Egypt is the cradle of one of the world’s oldest civilizations, which is why it merits a visit at least once in your lifetime. But there is also a lot more to this fascinating country aside from its numerous ancient wonders. When planning a trip to Egypt, be sure to mix up your activities to get the full experience. Allow us to provide you several suggestions:
Eat an Egyptian Breakfast
You can try out many of Egypt’s local specialties just by eating breakfast. A typical Egyptian breakfast contains an eclectic array of food items, such as cooked fava beans, tameya (patties made of ground fava beans), eggs, fries, cheese with tomato and green pepper, and baladi bread. You will notice that most local restaurants will be full in the morning because the residents really love their breakfast — you probably will, too.
See the Great Pyramids of Giza
A trip to Egypt wouldn’t be complete without a tour of its famous pyramids. The Giza complex on the outskirts of Cairo City houses three great pyramids and a giant sphynx structure. Collectively, these are the oldest of the ancient Wonders and are amazingly still in existence. A previous post here on Suitcase Stories narrated a traveler’s experience at the pyramids, mentioning that their group rode camels towards the site and were even allowed to stand on the pyramids.
Dive in the Red Sea
You wouldn’t miss a chance to see one of the seven wonders of the underwater world, would you? The Red Sea offers sights of some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. It is a diver’s paradise, with its crystal clear waters, very little wave action, and plenty points of interest to explore. You can check out the diving sites in Marsa Alam, Sharm Al Sheikh, Hurghada and more.
Explore the Abu Simbel Temples
Egypt has many noteworthy temples, but we recommend checking out the Abu Simbel complex because of its impressive architecture. The complex houses two temples dedicated to the pharaoh Ramses II, and the larger temple is well known for its giant imposing statues that are designed to scare potential enemies who were approaching from the Nile. The smaller temple, meanwhile, was built in honor of queen Nefertari. Mashable covered the awe-inspiring story of how the entire complex was moved in the 1960s by a team of expert engineers 60m above its original spot in order to avoid the Nile’s rising waters.
Shop for Bargains at the Souk
If you’re looking for a good place to buy your souvenirs, you should visit Egypt’s souks or bazaars. The most notable one is Khan el Khalili, which is a vibrant place that sells everything from jewelry, perfumes, clothing, souvenirs, furniture, and more. Blogger Carrie Reed recommends visiting with someone who is familiar with the area, since you can get lost in all the shops. To avoid the crowds, you can stop by at around 11 AM or noon as this is usually time the shops start to open.
Visit the Valley of Kings
Another must-see aside from Egypt’s pyramids are the country’s ancient tombs. The most famous collection of tombs can be found in the Valley of Kings, which is near the west of the Nile. It is a burial ground for pharaohs, queens, high priests, and other members of the elite. Since the ancient Egyptians believed in the afterlife, they made sure to decorate pharaohs’ tombs with all their treasures, which the rulers can take into the next world. One of the most notable tombs to see is the boy king Tutankhamun’s, because of the many treasures and antiquities it held. It’s also important to note that his mummy is one of the few bodies left that still rest in their original tombs.
The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in the 1920s was iconic because it revealed so much about Egyptian history and how extravagant the lives of pharaohs were. That’s why we are able to appreciate accurate media representations of the ancient Egyptian civilization, especially when it comes to pharaoh burials. Slingo’s online game Tutankhamun is one such example of an offshoot that highlights the wealth of the pharaoh, as it challenges players to explore deep into the tomb to discover riches “beyond your wildest dreams”. It was recorded that Tutankhamun’s tomb contained over 5000 treasures, so it’s no surprise that references to it always involve gold mines and fascinating discoveries.
Now that we’ve covered a few points of interest in Egypt, it’s up to you to choose which are worth seeing. If your budget can handle it, why not do all these things? If you have any other suggestions in mind, feel free to tell us in the comments below.