In my childhood, books were my greatest friends. I preferred hanging out all by myself, submerged in the books of fairy tales. The mythical characters existing in them are probably the reason why I developed an intense interest in history. Kings, Queens, Pharaohs, and the ancient ruins - where to find them in the real world? The answer always remains the same: Egypt! The Egyptian Civilization flourished on the banks of River Nile. This article will explore the top 6 ancient places to visit in Egypt and illustrate the age-old beauty that still stands strong.
Of course, Giza was the top-most priority for me. If there was one place I would visit in Egypt, it would be Giza. The greatest pyramids of all - Pyramid of Khufu, Pyramid of Khefre, Pyramid of Mankeure and The Great Sphinx of Giza - are all based here. These age-old structures exude an energy from the lost time. With a tour guide, I saw all my fantasies about the Pharaohs, the mummies and the legacy of humankind come alive in front of my own eyes. It was magical, to say the least!
Pyramids of Giza during sunset
The Grand Monuments of Cairo
Check out grand monuments such as Al-Azhar Mosque and Al-Hakim Mosque. You can also find attractive citadels and parks here. Many natives of this region create and sell locally-inspired products for tourists and others.
The Valley of the Kings
Just as the name suggests - The Valley of the Kings is situated on the west bank of River Nile near Luxor. It presents tombs built under the orders of the ancient rulers of Egypt, including Tutenkhamen. Furthermore, it contains tombs of the then noble men, their wives and children. The ancient Egyptians treated their tombs with utmost significance. The tombs were constructed over 500 years back! This information alone makes The Valley of Kings hauntingly beautiful. My Egyptology hunger wouldn’t be satiated without visiting the time-honoured Egyptian sites.
Pro-tip: I found amazing restaurants in Luxor! They are not only known for rich delicacies but also for offering luxury at reasonable rates.
Remnants of Alexandria
For me, the Citadel of Qaitbay and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina made the visit to Alexandria totally worth it. Built by Alexander the Great, this city is the home to one of the ancient seven wonders of the world - the Pharos of Alexandria. You might want to catch up on history before you visit this city. It oozes with magnetic mysticism, as its true beauty lies in the nostalgia of what the city could have potentially been.
The White Desert and the Siwa Oasis
It’s an ultimate place for travellers and adventurers. The White Desert with huge chalk rock formations gave me the desired thrill. However, there is one place you should not miss: Siwa Oasis. It is the ultimate chilling spot in Egypt. With picturesque mud-houses, palm plants and fountains, your Arabian Nights’ dream will definitely come true.
Museums and Monasteries
The Egyptian Museum will transport you right to another forgotten reality, I'm sure. Charming, royal and mystic elements are all preserved in this place. The complement of this trip to the museum for me was roaming around the temples and the monasteries of Egypt. Truly, the cultural diversity of Egypt can baffle anyone. I found beautiful mosques, magical temples and intimidating monasteries all within this one place.
A Museum in Cairo
As an ending note, I will just say that one person’s story cannot really capture all that Egypt is. You need to go out there, see it for yourself! On arrival here, everyone finds his own version of 'Egypt'. I hope you find the same magic in the country that I did. If possible, even more!