Egypt’s Best Tourist Locations


From diving the Red Sea’s crystal blue waters and stargazing amid the vastness of the desert to floating down the Nile River and standing in awe before the ruins of one of the world’s most ancient civilizations… Egypt is a travel destination that leaves visitors spoiled for choice when it comes to travel experiences.

#1 Marsa Alam – the Red Sea’s entry point

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When you’re scuba diving through colorful coral reefs and swimming with dolphins, dugongs, and sea turtles in Marsa Alam’s clear blue waters, life is definitely better. Marsa Alam, a tranquil escape on the western shore of the Red Sea, is one of Egypt’s top destinations for underwater adventures. Popular dive sites include the Elphinstone reef and Abu Dabbab, one of the world’s best snorkeling beaches.

Wadi el Gemal National Park is the place to go for land-based adventures, where you can relax by the water at Hankorab Beach or safari, hike, or bike through rugged, mountainous terrain. Look out for camels on Sharm El Luli Beach, or take in the scenery in the resort town of Qulaan.

Visit the Ababda House Cultural Museum or have dinner and an aromatic cup of Jebena coffee with the locals to learn about Marsa Alam’s local Bedouin community. For unique souvenirs, visit Ghosoun and Hamata and meet local tribeswomen who create unique hand-woven crafts and jewelry (each tribe has its own unique patterns and styles).

Accommodation in Marsa Alam

#2 Cairo – Egypt’s vibrant capital

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Egypt’s vibrant capital city is rich in cultural, religious, architectural, and even culinary history. Its wonders extend far beyond the walls of its well-known museums. You can see centuries’ worth of sights simply by walking down the city streets, and you can discover undiscovered wonders simply by saying hello to a stranger. Then there are the Giza Pyramids, which are truly a world wonder.

Islamic Cairo, the city’s most atmospheric quarter, is located at the epicenter of history in the city’s core. Just bring your camera and explore its vibrant alleyways. Take in the views from the Citadel and the old city gates, known as Bab Zuweila, Bab al-Futuh, and Bab a Nasr, and marvel at the intricate details of the area’s magnificent mosques. The ancient Muhammad Ali Mosque, Ibn Tulun Mosque, and Al-Hakim Mosque are particularly impressive.

Islamic Cairo is also home to the monument-lined Muizz Street and the Khan El-Khalili bazaar, both of which are excellent places to grab up souvenirs. Coptic Cairo, home to the Coptic Museum, the Hanging Church, and the towers of the vanished Babylon fortress – has been the focal point of Egypt’s tiny Christian minority since the first century CE.

By night, Cairo comes alive thanks to its vibrant nightlife scene, where you can sip Stellas in historic downtown bars or catch live performances at hip clubs and art spaces.

Accommodation in Cairo

#3 The cultural riches of Aswan

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Palm trees and patches of greenery cling to the dusty riverbanks of Aswan, one of Egypt’s most peaceful destinations known for the unrivaled hospitality of its Nubian community. Sail to any of the 20 Nile river islands by felucca, the traditional wooden sailboats that ply the Nile.

Visit the island of Gharb Soheil or stroll through the colorful streets of Aswan’s Nubian Village to learn more about Nubian culture. In local cafes, try homestyle veggie-based or chicken tagines, or buy aromatic spices from the vibrantly colored Aswan spice market.

Aswan is famous for its breathtaking sunsets, which can be seen from any of the islands or while sailing down the Nile on a felucca. The restaurant at the iconic Sofitel Legend Old Cataract, where English author Agatha Christie penned her famous mystery, Death on the Nile, is another great place to watch the sunset.

A day trip to Abu Simbel is a history buff’s dream if you’re willing to wake up at 3 a.m. for the journey south across the desert; the entire temple complex was relocated when the valley was flooded by the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s. If you’d rather let the sun rise before you, visit Aswan’s Temple of Isis, which was also moved from its original location on Philae Island.

