Egypt Bucket List: 20 Must-Do Experiences In Egypt

Egypt is a magical destination with so much history and culture to uncover. Home to one of the most advanced civilizations of all time, Egypt is the perfect country for a history buff to visit!

But, it’s not just for those that like history – there are so many great things to see and do while in the country and you’ll definitely not be bored while you’re there.

There are a number of ‘must’ activities in Egypt that you have to make time for while visiting, but it can be difficult to narrow down the list to the best ones.

This bucket list does just that – summing up the top 20 experiences that you should put on your itinerary for travelling Egypt.

Egypt Bucket List

Egypt - Giza - Camel
  1. Marvel at the Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza are one of Egypt’s biggest time capsule monuments and are the prized possession of the country, visited by millions every year. When you think of Egypt, the pyramids are likely one of the first things to pop into your head.

The Great Pyramid – the biggest of them all, is a bit of a historical marvel with archaeologists and historians still confused about its construction and has been listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The other two pyramids, the Pyramid of Menkaure and the Pyramid of Khafre are smaller but just as impressive. All three of the structures were built as tombs for the Pharaohs of the period and are full of ancient treasures.

A trip to Egypt would not be complete without a visit to the Pyramids of Giza!

  1. Visit The Egyptian Museum

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is definitely worth a visit as it is the largest in all of Africa and allows you to discover the largest collection of wonderful artefacts from ancient Egyptian times.

From the sparkling treasures of Tutankhamun to mummy remains, statues, and hieroglyphics, every corner is a journey through a different aspect of the past.

The museum is huge so it can be quite daunting figuring out where to start, but the highlights of the museum include Tutankhamun’s death mask – one of the most famous Egyptian artefacts and the remains of mummified animals including cats.

Admission to the museum is $8 per person, making it an affordable way to spend most of your day.

  1. Take a Nile River Cruise

A Nile River cruise is an incredible way of doing some sightseeing and taking some time to relax. Lasting for multiple days and nights, the best cruises take you along some of the most historic sections of the river, spotting incredible landmarks along the way.

While the cruises can be quite expensive, they provide an unforgettable experience and are one of the most comfortable ways of seeing some of Egypt’s highlights.

Cruises typically start in Cairo or Luxor, travelling between the two with regular stops along the way. Some cruises go all the way through to Aswan, which takes a couple of days longer.

  1. Explore Luxor Temple

Luxor Temple is located right in the heart of the modern city and is a unique archaeological site as it was not dedicated to one god or Pharaoh. Instead, it was built as a celebration of Amun-Ra’s coronation, becoming the grand location of future crowning ceremonies.

With towering columns and statues all around you, you’ll be transported back in time, getting a sense of what it once would have looked like.

Seeing the temple lit up at night time is another bucket-list activity as it looks so other-world-like, particularly the Avenue of the Sphinxes, lined by several cat statues.

  1. Tour the Valley of the Kings

The Valley of the Kings is a beautiful location to visit while visiting Egypt and is the resting place for many of the Ancient Egyptian Kings and Pharaohs. 

Located on the west bank of the Nile near Luxor, the Valley of the Kings is a huge necropolis with several tombs where the remains of iconic rulers like Tutankhamun and Ramesses II are kept.

While it’s possible to tour the site independently, taking a guided tour will allow you to gain a more in-depth knowledge of the history of Egypt’s kingdoms, death practices and cultures.

  1. Visit Karnak Temple Complex

The Karnak Temple was believed to be the spot where creation began in Ancient Egyptian times and was, therefore, an important place of worship to the civilization. They worshipped Amun-re at this temple – the King of the Gods.

The entire temple complex covers over 200 acres of land making it the largest ancient religious site in the world. 

Located in Luxor, it is easy enough to reach by taxi or public transport but there are plenty of guided tour options with transport too. Entrance fees will vary depending on which areas of the complex you want to access but it is very affordable so make sure to opt to see as much as you can if you have time.

Some highlights of the Karnak Temple Complex include the giant statue of Rameses II, the Great Hypostyle Hall and the Sacred Lake. 

  1. Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Luxor

One of the most incredible activities to do in Egypt is a hot air balloon ride over Luxor – one of the country’s most historical cities.

With an incredible vantage point, you get to admire the sheer scale of the Temple and surrounding structures in Luxor, developing an appreciation of the architectural masters that the Ancient Egyptians were.

