Top Things to See and Do in Egypt

The Valley of the Whales, near Wadi El-Hitan in the Western Desert, has been carved out by wind erosion
The Valley of the Whales, near Wadi El-Hitan in the Western Desert, has been carved out by wind erosion | © Mike P Shepherd / Alamy
Gehad Medhat

Egypt may have amassed 7,000 years of history and civilisation, but besides its breathtaking ancient attractions, the country also possesses a blend of modern culture, top cuisine and hospitable people. If you’re planning a visit, here are our tips on how to spend your time wisely.

Looking for the full package? Join our 10-day Egyptian adventure to ensure an experience that scratches way beyond the surface of this mesmerising country. Led by our Local Insider, you’ll get to go to places and enjoy immersive activities that take you off the beaten track.

Start with an authentic breakfast

An authentic Egyptian breakfast isn’t be complete without foul medames (cooked fava beans), tameya (patties made of ground fava beans), fried or boiled eggs, fresh fries, cheese with tomato and green pepper and traditional baladi bread. With its exceptional variety and mouthwatering taste, an Egyptian breakfast leaves you feeling full and energetic for most of the day.

A typical Egyptian breakfast includes ‘foul medames’, or fava beans

Ride a camel

The Pyramids of Giza are a must-see for anyone visiting Egypt. Make your visit extra special by enjoying this ancient wonder from atop a camel, one of Egypt’s most emblematic creatures.

Camels have long been used by Egyptians as a means of transport

Take a walk in Khan el-Khalili

As one of the most traditional bazaars in Cairo, Khan el-Khalili is a unique attraction for both tourists and Egyptians. There, shoppers can buy all the souvenirs they want and have lasting memories of their trip. Even just walking around Khan el-Khalili’s narrow alleys and watching the Egyptian vendors provides an exceptional break that provides a glimpse into Egyptian culture and its traditions.

Khan el-Khalili is home to traditional cafes where you can enjoy a mint tea

Eat kushari

Just like breakfast, Egyptian lunch offers a wide range of varieties of authentic meals. However, one of the most traditional meals to try when visiting Egypt is kushari, which consists of rice, macaroni, lentils and tomato sauce with garlic vinegar poured on top before being sprinkled with chickpeas and fried onions.

Kushari is a pasta, rice and lentil dish enjoyed throughout Egypt

Go sandboarding

To all the adventurous folk out there, sandboarding in Egypt’s sand dunes is not to be missed. At 140m (460ft) high, the Great Sand Sea near Siwa Oasis offers what is widely considered to be the best dune surfing in the world.

Dunes at the Great Sand Sea near Siwa Oasis in Egypt

Cruise the Nile

Egypt’s ancient civilisation, agriculture and way of life would never have been possible without the Nile. Whether visiting Cairo or Aswan, don’t leave Egypt without cruising the Nile.

A cruise on the River Nile near Aswan

Discover Islamic Cairo

Cairo is the city of a thousand minarets, a nickname that reflects the many mosques located across its neighbourhoods. These mosques have been built during different eras and each represents the reign of a different kingdom.

The Ottoman-era Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha is a key religious site in Cairo

Drink Asab El Sokar

Asab Al Sokar, Arabic for sugarcane, is one of the most common juices in Egypt – light and thirst-quenching, making it ideal during the heat of summer. Don’t leave without trying.

Tourists drinking sugarcane juice on Muizz Street

Tour Egypt’s ancient wonders

Luxor and Aswan host the highest amount of Pharaonic sites in Egypt. Nevertheless, there are other temples, statues and Pharaonic sites for tourists to enjoy.

Tourists in front of the Deir al-Bahari Complex and the temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor

Dive into the Red Sea

Locations such as Marsa Alam, Hurghada, Sharm Al Sheikh and Dahab offer many great diving sites where visitors can discover the hidden beauty of the Red Sea and its rich ecosystem.

Scuba diving in Marsa Alam is quite an experience

Visit El Fayoum

El Fayoum, one of the country’s oldest cities, offers activities including surfing the sand dunes, visiting waterfalls at the Wadi El Rayan, camping in Wadi El Hetan (Whales Valley), hiking Modawara Mountain, or visiting the villages of Tunis and Youssef El Sadik.

A man-made waterfall in the Wadi El Rayan at Fayoum Oasis

Hike Mount Sinai

At a height of 2,285m (7,497ft), the sunrise or sunset from the summit of Mount Sinai is a sight to behold. Besides the vistas, hiking Mount Sinai is a great adventure presenting a range of challenges and rewards to the intrepid traveller.

The views from on top of Mount Sinai will take your breath away

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Edit article