Tourism is one of the leading sources of income, crucial to Egypt’s economy. At its peak in 2010 the sector employed about 12% of Egypt’s workforce serving approximately 14.7 million visitors Egypt, and providing revenues of nearly $12.5 billion as well as contributing more than 11% of GDP and 14.4% of foreign currency revenues.
Home of the ancient Pharaohs, Egypt is a dazzling destination of temples and tombs that wow all who visit. It’s not all historic treasures though. With vast tracts of desert, superb scuba diving, and the famed Nile River there’s something for everyone here.
Beach lovers head to the Sinai to soak up the sun, while archaeology fans will have a field day in Luxor. Cairo is the megalopolis that can’t be beaten for city slickers, while Siwa oasis and the southern town of Aswan offer a slice of the slow pace of the countryside.
Egypt has so much for travellers to see and do; it’s the perfect country for a mix of activities combining culture, adventure, and relaxation.
Top Major Tourist Attractions in Egypt
Pyramids of Giza
The last surviving of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Pyramids of Giza are one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks.
Built as tombs for the mighty Pharaohs and guarded by the enigmatic Sphinx, Giza’s pyramid complex has awed travellers down through the ages and had archaeologists (and a fair few conspiracy theorists) scratching their heads over how they were built for centuries.
Today, these megalithic memorials to dead kings are still as wondrous a sight as they ever were. An undeniable highlight of any Egypt trip, Giza’s pyramids should not be missed.
Luxor’s Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings
Famed for the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple, and the Memorial Temple of Hatshepsut, the Nile-side town of Luxor in Upper Egypt has a glut of tourist attractions.
This is ancient Thebes, powerbase of the New Kingdom pharaohs, and home to more sights than most can see on one visit. While the East Bank brims with vibrant souk action, the quieter West Bank is home to a bundle of tombs and temples that has been called the biggest open air museum in the world.
Spend a few days here exploring the colourful wall art of the tombs and gazing in awe at the colossal columns in the temples, and you’ll see why Luxor continues to fascinate historians and archaeologists.
The atmospheric, narrow lanes of the capital’s Islamic Cairo district are crammed full of mosques, madrassas (Islamic schools of learning), and monuments dating from the Fatimid through to the Mameluke eras.
This is where you’ll find the labyrinth shopping souk of Khan el-Khalili where coppersmiths and artisans still have their tiny workshops, and stalls are laden with ceramics, textiles, spice, and perfume.
Surrounding the market is a muddle of roads, home to some of the most beautiful preserved architecture of the old Islamic empires.
There is a wealth of history here to explore. Visit Al-Azhar Mosque and the dazzling Sultan Hassan Mosque, and make sure you climb to the roof of the ancient medieval gate of Bab Zuweila for the best minaret-speckled panoramas across the district.
Egypt’s most tranquil town is Aswan, set upon the winding curves of the Nile. Backed by orange-hued dunes this is the perfect place to stop and unwind for a few days and soak up the chilled-out atmosphere. Take the river ferry across to Elephantine Island and stroll the colourful streets of the Nubian villages.
Ride a camel to the desert monastery of St. Simeon on the East Bank. Or just drink endless cups of tea on one of the riverboat restaurants, while watching the lateen-sailed feluccas drift past.
There are plenty of historic sites here and numerous temples nearby, but one of Aswan’s biggest highlights is simply kicking back and watching the river life go by.
Even in a country festooned with temples, Abu Simbel is something special. This is Ramses II’s great temple, adorned with colossal statuary standing guard outside, and with an interior sumptuously decorated with wall paintings.
Justly famous for its megalithic proportions, Abu Simbel is also known for the incredible feat, which saw the entire temple moved from its original setting – set to disappear under the water because of the Aswan dam – during the 1960s in a massive UNESCO operation that took four years.
A treasure trove of the Pharaonic world, Cairo’s Egyptian Museum is one of the world’s great museum collections. The faded pink mansion is home to a dazzling amount of exhibits. It’s a higgledy-piggledy place with little labelling on offer and not much chronological order, but that’s half of its old-school charm.
Upstairs is the golden glory of King Tutankhamen and the fascinating royal mummies exhibits, but really every corner you turn here is home to some wonderful piece of ancient art or statuary that would form a highlight of any other museum.
Egypt’s kookiest natural wonder is the White Desert where surreally shaped chalk mountains have created what looks like a snowy wonderland in the middle of the arid sand.
The landscapes here look like something out of a science fiction movie with blindingly white boulders and iceberg-like pinnacles.
For desert fans and adventurers, this is the ultimate weird playground, while anybody who’s had their fill of temples and tombs will enjoy this spectacular natural scenery.
Way out west, Siwa is the tranquil tonic to the hustle of Egypt’s cities. This gorgeous little oasis, surrounded by date palm plantations and numerous fresh water springs, is one of the Western Desert’s most picturesque spots.
The town is centered around the ruins of a vast mud-brick citadel that dominates the view. This is a top spot to wind down and go slow for a few days as well as being an excellent base from which to plan adventures into the surrounding desert.
