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Things to do in Egypt and places to visit

Discover some of the best things to do in Egypt, such as 1. Discover Cairo - 2. Know the Pyramids of Giza - 3. Take a look at the Sphinx.

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December 25, 2023

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Traveling to Egypt is the possibility of contemplating one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and UNESCO World Heritage Site. it is also the opportunity to discover fascinating ancient history, where you will find old traditions, myths, ancient temples, and delicious gastronomy. But before you discover what to do in Egypt, you must create a travel itinerary based on the days you will stay and the attractions you’ll visit.

To help you with that, we have made a list of the best things to do in Egypt and the hottest places to visit, no pun intended. And we have organized them according to the days you will stay at your destination.

Cairo egypt
Cairo, Egypt. Source: Unsplash

10 things to do in Egypt in 5 days

If you have time available during your trip, you can see the most iconic monuments in Egypt if you read our list to decide the places you will visit. Pay attention and discover the ten best things to do in Egypt and the places to visit in just five days.

1. Discover Cairo and walk through the Citadel

It doesn’t matter where you come from. The best thing is that your first stop is Cairo, the capital of Egypt since the Cairo International Airport is located there and receives flights from all over the world.

Because of your reduced travel time, we recommend starting with the city’s oldest bazaar, the Jan el-Khalili (heart of Islamic Cairo). Inside, you will find the famous Fishawi café, where you can taste Turkish coffee or seasonal infusions.

Once you leave, you can go to the Citadel, the fortification built by Saladin to protect the city from attacks in the Crusades. Inside the Citadel, you can visit the Gawhara Palace, the Sultan Hasan Mosque, the Ibn Tulun Mosque, and the Al Rifa’i Mosque.

2. Get to know the Pyramids of Giza

Who has not dreamed of going to the Pyramids of Giza? You should take a selfie with these beautiful monuments of ancient Egypt. We recommend that you hire a guided tour, since this way you will avoid getting lost, and also, you will discover the stories and mysteries of this place.

You can book a tour online with specialized agencies depending on your chosen time and budget. On the tour, you will see the Cheops, Kefren, and Menkaure pyramids. And if you want to enter the Great Pyramid, it is essential to note that it costs 200 EP (approximately $11).

You can also go to the pyramids by getting a taxi service or private transport to the ticket office. Be careful if you decide to take this option. You’re often offered a camel or horse ride, for a fee, to the ticket office when the truth is that transportation there would require no additional cots.

3. Take a picture of the Sphinx

The Sphinx is located a few steps from the Giza pyramids so you can visit it without any problems. Its structure has a height of 20 meters and a length of 73 meters. Being another of the ancient sites of the country

The entrance hours are from 7:00 am to 7:30 pm. To visit the Sphinx, you will not have to buy an additional Egypt trip ticket since by paying for the entrance or ticket to the Giza pyramids, you can access this monument at no additional cost.

Sphinx
Sphinx of Giza. Source: Egypt Tours.

4. Visit the Egyptian Museum in Cairo

There is no doubt that the Egyptian Museum of Cairo is an unmissable stop in the city because it houses more than 140,000 objects of historical value from periods such as the Tinita and empires such as the Old, middle, new, late, Hellenistic, and the roman.

You can visit more than 50 rooms with highly prestigious exhibitions and collections. Still, we recommend you pay special attention to the treasure room of Tutankhamun’s tomb since it is one of the most famous.

The cost of entering the museum is 100 EP ($3.50), and you can visit it from Wednesday to Monday from 9:00 am. On Tuesdays, the museum is closed.

5. Choose a tour of the Colossi of Memnon

To continue your adventure through this beautiful country, you should go to Luxor, the second most visited city by tourists in Egypt. In this city, you will find spectacular things, such as the Colossi of Memnon, built approximately 3,400 years ago.

The advantage of getting a tour of the Colossi of Memnon is that they will usually also include a tour of the Valley of the Kings and a couple of other temples.

Did you know that visiting them is free? To go there, you will not need to pay an additional cost, although hiring a guide is recommended to understand this destination’s details better.

