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  • Writer's pictureYllara Maia

The Ultimate List of Must-See Ancient Egyptian Temples and Tombs for 2023

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Ready to take an exciting and educational journey through the ages? Egypt is overflowing with ancient magic that can transport you from the present day straight into the past. There's no other country quite like it - and there's nowhere else in the world where you can witness such magnificent ancient temple ruins as those that lie within Egypt’s borders.

In this blog post, we’ll be exploring some of Egypt's most impressive ancient temples and tombs, ones that every traveler seeking an authentic Egyptian experience should visit in 2023! But before we dive into our list of must-see sights, let's go over why they're at the top of our list.

Why the temples of ancient Egypt are a must-see for travelers in 2023

Egypt has so much to offer - and a visit to the ancient temples is an absolute must for any traveler this year. These awe-inspiring structures have withstood the test of time, and are a testament to the power of the ancient Egyptians.

Exploring these beautiful temples and tombs will give travelers insight into an ancient civilization, steeped in stories and secrets that have mesmerized people for centuries. So if you're planning a trip in the near future, make sure to add some legendary ancient Egyptian temples as part of your journey - it's an experience you won't soon forget!

The best way to explore all these grand temples in a short amount of time

Visiting the ancient temples of Egypt can be an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience. For those looking at taking in as many sights as possible on their trip, there is no better way to do it than a Nile River cruise.

This way, you can hop from the east bank to the west bank and visit all the temples located along both sides of the river. Cruises typically include stops at important destinations along the Nile, giving you plenty of time to hop off the boat and explore.

Plus, the views from the cruise are absolutely incredible and there's plenty to do while you're onboard. This is definitely one journey everyone should make at least once in a lifetime if they ever get the chance.

Another way to get the most out of visiting Egypt is to book a group tour with an established company. I went on a 10-day excursion with EF Ultimate Break, where we cruised the Nile River and visited some of Egypt's most iconic sites. Click the button below to find out how you can do it too!

Tip: Use my code UAYllara 100 for $100 off your first EF trip!

At long last, the moment you've been expecting: from Giza to Aswan, let's get started on your essential list of must-see ancient Egyptian temples for 2023.


The Great Pyramid of Giza – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

Visiting the great pyramid of Giza is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and something that should definitely be on everyone's bucket list! It's one of the most famous structures in the world, with a history dating back thousands of years.

The great pyramid of Giza is amongst the most famous structures ever built. Although all three pyramids are believed to be ancient Egyptian tombs, archeologists have found no evidence of them being burial sites.

The reason why they were constructed remains a mystery even after all this time. Nevertheless, recent theories propose that the structures may have been constructed long before it was formerly assumed, and that the Great Pyramid acted as an immense generator of energy – mighty enough to supply power for the entire world.

Although their exact purpose is still mysterious, their size and grandeur made them among the most impressive monuments of their time and continue to draw millions of visitors each year.

One can expect to marvel at the incredible architecture of this ancient wonder, still standing strong after centuries. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even explore the inside of the Great Pyramid.

Before you sign up for this, beware that the spaces are very right and packed with tourists. It is not the easiest quest - and definitely not recommended for the claustrophobic.

To make it all the way inside, you'll have to climb a series of steep ramps and pass through a series of narrow chambers. Meanwhile, there is no ventilation inside and it can get quite hot.

If you're determined to tackle this challenge, make sure to pace yourself and bring plenty of water. It may not be a walk in the park, but the feeling you'll get from being able to say you went inside the Great Pyramid of Giza will be worth it a million times over.

The Valley of the Kings and Queens – where you can explore many ancient tombs

For the true explorer, few sights can compare to the Valley of the Kings and Queens - take a journey back in time and explore the ancient tombs of some of Egypt's most famous pharaohs.

Located in Luxor, this valley is full of history and mystery as it offers visitors a chance to unearth the secrets of long-forgotten ancient Egyptians. The tombs that fill the valley provide visitors with an insight into not only the opulence of these rulers but also their power and importance.

With so much to see, how do you decide which tombs to visit? Simple, two iconic stops should be at the top of your bucket list: The Temple of Hatshepsut and the Tomb of Tutankhamun.

Temple of Hatshepsut – a beautiful mortuary temple dedicated to the female pharaoh

If you're looking for a unique and exciting adventure, then look no further than the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut in Egypt! This mortuary temple was built in honor of the female pharaoh, Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt during the fifteenth century BCE.

Out of all the funerary or mortuary temples in Egypt, this is the coolest one. Hatshepsut was the original girl boss, and her temple is truly extraordinary. It stands at 87 meters tall and is perched atop a beautiful cliff.

There's plenty to see when visiting the Temple of Hatshepsut: brightly-painted reliefs depicting her life, and magnificent statues that are still standing today.

