fbpx

Egypt offers many exciting experiences apart from the run of the mill visits to the Pyramids of Giza, Nile Cruise, and Luxor temples. This gorgeous north African country with a distinctly Arab heart has intrepid oases where Alexander the Great left his mark, mountains of Biblical importance like the Mount Sinai (Moses received his Ten Commandments here), and a rich Bedouin culture. Then there is the stunning Red Sea that thrives with marine life and the beautiful blue Mediterranean. Journey out into the dusty desert and visit the oases, scuba dive in the Red Sea, or hike to the top of Mount Sinai. These all make up the list of the best things to do in Egypt and irrespective of whether you journey into the dusty Western Desert, snorkel in the Red Sea, bask on the white sand beaches of the North Coast or trek through the Sinai mountains, Egypt will leave you wanting for more. Here are the Top Things To Do in Egypt.

1. VISIT THE PYRAMIDS OF GIZA

This goes without saying. The Pyramids of Giza, along with the Sphinx and a handful of smaller tombs are one of the most visited sites in the world. Built almost 5000 years ago, the Pyramid complex in Giza consists of the Pyramid of Khufu which is the only ancient wonder that remains intact. This perfect cone of stones is a burial chamber and is a monument that has given rise to many mysteries and conspiracy theories. Plan a trip to the Pyramids of Giza when you are in Cairo and make sure to spend at least three hours there. You can go inside the Great Pyramid, go on a short camel ride, visit the Solar Boat Museum, and see the impressive Sphinx. You can club this visit with the Pyramids of Saqqara and Dahshur. Light and Sound show is available in the evenings at the Pyramids of Giza.the pyramids of giza in egypt

2. THE NILE RIVER CRUISE

This is one of the most sublime and relaxing experiences in Egypt. Imagine gliding on the sapphire blue Nile past ancient temples, sandy banks, and tiny hamlets where peasants till the land using old traditional methods. Most Nile cruises sail between Aswan and Luxor, with stops at Esna, Edfu, and Kom Ombo along the way. Opt between a luxurious cruise ship that comes with full board services, swimming pool, evening entertainment, and swimming pool, a dahabiya (a smaller wooden ship best suited for slower small group travel), or a felucca (a traditional Egyptian sailboat).

felucca seen during a Nile cruise in egypt

A felucca on the Nile

3. THE EGYPTIAN MUSEUM IN CAIRO

The old Egyptian Museum was very impressive and the new one is nothing short of spectacular. Not only does it contain the world’s largest collection of Egyptian artifacts, but the new museum building is also a visual delight as well. Highlights of a visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo include seeing the solid gold mask and the golden sarcophagi of Tutankhamun, the Royal Mummies room, and a vast collection of statues, jewelry, and other artifacts. The old museum is located in Tahrir Square in Cairo and two hours is enough to enjoy it well. A licensed guide is recommended and it can be combined with a visit to the Pyramids complex in Giza.

4. EXPLORE OLD ISLAMIC CAIRO

The beautifully renovated and reconstructed Islamic Cairo is located in the historic heart of Cairo. This marked area is like an open-air museum and contains one of the largest collections of historic architecture in the Islamic world. There are various mosques, madrassas, fortifications, and tombs date back to the Islamic era of Egypt (639 to the early 16th century). Don’t miss visiting the Al-Azhar Mosque, Salah El-Din Citadel, Al-Muizz li-Din Allah al-Fatima Street (al-Muizz), Khan el-Khalili, Ibn Tulun Mosque, and Al-Rifa’i Mosque. Coptic Cairo is also located in the old section of Cairo in the southern part of the city. It is the Christian equivalent of Islamic Cairo and the first settlements here date back to the 6th century BC. The must-see places to visit in Coptic Cairo include the Hanging Church, the Church of St. Sergius and Bacchus, Ben Ezra Synagogue, and the Mosque of Amr Ibn al-As.

A coffee shop in Islamic Cairo in Egypt

A coffee shop in Islamic Cairo

5. VISIT THE LOVELY ALEXANDRIA

Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international travelers. It is located on the Mediterranean Sea and has enough to keep you busy for a day or two. One can visit Alexandria on a day trip from Cairo and the train connections are easy. The top sights of Alexandria include the Citadel of Qaitbay, the Alexandria National Museum, the Serapeum, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the Corniche, the Stanley Bridge, the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, and Montazah Palace Gardens.

6. HURGHADA SAND, SUN, AND SEA

Hurghada is one of Egypt’s oldest and most popular beach resort towns. Located on the Red Sea, it is a good base for chilling out on the beach or doing short trips to see Luxor and the desert. The best things to do here include snorkeling, visiting the Ras Mohammed National Park, going island hopping to the Giftun Islands, shopping in the Sharm Old Market, and relaxing in Naama Bay and Shark’s Bay.

Sun and sea of Hurghada in Egypt

Sun and sea of Hurghada

7. TABA, THE GULF OF AQABA JEWEL

Located on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba, Taba and Aqaba are the jewels of the Sinai Peninsula. Taba is the northernmost town on Egypt’s Red Sea coast. Eilat in Israel is right across the border thus making Taba Egypt’s busiest border crossing town. The best things to do here include scuba diving, going to the Fjord Bay, visiting Salah El-Din Castle and Castle Zaman, and doing a day trip to the Coloured Canyon.

8. DAHAB, THE CHILLED OUT HIPPY SPOT ON THE SINAI

Dahab has a more chilled out vibe than Taba and this former Bedouin fishing village is one of Sinai’s best diving destinations. Here you can dive into the famous Blue Hole or relax at the gentle rustic Ras Abu Galum.

The sun-kissed beaches of Dahab

The sun-kissed beaches of Dahab

9. SUMMIT SUNRISE OF MOUNT SINAI

Mount Sinai is a popular pilgrimage site in Egypt. According to the Old Testament, this is the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments. It is a sacred site for Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Located in the Saint Catherine Protectorate in Sinai, it is a land of rugged mountains, hidden Bedouin gardens, Biblical legends, and the famous Saint Catherine’s Monastery (which apparently contains the famous Burning Bush). The monastery is one of the oldest functional Christian monasteries in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most people visit here either for pilgrimage or for the sunrise hike to the Mount Sinai summit. There are two access paths to the summit. The Camel Path being wider is easier and the shorter Steps of Penitence is more challenging. It is possible to stay at the monastery.

The Bedouin gardens of Sinai in egypt

The Bedouin gardens of Sinai

10. RED SEA SCUBA DIVING AND THE OFFBEAT MARSA ALAM

The Red Sea is one of the world’s top scuba diving locations. With pristine reefs, numerous caves, and shipwrecks, Egypt’s Red Sea is a bucket list destination for many scuba divers. The warm water and excellent visibility make it a delight to explore. It is also the perfect place to learn diving. Marsa Alam is one of the farthest Red Sea coast destinations in Egypt. Located further south of Hurghada, it is famous diving, snorkeling, and kite surfing.

Marine life in Marsa Alam in Egypt

Marine life in Marsa Alam