Top Famous 15 Landmarks & Tourist Attractions in Egypt
This list of famous landmarks & Tourist Attractions in Egypt, the land of the pharaohs and one of the most important ancient civilizations in history, will help you not to miss anything in one of the must-visit destinations for travel lovers.
Although we know there are hundreds of things you can do, we assure you that seeing the Egyptian Pyramids and the Sphinx up close, getting to the impressive Abu Simbel Temple, cruising the Nile, searching for Tutankhamun’s Tomb in the Valley of the Kings, crossing the desert or getting lost in Cairo’s Kalili Bazaar are just some of the moments you will never forget and will become unique gifts.
After a turbulent time of unrest and insecurity, now is a perfect time to travel to Egypt, especially avoiding the peak summer months, as these will not allow you to enjoy the trip as it deserves.
Although the trip to Egypt can be done completely on your own and it is highly recommended to hire a guide/driver once you are in the country or go on excursions, a cheaper, more comfortable, and safer option is to book one of the best-rated tours by travelers as this 8-day all-inclusive tour, which has an expert guide and also includes a cruise on the Nile that we assure you, is a unique experience that you will not forget.
Probably as you read on you will notice that we are in love with the country but we have to confess that we are especially fond of Egypt, as it was our first trip together and it is one of those destinations that we always have in mind to return soon.
1. The Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza, the only one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World to be preserved, is one of the most impressive places to visit in Egypt and also in the world.
Located less than 20 kilometers from Cairo, the 3 great pyramids with the tombs of the pharaohs Cheops, Chephren, and Mykerinos, stand out above the rest of the monuments and pyramids of the country.
During its construction around 2500 BC, the exterior was covered with large limestone blocks forming white stone pyramids in which sunlight was reflected and through which the pharaohs believed they would achieve immortality.
Next to the Pyramids of Egypt is the ever-vigilant Sphinx, with is more than 20 meters high, which together with the pyramids, are one of the symbols of the country.
We recommend, whenever possible, to visit them early in the morning (they open at 8 am) because in this way, in addition to avoiding the organized groups you can get one of the few tickets to visit the interior of the Pyramid of Cheops or Chephren, which is not recommended to enter if you have claustrophobia.
You can get there by cab from Cairo at a pre-fixed price, minibus, or bus. A more comfortable option is to book this tour with English speaking guide and hotel pick up. In addition to the Pyramids, this popular tour includes the Step Pyramid of Zoser, the first to be built in Egypt, and Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt, which highlights the statues of the Alabaster Sphinx and the Colossus of Ramses II.
2. Abu Simbel, one of the best landmarks & tourist attractions to visit in Egypt
In Nubia, in southern Egypt, there is a place that overshadows the beauty of the Pyramids of Egypt: Abu Simbel.
This archaeological site stands out for the two rock-cut temples ordered to be built by the great Pharaoh Ramses II in the thirteenth century BC to commemorate a war victory and with an incredible story as both temples, in honor of the pharaoh and his favorite wife, Nefertari, had to be moved in 1968 to a higher location, as a result of the construction of a dam on the Nile River, making them even better known to the world.
Like the Pyramids, we recommend you to visit early in the morning, to avoid the hottest and most crowded hours, and stay one night near the complex, to also enjoy the nightly light show.
To get to Abu Simbel you can do this tour by plane from Cairo in one day, or by bus or car, joining the convoys that leave from Aswan, where you will arrive after a journey of about 3 hours.
Two excellent ways to visit Abu Simbel from Aswan are to book this tour with English speaking guide who will pick you up at your hotel, and this two-day tour in English which includes entrance fees, light show, and accommodation. [ Check our Aswan Day Tours ]
3. The Valley of the Kings
On the west bank of the Nile, 10 kilometers from Luxor, is the Valley of the Kings, one of the most beautiful Landmarks & Tourist Attractions in Egypt.
This valley became the cemetery of most of the pharaohs, as well as queens and princes of the time of the New Empire and is composed of two valleys, the East and West or Valley of the Queens, where more than 60 tombs have been found.
Although for security reasons, desecration and to avoid the theft of their most valuable objects the tombs were excavated in the limestone of the valley slopes, remaining hidden its entrance, as these were discovered, they saw that all had been looted, except the intact tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun child, which in 1922 was opened by Howard Carter, a British archaeologist.
