Egypt Things to Do Tips by matt10gonzalez Top 5 Page for this destination
Egypt Things to Do: 1,674 reviews and 2,489 photos
Us (With the umbrella) climbing to Tutmosis III!
Ah...Luxor! It may be the Scam capital of Egypt, but whatever it is, it sure hugs all the greatest gems of Egypt!
1. Visit the Karnak temple at the day- take your time and admire all the hieroglyphics, some with colors still amazingly intact. But don't go here during the afternoon (11 AM- 4PM) it's going to be total hell for you!
2. Visit the Karnak at night! It's a total unique experience! Let the well done sound and light guide you as you WALK down this massive temple at night!
3. See Hatsheptsut's temple- she's spoiled enough to whip the men to make her this grandiose temple all just for her!
4. If there’s just one tomb to visit in the Valley of Kings, let it be Tutmosis III- it’s the only tomb where in you climb a little ravine and the interior is quite beautiful.
5. If it’s open, visit Nefertiti’s tomb, the most colorful and prettiest tomb among all (See my tourist trap for info)
6. Visit the Egyptian museum in Cairo for King Tutankhamen’s tomb, not here in the Valley of the kings- it’s all empty, colorless and all the artifacts are in the museum.
7. Do pay a hotel to hire a horse carriage for you: Getting it on your own is easy but they’ll just take you far away from town and to the bazaars (unless you speak Arabic) and they’ll hike the price up really high! (Like 1$ to 20$!)
8. Do walk around town- it’s also worth seeing the messy but exotic atmosphere of interesting Luxor.
9. Visit the Luxor Temple, it’s centrally located convenient for sunset shots!
10. Finally, avoid all the frustrations of Luxor by lounging at the elegant Winter Palace Hotel- The best place in Luxor! You don't have to stay here, just order your drink of choice (2 US-3 US) and sit back, nap for a while, enjoy the ambience Agatha Christie used to savor and watch the romantic view of the Nile river till sunset with all the cruise ships passing by.
Unlike many restaurants in town, which are guarded by touts who are ready to harass you to eat at their restaurant, this one doesn’t have.
See? Luxor can be a relaxing place!
Directions: Luxor is between Cairo and Aswan. It's 9-10 hrs by train from Cairo and 3 hrs from Aswan. It's one of the biggest tourist hubs in Egypt (Which is why it's also the Scam Capital!)
Dad, relaxing by the River Nile in a Sand Storm
Perhaps to make the most out of any trip, RELAX! And SLOW DOWN!
Don't rush everything in a day! Remember! In order to know a country, unless you're an archeologist or something, you don't have to visit every sites! Just visit the ones you think that's worth visiting and if you're having a hard time deciding, cross down every sight in the book and just choose one at the time! Also be flexible- not like a robot like person who has to follow every single tip in the book!
And if you need more time, add more days!
In Egypt especially since it's a hot and demanding country, oh you sure don't wanna test its heat! (Nobody tours the Valley of the Kings during 1-3 PM! You're crazy to tour it at this hour!) Everybody (Well okay, not everybody) here takes a nap, relaxes from 11 PM till 4 PM! That's why Egypt parties at night every night! You too, should take naps and slow down.
And looking for a place to relax? Sleep in your hotel, take advantage and lounge in the 1st class hotels (it's aircon!), watch people pass by and take a break! Do this, and your family/wife/husband/relation will be happy and love you! (Well, in our case, it totally works! I don't know with you!)
Directions: Depends! You can drink, smoke, sleep, chat, take a shower, read a book, live in a bookstore, live in a museum, live in a hotel, cross the streets (if you're crazy), it all depends on you!
Alexandria- It's Cairo by the Sea!
