Egypt is more than just Pyramids and Temples. For many first-time visitors to Egypt, the Pyramids of Giza, a Nile Cruise, and the archeological treasures in Luxor and Aswan must-see list. But Egypt offers many more exciting experiences.
Egypt is home to some of the most famous tourist destinations in the world, and is also the site of some of the oldest and most notable examples of human society and civilization. Egyptian exhibits exist in museums all over the globe, but they are nothing compared to the astounding beauty of seeing the Giza Pyramid Complex up close, or the legendary tomb of King Tutankhamen in person.
Egypt is also home to beautiful beaches, magnificent sand dunes, and unique desert land escapes, the wonders of Egypt are almost endless.
1-Visit The Pyramids Of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza were built almost 5,000 years ago. The Great Pyramids of Giza is the must-see Ancient Egyptian landmark. Built around 2570 BC and Known as Khufu’s Pyramid, it is the greatest pyramid of the complex: a truly overwhelming sight. Being one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, it is the only one still standing to this day! When gazing at this colossal structure, there’s no way to escape the feeling of being dwarfed.. The two smaller – but still huge – pyramids in Giza are those of Khafre and Menkaure. A few steps to the east you will notice three small (20 m high) piles of rumble: the queens’ pyramids, tombs of Khufu’s wives and sisters.
Another one of the most iconic tourist locations in the entire world, the Great Sphinx of Giza. This giant limestone structure depicts a sphinx, a legendary creature that is part human and part lion, which despite millennia of erosion from wind and sand still maintains many clear features. Traces of the original paint can even be seen on parts of its face.
2- Explore The Egyptian Museum
The Egyptian Museum contains the world’s largest collection of Egyptian artifacts. Highlights of a visit include seeing the collection of king TUT especially the sold gold mask and the golden sarcophagi. The Royal Mummies room and a mind blowing number of statues, jewelry and treasures.
Located in the heart of downtown, Tahrir Square Cairo, the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities (often simply called the Egyptian Museum), is a repository and showcase for the world’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian relics.
Important Note: The Grand Egyptian Museum is expected to open in 2021, although this date seems to change frequently. Once open, it will replace the Egyptian Museum on Tahrir Square. The Grand Egyptian Museum is located near the Giza Plateau and including the complete Tutankhamun collection; many pieces will be displayed for the first time.
3- The Nile River Cruise In
Cruise the Nile is the best way to explore the mysterious of 7,000 years of ancient Egyptian history. Drifting on the Nile River, past the ancient tombs and temples, is one of Egypt’s experiences. Most Cruises sail between Luxor and Aswan, with visits to Esna, Edfu, Kom OMBO along the way. You can travel the Nile River by Cruise ship (the most popular option) on Dahabiya(smaller wooden ships) perfect for those who want to travel in a smaller group or want a more romantic experience or a Felucca(small Egyptian Sailboat)
4-Explore The Historic Cairo
Cairo is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world. Its metropolitan area, with a population of over 20 million. Cairo has stood for more than 1000 years on the same site on the banks of the Nile.
Islamic Cairo is the historic heart of Cairo. This area contains one of the largest collections of historic architecture in the Islamic world. Numerous mosques, Madrassas, fortifications, and tombs date from the Islamic era of Egypt (7th Century AD to the 19th Century), making Cairo one of the world’s oldest Islamic cities.
The top things to do in Islamic Cairo include Salah El-Din Citadel, Sultan Hassan mosque, Al-Rifai mosque, Al-Muizz Li-DIN Allah AL-Fatima Street and shopping in Khan El-Khalili Bazzar.
Coptic Cairo is located in old Cairo in the southern part of the city. The first settlements here date back to the 6th century BC. Many of the places to visit here originate from Egypt’s Christian past, but you can also visit a synagogue and first mosque in Egypt.
For a full list of things to do in Cairo, read our article 15 Best Things to do in Cairo
5-Visit Saqqara And The Step Pyramid
Saqqara is the necropolis for the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis. this area contains numerous Pyramids, include the step pyramid of Djoser (Zoser), Said to be the world’s oldest monumental masonry structure, the unique pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara is part of a mortuary complex for the 3rd Dynasty king Djoser dating back to the 26 century BC. Created by the architect Imhotep, it is a unique stepped pyramid with 6 tiers.
