Egypt should be on everyone’s bucket list of places to visit. Egypt has a particular place in our hearts because it was the starting point for Planet D in 2008 when we started cycling from Cairo to Cape Town. We’ve been traveling ever since, at least until the pandemic struck.
Now that travel is resuming, we feel the same sense of excitement and anticipation as we did before our first big trip in 2008. So, to help you organize your bucket list, we’ve compiled a list of the top things to do in Egypt. Are you looking for some travel ideas?
Marvel at the Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza, built by three Pharaohs between 2550 and 2490 BC, are the sole remaining edifice of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Sphinx, a cat-like figure sculpted from stone, stands directly in front of the pyramids. The Pyramids of Giza are a must-see in Cairo, Egypt, and you can even ride a camel inside the Great Pyramid or visit the Solar Boat Museum. Don’t miss to photograph this classic Egyptian attraction. More information can be found at: 10 Amazing Egyptian Temples We’ve Seen
We’ve been to the pyramids three times, and each trip is equally as exciting as the last. A guided camel and quad tour of the desert and pyramids is now available.
Cairo, Egypt’s capital, is well worth visiting. The city has one of the world’s largest collections of historic architecture. Take a stroll through medieval Cairo to see the fortifications, tombs, and mosques. Cairo, in reality, is the world’s oldest Islamic metropolis. When in Cairo, don’t miss out on seeing the synagogue and the world’s first mosque. The Church of St. Sergius and the Mosque of Amr Ibn al-As are two must-see attractions. Also, don’t forget to go shopping at the Kahn El Khalili Bazaar.
Cruise the Nile River
While cruising the Nile, you can see magnificent temples, ancient ruins, tombs, and monuments. Lake Nasser Cruises, Long Nile Cruises, Nile Steamer Cruises, and Luxor Nile Cruises are some of the cruises available. You’ll get to view the Valley of the Kings and the Luxor Temple. This is one of Egypt’s top experiences, and you can even sail on smaller wooden boats called Feluccas for a brief voyage down the Nile. More about Egypt can be found in Pictures of Egypt – 22 Beautiful Places in Ancient Egypt.
We’ve sailed, biked, and taken a small felucca down the Nile, but a Nile River Cruise to Aswan is our recommendation. Step back in time and sail the Nile from Luxor to Aswan, visiting the temples of Luxor, Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple, Abu Simbel, and taking a horse carriage journey to the Temples of Edfu Horus.
Abu Simble, located near Aswan, was previously on the Nile River, but in the 1960s, when the Aswan Dam was being built, the massive project of transferring this historic structure began. The four massive statues are currently guarding Lake Nassar. Near the Sudanese border. These 20-meter-tall statues of Ramesses II, dating from circa 1265 BC, are not to be missed. We saw Abu Simbel on our way to Sudan, but it is also accessible by day trip from Aswan and Cairo.
Get to Know Egypt’s History at an Egyptian Museum
The Egyptian Museum has the most extensive collection of Egyptian artifacts. The museum, which is located in Cairo, takes roughly two hours to complete. The Tutankhamun and Royal Mummies exhibits are must-sees inside the museum. If you want to learn more about Egypt, one of the greatest places to go is the museum, which houses magnificent antique art and gems.
See the Tombs of the Nobles
Do you wish to know how Egyptians spend their lives? We recommend that you visit this tomb, which is a burial destination for Egypt’s most influential people. The Tombs of the Nobles contain about 400 tombs. Each painting in these locations depicts how Egyptians live their lives. It’s not just a fun attraction, but it’s also informative. Khonson’s and Mennan’s tombs are two of the most stunning painted tombs. There’s also a must-see tomb of a priest from the 18th dynasty that the Egyptians preserved.
Visit the Temple Ramesseum
Ramses II’s mortuary is located in Luxor, Egypt, about a mile from the Temple of Deir el Bahri. This mortuary, one of Egypt’s largest, took roughly 20 years to build. Although the temple has not been fully restored, it is still one of the must-see attractions in Egypt. The 57-foot Ramses statue (not the whole statue) can be found at the temple dedicated to the deceased monarch and the god Amon.
Step Inside the Pyramids in Dahshur
Do you know where the Egyptians honed their pyramid-building techniques? This is the location to be. Explore the interior of the pyramids, descend deep tunnels, and discover the ancient chambers of the Red Pyramid for an even more immersive experience. It’s one of the most exciting things to do in Egypt, and it won’t let you down. In fact, you might love it more here than at the Giza Pyramids.
The Bent Pyramid is thought to be the first effort at constructing a smooth-sided pyramid, and it did not go as planned. They had mastered their technique by the time they finished the Red Pyramid. The Dahshur Pyramids are located 40 kilometers outside of Cairo, therefore the easiest way to go there is with a private driver or on a tour.
Visit Sharm El-Sheikh
If you want to get away from seeing mummies and tombs and temples, head to one of Egypt’s seaside resort cities. The beach is an excellent location to unwind and reflect on what you’ve learned about the country.
Why not go scuba diving or visit the Ras Mohammed National Park while you’re at the beach? If you enjoy scuba diving, this is a must-see. It’s one of the world’s most famous diving spots. You can attempt windsurfing in Dahab, which is located on the Sinai Peninsula.
