what to do in egypt as a tourist?
what to do in egypt as a tourist? Egypt is a fascinating and historic country located in North Africa. It is famous for its ancient civilization, which dates back thousands of years and left behind many impressive monuments, such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Aside from its rich history, Egypt offers a diverse range of activities for tourists, including outdoor adventures like Nile River cruises and desert tours, as well as opportunities to experience the local culture through food, shopping, and entertainment. With its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and welcoming people, Egypt is a popular destination for travelers from all over the world.
Importance of planning ahead for your trip
Planning ahead for your trip to Egypt is crucial for several reasons:
- Safety: Ensuring your safety and security during your trip is of utmost importance. Researching the local conditions, customs, and laws beforehand can help you avoid any potential safety hazards and ensure you have a smooth and enjoyable trip.
- Accommodations: Planning ahead for accommodations can help you secure the best deals and avoid last-minute stress. By researching and booking your accommodations ahead of time, you can also ensure that you stay in a safe and comfortable location that meets your needs and budget.
- Activities: Planning ahead for your activities can help you make the most of your time in Egypt. Researching the top attractions and activities beforehand can help you prioritize what you want to see and do, as well as ensure you have enough time to fit everything into your itinerary.
- Budget: Planning ahead can also help you create a realistic budget for your trip. By researching the costs of flights, accommodations, and activities ahead of time, you can plan accordingly and avoid any unexpected expenses.
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Historical and Cultural Sites
Egypt is home to many impressive historical and cultural sites that attract millions of tourists each year.
Pyramids of Giza:
One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Pyramids of Giza are a must-see for any visitor to Egypt. These monumental structures were built over 4,500 years ago and are the only surviving structures from the ancient world.
Valley of the Kings:
Located on the west bank of the Nile River in Luxor, the Valley of the Kings is a royal burial ground that contains over 60 tombs of pharaohs and their consorts.
Abu Simbel Temples:
These temples were built during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II and are considered some of the most impressive examples of ancient Egyptian architecture. The temples were moved to their current location in the 1960s to avoid being submerged by the construction of the Aswan High Dam.
The Karnak Temple Complex is the largest ancient religious site in the world and was built over a period of 1,500 years. The complex contains a series of temples, chapels, and other structures that were dedicated to the worship of the gods.
Located in Cairo, the Egyptian Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. The museum contains over 120,000 items, including the treasures of King Tutankhamun.
Egypt’s diverse landscape and natural beauty provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Here are some popular outdoor activities for tourists to enjoy:
Nile River Cruise:
A Nile River cruise is a popular way to see many of Egypt’s historical sites and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the river. Cruises can range from a few days to a few weeks and include stops at popular destinations like Luxor and Aswan.
Red Sea beaches and diving/snorkeling:
Egypt’s Red Sea coast is home to some of the best beaches in the world and offers excellent opportunities for snorkeling and diving. Popular destinations include Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, and Dahab.
Sahara Desert tours:
Egypt’s Sahara Desert is a beautiful and rugged landscape that offers unique outdoor adventures. Visitors can take jeep tours, camel rides, or even hot air balloon rides to explore the desert and its stunning scenery.
Mount Sinai hike:
Mount Sinai is a sacred mountain in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and is believed to be the location where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Visitors can hike to the summit of the mountain to enjoy stunning views of the surrounding desert.
A felucca is a traditional Egyptian sailboat that is commonly used on the Nile River. Taking a felucca ride is a relaxing way to enjoy the scenery and see some of Egypt’s historical sites from a different perspective.
Food and Drink
Egyptian cuisine is a flavorful blend of Middle Eastern, African, and Mediterranean influences. Here are some popular dishes and drinks to try during your visit to Egypt:
- Koshari: This is a popular Egyptian street food made with rice, macaroni, lentils, chickpeas, onions, and tomato sauce. It’s a hearty and flavorful vegetarian dish that is loved by locals and visitors alike.
- Ful Medames: This is another popular Egyptian breakfast dish made with fava beans, olive oil, lemon juice, and spices. It’s often served with pita bread and is a filling and nutritious start to the day.
- Shawarma: This is a Middle Eastern dish that is popular in Egypt. It consists of grilled meat (usually beef or chicken) that is served in a wrap with vegetables and a variety of sauces.
