Ever dreamed of being an archaeologist or a world explorer?
Rhetorical question, we know. Which is why we know Egypt should be on the TOP of your bucket list. So, to get your Egypt trip started here are Top 10 things to do and see in Egypt:
1. The Great Pyramids of Giza
The quintessential Egyptian landmark. Arguably the most famous site in world and a must do on everybody’s Egyptian adventure. At over 4,600 years old, they are one of the only remaining 7 wonders of the ancient world. An incredible sight especially at sunset.
Don’t forget to hop on a camel or horse to ride to the top of the hill overlooking the pyramids. Here you will snag one of the best views of all three pyramids aligned. Plus, don’t you think camels are cute… in that you’re so ugly – you’re cute sort of way?
2. Sphinx- Giza, Egypt
The Great Sphinx of Giza, literally meaning ‘the terrifying one’ lies on the west bank of the Nile and is directly in front of the Khafre Pyramid. Don’t forget to give him a smooch!
3. Sakkara (Saqqara)
This was one of our favourite places to explore in the Cairo area. There is so much to do and see in this area, yet it is little visited by tourists. The pyramids here have been dated to be older than the Great Pyramids of Giza! We loved seeing the different architecture they offered.
We also loved that we were able to crawl into two of the oldest pyramids — free of charge! Warning: do NOT enter if you are prone to claustrophobia, some of these areas have crawl space only!
While you are in the area don’t miss the opportunity to visit a carpet school where young Egyptians learn the art of carpentry.
4. Egyptian Museum of Cairo
The Egyptian Museum has the largest number of antiquities on display in the world. It is packed with over 100,000 ancient artifacts dating back to 3500 BC. You could spend days in labyrinth of relics – however, the lack of air-conditioning combined with the Egyptian heat will leave you saying, in the esteemed words of Nelly, ‘Its Gettin’ HOT in Herre.’
Note: Cameras are not allowed. All photography equipment must be left at the luggage drop in front of the museum. The cost to lock your camera, bag or purse is 5 USD for the day.
5.Valley of the Kings and Queens
There are over 60 Pharaohs buried in the Valley of the Kings and well over 100 Queens and royal children buried in the Valley of the Queens. You are only allowed to enter a total of 7 tombs between the two areas. Total bummer. However, the ones you can enter are incredibly well preserved. The art work and colours are stunning. Pay a guard a few dollars and you may even get lucky enough to snap some photos. Do so this caution, the fines for being caught are heavy!
6. Aswan High Dam
The Egyptian government, with the help of other nations, constructed the high Dam in order to control the flooding of the Nile River. Up until this point much of the land around the river was uninhabitable and uncultivated. The erection of this dam has assisted to generate enough electricity to light up all of Egypt. Pretty impressive feet of human engineering.
7. Philae and the Temple of Isis
Only a short car and boat ride away from the Aswan High Damn you will find the local boats to Philae Island. On Philae Island lies The Temple of Isis. The Temple of Isis is one of most beautiful temples in Egypt dedicated to the Goddess of Motherhood and Fertility. From what we hear there is an amazing sound and light show almost every night of the week!
8. Abu Simbel- Temple of Ramses II
Abu Simbel is the location of the most famous temple of Ramses II and his wife Nefertari. These temples were re-located the the Western banks of Lake Nasser. This is one of the most iconic monuments in Egypt.
Note: Abu Simbel is difficult to get to and you will need to plan at least a day in advance. The journey to get to Abu Simbel is 230km West from Aswan. It is illegal to go on your own and you must join a convoy of tourists in order to maintain security through this desert area. You can sign up to join these convoys at any hotel in the Aswan area. They leave 3 times per day – 4 am/7 am/10am. We suggest the 4 am convoy in order to avoid the heat.
WARNING: Listen very carefully to your driver about the departure time, DO NOT BE LATE. The drivers have strict rules about how long they are allowed to be in the area and they will leave with out you if you are not back to the vehicle on schedule. If you are left you will find yourself paying an insane amount of money to get a ride back to Aswan. We cannot stress this enough – be on time.
9. River Cruise down the Nile
When visiting Egypt, do NOT miss the opportunity to do a cruise down the Nile. You can either do this on a traditional Felucca boat or a cruise ship. The two different boats have their positives and negatives. For a more traditional Egyptian experience, sign up for the Felucca cruise. However, if you are looking for full room and board with air conditioning and a pool – sign up for the Nile River cruise ships. Both of these can be booked online.
10. Luxor Temple
Located right on the Bank of the Nile in the heart of the town of Luxor. This temple is impressive with its sphinx lined walkways. It is even more impressive at night when the temple is lit up in a golden hue. If nothing else- go see this temple at night. Stunning!
11. Temple Karnak
Karnak Temple, located in Luxor, only a few kilometres away from Luxor temple has been said to be the one of the most amazing and largest temples of its kind in the world. The temple is so large that you can find plenty of places to sneak off where you may not stumble on another tourist for hours. Provides phenomenal photo opportunities.
**Travelers be warned**
Sadly, it is true what they say- nothing in life is for free. Do not listen to the touts in and around the pyramids (or any sight in Egypt for that matter). For example, if you are offered a ‘free ride on camel’ – you will get a free ride on a camel. However, only the ride is free – getting off the camel will cost you a pretty penny! Don’t fall for it!
However, the Egyptian government and the Egyptian people are extremely protective over tourists. The country has an incredible tourist police force in order to protect the travel industry here. Locals are also very helpful and caring. But like anywhere else in the world, play it smart and always watch your back pockets- or you might get ripped!
To arrange your perfect itinerary to see all of the above combined in one complete itinerary, feel free to contact Kimidar Tours via (firstname.lastname@example.org)