The famous American magazine, The Times, has chosen the archaeological Egyptian areas of Giza and Saqqara among the 50 best tourist destinations for 2023.
In an article published by the magazine, the Pyramids of Giza and the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) were mentioned as two destinations worth visiting.
The choice was based on the recommendations of the magazine’s international correspondents.
The article referred to the opening of Sphinx International Airport in November and allowing guided visits to the commercial area and the lobby area of the Grand Egyptian Museum.
There was also mention of the museum’s halls and treasures that the visitor will enjoy when it opens.
The article also reviewed some recent archaeological discoveries in Saqqara, such as the cemetery of animals.
The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) started offering a limited number of guided tours in some areas, as of Wednesday, March 8, 2023.
The tours, which can be booked through the GEM official website only, include the gardens and the commercial area that offer a number of restaurants, cafeterias, shops for leading Egyptian brands, and the gift shop.
Areas open for visits also include the hanging obelisk area, the main reception known as the Great Hall, and the glass foyer.
During their tour of the Great Hall, visitors will also be able to see the artifacts it contains, including the statue of King Ramses II and the column of King Merneptah, which depicts scenes of his victory in wars against Libyan tribes, addition to two statues of a king and queen from the Ptolemaic era.
The tours will not include any of the museum exhibition halls, which will remain closed, until the official opening date of the museum.
Constructed on approximately 500,000 square meters, the new GEM is located nearby the Giza Pyramids and will house the world’s largest antiquities collection belonging to a single culture’s heritage.
The GEM is set to showcase 5,000 relics from Tutankhamun’s collection as well — including 2,000 artifacts displayed for the first time.
It is expected to attract about five million tourists.
How to visit the GEM?
The visit should be booked on the official website of the GEM, during which the visitor determines the date and time of the visit, in addition to determining the type of tours and accordingly the prices are determined.
Free entry tickets are available only at the museum’s main ticket sales windows for children under four years of age and people with special needs. Prices for Egyptians range between LE75 and LE150.
Visiting hours start daily at the GEM from 9 am to 6 pm.
International flights were operated at Sphinx Airport after development work concluded, which aimed at increasing the airport’s capacity to serve tourism in the pyramids and Giza areas and encourage one-day tourism.
The Sphinx Airport achieved remarkable success in short period of time, with great turnout from airlines and tourists due to its proximity to areas such as Giza which includes some of the biggest monuments in Egypt.
The airport was inaugurated in January 2019, and saw a 15-day pilot operation for EgyptAir’s domestic flights. It received the first international flight from the Fly Jordan company in January 2020.
Located west of Cairo, the new LE300 million airport holds great touristic importance due to its proximity to the Giza Pyramids, the Grand Egyptian Museum, and other historic areas in Cairo and Giza.