Egypt is divided into 27 governorates of very different sizes, each ruled by a governor with the rank of minister. While the desert areas are administered in large-scale governorates such as the Al-Wadi al-dschadid district with an area of 376,000 km², the densely populated areas on the Nile are divided into much smaller government districts, the smallest of which is the Luxor governorate around the Nile city of the same name with an area of just 55 km².
According to homosociety, the largest urban metropolitan regions in Egypt are Cairo and Giza with a total of around 16.1 million residents, Alexandria with around 4.5 million residents, and the urban regions of Suez and al-Mansura with around 600,000 residents each. A third of the Egyptian population is concentrated in these regions.
The capital Cairo is the political, economic and cultural center of Egypt and the entire Arab world. The core city alone houses over 9 million residents on an area of approx. 600 km². The metropolitan region around Cairo, which also includes the cities of Giza and Schubra al-Chaima, is the largest urban agglomeration on the African continent with over 16 million residents. In addition to the seat of the Egyptian government, parliament, all state and religious central authorities and numerous diplomatic missions, Cairo is also the most important transport hub in Egypt and has numerous universities, colleges, theaters, museums and a large number of architectural monuments. The historical roots of the city go back to the establishment of a military camp by the Fatimids around the year 970 AD. In addition to the numerous culturally and historically worth seeing buildings in Cairo such as the citadel, the Muhammad Ali mosque or the city gate, the entire Islamic old town of Cairo has been included in the list of world cultural heritage by UNESCO. Also worth seeing are the cities of the dead built according to the pharaonic cult of the dead, inhabited cemeteries in Cairo, as well as a number of architectural monuments from the more recent past such as the stock exchange, the Sednaoui residential building or the Mubarak library by the French architect Georges Parcq at the beginning of the 20th century. In neighboring Giza, the famous pyramids and the Sphinx are among the most famous buildings of mankind and one of the last surviving wonders of the ancient world.
The second largest city in Egypt with over 5 million residents is located on the western edge of the Nile Delta and was founded around 331 BC. Founded by Alexander the Great on the site of the ancient Egyptian settlement of Rhakotis on the Mediterranean. Alexandria has long been considered the spiritual center of the ancient world. In the history of Alexandria, which was marked by many conquests and changes of power, many historical buildings and art treasures have been lost over the centuries. Today’s cityscape is dominated by buildings in the style of historicism, styles Liberty and Eclecticism from the 19th and 20th centuries. A Roman theater and the catacombs of Kom esch-Shuqafa have been preserved from ancient times. The most important museum in Alexandria is the Greco-Roman Museum of ancient architecture, sculpture and craftsmanship. Under the auspices of UNESCO, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina cultural center was built to build on the glorious past of the ancient library. The area houses the library, museums and galleries, several research institutes, an event center and a planetarium. In addition to its cultural and historical importance, Alexandria is now the second largest industrial city in Egypt after Cairo.
The city on the Mediterranean Sea, at the entrance to the Suez Canal, is the second most important port city in Egypt after Alexandria. With around 750,000 residents, Port Said is both an industrial location and an important transshipment point for agricultural products such as cotton and rice, as well as an important seaside resort and port of call for international cruise ships. The city, together with the Suez Canal, is officially the border between the African and Asian continents.
The Upper Egyptian city of Luxor is located on the southeast side of an approximately 120-kilometer-long bend in the river Nile, with almost 500,000 residents, is known less for its size than for its cultural and historical importance. Some of Egypt’s most important archaeological sites are located in and around Luxor. The most famous are the Luxor and Karnak temples in the middle and north of the urban area as well as the Valley of the Kings and the ancient Egyptian temple ruins in Thebes-West, the western bank of the Nile. On the Nile as an important traffic artery, many cruise ships operate from Luxor as a starting or end point to Aswan in the south as well as north to ancient Abydos. The shipping moorings are located on the promenade within the city along the entire eastern bank of the Nile.
With around 160,000 residents, Hurghada is the largest Egyptian tourist center on the Red Sea. In the 30 km long coastal region with white sandy beaches lined with palm trees and coral reefs, a number of hotel complexes and facilities with tourist offers such as diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, sailing and deep sea fishing have established themselves. The tourist resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, located across from Hurghada on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, is particularly popular with diving enthusiasts.