Egypt is an incredible and diverse country – there are so many things to see and do. You could be there for an entire lifetime and not be able to see everything. With countless historic landmarks, buildings and artefacts, not to mention adventure activities, Egypt truly is a great holiday destination for travellers who want to learn and experience many different activities and dive into the Egyptian culture. Here are 20 unique and diverse things to do in Egypt!
- Hot Air Ballooning in Luxor
Make sure when visiting Luxor, you experience this beautiful city by air! You will get to see the beautiful nature that this country has on offer along with historical sites and beautiful mountains too. Make sure when picking a company, though, and ensure that it’s one with a reputable and great track record. You can’t bargain on safety. If you take the 9-day tour with Travel Talk Tours you will get the chance to experience a hot air balloon over Luxor. It’s an incredible experience and not to be missed!
- Sail down the Nile on a felucca
I spent 2 nights on a felucca with my new found friends I made on my tour and it was one of the best things ever. I usually feel a little sick on boats but this was calm and very pleasant so there was no need for me to take any sea sickness pills! Sailing down the Nile is extremely relaxing and the best way to take in the beauty of the Nile. It was great to get back to nature and just enjoy the surroundings. If a felucca is not your style, then there are plenty of cruise ships that travel along the Nile for a more luxury experience and a proper toilet!
- Visit Luxor temple
Luxor temple was built by Amenhotep III around 1392 BC but Tutankhamun and Rameses ll also added to the Temple during their ruling. It’s a large site with a rich history and many stories to be told. This temple cannot be missed on your trip to Luxor.
- See Luxor temple at night
You may be thinking why should I visit the temple for a second time at night? The answer is “yes!” because it is so beautiful and is a completely different experience than during the day. It’s a lot quieter but also with the light lighting up the temple it really looks incredible. The Avenue of the Sphinx looks seriously impressive!
- Visit Sakkara
Sakkara is an ancient burial ground located about 30 minutes out of modern Cairo. Djoser’s step pyramid is the oldest stone complex known in history. 16 different kings built pyramids here but these days most of them are in disrepair. However, you can go inside a pyramid at no extra cost, and it is in an excellent state. You can see the ancient carvings inside the tomb clearly so this is a great place if you have always wanted to go inside a pyramid!
- Gaze at the great pyramids of Gaza
You can’t visit Egypt and not see the great pyramids in Giza. Named as one of the wonders of the world, the pyramids are vast and remarkable. You may go inside the Great Pyramid for an extra cost but it is not as in a good condition as the pyramid in Sakkara, so bear that in mind. You could spend a good hour just gazing at the pyramids as they look so unreal, and your eyes will easily soak up the sights. There is a great viewpoint on the other side of the pyramids, a little bit up a small hill. Here you can get the picture-perfect shot you wished for.
- Get the all-time kissing photo of the Sphinx
You may have seen many Instagram photos of travellers kissing this mythical creature! It’s is the oldest known monumental sculpture in Egypt so it deserves to be seen by you on your trip to Egypt. It was very busy with everyone trying to get their kissing shot but it’s well worth seeing and you can get a good photo of the Great Sphinx with the Giza Pyramids in the background.
- Have dinner with the Nubians
The Nubians are an ethnic tribe which is indigenous to Sudan and Egypt. There is a village located on the East Bank of Aswan where you can have a traditional dinner in a traditional Nubian home. There are also market stalls where you can buy handcrafts and spices too. It’s so colourful and worthwhile seeing, and the Nubian dinner is absolutely delicious!
- Dance with the Egyptians around a camp fire
Let me tell you one thing, Egyptians know how to dance! Enjoy a bit of the Egyptian culture by dancing around the campfire while listening to drums and loving those hips. They know how to move their hips so be prepared to be shown up by some of the locals!
- Visit Abu Simbel (early!)
Abu Simbel is about a 3 to 4-hour drive from Aswan but it’s totally worth it. If you do make it here, make sure you get here early to avoid the bus loads of tourists. If you go with Travel Talk Tours this is one of the optional activities which they offer. There are two colossal rock temples that have been carved from the rocks. They used to be positioned where the dam lies now but they had to move them up the cliff so they could preserve them. Make sure you check out these car rental deals in Egypt if you want to take your own tour to Abu Simbel.