6. Explore the Valley of the Kings

The Valley of the Kings is a jewel full of ancient ruins that you should discover. There, you will find memorable tombs, such as King Tutankhamun, full of art, murals, paintings, hieroglyphics, and history. You will also see the temples of the sons of Ramses II and Amenhotep III.

When you buy your ticket for the Valley of the Kings, you can enter three tombs of your choice, but this will depend on which ones are available on that specific day.

The entrance costs 120 EP ($3), but if you want to enter the tomb of Tutankhamun, you must pay an additional 160 EP ($5). You can visit it from Monday to Sunday from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Valley of the kings
Valley of the Kings. Source: Periodico NMX.

7. Tour the Luxor Temple

The Temple of Luxor is one of the most important buildings in Egypt. Its construction dates from 1400 and 1000 BC. You will see 74 papyrus-shaped columns that show Ramses II’s interactions with the Egyptian gods. Find the hypostyle room in the Karnak temple complex, the vestibule, the rooms, and some rooms with images of Amun and Min.

You can visit the temple from Monday to Sunday from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. The entrance cost is 40 EP ($1.20), but if you hire a guided tour, you must pay 100 EP ($3).

It is important to note that to take pictures in this and other temples, you must pay a fee of 20 EP ($0.60). Try to visit the temple in the morning because, after 10:00 am, the heat tends to be unbearable.

8. Visit the Temple of Karnak

If you like temples and ancient wonders, visit the one at Karnak because it is the most imposing antiquity. The covers approximately 100 hectares, and inside is the temple of Amun-Ra, the temple of Montu, the Temple of Mut, the Temple of Jonsu, the Temple of Opet, the Temple of Ptah, the Sacred Lake, chapels, warehouses, and rooms.

You can visit it freely from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. After that time, the lights are turned on, and the historical tour begins. You must visit on Mondays and Fridays at 10:30 pm if you prefer guided Spanish tours.

The tickets cost 120 EP ($3.60) during regular hours and 100 EP ($3) for the light show. Remember that this price does not include the guided tour or the photographic permit cost.

Karnak temple
Karnak temple. Source: Camerlust.

9. Prepare your adventure to the Temple of Edfu

The Temple of Edfu is also known as the Temple of Horus, one of the main gods of the Egyptian pantheon, who was important not only for being the son of Isis and Osiris but also for the representative character that the pharaohs acquired upon assuming power since they became a representation of the god incarnated on earth.

This is one of the best-preserved temples in the country. You can find important information about the life and religion of that era. Inside, you can see statues, rooms for offerings and rituals, reliefs on astronomy, and much more.

The entrance hours vary depending on the time of the year: in summer, the hours are from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, and in winter, they are from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm. And the tickets cost 60 EP ($1.80).

10. Enjoy a typical meal in front of the Pyramids of Giza

Back in Cairo, you can finish your adventure and taste the local gastronomy at our recommended spot: the “9 Pyramids Lounge” restaurant, where you will not only eat in front of the Egyptian pyramids but will also discover five rooms decorated inspired by the deities that were worshiped in ancient times, Ennead of Heliopolis.

Try dishes like baba ghanoush, Fattah, sambusek, and kofta or desserts like Um Ali during your time there. You will find dishes starting at 75 Egyptian pounds, approximately $4.

Discover what to do in Egypt in 7 days

Do you have more time to travel? We will tell you what to do in Egypt in 7 days since you can add some activities to complete your stay.

If you have an extra two days on your trip, we recommend you visit the Philae Temple in Aswan and explore some of the city’s top tourist attractions.

Temple of Philae
Temple of Philae. Source: Egypt Tours

Don’t miss the Temple of Philae

It is the most important temple in Egypt, dedicated to the goddess Isis. Before, this temple was located on the Island of Philae, but to protect it from deterioration, it was moved to the Island of Agilkia, so to reach the temple, you must arrive by boat.

