By Azure Lee
Egypt, home to one of the oldest civilizations on Earth, holds a rich and mystical past that continues to fascinate visitors from around the globe. With a history dating back to 5500 BC, this ancient land was once ruled by enigmatic pharaohs and later became a significant outpost for empires such as Greece and Rome. The renowned city of Alexandria, founded by the legendary Alexander the Great in 332 BC, stands as a testament to Egypt's historical significance.
Today, Egypt is a captivating destination that draws in tourists seeking to explore its breathtaking archaeological ruins and landmarks. Against the backdrop of the vast Sahara desert and the timeless Nile River, these sites exude a unique and mystical charm that is unparalleled. Whether you're intrigued by the pyramids, temples, or allure of ancient civilizations, Egypt offers an abundance of attractions that will leave you awe-struck.
Egypt provides travelers with the opportunity to create itineraries that combine culture, adventure, and relaxation all in one trip because there is so much to see and do there. If you're planning a visit, let us learn the 10 best places to visit in Egypt, ensuring you don't miss out on its most captivating treasures.
10 Unmissable Places To Visit In Egypt For Your Next Vacation
Egypt, a land steeped in ancient wonders and timeless mysteries, has long captured the imagination of travelers. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes, Egypt is a destination that entices adventurers from around the globe. Here are 10 unmissable places to visit in Egypt for your next vacation. Whether you're visiting in December or any other time in 2023, Egypt promises an unforgettable adventure.
1. The Pyramids of Giza
No visit to Egypt is complete without standing in awe before the Pyramids of Giza, an iconic marvel and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Situated on the Giza Plateau, the pyramids stand as the sole Wonder that has remained throughout countless centuries. The Great Pyramid, referred to as the Pyramid of Khufu, is 138 meters high and welcomes visitors through the Robber's Tunnel. The same complex also includes the limestone Sphinx structure.
These colossal structures, built over 4,500 years ago, continue to leave visitors in awe of ancient ingenuity. Explore the chambers, walk in the footsteps of pharaohs, and marvel at the enigmatic Sphinx. These pyramids are a must-visit when exploring Egypt's cultural heritage.
No visit to Egypt is complete without standing in awe before the Pyramids of Giza
A millennium following the construction of the Great Pyramids, Egypt's New Kingdom emerged, causing a shift in power from the ancient capital of Memphis to Thebes, located in the southern region, which is now known as Luxor. The city of Thebes prospered as it was enriched by gold sourced from the Nubian deserts and transported along the Nile River, ultimately becoming the cultural and political epicenter of the country.
Today, a moderately-sized city Luxor is known as the “world’s largest open-air museum” and is one of the best places to visit in Egypt. There is an abundance of sights and activities to partake in while exploring Luxor, ranging from temples to tombs and various other attractions. Allotting a couple of days is advisable to fully appreciate the splendor it has to offer.
The sprawling Temple of Karnak, with its grand columns and sacred sanctuaries, transports visitors back in time to the height of ancient Egyptian civilization. The nearby Valley of the Kings, where pharaohs were laid to rest in elaborate tombs, offers a glimpse into the afterlife beliefs of the ancient Egyptians. For a truly awe-inspiring experience, take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise and witness the ethereal beauty of Luxor's temples and the majestic Nile River from above.
This Southern Egypt holiday spot is renowned for its tranquil atmosphere. In ancient times, it was referred to as Swenette and served as the location for stone quarries that provided materials for constructing the renowned pyramids. Presently, Aswan is celebrated for its awe-inspiring vistas of desert dunes and the majestic Nile River. The Elephantine Islands offer an ideal retreat for a peaceful weekend, while the vibrant Nubian villages situated in the heart of the island present unique and lesser-known attractions for tourists to enjoy a delightful evening walk.
Aswan is celebrated for its awe-inspiring vistas of desert dunes and the majestic Nile River
4. Abu Simbel
Even though the country is covered in temples, Abu Simbel is something special. This is Ramses II's huge temple, which is guarded by enormous statues outside and lavishly decorated within with wall murals.
Not only is Abu Simbel renowned for its megalithic proportions, but it is also famous for the remarkable engineering achievement carried out by UNESCO in the 1960s. In an effort to preserve the temple complex from being submerged by the rising waters of the Aswan Dam, the entire structure was relocated from its original location.
Today, visiting Abu Simbel is not only an opportunity to marvel at Ramses II's awe-inspiring architectural masterpieces, but it is also a chance to appreciate the triumph of the international endeavor that saved this temple complex. It serves as a testament to the remarkable efforts undertaken to preserve this cultural treasure for future generations to admire and cherish.
5. Islamic Cairo
The narrow and atmospheric lanes within Cairo's Islamic district are filled with an abundance of mosques, madrassas (Islamic schools of learning), and historical landmarks that span from the Fatimid to the Mameluke eras.
