Top tourist attractions in Egypt
Here is a list of top tourist attractions in Egypt. Only the topmost tourist destinations are presented here. To see other destinations, please check the images from Egypt section.
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Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact. Egyptologists believe that the pyramid was built as a tomb for fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu over a 10 to 20-year period concluding around 2560 BCE. Initially at 146.5 metres, the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years. Originally, the Great Pyramid was covered by casing stones that formed a smooth outer surface; what is seen today is the underlying core structure. Some of the casing stones that once covered the structure can still be seen around the base. There have been varying scientific and alternative theories about the Great Pyramid's construction techniques. Most accepted construction hypotheses are based on the idea that it was built by moving huge stones from a quarry and dragging and lifting them into place. There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid. The lowest chamber is cut into the bedrock upon which the pyramid was built and was unfinished. The so-called Queen's Chamber and King's Chamber are higher up within the pyramid structure. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only pyramid in Egypt known to contain both ascending and descending passages. The main part of the Giza complex is a setting of buildings that included two mortuary temples in honour of Khufu, three smaller pyramids for Khufu's wives, an even smaller "satellite" pyramid, a raised causeway connecting the two temples, and small mastaba tombs surrounding the pyramid for nobles.
Mount Sinai, also known as Mount Horeb, is a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt that is the traditional and most accepted identification of the biblical Mount Sinai. The latter is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus in the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran. According to Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition, the biblical Mount Sinai was the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
The Giza Necropolis is an archaeological site on the Giza Plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. This complex of ancient monuments includes the three pyramid complexes known as the Great Pyramids, the massive sculpture known as the Great Sphinx, several cemeteries, a workers' village and an industrial complex. It is located some 9 km inland into the desert from the old town of Giza on the Nile, some 25 km southwest of Cairo city centre. The pyramids, which have historically loomed large as emblems of ancient Egypt in the Western imagination, were popularised in Hellenistic times, when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is by far the oldest of the ancient Wonders and the only one still in existence.
Great Sphinx of Giza
The Great Sphinx of Giza, commonly referred to as the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining or couchant sphinx that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the face of the Pharaoh Khafra. It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 metres long, 19.3 metres wide, and 20.22 m high. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafra.
Library of Alexandria
The Royal Library of Alexandria, or Ancient Library of Alexandria, in Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. It flourished under the patronage of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functioned as a major center of scholarship from its construction in the 3rd century BC until the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC. With collections of works, lecture halls, meeting rooms, and gardens, the library was part of a larger research institution called the Musaeum of Alexandria, where many of the most famous thinkers of the ancient world studied. The library was conceived and opened either during the reign of Ptolemy I Soter or during the reign of his son Ptolemy II. As a symbol of the wealth and power of Egypt, it employed many scribes to borrow books from around the known world, copy them, and return them. Most of the books were kept as papyrus scrolls, and though it is unknown how many such scrolls were housed at any given time, their combined value was incalculable. The library is famous for having been burned, resulting in the loss of many scrolls and books, and has become a symbol of the destruction of cultural knowledge. Ancient sources differ widely on who is responsible for the destruction and when it occurred. Although there is a mythology of the burning of the Library at Alexandria, the library may have suffered several fires or acts of destruction over many years. Possible occasions for the partial or complete destruction of the Library of Alexandria include a fire set by Julius Caesar in 48 BC, an attack by Aurelian in the 270s AD, the decree of Coptic Pope Theophilus in 391, and the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 642.
Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings, less often called the Valley of the Gates of the Kings, is a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, tombs were constructed for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom. The valley stands on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes, within the heart of the Theban Necropolis. The wadi consists of two valleys, East Valley and West Valley. With the 2005 discovery of a new chamber, and the 2008 discovery of two further tomb entrances, the valley is known to contain 63 tombs and chambers. It was the principal burial place of the major royal figures of the Egyptian New Kingdom, together with those of a number of privileged nobles. The royal tombs are decorated with scenes from Egyptian mythology and give clues to the beliefs and funerary rituals of the period. Almost all of the tombs seem to have been opened and robbed in antiquity, but they still give an idea of the opulence and power of the Pharaohs. This area has been a focus of archaeological and egyptological exploration since the end of the eighteenth century, and its tombs and burials continue to stimulate research and interest. In modern times the valley has become famous for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, and is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. In 1979, it became a World Heritage Site, along with the rest of the Theban Necropolis. Exploration, excavation and conservation continues in the valley, and a new tourist centre has recently been opened.
