Egypt may be one of the most amazing places in the world. There is no shortage of culture, sites, food, and excitement in the country. Although there has been some political turmoil in Egypt as of the last few years, that should not detract backpackers from making the trip and taking advantage of what the country has to offer. Some of the greatest feats of mankind (or as some like to argue, aliens) are in Egypt and they should not be missed. Here are some of the best things to do when visiting this Northern African nation.
Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx
I don’t think I could possibly write about Egypt without mentioning these wonders of the world. The pyramids are massive structures that are so impressive that many people don’t believe that it was humanly possible for them to be built. Enter the theory of aliens. I couldn’t disagree more with the alien theory but if that makes the pyramids all that more curious to you, then by all means use it as a reason to go check it out for yourself! The Great Pyramid of Khufu sits at an impressive 139 meters high (455 feet) giving it the title of tallest pyramid in Egypt. The set of pyramids took three generations of pharos to build them, thats a lot of blood, sweat, and tears! The pyramids are a must when in Egypt especially when in Cairo as they are in the southern suburb of the city, Giza. The Great Sphinx is also in Giza and may be the second most recognizable site in the country.
Go to Dahab
This is a really cool place to go if you can get there. Its a bit off the beaten path as far as Egypt goes. Dahab is just north of Shram el-Sheikh on the southern tip of Sinai. It can be quite the trip if you are visiting the main cities of Egypt, about eight hours but you can find buses that run daily from Cairo to Dahab. In the 1980’s Dahab become a hotspot for the free spirits of the world who wanted to lead a laid back lifestyle on the beach. That is still the vibe in Dahab for visitors, a great place to vacation on your travels.
Visit the Library of Alexandria
Way back in the day, and I mean waaaay back in the day Alexandria was home to the most extraordinary library in the world. But do to an accidental fire set by Julius Ceasar, the library burned to the ground. You can go back to where the library once stood and see the newly constructed library. It is a great work of arcitecture and is working its way to be the best library in the world once again.
Shop Around at Khan el-Khalili
Khan el-Khalili, in Cairo, is one of the largest markets in the world. Here you can find authentic Arabic clothing, scarves, rugs, trinkets, perfume scents you won’t find anywhere else, and all other types of souvenirs that you could or couldn’t imagine. Just remember, in the bazaar bargaining and haggling is a much needed skill. Don’t buy at the first price given, always talk it down as much as you can. That is the way these places work, get savvy and work on your skills!
Not a place for the lighthearted, Theban Necropolis is home to some of the most famous dead people to come from Egypt. This temple is on the the West Bank of the Nile in Luxor and contains the Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, and Tombs of the Nobles and these tombs contain all of the big names. You can see the final place of rest of Tutankhamun, Ramses II, and Nefertari. If you want to see the Tomb of Nefertari, possibly the finest in the country, you need to plan ahead. It only allows 150 visitors a day for 10 minutes at a time. There is plenty to see here and it can be a whole day affair.