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List of Largest Cities in Egypt

Cities in Egypt

Egypt is as wide as it is interesting. Throughout its geography, we can find remnants of its history. Interesting places are full of monuments, museums, pyramids and temples among others. Nevertheless, being so big, always it comes well to know which are the most tourist cities in Egypt.

1- Cairo, capital of Egypt

It is the capital of Egypt, something that already gives it importance. Some 20 million people live here, making it the most populous city in Africa.

The truth is that it is a fairly large city, where agglomerations and chaos are frequent. A total clash of cultures in which in addition we will be able to enjoy monuments like the famous Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, the Egyptian Museum of Cairo, the Citadel or the pyramids of Memphis and Sakkara.

Most important places to visit in Cairo

  • The Egyptian Museum

Egypt’s first national museum of antiquities opened in 1863. It was rehoused in the current pink, purpose-built premises in 1902, which were designed in the Neo-Classical style by French architect Marcel Dourgnon. It is said that the museum displays more than 120,000 items.

  • The Tower Of Cairo

The southern half of Gezira (the Arabic word for “island”) is almost completely flat, making it the ideal site for the 185-m (6l0-ft) Cairo Tower, which affords excellent views of the city. Built-in the late 1950s, the tower takes the form of a latticework tube that fans out slightly at the top, supposedly in imitation of the lotus blossom.

  • Tahrir Square

Tahrir Square was not always the dauntingly urban square that it is today. Until the 19th century, the area was a swampy plain, flooded each summer by the Nile. When Khedive Ismail (1863-79) came to power, however, he had the land drained as part of his grand scheme to transform Cairo by building a European-style city of tree-lined boulevards and grand public squares.

  • The Citadel of Saladin

Home to Egypt’s rulers for almost 700 years, the Citadel (Al-Qalaa) is today one of the most popular tourist sites in Cairo, Saladin’s Citadel is one of Cairo’s landmarks. It is indeed from this immense and imposing fortress that Saladin, the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, reigned over all Egypt. Built by Saladin between 1176 and 1183.

2- Giza

About 20 kilometers southwest of the capital, Cairo, and being part of the metropolitan area of the same, is the city of Giza.

Nevertheless, and although it is the capital of the government of the same name, Giza is famous throughout the world for its archaeological site, located in the Giza Plateau. The famous pyramids belonging to the IV dynasty, which were built about 4600 years ago, are located there. Besides this, Giza is also part of the Great Necropolis of Memphis, which is about 40 kilometers long.

But going back to the pyramids, each one has its own name which, in turn, serves to name the necropolis around it.

But it is also worth mentioning that in Giza there are other types of burials, such as the mastabas and Sakkara and Memphis.

In this regard, it is important to note that all these tombs and pyramids were part of large funeral complexes in which we can find temples.

Most important places to visit in Giza:

  • The three pyramids of Giza

In Giza, you can see the most famous pyramids of Egypt were built in the old kingdom.

  • The Sphinx

The Sphinx is that great animal with the body of a lion and a human head which can be seen on the plateau of Giza, next to the temple of the valley of the Pharaoh Kefren.

  • Saqqara

the step pyramid of Sakkara is a bit strange because it doesn’t look like a pyramid, but rather a staircase. The truth is that that’s what the Egyptians wanted it to look like because thanks to it they thought that the spirit of the pharaoh who built it, Djoser, could ascend to the sky to meet the dead gods and pharaohs.

  • Memphis

The capital of the ancient Egypt 3100 and 2040 BC, and the coronation site of all the pharaohs of the Empire.

  • Dahshur

The Bent and Red Pyramids are the most beautiful of the four pyramids of Dahshur. It was erected by Pharaoh Senefru, who founded the fourth dynasty and was the father of Cheops.

3- Luxor Egypt

Luxor, a city to discover in a land with so much magic, with great culture and its great temples you can walk through the streets among the ruins of the Egyptian empire, surrounded by mysticism and feeling that time has stopped, hence its great attraction as a tourist destination that makes it the most visited city of several decades ago.

Located on the East Bank of the Nile River, was the capital of Egypt for over 1500 years. This city was constructed on the ruins of the former Thebes, place to which Homer called: “The city of the hundred doors “.

Most important places to visit in Luxor:

  • Valley of the Kings

It’s a huge necropolis where dozens of pharaohs are found. Among the most famous tombs of ancient Egypt are Ramses II, or the tomb of King Tutankhamun. It’s an underground world that has more than 63 royal tombs where you can find paintings on the walls representing scenes of sun worship, at the entrance rise from the depths of the sand imposing figures that will leave you breathless.