The Karnak Temple Complex, commonly known as Karnak, comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings. Building at the complex began during the reign of Senusret I in the Middle Kingdom and continued into the Ptolemaic period, although most of the extant buildings date from the New Kingdom. The area around Karnak was the ancient Egyptian Ipet-isut and the main place of worship of the eighteenth dynasty Theban Triad with the god Amun as its head. It is part of the monumental city of Thebes. The Karnak complex gives its name to the nearby, and partly surrounded, modern village of El-Karnak, 2.5 kilometres north of Luxor.
Abu Simbel temples
The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples in Abu Simbel in Nubia, southern Egypt. They are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km southwest of Aswan. The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments," which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae. The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BCE, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his alleged victory at the Battle of Kadesh. However, the complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir. The relocation of the temples was necessary to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River.
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum or Museum of Cairo, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. It has 120,000 items, with a representative amount on display, the remainder in storerooms.
The Siwa Oasis is an oasis in Egypt, located between the Qattara Depression and the Egyptian Sand Sea in the Libyan Desert, nearly 50 km east of the Libyan border, and 560 km from Cairo. About 80 km in length and 20 km wide, Siwa Oasis is one of Egypt's most isolated settlements, with 23,000 people, mostly Berber speakers who speak a distinct language of the Berber family known as Siwi. Its fame lies primarily in its ancient role as the home to an oracle of Amon, the ruins of which are a popular tourist attraction which gave the oasis its ancient name Ammonium. Historically, it is part of Ancient Libya. Its modern name Siwa, first attested in the 15th century, is of uncertain origin. Basset links it to a Berber tribal name swh attested further west in the early Islamic period, while Ilahiane, following Chafik, links it to the Tashelhiyt Berber word asiwan, a type of prey bird, and hence to Amon-Ra, one of whose symbols was the falcon. Agriculture is the main activity of modern Siwi, particularly the cultivation of dates and olives. Handicrafts like basketry are also of regional importance. The isolation of the oasis caused the development of a unique culture which was shown in its pottery, costume, styles of embroidery and, most notably, in the silver jewellery worn by women to weddings and important occasions. These pieces were decorated with symbols which related to Siwa’s history and beliefs and attitudes. Tourism has in recent decades become a vital source of income. Much attention has been given to creating hotels that use local materials and play on local styles.
Pyramid of Djoser
The Pyramid of Djoser, or step pyramid is an archeological remain in the Saqqara necropolis, Egypt, northwest of the city of Memphis. It was built during the 27th century BC for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser by Imhotep, his vizier. It is the central feature of a vast mortuary complex in an enormous courtyard surrounded by ceremonial structures and decoration. This first Egyptian pyramid consisted of six mastabas built atop one another in what were clearly revisions and developments of the original plan. The pyramid originally stood 62 metres tall, with a base of 109 × 125 m and was clad in polished white limestone. The step pyramid is considered to be the earliest large-scale cut stone construction, although the nearby enclosure known as Gisr el-mudir would seem to predate the complex.
Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile River in the city today known as Luxor and was founded in 1400 BCE. Known in the Egyptian language as ipet resyt, or "the southern sanctuary." In Luxor there are six great temples, the four on the left bank are known to travellers and readers of travels as Goornah, Deir-el-Bahri, the Ramesseum, and Medinet Habu; and the two temples on the right bank are known as the Karnak and Luxor. To the rear of the temple are chapels built by Tuthmosis III, and Alexander. During the Roman era, the temple and its surroundings were a legionary fortress and the home of the Roman government in the area.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a major library and cultural center located on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. It is both a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, and an attempt to rekindle something of the brilliance that this earlier center of study and erudition represented.