- Karkadeh: This is a popular Egyptian drink made from hibiscus flowers. It has a tart and tangy flavor and is often served chilled as a refreshing beverage.
- Tea and Coffee: Tea and coffee are staples of Egyptian culture and are often served as part of social gatherings or to guests in homes. Tea is typically served with sugar and mint, while coffee is often brewed with cardamom and served strong.
Egypt is a shopper’s paradise, with a wide range of goods and souvenirs available to suit all budgets and tastes
- Khan el-Khalili: Located in Cairo’s Old City, Khan el-Khalili is a bustling bazaar that is over 600 years old. Here you can find everything from souvenirs and clothing to spices and traditional crafts.
- Luxor Souq: This is a lively market in the heart of Luxor that sells a variety of souvenirs, antiques, jewelry, and clothing.
- Perfumes and oils: Egypt is known for producing high-quality essential oils, perfumes, and fragrances. You can find these products in many shops throughout the country, with popular scents including jasmine, rose, and sandalwood.
- Egyptian cotton: Egypt is famous for producing some of the highest quality cotton in the world, and you can find a variety of textiles made from this cotton in shops throughout the country.
- Papyrus art: Papyrus is an ancient Egyptian material made from the pith of the papyrus plant. It is often used to create beautiful artwork, including traditional hieroglyphs and scenes from ancient Egyptian life.
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While Egypt is a generally safe country to visit, it’s always important to take precautions to ensure your safety. Here are some tips to keep in mind while traveling in Egypt:
Stay aware of your surroundings:
Be mindful of your surroundings at all times, particularly in crowded areas such as markets and tourist sites.
Egypt is a conservative country, and it’s important to dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites. Women should consider covering their heads, arms, and legs.
Avoid political demonstrations:
Political demonstrations can occur in Egypt, particularly in Cairo. It’s best to avoid these gatherings as they can sometimes turn violent.
Use reputable tour operators:
When booking tours or excursions, make sure to use reputable tour operators and guides who are licensed and insured.
Be cautious when using public transportation:
Public transportation, particularly buses and trains, can be crowded and sometimes unsafe. It’s best to use taxis or private transportation when possible.
Be mindful of scams:
Be cautious of scams, particularly in tourist areas. Common scams include overcharging for goods and services or offering “free” tours that require payment at the end.
Protect your valuables:
Keep your valuables, including passports and money, in a secure location such as a hotel safe.
What is the best time of year to visit Egypt?
The best time to visit Egypt is from October to April when the weather is cooler and more pleasant. However, this is also peak tourist season, so prices may be higher and popular sites may be more crowded.
Do I need a visa to do trip in Egypt?
Most travelers to Egypt will need a visa, which can be obtained upon arrival at the airport or through an online application process.
Is it safe to travel to Egypt as a solo female traveler?
While Egypt is generally safe for female travelers, it’s important to take precautions such as dressing conservatively and avoiding walking alone at night. It’s also a good idea to research and choose reputable tour operators.
What are some cultural customs and traditions to be aware of in Egypt?
Egypt is a conservative country with strong cultural and religious traditions. It’s important to be respectful of local customs, including dressing modestly and removing shoes when entering homes or mosques.
What is the currency used in Egypt and can I use credit cards?
Egyptian pound EGP, while credit cards are accepted in many tourist areas, it’s a good idea to carry cash for smaller purchases and to be prepared to haggle for prices.
What languages are spoken in Egypt?
The official language of Egypt is Arabic, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas and hotels.
Can I drink tap water in Egypt?
It’s generally not recommended to drink tap water in Egypt. It’s best to drink bottled water or use a water filtration system to avoid getting sick from contaminated water.
Are there any health concerns to be aware of when traveling to Egypt?
Travelers should be aware of the risk of stomach illnesses and should take precautions such as washing hands frequently and avoiding street food. It’s also recommended to check with a doctor about vaccinations before traveling to Egypt.
If you’re considering a trip to Egypt, start planning now and take advantage of the many historical and cultural sites, outdoor activities, food and drink, and shopping opportunities that this fascinating country has to offer. Remember to take safety precautions and be respectful of local customs and traditions. With a little preparation and an open mind, you can have an unforgettable experience in Egypt. So, start researching and booking your trip today!