Forget about the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx: I spent a month in Egypt, and the most spectacular site I visited was the ancient city of Thebes
- Egypt's most famous site is the Great Pyramid of Giza, the only one of the Seven Wonders of the World still standing and one of the new seven wonders of the world, introduced in 2007.
- On a recent trip to Egypt, I found that the city of Luxor, once the ancient capital of Thebes and often called the world's "largest open-air museum," held far more fascinating ancient Egyptian ruins, burial sites, temples, and hieroglyphs than Giza.
- Luxor is home to the Valley of the Kings, a valley of over 60 rock-cut royal tombs filled with colorful hieroglyphs and cave paintings, the temple of Karnak, a complex built over the course of 1,500 years, and dozens of other tombs, temples, and statues.
- Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.
Lots of tourists think of Egypt as a stop-over: Spend a night in Cairo, get up early, check the Great Pyramid of Giza off the bucket list, and head to the next destination. What a mistake they make.
Though Egypt's most famous site dating back to ancient times is the Great Pyramid of Giza, the sights in Egypt's south are perhaps even more awe-inspiring. In particular, I'm talking about those in the city of Luxor.Luxor is often called the world's "largest open-air museum." The city sits on what was once the ancient city of Thebes, the capital of unified Egypt for hundreds of years. At the height of Egypt's powers, it was world's center of art, business, and culture.
This past December, I visited Luxor over the course of two days, far too short a time to experience it all, and found it to be the highlight of my month in the country.
Here's what it was like.