Are you planning a trip to Egypt? Or maybe dreaming about your bucketlist trip? It is one of the best places to visit in the Middle East for good reason. Egypt is full of beautiful and ancient destinations, ready to be explored. While some worry about the political situation, overall Egypt is a safe place to visit, although hassle from vendors is a typical (albeit annoying) part of the sales culture in the country.
Here are the prettiest places in Egypt to plan to visit on your trip.
1. Giza Pyramids
It is hard not to start with one of the stars of the show! Whether taking photos from the panorama viewpoint or at the sphinx, there are so many stunning angles to capture great photos! If you are wanting to capture all of the angles, you need at least half a day here. We actually went twice. Another thing that is out of your control is weather and smog. Cairo is quite a smoggy place and that can affect those blue skies depending on the time of year!
2. Karnak Temple
The Karnak temple complex is one of the reasons that Luxor is known as an open air museum. Covering over 2 square kilometers, this site has been built, dismantled, restored and added to for a period spanning 1500 years. The pylon shaped columns are probably the most famous part of the temple complex, dedicated to Amum-Ra. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best time to explore the temple for great light and less crowds.
While you are in Luxor, make sure you spend some time wandering the Souq and souvenir shopping.
3. Valley of the Kings
A visit to Egypt is not complete without visiting the Valley of the Kings. Located across the Nile river in Luxor, these ancient burial tombs are continuing to be excavated and new discoveries are always being uncovered. While nothing more than dirt and rock covered hill, it is underground where the pretty places lie. It is popular to do a West and East bank of the Nile tour to cover everything in the area (including Karnak temple above) !
Note: You must buy a photo pass if you wish to take photos inside the tombs. Ensure you get one at the entrance.
The Blue hole is what divers know Dahab for, but this coastal town offers pretty views from all over the coast. Its laid back vibe and backpacker-friendly vibe makes it a perfect base. If you are planning to visit Jordan after your trip to Egypt, the Nuweiba port is less than an hour away and you can take the ferry from Nuweiba to Aqaba.
5. Sharm El Sheikh
If stunning seaside resorts are your thing, then you will find them in Sharm el-Sheikh. Plenty of international flights fly right into Sharm el-Sheikh airport making it a convenient place to visit in Egypt.
6. Nile River
With lush green farms to desert hills, a cruise down the Nile river is not at all what you will expect. Take a luxury cruise while you visit Egypt and make sure you get off for all of the shore excursions.
The bustling city of Cairo has beautiful spots all over. Whether it is a mosque, temple or souq, you need only look around the corner to find it.
8. Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel boasts statues of Ramses II at every turn. The four giant statues outside the temple were built in his likeness. The inside of the temple is full of hieroglyphs and columns dedicated to the great pharaoh and his wife Nefertiti. Day trips from Aswan are the most common way to get to Abu Simbel.
9. Mount Sinai
This holy place is important to Jews, Christians and Muslims and is known as where Moses was given the 10 Commandments. The Red Rock mountains
10. Under the Sea
The Red Sea is full of beauty to be explored. Whether snorkeling or diving, Dahab and Sharm el Sheikh offer excellent options to get out on the water and explore this underwater paradise. If you are headed to Jordan, Aqaba also offers plenty of diving options.
Stunning Places to Visit in Egypt Overall
Whether you are seeking out photo spots in Egypt for Instagram or just want to gaze at the Red Sea coast from a 5* beach resort, there are so many beautiful places to explore in Egypt. Its history is awe-inspriring in its own right and capturing the magic of that history while you see the country is part of the fun.
More Resources for Traveling in Egypt
While you are planning your trip to Egypt, do not forget about these two necessities:
A Grayl Water Bottle is something I recommend for every traveller, not just those going to the Middle East.
If you consider drinking at least 1-2 big water bottles a day while you are there, think of how much plastic that creates when every visitor and the population’s 90 million people do the same. With a Grayl, you can filter any tap water (or actually any water source) and have clean drinking water in seconds. Since most people travel with water bottles already, consider one like this with a filter so that you are not just pouring from big water bottles to small. It might sound expensive, but when you compare it to spending a few dollars per day on water while you travel (and do not forget how expensive the water is inside airports), you will pay for this very quickly.
An inexpensive Universal Travel Adapter is another must for Egypt. You will find an assortment of 220V plugs, from European 2 pin, another style of 2 pin and UK Plugs. While European 2 pin is most common, it is best to carry one of these adapters with you. With a handy USB input, you do not need to bring your plugs from home.
Travel Insurance for Egypt
There are a few other things to think about when it comes to travel. The first thing is travel insurance. Whether it is an emergency room visit for something as simple as strep throat, or an emergency appendix surgery, or an unfortunate moped incident things do go wrong when people travel everyday.
I highly suggest travel insurance and a good policy. I personally never travel without it, and I even checked into my policy about care for my children if I am ever in an accident or hospitalized. There are just too many things to think about.
You can find out more information and buy your travel insurance here.
Further Reading on the Middle East
Does your trip to Egypt take you to neighboring Israel or Jordan? I have a ton of planning resources for both countries. Maybe a resource on Backpacking Jordan will be helpful? or how about The Most Instagrammable Places in Jerusalem?