Have you ever dreamt of exploring the land of pharaohs and pyramids? Egypt is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural wonders that never fails to captivate the hearts of travelers. From ancient temples to pristine beaches, there’s always something to discover in this enchanting land. Are you ready to journey through time and uncover the secrets of Egypt’s past? Let’s dive into 20 exciting things to do in Egypt!
Table of Contents
- Explore the Great Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx
- Cruise along the Nile River & marvel at Abu Simbel Temples
- Climb Mount Sinai, visit the Grand Egyptian Museum & explore Siwa Oasis for an unforgettable experience in Egypt!
Things to Do in Egypt
1. Explore the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx
No trip to Egypt is complete without visiting the iconic Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. These awe-inspiring structures are symbols of ancient Egyptian civilization and have stood the test of time for nearly 5,000 years. As you explore the Giza plateau, you’ll enter the world of pharaohs and ancient history. The Great Pyramid of Giza, often called the Pyramid of Khufu or Cheops, is the most ancient of all three main pyramids. Its grandeur earned it a spot among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
While at the Pyramids of Giza, don’t miss the chance to:
- Step inside the Great Pyramid
- Snap a photo with the Sphinx
- Visit Panoramic Point for a breathtaking view of the whole complex.
- Take a hot air balloon ride for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, offering a unique perspective of the ancient site.
Hiring a knowledgeable guide who can share fascinating stories and facts about the pyramids can enhance your visit.
2. Luxor’s Ancient Wonders
Luxor, often called the world’s greatest open-air museum, is home to some of Egypt’s most remarkable ancient wonders. Among them are:
- Karnak Temple
- Luxor Temple
- Valley of the Kings
- Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
These awe-inspiring monuments, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offer a glimpse into the ancient world and the grandeur of Egypt’s past.
The Karnak Temple, dedicated to the ancient Theban Triad of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu, is a must-visit site in Luxor. This sprawling temple complex features towering statues, columns, and stone buildings adorned with hieroglyphics, showcasing the skill and craftsmanship of ancient Egyptian builders. The Luxor Temple, another architectural marvel, was built in 1400 BC and an important religious worship site in ancient times.
It’s a must for any history enthusiast to visit the Valley of the Kings. This secluded wadi in the Theban hills is home to 63 royal tombs, including the famous tomb of Tutankhamun. The best way to explore the Valley of the Kings is on a guided excursion from Luxor, with knowledgeable Egyptologists to guide you through the fascinating history behind this royal burial site.
3. Aswan’s Attractions
Aswan, located along the banks of the Nile River, is a treasure trove of attractions and unique experiences. The Aswan High Dam, an impressive feat of engineering, controls the Nile River’s flow and generates hydroelectric power. The Philae Temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis, offers visitors a glimpse into ancient Egypt’s intricate art and architecture.
In addition to its historic sites, Aswan is home to a vibrant Nubian culture. Visitors can get an insight into Nubian culture by touring traditional villages. They can also enjoy the local cuisine and shop for unique handicrafts decorated in vibrant colors. Aswan’s mix of ancient history and rich cultural traditions make it a must-visit destination on any Egypt itinerary.
4. Cruise Along the Nile River
A Nile River cruise is a luxurious and relaxing way to explore Egypt’s ancient sites and witness local life along the riverbanks. As you glide along the Nile, you’ll have the opportunity to visit iconic landmarks like the Karnak Temple, Valley of the Kings, and Hatshepsut Temple and observe local farmers, fishermen, and small villages.
Several options for cruising the Nile River include traditional cruise ships, dahabiyas (sailing ships), and feluccas (wooden sailing boats). Each vessel offers a unique experience, with varying comfort levels and amenities. Whether you choose, a Nile cruise is an unforgettable way to explore Egypt’s rich history and natural beauty.
Booking a tailor-made itinerary can make your Nile River cruise even more memorable. Some of the sites you can visit include:
- Karnak Temple
- The Valley of the Kings
- Hatshepsut Temple
- An optional excursion to Abu Simbel
With so many incredible sites to discover along the Nile, a cruise is the perfect way to immerse yourself in Egypt’s ancient wonders fully.