As in the Luxor Temple, attending light and sound shows at night is possible. You will also find the temples of Arensnufis, Imhotep, Augusto, and Hathor so you can visit them.

The usual visiting hours are from Monday to Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and night visits are from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. General admission costs 100 EP ($3), but if you prefer to pay for the light show, it is priced at 125 EP ($3.74).

Aswan Botanical Garden

It is an island bathed by the waters of the majestic Nile River, where an extensive collection of exotic plant species are housed inside, and most of the trees are over 100 years old.

The garden has a great wealth of medicinal and aromatic plants. Still, the area dedicated to palm trees is the one that usually steals the attention of tourists because just by walking along its paths, you can feel total harmony and peace.

Its opening hours vary depending on the season: From October to April, they open their doors from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and from May to September, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. The cost of the tickets is 10 EP ($0.30).

If you are a frequent traveler, you may be interested in the best places to travel in May.

Abu Simbel, an open-air museum in Nubia

This archaeological place is recognized for being part of a series of open-air museums in southern Egypt, and it was also declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The temple was created to impress the neighboring towns in the country’s south and reinforce the Egyptian religion throughout the region.

It was dedicated to gods like Amun, Ra, Ptah, and Pharaoh Ramses, the representatives of the gods on earth. Something important to highlight is its solar phenomenon since, between October 21 and February 21, the sun’s rays enter the sanctuary and illuminate the figures of Amun, Ra, and Ramses.

The minor temple is dedicated to the goddess Hathor and Nefertari, Ramses II’s favorite wife. To visit Abu Simbel, you must go between 5:00 am and 6:00 pm. Its prices start at 255 EP ($7.67).

What to visit in Egypt in 10 days

If you want to visit Egypt in 10 days, the best way to enjoy your trip is to cruise the Nile River. These cruises usually last ten days, during which you will have included services such as transportation, lodging, food, recreation, and even tickets to archaeological sites.

On the web, you will find hundreds of options to cruise on the Nile. We recommend you purchase packages with those tourist agencies that offer you to go to Hurghada or Alexandria since they are complete, but also make sure they include the archaeological sites we previously mentioned.

Usually, the price of 10-day cruises in Egypt starts at $1,500. The cost does not include the visa, the tip in historic centers, or additional expenses.

Nilo cruise
Nilo Cruise. Source: Happy Cruises.

What to do in Egypt in 15 days

Finally, if you want a complete tour with the most essential activities to do in Egypt in 15 days, we have some options to include in your itinerary to enjoy your trip fully.

You can choose to do the tour yourself with the places of interest that we summarize for your five and 7-day trip, or you can opt for the 10-day cruise and, at the same time, include the destinations that we will show you below.

To make the most of your time, we recommend you continue from Aswan or Luxor to Hurghada, and if you are looking to complete your trip with the city of Alexandria, it is best to return to Cairo and depart from there to Alexandria.

Hurgada beach
Hurgada. Source: Ask Aladdin

Dive or snorkel in Hurghada

Hurghada is a city in Egypt located on the shores of the Red Sea or the southernmost part of the Sinai peninsula, which makes it one of the most tourist places in the country, not only because of its crystal clear waters but also because of its shopping bazaars such as El Dahar or Al Fondok avenue.

Diving and snorkeling in Hurghada are some of the favorite activities for everyone, since this way, you will be able to explore the incredible coral reefs of the Red Sea, where you will even be able to see dolphins swimming in complete freedom.

You should get a tour or excursion on the web or local tourist offices since it will be necessary to be able to go by boat to the most critical spots filled with marine life in the town. You can find them from $70 onwards for approximately 8 hours.

Take an excursion to Orange Bay

Orange Bay is one of the region’s most beautiful natural attractions, even a Giftun-protected area. On the island, you will find virgin coral reefs, crystal clear waters, beaches with white sands, and marine species that you can see if you decide to go on an excursion or practice some water sports.

The excursions start at $32 and last 7 hours, so going to Orange Bay means that you will enjoy a day at the beach in the middle of an Egyptian paradise that you won’t forget.

