Egypt Landmarks

Egyptian landmarks include 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Egypt. Travel and tourism in Egypt depends on historical sites in Egypt and monuments in Egypt.

Egyptian landmarks include 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Egypt. Tourism in Egypt depends on historical sites in Egypt, as tourists in Egypt usually travel to Egypt to see those monuments in Egypt.


Egypt was referred to as a “gift of the Nile” by the Greek historian Herodotus. In fact, Egyptian landmarks have traditionally supported a sizable rural population committed to working the land thanks to its tremendous agricultural productivity—it is one of the region’s major food producers.

However, the majority of Egypt nowadays is urban. Manufacturing and trade have progressively surpassed agriculture as the major sectors of the national economy in Cairo. Egypt’s capital and one of the world’s largest urban agglomerations.

The tourism sector has historically generated a significant percentage of foreign cash. However, this sector has seen volatility during periods of political and social upheaval in the area.

Where in Egypt

Egypt’s land boundaries include Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and Israel to the northeast.

The Halaib Triangle in the Red Sea and Bir Tawil farther inland are two places along Egypt’s border with Sudan that are noteworthy due to the conflicting claims made by the two nations (see Researcher’s Note).

Its Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba coastlines span around 1,200 miles (1,900 km) to the east, while the Mediterranean coastline runs for roughly 620 miles (1,000 km) to the north.

The Nile is the main feature of Egypt’s topography and traverses the nation for around 750 miles (1,200 km) of its northward route.

Historical sites in Egypt

The Nile river meanders across a barren desert, its small valley a sharply defined ribbon of green that stands out for being incredibly fertile in contrast to the surrounding desolation.

The Nile is constrained into a trench-like valley by surrounding cliffs from Lake Nasser, the river’s entrance into southern Egypt, to Cairo in the north. However, at Cairo, these dissipate, and the river stretches out into its delta.

The Western Desert (Al-Sahra al-Gharbiyyah), the Eastern Desert (Al-Sahra al-Sharqiyyah), and the Sinai Peninsula make up the other three physio-graphic zones. The Nile and the delta make up the first.


The desert plateau that the Nile river runs through is split into two unequal parts. The Western Desert, which is located between the Nile and the Libyan border; there is the Eastern Desert, which reaches the Red Sea, Gulf of Suez, and Suez Canal.

As with the third and smallest of the Egyptian deserts, the Sinai, each of the two has a distinct character.

While the Eastern Desert is heavily divided by wadis and is bordered on the east by rocky mountains, the Western Desert (a branch of the Libyan Desert) is dry and devoid of wadis (dry beds of seasonal rivers).

The central Sinai desert is an open region with solitary hills and wadis dividing it up. Contrary to popular belief, Egypt is not a flat nation.

Mountainous regions can also be found in the southern Sinai Peninsula, the extreme southwest of the Western Desert, and the mountains that line the Red Sea.

The Uwaynat mountain mass, which is located just outside of Egyptian land, is connected to the high ground in the southwest.

Except for the delta, all of Egypt’s coastal regions are surrounded by either mountains or desert, are parched, or have very little fertility. The coastal plain is narrow in the north and east, rarely growing wider than 30 miles (48 km).


The coastal districts are thinly populated and underdeveloped, with the exception of the cities of Alexandria, Port Said, and Suez, as well as a few tiny ports and resorts such as Marsa Matruh and Al-Alamayn (El-Alamein).

Egypt Weather

Egypt’s general climatic characteristics are low yearly precipitation, a wide seasonal and diurnal (daily) temperature range, and year-round sunshine because it is located within the North African desert region.

Khamsins, Arabic for “fifties,” are sandstorms or dust storms that form in the desert and are most common from March to June.

They are brought on by tropical air from the south that flows northward because of the extension northeastwards of the low-pressure system of Sudan.

A Khamsin is defined by a sudden temperature increase of 14 to 20 °F (8 to 11 °C), a drop in relative humidity (typically to 10 %), and dense dust, with gale-force winds occasionally possible.

The weather in Egypt generally has two seasons.The winter season in Egypt often lasts from November to March, and the summer season typically lasts from May to September, with a few brief transitional months in between. The summers are scorching, and the winters are mild and cool.

How hot is Egypt

In January, Aswan averages 48°F and 74°F (9°C and 23°C), whereas Alexandria experiences a minimum and highest temperature range of 48°F and 65°F (9°C and 18°C).


The country’s interior has scorching summers, with mean midday highs in June ranging from 91°F (33°C) in Cairo to 106°F (41°C) in Aswan.

Egypt experiences 12 hours or more of sunshine per day during the summer and 8 to 10 hours per day during the winter.

Extreme temperature swings, such as protracted winter cold snaps or summer heat waves, can happen. From north to south and at the edges of the desert, humidity declines noticeably.