6- Go Inside The Pyramids In Dahshur
Just a short drive outside of Cairo sits two of the oldest pyramids in Egypt, the Bent Pyramid and the Rd Pyramid. This is where the ancient Egyptian perfected their pyramid-building skills, constructing the first smooth sided pyramid in the world.
The Bent Pyramid was the second pyramid built by pharaoh Senfru and the third pyramid built in Egypt. The Bent Pyramid owes its modern-day name to the fact that the upper half of this pyramid was built at a lower angle than the bottom part, giving it a very characteristic bend.
The Red Pyramid
The Red Pyramid at Dahshur was built for the pharaoh Snefru, father of Khufu for whom the Great Pyramid of Giza was built. The Red Pyramid is the first ‘true’ pyramid and it has the second largest base of all Egyptian pyramids. What makes it yet more interesting is that it can be fully accessed, including the chance to see the burial chamber. There’s something special about exploring the cold and silent passageways inside the pyramid.
7-Visit The Valley Of The Kings
A visit to the Valley of the Kings is a highlight of any Egypt trip. prepare for your trip to the most impressive ancient site in the world.
The Valley of the Kings Situated on the ancient site of Thebes, on Luxor’s West Bank, the Valley of Kings is the ancient burial ground of many of Egypt’s New Kingdom rulers. A truly impressive site! There, you will find Tutankhamen tomb which was discovered almost intact in 1922. Although the tomb alone is worth a visit, you will have to visit the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to see the treasures Tutankhamen was buried with.
Important Note: Regarding your visit to the valley of the Kings in Luxor, there are several ordinary tombs such as (Ramses II – Ramses III – Ramses IX – Hor Moheb – Merenptah – Ta Wsrt – St Nkht – Thotmosis III, etc.,) ……Each Main Entry Ticket to the Valley of the Kings, gives you access to only 3 of those tombs (depending on the opened ones of them during your visit) …So, you can choose any 3 ordinary tombs to enter, from the allowed to visit during the day of the tour.
And there are another optional tombs, each of them requires extra optional entry ticket such as
Tut Ankh Amon, Ramses VI, Seti I
For more information go to The Complete Guide to the West Bank of Luxor.
8-Visit The Tomb Of Neferari In The Valley Of The Queens
Valley of the Queens located on the West Bank of Luxor near the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens is the place where wives of Pharaohs were buried in ancient times as well as princes, princesses and various members of the nobility.
Important Note: the Tomb that you will see here is smaller and lacks some of the grandeur of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings with one big exception the tomb of queen Nefertari.
Tomb of queen Nefertari’s Ramses II favorite wife is the most famous attraction. The tomb is said to be one of the most beautiful and Spectacular in Egypt.
The level of the detail is amazing and the color are more vibrant that what you can see any tomb in Egypt. Don’t miss it, but it on your list.
9-Temple Of Queen Hatshepsuit
Hatshepsut’s temple is one of the world’s most striking architectural masterpieces. Located beneath massive cliffs near the west bank of the Nile, the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, also known as Deir el Bahri, is dedicated to Amon-Ra, the sun god. Designed by an architect named Senemut, the temple is unique because it was designed like classical architecture.
Go early in the morning to avoid high temperatures and crowds. Hatshepsut’s temple is just one of many archaeological wonders that make up Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
10-Marvel At The Karnak Temple Complex
Karnak Temple is the second most visited site in Egypt, coming in the right behind the Pyramids of Giza. This should be in your list because one of the best things to do in Egypt.
The Karnak Temple Complex is home to three main temples, several smaller enclosed temples, and a number of outer temples – combining the achievements of many generations of ancient builders over a period of 1500 years. Around thirty different pharaohs contributed to the building process of this site, enabling it to reach a size, complexity and diversity not seen elsewhere. It was after all the New Kingdom’s most sacred site.
The light is most beautiful in the early morning or later afternoon, and the temple is quieter then, as later in the morning tour buses bring day trippers from Hurghada.
11-Explore Luxor Temple
The Temple of Luxor is strikingly graceful monument and a must see site on any trip to Egypt; it is a testimony to the history of the continuous history of Egypt, beginning from the 18th dynasty of Ancient Egyptian rule to the 14th century AD when a mosque was built in the complex to commemorate Abu Al-Haggag, who is responsible for bringing Islam to Luxor. Many pharaohs played a part in building this temple over the years including Tutankhamen, Hatshepsut, Ramses II, and Amenhotep III; as you walk through the temple you can see the contributions of each one usually where you find statues and images of them carved in the walls. The Romans and later the Christians also had an effect on the temple. The temple of Luxor is incredibly rich with the chronicles of the past, see descriptions of the battle of Kadesh, accounts of the festival of Opet.