Hatshepsut was one of the most powerful women in Ancient Egyptian history and this stunning temple is home to some of her most impressive achievements. In addition to admiring the intricately designed temple walls, visitors can learn about her accomplishments as the first female pharaoh.

The beautiful temple also offers outstanding views of Deir El-Bahri and Valley of the Kings! Just be careful and try to protect yourself from excessive heat, so bring a hat and sunblock if visiting during the summer months!

Tomb of Tutankhamun – a must-see archaeological site

If you're a fan of Egyptian history, visiting the tomb of King Tut should be at the top of your list. This Egyptian king, also known as Tutankhamun, is the most famous pharaoh in history thanks to his closely-guarded burial chamber that was only discovered in 1922.

Although he's widely known, King Tut died young and didn't really accomplish much. However, his tomb was untouched by robbers, and his many treasures - like the infamous golden mask - were still inside.

It's still possible to visit and explore his final resting place today, where you'll see the actual mummy of King Tut and his colorful burial chamber. If you want to see the treasures found inside the tomb, those are actually in Cairo inside the Egyptian Museum.

In the near future, they will be moved to the Great Egyptian Museum - which is under construction in Giza and is due to open sometime in 2023.

From Tutankhamun's Tomb to many others, uncovering these sites promises an unforgettable experience for any traveler. When visiting, make sure you bring sunscreen and water since parts of the valley experience powerful desert heat.

The walls in many tombs are filled with vibrant illustrations and hieroglyphics, so it’s best to bring a camera too! You'll be allowed to take plenty of photos inside, as long as you don't cause a traffic jam.

Before trekking up or down the tombs, here are a few important things to keep in mind:

  1. Some tombs are longer than others and the pathways can sometimes be steep. Wear close-toed, comfortable shoes, and watch your step.

  2. There is no ventilation inside the tombs, so the atmosphere can feel a bit claustrophobic and uncomfortable for some. Go at your own pace.

  3. Even if you booked a tour with an experienced guide, tour guides are not allowed inside the tombs, so read up on the Valley of the Kings and its many monuments ahead of time.

Keep these tips in mind and you'll have a great time. This is an experience that you won't want to miss when visiting Egypt!

Temple of Karnak – a complex of sanctuaries, pylons, and obelisks

Located in Luxor, Karnak Temple Complex is a must-see for any Egypt traveler. One of the largest temples in the world, Karnak sits along the banks of the Nile River just outside of Luxor, Egypt.

Its builders dedicated it to the god Amun-Ra, the god of gods in Egyptian mythology. With three main sections within it—the Precinct of Amun-Ra, the precinct of Mut, and the Precinct of Montu—and two pylons surrounding them all, this ancient temple complex has some of the earliest Egyptian temples erected in the area.

Visiting it can be an incredible experience that allows you to step back in time to ancient Egypt’s culture and customs. Before visiting, however, make sure you can physically manage walking around such a large area and dress appropriately for a sunny day—temperatures near Karnak can reach over 95 degrees Fahrenheit!

Within the huge temple complex, you can explore its grand Hypostyle Hall, featuring over 134 columns that stretch up to 23 meters tall, as well as its avenues of sphinxes - fascinating for any history lover.

A particular highlight is spotting some of the intricate carvings and paintings left behind by ancient Egyptians. Karnak is one of the most impressive ancient Egyptian temples, and it’s definitely worth visiting for anyone traveling to Egypt!

To get the most out of your visit, make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes and come prepared to capture some great photos! You'll be glad you did!

Luxor Temple - an ancient gem on the east bank of the Nile River

The Luxor Temple is an impressive ancient structure located in Luxor, Egypt. Built to honor the deity Amen-Ra and other gods, it was constructed during the New Kingdom of Egypt's 18th dynasty nearly 3500 years ago.

Today, visitors can explore its stunningly preserved temples and view artifacts such as statues and an obelisk that remain from its original construction. There’s a lot to explore, including the Great Court of Ramesses II where the hypostyle hall is located.

It’s also home to an avenue of sphinxes that connect it to the Karnak Temple! Plus, stand face-to-face with giant statues of Ramses II. Seeing these monuments in person really makes them feel like they have come alive from their time in history.

It’s definitely worth taking a guided tour - either a group tour or a private guide - to make sure you don’t miss out on any interesting historic facts or cool sites. There are many temples dedicated to the god of all the other Egyptian gods, but this one is definitely one of the most impressive temples there is.

Whether you're interested in learning more about Egyptian history or just looking for a memorable experience, visiting the Luxor Temple is sure to provide a truly special experience.

Philae Temple - the island temple dedicated to the goddess Isis

The Philae Temple, a great temple dedicated to the goddess Isis, is pure ancient Egyptian magic. This Ptolemaic temple was built over 2,000 years ago and stands proudly on the small island of Philae near the ancient city of Aswan.