One can wander through the captivating labyrinthine Khan el-Khalili souq, where bustling shops house skilled coppersmiths and artisans working in their compact workshops. The market stalls offer a rich assortment of ceramics, textiles, spices, and perfumes.
There is a ton of history to discover here. The Sultan Hassan Mosque-Madrassa is a striking illustration and audible reminder of the Islamic legacy of this beautiful city. If you delve deep into the vicinity near the walled city, you will also come across workshops and families of artisans who have worked there for centuries. This rich combination of history and craftsmanship makes it an exceptional destination to visit in Egypt.
Mosque-Madrasa of Sultan Hassan, beautiful panorama of Cairo landmarks
Located on the edge of the Mediterranean, Alexandria holds the distinction of being Egypt's second-largest city and most prominent seaport. It was established in 331 BC by Alexander the Great, and throughout history, the city served as a crucial nexus connecting various regions. Alexandria was the seat of power for several Egyptian pharaohs, including the famed Cleopatra, until the Roman conquest in 30 BC.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a modern library paying homage to the ancient Library of Alexandria, is a haven for knowledge seekers and culture enthusiasts. Delve into the city's past with a visit to the Citadel of Qaitbay, an imposing fortress built on the ruins of the ancient Pharos Lighthouse. A stroll along the picturesque Corniche, with its charming cafes and stunning views of the sea, is a delightful way to soak in the coastal charm of Alexandria.
Read more: Check Requirement for Egypt e-Visa
7. Siwa Oasis
Located in the remote western corner of the Western Desert, Siwa is a serene escape from the bustling cities of Egypt. This charming oasis is surrounded by lush date palm plantations and numerous natural hot-water springs, making it one of the most picturesque destinations in the Western Desert.
Visit the Temple of the Oracle, where Alexander the Great sought divine guidance, or take a dip in Cleopatra's Bath, a natural spring believed to have been frequented by the legendary queen herself. Siwa's pristine beauty and tranquil ambiance provide a truly off-the-beaten-path experience for those in search of authenticity.
Siwa is a serene escape from the bustling cities of Egypt
Dahshur, a small village located south of Cairo, is home to a collection of lesser-known pyramids that offer a refreshing change from the crowded attractions of Giza complex or Saqqara. Unlike those popular sites, Dahshur doesn't usually have long queues of tourists, and it was only open to the public after 1996 because it had been a restricted military zone.
The main highlights of Dahshur are the uniquely shaped Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid, both constructed during the reign of Pharaoh Sneferu (2613-2589 BC). The Red Pyramid, also known as the North Pyramid, the world's first true smooth-sided pyramid.
From the base of the Bent Pyramid, visitors can also catch a glimpse of the Black Pyramid of Amenemhat III. Although it cannot be visited, this intriguing sight is not actually a pyramid but rather an enigmatic mound made of dark rock, lending it a distinct appearance.
9. St. Catherine's Monastery
Nestled at the foot of Mount Sinai, St. Catherine's Monastery is one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world. According to tradition, this is the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
This desert monastery is renowned for its remarkable assortment of religious iconography, artwork, and manuscripts, some of which can be observed in the museum on the premises. Additionally, visitors can find the famous burning bush within the monastery grounds.
For many tourists, a visit to St. Catherine's involves embarking on a hike up Mount Sinai to witness the breathtaking sunrise or sunset. Those seeking an easier route can opt for the camel path, while those desiring a more elevated vantage point can climb the renowned Steps of Repentance.
St. Catherine's Monastery is one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world
Last on our list of the best places to visit in Egypt is Dahab, a coastal town situated on the southeastern coast of the Sinai Peninsula. With its pristine beaches and world-class diving spots, this laid-back town is a paradise for water enthusiasts. With its pristine beaches and world-class diving spots, this laid-back town is a paradise for water enthusiasts.
Dahab's main draw is its exceptional diving and snorkeling opportunities. The crystal-clear waters of the Red Sea teem with a kaleidoscope of marine life, including colorful coral reefs, exotic fish, and even the occasional sighting of turtles and dolphins. The Blue Hole, a renowned diving site located just a short distance from Dahab, offers a mesmerizing underwater experience for experienced divers.
Best Time To Visit Egypt 2023
The best time to visit Egypt 2023 depends on your preferences and the experiences you seek. If you prefer mild temperatures for sightseeing and outdoor activities, consider visiting in December to February. Springtime in March to April brings pleasant weather and cultural festivals. For beach lovers, May to September offers hot summers perfect for coastal destinations. October to November brings mild autumn temperatures, ideal for cultural exploration.
No matter when you choose to visit Egypt in 2023, the country's timeless charm, ancient wonders, and warm hospitality are sure to create lasting memories. Don't forget to apply for a Egypt eVisa to make your travel experience hassle-free. Simply visit the official website of Egypt Immigration Services and complete your application online. Obtaining your eVisa in advance will ensure a smooth entry into the country. Start your journey today and prepare for an unforgettable adventure in Pharaohs' Land.