Pyramid of Khafre
The Pyramid of Khafre, also known as the Pyramid of Chephren, is the second-tallest and second-largest of the ancient Egyptian Pyramids of Giza and the tomb of the fourth-dynasty pharaoh Khafre, who ruled from c. 2558 to 2532 BC.
Dayr el-Bahari or Dayr el-Bahri is a complex of mortuary temples and tombs located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite the city of Luxor, Egypt. The first monument built at the site was the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II of the Eleventh dynasty. It was constructed during the 15th century BCE. During the Eighteenth dynasty, Amenhotep I and Hatshepsut also built extensively at the site.
Pyramid of Menkaure
The Pyramid of Menkaure, located on the Giza Plateau in the southwestern outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, is the smallest of the three Pyramids of Giza. It is thought to have been built to serve as the tomb of the fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Menkaure.
Colossi of Memnon
The Colossi of Memnon are two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. For the past 3400 years they have stood in the Theban necropolis, across the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor.
Cairo Opera House
The Cairo Opera House, part of Cairo's National Cultural Center, is the main performing arts venue in the Egyptian capital. Home to most of Egypt's finest musical groups, it is located on the southern portion of Gezira Island in the Nile River, in the Zamalek district west of and near downtown Cairo.
The Ramesseum is the memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II. It is located in the Theban necropolis in Upper Egypt, across the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor. The name – or at least its French form, Rhamesséion – was coined by Jean-François Champollion, who visited the ruins of the site in 1829 and first identified the hieroglyphs making up Ramesses's names and titles on the walls. It was originally called the House of millions of years of Usermaatra-setepenra that unites with Thebes-the-city in the domain of Amon.
Temple of Edfu
The Temple of Edfu is an ancient Egyptian temple located on the west bank of the Nile in the city of Edfu which was known in Greco-Roman times as Apollonopolis Magna, after the chief god Horus-Apollo. It is one of the best preserved temples in Egypt. The temple, dedicated to the falcon god Horus, was built in the Ptolemaic period between 237 and 57 BCE. The inscriptions on its walls provide important information on language, myth and religion during the Greco-Roman period in ancient Egypt. In particular, the Temple's inscribed building texts "provide details [both] of its construction, and also preserve information about the mythical interpretation of this and all other temples as the Island of Creation." There are also "important scenes and inscriptions of the Sacred Drama which related the age-old conflict between Horus and Seth." They are translated by the German Edfu-Project.
Dendera Temple complex
Dendera Temple complex, is located about 2.5 km south-east of Dendera, Egypt. It is one of the best-preserved temple complexes in Egypt. The area was used as the sixth Nome of Upper Egypt, south of Abydos.
The Cairo Tower is a free-standing concrete tower located in Cairo, Egypt. At 187 m, it has been the tallest structure in Egypt and North Africa about 50 years. It was the tallest structure in Africa for 10 years, until 1971 when it was surpassed by Hillbrow Tower in South Africa. One of Cairo's well-known modern monuments, it stands in the Zamalek district on Gezira Island in the River Nile, close to Downtown.
Medinet Habu is the name commonly given to the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III, an important New Kingdom period structure in the location of the same name on the West Bank of Luxor in Egypt. Aside from its intrinsic size and architectural and artistic importance, the temple is probably best known as the source of inscribed reliefs depicting the advent and defeat of the Sea Peoples during the reign of Ramesses III.
Mosque of Muhammad Ali
Islamic Place of Worship
The great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha or Alabaster Mosque is a mosque situated in the Citadel of Cairo in Egypt and commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848. Situated on the summit of the citadel, this Ottoman mosque, the largest to be built in the first half of the 19th century, is, with its animated silhouette and twin minarets, the most visible mosque in Cairo. The mosque was built in memory of Tusun Pasha, Muhammad Ali's oldest son, who died in 1816. This great mosque, along with the citadel, is one of the landmarks and tourist attractions of Cairo and is one of the first features to be seen when approaching the city from no matter which side.
