Many holidaymakers choose to go to Egypt for its beautiful beaches and golden deserts. However, the biggest reason the country attracts crowds every year is to explore its ancient sites. Here are just a few you can see around its capital city, Cairo.
Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza are the number one tourist attraction for jetsetters on luxury holidays to Egypt, with the colossal structures tempting people to visit from all over the world year in, year out. It was the reason I came a few years ago and the same reason I want to return to the north African country again one day.
There are 110 pyramids in and around Cairo and, by visiting some of these, holidaymakers will be able to get an impression of the strenuous effort that was put into making them. Only by seeing them up close do you really appreciate their size and the strength used to lift even one of the stones used to build them.
Khufu’s Pyramid is one pyramid that will certainly take your breath away. Measuring 481 ft tall, it is made out of 2.3 million stones, and each rock weighs between 2.5 and 15 tons each, demonstrating how hard it would’ve been to create this colossal structure.
This pyramid – the largest of all – was built around 2550 BC and features a king’s chamber for Pharaoh Khufu, of which it is named after. With the magnificent size of the pyramid, you won’t be surprised to find out that there are more rooms than just the one for the king’s sarcophagus. These include temples, boat pits and tombs for other members of the royal family.
As well as Khufu’s Pyramid, Giza is home to smaller pyramids, made for tombs of the pharaoh’s wives and sisters.
The Great Sphinx
Another attraction that drives people to Egypt is the Great Sphinx, and coming to Giza is so popular as you’re able to see both the pyramids and the statue in the same area.
If you’re a history buff like I am, you’ll enjoy the chance to learn more about Egypt’s ancient past by coming here. However, don’t expect to walk away with all the answers, as these structures are shrouded in mystery. Even historians and archaeologists who have been trying to uncover the truth for years are still unsure as to what the Great Sphinx is meant to represent or why it was built. This does, though, mean you have lots of fun coming up with different theories of your own!
Come here during the evening and you can see the Sound & Light Show at Giza. This is certainly a spectacle – as if the Great Sphinx alone isn’t! – and you’ll be able to witness the scene lit up with beautiful lights, together with accompanying music.
One way that I loved exploring the Giza plateau is by going on a camel trek. While you can walk around the area by foot, opting for a tour of the site on Egypt’s favoured form of transport is definitely an experience you won’t forget in a hurry! Just be careful when you ascend and descend as it can be a rocky ride if you’re not used to the experience.
For the best view of all the pyramids and the sphinx, take a camel tour from behind the monuments, as you will be able to see all the attractions in one vista. I also recommend making this trip just before sunset, as you’ll be able to see the golden structures as dusk sets in, while the melodic sound of the call to prayer is sung in the distance.
The Egyptian Museum
If you’re like me, you’ll love seeing Egypt’s ancient attractions close up. However, the best place to learn more about the country’s past, why the pyramids were built and the history of the pharaohs is the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Here, you’ll come across 120,000 artefacts from throughout the years, including mummies, pottery, King Tutankhamen’s treasures from the 1300s BC and sarcophagi. You will get the chance to see Tutankhamen’s solid gold mask and discover everything that has been learned about the nation’s dynasty that reigned thousands of years ago.