Egypt is known for its long history and civilization but, even as one of the earliest kingdoms known to man. The place has certainly come a long way since the age of the pharaohs.
Now, Egypt remains as one of the best vacation spots in the world due to its beautiful weather and never-ending list of touristic locations.
To plan the ultimate vacation in Egypt, there are a few places you simply can’t miss.
The Egyptian Museum
The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, located in the heart of Cairo, contains many important artifacts of ancient Egyptian history. It houses the world’s largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities.
If you are interested in taking a trip to the ancient past, where pharaohs ruled Egypt, then the Egyptian Museum is a must-see. The belongings and treasures of some of well-known Egyptian kings and queens can be found at the museum. Along with their mummies, well-preserved to this day.
The Egyptian Museum is so large and filled with so many artifacts that it may be hard to take it all in at once. So be sure to plan your day around this particular visit. You don’t want to miss anything!
The Pharaonic Village in Giza
Egypt is truly the cradle of civilizations. You must have wondered at some point how people in ancient Egypt lived and prospered. You may also have wondered how they built one of the most powerful ancient civilizations known to man.
Now, thanks to the Pharaonic Village in Giza, Egypt, you can take a trip into the ancient past. There, you can actually witness that beautiful civilization in the making.
As you walk in the door, you will easily find exact replicas of houses, fields, monuments from ancient Egypt. You may go on a boat ride through the River Nile and watch the performers, dressed in the traditional garbs of ancient Egypt, walk perform the exact tasks that were part and parcel of life in Egypt at the time.
They will also witness famous scenes from history, such as the story of Prophet Moses. How his mother attempted to save his life by leaving him in a boat along the Nile, but not before making sure that he was discovered by the Pharaoh’s wife.
Interestingly, the Pharaonic Village is not only dedicated to ancient Egyptian history, it also features museums that showcase other aspects of Egypt’s long and outstanding history.
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It does not stop there, however, as the Pharaonic Village also delves into modern history. By showcasing glimpses of the lives of Egypt’s modern presidents, Anwar Sadat and Gamal Abdel Nasser.
In short, the Pharaonic Village is a must-see location for anyone interested in learning all about Egypt, its history, culture, and amazing heritage. It is recommended that you do not miss any of the Pharaonic Village’s beautiful and informative attractions as it brings you thousands of years of history in one place.
Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo
With such a rich Islamic history, Cairo was bound to establish an institution to showcase such history for anyone who wishes to take a trip to the past and also witness modern manifestations of the city’s Islamic culture.
The Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo aims to preserve Islamic artifacts, and to reach a maximum number of national and international visitors. Not only that, but the museum goes above and beyond by creating educational programs to encourage scientific research and foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the contributions made by the Islamic civilization to world heritage in the arts and sciences.
With more than 100,000 artifacts, the museum showcases a wide variety of collections, from weapons to manuscripts and jewelry…It is not to be missed.
World Renowned Attractions;
The Pyramids of Giza
The ancient Egyptians believed strongly in life after death. So, they did all in their power to prepare for what is to come. Building temples and shrines were part and parcel of their religious beliefs. The ancient Egyptians believed that the soul would return to its body in the afterlife and so the body had to be properly preserved through mummification.
Then the bodies would be placed in the tombs and the shrines along with their worldly belongings. It makes sense that kings and queens would not be buried in similar tombs as the people they governed.
It almost seems like the Pharaohs were in competition to see who would build the biggest tomb.
In ancient Egypt, the Great Pyramid was more than just a monument. The ancient Egyptians called it “Ikhet,” meaning the “Glorious Light”. As it was originally covered with polished limestone that reflected the sun’s light and made the pyramid shine like a jewel. However, after an earthquake that took place in the 14th century loosened these shining stones, they were used by Arabs to build mosques.
The Pyramids of Giza are far more than just burial grounds for the Pharaohs who ordered their construction. The walls of the Pyramids feature drawings and illustrations that showcase every aspect of life in ancient Egypt.
If you do visit Egypt, there’s no way you can miss visiting one of the most mesmerizing ancient wonders.
The Pyramid of Djoser in Sakkara
Located south of the Egyptian capital, the Step Pyramid of Saqqara is over 6 km long and more than 1.5 km wide. Named after King Djoser of the 3rd Dynasty, the Pyramid is the last of what remains of the Saqqara Necropolis; a quite large system of cemeteries.
If you are interested in seeing an attraction that comes pretty close to the Great Pyramids of Giza, then the Pyramid of Djoser in Sakkara is definitely a must-see attraction while visiting the city of Cairo.
The Giza Zoo
The Giza Zoo is located in the governorate of Giza in Egypt and covers about 80 acres. It is home to many endangered and rare African species. Including the first California sea lion to be born in the Middle East in 2002.
The zoo was constructed by Khedive Ismail, who ruled Egypt and Sudan from 1863 to 1879, and opened on the 1st of March 1891. Khedive Ismail imported many plants from India, Africa, and South America. One of these imports, a banyan tree that was planted about 1871, can still be found at the Zoo. He also provided the Zoo with 180 birds and 78 other animals his private menagerie.