Temple of Kom Ombo
The Temple of Kom Ombo is an unusual double temple built during the Ptolemaic dynasty in the Egyptian town of Kom Ombo. Some additions to it were later made during the Roman period. The building is unique because its 'double' design meant that there were courts, halls, sanctuaries and rooms duplicated for two sets of gods. The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world with Hathor and Khonsu. Meanwhile, the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris, also known as Horus the Elder, along "with Tasenetnofret and Panebtawy." The temple is atypical because everything is perfectly symmetrical along the main axis. The temple was started by Ptolemy VI Philometor at the beginning of his reign and added to by other Ptolemys, most notably Ptolemy XIII, who built the inner and outer hypostyle halls. The scene on the inner face of the rear wall of the temple is of particular interest, and "probably represents a set of surgical instruments." Much of the temple has been destroyed by the Nile, earthquakes, and later builders who used its stones for other projects. Some of the reliefs inside were defaced by Copts who once used the temple as a church. All the temples buildings in the southern part of the plateau were cleared of debris and restored by Jacques de Morgan in 1893.
The Theban Necropolis is an area of the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes in Egypt. It was used for ritual burials for much of Pharaonic times, especially in the New Kingdom of Egypt.
Babylon Fortress was an ancient fortress city or castle in the Delta of Egypt, located at Babylon in the area today known as Coptic Cairo. It was situated in the Heliopolite Nome, upon the right bank of the Nile, at latitude 30°N, near the commencement of the Pharaonic Canal, from the Nile to the Red Sea. It was at the boundary between Lower and Middle Egypt, where the river craft paid tolls when ascending or descending the Nile. Diodorus ascribes the erection of the first fort to rebel Assyrian captives in the reign of Sesostris, and Ctesias dates it to the time of Semiramis; but Josephus, with greater probability, attributes its structure to some Babylonian followers of Cambyses, in 525 BC. The Romans built a new fortress with typically Roman red and white banded masonry nearer to the river. Within the fortress' enclosure are the Coptic Museum, a convent, and several churches, including the Church of St. George and the Hanging Church.
Red Sea Riviera
The Red Sea Riviera, in Egypt, consists of the resort cities lying on the western shore of the Gulf of Aqaba and along the eastern coast of mainland Egypt south of the Gulf of Suez. The combination of a favorable climate, warm sea, thousands of kilometers of shoreline, abundant natural and archaeological points of interest makes this stretch of Egypt’s coastline a popular national and international tourist destination. Numerous locations of the Red Sea Riviera are national Parks, both under water and on land. Desert and marine life are protected by a number of laws, and visitors not abiding to the regulations may be subjected to heavy fines. Listed in geographic order, from north to south: On the Sinai Peninsula: ⁕Taba ⁕Nuweiba ⁕Dahab ⁕Sharm-El-Sheikh ⁕Ras Sidr ⁕Ras Muhammad National Park ⁕Straits of Tiran Sinai's nearby islands include: ⁕Tiran Island ⁕Sanafir Island ⁕Pharaoh's Island On the Western Red Sea shore: ⁕Ain Sukhna ⁕Gamsha Bay ⁕El Gouna ⁕Ras Gharib ⁕Hurghada ⁕Sahl Hasheesh Bay ⁕Serrenia ⁕Makadi Bay ⁕Soma Bay ⁕Shoni Bay ⁕Safaga ⁕Quseir ⁕Port Ghalib ⁕Marsa Alam ⁕Hamata ⁕Berenice Troglodytica ⁕Hala'ib ⁕Alshalateen ⁕Ras Banas ⁕Foul Bay ⁕Abu Shar ⁕Abu Tig, El Gouna ⁕Gebel Elba
The Hanging Church
Saint Virgin Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church also known as the Hanging Church is one of the oldest churches in Egypt and the history of a church on this site dates to the 3rd century AD. The Hanging Church is named for its location above a gatehouse of Babylon Fortress, the Roman fortress in Coptic Cairo; its nave is suspended over a passage. The church is approached by 29 steps; early travelers to Cairo dubbed it "the Staircase Church." The land surface has risen by some 6 metres since the Roman period so that the Roman tower is mostly buried below ground, reducing the visual impact of the church's elevated position. The entrance from the street is through iron gates under a pointed stone arch. The nineteenth-century facade with twin bell towers is then seen beyond a narrow courtyard decorated with modern art biblical designs. Up the steps and through the entrance is a further small courtyard leading to the eleventh-century outer porch.
