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Discover the best of Egypt with this guide on the best experiences in Egypt.
I have toured Egypt ten times and still counting. My love affair with the land of pharaohs is well and truly still blowing my mind.
This bucket list destination has a wealth of ancient history to share but so many other things to do in Egypt you may not know about.
Best Experiences Egypt
1. SEE THE GREAT PYRAMIDS OF GIZA
This ancient wonder of the world is not only the oldest but the only one to remain closely in tact.
It is one of the main reasons people travel to Egypt. Visitors can go inside the Great Pyramid via a long corridor. It is hot and stuffy but worth the time as you probably will never get the chance again. The Sphinx can also be seen here.
2. SAIL ON A FELUCCA
One of my most prized memories of Egypt was getting to sail up the Nile on a felucca. These are traditional wooden boats.
Departing from Luxor we sailed for three nights and slept, lounged and ate on the deck on soft mattresses and cushions.We stopped for along the way during the day to explore local villages and slept under the stars at night.
The felucca did not come with a bathroom which was the trickiest part but somehow we all manged. If sailing the NIle sounds divine but you prefer a more five star experience, you can opt for a boat cruise instead.
3. RELAX AT THE RED SEA RESORTS
Dotted along either side of the Red Sea are some of Egypt’s most popular resorts towns. Places like Sharm El Sheikh,(my personal favourite) , Hurghada, Marsa Alam and Dahab offer pristine conditions.
The clear, cool and refreshing waters are a welcome relief from the searing hot heat that can exist here throughout the year.
Many resorts offer “all inclusive” accommodations so you can just relax 24/7.
4. VISIT LUXOR TEMPLE
This ancient temple complex is one of the best. It is located on the east bank of the Nile.
It was largely built by the New Kingdom Pharaohs and Ramesses ll .
Visit early morning when crowds are smaller and the heat of the day is not at maximum temperatures.
6. EXPLORE VALLEY OF THE KINGS
The world’s most famous archaeological site is The Valley of the Kings.
The mass tombs and chambers that reside here were the final resting place of many royal figures.
The most famous tomb is that of Tutankhamen, discovered in the 1920’s.
There are over 63 tombs all containing a series of chambers, some up to 120 chambers. This gives you an idea on the massive size of this place.
7. IMMERSE YOURSELF AT ABU SIMBEL
These two towering rock temples are located in Upper Egypt near the border of Sudan. They are a monument to the king and his queen, Nefertari.
The whole complex had to be painstakingly relocated in 1968 after the creation of Lake Nasser.
Tours to the complex usually start in the wee hours of the night from Aswan and takes around 8 hours return.
8. ENJOY A BEDOUIN DINNER
Experience the surrounds of the desert with a traditional Bedouin feast.
This is one of the coolest experiences and places such as the Sinai desert are a perfect location for it. Guests are treated to a wonderful evening of food and local entertainment such as belly dancing.
Sample BBQ meats and an assortment of accompaniments If you are offered the Bedouin tea, be sure to try it. It is simply delicious.
9. DRIVE UP TO THE CAVE CHURCH
There are so many Cairo attractions one can do and the Cave Church is right up there as one of the best.
Located in the greater Cairo area, the church attracts thousands of Christian worshipers each and ever week.
Also known as the Monastery of Saint Simon in the Makattam mountain area, the cave walls offer a shaded and cooling place for all visitors.
10. CLIMB MOUNT SINAI
Take an overnight hike to the top of Mount Sinai. Known as the mountain where Moses was given the ten commandments.
Guests will be picked up from near by resorts on the Red Sea such as Sharm El Sheikh, Taba and Dahab around midnight for the drive to the base of the mountain.
The trek winds its way slowly to the peak over a couple of hours. From here it’s a chilly wait for the sunrise. Even in the hottest months it’s cold on the mountain especially after sweating all the way up so dress in long light pants and jacket. You can rent a blanket.
As the sun breaks upon the horizon, you’ll be mesmerized by the light moving across the surrounding mountains. It is truly amazing.
11. TAKE A CAMEL RIDE
There are plenty of places to ride a camel in Egypt. From the pyramids to the beach resorts and wherever you are most likely staying.
You can choose to take a desert safari or just a quick ride to get that all important shot.
12. HEAD TO CAIRO MUSEUM OF EGYPTIAN ANTIQUITIES
With the new Grand Museum pushed back to 2020, you can still access the old museum in downtown Cairo. With over 120.000 pieces you’ll be hard pressed to see it all.
The latest museum will be out near the pyramids and will be the largest in the world dedicated to one civilization.