Alexandria is Cairo by the sea! A more peaceful and prettier version! But alas! Alexandria lacks big time ruins like the Pyramids and so on- its roman ruins, gone in the lapse of time and what only remains is a huge pillar and an amphitheatre (disappointing compared to ancient Roman city, Jerash, Jordan!) The Great Light House, one of the 7 ancient wonders has crumbled thanks to an earthquake (but is now a thrilling and beautiful fort) and Cleopatra’s palace has sunk to the sea. (Probably karma due to all her mischiefs like giving up the Egyptians to the Romans.) Still, that’s what makes Alexandria an off-beaten city- the locals here really look at you! And that’s the magic of her!
TOP FIVE THINGS TO DO:
1. Quit whining that the Great Light House is gone! What can you do? But the least you can do is visit exotic Fort Qaitbey, a castle like fort that was erected with the remaining bricks left by the Great Light House. It’s still a thrill! The dungeons are dark, it’s a great place to play hide and seek and the rooms in the top are a hot bed for romance! (No kidding! I saw people making out there!)
2. Gazed into wonder at the ultra-modern US $200 million library complex- what replaced the ancient Great Library of Alexandria! (When it was burned in the 16th century.) Who could have thought Egypt could do this?
3. Take a look at the Montazah Palace- A middle-eastern, Italian mix gigantic mansion! Though you’re not allowed in, it’s still a beauty to see such a mansion!
4. Stroll down the boulevard! Especially at sunset! That’s the main beauty of Alexandria! And if you see kids or school buses, entertain them- most of them asked baksheesh as a joke only (though they’ll probably rejoice if you give them) and just love to have a chat with you!
5. Sit down, relax and have café at sunset in Hotel Cecil- a landmark hotel (Which is overpriced for the rooms) that faces the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. It’s great to feel like spoiled, pampered Cleopatra even if you’re on a budget!
Directions: Alexandria is a major city (with millions of people) but is the last city on the tip on Nile River. It has an airport but even Sharm el-Sheikh's airport receives more flights and passengers than she does. It's 4-5 hrs. away from Cairo by bus.
Sharm El Sheikh- Be a Vampire! Party at night!
Sharm El Sheikh
-Sharm is unique- it’s the only place in Egypt that’s more like a resort town in Greece rather than Egypt! It’s also the only place in Egypt where in Westerners outnumber the locals. And for those who don’t enjoy the crowds and the noisy nightlife of Sharm, peaceful Dahab is just an hour away!
1. Snorkel or Dive in Ras Mohammed National Park or the Red Sea! That’s the main reason you come to Sharm- to see the beauty of one of the world’s best dive spots: The Red Sea! Not even Eliat or Aqaba can come even just halfway in beating the Red Sea. Though this sea may be rough (and cool), the marine life is colorful and fantastic!
2. And if you hate the sea, try going to the St. Catherine Monastery, a monastery hiding beneath the craggy sand mountains and said to be the place where Moses (In Christianity Religion) was said to have found the Ten Commandments. Oh yeah! And don’t fall asleep along the 3 hr. (one way) journey- it’s much more picturesque and interesting than the monastery itself. (The rock formations look like a Stars Wars movie set!)
3. And if you hate both, then party at night in Naama Bay, the heart and soul of the action and noise of Sharm! You don’t really have to party, just stroll around Naama Bay at night- promise! It won’t be boring.
4. Okay, the beaches are so not fantastic compared to Southeast Asia, but it’s still yellow, a bit rocky, the water is turquoise clear and the sun’s heat is tempting for a tan! Enjoy the beaches!
5. Finally, follow the locals: Take long rests and naps from 11 AM till 5 PM! Remember: Sharm is dead at day, but never sleeps at night! Be a vampire and enjoy the carnival like nightlife!
Directions: Sharm is the biggest tourist city in the tip of the Sinai Peninsula, it's 6-12 hrs away by land from Cairo (Fastest if you take a private vehicle!) and only 3-6 hrs away from Eliat, Israel. (Again, fastest if you take a private vehicle!)
Us Asians meet the Nubians! World's aparts!