When it was first built, the zoo was considered to be a marvel, not only in Egypt but in the entire world. The exhibits built within the zoo were considered spacious by European standards. At one time, the Giza Zoo contained around 20,000 animals representing 400 species. By the mid-twentieth century, the Giza Zoo was considered one of the best zoos in the world. The Giza Zoo continued to gain immense popularity. In 2007, it received almost 3.4 million visitors. To this day it remains a very popular attraction for children and families during weekends and public holidays.
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The zoo is comprised of five areas; the biggest is called the Citadel Hill and was constructed in 1867. It features various statues of extinct Fayoum crocodiles, rhinoceros and unique birds.
The layout of the gardens within the Giza Zoo is quite beautiful, as it is paved with black stone flags from Trieste, footpaths decorated with pebbles laid out like mosaics. It also contains a pond with a marble island that is now the zoo’s Tea Island.
The zoo also includes a suspension bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel that lets visitors view the animals from above. This bridge is said to have been the first elevated viewing area at any zoo in the world.
A museum was built in 1906, exhibiting a large collection of embalmed birds, reptiles, fish, animals as well as skeletons.
The Zoo is also an institute where scientists observe and study the behavior of animals and birds. There are five non-governmental organizations that carry out campaigns to encourage people to preserve wildlife and promote environmental awareness in Egypt.
Royal Palaces and Citadels;
Abdeen Palace is considered one of the most glorious palaces in the world. Due to its stunning adornments, most of which are pure gold.
Although the palace itself is not open to visitors, a whole wing of the Palace has been transformed into a number of museums for visitors to walk through. Many of the former Egyptian royal family’s belongings can be found on display. Including medals, decorations, portraits, weapons and even precious handmade silverware.
The museums are: the Silver Museum, the Arms Museum, the Royal Family Museum, and the Presidential Gifts Museum. The Palace is located in the Old Cairo district of Abdeen.
Mohamed Ali Pasha Palace (Manyal)
The Manial Palace is a former Ottoman dynasty era palace located in El-Manial district of southern Cairo. The palace is composed of five separate buildings, surrounded by Persian gardens within an extensive English Landscape garden-estate park. It is certainly one of the most beautiful attractions in Cairo.
The Palace was built by Prince Mohammed Ali Tewfik, the uncle of King Farouk, between 1899 and 1929. He had it designed in a style integrating European and traditional Islamic architecture styles. It housed his extensive art collection.
Egyptians who have become entranced with historical Turkish TV dramas, that have become all the rage in the country in the past decade. People find themselves transported back in time to similar surroundings when visiting the Manial Palace.
Salah El Din Citadel
Also known as the Cairo Citadel, this extraordinary landmark is one of the most popular historical attractions dating back to the 12th century. The Citadel was built by the Ayyubid ruler Salah al-Din to protect the city from the Crusaders. It is located on Mokattam hill near the center of Cairo. Providing visitors with a stunning panoramic view of the entire city thanks to its elevated position.
Within the Citadel, several museums were established in the 1970s, featuring the achievements and victories of the Egyptian Police and Army Forces over the years.
Several mosques lie within the walls of the Citadel as well, the most famous of which is the Muhammad Ali Mosque which was built between 1830 and 1857 and designed by Turkish architect Yusuf Bushnak. Muhammad Ali Pasha, the founder of modern Egypt was buried in a tomb in the courtyard of the mosque.
Another quite famous Citadel overlooks the Mediterranean in the second largest Egyptian city of Alexandria. Built in the 15th century by Sultan Al-Ashraf Sayf al-Din Qa’it Bay to protect Egypt from the Turks. Who were considered a threatening force at the time, the Citadel is certainly a sight to behold.
Its perfect location provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy the sea breeze along with the constant sunshine that characterizes Egypt and especially Alexandria.
Fun in the Sun;
The North Coast of Egypt (usually shortened to El Sahel) extends along the Egyptian coast that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. The North Coast is littered with major cities, like Alexandria and Marsa Matrouh, along with smaller compounds and resorts usually inhabited in the summer vacation by tourists from inside or outside of Egypt. People are always drawn to the fantastic weather and the beautiful beaches.
Other than the mesmerizing Mediterranean Sea, tourists can enjoy a long list of activities, from water skiing and parasailing to nightlife and fun parties, depending on the resort you’re staying in.
Although Egypt’s weather is moderate all year round, you can still experience what it’s like to frolic in the snow with your friends, family or kids by visiting Ski Egypt, a newly opened facility in Mall of Egypt located in 6th October, Cairo, where you can learn to ski, play games with your kids, and take professional photos to save all the fun you’ve had.
We can’t talk about vacationing in Egypt without mentioning the newly established city overlooking the Red Sea. In the past two years, El Gouna has virtually become a hub of activities for those either seeking adventure or relaxation as it caters to all tastes.
Located north of Hurghada, another beautiful city on the Red Sea, El Gouna blossomed into a vibrant city in. With tons of apartments and hotels overlooking the beaches and lakes, El Gouna has no shortage of things to do. The resort town also attracts water sports enthusiasts from all over the world with its wide range of activities. Whether you feel like jumping into the water for a cool swim or going on a desert adventure, El Gouna is the place for you.
Most of all: enjoy your visit to Egypt!
While you are here why not check out some of our other blog posts, that you may find interesting: Egypt’s Hidden Gems, Egyptian Food, More On The Pharamoic Village, Giza Zoo National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, Ultimate Vacation: Places to Visit in Egypt (Part 2), King Tutankhamun.