Buying the ticket to the Valley of the Kings, you can visit 3 tombs. We recommend the tombs of Thutmose III, Setos I, Ramses IV, VI and IX, Tausert and Setnakt, taking into account that the tomb of Tutankhamun is not included, which must be paid as an extra.
From Luxor, you can reach the Valley of the Kings, which opens at 6 am, by cab. A more comfortable alternative is to book this tour with a guide in which in addition to the Valley of the Kings you will visit the Temple of Hatshepsut and the Colossi of Memnon.
4. Temple of Hatshepsut and the Memnon Colossi
On the day of the excursion to the Valley of the Kings is also recommended to visit the Temple of Hatshepsut, one of the most impressive temples in Egypt, as well as stop in front of the imposing Colossi of Memnon.
The Temple of Hatshepsut is unique in Egypt, not only for its design but also for being dedicated to the only female pharaoh, Queen Hatshepsut. Built by the architect Senemut, it has a part excavated in the rock and another external part with three terraces that stand out from the rest of the monuments of the country. The reliefs of the temple explain the history of the queen, although many of her mentions were destroyed by her stepson Thutmose III, in revenge for having taken away her reign.
Another place that is near the Valley of the Kings and Luxor is the Memnon Colossi, which we previously advised you to visit also on the same day. These two twin and enormous stone figures represent the pharaoh Amenhotep III, which along with 4 other fallen giants, presided over the access to the eternal resting place of Amenhotep III.
5. Karnak, one of the best landmarks to see in Egypt
Karnak is a group of temples located in Thebes, the region that was for more than 1000 years the capital of ancient Egypt, where for 2000 years more than 30 pharaohs were competing and building the best temples and statues in honor of the great god Amun.
This enclosure, composed of temples, obelisks, statues, and a large sacred lake, is the second most touristic place in the country, behind the pyramids as well as being another of the most essential places to visit in Egypt.
Among all the buildings highlights the Great Hypostyle Hall, with its huge columns covered with extraordinary reliefs and hieroglyphs in addition to the Avenue of the Sphinxes, which linked the temples of Kanar and Luxor, with ram-headed sphinxes, of which some are preserved at the entrance.
You can visit these temples from Luxor by taking a cab or book this tour with a guide in English that includes the Temple of Luxor.
6. Temple of Luxor
Built-in honor of the god Amun by the pharaohs Amenhotep III and Ramses II, the Temple of Luxor is located 2 kilometers from the Temple of Karnak.
This temple of more than 3500 years old is another of the best-preserved temples to see in Egypt and stands out for its great facade, the colossi and obelisks, one of which is located in the center of the Place de la Concorde in Paris.
The best option to visit all the temples, if you are not an expert in Egypt, is to hire a guide, if possible an Egyptologist, to learn more about the history and not miss any important detail.
Another of the tours that are becoming fashionable in Luxor is this balloon ride, with which you can see the temples and the Valley of the Kings from a unique perspective.
You cannot leave Egypt without visiting the largest, most chaotic, and populated city on the African continent: Cairo. You will soon realize that traffic lights are simply decorative objects and crossing a street will become practically an act of faith, in which you will only get through with determination.
Despite all this, don’t think that Cairo is all about chaos. As you walk around the city you will discover the ancient history, good food, great contrasts between Islamic tradition and modernity, always accompanied by the good humor and friendliness of its people.
Another thing you should do in the city before leaving is to bargain to satiety in the huge bazaar of Khan el-Khalil as well as go to the popular Tahrir Square and visit the Egyptian Museum. Also note that in 2022 will open the Grand Museum of Egypt, the largest archaeological museum in the world, located just a couple of kilometers from the pyramids of Giza.
Do not miss the climb to the Citadel of Saladin, where the most famous mosque in the city is located, the Muhammad Ali Mosque or Alabaster Mosque, which has a spectacular viewpoint and is another of the most beautiful places to see in Cairo.
A good option to learn more about its history and visit all its points of interest is to book this tour with a guide in English.
8. Sharm el-Sheikh
Many of the tours and trips in Egypt end with a few days of relaxation in the Red Sea, located south of the Sinai Peninsula in the Indian Ocean.
Considered the warmest sea in the world, it is a paradisiacal place of crystal clear waters and large coral reefs full of exotic fish where you can practice some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world.
Among the tourist cities were to make the base and enjoy its exciting activities, Sharm el-Sheikh stands out, although in recent times Hurghada has also become fashionable, which we will talk about in another point.