5. Dive into the Red Sea
The Red Sea, nestled between the Sinai Peninsula and the shores of mainland Egypt, is a haven for divers and snorkelers alike. Its crystal-clear waters are home to vibrant coral reefs teeming with diverse marine life, making it a world-renowned destination for underwater exploration. From the bustling resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh to the more laid-back beaches of Taba, the Red Sea offers many diving opportunities for beginners and experienced divers alike.
Aside from scuba diving and snorkeling, the Red Sea coast is known for its beautiful beaches and bustling beachside cafes. Enjoy a day of relaxation on the golden sands, or indulge in some delicious seafood at a local restaurant. The Red Sea coast offers the perfect blend of adventure and leisure, making it an ideal destination for any Egypt trip.
6. Discover Islamic Cairo
Islamic Cairo, a historic city district, is rich in history and architecture. Here, you’ll find an array of mosques, markets, and the famous Citadel, which offers stunning views of the city and the Pyramids of Giza in the distance. As you wander through the narrow streets of Islamic Cairo, you’ll be transported back to an era of splendor and grandeur.
The must-visit sites in Islamic Cairo include:
- The Al-Azhar Mosque
- Salah El-Din Citadel
- The Al-Muizz li-Din Allah al-Fatima Street, also known as ‘al-Muizz’
- The vibrant Khan el-Khalili bazaar
Each location offers a unique glimpse into the history and culture of Islamic Cairo, making it a fascinating destination for history buffs and casual travelers.
7. Uncover Alexandria’s Rich History
Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE, Alexandria is an ancient city steeped in history and culture. Once home to the ancient library and the Lighthouse of Pharos, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Alexandria today offers a mix of ancient Roman ruins and modern attractions for visitors to explore.
A visit to Alexandria should include a trip to:
- The Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a modern library and cultural center inspired by the ancient library
- The Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, a vast underground burial site dating back to the 2nd century AD
- Other fascinating historical sites
In addition to its rich history, Alexandria boasts picturesque beaches and delicious seafood, making it an ideal destination for history lovers and beachgoers.
8. Marvel at Abu Simbel Temples
The colossal Abu Simbel temples, dedicated to Ramses II and his wife Nefertari, are truly a sight to behold. These awe-inspiring monuments were carved out of the mountainside over 3,000 years ago and stand as a testament to the grandeur of ancient Egypt. What makes these temples even more remarkable is that they were dismantled and relocated to higher ground due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s. This incredible feat of engineering saved the temples from being submerged by the rising waters of the Nile.
Visiting Abu Simbel is an unforgettable experience that offers a unique glimpse into the history and culture of ancient Egypt. Consider planning a day trip from Aswan or Cairo to make the most of your visit. Be sure to bring a camera to capture these magnificent temples’ stunning architecture and intricate details.
9. Journey Through the Western Desert
The Western Desert, a vast expanse stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sudanese border, offers a unique and exciting adventure for travelers seeking to explore Egypt’s lesser-known attractions. This region is home to oases, dunes, and ancient ruins, all of which can be visited on thrilling jeep or camel safaris.
Some popular destinations within the Western Desert include the White Desert National Park, known for its surreal landscape of wind-eroded rock formations, and the Siwa Oasis, a remote and picturesque oasis with a rich history and unique culture.
Whether you explore the Western Desert on a guided tour or embark on a self-guided adventure, this region of Egypt offers an unforgettable experience for intrepid travelers.
10. Experience Egyptian Street Food
Egyptian street food is a delicious and affordable way to taste the local flavors of this ancient land. From savory snacks like falafel and koshari to sweet desserts like baklava, the streets of Egypt offer a tempting array of culinary delights. As you explore the bustling markets and cafes, sample some popular local juices, such as asir laymun (fresh lemon or lime) and asir burtuqan (freshly squeezed winter or summer oranges).
Exploring Egyptian street food is a treat for your taste buds and a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the country’s vibrant culture. As you savor each delicious bite, you’ll better appreciate Egypt’s rich history and traditions.
11. Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Luxor
Consider embarking on a hot air balloon ride over Luxor for a unique perspective of Egypt’s ancient wonders. As you soar high above the city, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the ancient temples, the Nile River, and the Luxor skyline. This once-in-a-lifetime experience offers an unparalleled vantage point for witnessing Egypt’s past and present grandeur.
