Egypt is an ancient, magical country that links the Middle East to northeast Africa, a country that draws millions of tourists every year to see its historical sights and indulges in the many wonders of its cosmopolitan capital city, Cairo.While Egypt is perhaps best known as the seat of the ancient pharaohs and kings who once ruled and whose tombs are feats of architecture and engineering that truly astound those who visit, Egypt is so much more than that. It is also a bustling, modern country with much to offer visitors on every level.Of course, the pyramids and other antiquities are not to be missed – no visit to Egypt is complete without several days touring these sights for their beauty and historical significance. But Egypt, in particular Cairo, has much to offer the modernity lover, too – shopping, great food, cultural tours and first-class luxury hotels.Almost every item on your travel “bucket list” can be checked off in Egypt, from tours of ancient tombs to rides on the back of a camel!
Join us for a roundup of Egypt’s most magical destinations, and begin planning your next dream adventure now. (Like all countries, Egypt has some travel restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus)Before booking your tickets, be sure to check your government’s website to find out your country’s guidelines, and check the Egyptian government’s, too. Always be informed when planning a visit to another country.)
1- The Giza Pyramid Complex
This has to be first on our list because it is just so magnificent and historically important. It is located on the Giza Plateau, about 13 kilometres from the centre of Cairo. It’s where you’ll find the Great Pyramids, and the Great Sphinx is here as well.The Sphinx is a massive limestone sculpture carved in the half-man, a half-lion likeness of a mythical creature. (Its face is said to be that of Pharaoh Khafre).The Sphinx sits majestically on the western banks of the River Nile. This tour is definitely not just for history and archaeology buffs – it’s a must-see stop for all Egypt visitors.This is where a camel ride comes in handy, as residents say it’s the best way to tour the pyramids, and the kids think it’s cool, so you’ll score points with the family for arranging them. Like no visit to Wyoming is complete without a horseback ride, no visit to Egypt is complete without a ride atop the most popular transportation mode.
2- The Egyptian Museum
Affectionately called ‘Cairo’s Museum’ by locals, this spectacular place exhibits about 120,000 rare, historical antiquities that date back thousands of years. When you book your tour, be sure to visit the Royal Mummies Hall, which exhibits some of Egypt’s most important mummies excavated at digs around the country.
3- Coptic Cairo & Babylon
This area gives you a glimpse into Egypt’s rich religious history and lets you tour ruins from ancient Babylon. The area is also known as “Christian Cairo” because it has several churches and a monastery.The Persians built a fortress here before Roman and Islamic times, meaning it dates back many centuries.
4- Islamic Cairo
This district is the original city, founded on the 10th. It has many mosques, madrasas, squares, and other significant sites in Islamic culture and religion. It is rife with narrow streets perfect for strolls, many of which host locals selling poultry and bread.A word to the wise: be respectful of tradition when touring buildings and monuments in this district and dress modestly, as is the custom.That means no short skirts, ladies! If you’re unsure whether your attire is appropriate, ask at your hotel. Being disrespectful to residents is no way to start your holiday.
6- Al-Azhar Park
This splendid area of landscaped gardens and parks is a testament to the ingenuity and determination of the Aga Khan Trust.The non-profit organization took what was once a 500-year-old pile of garbage and trash and transformed it into one of the world’s most spectacular public green spaces.It’s big, it’s lush, and it’s definitely worth spending an afternoon walking around to take in the beautiful vistas. Within it are several cafes and even a museum, and because it was built at a fairly high level, looking out onto Cairo offers breathtaking views.This park offers a welcome respite from the hectic pace of urban environments and is not to be missed while you’re in the capital city.
7- Mount Sinai
This massive mountain in the Sinai Peninsula is of great importance to Muslims, Jews, and Christians because Moses read the 10 commandments here. A visit to this holy site is not just for the devout; it is inspirational and beautiful for all.
8- Khan El-Khalili Bazaar
Ready for a little shopping after touring museums and archaeological sights? This bazaar is just the ticket for all your retail therapy needs!Whether you need some gorgeous fabric to take home to your seamstress mom or photos of the pyramids lit up at night, this is the venue for you.Built in the 14th century, the bazaar is home to vendors of all stripes who sell everything from antiques to souvenirs, and guess what? The entertaining part comes when you get to haggle over prices – the sellers aren’t offended by lower bids; in fact, they expect you to bargain!
9- Zamalek On Gezira Island
When it’s time to leave your shopping bags in your hotel room, dress up and put on your dancing shoes, Zamalek is where you want to head. Located on the island of Gezira in Cairo’s midst is accessed by three bridges over the Nile, and once you’re there, it’s time to get out and walk – no cars or cabs, please!The district is in a perpetual traffic jam because of the narrow streets, so it’s best to explore the many clubs, bars, pubs and bistros on foot.There are also plenty of art galleries to check out, and Zamalek is home to the beautiful Modern Cairo Opera House. And there are lots of first-rate hotels on the island, so if you love to party the night away, consider staying in the area for your entire vacation.Have a glass or two of your favourite beverage, then watch the sun come up over Cairo. What could be more elegant or cooler?
These ideas for your next trip to Egypt are the perfect jumping-off point for planning your vacation, but there are plenty of other places to see and tour as well.Egypt is a country filled with fabulous archaeological sites, great museums and galleries, and memorable shopping opportunities. And we haven’t even mentioned the great food and the warm, welcoming people.Everything is at your doorstep in Egypt… the incredible, ancient past… the modern, amazing present. Egypt is a country on the brink of an amazing future, too, so why not visit and see for yourself?You’ll love what Egypt offers in every respect, and your trip will give you a lifetime of fantastic memories to take home… until your next visit!
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