Flights typically last for around 45 minutes and sunrise bookings are best. You’ll need to be prepared to get up early though as many tours start as soon as 3 am to ensure you are in the air for the sun coming up over the city.

  1. Camp in the Fayoum Desert

Desert camping in Fayoum is a very popular experience with visitors to Egypt and is a great excursion option from the capital city of Cairo and there are plenty of amazing campsites and eco-lodges to choose from.

These experiences are packed with fun and great activities including dune safaris, lake sports star-gazing and the opportunity to dine under the stars – it is the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful nature that Egypt has to offer away from its city centres.

Make sure to pack appropriately for your trip. You’ll need a lot of warm clothes if you intend to do it during the winter as temperatures drop drastically at night in the desert. During the summer months you’ll likely get away with just a light long-sleeved layer.

  1. Dive near Dahab

Whether you have your PADI certification or not, Dahab is the perfect spot for diving and spotting some amazing marine life.

Snorkellers and divers come from all over the world to test the waters near Dahab and experience the amazing crystal waters for spotting all kinds of colourful fish and plants.

The most famous spot is Blue Hole, just a few kilometres from Dahab. Blue Hole is a large submarine sinkhole which drops as far as 100 m below the surface. This experience should be left to advanced divers only as it can be very dangerous, but the underwater views are absolutely incredible.

  1. Marvel at a Nilometer

It’s no secret that the Ancient Egyptians were fantastic engineers, you just have to glance at any of their temples to understand that! The civilization were highly advanced in comparison to their counterparts and Nilometers are just one example of why.

The Ancient Egyptians were very dependent on the Nile River for several reasons and predicting when it may overflow or dry up was a life or death matter for the people. Nilometers were created to help assess water levels in the river and predict any chances.

There are several of them still around today but one of the most easily accessed is the one located on Rhoda Island in Cairo. You should definitely make an effort to visit when in the capital.

  1. Float in Siwa Oasis

Siwa Oasis is dotted with hundreds of sparkling blue pools for visitors to relax in. With such a high salt content, you can float effortlessly under the sun and enjoy the feeling of being weightless.


With beautiful sand dunes and palm trees dotted all around, taking a dip in the saltwater lakes is the perfect way to relax during a hectic traveling period.

Make sure to bring some fresh water with you following your bathing experience as the salt may irritate your skin when you’ve dried off. Failing that, you could also venture to Cleopatra’s Spring to wash off where the famous queen used to bathe!

  1. Discover the White Desert

The White Desert, located in the Western Desert of Egypt is a national park that almost looks like another planet. 

With limestone, and rock formations dotted all over the white sand landscape, the White Desert is an unmissable location for nature lovers and those fascinated with geology.

You’ll need a 4×4 to get here from Cairo or it would be much easier to take a guided tour. Tour often make stops in the Black Desert and at the Bahariya Oasis too, giving you an opportunity to see even more incredible natural landscape features.

  1. Try Kitesurfing at Blue Lagoon

Kitesurfing is a popular activity in the Red Sea, particularly in the serene sweet spot that is the Blue Lagoon which typically has calm waves but strong winds.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or have some experience, there are plenty of hire stands and teaching sessions available at the Blue Lagoon so that you can be on the water and catch waves in no time.

If you’re not into kitesurfing then the Blue Lagoon is still a great spot for relaxing on the sand under the wonderfully warm sun.

  1. Visit St. Catherine’s Monastery

While the Ancient Egyptians were known for worshipping many gods, Christianity did reach the country in the 6th century, making the country home to one of the world’s oldest monasteries.

Located at the foot of Mount Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula, St. Catherine’s Monastery is a wonderfully preserved structure, home to several Christian and historical artefacts including ancient manuscripts and the biblical Burning Bush.

St. Catherine’s Monastery is a testament to the beginning of the Christian faith and the history of religion within Egypt.

  1. Take a Sunrise Hike on the Sinai Trail

The Sinai Trail is Egypt’s longest hiking trail covering over 340 miles through the territories of Bedouin Tribes, with amazing mountain views.

While you’ll never cover the whole circuit on your trip to Egypt, taking a walk along the trail at sunrise is an amazing experience and the views are breathtaking.

