Travel Tips for Egypt

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Travel Tips for Egypt

Things to See in Egypt

Highlights of any visit to Egypt include famous archaeological sites from both Lower (North) and Upper (South) Egypt. The most famous are:

Cairo:

  • the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx
  • the Egyptian Museum
  • the pyramids and temples of Saqqara and Dahshur
  • Citadel of Salah El Din
  • Mosque of Mohamed Ali

Alexandria:

Alexandria, with several historical sights and the stunning new Bibliotheca Alexandrina, is the country's main summer attraction for Egyptians escaping the summer heat and looking for a place to spend the summer vacation. Tourist attractions include Roman and Greek monuments, Bibliotheca Alexandria, Qa'edbay's Castle, and Qasr El Montaza (El Montaza Palace).

Port Said:

Port Said, is one of the country's main summer resorts for Egyptians escaping the summer heat and looking for a place to spend the summer vacation and to have shopping benefiting its free trade zone, Tourist attractions include the unique buildings of the city which back to the 19th century an the old lighthouse of Port Said which was the first building built in the world using reinforced concrete.

Luxor:

The Temples of Luxor and the West Bank across the Nile

  • the Valley of the Kings
  • the Temples of Abu Simbel

Aswan:

In Aswan, you can see even more temples and ancient monuments. You can also see Geziret El Nabatat (The Island of Plants). This is an island in the Nile River of Aswan which was planted by rare species of plants, trees, and flowers.

Perhaps the most popular activity in Luxor and Aswan is to do the Nile Cruise on a ship from Aswan to Luxor. It enables you to stop at each location along the Nile where you can see all the famous ancient monuments as well as experience being in the Nile River inside a five-star hotel boat.

  • The Red Sea resorts at Sinai peninsula, including Dahab, Hurghada, and Sharm el Sheikh. The Red Sea offers some of the best dive locations in the world.
  • The sights of the Sinai peninsula, including Saint Catherine's Monastery and Mount Sinai.
  • The western desert and the oases there, including Siwa,
  • Memphis, with some relics of ancient Egypt - including a huge statue of Ramesses II, evoking the image which inspired Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem Ozymandias

Things to Do in Egypt

There is a lot to do for the foreign traveler in Egypt. Apart from visiting and seeing the ancient temples and artifacts of ancient Egypt, there is also much to see within each city. In fact, each city in Egypt has its own charm of things to see with its own history, culture, activities, and people who often differ in nature from people of other parts of Egypt.

Cairo, for instance has so much to do and see. Besides the ancient Egyptian history, there is the history of Romans, Greeks, Byzantine Empire, Islamic empire, Ottomans, and finally modern Egyptian history.

Jewish and Christian History:

To see more about Egypt's Christian and Jewish history, go to a local tourist office and ask them to give you names of local Churches and Jewish Synagogues. There is at least two Jewish synagogues dating back many years ago, when Egypt had a population of a few hundred-thousand Jews in the country, who eventually left during the formation of Israel.

There is a lot of old and interesting Churches to see in different areas of Cairo, including downtown Cairo, Heliopolis, Korba, Shubra, Abbasiya, Zamalek, and Maadi. Some of these churches have been around for several hundred years and their architecture resemble that of Churches in Western countries, often built by Europeans who built much of the city's architecture in the 19th century as a resembance to modern buildings of Europe at the time.

Modern Cairo:

If you want to see modern Cairo, try walking in the streets of Zamalek, Maadi, Mohandiseen, or Heliopolis where you will see some of the more modern buildings and get to experience the way of life in Egypt.

Cairo Tower:

Is the tallest building in Egypt, and you can go up the tower and have a nice dinner with a full view of Cairo from above. There are telescopes which enable you to see magnified sections of city in more detail and allows the traveller to see much of the city in a short amount of time.

Local Cafes / Coffeeshops and Restaurants:

For social times, try sitting in one of the local cafes restaurants where you can meet and interact with fellow Egyptians. There are numerous coffeeshops/cafes and restaurants all over Cairo all catering for different tastes and backgrounds and range from the very budget to the very expensive.

Local chains include, Coffee Roastery, Cilantro, Grand Cafe, Costa Coffee and many other places. Generally each area of Cairo has its cafes and restaurants.

Sporting and Recreational Clubs:

If the heat is too much, you can go to one of the famous sporting clubs such as the Gezira Club located in Zamalek, or the Seid Club (otherwise known in English as the Shooting Club) located in Mohandiseen, where you can have a dip at the swimming pool or otherwise enjoy sitting in the shade and comfort of lush trees and gardens. Entrance for foreignors can be gained by buying a one-day ticket for 20-30 Egyptian pounds which enables the person to enjoy all the facilities of club including playing any sports. There are of course changing facilities and restaurants inside the club where one can enjoy a meal or a drink after engaging in any activity.

Nightlife:

If you enjoy nightlife, there is quite a few nightclubs and discos where you can drink and dance to some of the most modern tunes in the west as well as listen to some arabic music. The music varies from Dance and Trance to Hip Hop, Rap, Techno, as well as Rock and Pop. These clubs are usually located inside five-star hotels or at areas such as Mohandiseen and Zamalek.

Examples include: The Cairo Jazz Club (mohandiseen) Purple (on a boat in Zamalek) Hard Rock Cafe (inside the grand hay-at Hotel in Garden City) L'Obergine (pub and bar in Zamalek)

Desert Adventures:

For other adventures, try going to the Haram District of Cairo, and look for any horse-riding stables. There, you can rent a horse for a few hours and ride, or even ride a camel out in the desert by the pyramids and the Sphinx. The best time to do this is at night when you can see all the stars shining together in the sky and capture the magical feeling of the place. You will be with a local guide riding with you on another horse or camel, or you might even be joined a group of other individuals or groups of friends who enjoy riding horses in the desert by the pyramids like yourself.

Nile Boat:

Try rending out a Feluca boat (small boat that can carry up to 20 individuals) in the Nile of Cairo. There you can experience the beauty of the Nile and the surround scenery, where you can see the city and its buildings and streets from within the water around. Depending on the weather, you can do this either day or night, but you will need to go to the Giza District and walk along the corniche area of the Nile and ask any of the locals for renting this boat.

Islamic Cairo / Fatimid Cairo:

For those interested in the Islamic architecture and history, try going to Islamic Cairo, ( el Gamalaya district or Khan El Khalili. There you will see numerous buildings and some mosques and see how buildings and houses were built in the Islamic Era of Egypt. There is also a Souk or (Bazar) where you can buy lots of different souvenirs and items.

  • Alexandri - Since Alexandria was founded in 332/31 B.C. by Alexander the Great “the pearl of the Mediterranean” has been one of the major sites of Egyptian history. After the death of the Macedonian king the city developed under the Ptolemies into the intellectual and cultural center of the entire Hellenistic world. Great scholars lived and worked in the Museion

Diving:

Diving in Egypt offers a variety of diving opportunities, from shallow reefs, walls, drift dives, coral gardens and some of the most famous wrecks in the world. Here you will find unlimited options to see tropical marine life in crystal clear waters, many species of sharks, and even whalesharks. Variety is inmense, and will be dependent on where you dive. Some of the most popular diving locations include diving in Sharm El Sheikh and Ras Mohammed, diving in The Gubal Strait, the wrecks at the Strait of Tiran, reef diving in Hurghada and Marsa Alam, the Abu Nuhas wreck system, and pelagic encounters at Brother Islands.

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