Well not at that moment it isn't until the situation calms down, If it was me I'd be staying away from North Africa at the moment for starters.
Well back to your questions. Egypt has a certain magic whenther you're into Egyptology/archeology etc you'll still probably be awed by the pyramids, sphinx, all the temples along the Nile & the Valley of the Kings.
On the negative side, which you'll notice soon as you're let free off the tour bus is the Egyptian propensity for hassling tourists to the point of harassment. You're warned before you get off the bus that "nothing is for free" & you think you're prepared but nothing could prepare you for the persistant haggling. They even refused to let some of our group off the camels at Giza until they paid them a tip, talk about having a captive audience. They will follow, yell at you, every small 'kindness' comes with a price even the offer of a gift comes with the request for a bakeesh (a tip)
The only sleeper train down to Aswan is no great shakes however waking up in the morning & catching your first glimpse of the countryside along the Nile is amazing. If you want to visit Abu Simble near the Sudanese border you have to go in a convoy through the Sahara (western desert) with armed protection sitting in the leading bus. The only free thing you get in Egypt is the security & that's to protect the tourist dollars coming in. The trip up the Nile stoping off at all the temples is magical & snorkelling in the Red sea probably off an exclusive island is great.
However the Egyptian hagglers etc & lack of respect towards westerners wears alot of tourist down & turns off alot of people from returning.
It certainly is worth doing the whole Egyptian circle once in your life but IMHO now is not the best time. There are loads of less volatile places you can go where you'll be much safer. almost 10 years ago
Yes, you've seen it in countless documentaries on TV so it's worth being prepared to be disappointed - just so you can be astonished when you do getvthere.
I took my young family last year and had a great time. The Government has, for a start, put a giant wall right around the site, which means you don't actually get endless hassles when there, meaning you can wander around and still enjoy it.
Climbing up inside, is of course, a big adventure, especially when you are 7, but even as an adult, wandering around the base, looking at the size of the stones and wondering how they even moved them at all is inspiring. Behind the main pyramid is the boat museum: well worth the time and entry. A boat made from Cedar that is 4,500 years old & you think was a modern day replica except it isnt.
Yes, well worth the visit in my view.
Just south of Cairo is Saqqara - full of older pyramids and just as interesting as those at Giza. Best way to get there is to hire a taxi for the day. http://www.flickr.com/photos/simonmonk/4295362182/in/set-72157624560861066/
We flew down to Luxor by the way, which if you buy your tickets outside Egypt and choose the option that says you are local is really cheap and they don't check.
Just north of Luxor, well, 3.5 hrs by private taxi is Abydos, a wondrous temple. Highly recommended. http://www.flickr.com/photos/simonmonk/4289796265/in/set-72157624560861066/
And Valley of the Kings - go in the afternoon just after lunch after all the tour buses have departed as it's much quieter. The hike over the tops from Hatshepsut temple in the valley of the Queens is also well worth the effort ( assuming you aren't going in summer).
Enjoy almost 10 years ago
It's a tough question as the pyramids are very iconic, but in reality many people report them as being a bit underwhelming as they're nowhere near as huge as you might imagine them from childhood.
Most trips/tours to Egypt will pass through Cairo, so it's definitely worth seeing the Pyramids and the The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, but for more spectacular and informative historical sights also visit Luxor, Karnak or Abu Simbel. Heading down to the desert and sleeping under the stars is also a great experience. almost 10 years ago
Yes yes yes yes yes. I backpacked around Egypt for 3 weeks and it was the most amazing time of my life. Sure, there are lots of tourist traps and tourists, but nothing can compete with the absolute magnificence of the Pyramids. Go inside them too! almost 10 years ago