Accommodation in Aswan

#4 Luxor’s majestic temples

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Luxor, the site of Thebes’ magnificent ancient city, is said to have preserved a third of the world’s ancient monuments between the pillars of its majestic temples. The capital of Upper Egypt, dubbed the world’s greatest open-air museum, recently celebrated the reopening of the 2.7km (1.7 mile) Avenue of the Sphinxes, an ancient thoroughfare connecting Karnak Temple, home of the famed Temple of Amun-Ra, and the impressively preserved Luxor Temple.

A sunrise hot air balloon ride will provide you with a breathtaking bird’s-eye view of this ancient wonderland. Return to the Valley of the Kings, the royal burial site of Tutankhamun, Seti I, and Ramses II, and cross the river to Hatshepsut Temple and Medinet Habu, two massive ancient architectural wonders that feature prominently on travelers’ Instagram feeds.

Accommodation in Luxor

#5 The Mediterranean Coast – Egypt’s beach play area

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Egypt’s northern shoreline, affectionately known as El Sahel, which translates as “the coast,” is the ideal summer retreat on the Mediterranean’s shores. Every year from May to September, this sun-kissed coastal strip comes alive, attracting hordes of beach bums by day and a veritable who’s who of Egypt’s party people by night.

Luxury hotels and resorts, upscale residential compounds, and world-class restaurants line the strip, including The Smokery Beach at Stella di Mare, Kiki’s Beach at Hacienda White, and Sachi by the Beach at Hacienda Red. On Egypt’s hottest summer days, the majority of Cairo’s millennial and Gen Z crowd gathers on the Sahel’s shores.

#6 Egypt’s Black and White Deserts


Egypt’s Black and White Deserts have a literal black and white appeal. The surreal scenery is a result of natural geology – the White Desert’s uniquely shaped limestone rock formations give the illusion of a snowscape, while the Black Desert features small black volcanic stones scattered over bright orange-colored sand.

A trip to either of these desert areas is ideal for a stargazing camping trip – it’s the ultimate escape for anyone tired of temples and city traffic. The White and Black Deserts are located in Egypt’s Western Desert, just south of the Bahariya Oasis, and are accessible by bus from Cairo.

While you’re there, don’t miss Crystal Mountain, a natural rock arch surrounded by glittering quartz crystal walls, and Djara Cave, one of the country’s most impressive stalactite-filled caves. You’ll have to crouch to enter the cave, but once inside, the ceiling is covered in giant icicles.

#7 El Gouna – Red Sea tech hub

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It’s always sunny in this fully integrated little town on the Red Sea’s pristine shoreline, just north of Hurghada. El Gouna has become home to a multicultural community of digital nomads, young families, and expats who believe that life is better by the sea.

On the one hand, El Gouna has great water activities and plenty of hiking and safari options in the surrounding desert landscapes, which appeal to younger travelers. It also has upscale boutiques, cultural events, and top-tier culinary experiences due to its many upscale restaurants, which appeal to an older demographic.

It’s a great place to visit, but it’s also a great place to set up your seaside office, thanks to its world-class services, restaurants, and living spaces. There are plenty of coworking spaces and strong wifi connections, as well as plenty of things to do outside of work hours – why work from home when you can work from El Gouna?

Accommodation in El Gouna

#8 Siwa Oasis

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Far from the chaos of Egypt’s major cities, this little oasis is home to Siwan bedouin people who live a largely traditional way of life, and the town has thus far been only lightly touched by tourism. The locals are Amazigh tribespeople who have managed to preserve much of their linguistic and cultural heritage due to the oasis’s distant area.

Siwa is often referred to as the Sunset Oasis, and its sunsets are unrivaled in Egypt. You’re guaranteed an unforgettable sunset if you find a vantage point atop Dakrour Mountain or the ruined Shali Fortress, or if you take in the scenery and serenity of Taghaghien Island or Fatnas Island. There will also be a lot of mosquitos, so bring your repellent.

Siwa is a popular winter getaway for tourists, and it serves as a gateway to the Great Sand Sea (the world’s third-largest dune field), swimmable hot and cold springs, and crystal clear salt lakes where you can float effortlessly, supported by the saline waters.

Siwa is also known for producing some of the best dates in the country, which you may be able to sample straight from the tree if you ask locals first. Siwa hosts the Siwi Palm Date Festival every November.

Accommodation in Siwa

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