If you only have a week or two to explore Egypt, then be sure to visit, the famed Giza Pyramids and Sphinx, the Step Pyramid of Djozer, and the breathtaking ancient temples and tombs at Luxor.
Must Visit Places in Egypt?
Egypt in home to hundreds, if not thousands of breathtaking historical sites, many of which are located on the banks of the River Nile and the banks of Lake Nasser in Upper Egypt.
Most people who visit Egypt simply don’t have enough time to visit every tourist attraction in the country, so in this post we are only going to take a look at the top must-visit places in Egypt. These are among Egypt’s most famous attractions which everyone should try to visit during their trip to Egypt.
We’ll begin with some must visit places in and around Cairo, and then move on from there.
Egypt Must Sees – The Ancient Pyramids
The legendary Giza Pyramids and Sphinx are one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions. Located on the outskirts of modern-day Cairo, Egypt’s capital city, the Great Pyramid that was constructed for Pharaoh Khafre is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the last remaining one which is still standing and still intact.
All three of the Giza Pyramids are open to tourists, meaning you can actually go inside them. However, there really isn’t much to see inside these three pyramids other that passages, stairs, and empty chambers.
If you want to see and explore the interior of an ancient pyramid, then you would be better off visiting the Great Step Pyramid at Saqqara, or the Bent and Red Pyramids at Dahshur. These three pyramids are all older than the three Pyramids of Giza, and their interiors are also a lot more interesting.
You can visit all of the above mentioned pyramids in one day, although this probably won’t be possible if you have to rely on public transport and/or taxis. If you want to visit all three of these archaeological sites in one day, you should consider booking an Egypt pyramids tour that includes a professional guide, a driver, and an air-conditioned vehicle.
The 2 Museums in Cairo
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities (Egyptian Museum) and the much newer Grand Egyptian Museum at Giza are Egypt’s top two museums. The Grand Egyptian Museum now has the world’s largest collection of artifacts showcasing the ancient history of a single ancient civilization. With that having been said, the old world famous Egyptian Museum which is located in Cairo’s Tahrir Square is still one of the top tourist attractions in Cairo, showcasing more than 5,000 years of Egyptian history.
Coptic Cairo and Islamic Cairo
While Cairo is certainly a modern city, this bustling capital city is home to numerous centuries-old churches and mosques, many of which have become popular tourist attractions, including the famous Hanging Church of Cairo and the Muhammad Ali Alabaster Mosque.
One could literally spend an entire day exploring these two parts of the city on foot, but if you don’t have too much time to spare, then you should at least try to visit the famous 14th century Khan El Khalili Bazaar in the heart of Islamic Cairo.
Luxor’s Ancient Temples and Tombs
The ancient Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple complex, and the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut are among Egypt’s most famous temples, and definitely some of the top must visit places in Egypt. Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple are located on the east bank of the River Nile within walking distance of each other.
Also located near modern-day Luxor, but one the west bank of the Nile River, you find the absolutely breathtaking mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut and the ancient royal necropolis known as the Valley of Kings, two of Egypt’s most visited ancient sites.
Valley of the Kings is home to more than 60 ancient tombs, many of which are open to visitors, including the tomb of King Tutankhamun. Pharaoh Ramesses II and all his sons were also buried in the Valley of Kings, but the body of Ramesses II was later moved. Today, his mummy is kept in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Apart from the above mentioned attractions, there are many other nearby ancient sites located in what is now known as one of the world’s largest open air museums, making Luxor one of the top must visit places in Egypt. Tourists can also enjoy sunrise and/or sunset hot air balloon rides over Luxor’s many ancient temples, tombs and ruins.
Rock-Hewn Temples of Ramses the Great
Considered an architectural masterpiece of Ancient Egypt, the rock-hewn temples at Abu Simbel are among the most impressive temples in Egypt. As with the temples and tombs in Luxor, the Abu Simbel Temples are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Located on the banks of Lake Nasser near the Sudanese border, these two gigantic temples were constructed during the reign of pharaoh Ramses II who had them constructed to serve as lasting monument of him and his wife, Queen Nefertari.
The Abu Simbel temples are without question one of the top must visit places in Egypt, and one which every visitor should try to visit during their stay.
Aswan, Egypt’s Laid Back City
Aswan is often said to be Egypt’s most charming city. It’s the perfect place to visit after visit chaotic Cairo, or the bustling city of Luxor. Besides its laid back pace of life, Aswan also has some wonderful ancient sites, with the breathtaking ancient Philae Temple being the most famous of them all. Philae Temple is thought to be the last true Egyptian temple built in Egypt.
Nile River Cruises
It’s often said that there is no better way to experience Ancient Egypt than by way of a Nile cruise, and anyone who has experienced a awesome Dahabiya Nile Cruise would definitely agree. With a good quality cruise, you enjoy expert-guided tours to all the Luxor attractions mentioned earlier, and to the top attractions in Aswan.
If you have seen the top attractions in Cairo, Aswan and Luxor, and you still have time to spare, you may want to consider visiting Alexandria on Egypt’s northern coast. Despite being Egypt’s second-largest city, it is nothing like Cairo. It is a much more laid back city, and one which seems to have escaped the negative effects of mass tourism.
While Alexandria cannot compete with Cairo and Luxor in terms of ancient attractions, the city still has plenty to see, including the ultra-modern Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the 15th-century Qaitbay Citadel, and several fascinating Greco-Roman landmarks. The city is also home to numerous old-world cafes which are absolutely charming.
You can also enjoy lovely sandy beaches which are never very crowded. Foreign travelers rarely visit Alexandria for a beach holiday, opting instead for places like Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh. As a result, you can often have an entire stretch of beach all to yourself.
South Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea Coast
Hurghada, Dahab, Sharm El-Sheikh, Marsa Alam, and Nuweiba are all must visit places in Egypt if you want to enjoy a relaxing break near the ocean during your trip to Egypt. These are also immensely popular tourist spots among SCUBA diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.
You will find a thriving SCUBA diving industry in all of these areas. This is not actually surprising considering that Egypt’s Red Sea coastline is home to some of the world’s finest dive sites. From colorful coral reefs to sunken ship wrecks, Egypt’s Red Sea coast has it all.
The Western Desert
Many people would agree that the Western Desert is one of the top must visit places in Egypt if you want to spend some time in nature. It is also the perfect place to enjoy camel rides, quad bike adventures, and/or 4×4 desert safaris.
The Western Desert is also home to the White Desert National Park, the Black Desert, and a number of oases, including the Siwa Oasis and the Bahariya Oasis, both of which have plenty of sites to enjoy, including ancient tombs, and the Valley of Golden Mummies.
Must Visit Places in Egypt and More
Even if you have visited all the must-visit places in Egypt which have been mentioned in this post, you can be sure that Egypt has plenty of other fascinating places to visit as well.
At Egypt Tours Plus, we have an epic range of Egypt tour packages and Nile River cruises to suit all tastes and budgets. And, if you cannot find the perfect Egypt itinerary on our site, we can customize any and all of our tours to fit your needs exactly, or our Egypt travel specialists can work with you to design your own unique itinerary from scratch.
With approximately half a million tours already sold, you can be sure that when you travel with us, lifelong memories are guaranteed. Find and book your dream private guided trip to Egypt, or to begin planning your once in a lifetime holiday today.
Explore Egypt your way by selecting only the attractions you want to visit
Explore Egypt your way by selecting only the attractions you want to visit