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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Ras Mohammed National Park

On the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, Ras Mohammed National Park is home to Sharm el Sheikh’s best diving, notably Shark Reef, Yolanda Reef, and Jackfish Alley. Besides the pristine coral that awaits offshore, the land delivers empty beaches, rugged cliffs, and desert, plus mangrove swamps, salt marshes, and diverse birdlife.More

Trip ideas

Alexandria Day Trips from Cairo

Alexandria Day Trips from Cairo

How to Choose a Giza Pyramids Tour

How to Choose a Giza Pyramids Tour

How to Spend 3 Days in Cairo

How to Spend 3 Days in Cairo

Top activities in Egypt

Guided Tour To Alexandria From Cairo

Guided Tour To Alexandria From Cairo

4-Day 3-Night Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor - Private Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Private tour to Giza Pyramids,Sphinx,Egyptian Museum with Local Lunch
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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Egypt

Private tour luxor - highly recommended
Dom_Y, Nov 2022
One Package Luxor East and West Banks Entrance fees, Lunch included
Great way to see luxor in 1 day.
Money well spent
Darren_B, Nov 2022
Day Tour to Cairo from Alexandria Port
Bilal spoke great English and was very well educated in they history of Egypt.
Best tour guide ever!!
TannerS, Nov 2022
One package Luxor Hot Air Balloon with Luxor Full Day Tour
We got to see all the sights, learn about everything and have an incredible local lunch.
Small gem
BigFatW0RLD, Nov 2022
Day Tour To El Fayoum Pyramids From Cairo
This is a rare tour, but kinda worth it to see another side of Egypt that most don't get to see.
Excellent crash course in Egyptian history
BigFatW0RLD, Nov 2022
8-Hour Private Tour of the Pyramids, Egyptian Museum and Bazaar from Cairo
Lots to see and learn about the Pyramids.
Indescribable l
Stephen_F, Nov 2022
Full Day Tour to East and West Banks of Luxor
It is simply not possible to adequately describe what it is like to visit the Valley of the Kings.
A great journey
Dimitri_P, Nov 2022
4-Day 3-Night Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor including Abu Simbel, Air Balloon
The temple visits were fascinating and the activities varied.
Great tour
Tracey_W, Nov 2022
Private Day-Tour to Egyptian Museum, Citadel of Sala Din and Old Cairo
Great way to see these sites, with comfort and ease.
An amazing experience.
Samiya_A, Nov 2022
Excursions Night City Tour VIP with Dinner & Egyptian Show - Hurghada
The driver Ali was very helpful, advised and informed us of the nearest places to visit including the shopping malls.
Great Tour
Marcus_Y, Oct 2022
Luxor Private Tour : West Bank - Valley of Kings, Hatshepsut, Colossi of Memnon
He was very personable and spoke good English.
Great Day
Joseph_N, Oct 2022
All inclusive trip Giza Pyramids,Egyptian Museum,Sphinx,Bazar,Camel Ride,Lunch
Our guide had great knowledge of Egyptian history and communicated very well in English.
See Egyptian history!
Abraham_D, Oct 2022
Cairo City Tour Egyptian Museum , Coptic Cairo and Bazaar
This tour is a great way to see the rich history of Egypt.
Must do in Cairo
Emily_C, Sep 2022
Private Half Day Tour to Giza Pyramids with Camel Ride, Lunch, Entrance fees
Perfect way to see Giza and enjoy the day .
Nice tour!
Willian_B, Sep 2022
4 Hours private tour to Giza pyramids Sphinx
I recommend the tour but not on summer time 😁
Johan_K, Sep 2022
Private Tour Giza Pyramids, Sphinx with Camel Ride and Quad Bike
This was a truly amazing experience The Driver was friendly and could communicate well in English.
Amazing full day tour
Levi_M, Jul 2022
Cairo Day Tour visit Egyptian Museum, Citadel and Khan Khalil Bazaar
Wonderful way to see the city and know more about the history of Egypt!!!
Great trip!
Bonita_E, Jul 2022
4 nights Luxor and Aswan Nile cruise with Hot air balloon,Abu simbel from Luxor
Mohammad Wafa was an amazing guide who spoke great English and knowledgeable of Egypts history.
Cruise up the nile
Timothy_T, Jul 2022
4 nights Luxor and Aswan Nile cruise with Hot air balloon,Abu simbel from Luxor
The itinerary is packed with activities but there is also time to relax on the cruise and soak up the sun.
An excellent tour overall!!
Steven_S, Jun 2022
Luxor Full Day Tour: Valley of Kings & Queens - Hatchepsut Temples And More
We hope to see him soon next time we return to Egypt
Great tour!
Jamie_C, Jun 2022
8-Hour Private Tour of the Pyramids, Egyptian Museum and Bazaar from Cairo
Dalia spoke perfect English, was patient, attentive and so knowledgeable!
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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.

Frequently Asked Questions