Last Updated January 24, 2020 1/24/2020

11 Coolest Things to Do in Egypt

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Famous for its epic pyramids and inspiring desert landscapes, Egypt is a bucket list destination for many travelers. It is also a destination to experience the great Nile River, ancient temples, and the more modern aspects of life in the cosmopolitan city of Cairo. There is a lot to learn about and explore when you’re in Egypt, so here are so trip ideas to get you started!


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See the Pyramids of Giza Desert view of Giza pyramid
Desert view of Giza pyramid

See the Pyramids of Giza

What Is It?: The biggest reason why people visit Egypt is to see the pyramids, and they really are something you have to see in person to believe. The Pyramids of Giza are just outside of the city of Cairo. The Great Pyramid of Khufu is a wonder of the ancient world that’s impressively still standing today. The other most famous sites are the Pyramid of Khafre, the Pyramid of Menkaure, and the Sphinx.

Why Do It?: These pyramids were designed to be massive tombs and are truly works of inspiration.

Good to Know: Additionally, there are other pyramids to see in the area as well, such as the Pyramid of Djoser that’s south of Cairo.

Take a Cruise Down the Nile Nile cruise ship
Nile cruise ship

Take a Cruise Down the Nile

What Is It?: An unforgettable experience to have while you’re in Egypt is taking a boat cruise down the Nile River. Multi-day cruises are available to help you see the sights between Aswan and Luxor, for example.

Why Do It?: You’ll get to visit temples with professional Egyptologists and also enjoy onboard feasts and entertainment on this cruise.

Good to Know: Some boat tours are rustic, while others are ideal for luxury travelers. A popular option is a four-day, three-night Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor.

See St. Catherine’s Monastery St. Catherine's Monastery view
St. Catherine's Monastery view

See St. Catherine’s Monastery

What Is It?: St. Catherine’s Monastery is an ancient site from around 330 AD that is one of the oldest continuously operating monasteries in the world. It is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and named for a martyr who was tortured and killed for her faith.

Why Do It?: You can tour the monastery today to see the ornate decorations and sites of religious significance.

Good to Know: You can also join an overnight tour trip to St. Catherine Monastery from Cairo to see the Biblical sites, hike to the top of Mount Sinai to see the sunrise, and learn a lot with a professional guide. Another monastery worth checking out is the Monastery of St. Anthony, which has origins dating back to the fourth century and is open to visitors on most days of the year.

Shop at the Khan El-Khalili Bazaar Egyptian bazaar items for sale
Egyptian bazaar items for sale

Shop at the Khan El-Khalili Bazaar

What Is It?: The Khan El-Khalili Bazaar has been a local tradition dating back to the 14th century and a must-visit place when you’re in Cairo.

Why Do It?: This is a great place to get a couple of souvenirs and see the local artisan craftsmanship.

Good to Know: When you’re here, you can experience the narrow cobblestone streets lined with outdoor vendors welling everything from jewelry to spices.

Ride a Camel Women on a camel ride
Women on a camel ride

Ride a Camel

What Is It?: You can book a camel ride with a local guide to experience the pyramid region in a truly amazing way.

Why Do It?: If it’s your first time visiting Egypt, then chances are that you’re looking forward to an authentic camel ride in the desert.

Good to Know: Camel riding excursions are often combined with trips to see the pyramids up-close as you soak up the beauty of the Sahara Desert and along the Giza plateau.

Experience White Desert National Park White Desert rock formation
White Desert rock formation

Experience White Desert National Park

What Is It?: This park has an otherworldly and supernatural vibe with surreal landscapes and white rock spires that rise from the desert. Sunrise and sunset are lovely times to view the rock formations.

Why Do It?: To experience the impressive nature in Egypt, plan to spend some time in White Desert National Park.

Good to Know: There are two mountains called the Twin Peaks here that are popular for tour groups. Other highlights of the park are Crystal Mountain made of quartz and Naqb As Silllim, a steep mountain pass.

Watch a Belly Dancing Performance Belly dancer in traditional outfit
Belly dancer in traditional outfit

Watch a Belly Dancing Performance

What Is It?: Belly dancing is also a beloved tradition in Egypt, so plan to watch a belly dancing performance while you are here.

Why Do It?: These are family-friendly events you’ll love watching!

Good to Know: Performances are often offered on Nile River evening dinner cruises that also include a full buffet dinner.

Learn at a Local Museum Front of Egyptian Museum, Cairo
Front of Egyptian Museum, Cairo

Learn at a Local Museum

What Is It?: One must-see museum is the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo. This museum has many ancient artifacts and treasures from great pharaohs. Meanwhile, the Museum of Islamic Art is also in Cairo and has beautiful artistic displays that you’ll love seeing.

Why Do It?: There are lots of museums in Egypt worth checking out to learn about the local culture and history.

Good to Know: The Coptic Museum in Cairo is another good choice because of its impressive textiles, wood carvings, and other artifacts on display.

Explore the City of Luxor Great Hypostyle Hall and clouds at the Temples of Karnak
Great Hypostyle Hall and clouds at the Temples of Karnak

Explore the City of Luxor

What Is It?: Here you’ll find monuments and temples, including the famous Luxor Temple that dates back to the 14th century. Karnak temple is north of town and worth visiting too. Also, check out the Luxor Museum while you are here to see the masterpieces on the ground floor gallery, new wing, and other memorable areas.

Why Do It?: Luxor is an exciting place to visit in Egypt and a modern city on the banks of the Nile.

Good to Know: Full day tours of Luxor are offered that include seeing the important historical sites with a guide, lunch at a local restaurant, and hassle-free pickup and drop off from your hotel.

Sample Egyptian Cuisine Food of Egypt
Food of Egypt

Sample Egyptian Cuisine

What Is It?: It’s a must-do to experience authentic Egyptian cuisine while you’re on this trip.

Why Do It?: By sampling markets and restaurants, you’ll learn about the flavors and traditions of local cooking.

Good to Know: Breakfast is an important meal in Egypt and often features fava beans, eggs, cheese, tomatoes, peppers, and bread. Kushari is a traditional meal often enjoyed for lunch that contains a delicious combination of lentils, rice, macaroni, tomato sauce, garlic vinegar, chickpeas, and fried onions.

Go for a Hot Air Balloon Ride Hot Air Balloon, Egypt
Hot Air Balloon, Egypt

Go for a Hot Air Balloon Ride

What Is It?: A unique way to Egypt from high above the ground is to take a hot air balloon ride with a local guide service.

Why Do It?: It doesn’t much more dramatic than seeing the pyramids and desert from above!

Good to Know: Hot air balloon experiences typically last about two hours and let you sail above the famous monuments of Luxor at sunrise. Meanwhile, your private guide will tell you about all the landmark sites down below, such as Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple and Karnak.

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