Maximize your hot air balloon ride over Luxor by:
- Booking in advance
- Planning to wake up early for the spectacular sunrise
- Having your camera in hand to capture stunning photographs of the ancient ruins and the surrounding landscape
This will ensure you create unforgettable memories when visiting Egypt on your adventure.
12. Climb Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai, the site where Moses is believed to have received the Ten Commandments, is a sacred destination for Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. Climbing Mount Sinai offers a unique opportunity to connect with the spiritual history of this ancient land while witnessing the stunning sunrise from its summit.
The summit can be reached via two paths. The Camel Path is a longer route, but it is less steep. In contrast, the Steps of Penitence path is shorter but quite steep.
Plan your hike to reach the summit just before sunrise for a fully immersive experience of Mount Sinai’s beauty and tranquility. As the first rays of the sun illuminate the surrounding landscape, you’ll be treated to a breathtaking display of color and light. This unforgettable experience is sure to be a highlight of your Egypt journey.
13. Visit the Grand Egyptian Museum
The Grand Egyptian Museum, set to open at the end of 2022, will be the world’s most extensive collection of Egyptian artifacts, showcasing this ancient civilization’s rich history and culture. Located next to the Pyramids of Giza, the museum will house treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb, royal mummies, and countless artifacts spanning thousands of years of Egyptian history.
During your visit to the Grand Egyptian Museum, explore the exhibits dedicated to the solid gold mask and golden sarcophagi of Tutankhamun, the Royal Mummies room, and the numerous statues, jewelry, and treasures on display. With its vast collection and state-of-the-art facilities, the Grand Egyptian Museum promises to be an unforgettable experience for history lovers and casual visitors.
14. Wander Through the Temples of Abydos and Dendera
The ancient temples of Abydos and Dendera offer a glimpse into ancient Egypt’s architectural prowess and artistic talents. The Temple of Abydos is an extraordinary complex honoring Seti I and early pharaohs. It is famous for its ‘Abydos King List,’ a wall decorated with the names of kings and pharaohs recognized by Seti. The Temple of Dendera, on the other hand, is dedicated to the goddess Hathor and is known for its well-preserved structures and colorful ceilings.
As you wander through these ancient temples, take the time to appreciate the intricate details and craftsmanship that have stood the test of time. These awe-inspiring sites provide a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience ancient Egypt’s rich history and culture.
15. Relax on South Sinai Beaches
South Sinai’s pristine beaches are the perfect destination for relaxation and rejuvenation. Known for their diving opportunities, beach cafes, and stunning natural beauty, the beaches of South Sinai offer something for everyone. Popular beach destinations include Sharm El Luli, Ras Um Sid, Abu Dabbab Beach, Shark’s Bay Beach, and El Fanar, all offering crystal-clear waters and opportunities for snorkeling and diving.
In addition to water sports, you can enjoy delicious seafood at local restaurants, unwind with a refreshing beverage at a beachside cafe, or soak up the sun on the golden sands. South Sinai’s idyllic beaches provide the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, allowing you to fully experience the beauty and tranquility of Egypt’s Red Sea coast.
16. Journey to Saqqara and the Step Pyramid
Saqqara, home to the Step Pyramid of Djoser, is an incredible destination for history enthusiasts. The Step Pyramid, the oldest stone building complex in the world, towers over the surrounding cemetery, where numerous impressive pyramids and ancient tombs can be found. This awe-inspiring site offers a unique opportunity to explore the origins of pyramid construction and the burial practices of ancient Egypt.
Joining a guided tour or hiring a knowledgeable guide can help you fully appreciate the history and significance of Saqqara and the Step Pyramid. As you explore the cemetery and marvel at the ancient structures, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of this ancient civilization’s rich history and architectural achievements.
17. Wander in The White Desert
The White Desert, a surreal landscape of wind-eroded rock formations, beckons travelers seeking a unique and tranquil experience. Located within the Western Desert, this national park is home to limestone formations sculpted by the elements into otherworldly shapes. The White Desert’s serene beauty starkly contrasts Egypt’s bustling cities and ancient ruins.
Embarking on a trip to the White Desert offers you the opportunity to:
- Take a guided tour and learn about the geological formations and history of the area
- Camp overnight under the stars and experience the tranquility of the desert
- Wander among the wind-sculpted rocks and appreciate the unique beauty of the landscape
- Enjoy the silence and solitude of this remote location
- Create unforgettable memories on your Egypt adventure.
