cannot be missed.
Address: Nubia, southern Egypt
Straddling the Eastern Bank of the River Nile, the Luxor temples are yet another amazing ancient Egyptian site. Resting on what was once the ancient city of Thebes, the temples are some of the last remaining traces of the “capital of the known world.” There are six temples total, including the Temple of Karnak which is home to spectacular statues, breathtaking columns and ornate wall engravings.
Address: Luxor, eastern Egypt
This artificial waterway which connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean is one of the most famous and most contested stretches of water in the world. Steeped in history and politics, the Suez Canal is a world landmark. You can reach the canal by either taking a boat down the waterway or walking on the Peace Bridge, which crosses over at Isma’iliya. Take in the views and the legacy, and witness large tankers trying to navigate their way through the narrow straits.
Address: Isma’iliya, northeastern Egypt
Located on the historic site of the Library of Alexandria, which was once the single most important library in the entire world, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina aims to commemorate its predecessor while still providing world-class service. This huge structure not only serves as an important research center, but also has a planetarium and conference facilities. With a modern design and an extensive collection of contemporary and ancient texts, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina rekindles Egypt’s literary spirit.
Address: Shatby, Alexandria