Take a look at our collection of the top 20 best places and things to do in Egypt
In the winter it is no wonder that a lot of people try to get away and enjoy a bit of sunshine in a warmer country. Egypt could be a great choice especially if you have always been a great fan of pharaohs and pyramids. But there is, even more, to see and do there. Let’s see the top 20 recommendations on what things to do in Egypt if you want to experience this beautiful country in its fullest.
1. The Great Pyramids of Giza
Obviously, you can’t miss the Pyramids if you go to Egypt. The over 4,600 years old monuments are one of the 7 wonders of our beautiful world. Don’t forget that they are the best in the sunset and on the back of a camel. One thing to be aware of is that there might be a lot of hawkers trying to sell their stuff so be prepared to say no or take a lot of money with you!
2. Sphinx- Giza, Egypt
Lying on the west bank of the Nile it is also a must to see and optional to give him a kiss if you like the face of Pharoah Chefaran. The light show at night will definitely give you a detailed story of the place and sights. In addition, if you have already paid for the great pyramids the entry will be included to the Sphinx as well.
3. Sakkara (Saqqara)
This place is not crammed with tourists and yet the attraction is just as great as the Pyramids of Giza. A few useful tips: Bring comfortable footwear that you don’t mind getting dirty, prepare your camera to take a lot of pictures, and make sure you have enough water on you because the heat can be really unbearable especially if you decide to go in the afternoon or at lunchtime.
4. Egyptian Museum of Cairo
If you are a great fan of museums and history this museum will be a great fun for you with over 100,000 ancient artifacts dating back to 3500 BC. Unfortunately, it is very run down and could do with some renovation but the collection inside is just mind blowing. It is suggested to hire a guide if you can afford to do so because once you are there it is good to fully understand everything you see and not just rushing through the different things without knowing their history.
5. Valley of the Kings and Queens
With over 60 Pharaohs buried in the Valley of the Kings and over 100 Queens and royal children buried in the Valley of the Queens, it is a good adventure. Even though you are only allowed to enter 7 of them it is worth getting there. It could be a little bit expensive and if you want to take a picture make sure you talk to the guide or security and tip them properly so that you don’t get caught.
6. Aswan High Dam
If you are interested in engineering this is definitely something that will have a great impact on you. The attraction is highly protected by security with Egyptian armored tanks and soldiers at either side. Make sure you DON’T take photos of them!
7. Philae and the Temple of Isis
If you have visited the dam already this one is only a boat ride away on the Philae Island. If you can visit it at night because they organize amazing sound and light show almost each night. There are a cafeteria and toilet facilities on the island near the ruins. Expect to pass by vendors at the docks at both Aswan and Philae.
8. Abu Simbel- Temple of Ramses II
This is one of the most iconic monuments in Egypt. Note that it is illegal to go there on your own but you can join a convoy at any hotels in the Aswan area. The reason why it is illegal is because the route commonly sees hijacking and gunfire and in some cases, fatalities The great temple of Ramesses II is dedicated to his Great Wife Nefertari. It is advisable to take the earliest tour to avoid the heat while going through the desert.
9. River Cruise down the Nile
Obviously, if you are a big fan of water and want to see some of the famous crocodiles from the Nile you should take a river course. It is the best to take some food with you to save some money. There are some boat trips that are longer and tend to stop at some temples. Both long and short trips are worth the money you are required to pay.
10. Luxor Temple
If you don’t want to go anywhere at night you should convince yourselves to see at least the Luxor Temple lighted up with beautiful golden hues. This is a must to see if you plan to visit Luxor. It is recommended to walk around the market nearby and take a look at the handmade goods that might give you some souvenir ideas.
11. Temple Karnak
The Temple is so large that even when it is crowded with tourists you will be able to find a spot to be alone. It is really historical and not really recommended for elderly people or children. It could do with some maintenance but some people say it would ruin its vibe. If you can get a good guide there you will have even more fun. Be prepared to walk a lot!
12. Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Alexandria’s ancient library. It got rebuilt and opened to the public in 2002 and became the place for Egypt’s major cultural events. A structure with 11 floors having a planetarium. There is something really unique to this building and that is a long wall on which alphabets from each and every language in the world are in scripted.
13. Mt Sinai
Also known as Mount Horeb or Gabal Musa, is a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt that is a possible location of the biblical Mount Sinai. If you take a camel trip here you can listen to the story of Moses, burning bushes, stone tablets, etc. It is a sacred place for three religions at the same time haveing been preserved by the early Christians, now preserved by the Muslims, part of the Jewish heritage.
14. St Katherine’s Monastery
Built between 548 and 565, the monastery is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world. The chapel at the monastery has a large number of icons that are worth taking a look at. The history of the monastery is interesting and well preserved, including the burning bush and Moses’ story. It is a long 6 hours drive by car from Cairo if the most direct road is open, so be prepared and take enough water and food.
15. Medinet Habu
The complex of buildings here dates from the early 18th Dynasty when Hatshepsut and Tuthmose III built a temple for Amun, Roman times. It is among the least visited sights of Luxor but it is definitely worth seeing. The Hieroglyphics are craved really deeply in the wall here. To some people, it is just impossible to imagine how long it could have taken to grave them all in.
16. The old village of Al-Qasr
One of the must-see sights in the western oases is the extraordinary medieval/Ottoman town of Al-Qasr, which lies on the edge of lush vegetation at the foot of pink limestone cliffs marking the northern edge of the oasis. It was built in the 1st century BC and has cartouches (names in an oval) of Nero, Vespasian, Titus and Domitian. Visiting this unique place is definitely one of the 20 things to do in Egypt!
17. White Desert National Park
If you have never seen a white desert in your life it is time you did! This is a peaceful and unique place for people who love nature and would like to enjoy the clear skies of Egypt. You should join a guided tour because it could be dangerous if you go alone. The air is clean and fresh and the site is really secure!
18. Imhotep Museum
It was constructed as a tribute to the architect Imhotep, who served Pharaoh Zoser and is credited with creating ancient Egypt’s first comprehensive vision of stone architecture. You can find his coffin on display in one of the rooms. This is a small and very quiet museum where you can definitely take your time.
19. Al-Azhar Mosque
Al-Azhar is one of Cairo’s earlier mosques. A madrassa was established here in AD 988, that grew into a really famous educational institution. It is currently under renovation but still open for visitors and prayers. The design of the mosque is great with a lot of stunning decorations everywhere.
20. Blue Hole
If you are into diving you can’t miss the blue hole! 8km north of Dahab, this is Egypt’s most popular dive site. Definitely one of the most adventurous things to do in Egypt! Beautiful corals with many different colors, a lot of types of fish, relaxing atmosphere and tasty culinary is waiting for you here.