Egypt features some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. The majority of diving in Egypt focuses on Red Sea dive locations, however, for something different, diving off the coast of Alexandria allows you to discover its historic history. The Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, Cleopatra’s palace around the submerged island of Antirhodos, and the wreckage of a WWII plane crash.
Explore the Valley of the Kings
This is by far one of the top things to do in Egypt because it is the most visited archaeological site in the world. You will be able to visit the royal burial place and its ornate tombs. There are more than 60 tombs, however, not all of them are open to the public. This three-day tour takes you from the Valley of the Kings to the Nile, passing by Hatshepsut’s temple, Edfu and Kom Ombo temples, Karnak Temple, and Abu Simbel.
Visit the Valley of the Queens
Of course, you must tour the Queens’ Valley, which is the final resting place of Egypt’s most renowned spouses. This location isn’t as large or elaborate as the Valley of the Kings. It is, nonetheless, still worth a visit.
The tomb of the famous Queen Nefertari can be found here. You might recognize her from the film The Mummy. In comparison to the other wives of the pharaohs, her tomb is bright and a must-see.
Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
For 27 years, Egypt’s female monarch was Queen Hatshepsut. Her magnificent tomb was built into the cliffs at Deir el-Bahri on Luxor’s west bank. It is one of Egypt’s most spectacular temples, built between 1490 and 1460 BC.
Hike Mount Sinai
According to the Bible, Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. It is a sacred spot in Egypt, and it is great for individuals who want to visit this well-known pilgrimage site. It is, in fact, one of the Middle East’s four sacred mountains.
If you enjoy hiking, this is an absolute must-do in Egypt. The journey is roughly 4 miles long, and it normally begins around daybreak and ends at sunrise. The trip begins at Saint Catherine’s Monastery, one of the oldest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
St. Catherines Monastery
St. Catherines Monastery, located at the foot of Mount Sinai, is another famous site in Egypt. It is the oldest continually inhabited Christian monastery and was named after Catherine of Alexandria. This sacred spot is thought to be the location where God spoke to Moses through a burning bush.
Understand How Mummification Works
Egypt is well-known for its mummies. In reality, multiple films have been made about Egyptian mummies. And no trip to Egypt is complete without a stop at the Mummification Museum in Luxor. Make this a learning experience for yourself by learning about the method of preserving their bodies, which involves embalming, not only for people but also for animals.
You will be able to observe the tools and equipment that were utilized to preserve the mummies. There are magnificent coffins, deity statues, and mummified remains.
Stay at Hurghada and Marsa Alam
Looking for a place to stay in Egypt? Why not stay in one of the beachfront tourist towns? The resort towns of Hurghada and Marsa Alam provide a variety of activities. You may enjoy snorkeling, island hopping, scuba diving, and even swimming with dolphins here. You may also go kitesurfing and view turtles at Marsa Alam.
Admire the Karnak Temple
Karnak Temple is the world’s second biggest temple, behind Angkor Wat. It is unquestionably a must-see in Egypt. This structure was erected approximately 2000 years ago and once housed ten cathedrals. The temples of Khons and Amun can be found at the Karnak Temple. Don’t miss out on seeing the Sacred Lake and the Avenue of the Sphinxes.
The Karnak Open Air Museum, located northwest of the Karnak Temple, is another must-see. It houses reproductions of demolished and buried structures from the Karnak Complex.
See the White Desert
You can take a break from temples and cemeteries by visiting a national park. This desert, located west of Egypt, is home to a curiously shaped limestone rock formation. Because getting here may be difficult, we recommend booking a guided tour of the desert. See our entire visit here. The Egyptian White Desert’s Lunar Landscape
We camped under the stars, surrounded by standing stones, for a truly Bedouin experience. From Cairo, you can book an overnight trip to the desert.
Alexandria is an ancient city on the Mediterranean Sea where East and West meet. Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great, housed one of the world’s seven ancient marvels, the Alexandria Lighthouse. Visit the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a recreation of the famous ancient Alexandria library, while in Alexandria. It is a significant landmark in the city.
Fun facts about Egypt:
Egypt is an intriguing country with much to offer both natives and tourists. If you are considering a trip to Egypt, we have created a list of interesting facts about Egypt to help you get to know the nation.
- Did you know Egypt is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage sites? Egypt, indeed, has a lot to offer! Abu Mena, Historic Cairo, Abu Simbel, Saint Catherine, Wadi Al-Hitan, and Memphis are among the seven locations.
- You may be surprised to learn that the 12-month calendar was invented in Egypt.
- The majority of their customs came from the pharaohs as well as their religion, Islam.
- The Nile River, the world’s longest river, is home to about 95 percent of the country’s inhabitants.
- Id al Fitr is a major event in Egypt, and people enjoy baking cookies and throwing parties.
- Another fascinating truth about Egypt is that Cleopatra, a well-known Egyptian character, is Greek, not Egyptian.
- Egypt has one of the world’s largest dams. The Aswan High Dam is the world’s largest embankment dam, spanning the Nile between Egypt and Sudan and producing Lake Nassar.
- Did you know that hieroglyphs, an ancient Egyptian language, contain approximately 700 symbols? Can you picture yourself learning this language? Why not give it a shot next time you’re out?
Egypt is a historic country. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a frequent visitor to Egypt, there’s always something new to discover. When are you traveling to Egypt for vacation? Please let us know!