Aswan is last town along the Nile before Sudan but it’s also the prettiest and truly a last frontier town! It many in common with Africa. (The people are dark skinned; the culture is Nubian and so on) than Egypt! So don’t worry- it’s far from harassing as Luxor or even Cairo!
1. Visit the magnificent Abu Simbel! Even if you hate temples, and have to wake up at 4 in the morning (Most of the tours leave at this time unless you fly (but expensive), this temple should not be missed! Imagine how incredible man was able to restore this gigantic temple that sank in sand and underwater and how he was able to preserve it amazingly intact! Oh yeah, and watch out for the mirages during the way back to Aswan in the day!
2. Budget and pay for a Nubian village tour! The Keylany hotel (30 US for two rooms with comfortable aircon & bath) does an excellent job with this- you get to ride a felucca through the papyrus swamps and through the exotic Nubian village. The highlight here is the Nubian culture- take time to observe their architecture, their ways, their different language and their fun-loving personalities! Yes! The Nubians are different from the Egyptians and they know that and they’re so proud of it!
And one more thing, if you’re lucky to see them sing in beautiful ululating voices, try to sing along too!
3. Aswan does have nightlife! Believe it or not! But it’s not in one of the discos or clubs, it’s all in the cruise ships! See, Aswan is a hub where Nile cruise ships arrive and depart so what do you do? Enter the dozens of cruise ships that dock by the boulevard! You’ll be welcomed! (We did this everyday) There are casinos, discos, bars, belly dancing and a whole lot more of entertainment! See? Aswan ain’t as boring as what you think!
4. Walk around Aswan! Enjoy its laid back atmosphere! Eat by the Nile and watch feluccas sail by!
5. Relax and just have coffee at the Cataract Hotel, one of the most elegant hotels with a romantic view in Egypt! Enjoy the ambience Agatha Christie used to savor and just RELAX!
Sunset at the Pyramids! Just Unforgettable!
It’s the biggest city in Africa! It’s chaotic, it’s hectic, it’s noisy, it’s a male city, it’s exotic, it’s interesting, it’s a city that sleeps during the day and parties at night, it’s lots of fun and it’s the perfect place to get road kill! Love it or hate it, you can’t avoid Cairo, the Middle East version of New York. (Which is probably true- You might just land here! And it's also more Middle Eastern than African too.)
TOP TEN THINGS TO DO:
1. Play Lawrence and Arabia! Do a Camel/Horse Adventure for hours at sunset! (4 PM-7 PM) Just riding with the late sunset winds along with the pinkish red sunset and the pyramids turning red is an experience you'll never forget!
2. Go amok with the smells, the odors, the crowds, the colors, the antiques, souvenirs in the super crowded labyrinth of Khan al-Khalili!
3. Just eating the Koshari- it's cheap and a unique HOT culinary experience!
4. Go star struck with the mummies and gold in the Egyptian Museum! Yes! Even if you hate museums, this museum is still worth it- especially the Tutukhamen room, his mask, caskets and his jewels are all in tact and it's full of real pure gold!
5. Crossing the streets of Cairo! True! It's already an adventure!
6. Taking the subway to Heliopolis, or any suburds- you'll truly be stared at and you'll feel like a superstar!
7. Visiting Coptic Cairo, it's a clean and quiet labyrinth where (For Christian believers) Jesus Christ was said to be staying when he was living in Egypt.
8. Just strolling around Talaat Harb (A good location) at 1 in the morning! Just look at how busy the city still is! Just look at how full the Mc. Donalds is, how everyone is still busy shopping, looking at all the thousands of shoes for sale. It's like a carnival!
9. Just relax at the Restaurant Bon Appetite by the American University, it's a relaxing place with cheap (8 LE for chicken Parmigian) and good international food and just interact with the people!
10. Take an afternoon nap! Relax! Move slow! Isn't that what the locals do here?
Directions: Cairo is the capital of Egypt, and the biggest city in Africa- though it's much more Middle Eastern in terms of character.
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