• Ally Holt

Travel Tips: Finding Hidden Gems in Egypt

I traveled to Egypt in 2010 as part of a larger trip to Africa, Asia and Europe. In May, I boarded a cruise line alone to visit Turkey, Israel, Greece and Egypt. Walking through Bethlehem and Jerusalem was cool, but Egypt and Greece were definitely the most exciting. I'm sharing a post about my trip to Greece next week, covering the best restaurants and beaches in Athens, Mykonos and Crete. For now, take a look to see a few Do's and Don't when visiting Egypt - including a one-stop-shop for Egyptian artwork, jewelry and artifacts. 

1: Walk Through the National Archaeological Museum

We made a few stops during our trip through Egypt. The first was Tahrir (Liberty) Square, the heart of down town Cairo where we visited the National Archaeological Museum with a repository of the world’s largest and richest collection of Egyptian Antiquities, including the priceless collection of King Tutankhamen. Cameras and videos aren't allowed in the museum, and I wouldn't try. To enter the hall of Mummies, you're required to pay an extra fee of 100 L.E. and it is not part of the guided tour. 

2: Shop in the Papyrus Institute

Visit a Papyrus Institute where the art of paper making from reeds discovered by the Ancient Egyptians will be demonstrated for you.  Limited time for souvenir shopping will also be allocated before you commence the return drive to Alexandria I bought a handmade gold necklace with my name in hieroglyphics. I recently started wearing it again, and love it!

The museum offers demonstrations of ancient Egyptian techniques for making rope, jewelry, and Papyrus, as seen in this picture. My necklace reads "Ally", and yes, I checked on Google! 

3: Take a lunch cruise down the Nile River

After the museum, a luxurious cruise boat was waiting for us at the banks of the River Nile. We enjoyed a sumptuous buffet lunch with belly dancing  and live music entertained. The river was beautiful, but there was a heavy smog covering the city through out the trip.

4: Visit the Pyramids of Giza

After lunch, we drove to the Giza Plateau, where the remaining Wonder of the Ancient World and Pyramids of Giza still stand. Be careful, I was approached multiple times by persistent salesmen outside. 

5: Have a coffee at the Nile Holding Cafe

There isn't too much information out there about this place, but if you can find it, it's worth it. The cafe takes up a dock and connected boat on the Nile.

6: Be careful and respectful at security checks

Last but not least, there is nothing scarier than a man who doesn't speak your language carrying a semi-automatic weapon.  You'll see them at the border, Pyramids and most museums.

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