13. HAVE DINNER ON THE NILE RIVER
The Nile has a range of great restaurants and cafes in Cairo.
Treat your self to fine dining, local food and many international cuisines. Zamalek is a popular area for some of the best restaurants.
You can also take a dinner cruise and show – see here.
14. SMOKE SOME SHISHA
Egyptians love nothing better than sitting around and enjoying a drink and a shisha.
This water pipe of fruity flavoured tobacco is a popular past time and can seen on every street corner.
15. SEE THE ROMAN AMPHITHEATER
The city of Alexandria is home to the impressive Roman Amphitheater. Built in the 4th century AD during the reign of the Romans in Egypt.
It wasn’t until 1960 that is was by accident discovered. Workers clearing the land for construction found iron columns indicating something was buried underneath.
16. SHOP AT KHAN EL KHALILI MARKET
Located in Cairo, this is the biggest and best souk market geared toward tourists and run by locals.
Everything has to be bartered for so come with your best bargaining talk. You can purchase everything from rugs, lanterns, cushions, clothing, home wares and more.
17. HIKE COLORED CANYON
The Colored Canyon is a 800 meter in length and tight in places. Visitors must manouvre around rocks and through tight crevices.
This magical place is in South Sinai near the town of Nuweiba. A natural wonder , the canyon is both striking in color and contrast.
You can also access the White Canyon on a same day tour or drive there yourself.
18. CAMP IN THE WHITE DESERT
The White desert is part of the Greater Western Desert and is quite an amazing phenomenon. The mushroom type chalky formations and white to creamy landscape make this place very unique.
Many overland tours leaving from Cairo en-route to Luxor will stop here overnight.
19. SEE THE PYRAMID SOUND & LIGHT SHOW
Each evening near the Sphinx statue, you can see this impressive light show.
Watch the pyramids light up in a dazzling display of different colors through lasers and projections. Includes story telling in English.
The show takes around an hour.
20. PAY YOUR RESPECTS AT EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETARY
Situated on the Mediterranean coast, 106 km west of Alexandria the cemetery houses nearly 7000 Commonwealth soldiers. Many fought the battle of El Alamein which was part of the Western desert Campaign during World War 2.
Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand and Canada are all represented here.
The long rows of regimented graves can be visited out of hours when a police guard oversees the area.
21. DIVE OR SNORKEL THE RED SEA
There is no better location than the Red Sea to go on a dive or snorkel trip.
The warm tropical waters are home to some of the most beautiful soft and hard coral formations and marine life you could ever witness.
Most of the coast line is fringed with reef so you can access it from many resort locations.
A liveaboard experience, where you stay on the boat and dive for a week is one of the cheapest liveaboard locations you’ll find anywhere.
For liveaboard options check out Eagle divers in Sharm El Sheikh.
22. SEE A TRADITIONAL SHOW
Check out an authentic belly dancing show.
Originating in Egypt, this Arabic expressive dance is powered through the torso and hips.
If you also get a chance to see the male Tenoura dance you’ll be wowed. The dancer wears a large weighted skirt which is spun at great speed non stop for the entire show. I think you have to be there to appreciate how difficult this looks.
23. TRY THE LOCAL FOOD
Middle eastern food is a must try on any visit to Egypt.
Think marinaded BBQ meats, kebabs, pickled vegetables, flat bread and dips and falafel. It’s exotic, loaded with spices and wonderfully delicious.
24 SOAR INTO THE SKY IN A HOT AIR BALLOON
If you are going to go on a hot air balloon ride, you might as well do it in a iconic location.
Wake up extra early for a 30 to 45 minute ride in a hot air balloon.
Departing from Luxor, travel along the west bank of the Nile and see some of Egypt’s most treasured monuments.
25. WONDER AROUND SAKKARA PYRAMIDS
Also known as the “Step Pyramids” this place is awesome to explore.
It may not seem as elaborate as the Great Pyramids and therefore gets missed. People think they’ve already seen it all BUT think again.
Head into underground chambers, admire the monuments and see a wealth of hieroglyphics. It is an absolute treasure trove of things to see within this ancient burial ground.
26. VIEW THE LIGHTHOUSE OF ALEXANDRIA
The views alone here, looking out across the Mediterranean are worth the visit.
One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the lighthouse was once the second tallest structure in the world behind the Pyramids of Giza.
It was build around 280 BC to help guide ships into the harbor and later destroyed by an earth quake in 1303 AD.
Though it is long gone, the fort the stands here is worth exploring has some of the best views of the coastline.