Egypt is a North African country. Its capital and largest city is Cairo. With over 84 million inhabitants, Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East, and the 15th-most populated in the world. The great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River. The large regions of the Sahara Desert, which constitute most of Egypt's territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centers of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
Tourism is one of the most important sectors in Egypt's economy. More than 12.8 million tourists visited Egypt in 2008, providing revenues of nearly $11 billion. Egypt's rich cultural legacy and the attraction of its Red Sea Riviera have made tourism a vital part of the economy, employing about 12% of the country's workforce.
Because Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern state, the stunning monuments of Ancient Egypt draws millions of tourist every year.
The main tourist attractions include:
- The Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
- The Khan el-Khalili bazaar, one of Cairo's main attractions for tourists and Egyptians alike.
- The Great Sphinx and the Great Pyramid (one of the Seven Wonders of the World still in existence) of Giza.
- The Saqqara ancient burial ground. See the world's first Pyramid built about 5,000 years ago by Pharaoh Djoser.
- The city of Luxor with the temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor.
- Near Luxor, visit the impressive tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens.
- The Edfu Horus Temple in the city of Edfu, about 110 km drive south of Luxor.
- The Abu Simbel temples, situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 300 km southwest of Aswan.
- The Aswan Dam, near the city of Aswan.
- The Sinai Peninsula and its beautiful beaches. Visit Mount Sinai at the southern part of the peninsula.
- Alexandria, Egypt's second largest city located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
See more tourist information on Egypt.