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The 15 Very Best Places to Visit in Egypt in 2024

The 15 Very Best Places to Visit in Egypt in 2024

Egypt is full of ancient Egyptian ruins, which are fascinating for archeology buffs and amateurs alike. But the country has so much more to discover, with beautiful beaches, spectacular deserts, and bustling cities with thousands of years of history.

The 15 Best Places to Visit in Egypt

Visitors to Egypt often have one thing in mind — the ruins. The country is so full of spectacular Egyptian ruins that it is hard to narrow down a list of which ones you should visit while on vacation.

However, to assume Egypt is just dusty pyramids and tombs would be a grave mistake.

Travelers would be in danger of missing out on relaxing beach towns, rugged scenery, and the thousands of years of history since Cleopatra fell to the Romans. Here is a round-up of some of the best places to visit in Egypt to add to your trip itinerary.

1. The Pyramids of Giza

Giant sculpture of the Great Sphinx and the three pyramids of Giza, one of the best places to visit in Egypt

Daily Travel Photos/Shutterstock

No visit to Egypt is complete without a trip to the Pyramids of Giza. There is a reason why this site has been attracting gawking visitors for literally thousands of years — nothing else in the world compares.

The site consists of three pyramids containing the tombs of the pharaohs Cheops, Chephren, and Mycerinus, as well as the enigmatic Sphinx statue. The pyramids are the only surviving Ancient Wonder, and their majestic heights have withstood the test of time.

By now, Giza is well-incorporated into Cairo’s sprawl, and many first-time visitors are disappointed by the city that is almost sitting at the Sphinx’s feet. Be ready for the crowds, and you will enjoy the site.

2. Luxor

Sun setting over the Luxor Temple, one of our top picks for places to visit in Egypt, with lights illuminating the walls and sculptures outside

Prin Adulyatham/Shutterstock

Luxor is a must-visit for history buffs, and everyone who likes cool temples and tombs will also have a good time. This town on the Nile was once the site of the great New Kingdom capital of Thebes.

And most of the country’s best archeological sites are located in or around it. From Luxor, it’s an easy trip to the Valley of Kings where most of the New Kingdom pharaohs were buried.

Don’t miss King Tutankhamen’s tomb, even though it’s not included in the main entry ticket. Besides tombs, Luxor is also home to spectacular temples.

The Luxor Temple itself is worth a visit and has great light displays at night. However, the lesser-known Temple of Hathor, a day trip away from Luxor, is better preserved and less crowded, so it’s well worth a visit.

3. Cairo

The skyline of Cairo, a top pick for places to visit in Egypt, pictured along the river with a hazy sky overhead

Orhan Cam/Shutterstock

Crowded Cairo, Egypt’s capital, is bursting with life. Thousands of years of history tumble on top of each other, while people in the present day casually live their lives with the pyramids in the background and medieval Islamic monuments on the street.

In Cairo, visit the old Islamic town to explore the narrow streets and look at beautiful mosques such as the Al-Azhar Mosque.

Even if you’re planning on seeing some archeological sites, check out the capital’s Egyptian Museum for treasures, including many of the contents of King Tut’s tomb, although the collections are not the best organized.

In Cairo, take some time to get away from the main tourist attractions and get a taste of local life. Go shopping in the Khan el-Khalili souk for artisan goods.

Visit Coptic Cairo to learn more about the country’s ancient Coptic Christian community at the Coptic Museum and Hanging Church, plus see the remains of the Fortress of Babylon.

Read Next: Where to Stay in Cairo & Is Cairo Safe to Visit?

4. The Nile River

Cool view of a couple sailboats making their way up the Nile River for a roundup of the must-visit places in Egypt


Anywhere you go in Egypt, you will be close to the Nile. This river means life in Egypt, which is otherwise covered in desert. Most of the cities and towns are located on its banks.

Although you will see the river everywhere, you should take some time to get to know it properly. The best way to do that is by taking a cruise down the Nile River.

You can go on one of the organized cruise ship tours, which are often luxurious, or rent a felucca and enjoy a more authentic experience on a traditional boat. Stop along the way to explore less crowded temples and relax on the river.

5. Alexandria

Green tram making its way down the tracks in Alexandria in Egypt

16/11/2018 Alexandria, Egypt, the streets of an ancient African city filled with people and trams/Leshiy985/Shutterstock

Alexandria, on the Mediterranean coast, is Egypt’s second biggest city and a great place to take in the laid-back Mediterranean way of life. Although the famous Library of Alexandria is no more, there is still plenty to see.

By Egyptian standards, Alexandria is young — “only” founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great himself. Explore the city for remnants of its Greco-Roman past, such as the Roman Theater.

