The Pyramids of Giza, a Nile cruise, and the archaeological wonders of Luxor are on the must-see list for many first-time visitors to Egypt. Egypt, on the other hand, has a lot more to offer. Visit the oasis in the sandy desert, scuba dive in the Red Sea, or walk to the summit of Mount Sinai. All of these activities are included in the list of the top things to do in Egypt. As you will see in this piece, Egypt is more than simply pyramids and temples. Beautiful beaches, majestic sand dunes, distinctive desert landscapes, pristine coral reefs, and opulent resort cities may all be found in Egypt.
Top Things To Do In Egypt
Here are the top things to do in Egypt, in no particular order.
1. Visit the Giza Pyramids
The Pyramids of Giza, together with the Sphinx and a few lesser monuments, are one of the world’s most famous landmarks. The Giza Pyramids were constructed around 4,600 years ago, at the dawn of recorded history. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the three great pyramids on the Giza plateau, often known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops. The earliest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, this pyramid was completed in 2570 BC. It is, in fact, the only Ancient Wonder that has largely survived.
2. Take a Nile River Cruise
One of Egypt’s finest experiences is cruising down the Nile River, through ancient tombs and temples. The majority of cruises travel between Aswan and Luxor, with stops in Esna, Edfu, and Kom Ombo along the way. The Nile River may be travelled by cruise ship (the most popular choice), dahabiya (smaller wooden ships, ideal for those travelling in a smaller group or seeking a more romantic experience), or felucca (a small, Egyptian sailboat).
3. Take a trip to the Egyptian Museum.
The Egyptian Museum has the world’s most extensive collection of Egyptian antiquities. The pure gold mask and gilded sarcophagi of Tutankhamun, the Royal Mummies chamber, and an incredible quantity of sculptures, jewels, and riches are all highlights of a visit. A average visit here lasts two hours. The Egyptian Museum is located in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. We recommend hiring a driver and guide to get here, but you may also take Uber, taxis, or public transit. The journey from the Giza Plateau to the Egyptian Museum takes around 30 minutes.
4. Visit Historic Cairo
Egypt’s capital is Cairo. It is situated on the Nile River, where the desert meets the Nile Delta. The historic heart of Cairo is Islamic Cairo. This location is home to one of the most extensive collections of historic architecture in the Islamic world. Cairo is one of the world’s oldest Islamic capitals, with several mosques, madrassas, fortresses, and tombs dating from Egypt’s Islamic period (639 to the early 16th century). Al-Azhar Mosque, Salah El-Din Citadel, a stroll along Al-Muizz li-Din Allah al-Fatima Street (al-Muizz for short), shopping in Khan el-Khalili, and Al-Rifa’i Mosque are among the best things to do in Islamic Cairo.
Coptic Cairo is located in the southern section of the city, in Old Cairo. The first villages here were established in the sixth century BC. Many of the attractions here date back to Egypt’s Christian era, but you can also see a synagogue and Africa’s first mosque. The Hanging Church, the Church of St. Sergius and Bacchus, the Ben Ezra Synagogue, and the Mosque of Amr Ibn al-As are among the finest attractions to visit in Coptic Cairo.
5.Visit the Step Pyramid Complex of King Djoser in Saqqara
Saqqara, often written Sakkara, is the necropolis of the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis. This region is home to multiple pyramids, notably the Step Pyramid of Djoser (Zoser), the world’s oldest stone structure complex. The Step Pyramid reopened to the public on March 5, 2020, following 14 years of repair work. You may now descend tiny stairwells and travel through the maze of corridors beneath the pyramid.
6. Go inside the Pyramids in Dahshur
Two of Egypt’s earliest pyramids, the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid, are only a short drive from Cairo. This is where the ancient Egyptians honed their pyramid-building talents, erecting the world’s first smooth-sided pyramid (the Red Pyramid). The tour of Dahshur’s pyramids seems like an adventure. You will descend through tight, steep tunnels to enter the pyramids and then explore the ancient rooms within the pyramids. In some respects, it’s more exciting than visiting the Giza Pyramids.
7. Visit Alexandria
Alexandria, Egypt’s second biggest city and a major tourist destination, is located on the Mediterranean Sea. You may visit Alexandria on a day trip from Cairo or stay for a night or two. The Citadel of Qaitbay, the Alexandria National Museum, the Serapeum, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the Corniche, the Stanley Bridge, the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, and Montazah Palace Gardens are among the top attractions.
8. Relax in Sharm El Sheikh
Sharm El-Sheikh is a well-known seaside resort town in Egypt. This is a nice area to visit if you want to relax on the beach or get away from the tombs and temples. Scuba diving, visiting the Ras Mohammed National Park, shopping in the Sharm Old Market, and resting at Naama Bay and Shark’s Bay are all popular activities.
