Egypt known for its history is one of the oldest civilizations of all time known to date. It has a very unique culture, diversified architecture as well as its own artistic style, long and sandy shores, divine traditional cuisine, sunny weather as well as warm winters and above all perfectly located in the Northern part of Africa. Egypt has a history of being the home to some of the most important landmarks on the planet, showcasing impressive yet mysterious works of the Ancient Egyptians, who conquered the first civilization known to mankind over four thousand years ago. Home of the Ancient Pharaohs, from the soaring pyramids to the intricate hieroglyphics language and complex underground temples and systems, Egypt is the destination that will amaze all those who come to plan and visit.
Egypt is not all about historical artifacts and treasures as their vast tracts of the desert, superb spots for scuba diving as well as the famed Nile River, there’s a little bit of something for everyone planning to see just a piece of history. Those who love the beach would consider heading towards the Sinai area to soak up the sun, while those who are fans of archaeology would rather enjoy their full day in Luxor and Aswan. Cairo, the capital city of Egypt also contains some of the most famous places for tourists as well such as enjoying Nile cruises along the river and the amazing sights of the Sphinx and the pyramids. The country of Egypt has so much for travelers to see and do that sometimes you might want to stay longer than expected because it’s the perfect country for a mix of activities that include culture, tradition, adventure, and the ultimate relaxation. Find the best places to visit with this list of the top tourist attractions and landmarks in Egypt.
- THE GREAT PYRAMIDS OF GIZA
Known as one of the seven greatest wonders of the world, the largest pyramid in Giza has a base of 754 feet and the height of 474 feet which makes the pyramid more than two million stone blocks and even to modern day standards, it’s considered quite difficult even with the technological advances in engineering and construction in the present day. It is the oldest of the seven wonders as it was built around 2560 B.C. and it is also the last standing of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. The Pyramid was constructed during Egypt’s Old Kingdom, which is when the Pharaohs were thought to be overpowering and were seen to be Gods as they built large tombs for themselves for their afterlives.
In the present day, these memorials to dead kings is still one of the top places to visit and the top place for most people to put on their bucket list. When someone mentions the country of Egypt, the pyramids are likely to be the first thing on everyone’s mind as travelers to Egypt always want to see the ancient mysteries that belong to ancient times. The Great Pyramids of Giza complex includes three major pyramids: the Great Pyramid of Cheops/Khufu, the Pyramid of Khaphre and the Pyramid of Menkaure but it is the Great Pyramid of Khufu that is the most known as it is the largest among the rest.
- THE GREAT SPHINX OF GIZA
In ancient Greece, the sphinx was known as a mythical creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion. It was known to be deemed, terrifying and cruel towards those who disobey the structure as the Great Sphinx of Giza embodies this concept as it is known to keep a watchful eye over the subjects which in this case is the Great Pyramids of Egypt. The Great Sphinx of Giza is known to be one of the largest statues in Egypt and is believed to be built around the time of 2500 B.C. making it almost over 4 thousand years old. This statue is built out of limestone that is 238 feet long and 68 feet high that was known to be built and resemble the Egyptian Pharaoh Khafre, who was the ruler of Ancient Egypt during the time of its construction. Located in the west bank of the Nile River, The Sphinx was known to be carved from the same rocks and stones that were used to make the Great Pyramids.
- KARNAK TEMPLE
Well known for the history of the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple and the Memorial Temple of Hatshepsut is located in the Nile side town of Luxor in the Upper Egypt part of the country which leads to many tourist attractions. Construction for the Karnak Temple started around the time of 2000 B.C. and actually resulted in the largest religious building ever built at the time. The details encrypted by the Ancient Egyptians in this complex is quite tremendous as the main hall, Hypostyle, features 134 carved columns and is the largest single religious room in the world. The Karnak Temple was dedicated to several Egyptian Gods, the complex of this temple has several smaller temples and a lake that is considered sacred that was surrounded by the living quarters of the priests. The temple is currently in ruins now but the greatness of this former temple of religion was quite extraordinary as it was a pilgrimage destination for over two thousand years. For many years, the Karnak temple has been visited by different visitors and scholars for the way and how it was built.
- ABU SIMBEL TEMPLE
The Ancient Egyptian Pharoah known as Ramesses II left his legacy within the Abu Simbel temple, which was constructed around 1200 B.C. on the banks of the Nile River. It consists of two temples, Great and small that are actually carved into a cliff. Many historians and scholars believe that this temple was built to celebrate a victory for Pharaoh Ramesses during the times of 1274 B.C. while others can believe that it was built for a victory over the Nubians in 1244 B.C. but the only thing that can be agreed upon the scholars is that it took 20 years to be built. The Great temple is built in dedication towards the Pharaoh and the various Gods that were praised as the small temple is dedicated to his favorite wife, Nefertari. The temple was named Abu Simbel in 1813 for the exploration that took place at the time. The entrance has large standing guard statues which are truly an incredible sight for the eyes.