Much of Alexandria’s ancient glories were destroyed over the centuries, but remnants are housed in the Alexandria National Museum or reinterpreted in modern ways, such as the futuristic Bibliotheca Alexandrina honoring the famous ancient libraries.

Adventure lovers can go on scuba adventures exploring underwater archeological sites, such as the remnants of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria.

6. Aswan

For a roundup of the best places to visit in Egypt, a few sailing boats float on the Nile River, just outside Aswan

Marcel Bakker/Shutterstock

For visitors overwhelmed by the crowds at Luxor and the fast pace of Cairo, Aswan in the south is one of the best places to relax and enjoy your vacation.

This town is built around the Nile River with many islands and inlets to explore by felucca. You can also explore neighboring sites in the desert, such as Nubian villages and ancient monasteries.

There is a lot to do in Aswan, but really the best thing to do is kick back, watch the sunset spread over the dunes, and enjoy riverside meals at the many riverboats doubling as restaurants.

7. Dahshur

Image of a road winding through the desert in Dahshur, one of our top picks for the best places to visit in Egypt

Marek Paplawski/Shutterstock

Dahshur is not as famous as Giza, but its pyramids are just as interesting as its more famous rivals. Dahshur was also part of the Memphis necropolis, and its pyramids are some of the oldest in Egypt.

You can see some unique architectural variations on the traditional pyramid, such as the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid, considered to be the oldest true pyramid in Egypt.

The biggest reason to visit Dahshur is the relative lack of crowds. Although it is close enough to Cairo to make an easy day trip, it is not as famous as Giza or Saqqara. Explore the pyramids at your leisure without waiting in lines.

8. Sharm el-Sheikh

Sun rising over the amazingly idyllic beach in Sharm el Sheikh, a must-visit place when visiting Egypt

Andrey Shapovalov Cit/Shutterstock

Egypt is one of the best places to go on a beach vacation when you’re ready to get away from dusty archeological sites. Sharm el-Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula is one of Egypt’s best resort towns. Take in the gorgeous scenery or just lie on the beach and work on your tan.

If you prefer a more active beach vacation, Sharm el-Sheikh is one of Egypt’s best towns for snorkeling and scuba diving.

From there, you can easily access Ras Muhammad National Park and the Straits of Tiran, which feature reefs and colorful marine life. For land-based adventures, go hiking up Mount Sinai, famous in the Bible.

9. Marsa Alam

Round umbrellas above beach chairs and cabanas lining the rocky and white sand beach in Marsa Alam, and leading into the crystal-clear blue water

Lurii Dzivinskyi/Shutterstock

Marsa Alam is a lesser-known Egyptian beach town, but a great place to go if you want to take in the waters without being surrounded by massive crowds.

It is one of the best places for advanced water sports, including snorkeling and diving. Popular dive sites include the Elphinstone reef, while snorkelers should check out Abu Dabbab. Be sure to wave to the dugongs as they swim by.

On land, Marsa Alam is a great base for exploring the local Bedouin culture. Check out local museums and markets or have a cup of coffee with the famously hospitable community.

10. Black and White Deserts

Rolling hills of the Black and White Desert in Egypt, a must-visit attraction in the country, with a land rover parked in the middle of the image

Luliia Khabibullina/Shutterstock

The strange, harsh beauty of the desert is amplified in the Black and White Deserts, one of Egypt’s most popular natural wonders.

The two deserts live up to their names: the sand and rock formations in the White Desert are blanched completely white, while the dunes in the Black Desert are topped with black volcanic sand and rock.

Be sure to bring your camera to get photos of these stunning natural landscapes. If you’re a true adventure lover, book an overnight camping trip to the deserts. These are some of the best places in the world for stargazing, with no city skyscrapers or lights to get in your way.

11. Siwa Oasis

Giant piles of sand and salt surrounding the Siwa Oasis in Egypt, as seen with clouds rolling in from the distance

Mai Hassan/Shutterstock

The Western Desert is full of secret pockets that will delight the brave traveler who strays from the beaten path. The Siwa Oasis is one of those places. This oasis near the Libyan border is not only an oasis from the desert but from the crowds that fill Egypt’s other tourist sites.

Attractions include ruins dating back to the time of Alexander the Great, the Fortress of Shali, and bubbling natural springs including Cleopatra’s Bath.

Siwa is a great jumping-off point for desert adventures such as sand boarding and riding in dune buggies, but the best thing to do is to kick back and relax with the friendly locals, members of the Siwa tribe.

12. Saqqara

Thin young woman in a bright red dress walking on a long path through the desert that leads to the tiered pyramid in Saqqara, a top pick for the best places to visit in Egypt

Unai Huizi Photography/Shutterstock

Saqqara is another site dating back to the Old Kingdom thousands of years ago. It was part of the necropolis at the old capital of Memphis. Saqqara contains the oldest surviving pyramid, the Step Pyramid of Djoser.

