7 best places to visit in EGYPT
Curious about the best places to visit in Egypt? Egypt — the gem of the Middle East. Where the old world and the new, modern world coexist together.
Even though most people travel to Egypt on package tours, there’s definitely more to Egypt than the sun and the sea. You’ll find plenty of amazing places in Egypt.
Bustling cities, magnificent monuments, World Heritage Sites, majestic tombs, the desert and great beaches with clear waters that are perfect for diving and snorkelling.
But what exactly to see in Egypt?
To help you with the task of planning we’ve created this list of some of the best places to visit in Egypt.
7 best places to visit in Egypt
Thanks to its magnificent 19th-century palaces and grand avenues, the city is often called “Paris on the Nile”.
Known for its marvellous, imposing pyramids, Cairo probably is the most popular place to visit in Egypt. Even many travellers travelling on package holidays try to make it to the ancient Pyramids — the symbol of Egypt.
The Pyramids of Giza undoubtedly are the best evidence of Pharaonic Egypt.
What else to see in Cairo, the largest city of the Arab world?
Check out the treasures in the Egyptian Museum and shop till you drop in Khan al-Khalili, a famous souk (traditional market) in the historic centre of Cairo. Walk along the twisting alleyways and explore the splendid mosques of the medieval quarters of Islamic Cairo. Spend some time and relax in the area’s traditional coffeehouses.
Yes, the city is utterly chaotic, noisy and dirty, but at the same time, so vibrant, colourful and very interesting.
Founded in 331 BC by none other than Alexander the Great, Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre. It is also one of the oldest cities in Egypt and one of the largest cities on the Mediterranean.
It’s a great place for shopping and enjoying the local cuisine.
Ancient Roman ruins can be found in Alexandria.
Discovered only in 1947, Kom el-Dikka contains ancient ruins, including a small Roman theatre.
The Serapeum of Alexandria is a remains of an ancient Greek temple dedicated to Serapis, who was the protector of Alexandria.
Catacombs of Kom el-Shuqqafa is another evidence of the ancient world. It’s a historical archaeological site, and is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. It’s the largest-known Roman burial site in Egypt.
Montazah Palace is a beautiful palace, museum and extensive garden complex perched on a hill overlooking the sea.
Do not miss Bibliotheca Alexandrina! It’s a large library with striking architecture. Measuring approx. 160 m in diameter, the main reading room stands beneath a 32-meter-high glass-panelled roof, tilted out toward the sea. The outer walls are of granite, carved with characters from different human scripts. The impressive library has shelf space for eight million books.
Often characterised as the “world’s greatest open-air museum”, Luxor is one of the best places to visit in Egypt.
This city is unique — because of the ruins of the Ancient city of Thebes that lie within the modern day city of Luxor.
Thebes was the city of the god Amon and the capital of Egypt during the period of the New Kingdom.
The magnificent Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple are among the most popular sights in the old part of the city. These temples consist of a vast mix of ruined ancient temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings.
On the West Bank of the Nile you’ll find the famed collection of elaborate tombs — the Valley of the Kings.
The Valley of Queens is the place where the wives of pharaohs were buried in ancient times.
The Thebes area (including the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, Karnak and Luxor temples) is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Nice climate, warm sea, thousands of kilometres of shoreline. Sounds nice? Want to experience it? Then head to the The Red Sea Riviera.
Red Sea is very popular with scuba divers and snorkelers, as well as famous for cheap package holidays.
One of the most popular Red Sea resorts is Hurghada. What we like the most about Hurghada is that it’s an actual city, not a man-made resort only for tourists. Thus you can also venture into the city and see the “real life”.
Stroll along the Hurghada Marina and head to one of the many cafes or restaurants for a meal.
Visit the Giftun Islands — it is one of Hurghada’s most popular boat excursions. The islands boast beautiful beaches and clear waters, which are perfect for snorkelling. The coral reefs are easily accessible from the island’s shore.
Go on a half-day quad bike tour from Hurghada and visit traditional Beduin village.
Do you like to dive? Good news — there are several dive sites near Hurghada.
Established as a protected area in 2002, the White Desert is situated in Farafra depression, 45 km north of the town of Farafra.
It is known for its unique white chalk rock formations, created by erosion.
Its inhospitable, not-from-this-earth landscape will definitely take your breath away!
The protected area is home to various animals, including several endangered ones.
Abu Simbel is a village famous for its two massive rock temples carved in a sandstone rock.
Perched on the edge of Lake Nasser, the temple complex is one of the grandest Pharaonic monuments and one of the most recognised symbols of ancient Egypt.
Abu Simbel temple complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the best places to visit in Egypt.
A sound-and-light show is performed nightly at the complex.
Head for Dahab for a relaxing beach holiday.
Dahab is one of the best dive destinations in Africa and, thanks to its relaxing vibe, is a paradise for hippies. And it has been like that for at least for a few decades already.
With its cheap food and inexpensive accommodation, now it’s also a popular hangout for backpackers.
There are several amazing places to visit in the area.
Mount Sinai is the holy mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments. With its barren, lunar landscape, it’s a great place for hiking.
If you are a diver, certainly do not miss the SS Thistlegorm dive site. It is one of the world’s most iconic shipwrecks.
Due to the windy weather almost all year round, Dahab is also a paradise for kitesurfers and windsurfers.
Egypt travel tips
- You need a visa to travel to Egypt. If you are a citizen of the EU, you can obtain a Visa on Arrival at the airport.
- Be prepared to tip. If you take a photo of someone or something, you’ll most probably have to tip. Also, you will have to tip an attendant of a tourist site if he offers to take a photo of you and you accept the offer. You’ll have to tip the attendants in bathrooms, porters, etc. So, have some small Egyptian bills or coins on your person.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes that are made of breathable material. Ladies — avoid showing your chest, shoulders or legs below the knees. Especially, in the rural areas and in the deserts which are home to very conservative communities that do not see many travellers.
- Before jumping in the taxi, agree on the price. Or, use an Uber.
- The weekend falls on a Friday and Saturday. This means that attractions and tourist sites then will be more crowded than on weekdays because of the local visitors.
- The roads in Egypt are congested and chaotic. So, that’s why we do not recommend driving in Egypt.
- If you have time, combine a trip to Egypt with a trip to Jordan. There are ferries to Aqaba from Taba and Nuweiba.