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Things to do in Egypt

Things to do in  Egypt

Welcome to Egypt

An ancient land of towering pyramids and endless stretches of desert, Egypt is often referred to as the cradle of civilization. On the lush banks of the Nile River, papyrus reeds sway alongside pharaonic temples, and sandblasted tombs reside beneath the mysterious gaze of the Sphinx. With so much to see, a popular way to explore the Gift of the Nile is by cruise ship, with options ranging from week-long luxury jaunts to shorter, budget-friendly trips. Popular stopovers include Aswan, home to the Aswan High Dam and Philae Temple; Luxor, where temple complexes in the Valley of the Kings pay testament to pharaohs including King Tutankhamun; and, of course, Cairo, capital city and gateway to the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (and a perfect opportunity for a desert camel ride). Alternatively, make Cairo your base, exploring the enormous Egyptian Museum and doing some shopping in the vast Khan el Khalili Bazaar. From the city, you can take day trips to many of the essential sites, including the ancient capital of Memphis—home to Egypt's oldest pyramid. Following a healthy dose of history, head to the Red Sea coast to relax on the golden sands of Hurghada and experience the country's best scuba diving in Marsa Alam, where unspoiled coral reefs teem with marine life.

Top 15 attractions in Egypt

Egyptian Museum (Museum of Egyptian Antiquities)

A centerpiece of Tahrir Square, the Egyptian Museum (Museum of Egyptian Antiquities) has been a mecca for Egyptologists since it opened and houses some of the world’s greatest ancient relics. While some collections are moving to the new Grand Egyptian Museum, it remains a must-see for anyone interested in ancient Egypt.More

Valley of the Kings

Valley of the Kings is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders, containing dozens of tombs filled with art and hieroglyphics. See King Tutankhamun’s tomb—the most famous sight in the valley—then tour the temples of the sons of Ramses II and of Amenhotep III and others to marvel at the centuries’ old art and artifacts.More

Philae Temple (Temple of Isis)

Perched on an island in the Nile River, Philae Temple is ancient history that’s been saved stone by stone. A relocation effort moved Philae Temple to Agilkia Island when the UNESCO World Heritage Site was threatened. Now, hieroglyphic reliefs abut soaring columns, with sanctuaries dedicated to the ancient gods Horus, Isis, and Hathor.More

Hurghada Marina

Opened in 2008, Hurghada Marina is the recreational hub of the Red Sea resort. Centered on a 200-berth harbour and bordered by the Marina Boulevard—a walkway flanked by palms, parks, and ochre-painted shops and residential blocks—the marina boasts an abundance of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.More

Nile River

Measuring a mighty 4,150 miles (6,680 kilometers) from end to end, the Nile is the world’s longest river. It’s also the lifeblood of Egypt, flowing through the heart of the Sahara desert, and passing through cities, including Khartoum, Aswan, Luxor, and Cairo, before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea at Alexandria.More

Khan El-Khalili

With a history dating back to the 14th century, the Khan El-Khalili bazaar is Cairo’s signature shopping destination. It’s an intoxicating warren of streets, houses, and merchants selling everything from gold and spices to shisha pipes and toy camels, not to mention the inevitable scarabs, pyramids, and belly-dancer costumes.More

Giza Pyramids

One of the most mysterious Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (and the only one still standing), the Pyramids of Giza—the Great Pyramid of Khufu, Pyramid of Khafre, and Pyramid of Menkaure—still live up to more than 4,000 years of hype. Seeing these 4th-dynasty pyramids and their guardian Great Sphinx rising from the Giza Plateau is a must on any trip to Cairo (and the reason many travelers find themselves in Egypt).More

Saqqara (Sakkara)

Set about 18 miles (30 kilometers) south of Cairo, Saqqara (Sakkara) was the burial place for the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, now in ruins. The site features a small sphinx and several pyramids—the most famous of which is the Step Pyramid of Djoser, which represented a major advance in building techniques.More