- See Philae Temple
Philae Temple is located on an island and has a bizarre, incestuous story to go along with it. I won’t write about it here as it would probably be a whole other blog post so if you want to read more about it then read this. It was one of the quietist temples that we visited in Egypt but it’s a must-see regardless. It was nice to visit a temple that was not so crowded because you could observe the carvings and drawing and really appreciate the work that goes into these ancient temples.
- Eat endless amounts of Falafel sandwich
Falafel is everywhere and for good reason, it’s delicious! If you have tried it in the past and didn’t like it, you must try it here because it tasted totally different from what I know. Since this is where they originate, Egyptians sure know how to make a falafel, 100% better than anyone else and from anywhere else! Don’t forget the hummus, baba ganoush and salad too! There are plenty of delicious Egyptian foods you must try but falafel and baba ganoush are the main two in my opinion!
- Edfu Temple
Edfu temple is one of the best preserved as it was built later than most other temples. It is located in a place called Edfu which is halfway between Luxor and Aswan. If you are travelling between the two cities, then make sure you take a stop here. Word of warning, though, the touts are a lot more full-on here than they are in other places. The best thing to do if you do not want to purchase anything is to just ignore them or keep saying no thank you.
- Take in the beauty of the Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings was by far the top 3 things I experienced ad saw in Egypt. Unfortunately, photography is not allowed here but it does give you a great reason to get away from the screen and take in the history. They open 3 tombs at a time to give the other ones a break, so what temples you see is whichever is open at the time. I simply cannot describe the temples inside because they left me speechless. Just imagine bright coloured hieroglyphics from floor to ceiling and then at the end of the colourful tunnel is a massive tomb. It’s seriously incredible.
- See Tutankhamen’s mummy
The Valley of the Kings you can purchase another ticket to have a special look into Tutankhamen’s tomb. Tutankhamen was not a long ruler of Egypt but the reason is such a popular figure in Egyptian history is because his tomb was the only one found with all his treasure still in the tomb. He started ruling when he was only 9 years old and only ruled for 10 years until he passed away at the young age of 19. You can see his mummy in the tomb but all his treasure you can see in the Egyptian Museum. His tomb is tiny compared to the others but I thought it was worth it just to meet him in real life!
- Hatshepsut temple
Hatshepsut was the second confirmed female pharaoh in Egyptian history. Her Temple is definitely not like the others being a 3-teired building. Beware this place gets super busy so I would get here early just like all the other temples in Egypt. It is located only a 10-minute drive from the Valley of the Kings. At the end of the reign of Thutmose lll, it’s believed that there was an effort to remove records of her ever-ruling Egypt. Various parts of the temple were destroyed and some parts were buried along with cartouches and images of her face were chiselled off in some parts.
- Visit the Hanging Church
This church is unique in that the ceiling of the church was made in the shape of Noah’s Ark. It’s called the hanging church because it was built on top of the Roman Fortress. The architecture is beautiful and if you are really interested in the religious sites then this has got to be your first stop.
- Mosque of Amr ibn al-As
To visit the Mosque, women must be covering their heads and be appropriately dressed. This Mosque was the first ever to be built in Egypt and in Africa so it has a certain historical value unlike the other mosques in Cairo. This is also well worth the visit to learn more about the Aslam and Egyptian Islamic culture.
- Spend the day at the Egyptian Museum
You could spend your entire life at the Egyptian Museum, it’s unbelievable. You can purchase an extra ticket to see the king’s mummies, which I highly recommend! As said previously, you can see all of Tutankhamen’s treasure that was found in his tomb along with a vast number of statues and carvings. This is the most impressive museum I have ever visited. You can also see animal mummies too!
- Visit the crazy Khan El Khalili bazaar
If you thought Cairo traffic was crazy, then wait until you experience the market! It’s full of people, stalls, food and much more. Just keep your game face on and prepare to haggle hard.
There are 20 unique and diverse things to do in Egypt. There is so much to see in Egypt so realistically this list could be 50 times longer. I opted to do a tour with Travel Talk Tours in Egypt so I could learn more about the history and culture with a guide. I had the best time, you can read more about it here. I would highly recommend doing this tour as the guide was extremely knowledgeable and I got to meet some fantastic friends during the 9 days I was in Egypt.
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*My tour with Travel Talk was sponsored but as always, all opinions are my own. I would never recommend something unless I truly believe in the service and quality of the tour or product and absolutely love it!