Egypt mini guide
Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is one of the greatest, most interesting countries you will ever see. With all of its history, culture, culinary, religion, and versatile geography, this country has a special spot for everyone who gets to visit this magnificent place. Egyptian history is infinite and is one of the greatest inheritance from human civilization but Egypt is much more than just its thousands of years old Pyramids and monuments, Egypt is life itself and sure is a place that every human who can should once in their lifetime come visit.
Where is Egypt located?
Egypt is located mostly in the northern part of the African Continent with part of its Sinai desert located in the Asian Continent. It has a total area of 1,002,450 square km making it the 31st largest country in the world; measuring from the very North to the very south you have a total of 1,024 km.
What's the capital of Egypt?
Cairo, pronounced Al-Qahirah, meaning the victorious, is the capital of Egypt. A city built around the Nile River Cairo is one of the biggest cities in the continent of Africa. A great diverse city with 9.5 million people, Cairo is one of a kind.
What are the main cities in Egypt?
Cairo is the main city as it is the capital, but other cities like Alexandria, Aswan, Luxor, Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Gouna, and Hurghada are also main cities for tourist attractions and the economy too.
What's the official currency in Egypt?
Egypt's currency is called the Egyptian Pound. Egyptian money is gorgeous but its monetary value is considered to the English Pound, Euro, and US Dollar is very low. Egyptian currency can be abbreviated as EGP.
What is the predominant religion in Egypt?
The dominant religion is Islam, making Egypt's population 90% Muslim and around 10% Christian, with the Muslims being mostly Sunnis and the Coptic Orthodox Chruch being the largest Christians.
Being strategically located in the Gulf of Aqaba, Egypt has coastlines on the Mediterranean and the Red Sea and has the Nile River flowing through its entire length. It has borders with Libya, the Gaza Strip, Sudan, and Israel. The Western Desert consists of about two-thirds of Egypt's land area. The Western Desert is a part of the Sahara desert and is located on the west side of the Nile River banks.
Egypt is very famous for its ancient civilization and the monuments of the majestic pharaohs, such as the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, the Egyptian Museum, the GEM (The Grand Egyptian Museum), Sakkara, and Dahshur. In the south, there are famous monuments such as the Luxor Temple, the Karnak Temple, Abu Simbel, the Temple of Hatshepsut, the Valley of the Kings with emphasis on the tomb of Tutankhamun, the Temple of Edfu (Horus), the High Dam of Aswan, and the Philae Temple. This is just a simple summary of what's out there; there are many other emblematic attractions across the country.
Egyptian gastronomy is very authentic and even though it has some influences from the Greeks like on the north coast, the country food runs pretty much in "full" which are beans, lentils, pasta, rice, and bread. A famous and traditional dish is Koshary; a dish that includes rice, lentils, pasta, tomato sauce, chickpeas, crispy onions, and a garlic sauce.One of the greatest Egyptian foods is Tamiya, made out of a bean paste. Molokhia is also a very common food in Egypt and consists of a soup made out of a very healthy green leaf, packed with antioxidants. Molokhia is a mark of Egyptian cuisine. Egyptian famous meat and poultry dishes are stuffed pigeons, kebabs, and kofta. Egypt's cuisine also offers a lot of fish and seafood since they have access to some of the best fresh seafood in the world.
During the Old Kingdom, Egypt has had the first references to Art in the history of Ancient Egyptian Civilization and since then Art is one of the most important aspects of Egyptian culture, coming second only to religion. Egypt Arts are divided into many categories such as:
- Literature: In Egyptian Literature, the first Egyptian writer to win the Nobel Prize for literature in the Arabic language was Naguib Mahfouz. Other famous names in the Egyptian literature are Muhammad Husayn Haykal, Nawa El Saadawi, Alifa Rifaat, Ahmed Fouad Negm, Salah Jaheen, and Abdel Rahman El-Abnudi.
- Cinema: Every year, Egyptian cinema presence becomes stronger with several new movies being launched. For the Ramadan season, a number of series and shows are produced as watching Egyptian series is a strong tradition during Ramadan. El Gouna International Film Festival occurs every year and it has become a strong catalyst for creative minds in and outside of Egypt in the film industry.
- Music: Egypt is huge in Music and people truly value music in the country. Some of the legends in Egyptian music names are Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Abdel Halim Hafez, Sayed Darwish, and Abdul al-Hamuli. Contemporary music is now gaining a huge place in the Egyptian music market and names such as Amr Diab, Mohamed Mounir, Tamer Hosny, Mohamed Ramadan, and others are the new faces of the Egyptian music.
- Dance: The world-famous belly dancing dance style was born in Egypt and still to this day a very strong tradition all over the country and the world too. In Egyptian weddings, it is common that they always have a belly dancer to dance with the bride and groom at their wedding celebration
Egyptians are fascinated with sports and just about any restaurant or cafe has a screen for matches and games. The number one sport in Egypt is soccer and even though the Egyptian national soccer team has not had much success in the world cup, the national Egyptian soccer team is highly successful in the African Cup and the fans are just so passionate about the sport that they do not lose hope and they still believe that Egypt will one day win the world cup title. Despite not being the best at soccer, Egyptian Squash players are among the best in the world and the sport is highly played in the country along with tennis and water polo too.
Is Egypt safe?
Egypt is safe to travel to. The new government has implemented very strict rules on sexual harassment and the crime rate is very low and even though you will feel safe if traveling on your own, for the language purpose Egypt is best enjoyed with the presence of a tour guide .
What is the best time to visit Egypt?
Since Egypt summer can get really hot with temperatures rising as high as 50 Celsius, the best time of the year to visit Egypt is between September and May where you will be able to enjoy the outdoors of Egypt with a nice cool breeze and not too much heat, just enough of it.
Interesting Facts about Egypt
- There are a total of 80 pyramids in Egypt; and the most famous and best well preserved are the Great Pyramid of Giza in the Giza Pyramids Complex.
- According to the UNESCO, Egypt is home to 7 of the world's heritage sites, six of them are cultural and one is natural, being them: Abu Mena, Luxor, Old Cairo, The Pyramids of Giza Complex, many temples among Philae and Abu Simbel temples, the St. Catherine Monastery and the Wadi al-Hitan.
- In 2020, Egypt's population surpassed the mark of 100 million inhabitants.
- Egypt is home to the 4th best-paid soccer player in the world in 2020, Mo Salah who is currently playing for the English team of Liverpool and has won several awards in the English and Champions League.
A Few Things to Know before Visiting Egypt
- Egypt's summer is REALLY hot and temperatures can rise up to 50 Celsius.
- Egyptians are very friendly and they are great people to be around.
- Having a tour guide is a great option while visiting Egypt as you will get much more out of your trip and people will respect you more if you have an Egyptian with you.
- Learning some Egyptian Arabic is a great way to be included in the Egyptian community.
- Egypt is BEAUTIFUL, and it is for sure one of the top ten destinations in the world.