Built before the Egyptians perfected pyramid architecture, it contains distinct steps. You’re free to wander around much of Saqqara and climb the pyramids for great views of the surrounding desert and Nile River.

13. Hurghada

Aerial view of yachts docked in the bay of Giftun Island in Hurghada, in the middle of the Red Sea in Egypt


Hurghada is one of Egypt’s most popular beach towns and one of the best places to go if you want to get pampered. This town on the Red Sea boasts pristine turquoise waters and sandy beaches.

Hurghada attracts many tourists, including wealthy visitors, thanks to its luxury hotels and other attractions. Its nature is still beautiful, with reefs that you can see thanks to snorkeling or going on a glass-bottom boat. Just be ready for more crowds than at other beach towns.

14. Abu Simbel

Angled view of the giant pharaohs carved into the side of a large rock face in Abu Simbel, overlooking Lake Nasser

Paul Vinten/Shutterstock

Even after you’ve seen some Ancient Egyptian sites, your jaw will still drop when you come to Abu Simbel. This temple carved into the rocks was built by Ramses II to show off his might, and you’ll believe it when you see the massive statues standing guard.

Not as imposing but just as impressive are the well-preserved paintings inside. Abu Simbel’s story has a more modern chapter.

When the Egyptian government built the Aswan Dam in the 1960s, it moved the entire temple along with the UN’s help to its current site on Lake Nasser. When you see the temple’s size, you’ll appreciate how great a feat this was.

15. St. Catherine’s Monastery

Giant fortress-like St. Catherine's Monastery, one of the best places to visit in Egypt, as seen from the walking path outside the city walls


Not many visitors to Egypt know this, but the country is home to an ancient, small but thriving Christian community known as the Copts.

Egypt was one of the first countries to develop a Christian community, and its deserts are rich with biblical and early Christian sites. One of those is St. Catherine’s Monastery.

The imposing monastery with its stone walls is right at the foot of Mount Sinai, where believers think Moses received the Ten Commandments. Explore the monastery’s religious artifacts collection, and don’t forget an unforgettable trip up Mount Sinai.

Things to Consider

Egypt is a beautiful country, but you’ll get the most out of it if you have some preparation:

  • The weather can get very hot, and the dress code in most places is fairly conservative. Avoid visiting in the summer, wear long, loose clothing, and always have plenty of water and sunscreen on hand.
  • Egyptians are very friendly, but as in any country, there are people looking to take advantage of tourists. Keep your valuables close to you in crowded places, and beware of potential scams
  • Don’t be alarmed when you spot a high army presence and frequent security checks, for example, at the entrance to hotels. Egypt has had a tumultuous recent history, but tourists are usually very safe in the country.

Frequently Asked Questions

Teal water below a long wooden boardwalk pier leading to the gorgeous and desolate tan sand beach in Hurghada on Giftun Island

Simon Dannhauer/Shutterstock

Here are some things other visitors to Egypt want to know:

What is the most beautiful part of Egypt?

The most beautiful parts of Egypt are the striking ancient Egyptian ruins in the desert, such as the pyramids at Giza. After that, the small towns along the Nile River, such as Aswan, offer beautiful views.

Where should I go for the first time in Egypt?

The rest of the itinerary is up to you and your own interests, but you have to see the Pyramids at Giza. You cannot visit the country without seeing the only surviving Ancient Wonder of the World.

What cities are a must visit in Egypt?

The two most important cities to visit in Egypt are Cairo, as it is the capital, and Luxor, which has many Ancient Egyptian sites around it. After that, you should pick one city on the coast, either Alexandria or a Red Sea beach town.

Where is it best to stay in Egypt?

Egypt has accommodations for every budget, and even luxury hotels are fairly affordable for Western visitors. It’s best to pick a city such as Cairo or Luxor as your base for a few days, then go on day trips to surrounding sites.

How many days in Egypt are enough?

You can get a taste of Egypt in 10 days. However, to take time, slow down, and learn to appreciate the local culture, as well as give yourself some time to laze on the beach, it’s best to give yourself at least two weeks in the country.

So, Where Should You Visit While in Egypt?

Egypt’s main attractions are the Ancient Egyptian sites such as the Pyramids at Giza and the temples and tombs of Luxor.

However, it would be a mistake to skip out on Islamic Cairo, small towns and rural gems such as the ancient St. Catherine’s Monastery of Sinai, and beautiful landscapes from the deserts to the seas.

Make sure you make the most of Egypt when you go. So what are you waiting for — book your trip to Egypt today!