23 interesting things to do in Egypt on your next trip
There’s something about Egypt that makes travellers’ jaws drop. It could be the delicious food, the deep history or the famous Pyramids of Giza, one of Egypt’s greatest mysteries and most iconic sights.
No matter the reason why you may be heading to Egypt, there’s no doubt that there’s something to do and see there for everyone. There’s so many memorable Egypt tourist attractions that you’ll never be short on things to do.
Curious about what all these things to do in Egypt are? Well, we’ve got 23 to get you started!
1) Visit the iconic Sphinx
One of the most popular things to do in Egypt is see the Sphinx IRL. This massive limestone statue located in Giza dates all the way back to when King Kahfre was reigning back in 2500 BC. The statue showcases the King’s face and is said to be one of the best-known examples of sphinx artwork.
2) See the Pyramids of Giza
Then, of course, there are the famous Pyramids of Giza which are well known when anyone thinks about Ancient Egypt. If you haven’t already heard of them, you’ll no doubt recognize the pyramids through photos and for good reason; they’re one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
3) Explore the markets in Cairo
Making a day trip out of visiting local markets should always be on your list of things to do, especially when you’re in Egypt. When you’re in Cairo, you’ll want to make sure you wander through the markets to meet locals and truly experience what they have to offer. Oh, and don’t forget to try your hand at haggling – it’s expected when you explore the market here. When you’re done exploring the markets, you’ll also want to slot in some time to visit Islamic Cairo which is the historic area of the city.
4) Taste the delicious eats
When you think of things to do in Egypt, food may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Trust us though, it should be one of the top on the list. We suggest treating your taste buds to eats like kushari, Egypt’s national dish, which is a mix of rice, lentils, pasta and chickpeas tossed together then topped with cumin, tomato and crunchy fried onion. You should also try ful medames (cooked fava beans with spices and herbs), falafel and Um Ali, a sweet treat made using puff pastry, nuts, sugar and raisins.
5) Sail down the Nile on a felucca
We all deserve a bit of relaxation, and that’s where sailing down the Nile on a gorgeous felucca is the perfect thing to do. Sit on the side of the boat and take in the peaceful views while making your way down one of the longest rivers in the world.
6) Visit the Unfinished Obelisk
Located in Aswan, the Unfinished Obelisk is one of the top things you need to do if you’re visiting Egypt. Why? Great question. It’s because it’s more than 3,500 years old and instead of standing upright, like an obelisk normally would, it’s within the ground remaining unfinished. This is a sight to see since you can get up close and personal with what is considered a precious monument.
7) Explore the Aswan High Dam
You can find the world’s largest embankment dam right in Egypt, and you won’t want to miss it. The incredible Aswan High Dam was completed in 1970 and has a massive crest length at 12,562ft. In case you’re wondering, that’s massive, making it one of the jaw-dropping things to see in Egypt.
8) Explore the Abu Simbel Temple
In Egypts upper region, you’ll find the village of Abu Simbel. Here is where an amazing temple sits that’s made out of two insanely huge rock-cut temples. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site also known as the Nubian Monuments. They’re there serving as a monument to King Ramesses II and countless travellers head over to see it each and every year.
9) Kom Obo, the Temple of Two Gods
Right on one of the Nile’s bends, you’ll find one of the well-known things to do and see in Egypt. Dedicated to two Gods (the crocodile God Sobek and Haroeris) this temple has two entrances that are perfectly symmetrical. Touring the Temple will make for a memorable experience as you see just how intricate everything is and how it was put together.
10) Explore the avenue of the Sphinxes
In Luxor, the avenue of the Sphinxes is one of the many historical sites you can see. It’s a popular hub for those who have been travelling down the Nile and the avenue of the Sphinxes leads you to the famous (and also must be on your bucket list) Luxor Temple. The entire avenue runs for approximately 2kms! The Sphinxes have the body of a lion and the head is based on King Nectanebo’s.
11) Colossi of Memnon
These two immense stone statues are of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III who, back in the day during the Eighteenth Dynasty, reigned all of Egypt. Since the year 1350 BCE, these incredible statues have stood just west of the Nile River by the city of Luxor.