Aswan High Dam

Built to control the Nile River’s annual floods, the Aswan High Dam transformed Egypt’s Nile Valley and created the vast Lake Nasser. The sheer scale of the dam is impressive, and at the top, you’ll find sweeping views of the lake and surrounding desert.More

Abu Simbel Temples

Built as royal tombs, the Great Temple of Ramses II and the Temple of Hathor are some of Egypt’s best known archeological sites. Step past the enormous sandstone statues carved into the temple facades, and explore the interiors, which are decorated with art and hieroglyphics.More

Karnak Temple

Ancient architecture goes monumental at this landmark in Luxor, which houses magnificent statues, columns, and the largest place of worship ever constructed—just a stone’s throw from downtown traffic. Construction of Karnak Temple spanned more than 1,000 years, and it shows in the diverse art and architecture of this Egyptian site.More

Giftun Islands

The two Giftun Islands—Giftun Kebir and Giftun Sughayer—are some of the closest to Egypt’s resort town of Hurghada and comprise part of a marine reserve in the Red Sea with spectacular coral reefs and drop-offs teeming with life. Day-trippers come for snorkeling, diving, and sunbathing on the pair of islands’ pristine, protected beaches.More


During Egypt’s Old Kingdom period, Memphis, located near Cairo, was home to the pharaohs who built the pyramids. But domestic architecture didn’t last like the pyramids did, so most all that remains of Memphis today is the Mit Rahina open-air sculpture museum.More

Luxor Temple

An ancient sanctuary surrounded by honking taxis, touts, and strolling families, Luxor Temple’s grandeur has endured more than 3,000 years on the East Bank of the Nile. Linked to Karnak Temple via the Avenue of Sphinxes, Luxor Temple boasts soaring colonnades, elaborate columns, statues, and images of Amenhotep III and Ramses II.More

Old Cairo (Misr Al-Qadima)

Located in south Cairo on the Nile’s east bank, Old Cairo, also known as Misr Al-Qadima, dates to the sixth century BC and occupies the sites of several early Egyptian capitals, including Fustat. Merging into Islamic Cairo to the east, its heart is Coptic Cairo—home to a crumbled Roman fortress and numerous early medieval Coptic churches.More

Trip ideas

How to Haggle in Egypt

How to Haggle in Egypt

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Recent reviews from experiences in Egypt

Great all in one day trip
Charise_C, Mar 2023
Full Day Tour Visiting Coptic and Islamic Cairo
Awesome day trip where you get to see all the historical places in Cairo.
Great Experience!!
marcusguyton, Mar 2023
Private tour to Giza Pyramids,Sphinx,Egyptian Museum with Local Lunch
My most memorable visits were the pyramids and the museum, it was an amazing experience to see all of the past history and culture of Egypt.
First time in journey at Egypt
KenHuat_N, Mar 2023
Inclusive Tour Giza pyramids,Sphinx,Egyptian Museum,Bazaar, Pyramids view Lunch
Pyramids Giza is nice place to visit in my lifetime in my journey visit Egypt Egyptian Museum are more expensively built new in my knowledge Pyramids view lunch is nice taste and in good shape to viewing But in bazaar it is early to visit many shops in the area not open just look past only
Experience of a life time
Yasmine_N, Mar 2023
Full-Day Giza Pyramids and Egyptian Museum and Bazaar
He was very informative and took me to see best views for pyramids and gave me plenty of time at the Egyptian museum.
Amazing Ahmed
Frederick_P, Mar 2023
All Inclusive Trip Giza Pyramids Sphinx Memphis Saqqara ,Lunch,guide,Camel Ride
Getting my wife and I around effortlessly and positioned to see and experience everything was incredible.
The cruise was amazing!
Ashleigh_M, Mar 2023
Egypt 9 days- Cairo Pyramids and Nile Cruise from Luxor to Aswan and Abu Simbel
We got to see all of the highlights of Egypt and our tour guide during the cruise, Zakarya, was fantastic!
I'm glad I took the tour
Brian_P, Mar 2023
Day Trip to Alexandria (Private Tour)
The problem with Egypt there is too much to see when you have fixed time.
Suppara_S, Feb 2023
Full Day Tour to East and West Banks of Luxor
She speaks perfect English and could answer all the questions we had.
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All about Egypt