12-Day Trip To Abydos And Dendera
Located on the Nile River, just north of Luxor, site of the most beautiful and best -preserved temple complexes in Egypt. The sacred city of Abydose is home to the temple of Pharaoh Seti the first. The Hathor Temple in Dendera is one of the most colorful temples in Egypt, with an intricately detailed ceiling and the most amazing and striking hypostyle hall in all of Egypt.
Dendera temple is the magnificent House of goddess Hathor, the most-preserved among ancient Egyptian temples.
Walk by several Roman kiosks, pass through the colossal gateway of Domitian and Trajan that is surrounded by a massive mud-brick enclosure and enter into the cavernous hypostyle hall of Tiberius. Visit the best preserved temple in Egypt. See vivid scenes that depict the Roman emperor Trajan paying homage to the Ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor and other mythical reliefs that adorn this gorgeous Graeco-Roman temple.
In a scenic location surrounded by palm trees sits the Temple of Seti I, constructed by Seti I, son of Ramses I, and father of Ramses II. Seti I was one of Egypt greatest rulers and builders; he constructed one of the land;s most magnificent temples at Abydos, and the Great Hypostyle Hall in Karnak.
13-Visit The Temple Of Horus In Edfu
This temple can be visited on the Nile Cruise or on the drive between Luxor and Aswan.
Temple of Horus, is considered to be one of the most beautiful and preserved Temples in Egypt.
The well preserved Ptolemaic Temple of Horus is the second biggest temple in Egypt. Second only to the Temple of Karnak in sheer size, the temple was one of the last attempts by the Ptolemaic dynasty at building in the style and grandeur of their predecessors. Construction on the site took about 200 years. Well preserved hieroglyphs have shed light on the practices of the cult of Horus and associated temples. The temple is believed to have been built on the site of the great Horus-Seth battle.
14-Visit The Temple Of Kom Ombo
The temple can be reached on your way from Luxor to Aswan on a Felucca ride or a Nile Cruise, or on a day trip from Aswan.Kom ombo Temple Dedicated to Sobek and Horus the Elder, the Temple of Kom Ombo has two identical entrances, hypostyle halls and sanctuaries. The symmetry of the temple layout is a tribute to the mythical link the two gods shared. Built on an outcrop at a bend in the Nile where crocodiles used to gather in ancient times, the temple is a testament to the importance Ancient Egyptian priests placed in the natural cycles and crocodiles of the Nile. Visit the temple to see mummified crocodiles, clay coffins and spectacular reliefs on the walls.
15-Explore Abu Simbel Temple
Prepare to be blown away by the magnificence of these temples. They are undisputedly one of the world’s most breathtaking monuments, and Egypt’s second most visited touristic site, the Pyramids of Giza being on the top of the list. The relocation of the temples was a historic event in the 1960’s. At that time, the temples were threatened by submersion in Lake Nasser when the High Dam was constructed. The Egyptian government with the support of UNESCO launched a world wide appeal to save these colossal landmarks. They were successfully dismantled and relocated to a spot 60 meters above the cliff where they had been initially built.
The very small village of Abu-Simbel lies 280 km south of Aswan, and only 40 km north of the Sudanese border. Even though it is home to several hotels, the small town is usually overlooked by tourists as a holiday destination. Most of them prefer to visit the Nubian town on a daytrip from Cairo or Aswan or as an extension to a Nile cruise or a Lake Nasser Cruise. Perched atop a hill overlooking the Nile, the majestic Abu-Simbel Temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built and Dedicated to Ramses II & Nefertari, the world-famed temples will take your breath away.
After a visit to this inspiring site, you can walk around the colorful touristic market, go bird watching on the Lake Nasser, and get back to the temples again in the evening for the amazingly inspiring sound & light show.
To go there can plan a day trip from either Aswan or Cairo. Travel time can be long (if you travel by land) or expensive (if you travel by air)so is it worth it? Absolutely! The temples of Abu Simbel are some of most impressive and unique temples you will see in Egypt, so it is well worth the visit.