9. Visit Taba & Dahab
Two tiny resort villages are on the Sinai Peninsula’s shores of the Gulf of Aqaba.Taba is Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera’s northernmost village. This town is Egypt’s busiest border crossing town since it is located close across the border from Eilat, Israel. Scuba diving, swimming in Fjord Bay, visiting Salah El-Din Castle and Castle Zaman, and taking a day excursion to the Colored Canyon are among the greatest things to do in Taba. Dahab, formerly a Bedouin fishing community, is today one of Sinai’s greatest diving locations and a windsurfing hotspot. You may dive at the Blue Hole, dubbed “The World’s Most Dangerous Diving Site,” from Dahab.
10. Hike to the summit of mount Sinai
Egypt’s Mount Sinai is a renowned pilgrimage destination. This is where Moses received the Ten Commandments, according to the Old Testament. For Christians, Jews, and Muslims, it is a hallowed spot. The majority of hikers begin in the pre-dawn hours and get at the peak in time to see the sunrise. Saint Catherine’s Monastery is the starting point for the walk. This Greek Orthodox Church, which was erected between 548 and 565, is one of the world’s oldest functioning Christian monasteries. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well. The Camel Path, which is easier and broader, and the shorter, more difficult Steps of Penitence, are the two paths that go to the peak. It’s a four-mile round-trip trek. The majority of trekkers stay in Dahab or Sharm El Sheikh.
11. Scoba Dive in the Red sea
The Red Sea is one of the best scuba diving spots in the planet. Egypt’s Red Sea is a bucket list destination for many scuba divers, with its immaculate reefs, countless shipwrecks to explore, warm water, and outstanding visibility.
12. Visit Hurghada and Marsa Alam
On the Red Sea, Hurghada is a renowned tourist town. The beaches are lined with upscale hotels, making it a favourite winter getaway for many Europeans. Visit the Giftun Islands, swim with dolphins, and even enjoy a day excursion to Luxor while scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing, and kitesurfing. Marsa Alam, located south of Hurghada on the Red Sea, is an up-and-coming vacation town. Sea turtles may be seen in Abu Dabab beach. Marsa Alam is also a world-famous kitesurfing destination, as well as an excellent site to do scuba diving or snorkelling, much like the other Red Sea cities.
13. Visit the Valley of the Kings
One of the nicest things to do in Egypt is to visit the Valley of the Kings. The Valley of the Kings is one of the world’s most well-known archaeological sites. This is a royal burial cemetery featuring ornately decorated tombs for the Egyptian pharaohs who reigned from 1539 to 1075 BC. In this little region, there are around 60 graves, but just a few are available to the public. Currently, your primary admission ticket to the Valley of the Kings includes eight tombs. With your access ticket, you can see three of the eight graves. The tombs of Seti I, Tutankhamun, and Ramesses V and VI may all be visited for an extra cost.
14. Visit the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens
The wives of the pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Queens. With one exception, the tombs you’ll see here are smaller and lack some of the magnificence of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. The tomb of Queen Nefertari is one of Egypt’s most magnificent tombs. The amount of detail is incredible, and the colours are far more bright than those seen in Egypt’s tombs, temples, and pyramids. Put the tomb of Queen Nefertari on your list if you want to see what tombs were like 3,000 years ago.
15. Visit Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple.
Hatshepsut governed Egypt for about 20 years and is regarded as one of the most powerful female monarchs in history. Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple, her most famous architectural masterpiece, is located on the cliffs of Deir el-Bahri. This colonnaded edifice is unlike many other Egyptian temples in appearance, yet that is part of what makes it so remarkable. Three terraces are linked together by lengthy ramps. The Birth Colonnade in this temple complex portrays the myth of Hatshepsut’s miraculous creation with Amun as her father. The Punt Colonnade depicts the story of her trip to Punt and the valuables she brought back to Egypt. The Temple of Hathor and the Temple of Anubis are also worth seeing.
16. Visit the Ramses III Temple at Medinat Habu.
Ramesses III is honoured in this massive temple complex. There are multiple courtyards, pylons, and peristyle rooms with engraved reliefs commemorating Ramesses III’s victory over the Sea People. It is situated on Luxor’s West Bank.
17. The Karnak Temple Complex is a must-see.
Karnak Temple is the world’s second biggest temple complex (Angkor Wat in Cambodia is the largest). Temples, monuments, and structures have been built to the complex for over 2,000 years, beginning in 2000 BCE. A total of 30 pharaohs contributed to the Karnak Temple Complex. Karnak Temple is Egypt’s second most visited site, after only the Pyramids of Giza. This is one of the most enjoyable activities in Egypt. Explore the ram-headed sphinx-lined avenue, the awe-inspiring Hypostyle Hall, the Tuthmosis I and Hatshepsut obelisks, and the magnificent reliefs on the pylons.