  • Colossi of Memnon

Legend has it that behind these giants voices were heard coming from the statues every sunrise, apparently, this is due to the passage of air through the pores of the statues. Thousands of people have traveled to see these statues. The two giants represent King Amenhotep III. In ancient times these giants, sculpted in quartzite, guarded the entrance to his temple, but it has been destroyed over the millennia. You can’t see their faces clearly because of the severe damage and erosion, but you can take lots of pictures.

  • Ramesseum

It is the memorial temple of Ramses II, according to Egyptian beliefs of the time the mummified body of the pharaoh would go in a boat to the kingdom of the dead, from there would continue to watch over the living, as the pharaoh was like a God for his people more than a human. For the construction of this temple Ramses II, he demanded absolute perfection, so that it would be an eternal testimony of his power.

4- Alexandria, Egypt

Founded by the great Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. in the delta of the Nile River in northern Egypt, the city of Alexandria soon took advantage of its excellent location (on fertile land, strategically located as a port city, etc.) to become one of the great metropolises of antiquity, becoming the true cultural heart of the Ancient World. Nowadays, it is cataloged as the main port of the country and is the capital of one of its governorates (also called Alexandria).

Alexandria became for the sailors, writers or adventurers have felt in their own flesh the magic that the city of Alexandria exudes. Halfway between the culture of the Middle East and Europe, this great Egyptian city has been a cultural and commercial center of reference for all the peoples who inhabit the Mediterranean for thousands of years.

In Alexandria, it is possible to look for the ruins of the ancient lighthouse or the library that managed to fascinate the scholars of antiquity. But it is also possible to walk through modern neighborhoods such as Corniche, a clear example of European influence in this Egyptian city.

Today, Alexandria boasts of being one of Egypt’s cultural centers. All this is accompanied by a first-class cuisine in which seafood and Arabian food are served in restaurants like Fish Market to make you live an unforgettable experience visiting one of the most fascinating corners of the world.

Most important places to visit in Alexandria:

  • Pompey pillar

This column is one of the largest of its kind in the Roman Empire. Its approximately 25 meters high and the hundreds of tons it weighs altogether give good evidence of this, so it is a visit that should not be missed in any way. In addition, very close by are the Catacombs of Kom el Shogafa, another space of singular beauty in the area.

  • Library of Alexandria

The old library, the one that fascinated in antiquity, is still a mystery to specialists today. However, the city has not remained hand in hand and has raised a new one that has become a reference for its extensive collection. The visit to this library can be completed with that of the National Museum and the planetarium, buildings that are within the library complex.

  • Montaza Palace

Extensive gardens, views over the Mediterranean and an architecture that takes the best of the architectural heritage of cultures such as Turkish or Florentine. The palace is a jewel of modern Alexandria and can be visited for hours both in its interior rooms and in its external gardens to enjoy a great experience.

  • Citadel of Qaitbey

Defending Alexandria from the many invasion attempts was the task of this imposing construction since the 15th century. The square occupies the place of the Alexandria Lighthouse, one of the great wonders of the ancient world, so the visit is more than advisable.

  • Roman amphitheater

This amphitheater is unique in its kind in all Egypt, proof of the importance the city had for the Romans. Discovered in the 20th century, its good preservation ensures one of the great visits to the city and allows you to discover incredible mosaics capable of transporting you to the past as remote as it is fascinating.

5-Al Fayoum

Seen on a map or from the sky, The Fayum not only appears before our eyes as the largest oasis in Egypt, but it also gives the impression of a leaf that is born on the long green and bluestem of the Nile some 100 kilometers south of the country’s capital, Cairo. In fact, it is the longest river in Africa that feeds this place with its waters, giving away life and creating a wonderfully fresh and fertile habitat in the middle of the desert.

So it’s not quite right to call this place an oasis since its waters don’t come from a well or a spring. The water comes from the east through a centuries-old system of canals that weave a network of distribution between the palm groves and orchards until it reaches Lake Qarun.

The Fayum was a place known as the lake of Meris in the Greco-Roman era. The word Fayum is much later or comes from the Coptic language word Prom, which means “sea”. And the truth is that for the inhabitants of Upper Egypt that stretch of freshwater, much larger than the one we see today, was really a real sea.

Most important places to visit in Al Fayoum

  • The Northern Karanis Temple in El Fayum

The sacred places of Karanis, in the northwest of El Fayum -situated to the south of the Nile delta- constituted two well-known temples, which were dedicated to the crocodile god, in all his forms, like Pnepheros, Petesouchos, and Soknopaios. As with other animals worshipped in Egypt.