Pick a Desert Safari and enjoy a Bedouin dinner

Another great experience in Hurghada is to go on a desert safari in vehicles such as jeeps or buggies since you will have the opportunity to visit a Bedouin village, and you will also be able to have an evening under the stars. At the same time, you enjoy an Arab show and a barbecue.

It is a unique opportunity to enjoy the Sahara Desert and its charm. The approximate cost with adventure agencies is $27 and up.

Hurgada Safari. Source: Sempre Travel Egypt.

Get to know the Montaza Palace in Alexandria.

You have probably heard about Alexandria, an unmissable stop if you want to know a large part of Egyptian territory. Thanks to its proximity to the capital, it is possible to visit Alexandria from Cairo to see its most outstanding tourist spots in 1 or 2 days.

The Montaza Palace is currently a museum, but its main attraction lies in its façade, the beautiful gardens, and view of the Mediterranean. We recommend you have a picnic in their gardens in the afternoon. To visit it, you can go between 8:00 am and 11:00 pm. The entrance costs 25 EP ($0.75) per person.

Take great pictures at the Library of Alexandria

As you may know, the original Library of Alexandria was one of the most important and prestigious libraries of antiquity, where the most significant source of knowledge in the world was housed, but whose existence was destroyed by a fire.

Today, there is a library that pays homage to the previous one, whose foundation was promoted by the Egyptian government and the UN to build a modern library with architecture that symbolizes the Egyptian sun.

It is located very close to the Montaza Palace, and its entrance is completely free for locals, but foreigners must pay a fee of 10 EP ($0.30). You can visit from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, although on Fridays, the opening hours are from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Alexandria library. Source: Muy Interesante Mexico.

Tour Maamoura Beach

Maamoura Beach is, in addition to a beach, one of the most famous neighborhoods in Alexandria. In it, you can visit the Museum of Royal Jewelry, the Sidi Bishr Mosque, take pictures of the Stanley Bridge, or just walk along the beach or bike to end the day tasting the local gastronomy in its different commercial establishments.

Recommendations to visit Egypt

Before you leave, we want to give you some tips and recommendations for traveling:

  • Before planning your trip, check if your nationality requires a visa to go to Egypt since when entering the country, you must apply for a tourist visa that costs $25. You can buy the visa on the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website or at the airport of arrival.
  • Get an eSIM Egypt with unlimited data so you can connect to the internet right when you land.
  • 35% of the Egyptian population knows or understands English, so if you don’t know Arabic, you can try to communicate in English.
  • Plan your trip between October and November or during March and April since the temperatures and weather are usually more pleasant.
  • Taste the traditional gastronomy. Visit the street food stalls in the bazaars and markets.
  • Suppose you are looking for something to buy in Egypt. In that case, you can opt for souvenirs such as papyrus, beetles, djellabas, perfumes, essences, ornaments or alabaster figures, water pipes, wallets, bags, sandals, etc.
  • Remember to haggle when buying in bazaars or markets because prices are usually inflated since the customer is expected to haggle. But don’t do it in malls or supermarkets.
eSIM Egypt
Get an eSIM Egypt to have internet during your trip

Frequent questions about what to do in Egypt

Should I bring a plug adapter on my trip to Egypt?

If you come from a country other than the European continent, it is best to bring an adapter, since in Egypt, they have the same power outlets as in Spain.

What types of transportation are there in Egypt?

You will find transport such as buses, minibusses, metro (only in Cairo), taxis, and Uber.

Is it safe for women to travel to Egypt?

Egypt is a safe country to travel to, but its citizens find it strange to see a woman traveling alone. If you feel insecure, try to travel in a tour group. If we discuss the Muslim dress code, this applies to locals, but it is not mandatory for tourists except for places like mosques.

Do they drink alcohol in Egypt?

No. For religious reasons, Egyptians do not drink alcohol, so it is challenging to get alcoholic beverages outside of hotels or tourist restaurants.

What are the business hours in Egypt?

It is usually from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, but during the summer, some businesses close their doors from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm due to high temperatures.