Grand Egyptian Museum
The Grand Egyptian Museum, also known as the Giza Museum, is a planned museum of artifacts of ancient Egypt. Described as the largest archaeological museum in the world, the museum is scheduled to open in 2015. The museum will be sited on 50 hectares of land approximately two kilometers from the Giza pyramids and is part of a new master plan for the plateau.
The Alexandria Zoo is a zoo close to the Smouha neighborhood in Alexandria, Egypt. The zoo charges an entrance fee, this allows guests to walk around the zoo and view a selection of animals from around the world..
The Giza Zoo is a zoological garden in Giza, Egypt. It is one of the few green areas in the city, and includes Giza's largest park. The zoo covers about 80 acres, and is home to many endangered species, as well as a selection of endemic fauna. Rare species have been successfully bred in the zoo - including the first Californian sea lion to be born in the Middle East in 2002.
The Coptic Museum is a museum in Coptic Cairo, Egypt with the largest collection of Egyptian Christian artifacts in the world. It was founded by Marcus Simaika Pasha in 1908 to house Coptic antiquities. The museum traces the history of Christianity in Egypt from its beginnings to the present day. It was erected on 8,000 square meters offered by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria under the guardianship of Pope Cyril V. The Coptic museum houses the world's most important examples of Coptic art.
Malkata, meaning the place where things are picked up in Arabic, is the site of an Ancient Egyptian palace complex built by the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep III. It is located on the West Bank of the Nile at Thebes, Egypt, in the desert to the south of Medinet Habu. The site also included a temple dedicated to Amenhotep III's Great Royal Wife, Tiy, and honoring Sobek, the crocodile deity.
The Giza Plateau is a plateau that is located in Giza, Egypt. The famous Giza Necropolis is located in this geographical area, which is characterized by a sandy, desert climate and terrain with little vegetation. The plateau and its monuments have been recorded in the Giza Plateau Mapping Project run by Ancient Egypt Research Associates, directed by Dr. Mark Lehner. AERA's 2009 field season was recorded in a blog.
Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo
The Museum of Islamic Art, in Cairo, Egypt, is considered one of the greatest in the world, with its exceptional collection of rare woodwork and plaster artefacts, as well as metal, ceramic, glass, crystal, and textile objects of all periods, from all over the Islamic world. In recent years, the museum has displayed about 2,500 artefacts in 25 galleries, but it houses more than 102,000 objects, with the remainder in storage. The collection includes rare manuscripts of the Qur'an, with some calligraphy written in silver ink, on pages with elaborate borders. The Museum has conducted archaeological excavations in the Fustat area and has organized a number of national and international exhibitions. The museum had been closed for renovations since 2003, and it was re-opened in August 2010, after 8 years. The restoration cost nearly US$10 million.
Nabq Protected Area
NABQ Protected Area is a 600 km² protected area located in the Egypt, South Sinai Governorate. It was established by the Prime Ministerial Decree no.1511/1992 and was extended by Decree 33/1996 where Dahab marine section was added to the protected area as a Dahab Environmentally Managed Area DEMA and finally having NABQ Managed Resource Protected Area which is known shortly as.
Museum of Modern Art in Egypt
Museum of Modern Art—Port Said is a modern and contemporary art museum, located in Shohada Square, in Port Said, Egypt. The town of Port Said has an international history of being a cultural crossroads and cosmopolitan community, located at the confluence of the Suez Canal and Mediterranean Sea, on the easternmost edge of the Nile Delta region.
Gezira Center for Modern Art
The Gezira Center for Modern Art, also known as the Egyptian Modern Art Museum, is an art museum for modern and contemporary art, located in Cairo, Egypt. It is part of the National Cultural Centre with the Cairo Opera House, on Gezira Island, just across the Nile on Qasr el-Nil Street west of downtown Cairo.
Tombs of the Nobles
Located in the Theban Necropolis, near Luxor, the Tombs of the Nobles are the burial places of some of the powerful courtiers and persons of the ancient city.