When to visit

Tourists primarily visit Egypt from October to April, when the weather is dry and sunny. The two downsides to winter, however, are Cairo’s sometimes overcast weather and a cool Red Sea—especially between December and March. Come June, most cities are quiet, thanks to summer’s heat; coastal breezes make resorts like Sharm el Sheikh tolerable. Popular annual events include the Abu Simbel Sun Festival, which takes place twice a year (in February and October) and the Sandbox music festival in El Gouna in May.

Getting around

In cities, private cabs are the tourist go-to, but remember to agree to a price before getting in. You can also get around pretty well using Egypt’s public transportation systems. (Renting a car isn’t advisable, due to the country’s often chaotic roads.) Air-conditioned trains (including some with sleeper cars), can whisk you between Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan. There are also buses run by private companies that make the trip between the Nile Valley and Red Sea resorts more comfortable (though domestic flights are quicker).

Traveler tips

For a taste of classic Cairo, seek out the Naguib Mahfouz Café, located deep in the city’s Khan el-Khalili bazaar. Named after the 20th-century writer Naguib Mahfouz, this elegant coffee house offers a respite from the market’s sweltering, noisy lanes. Step through the curtains into its air-conditioned sanctuary of cushioned benches, and cool off with a zingy lemon-and-mint juice. For the full Cairene experience, pair your drink with the café’s signature hawawshi, pita loaded with herby minced beef.

People Also Ask

What is Egypt known for?

Egypt is best known for its pharaonic period archaeological sites. Most famous are Cairo’s UNESCO-listed Giza Pyramids—three 4,500-year-old royal tombs guarded by the Great Sphinx. Other claims to fame are Cairo’s collection of Tutankhamun’s funerary treasures, Luxor’s temples and tombs, and the beach and diving resorts of the Red Sea coast.

What should you not miss in Egypt?

Egypt’s ancient relics are must-sees, with Cairo’s Giza Pyramids and the Egyptian Museum’s Tutankhamun artifacts major draws. Don’t miss a Luxor-Aswan Nile cruise—sailing the timeless river to view age-old monuments, including Karnak and Abu Simbel’s temples. Beach and scuba-diving enthusiasts, meanwhile, will love the Red Sea’s sands and coral reefs.

Where is the most visited place in Egypt?

Cairo’s Giza Pyramids and Sphinx lure the most tourists, with millions visiting every year. Other crowd-pullers include Cairo’s Egyptian Museum with its pharaohs’ mummies and Tutankhamun burial cache. Also popular are Luxor’s Karnak temple and tomb-filled Valley of the Kings, as well as the gigantic Abu Simbel, overlooking Lake Nasser.

What activities do people in Egypt do?

Admiring Cairo’s antiquities and taking multi-day Nile cruises around the treasures of Luxor and Aswan are visitor favorites. But Egypt has plenty to enjoy. Revel in the beaches and underwater beauty of its Red Sea resorts, browse atmospheric souks, sunset-watch from a felucca or sailboat, and explore vast desert landscapes.

Is 7 days in Egypt enough?

Yes, a week is enough to cover Egypt’s principal ancient monuments. It allows a short sightseeing stint in Cairo before a 3-, 4-, or 5-day Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan to experience temples like Karnak and Abu Simbel. For a Red Sea beach break on top, add another week.

Is Egypt a safe place to visit?

Yes, Egypt is generally safe. Terrorism can sometimes occur, with a heightened risk at religious and tourist sites, so take extra care and follow security advice. Otherwise, crime is low, although pickpocketing and scams can blight cities like Cairo. Female travelers should avoid walking alone after dark.


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