Tourism is a massive part of the economy in Egypt, with annual visitor figures topping over 13 million on many occasions over the past ten years.
The importance of tourism is further highlighted by revenues earned from the start of 2021 topping $3.5billion (£2.6billion), according to Reuters.
But what many don’t realize is that a trip to an African country can offer much more than the prominent attractions that are known globally.
There are so many places to visit and things to see in the country that sits within touching distance of the Sahara Desert, so let’s take a look at some of those you just can’t miss if you’re heading to Egypt in the near future.
Heading into the capital city of Egypt is a must-do for any visitor to the country, the city and surrounding area that almost 20 million people call home is the biggest metropolitan area in the Middle East.
It’s a bustling city full of life with lots of places to take in; one of those is the Citadel of Saladin, also known as Salah El Din Citadel.
It was the home of the government in Egypt for over 700 years, right up to the 19th century and the importance of the building was highlighted when in the 70s it was announced as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The citadel is a real prominent building as it can be seen from right across the city, as it’s located on the Mokattam hills.
A visit to the Alabaster Mosque is a highlight. You can’t go to the citadel without visiting the Gawhara Terrace to get the perfect view of the city on a clear day. You could also catch a glimpse of the Pyramids of Giza in the distance.
Grand Egyptian Museum
As we’ve touched on Giza, then the newly opened museum near the pyramids is the next on our list. The 60,000 square foot building is where the majority of the treasures from the time of King Tutankhamun are exhibited, with over 5,300 of them on display inside in one hall that is 7,500 square feet in size.
The Egyptian Pharaoh’s mask is a treasure that is instantly recognizable along with his legend, thanks to its constant portrayal in media. That started with movies as far back as the 1930s when Bros Karloff featured in the film, The Mummy.
The video game world has also popularised the king too over a lengthy period, who first appeared in 1982 in arcades from Konami, and he’s as popular with gamers today. The legend of the Pharaoh king can be seen in a Slingo title from Foxy Games, namely Tutan’s Treasure, which alludes to the hidden haul of the young king.
You can also find Tutankhamun in puzzlers such as Emily Archer and the Curse of Tutankhamun on the Nintendo Switch console. So, no matter what generation you’re from, the image of the Pharaoh king is something you’ll certainly recognize and appreciate when you head to the museum.
This museum tells the story and heritage of Nubia, a region that covers southern Egypt and northern Sudan. It’s a museum which has attracted so much attention that it’s won awards for its exhibits.
The collection spans from prehistoric times to the Islamic period, with some of them from the ancient city of Meroë, which was destroyed back in 350ce.
The Nubian Museum’s location is stunning too. It sits high on the banks of the Nile; the building with the exhibits is surrounded by natural botanical gardens and some beautiful public spaces.
A base at Sharm El Sheik is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking to head up the mountain, which according to the Old Testament, is the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
It’s a sacred site for many who start hiking from Saint Catherine’s Monastery, one of the oldest working monasteries in the world, built in the sixth century.
Those heading up to the summit will take in some fantastic sites on the four-hour round trip, and there’s no better time to do it early, to take in probably the most stunning sunrise you’ll ever see.
This urban oasis which is around 50 miles in length is one of the country’s most isolated settlements, where just over 30,000 people live. The locals are called Berbers who have their own language called Siwi and speak an Egyptian dialect of Arabic called Masry.
Siwa was the protagonist’s hometown from the popular video game, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. Bayek hailed from Siwa and the area was playable early in the game. You might have taken over the fortress of Siwa, known as the ShaliGhadi, which was originally made of salt, mudbrick, and palm.
After years of damage and decay, it now only lives on in the complex with one usable building, a mosque that stands taller than any other building in Siwa.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our look at some of the best places to visit in Egypt; if you’re awaiting your trip into Africa but can’t wait to get there, why not while away a few hours by taking a look at our piece, 10 Awesome Ways to Satisfy Your Wanderlust at Home.