The land of the Nile, Egypt is the home of the mighty Pharaohs, the pyramids and unparalleled history. It is a magical land of golden sands and sandy gold, of endless rivers and cities bursting at the seams; mesmerising travellers for over four thousand years. With this Egypt travel guide we introduce you to the best places to see and the top things to do, bringing you closer to taking that journey of a lifetime to Egypt.
The best time to visit Egypt is during winter especially in the months December and January. The weather is pleasant during this time and you have the chance to experience the Abu Simbel Festival. Spring is also popular with tourists with most arriving to experience the city of Luxor. Summer on the banks of the Nile can be unbearably hot but it is a great time to enjoy the Red Sea.
Egyptian weather is typically hot and sunny throughout the year with some days warmer than others. Summers that last from April to September can get scorching hot with temperatures often crossing 40°C. Winters are relatively mild with cool evenings and warm days. Rain in Egypt is incredibly rare, so you can leave the umbrella at home.
The capital of Egypt, Cairo is the perfect place to begin your journey into Egypt. The bustling city offers a great introduction to Egyptian culture and history. Check out the Al-Azhar Mosque, Cairo Tower with its 360° views of Cairo, the Coptic Museum and the Abdeen Palace that was home to the last King of Egypt, Farouk. And of course, the Egypt travel guide superstar, Giza and its Great Pyramids. Only a short drive away from the capital city, the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx are Egypt’s most famous attraction.
The city of Luxor was once the capital of Ancient Egypt, thousands of years ago. In fact, the word Luxor itself means “Palaces” owing the opulent palaces and mansions that were built across the city by the Egyptian Pharaohs. Located in Southern Egypt, the modern town coexists with the ruins of the vast ancient city called “Thebes”. Luxor today has a lot of ancient sites that should be a part of your Egypt travel planning including the Luxor Temple, the Temple of Karnak, and the Valley of Kings. Also worth your time is the Museum that holds artefacts excavated from the ruins of Luxor.
Aswan is another historic Egyptian city built on the banks of the Nile and Lake Nasser. There’s a lot the see in the city so we recommend allotting at least a few days for Aswan in your Egypt travel planning. The top attractions ins Aswan are also some of the best places to visit in Egypt such the High Dam, Philae Temple built in honour of the Goddess Isis, the legendary unfinished Obelisk, and the Tombs of the Nobles. There are also a few islands on the Nile that you could visit on your trip to Egypt. One of these is the Elephantine Island which is home to the well-stocked Aswan Museum.
Situated on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great. Not much has survived those days but the city still has many attractions that draw tourists from across the world. Every Egypt travel guide worth its salt will recommend a visit to the 15th century Citadel of Qaitbay, Pompey’s Pillar, the roman theatre that dates back to the second century AD and the Montazah Palace.
The Great Pyramids are the only survivors of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The site of the pyramids is located a few miles from the town of Giza near Cairo. Your entry ticket to the complex will get you entry to the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Menkaure, and the Great Pyramid. You will also be able to enter the Sphinx. This odd-looking creature with the body of the lion and the head of a man is the image you see on the cover of every Egypt travel guide. We also recommend stopping by the Solar Barque Museum, that has a beautifully preserved boat that the pharaoh used four thousand years ago.
Nile cruises are a popular way to travel through Egypt. A mode of transport that hasn’t changed in four thousand years, river cruises can take you through the length of Egypt. You could choose a short dinner cruise where you enjoy an evening on the river with a sumptuous Egyptian meal or opt for a cruise that takes you from Aswan to Luxor. You will also have the chance to spend the night under the shadow of Abu Simbel temples, a pair of temples that were carved out of the sandstone 4300 years ago.
The Karnak temple complex is one of the biggest attractions in Egypt. The complex consists of temples, chapels, sanctuaries, precincts and the famed Luxor Temple. The top draw at Karnak is the hypostyle hall in the precinct of the Egyptian sun god. Here you will find yourself in surrounded by hundreds of pillars in a surreal courtyard that is the same as it was millennia ago. The area also has an open air museum will statues, pillars and towering obelisks that you must add to your Egypt travel planning.
A popular resort town sprawled across the shores of the Red Sea, Sharm el-Sheikh is one of the top places to see in Egypt. The town boasts of golden beaches, warm blue waters and colourful coral waters. Head to Naama Bay, a pretty waterfront promenade, to enjoy sundowners by the Red Sea. You could also add a wet suit to your Egypt travel planning list as Sharm el-Sheikh is home to some of the world’s finest dive sites. Ras Muhammad National Park sees dives come from across the world for its shark reefs, corals and ship wrecks.