- VALLEY OF THE KINGS
The Valley of the Kings is one of the most important touristic sites that can be seen in the historical country of Egypt. It’s a wide valley that is considered home to over 60 Ancient Egyptian tombs and burial chambers that would belong to the most powerful, noble leaders of Ancient Egypt. It is known to carry the burial chambers of pharaohs such as Tutankhamun (King Tut), Seti I, and Ramses II. It is one of the first examples of tombs being carved into rocks in the valley over a 500 year period from around 1600 B.C. to 1100 B.C. and is considered the “Valley of the Kings” or “the City of the Dead”. There is also a hidden underground mausoleum to protect the burial homes of these former pharaohs in power and to also protect the treasures that were buried around them. Located in the west bank of the Nile, The Valley of the Kings is widely known as one of the top landmarks to visit during your visit or stay in the historical country of Egypt.
- THE WHITE DESERT
While not all ancient Egyptian landmarks were created by Ancient Egyptians, The White Desert is certainly a landmark created by Mother Nature itself. The landscape of this desert is known to be outer-worldly and is the home to huge mushroom-shaped chalk formations that are the result of thousands of years of wind erosion. Taking a drive across the White desert is like driving through a landscape that is considered alien and most people would feel like they can be in a different planet altogether. The distance between the capital city of Cairo and the White Desert is 428 kilometers. Contrary to popular belief, more than 90 percent of the country of Egypt consists of areas of desert across the country but out of all the deserts, it is the White Desert that is visited often among the visitors and tourists.
- THE COLOSSI OF MEMNON
Built-in 3400 B.C., The Colossi of Memnon is one of the oldest landmarks in the country of Egypt. There are two statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep that were built facing the Nile and the sun which stand at the entrance of the Colossi. There are several other statues surrounding those two main statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep which was known to represent his wife and mother. It was the most opulent and largest temple complex in Erupt, which actually surpasses even the Karnak Temple. Even though it was designed as a memorial to the Pharaoh Amenhotep, it was actually named after the Trojan War Ethiopian King Memnon. All the statues that were built in this impressive landmark are made from quartzite sandstone even though it is in ruins today, it is still considered as one of the top landmarks to be visited in the historical country of Egypt.
- THE SAKKARA PYRAMID
Everyone has heard of the great pyramids that are located in Giza, but little do they know that those pyramids aren’t the only ones that the Ancient Egyptians chose to build. The Pyramid of Djoser or well known as the Sakkara Pyramid is located in the Sakkara necropolis of the Ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. It was constructed in the 27th century, it is actually the earliest known pyramid known to date, as its stepped sides became a prototype for the sleeker, smooth-sided and close to perfect pyramids that are placed in the likes of Giza and across the country of Egypt. At 204 feet/ 63 meters, it was the highest building of its time as it was designed to hold the remains of Pharaoh Djoser by his architect and it is also to be thought as one of the earliest examples of stone architecture. During the pyramid’s popularity, it was said to be covered with polished white limestone.
- TEMPLE OF OSIRIS
Located in Upper Egypt about 10 kilometers from the Nile River, the site of Abydos played a huge role in the religious life of the Ancient Egyptians. The earliest kings of Egypt known to date including all those from the first dynasty of Egyptian History that took place 3000 B.C. to 2890 B.C. are known to be buried in Abydos. There can be seen many carved hieroglyphics and intricate paintings among the walls of the Abydos’ Temple of Osiris. It is known that hieroglyphics was actually the second oldest written language known to mankind and it can be seen in many Egyptian landmarks, but that isn’t the only attraction of the temple of Osiris as it draws many crowds to see the most fascinating artistic treasures that behold among the columns and walls of the temple which is covered within the beautiful language of the Ancient Egyptians and intricate paintings, spellbinding sights and the admiration that many visitors feel compared to the other temples of the historical country of Egypt.
- THE MUSEUM OF EGYPT
Centrally located in Down Tahrir Square in Cairo, no trip to Egypt would be complete without exploring the Egyptian Museum just once. The Egyptian Museum is the home to thousands of historical artifacts that have items on display from the time of the great and powerful Ancient Pharaohs. One of the world’s most important collections of artifacts, The Egyptian Museum takes pride to have the greatest collection of Ancient Egyptian archeological history in the world. The Egyptian Museum opened in 1902, holding the many treasures of Tutankhamun (King Tut) and other great pharaohs that you can see in a detailed manner about all their mummifications and secret treasures that were discovered.