The Pyramids of Giza. Photo by Micetta, 2007.
Taking a trip to Egypt is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so while you’re there, you need to make the most of it. After all, it’s filled with some of the most iconic landmarks on the globe, and your friends and families will never let you live it down if you don’t see all the great sights. Here are just a few of the many attractions you should see while you’re in Egypt.
Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings, located near Luxor, is a valley in Egypt where tombs were constructed for the kings and privileged nobles of the New Kingdom from 16th to 11th century BC. This valley contains 63 tombs and chambers, ranging from a simple pit to a huge tomb that has an excess of 120 chambers. The tombs are filled with depictions of scenes from Egyptian mythology and give us an idea on the beliefs and burial rituals from that time period.
The Red Sea Reef
The Red Sea Reef is one of the best places in the world to go diving. The unpolluted waters offer amazing visibility and feature exotic seascapes. The Red Sea Reef is home to thousands of different sea creatures. On each side of the Red Sea are several beach resorts. On the West coast of the Red Sea, you’ll find Hurghada, the second largest city in Egypt, which is an extremely popular tourist spot.
The Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza, which are near the Southwestern suburbs of Cairo, are the top attractions in Egypt. These pyramids were built during a period that happened during three generations of Egypian Rulers – from Khufu to his second reigning son Khafre, and finally to Menkaure. The Great Pyramid of Khufu is the largest, spanning 139 meters, or 455 feet high. This is the most popular tourist attraction in Egypt, so don’t expect to be alone when you go see it.
The Abu Simel hosts a large array of Ancient Egyptian monuments, the most famous of which are two massive Temples of Ramesses II. Ramesses built the Abu Simel as a way to immortalize himself. Thousands of tourists visit each year. The main hall hosts two rows of statues of Ramesses, each one being 30 feet tall.
Catacombs of Kom ash-Shuqqafa
For the explorer in your group, you should check out the Catacombs of Kom ash-Shuqqafa. You’ll thoroughly enjoy exploring these underground tunnels. There are many winding stairways. As you progress, you’ll soon find yourself in the heart of an ancient necropolis, which reflects a culture that is full of Roman, Greek and Egyptian architecture. There are more than 300 tombs here. This is also the rumored site of a brutal ancient massacre.
What stands out about Dendera is the fact that it looks almost like it was built yesterday. Throughout the years, it has somehow managed to escape damage. Dendara dates back to the first century BC and is part of a wider complex of temples and tombs. Not much is known about the history of Christianity in this city, but two names of ancient bishops are given: Pachymius and Serapion. The complex covers 40,000 square meters and is surrounded by a mud brick wall. The building dates back to as early as 2613 BC.
The Egyptian Museum
After traveling all the way to Egypt, one of the top places on your list should be the Egyptian museum. This museum is home to more than 120,000 items of ancient Egypt antiquities. There are two main floors of the museum, the first and ground floor.
On the ground floor, you’ll find a collection of papyrus and coins used by the ancient Egyptians. On the first floor, you’ll find artifacts from the final two dynasties of Ancient Egypt, as well as artifacts taken from the Valley of the Kings. One of the most amazing sights in the museum, though, is the Royal Mummy Room; an attraction that includes 27 royal mummies dating back to Egypt’s ancient pharaonic times. Feel free to capture your own photographic souvenir or make a trip to the gift shop and retrieve your treasure.
Underground Library of Alexandria
Not much is left of the Great Library of Alexandria, which is located underneath the ruins of the Serapeum. It’s comprised of a series of underground tunnels and rooms. It was constructed during the third BC and was the most famous library of the ancient world. The date of its destruction is estimated to be around the time that Julius Caesar was in the city. The underground library remained in use until 391 AD and may have been used for religious purposes.
No matter where you look in Egypt, there are monuments, statues and figures that date back thousands of years. There’s truly no other place in the world like it. Have you ever been to Egypt? What was your favorite attraction?