12) Visit an indigenous Nubian village
As part of Contiki Cares experiences, you’ll have a chance to do one of the best things to do in Egypt. What’s that you ask? It’s visiting an indigenous Nubian Village. Here, you’ll see and learn about the rich heritage of the community. A community, may we add, that dates all the way back to the Palaeolithic era aka the Old Stone Age.
13) Roam around the Temples of Karnak
This area, commonly known as simply Karnak, is definitely one of the things you need to do in Egypt. When you visit, you’ll see a vast mix of different temples, chapels, and more that are all decayed. Located near Luxor, construction in the area started back in 2000-1700 BC. So, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re doing before you go since this needs to be on your list!
14) Take a cruise on the Red Sea
This amazing seawater inlet has a surface area of around 438,000 km² and is known for marine life and coral reefs. The sea sits between the Africa and Asian continents and is one of the most popular places to visit in Egypt and other countries. While you’re there, you can take a cruise on the Red Sea to truly get an idea of how massive the area is and it’s natural beauty.
15) Take a walk through the Egyptian Museum
If you’re curious about ancient Egyptian items and antiques, this is definitely one of the things you should do in Egypt on your trip. With 120,000 items (yes, that’s a lot), you can easily spend the full day there wandering around and taking in the history.
16) Visit Alexandria
With a total population of 5,200,000 Alexandria is the third-largest city in Egypt and the seventh-largest in Africa. The locals call it the Bride of the Mediterranean and when travellers visit, they see exactly why. The city was founded back in 331 BC by Alexander the Great, King of Macedon. What can you do there? Take in the ancient architecture and the gorgeous waterfront views.
17) Hike Mount Sinai
One of the most popular things to do in Egypt is go on a hike up Mount Sinai. This mountain that sits in the Sinai Peninsula is where, according to the Bible, Moses received the Ten Commandments. Most people head there for the incredible views though as all sides of the mountain are surrounded by high peaks in the famous mountain range.
18) Visit the tomb of Nefertari
If you’re looking to visit a tomb with some serious ‘wow’ factor, this has to be a stop on your journey. When you look closely, the detail in how it was built will impress anyone going to see it. It’s the perfect way to get an idea of what the tombs looked like about 3,000 years ago.
19) Explore the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
Also known as the Djeser-Djeseru, the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut is located in upper Egypt and was built for pharaoh Hatshepsut. It is just beneath the cliffs at Deir el-Bahari on the west bank of the famous Nile River. It’s one of the things travellers always do in Egypt because it’s considered one of the ancient Egypt monuments that is incomparable to the rest.
20) Visit Abydos
One of the oldest cities in Egypt, Abydos, is a popular tourist destination for countless reasons. Just about 11 kms from the Nile, it’s considered one of Egypt’s most important archeological sites as it’s the spot where you’d find countless ancient temples. Today, most notably, Abydos is known for the Seti I memorial temple. Here, there’s an inscription from the Nineteenth Dynasty that is a chronological list of most of the pharaohs of Egypt.
21) Wader through the White Desert National Park
This National Park is one of the coolest things to do in Egypt. It showcases large white rock formations that are naturally created from erosion by wind and sand around it. You’ll also find big cliffs and incredible sand dunes. The highest point of the park is 353m above sea level and it’s a refuge for many animals.
22) Head to the Siwa Oasis
This urban oasis is not only a famous archeological site, it’s also a dream spot to visit in Egypt. Located between the Qattara Depression and the Great San Sea is where it sits. Mostly, it’s known for its ancient role as it’s home to one of the oracles of Ammon. The ruins you’ll find here are incredibly popular with tourists as it’s a part of ancient Egypt.
23) Walk through the Valley of the Kings
If you’re looking for an Egypt tourist attraction that will be incredibly memorable, you’ll want to head to the Valley of the Kings. The valley is on the west bank of the Nile River and has two valleys within it; the east and the west. Here, you’ll find massive tombs made for the pharaohs and nobles of New Kingdom. Not too long ago, in 2008, two more tomb entrances were even discovered bringing the total to 63 tombs and chambers found within the valley. Ready to explore it? We know we are!