Many travellers opt for an overnight experience with a local tour company on the Sinai Trail to take advantage of local guides’ knowledge and get a head start on hiking in the early morning. 

Some companies offer hiking experiences as long as five days, allowing you to cover a huge distance of the trail if you’d like to – make sure to check out all of the deals before your visit!

  1. Take a Day Trip to Alexandria

Egypt is a huge country and deserves to be explored due to the vast differences in culture. Alexandria is one of the most popular destinations for a day trip as it is just a few hours outside of Cairo – where most tourists stay and can be easily accessed by public transport. Trains to the city are very regular.

Alexandria is located right on the coast and is famous for its lighthouse. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is another popular tourist stop along with the archaeological ruins. There are also several stunning beaches and cafes to relax in. Overall, there are lots of great things to see and do in the city!

There are plenty of local tour companies which operate day trips from Cairo to Alexandria and allow you to see the city’s highlights without the hassle of traveling there yourself, taking away any stress and allowing you to fully enjoy the experience.

  1. Explore Islamic Cairo

Islamic Cairo was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site Status alongside several of the country’s famous historic landmarks and locations.

Also known as “Old Cairo” or “Historic Cairo”, Islamic Cairo is a city within the capital city and is home to some of the oldest and largest mosques in the world, including the Sultan Hassan Mosque. 

Islamic Cairo gives some fascinating insights into the dominating religion of the country today with some of the most beautifully decorated buildings in the entire country.

While you’ll need to remember to be respectful when visiting sacred buildings, tourists are generally considered welcome in them outside of the main prayer times.

  1. Shop at Khan El Khalili Bazaar

Khan El Khalili Bazaar in Cairo is a bustling maze of narrow streets and wonderful market stalls, giving visitors a dose of sensory overload due to the huge array of smells and sounds coming from the marketplace.

For hundreds of years, this souk has been attracting locals and tourists to its selection of textiles, jewelry, spices and souvenirs, alongside the range of traditional cafes serving refreshments like herbal teas and authentic snacks.

Don’t miss the chance to try out your haggling skills at Khan El Khalili Bazaar and find yourself a great deal!

  1. Enjoy a Felucca Ride on the Nile

If taking a few days’ cruise isn’t quite your thing or you don’t have much time on your Egypt trip then taking a short felucca ride on the Nile River is a great way of getting the experience of seeing top landmarks from one of the best vantage points.

Feluccas are traditional Egyptian sailboats which are used to navigate the Nile River comfortably and safely. They are typically managed by locals and taking a trip on one of these boats is a great cultural experience as well as a sight-seeing opportunity.

There are plenty of felucca tour options around Cairo, starting from very affordable prices but an evening trip is recommended as the city lights sparkling within the water are beautiful.

  1. Try Delicious Egyptian Cuisine

As with every country that you visit, it would be a real shame to skip out on trying the local cuisine and experiencing new flavors. 

While in Egypt, you should definitely make an effort to try street food dishes like koshari, medames and taameya, which are all bean and plant-based, making them great for all kinds of eaters!

You’ll find that traditional restaurants are also the cheapest in big cities like Luxor and Cairo, so it would also benefit your wallet to eat like a local during your trip!

FAQs

What is the most beautiful thing in Egypt?

While the most obviously amazing and beautiful landmark to see would be the Pyramids of Giza, you should also make time for exploring the wonderful temples in Luxor and maybe schedule a sunset boat ride on the Nile.

How many days do you need in Egypt?

To get a good insight into the history and culture of Egypt a trip should last for a minimum of one week. This will give you time to explore the capital city, take trips to Alexandria and Luxor and see all of the biggest landmarks.

What is a must-do thing in Egypt?

While in Egypt, there are lots of must-do activities that you should make time for on your itinerary but the biggest “must-do” is definitely visiting the Pyramids of Giza – the country’s biggest and most famous attraction.

Conclusion

There are lots of great experiences that you should put on your bucket list for Egypt and it can be hard to choose how to full your itinerary.

While you simply must make time to visit and see the obvious, such as the Great Pyramids of Giza and Luxor Temple, you should also ensure you take yourself off the beaten track and immerse yourself in the nature and several landscapes that Egypt has to offer.

However you choose to spend you time in Egypt, I hope you have an amazing time and make the most of the beautiful country!