18. Visit Luxor Temple
Luxor Temple is another gorgeous New Egyptian Kingdom temple, however it had a different role than the other temples in and surrounding Luxor. This temple isn’t devoted to any one deity or king in particular. Instead, it’s possible that it was where many of ancient Egypt’s monarchs were crowned. Amenhotep III and Ramesses II were primarily responsible for the construction of this temple, which took place around 1400 BC.
19. Take a Day Trip to Dendara & Abydos Temples
Two of Egypt’s best-preserved temple complexes are located north of Luxor on the Nile River. The temple of Seti I is located in Abydos. The Hathor Temple at Dendera is one of Egypt’s most colourful temples, with an artistically detailed roof and one of Egypt’s most spectacular hypostyle halls. On a day excursion from Luxor, you may see Dendera and Abydos. It’s been a long day, clocking in at roughly ten hours, with the most of that time spent in a car. This is definitely worth your time if you want to see two amazing temples. Even during high season, because it is not on the major tourist route, people might be few.
20. Visit The Temple of Horus in Edfu
This temple may be seen while taking a Nile cruise or driving between Luxor and Aswan. This is a spectacular temple devoted to Horus, the Egyptian deity. It was constructed between 237 and 57 BC during the Ptolemaic era. Despite being almost 2,000 years old, it is in superb shape (although it is relatively young by Egyptian standards). The first pylon is in near-perfect condition, giving you a good impression of how the temples appeared when they were initially built.
21. Visit Kom Ombo Temple
The Temple of Kom Ombo is a two-tiered temple dedicated to two different gods. One part of the complex is devoted to Sobek, the crocodile-headed god who is connected with the Nile River’s fertility. Horus, the falcon-headed divinity, is honoured on the opposite side. Kom Ombo may be seen on a day excursion from Aswan, on a Nile cruise, or on the route from Luxor to Aswan.
22. Visit the Temples of Ramses II in Abu Simbel
The twin temples of Abu Simbel, which are located on the edge of Lake Nasser, are one of Egypt’s most impressive structures. These temples, which were built over 3,000 years ago by Ramesses II, have survived the test of time. When you realise that the entire complex was disassembled and transferred during the construction of the Aswan High Dam, the narrative of Abu Simbel becomes much more intriguing. A day journey from Aswan or Cairo is possible. Is it worth it to go by bus because the hours are lengthy and the cost is high (if flying). Absolutely! Abu Simbel’s temples are among of Egypt’s most spectacular and distinctive structures, making it well worth the trip.
23. Visit Philae Temple in Aswan
The Philae Temple, along with the temples of Dendera and Edfu, is one of Egypt’s best-preserved Ptolemaic temples. More over two-thirds of the temple complex’s surviving structures were constructed during the Ptolemaic era (332 to 30 BC). Isis was the most important divinity worshipped here, but Osiris and Hathor were also revered. Philae Island was submerged underwater when the Aswan Old Dam was built in 1902. The only time the island and temples weren’t submerged was during the summer months, when the dam’s gates were opened. The temple was demolished and reconstructed on the neighbouring island of Agilkia in the 1960s, under the supervision of UNESCO.
24. Camp in the White Desert
The White Desert is an Egyptian national park located in the Western Desert. This desert environment is adorned with unusually sculpted limestone rock formations. It’s a lengthy journey from Cairo, and you’ll need a 4×4 to get here. The White Desert is mostly visited on a guided excursion. The Black Desert and the Bahariya Oasis are commonly included in a trip to the White Desert.
25. Explore the Oases in the Western Desert
Travel to the Western Desert from Egypt’s tombs, temples, and highly populated towns. The oasis, where groves of palm trees and freshwater springs dot the vast desert terrain, may be visited from here. In the Western Desert of Egypt, there are various oases.
- The Siwa Oasis, on the Libyan border in western Egypt, is regarded as the most beautiful oasis. It’s also the farthest away, at 560 kilometres from Cairo. Alexander the Great arrived to the Temple of Jupiter-Amun to consult the oracle.
- Several tiny ancient ruins may be found in the Bahariya Oasis, which is about 330 kilometres from Cairo. A trip here is frequently paired with a trip to the White Desert.
- The Fayoum Oasis is a quasi-oasis located south of Cairo, near to the Nile River. Visit Wadi El Rayan, a national park with multiple waterfalls and man-made lakes. You may also visit The Valley of the Whales, which has the skeletons of sharks, whales, and other millions-of-year-old fossils.
Should You Hire a Guide on Your Trip to Egypt?
Many individuals prefer to travel alone and only hire guides or take excursions on rare occasions. However, Egypt is a unique case. There are a staggering number of historic places to visit, and the history is intriguing. We recommend hiring an Egyptologist to get the most out of your trip. Or take one of our all-inclusive Egypt Tour Packages