18. Reflect on El Alamein and its War Museum
El Alamein, located on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, played a pivotal role in World War II as the site of two crucial battles between the Allied and Axis forces. Today, visitors can reflect on the sacrifices made during the war at the El Alamein War Museum, which houses artifacts, displays, and exhibits dedicated to the history of the battles.
A visit to El Alamein and its War Museum offers a unique opportunity to:
- Learn about the events that shaped the course of World War II
- Pay tribute to those who fought and died on both sides of the conflict
- Explore the museum and its exhibits to gain a deeper understanding of the history and significance of this strategic location
- Understand the impact of war on the lives of those involved
19. Revel in the Beauty of Siwa Oasis
Siwa Oasis, a remote and picturesque oasis in Egypt’s Western Desert, offers a unique and memorable experience for travelers seeking to escape the beaten path. Home to Cleopatra’s Spring, the Temple of the Oracle, and a hilltop citadel, Siwa Oasis boasts a rich history and unique culture to captivate visitors.
Taking a guided tour or embarking on a self-guided adventure can enhance your experience of the beauty and charm of Siwa Oasis. As you explore the oasis and its attractions, you’ll be enchanted by the lush palm groves, clear springs, and tranquil atmosphere that make Siwa a true hidden gem in the heart of the desert.
20. Experience the Natural Wonders of Fayoum Oasis
Fayoum Oasis, a quasi-oasis located next to the Nile River south of Cairo, is a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers. This unique destination is home to waterfalls, lakes, and diverse wildlife, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching, nature walks, and photography.
Among the natural wonders of Fayoum Oasis is Wadi El Rayan, a national park that contains man-made lakes and several waterfalls, providing a stunning backdrop for outdoor activities and relaxation.
For those interested in history and archaeology, the nearby Valley of the Whales offers an incredible glimpse into the past, with the remains of ancient whales, sharks, and other fossils dating back millions of years.
Whatever your interests, the Fayoum Oasis provides a unique opportunity to experience the beauty and diversity of Egypt’s natural landscapes.
Egypt has unparalleled beauty and rich history, from the awe-inspiring pyramids and ancient temples to the Red Sea’s tranquil oases and crystal-clear waters. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply seeking to experience a new culture, Egypt has something for everyone. Embark on a journey through Egypt in 2023 and uncover the secrets of this enchanting land, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of activities can you do in Egypt?
Explore the iconic Pyramids of Giza, cruise down the Nile River, take a history lesson at the Egyptian Museum, and explore historic Cairo.
There’s something for everyone in Egypt, from the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara to the pyramids in Dahshur and the beaches in Sharm El-Sheikh – get ready for an unforgettable experience!
What are five things Egypt is famous for?
Egypt is renowned for its iconic ancient monuments like the Great Pyramids of Giza, The Sphinx, the GEM (Grand Egyptian Museum), Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel, The Nile River, and Saqqara.
It is also celebrated for Egyptian cotton, delicious Koshary cuisine, the famous footballer Mo Salah, stunning mosques, beautiful beaches, and its vibrant film industry!
Is ten days in Egypt enough?
Ten days is an ideal time to explore Egypt’s ancient monuments and artifacts, such as the great pyramids complex of Giza, Cairo Citadel, Khan El Khalili Bazaar, and more. You can combine an extended stay in Cairo with a multi-day cruise down the Nile or opt for a faster-paced tour and include time in Sharm el-Sheikh, making it the perfect time frame for exploring this fascinating country.
Egypt has a rich history and culture; ten days is the perfect time to experience it. From the bustling streets of Cairo to the majestic temples of Luxor, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you explore ancient monuments and artifacts of Egypt, it is your choice.
How much money do I need per day in Egypt?
You’ll need an average of $30-$100 per day in Egypt, depending on how much you want to spend and what kind of restaurants you visit, with a budget traveler’s daily cost falling around the $30-50 range and a mid-range traveler’s coming in at $50-100.
What is the best time of year to visit Egypt?
Experience Egypt at its best by visiting during the cooler months from October to April – perfect for enjoying outdoor activities in comfortable temperatures.