Egypt. The word alone conjures up so many thoughts and ideas. From the Pyramids to Cleopatra, everyone knows some stories about ancient Egypt. The mythology of Pharaohs, the annual flood of the Nile, and so much more leave ancient Egypt as somewhat mysterious.
If you’re going to Egypt, or just interested in learning more about the country, these books will let you imagine life as a Pharaoh – or a commoner!
Egypt is an incredible country to visit, but a somewhat difficult one – especially if you’re from Europe or North America. When I went, I learned a lot! But here are the things I wish I knew ahead of time – and things you should know before you go to Egypt.
1. Just because English numbers are called “Arabic Numerals” does not mean modern-day Arabic uses them.
This is one of those moments where you realize exactly how lost you can get, and easily! The Arabic number set does not use the numbers that you and I are familiar with. Crazy, right? I’m so used to being in other countries with foreign languages, but I’m not as used to foreign number sets. You’d do well to study the numbers ahead of time just a bit – I got lost with which platform to go to for a train, and sometimes vendors put different prices on things for people who can read numbers in Arabic and those who can’t.
Undoubtedly, Abu Simbel is one of the greatest temples in Egypt. From the outside of the temple, to the decorations on the inside, to the stunning setting on Lake Nasser, it’s a must-do when you’re in Egypt.
I thought I would skip it – it’s hard to get to, it’s somewhat expensive, and I wondered if it was really worth it.
It was! Read more
Egypt is one of the most incredible, historical and mysterious countries in the world. From mysteries around how the Pyramids got built, to seeing the Red Sea (and remembering Moses parting it!), and all of the other incredible things that have happened there, Egypt is an amazing place to visit.
When you make it there, here are 10 of the things you must do – the essential Egypt!
1. Visit the Pyramids
Simply put, you cannot come to Egypt and not see the Pyramids. You just can’t! They are the only original wonder of the world still standing, and they are just massive! Seeing them in person is a dream come true (though beware of touts and hasslers!).
One of my favorite goals that I accomplished was to see all 8 Wonders of the World before I turned 30. It was a fun adventure, and in this series I’ll walk you through what the eight wonders are, and about how to visit each one.
Part 1: Petra
Also, one thing I love about the Pyramids is that they’re the reason we now have 8 wonders of the world and not 7. In 2000, when the 7 Wonders Commission was voting on the New 7 Wonders, the Pyramids were an option in the vote. Egypt countered that the Pyramids have ALWAYS been one of the 7 wonders, and are thus not subject to the “New 7 Wonders” vote. So we now have 8 wonders!
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Nearest Major Airport: Cairo International Airport (airport code CAI)
Overall Difficulty to Visit (ranked among wonders, 1 is the most difficult, 8 is the least difficult): 3
Why That Difficulty Rating? Cairo is not especially hard to get in and out of, but the Pyramids themselves can prove to be somewhat difficult. First, you have some general unease about the safety of traveling in Egypt. Then, you have all of the vendors trying to sell or scam you at the Pyramids. There is definitely a lot more hassling there than at any of the other wonders. Read more
Jordan Photos to Inspire You to Go
When you’ve seen the gorgeousness that is Jordan and are ready to go, check out these tips for where to go, what to see, and where to stay!
Picking a hotel in Egypt (or even just deciding to go there!) is not the easiest thing in the world. It’s hard to balance safety, location, and level of luxury. In 2017 and likely continuing in 2018, Egypt has been hit by a devalued currency and lack of tourists – which means you can easily upgrade to a nicer hotel for less than you’d expect!
Here are some great hotel options for various places in Egypt – in Sharm el Sheikh, Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan.
In Cairo, you’ll basically want to do two things: go to the Pyramids and go to the Egyptian Museum. I’d highly recommend staying by the Egyptian Museum (though it is cheaper to be by the Pyramids). If you’re coming from or going to Luxor or Aswan, the Egyptian Museum is in a better proximity to the airport and train station. Read more
If you’re into ancient world wonders, it’s pretty likely you’ll think about going to Egypt and Jordan in one trip. They’re quite close together, and the Pyramids and Petra are both incredible sights.
But how best to get between the two countries? Especially if you want a trip to Mt Sinai thrown into the mix, you’re going to start wondering about overland options rather than flying. And that’s when you find the ferry that goes between Aqaba, Jordan and Nuweiba, Egypt.
Since I got to Europe, people have consistently been asking me what I thought about Egypt – did I feel safe? Is it ok to go? Should they go?
And I have to say that my feelings on the trip are very mixed. I’m so glad I went to Egypt – seeing the Pyramids and all the temples are a life-long dream come true. I got to meet so many cool people, and see so many awesome things. There aren’t many tourists, so the attractions were practically deserted. In so many ways, Egypt was awesome. For me, it was a dream trip and an absolute dream come true.
But then there are the other ways that it’s such a difficult place. My most common answer to the question now is that I think Egypt is a great place to go, alone if you’re a guy, and if you’re a girl, then go with a tour group. Egypt is complicated, and having someone to manage the logistics (and some of the safety) could truly be invaluable.
Egypt was a country I was a bit concerned to travel to, but then a bit not concerned. The Western media is constantly talking of death, etc, in the country, but everyone I’d talked to said it was pretty safe and easy to get around (lol I clearly did that wrong).
I did know that for safety’s sake, I was going to generally upgrade this trip. So I knew going in that it was going to be a bit more expensive that it could be, but I was also hoping it was safer.
In all, in 13 days in Egypt, I spent $1,604.49.
How did that work out?