If you’ve ever considered travelling to Egypt, now is the time to go. According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the regions of Egypt where you’ll find the best historical wonders have been given the green light. Despite this, many travellers are still unsure of the place, which is perfect for those of us who are planning on visiting.
In November 2014, I spent a fortnight in Egypt and not only did I feel completely safe, but I got to take advantage of ridiculously cheap flights and accommodation. As if that wasn’t good enough, all the attractions I visited during my trip were practically empty, meaning I could explore without the hustle and bustle of crowds.
If you decide to take advantage of low prices and horde-free attractions, here are four you absolutely cannot miss during your visit.
4 Top Attractions in Egypt
Even if you’d normally never step food inside a museum, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is a must. Here you’ll be able to wander amongst thousands of genuine ancient Egyptian artefacts, including giant sculptures, gold sarcophaguses, precious jewellery and even authentic mummies. The highlight is the Tutankhamen display which houses his iconic golden mask.
It’s worth spending a little extra and hiring a guide to show you around the museum. Hardly anything is labelled and without the help of a guide, you won’t know what you’re looking at.
These two temples are located in Nubia and often feature as an optional excursion on Nile cruise itineraries. The excursion begins around 3am and involves a bus or car ride from Aswan to the small village, during which you’ll get to see the sun rise over the Sahara Dessert – a unique opportunity if you can keep yourself awake.
What makes Abu Simbel so remarkable are the four 20 metre high colossal statues of Ramses the Great which decorate the façade. If you visit on October 22nd or February 22nd, you’ll get the chance to experience the solar phenomena when the sun’s rays penetrate the temple and shine on three of the four statues of Egyptian gods, keeping Ptah – the god connected with the Underworld – in the darkness.
Valley of the Kings
To see some of the most colourful and beautiful hieroglyphs in Egypt, a visit to Valley of the Kings is a must. Different tombs are opened at different times of the year, making this trip a tough one to plan for. Your admission ticket includes entrance to three tombs and if you visit with a guide, he/she will suggest the best.
Although Tutankhamen’s tomb is one of the most visited, it’s one of the least impressive and contains nothing more than his mummy. The tomb of Ramses IX is much more captivating and features a long chamber decorated in paintings of animals, daemons from the Book of the Dead, panther skin-draped priests and ceremonial depictions.
Pyramids of Giza
You can’t visit Egypt without seeing its most characteristic landmark – the Pyramids of Giza. This is definitely the highlight to our top attractions in Egypt. If you don’t mind incredibly enclosed spaces and climbing up seemingly never ending staircases, it’s definitely worth going inside the pyramids. Whilst there isn’t much more to see than engraved hieroglyphs and burial chambers, the atmosphere you’ll experience inside is unlike anything else in the world.
A camel ride here is a must. For the equivalent of small change, locals will take you on a short guided camel tour around the pyramids. And let me tell you, camel riding in the desert with the intimidating Pyramids of Giza to your left and dusty downtown Cairo to your right is an experience you don’t want to miss out on.
If you do decide to visit Egypt, why not combine your sightseeing holiday with a cruise along the Red Sea?