Its magnificent walls are lined with stone carvings depicting religious scenes and hieroglyphics that spark an appreciation for this culture’s eternal workmanship. Very few other temples built in Egypt evoke such a sense of great beauty and wonder as the Philae Temple and it’s definitely worth a visit.

To get to Philae Temple, you should take a boat or ferry ride from Aswan. The boat ride won't be too long but do watch your step getting onto and off the boat. Before your trip, it is important to bring sunscreen and plenty of water.

Since this ancient temple is very open, you'll often be exposed to the sun. Also, remember to bring insect repellent. Since the main temple itself is right next to the river, mosquitoes will come for you once the sun starts to go down.

As always, remember to wear comfortable walking shoes and clothes that are suitable for hot weather. Last but not least, take your time exploring this beautiful site.

The entire temple has incredible pieces of architecture that are just begging to be photographed. Be sure to add this stunning spot to your travel bucket list for guaranteed breathtaking photos!

Temple of Kom Ombo - a double temple built to honor two gods

The Temple of Kom Ombo is an incredible ancient Egyptian temple that should definitely be at the top of your list of things to see in the country. Located in Aswan, it’s a double temple dedicated to Horus, the falcon god, and Sobek, the crocodile god.

Constructed during the Ptolemaic Period on the high desert bank overlooking the Nile, it was intended to be shared by priests of both gods. While most temples were built with symmetry as part of their design, this one has two distinct halves that were beautifully decorated in hieroglyphics and colorful reliefs depicting its unique gods.

As you explore these twin temples, you'll discover fascinating artwork that includes beautiful carvings of crocodiles - an animal closely associated with Sobek - and many hieroglyphics that tell stories of Egypt's history.

The majestic entrance gate and the court make it well worth a visit; you won’t be disappointed! If you have extra time, make sure to head over to the Crocodile Museum next door to see some mummified crocs!

Dendera Temple - a tribute to the goddess Hathor

If you're looking for a unique and breathtakingly beautiful place to visit, look no further than the Dendara Temple in Qena, Egypt. This impressive temple was built during the Graeco-Roman period of ancient Egypt, and is dedicated to the cow goddess Hathor.

It consists of two parts: a magnificent temple complex filled with hieroglyphs, colorful reliefs, and statues depicting Greco-Roman deities; and a sacred lake surrounded by columns where sacred rituals were performed.

Inside the temple complex, you can explore several grand halls filled with ancient writings as well as fascinating reliefs of deities, pharaohs, and scenes from mythology.

Various archaeological highlights also remain intact such as roofing decorated with celestial images and a spectacular hypostyle hall featuring enormous Osirian pillars.

Furthermore, the exterior of the complex is also worth taking a look. Visiting the Dendara Temple will make you feel like you've stepped back in time; it's an unforgettable experience not to be missed by anyone fascinated by Egyptian history!

Temple of Abu Simbel - a colossal temple carved into bedrock

Located on the west bank of Lake Nasser, The temple of Abu Simbel is a must-see destination. Commissioned around 1280 BC by Ramses II, the temple was built to showcase his power and divinity.

Four massive statues of Ramses II greet visitors at the entrance, which was precisely aligned so that the sun would shine on statues of Ramses and the gods Re-Harakhti, Amun, and Ptah - the 'Theban Triad' - on October 22 and February 22.

The Great Temple is filled with intricate hieroglyphics depicting Ramses' military victories in the Battle of Kadesh, while the smaller temple is dedicated to his queen Nefertari and the goddess Hathor.

A stunning example of ancient Egyptian art and architecture, Abu Simbel is a glimpse into the fascinating history of Egypt under the reign of one of its most powerful pharaohs. Despite its remote location, a visit to the awe-inspiring Temple of Abu Simbel is well worth the journey.

Tips for a successful visit to these ancient Egyptian temples

Visiting ancient Egyptian temples can be an incredible experience, allowing you to appreciate 4,000 years of history and culture in some of the world's most impressive monuments. It can also be daunting if you're not prepared for the trip.

For a successful visit, make sure to cover up - even in hot weather - to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun. I recommend wearing light colors and bringing a hat or a scarf to cover your head.

Additionally, visiting during off-peak times will give you more space to explore and provide the best views of these architectural marvels without having to fight through too many crowds. Finally, don’t forget a camera! It's always great to take home photos of your adventures so you can relive them later.

Visiting the beautiful temples of Ancient Egypt is such an awe-inspiring experience that anyone should try to add to their itinerary. From the spectacular Valley of the Kings and Queens, to Karnak Temple Complex’s massive columns and avenues of sphinxes - it's a journey through time that no one can miss!

So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey into Ancient Egyptian history. After all, there has never been a better time than now! What are you most excited about visiting Egypt? Let me know in the comments!


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