16-Visit Philae Temple (Also Called Isis Temple)
This beautiful temple complex is one of the most picturesque in all of Egypt. It sits on Aglika Island just south of the old Aswan Dam and you must ride a water taxi to the island to get to the ruins. The temple was moved to its current location following the construction of the High Dam, which threatened to submerge it permanently.
17-Exploring The White Desert And Black Desert
The White Desert, which was designated a protected area in 2002, occupies a surface area of around 3,000 km2. On the road from Farafra and the Baharya Oasis.
The White Desert is justifiably the most well-known desert destination in Egypt – and for a good reason. The quantity of unearthly and beautiful wind-carved rock formations shaped in the form of giant mushrooms or pebbles is unequalled in any desert in the world.
Millions of years ago, the White Desert was submerged beneath ocean, and the white chalk that formed its rocks was deposited from this sea 80 million years ago. Amazingly enough, you can still see some sea fossils and seashells in the middle of the desert today.
A little to the North of the White Desert, the Black Desert is closer to Bahariya than Farafra; approximately 50 km to the South of Bawiti. The mountains have eroded to coat the desert with a layer of black powder and rocks giving it its name. Towards the end of the Black Desert are black volcanic hills that ages ago erupted a dark volcanic material called dolerite, which is what the black rocks are made of.
To get here, it’s a long drive from Cairo and you will need a 4×4.Most people visit White Desert on a guided tour.
Located on the Mediterranean Sea, Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic center, the largest Seaport and was a capital for Egypt from the time of Alexander the Great until the Arab conquered Egypt 641 AD.
Alexandria popular is consider a popular tourist destination. Top sights include the catacomb of Kom El Shoqafa,pompy pilar, Serapeum ,Bibliotheca Alexandria ,Alexandria National Museum, Citadel of Qitbay , Montazah Palace Garden, Stanley Bridge and the Corniche.
Founded in 331 BC by 25-year-old Alexander the Great, Alexandria is the stuff of legend. Its towering Pharos lighthouse, marking the ancient harbor’s entrance, was one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and its Great Library was considered the archive of ancient knowledge.
19-Explore The Oasis In The Western Desert
The Western Desert and its oases lie far away from the densely populated Nile Valley. Here you’ll find a very different Egypt. Desolate landscapes dotted with medieval villages and archaeological sites. Many hot water springs and thousands of palm trees. The landscapes change dramatically as you move from place to place.
Located in western Egypt near the Libia border,is considered the most beautiful Oasis.It is also the most remote,located 560 km from Cairo.Alexander the Great came here to consult the oracle at the Temple of Amun.
Siwa, on the edge of the Great Sand Sea, is the most isolated oasis of Egypt. Due to its remoteness and isolation Siwa ‘s own culture has remained intact. It’s an idyllic place and best meets the perception of an oasis. Date palms, olive trees, freshwater springs and mud brick houses, amid an immense sea of sand.
The Fayoum Oasis is a depression or basin in the desert immediately to the west of the Nile south of Cairo in Egypt.
This desert oasis with Qarun Lake, a magical lake, cascading waterfalls, Tunis Village and a valley of ancient whales is one of Egypt’s hidden treasures.
Wadi El Hitan Valley Of The Whales
Within two hours driving distance from Cairo, in the Fayoum area, you’ll discover a yet more impressive meaning of ‘Ancient’ Egypt. The remote valley of Wadi El-Hitan (Valley of the Whales) is more of an open-air museum displaying rare gigantic fossils of ancient whales and sharks proving that some 40 to 50 million years ago, the area was submerged in the waters of what is known as the Tethys Sea.
After lying trapped in the sands of the Western Desert, the fossil skeletons have been revealed by winds and erosion, and thanks to human intervention through a number of ongoing archaeological excavations sponsored by the National Geographic Society and by the University of Michigan. The landscapes surrounding the valley are just as impressive and amazing as the discoveries: gigantic sand rocks and mountains, dunes and hills. Try to visit the valley around sunset for a magical experience; the views and the colours are just amazing at that time of the day. The Valley of the Whales is part of the WRPA (Wadi El-Rayan Protected Area) and it has also been added in 2005 to the UNESCO’s World Heritage List for its unique natural beauty and scientific significance.
20-Explor Mortuary Temple Of Medinet Habu,Colossi Of Memnon And Deir El Medina (Valley Of The Artisans)
The Mortuary Temple of Ramses III has well preserved Ancient Egyptian art and architecture. Walk through the remnants of the workers’ mud brick houses at the rear of the site, and then into the grandness of the temples. Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III oversaw the building of the original temple of Amun which was later walled in to the complex by Ramses III. The entrance to this temple complex is through the singular Syrian Gate, this large building is particular to Madinat Habu and is carved with giant images of the Ramses III defeating the Libyans.