Sharm el-Sheikh, a small fishing village, located in the middle of the Sinai desert, has become a city with a great all-inclusive hotel infrastructure, where in addition to diving and snorkeling tours, you can enjoy its lively nightlife, its fantastic beaches, and quad excursions in the desert.
If you prefer a comfortable organized tour of the country that includes the main places to see in Egypt and the Red Sea we recommend you book this 11-day tour or this 15-day tour that includes Lake Nasser.
9. Temple of Kom Ombo
The Temple of Kom Ombo, located on the banks of the Nile about 50 kilometers from Aswan, was the second temple we visited on our cruise on the Nile, after the Temple of Philae. Built by Ramses II, this temple has the peculiarity of being a double temple, having two symmetrical parts, one in honor of the god Sobek and the other to the god Haroeris.
Sobek was a god with a crocodile head and human body, while Horus had the head of a falcon. As a curiosity inside the temple, you can see a crocodile mummy and on the outside, you can see reliefs with surgical instruments of the time.
10. Cruise on the Nile, one of the things to do in Egypt
On the banks of the Nile, the second-longest river in the world after the Amazon, are concentrated most of the most important places to visit in Egypt. Being located in one of the most desert areas of the planet, the river has always been an inexhaustible source of life and resources, transcendental for the birth and growth of Ancient Egypt, something that makes you do a trip on your own or organized, you can not miss a cruise on the Nile for several days that we assure you, will be an experience you will not forget.
Most cruises make the route from Aswan to Luxor in 3 or 4 days, sailing at night and stopping to visit some of the most important temples.
We leave you two great cruises to put the icing on the cake to a great trip in Egypt:
11. The Temple of Horus
The Temple of Horus or Edfu, the second largest temple after Karnak, is another of the most beautiful places to see in Egypt. Located on the banks of the Nile, in the city of Edfu, construction began under the reign of Ptolemy III in honor of the god Horus. For centuries the temple was buried underground by the desert sand until the French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette discovered it.
This time underground allowed it to be one of the best-preserved temples with magnificent statues and reliefs, and being next to the Nile is one of the usual stops for cruises along the river.
Getting to historic Alexandria, located in the north of the country, near the Nile Delta and on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, is another of the best things to do in Egypt.
Founded by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, Alexandria was one of the most important commercial cities of antiquity and was famous for having the imposing Lighthouse of Alexandria, 130 meters high and one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World.
Another of its great attractions was the immense Library of Alexandria with almost 1,000,000 historical documents that were lost in a fire, although in 2002 a new one was opened and is, without any doubt, a recommended visit.
To learn about the history of the city and its essential sites such as the Quaitbay Fortress, the National Museum of Alexandria, the Kom el Dekka site, we recommend you book this guided tour in English. [ Check our Egypt Vacation packages ]
13. Other temples to visit in Egypt
- Temple of Philae: located on an islet near Aswan, this temple dedicated to the goddess Isis houses some of the last Egyptian hieroglyphs. Near this temple is the amazing Unfinished Obelisk.
- Temple of Dendera: dedicated to the goddess Hathor, this temple impresses by its good state of preservation to remain for centuries buried in the sand, allowing you to see the original colors in statues and reliefs such as the Zodiac.
- Temple of Sethy I: located 3 hours from Luxor, this little-visited temple captivates for its carefully cared reliefs such as the List of Kings of Abydos, which contains the names of the 76 pharaohs of the main dynasties of Egypt.
- Temple of Ramses III: located in front of the city of Luxor, this temple shows in relief the victory of the pharaoh against the Peoples of the Sea.
14. Lake Nasser
Lake Nasser, the largest artificial lake in the world, built in the mid-twentieth century to prevent recurrent flooding caused by the Nile, is another of the jewels of Egypt.
It is worth taking a cruise on this lake surrounded by desert and home to the last Nile crocodiles, to enjoy fantastic sunsets, visit a Nubian village, and some of the surrounding temples such as those of Derr, Kalabsha, Kertassi, Amada, and Dakka.
All these cruises end at one of the most spectacular monuments of Ancient Egypt, the majestic Abu Simbel.
Our last proposal of this list of places to visit in Egypt is the tourist town of Hurghada, located on the shores of the Red Sea, a short ferry ride from Sharm el-Sheikh.
This city is perfect to spend your last days of the trip enjoying its paradisiacal beaches of calm and crystalline waters, the colorful seabed, and desert safaris. You can book some of its most recommended activities from this page. [ Egypt Vacation packages all inclusive 2022]