Egypt has been one of the most popular destinations to visit until recent years. Fears of safety has made tourists choose different destinations and some airlines have even cancelled their flights in the near future to tourist destinations like Sharm El Sheikh. Despite the fears, Egypt remains one of the most amazing destinations in the world and when there, you won’t feel afraid and the incredible sights make even a long travel worth it. The ancient sites and artifacts from pyramids to limestone dice games will make you want to learn all about the history of this beautiful country.

Egyptians are very friendly and caring people, so if you have a chance to go around with the locals, that is the best way to visit Egypt. Egyptians are proud of their country and will show you go best sights and they also know where is safe and what areas to avoid. If you don’t know any locals, it is best to stick to the guided tours and avoid crowded places. In addition to the obvious sights, there are many hidden gems:

  1. The Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza are a must-see when you visit Egypt. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Standing by the pyramids is a surreal experience as it is almost impossible to imagine how the massive rocks were pulled to the top over 5000 years ago. You must stand next to them to believe it. You can enter two of the three pyramids if you get one of the 150 tickets sold in the morning or early afternoon. There are also camels and horses you can ride in the desert or to go from one pyramid to another. The Pyramids might be the most remarkable thing you ever see.

Source: Flickr

Source: Wikimedia

  1. North Coast

The North Coast, or Sahel as the locals know it, is Egyptians’ favorite summer destination. Most people from Cairo have two months summer holidays and they spend it in the huge resorts on the North Coast. Marina, Hacienda, Marassi, and Sidi Abdel Rahman are just some of the destinations west of Alexandria where you find the whitest sands and bluest waters you have ever seen. The resorts have lagoons you can sit on, or you can enjoy the warm Mediterranean sea. The food is incredible, the beach parties last until early morning, and you won’t be bothered by drunken tourists.

Source: Wikimedia

  1. Khan el-Khalili

Khan el-Khalili is a historical bazaar in the heart of Cairo. The alleys are full of spices, jewelry, belly dancing costumes, statues, souvenirs, hookahs, shirts, and anything you can think of. You should of course try to bargain the prices, the kind shop owners often speak multiple languages. Khan el-Khalili is one of the places most affected by the decreasing number of tourists, but always becomes busy with locals at night.

Source: Flickr

  1. El Gouna

El Gouna is a tourist resort just 20 kilometers north of Hurghada on the Red Sea. This is another resort popular with Egyptians. When the North Coast is the place to relax, El Gouna is the place for watersports. You can try scuba diving, waterskiing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, snorkeling and parasailing. The waters are crystal clear and variety of underwater scenes is incredible. El Gouna is always sunny and temperatures vary between 35 in the summer to 20 in the winter.

Source: Wikimedia

  1. The White Desert

The White Desert, also known as Sahara el Beyda, is the main attraction in the town of Farafra. Located 45 kilometers north of Farafra, it is a national park of Egypt, and visited often by Egyptians on camping trips. The name comes from its rock type, which is colored from white to cream. The chalk rock formations created by sandstorms look like snow in middle of a desert.

Source: Wikimedia

  1. Wadi El Hitan

UNESCO World Heritage Site, “Whale Valley”, Wahi El Hitan is a site with hundreds of whale fossils. The site with now extinct form of whales provides evidence of the evolution of whales from land based mammals into ocean mammals. It is the only place in the world with such high concentration and number of fossils. There are also fossils of crocodiles, sharks, turtles, and sawfish. Wadi El Hitan is located in Faiyum, 150 kilometers southwest of Cairo.

Source: Wikimedia

  1. Qarun Lake

Lake Moeris, nowadays called Qarun lake, is an ancient lake 80 kilometers southwest of Cairo. It was a freshwater lake in prehistory, but only exists now as a salt water lake. The lake is some 8,000 years old and has supported humans in the area ever since. Also called Berka, the small lake in Arabic, it has picturesque views and you can take incredible boat rides on the lake. There are many myths and stories throughout Egypt’s history about Qarun Lake and is it a place for many Egyptians to find peace and rest.

Source: Wikimedia

  1. The Black Desert

The Black Desert is north of the White Desert, close to a town of Bahariya. The desert is coated by black powder and rocks formed by eroding mountains. Black volcanic hills at the end of the desert also erupted dolerite, which is dark volcanic material. You can climb up to the English Mountain to catch the amazing views. Even though you can see the desert on the road from Bahariya to Farafra, it is recommended to hire a tour guide to take you through the desert.

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Source: Wikimedia

  1. Ras Shaitan

Ras Shaitan, Ras el Shaitan, Ras Shitan or Ras Shetan is a gorgeous area with Bedouin-style camps located on Sinai Peninsula by the Red Sea. Due to certain events in recent years, tourists have started to avoid Sinai Peninsula, but Ras Shetan is a safe place to visit. It is cheap and only 6 hour drive from Cairo. On the way there you have to keep your visa with you at all times, as there are frequent checkpoints on the road, and you will be sent back to Cairo without all your documents. In Ras Shetan you will be staying in huts or shacks by the beach and enjoy the most delicious and incredibly cheap meals you have ever had. You can take boat rides or explore the magnificent reefs in the sea.

Source: Wikimedia

  1. Boat Trip On The Nile At Night

A boat trip on the river Nile at night is a magical experience. You can rent a small private boat or take a larger cruise, but the views, the smell and the sounds make it something special. On a small boat your captain will take you around a circle in middle of Cairo while you enjoy the city views and listen to Arabic music. Even the smog of Cairo adds to the experience as you feel like you’re in a hazy dream or a movie. On the larger boats you can enjoy dinner and belly dancers, when on smaller boats you really get to soak in the experience of being in middle of Cairo and the Egyptian culture.

Source: Flickr

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