Valley of the Artisans
Visit the Valley of the Workers (Deir el-Medina). This is the place where the workmen of the royal tombs used to live. Here you will see the Temple of Deir el-Medina, which was dedicated to the goddess Hathor. This is the only temple in all of Egypt where you can admire carvings of the Final Judgement.
Colossi of Memnon
On your way to visit the West Bank of Luxor, you will come across the two gigantic statues known as the Colossi of Memnon. These two gigantic figures of Amenhotep III were originally situated in front of his Mortuary temple, which seems to have been destroyed for unknown reasons. Each colossus is about 21 meters tall and represents King Amenhotep III seated on his throne. Legend has it that after an earthquake damaged it in 27 BC, one of the statues emitted strange sounds in the morning-perhaps due to the heat of the sun following the humidity of the night. However, the restoration which took place in 193-211 A.D, made the sound stop forever!
21- Explor St Cathrerine Monastery And Hike To The Summit Of Moses Mount
Within a gorge of an extraordinary mountain range lays an extraordinary relic of the 5th century. A site of great religious significance, Saint Catherine’s monastery is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world.
If the call to adventure beckons you, then perhaps you can take a day to climb the wondrous Mount Moses that lies adjacent to the city. Atop this stone behemoth is where many believe God spoke to Moses; a magnificent 2,000 foot-high view.
There are two paths to summit, the easier and wider Camel path and shorter, more challenging steps of penitence. The hike is 4 miles round trip.
22-Relax In Sharm El- Sheikh
With sunshine and warm waters all year round, Sharm El Sheikh is the closest destination to Europe where you can soak up sun, dive amazing corals reefs, and enjoy the sea any time you need a break from routine. The climate is lovely and dry all year long with temperatures ranging between 20Â° and 25Â° C in the winter months.
Sharm El Sheikh boasts the widest array of fun, exciting and even crazy water and extreme sports: besides diving, snorkeling, sailing, wind and kite-surfing.
Sharm El Sheikh is the most famous and professional Spas in Egypt. Add to that endless nights spent at local bars, nightclubs and beaches dancing the night away or the magic of an existing safari into the mountainous Sinai desert landscape and you will know why Sharm is ranked among the best vacation destinations in the world.
23-Visit Taba And Dahab
Located on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba, on the Sinai Peninsula, sit two small resorts.
Taba is the northernmost town on Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera. It sits just across the border from Eilat, Israel so this town is Egypt’s busiest border crossing town. the best thing in Taba include scuba diving, going for a swim in Fjord Bay, visiting Salah El-Din Castle and Castle Zaman, and taking a day trip to the Colored Canyon.
Of all the Red Sea destinations, Dahab is probably the most appealing for those who want to soak up some sun in pristine beaches, relax in laid back atmosphere and try local restaurants. There are also plenty of cozy local stores to go shopping the beaches are public and the coral reefs are a few flipper strokes away from the shore. From the coast of Dahab, you can see the incredible spectacle of Sinai Mountains dropping right into the sea.
24-Scuba Dive In The Red Sea
The Red Sea is one of the world’s top scuba diving locations. With pristine reefs, numerous shipwrecks to explore, warm water, and excellent visibility and exception scuba diving locations.
25-Visit Hurghada And Marsa Alam
Spanning over 40 km of pristine coastline, Hurghada City has year-round sunshine, incredibly beautiful coral reefs and dozens of exciting attractions in a laid back, relaxed atmosphere. Even though it’s known as a top-three diving destination on the planet, it still has something for everyone, even the non-divers: beach fun, extreme water sports, clubbing and golfing are only some of the options you have to choose from. You can also enjoy an amazingly relaxing holiday by booking a treatment or two at one of Hurghada’s best Spas.
Hurghada is south of Suez and 550 km from Cairo. You can reach Hurghada by ferry from Sharm-el-Sheikh, the road from Luxor and by the Hurghada International Airport. The temperature is lovely all year round.
Marsa Alam is an up-and coming resort town on the Red Sea, south of Hurghada. On Abu Dabab you can see the turtles. Marsa Alam is also a world-renewned kite surfing destination, and like other town on the Red Sea.