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Egypt should be on everyone’s bucket list. There’s intrigue in the Pyramids and magnificence in the relics. Egypt is so rich with history, I cannot even begin to explain it all in a simple blog post. It is much better seen in person.
You might be wondering, is Egypt safe? Well having finally gotten the opportunity to visit, I can say absolutely! There are some areas that aren’t safe but all of the places listed in this post are safe to visit in 2019. If you actually look at the travel advisories, the area surrounding the Nile is excluded from the danger zones. The turmoil of recent years has settled and Egypt is ready to welcome back the millions that used to gaze at the temples in awe. The idea of Egypt has been with me since childhood and nothing about my trip disappointed.
Intrepid Travel Egypt Experience tour matched almost everything that we wanted to do. Plus, we were able to extend our trip a little to finish off the rest of the things we were missing.
If you’re thinking about doing a tour of Egypt, make sure that it includes all of these stops. Or, at least gives you the option to add them!
Egypt Bucket List
The Great Pyramids of Giza & The Sphinx
Do I even need to say it? You cannot go all the way to Egypt and not see the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. It is breathtaking. For an extra 300 EGP, you can go inside of one of the Pyramids. For me, this was well worth it. However, it can be a little bit cramped and hard on the knees.
The Egyptian Museum
The Egyptian Museum has thousands of Egyptian relics. They recently built a new location closer to the Pyramids so at the time we visited not everything was there as some had been moved. However, the collection was so impressive I don’t even know what we would have missed. The Mummy Rooms are also well worth paying to see. At one point during the conflict, looters tried to hit the museum. The response? All of the Egyptian tour guides banded together and went down to the museum to protect the relics. How amazing is that passion for your history?
Luxor Temple was not an included cost in our Intrepid tour; however, we opted to visit it and were not disappointed. No matter how many temples we’ve saw on this trip they never got less impressive.
Hot Air Balloon over the Valley of Kings/Luxor
While you’re in Luxor, do a hot air balloon. Not every tour includes this (Intrepid Travel Get on it!). But the views are unapparelled.
The Alexandria Library is more than just a library. It is one of the largest in the world and has its own little museum inside.
Philae Temple was moved from its original location but you wouldn’t know that by looking at it. Its current location has you transported via boat to its new island home.
Valley of the Kings
Taking pictures inside the tombs does cost a fee. However, this is to discourage everyone from doing it and in the long run helps preserve the tombs and temples. You will be amazed at how much original colour has preserved through time.
Abu Simbel is one of those places that will take your breath away. There is an extra fee to take pictures inside of the temple. As there are for most temples in Egypt.
Saqqarra & Memphis
Also known as the Step Pyramid. Saqqarra is a pyramid in a different style.
10. Hatchepsut temple
Hatchepsut was a bad ass woman. No Egypt bucket list is complete without learning about her history.
This is a UNESCO World Hertitage Site and it is easy to see why. The fortress is home to three mosques and four museums.
Luxor is regarded as one of the world’s largest open-air museums. Karnak Temple is one of the reasons why.
Sail a Felucca on the Nile
This is a relaxing way to spend time on The Nile.
This was our favourite temple. The blues are so well-preserved, it’s mind-blowing.
Temple of Kom Ombo
While we didn’t get to see any Nile Crocodiles, the temple was still neat. Plus, there is a mummified crocodile museum to behold.
Grand Bazaar Khan el Khalili
Barter to your heart’s content. Even if you don’t want to purchase something, have a wander and let the hustle and bustle assail your senses.
Survive a Street Crossing in Cairo
Seriously, its wild. I would say it is the only time I felt unsafe in my entire trip in Egypt. You essentially play frogger with the traffic.
The Bent Pyramid was a design flaw. This is why you get an architect.
Note: I did not list Edfu Temple here. While, the pictures I’ve seen are lovely, Edfu is not endorsed by Intrepid. The reason is this, the animals that are used to transport you there are treated poorly. As such, Intrepid is encouraging travellers to hit the locals in the only place it hurts- the wallet. I do not condone animal abuse and as such, we skipped it. This is another reason that I like Intrepid.
At no time in our tour or solo days did we feel unsafe. Yes, there were security checkpoints for museums and landmarks (There would be anywhere else too). Many hotels also had these checkpoints as well.
Egypt has tourism police. Their job is to ensure the safety of the tourists. As our guide explained, with the tours, the police keep track of who is where and doing what. They then place plain-clothed officers at the sites in accordance. But, you wouldn’t even know that your safety is being monitored.
Nothing looks unsafe and nothing ever feels unsafe.
The one thing I would note is that, tourism was one of Egypt’s biggest sources of income. So, the downturn of tourism, has caused a lot of hard times for the people. We found that people were often more desperate and pushier to make sales. At landmarks such as temples, locals would follow us around offering unsolicited advice about where to look and then insisting that we pay them. It was sometimes hard to escape the demands for unsolicited tourism services.
At one temple, we had a man follow us around for way too long trying to guide us. Unfortunately, it did dampen the experience a little because he wouldn’t leave us alone and we did not want to pay him to point out things that we were already looking at anyway.
Hopefully, these practices will stop once tourism goes up.
The flipside is that people were excited to see us! We had numerous requests for locals to take pictures with us or parents wanting their kids to take photos with us. Now normally, my pickpocketing radar would be up but that never happened. As far as I could tell it was a genuine interest.
It has been over a year since I went to Egypt and I still can’t believe I’ve been there. It is like a dream come true that still feels like a dream. Travelling Egypt was one of the best trips I have ever taken. I’m pleased to say that I crossed off almost everything on my Egypt bucket list. The only things that I missed were some of things that fall in the conflict zones. But, I’ll be back Egypt.
This was my partner’s first time leaving the continent of North America (He started big). This trip was also our first adventure as a couple. But it was amazing getting to experience Egypt together.