  • Lake Qarun Protected Area

Lake Qarum is an extraordinarily important wetland, which covers an area of 230 square kilometers and whose purpose is the preservation of marine and terrestrial fauna. It is located in the province of Fayum and has a depth of just over four meters. The lake is an important archaeological site.

  • Wadi El Rayan

Wadi El Rayan, a large depression located to the west of El Fayum, has been home to a hydrological project since the end of the 20th century, where the water now flows to give rise to two large lakes, formerly three, but one of them dried up.

  • Visiting the Fayum oasis

The Fayum is a large oasis located south of the Nile Delta, full of vestiges of the past. It allows us to know the details and monuments of the most recent years of Egyptian history, although these are closer to us only in comparison with the distant pharaonic times.

6- Al Minya

The capital of the homonymous governorate, on the western bank of the Nile River. This city, located 225 km. south of Cairo is called by the locals the Bride of Upper Egypt because it lies right on the border between the kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt.

It is famous in the nation for being the main producer of soap and perfumes, and also a processor of sugar. Prosperous for years, its economy was formerly based on the harvest of cotton, and those years corresponded to some elegant houses that add to an already charming landscape.

A few kilometers from Al-Minya is the largest known cemetery in the world. Its name is the City of Death, and it belongs to Christian and Muslim families.

This city on the banks of the Nile is truly an excellent place to enjoy the beauties of Egypt far from the saturation caused by the crowds of tourists who come to the big cities every year. Its streets are a temple for art, and its Greek fountains recall the times of Greek and Roman rule and the strong heritage they left in Al-Minya.

Most important places to visit in Al Minya:

  • Beni Hassan

which is the site of almost 40 tombs of the 11th and 12th dynasties. These tombs are Tomb of Baquet, governor and soldier, the second for his son Khety, the third for Amenmhet and the fourth for Khunumhotep, the successor of King Amenemhat.

  • Tuna El Gebel

which was the cultural center where the pilgrims paid homage to God Thot.

  • Tell Al Amarna

where King Ikhnaton and his wife Queen Nefertiti founded this city as a dedication to the worship of the new god Aton.

7- Aswan

Aswan has located 880 km from Cairo and 225 km from Luxor and is currently the main city of Nubia. In it live Nubians and Egyptians. The city itself does not have many ancient temples but the landscape is of unique beauty to which we must add one of the best souks in the country. For me, it has a special charm since it still retains its charm.

The city became fashionable in the nineteenth century by the hand of English people, who liked to spend the winter there, characters like Agatha Christie, Aga Khan were caught by the magic of the place.

Aswan extends along the banks of the Nile for 2 km, between the station in the north and the Cataract Hotel in the south. The street parallel to the Nile, more than 1 km long, is the Souk. To visit Aswan in a good condition we will need at least 3 days, although it depends on what we want to see. From this point, the excursions leave to visit Abu Simbel, Kom Ombo, Esna, and a series of monuments that are not usually included in the organized trips.

Most important places to visit in Aswan:

  • Visit a Nubian Village

There are several excursions to explore the colorful streets of the Nubian villages. Don’t hesitate for a second, this is one of the experiences you will have in Aswan.
Much better if instead of just taking a tour of its streets you stay there directly. Walk at your own pace through the streets of the village and give yourself the pleasure of stopping to talk to the people who live there. The Nubians are very hospitable and are eager to talk to travelers.

  • Philae Temple

Philae Temple, the pearl of the Nile the temple dedicated to the worship of the goddess Isis, well worth a visit. Rescued from the bottom of the water, after being flooded by the Aswan dam, today the temple looks almost intact on the island Agikia in the middle of the Nile.

  • Felucca in the Nile

Being rocked by the Nile River up the traditional felucca is one of Egypt’s greatest pleasures. Especially now, when the Nile is deserted with maxi ferries that saturate and exhaust it. A perfect plan is to take a packed lunch, eat it on board and have a quiet siesta.

  • Unfinished obelisk

How would they have managed to get the obelisk over 30 meters long and 1,000 tons straight? That’s the mystery of the Obelisk. You should also know that the Aswan granite is very peculiar because of its reddish color and you will see it in many of the temples in Egypt.

  • The tomb of the Nobles or the Princes

On the bank of the Nile in front of the city, as if hidden in the mountain, you will find Qubbet el-Hawa. Here we arrived in a felucca, there awaits an Egyptian who guards its access and will show you the inside of some of the 80 tombs that are. From this point, you will have a great view of the city.

  • Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel. This is the crown jewel that everyone who travels to Egypt longs to see, along with the pyramids of Giza. More than four hours to get there and as many hours to get back, but Abu Simbel is worth it.

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