The Mediterranean coast has high humidity all year long, but summer is when it is at its greatest. Conditions become uncomfortable when high temperatures and high humidity levels are prevalent.

In Egypt, the winter months see the most precipitation, which is recorded on average but very unpredictable.

The amount decreases significantly further south; the yearly average at Alexandria is approximately 7 inches (175 mm), Cairo has approximately 1 inch (25 mm), and Aswan receives almost nothing—only approximately 0.1 inch (2.5 mm).

The Western Desert and the Red Sea coastal plain hardly receive any precipitation. The northern portion of the Sinai Peninsula experiences an average yearly rainfall of roughly 5 inches (125 mm).


Tourism in Egypt

Egypt’s economy depends heavily on tourism, which is one of the main sources of income. When it was at its busiest in 2010, the sector employed almost 12% of Egypt’s labor force, welcomed 14.7 million tourists, generated close to $12.5 billion in income, and made up over 11% of Egypt’s GDP and 14.4% of its foreign exchange earnings.

In 2010, there were 14.7 million tourists arriving, marking a peak. With $12.6 billion in revenue, tourism receipts peaked in the 2018–2019 fiscal year.

2020 saw a roughly 70% decline in tourism-related revenue, to $4 billion. Egypt’s visitor arrivals decreased to 3.5 million in 2020, according to Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Enany.

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva claims that the tourism industry in Egypt has suffered the most because of the coronavirus outbreak.

In Red Sea resorts, where costs are still lower than in 2011, tour operators’ aggressive discounts to lure visitors back have had some success.

When compared to the same period in 2013, both the number of tourists and the amount of money earned decreased by 25% in the first half of 2014.

Egypt fell ten spots from its 2011 position of 75 to 85th in 2013 as the best country in the world for travel and tourism.


In the 2017 rankings, it gained some ground and was ranked 75th overall. Egypt is ranked 65th overall as of the 2019 rankings.

According to Bloomberg, Egypt “shed its years of social and political upheaval” in 2017 and is now among the top 20 vacation destinations.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Egypt

According to the most recent data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Egypt is one of the tourist destinations with the fastest growth rates in the world. In 2017, there were 8 million tourists visiting Egypt, up from 5.26 million in 2016.

Abu Mena

In Late Antique Egypt, Abu Mena served as a town, a collection of monasteries, and a site of Christian pilgrimage. It is close to the city of New Borg El Arab, which is located around 50 kilometers (31 miles) southwest of Alexandria.

The location was recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1979 due to its importance to early Christianity.

Although there aren’t many structures left, the vast majority of important ones, like the huge basilica, still have their foundations visible.

A number of the structures on the property have collapsed or become unstable as a result of recent agricultural operations in the region, which have significantly raised the water table. The location was included on the list of world historic sites in danger in 2001.

The bases of the structures on the site that were at the greatest risk had to be covered in sand by the authorities. In the late third or early fourth century, Menas of Alexandria was martyred (see Early Christianity).


Church historians often view the First Council of Nicaea as the conclusion of Early Christianity and the ministry of Jesus (c. 27–30) as its beginning (325). The two main periods are the Ante-Nicene Period (c. 100–325) and the Apostolic Age (c. 30–100), when the original apostles were still alive.

His burial and the subsequent establishment of his church are described in a variety of 5th-century and later texts in slightly different ways. His body was brought from Alexandria on a camel and carried into the desert beyond Lake Mareotis.

These are the key details. All attempts were made to prod the camel to travel further, but eventually it refused. The body’s attendants buried it there after interpreting this as a manifestation of divine intent.

Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis

Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis, together with its Necropolis and its environs, including Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, and Karnak, were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

The ancient city of Thebes, sometimes called Wase, Wo’se, Nowe, or Nuwe (from around the 21st century BCE).

It was formerly the capital of the ancient Egyptian empire and one of antiquity’s most renowned cities, approximately 26° N latitude.

In ancient Egypt, Thebes was situated on both banks of the Nile. Luxor, also known as Al-Uqur, a modern town that makes up a portion of the site, is located 675 kilometers (419 miles) south of Cairo.


Thebes, an ancient metropolis, covered 36 square kilometers (93 square km). On the east bank of the Nile was where the city’s center was situated.

On the western bank of the Nile River lay the Necropolis, sometimes known as the “city of the dead.”

This is where the funeral temples and royal tombs are. Along with the residences of the priests, soldiers, artisans, and laborers devoted to the service of the Egyptian kings.

Historic Cairo

One of the world’s oldest Islamic towns is hidden within Cairo’s contemporary metropolitan neighborhoods.

Cairo is well-known for its mosques, madrasas, hammams, and fountains. Historic Cairo was built in the tenth century and eventually became the new center of the Islamic world, reaching its zenith in the fourteenth century.

Memphis and its Necropolis—the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur

Memphis and its Necropolis—the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur—was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, and is located in Egypt’s floodplain west of the Nile. Memphis is well-known since it served as Ancient Egypt’s first capital.

