Egypt, the land of mystical pyramids, exotic artefacts dating back thousands of years, the magnificent River Nile, and barren deserts, connects the continents of Asia and Africa. The transcontinental country is home to Millenia-old monuments and spectacular ruins of ancient civilizations that spark interest and curiosity and ignite the adventurer in all of us. Even after centuries, you can still catch unmistakable glimpses into the past. After all this is where it all started. Awaken the explorer inside you and come to the beguiling country that Egypt is.
Sprawling besides the River Nile, Cairo is Egypt's capital and trove of antique treasure and fabulous architecture. The city will charm you with its unique blend of the modern world and the past. On one hand you will see busy roads and bustling streets, and on the other, you will find camels strutting along the dirt roads bordered with colossal monuments from the ancient times. The buzzing noise and omnipresent dust can be off-putting at first, but as you begin to wander through the streets, you begin to understand why locals still call Cairo 'Umm-ad-Dunya' which translates into 'the Mother of the World'.
Your first stop will most probably be the Pyramids of Giza, an ancient wonder of the world which is more than 4000-years-old. As you gaze at the marvelous geometric structures standing in front of you, you will be left awestruck with the very same question that has been asked zillions of times, 'How were they even built?'
In Downtown Cairo, you will see a large rose-colored building. It's Egyptian Museum housing a plethora of ancient relics and antiques. Coptic Museum is also worth a visit where you can see world's largest display of Egyptian Christian artifacts from the Coptic era including the oldest Psalms book, the Psalms of David. The Museum of Islamic Art will be another highlight of your trip. From its impeccable architecture to exceptional collection of Islamic artifacts, it is apparent as to why the museum is regarded as the greatest in the world.
Alexandria is Egypt's second-largest city that connects the country to the Mediterranean Sea. The seaport city was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, and even though fate brought destruction along its way plenty of times, it always rose back to life, grander than ever. Visit Citadel of Qaitbay, a beautiful fortress built in 1477 AD, overlooking the sea. Appreciate the splendid history of Egypt at Alexandria National Museum, Graeco-Roman Museum and National Institute for Oceanography & Fisheries. Whether you are a bookaholic or not, check out Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a grand library situated near the site of the famous Great Library of Alexandria. Make sure to pay a visit to Pompey’s Pillar & the Temple of Serapeum, an archeological site.
Luxor, the City of Palaces, sprawls upon the site of ancient Thebes along the east bank of the Nile River. Luxor is divided into two districts, East and West Banks. On the eastern side, you will stumble upon the temples, hotels, restaurants, and the town itself. Visit Luxor Temple and Karnak, and you will marvel at the intricacies and complexities of the structures built by the pharaohs. The western site is dedicated to the ruins that include Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens. There are a few hotels as well. The Valley of the Kings is an awe-inspiring site that will surely give you goosebumps. The archaeological ruins contain the tombs of pharaohs.
Aswan is a small and laidback city on the Nile River acting as a commercial window for Egypt. Like most places in Egypt, Aswan has many archaeological sites, temples, and remarkable museums. Visit Aswan Botanical Garden, a small island bursting with palms and blooms. The gardens have numerous kinds of plant and bird species. Elephantine Island will offer you a glimpse into past through a tour of ancient Abu as well as surprise you with its bustling Nubian villages of Siou and Koti. Fascinate yourself further by checking out the unfinished obelisk created from the finest granite.
Lying at the northern end of Suez Canal, Port Said is renowned for its fine architecture and historical monuments. The Lighthouse of Port Said is the most famous and oldest building which was built in 1869. Then there is Suez Canal House whose green domes you can see in almost every picture of Port Said. The city also has a number of museums and beautiful mosques.
In Egyptian cuisine, you will find an abundance of legumes, vegetable, herbs and fruits thanks to the flourishing Nile River and Delta. The food is extremely flavorful with Eastern Mediterranean vibes and you can munch on falafel almost all day long. Some of the popular dishes include shawarma, grilled meat like kofta and kebab and liver sandwiches. Ful Medames is very commonly eaten by locals. It consists of mashed fava beans, herbs, and spices. Don't forget to have a platter of Hummus and Torshi on the side.
Tea and coffee are the locals' favorite followed by fresh fruit juices. As Egypt is an Islamic country, alcohol is usually frowned upon. However, you can find beer in some restaurants. Cairo is the center of all the entertainment, and you will find plenty of theatres, opera centers, dance complexes and much more. Other cities also host annual festivals, and you will always stumble upon a cafe if you fancy a cup of tea.
From tiny rooms to flea-bitten mattresses to lavish suites and cozy bed & breakfast, Egypt has a wide range of accommodations. Not many are suitable, even if you are on a budget. If you are visiting during Christmas and Easter holidays, it is better to book the room in advance as it is a busy season.
The best time to go to Egypt is from October till February when mild winters prevail, and sun warms you up nicely. This is also the high season so be prepared for crowds and high rates. March till May and September bring the shoulder season. It is better not to go o the western side from June to August as summertime is at its peak and heat will get to you. Keep in mind that this is the high season for the Mediterranean region.
• Walk the narrow streets of Khan Al Khalili, a medieval-style mall in Cairo, where you can buy all sorts of things ranging from cheap souvenirs to semi-precious jewels.
• Visit Manial Palace, the former Alawiyya dynasty era palace complex and museum in Cairo.
• Gaze at the fascinating minarets of Bab Zuweila, one of the remaining historical gates of the city.
• Explore the eerie Catacombs of Kom Ash Shuqqafa in Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages.
• Visit the secluded town of Abu Simbel and explore the glorious temples.
• Soak up in the past at Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt.
• Spend a luxurious time at Hurghada, a resort town next to the Red Sea.
• Enjoy views of Jordan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia from the mountain resorts of Taba Heights.
Cairo International Airport is Egypt's major airport and it offers many connecting flights to different countries. Other airports are located in cities including Luxor, Aswan and Hurghada. It is also possible to travel through ferries in the Red Sea to countries like Jordan. Travelers from Israel can also access Egypt through a bus service.
You can travel within Egypt via a domestic flight, trains, buses, and cars. Do take a boat trip on the Nile River to go to cities connected by the river.
Egypt's local currency is the Egyptian pound (EGP). Credit cards are usually not accepted in most places, so it is best to have some cash on you.
If you decide to go away, book your hotel, flights and activities through our trip concierge for discounts and benefits. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, free hotel credit and VIP gifts at many luxury hotels for the same price as the hotel’s own websites. (Book direct and you don’t get these benefits so why would you?). Our packaged vacation prices tend to be considerably cheaper than flight and hotel prices available online.