Memphis’ unrivaled geographic position, which dominates the entrance to the Delta and lies at the intersection of important trade routes.

It implied that there was no other capital available to any monarch who truly desired to control both Upper and Lower Egypt.

It was established as the capital of a politically unified Egypt in approximately 3000 BC.


Memphis functioned as the nation’s administrative center under the Old Kingdom. Then, during at least a portion of the Middle and New Kingdoms, with the exception of Itjtawy and Thebes.

Both in the Late Period and again in the Ptolemaic Period, together with the metropolis of Alexandria.

It wasn’t eclipsed until the construction of the Islamic garrison city of Fustat on the Nile and the expansion of Al Qahira that followed.

It serves as both the kings’ home and the administrative center of the state. The gods revered Memphis as a sacred site. Numerous artifacts from the site’s archaeology show what city life was like in ancient Egypt.

Temples are among them, with the Temple of Ptah in Mit Rahina being the most prominent. Ptah was the local god of Memphis, the god of creation and the protector of artisans.

Among the other notable religious sites were the Heb-Sed temple at Saqqara, the Sun temples in Abu Ghurab and Abusir, the Apis temple in Memphis, the Serapeum, and the Sun temples in Abu Ghurab and Abusir.

Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae

Abu Simbel is a historic monument consisting of two giant rock temples in the town of Abu Simbel, Aswan Governorate, Upper Egypt, near the border with Sudan.

It is located on the western shore of Lake Nasser, approximately 230 kilometers (140 miles) southwest of Aswan and approximately 300 kilometers (190 miles) via roadway.

The complex is part of the “Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae” and was a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.


It runs downriver from Abu Simbel to Philae (near Aswan), passing through Amada, Wadi es-Sebua, and other Nubian sites.

In the 13th century BC, the twin temples were carved out of the rock. It was constructed during the 19th Dynasty’s reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II. They will stand as a permanent memorial to King Ramesses II.

His wife, Nefertari, and children are depicted as tiny figures around his feet, as they are seen as less important and are not assigned the same place on the scale.

This is a commemoration of his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Their massive exterior rock relief figures have become recognizable.

Under the direction of Kazimierz Michalowski, the complex was relocated in its entirety atop an artificial hill consisting of a domed structure high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir in 1968.

He was a Polish archaeologist from the Polish Center of Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Warsaw. The temples had to be relocated or they would have been inundated during the construction of Lake Nasser.

Lake Nasser is a huge artificial water reservoir created by the construction of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile. The work was done as part of the UNESCO Nubian Salvage Campaign.

Saint Catherine Area

The Sacred Autonomous Royal Monastery of Saint Katherine of the Holy and God-Trodden Mount Sinai is formally known as Saint Catherine’s Monastery.

Saint Catherine Area is an Eastern Orthodox monastery in the Sinai Peninsula. It is located in the Egyptian town of Saint Catherine at the mouth of a gorge at the foot of Mount Sinai.


The monument is dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria and is under the administration of the independent Church of Sinai, which is part of the larger Greek Orthodox Church.

The monastery was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002 for its unique significance in the traditions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

The three mountains that surround Saint Catherine’s are as follows: (1) Ras Sufsafeh, which may be the Biblical Mount Horeb, peak c.1 km (0.62 mi) west; (2) Jebel Arrenziyeb, peak c.1 km south; and (3) Mount Sinai, locally called “Jebel Musa,” by tradition identified with the Biblical Mount Sinai, peak c.2 km (1.2 mi) south.

Saint Catherine was constructed between the years 548 and 565. It is the world’s oldest continually inhabited Christian monastery.

The property also houses the world’s oldest continuously running library, which houses books that are either unique or highly rare.

These include the Codex Sinaiticus and the Syriac Sinaiticus, as well as what is believed to be the world’s biggest collection of early Christian icons, including the oldest known representation of Jesus as Christ Pantocrator.

Wadi Al-Hitan / Whale Valley

Wadi Al-Hitan is a paleo-environmental site in Egypt’s Faiyum Governorate, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) south of Cairo. In July 2005, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Wadi Al-Hitan, or Whale Valley, in Egypt’s Western Desert includes priceless fossil remnants of the Archaeoceti, the first and now extinct suborder of whales.

These fossils depict one of the key narratives of evolution: the transition of the whale from a land-based animal to an ocean-going mammal.


This is the world’s most significant site for illustrating this stage of evolution. It depicts the shape and lives of these whales throughout their metamorphosis in great detail.

The amount, concentration, and quality of such whale fossils here are exceptional, as are their accessibility and surroundings in a beautiful and protected area.

The Al-Hitan whale fossils depict the youngest archaeocetes, who are in the process of losing their hind limbs.

Other fossil material discovered at the site allows for the reconstruction of the surrounding environmental and ecological circumstances at the time.