The most European of Egypt’s cities, Alexandria has a history that not many others can match. Founded by Alexander the Great, home of Cleopatra, and razzmatazz renegade city of the Mediterranean for much of its life, this seaside city has an appealing days-gone-by atmosphere that can’t be beaten.
Although today, there are few historic remnants of its illustrious past – feted in songs and books – this is a place made for aimless strolling along the seashore Corniche, café-hopping, and souk shopping.
St. Catherine’s Monastery
One of the oldest monasteries in the world, St. Catherine’s stands at the foot of Mount Sinai, where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments.
This desert monastery is home to an incredible collection of religious iconography, art, and manuscripts (some of which can be seen in the on-site museum) as well as the home of the burning bush.
For most visitors here, a trip to St. Catherine’s also involves a hike up Mount Sinai to see sunrise or sunset. Take the camel path for the easy route or climb the famous Steps of Repentance if you want better views.
Egypt’s center for beach fun is the South Sinai region on the Sinai Peninsula. Sharm el-Sheikh is a European-style resort full of luxury hotels, international restaurants, and bags of entertainment options.
Dahab is a low-key beach town with a budget traveller heart, which is just as much about desert excursions and adventures as the sea. Up the coast, between the port town of Nuweiba and the border town of Taba, are the bamboo hut retreats that offer complete get-away-from-it-all respites from life.
Wherever you choose, the South Sinai is all about diving. The Red Sea is one of the top diving destinations in the world, and the South Sinai region is home to much of the best dive sites.
Dusty Abydos town wouldn’t make much of a rating on the tourism radar if it wasn’t for the incredible temple on its doorstep. Abydos’ Temple of Osiris is one of ancient Egypt’s most fascinating artistic treasures.
Its chunky columns and walls, covered in beautiful hieroglyphics and intricate paintings, are spell-binding sights, and even better, you can admire them without the crowds as despite its dazzling beauty, it receives few visitors compared to the temples in nearby Luxor.
Top Safari Lodges in Egypt
Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa
This offers stylish rooms with uninterrupted views from the water’s edge, luxurious spa facilities and stunning infinity pools.
Enjoy the tranquil environment and attentive service at Hilton Luxor Resort. Choose from classic Hilton rooms to upgraded suites with Nile views.
Relax and rejuvenate with the aid of luxury holistic treatments at Hilton Nayara Spa. Bathe in one of Luxor Resort’s 2 beautiful infinity pools or simply relax in a cabana hammock beside the Nile.
In the evening, spend time in one of Hilton Luxor Resort’s 7 elegant bars and restaurants. Explore the rich culture of this ancient region of Egypt. East bank is a great choice for travellers interested in temples, sightseeing and museums.
Villa Kaslan Apartments
This features accommodation with a flat-screen TV and a kitchen. Free Wi-Fi is offered. There is a fully equipped private bathroom with bath and a hair dryer. The daily breakfast offers continental and a la carte options. The apartment offers an outdoor pool.
The property has a garden and sun terrace, which guests can enjoy if the weather permits. Colossi of Memnon are 1.5 km from Villa Kaslan, while Luxor Museum is 2.1 km away.
The nearest airport is Luxor International, 8 km from the accommodation, and the property offers a free airport shuttle service. West bank is a great choice for travellers interested in friendly locals, archaeology and ancient landmarks.
This offers Nubian style accommodations. It offers free Wi-Fi in public areas and Luxor Temple is 2.2 km away. All units include a private terrace. Each one provides a satellite TV, a wardrobe and a desk. Featuring a shower, private bathrooms also come with a hairdryer.
Guests can enjoy a daily breakfast in the room or at the restaurant. Other facilities offered include shared lounge, a tour desk and luggage storage.
The guest house is 4.9 km from Karnak Temple and a 30-minute drive from Luxor International Airport. An airport shuttle is available upon request. West bank is a great choice for travellers interested in friendly locals, archaeology and ancient landmarks.
Sofitel Legend Old Cataract
Located in the Nubian Desert on the banks of the Nile, opposite Elephantine Island, Sofitel Legend Old Cataract offers elegant rooms and suites. It features outdoor and indoor pools.
This Victorian building with the pink granite facade has modern rooms with private bathrooms. Each of the air-conditioned rooms is decorated with wooden furniture.
Sofitel Legend Old Cataract has 4 restaurants serving international and oriental dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Oriental Kebabgy Restaurant has a terrace with panoramic views over Nile. The hotel’s 4 bars offer refreshing drinks.
The Promenade has views over Elephantine Islands, while The Bar is an evening piano lounge in a classic oriental setting. Guests can visit the hotel’s spa and relax in the sauna, the hammam, or the hot tub.
They can also use the fitness centre or enjoy massage treatments. Aswan International Airport is 58 km away, and the hotel offers free private parking on site.
Horus Guest House
This is a 2-minute walk from the entrance of Great Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx. The apartment is 12 km from Mosque of Ibn Tulun. Free Wi-Fi is offered throughout the property.
The air-conditioned unit offer towels and bed linen are. Other facilities at Horus Guest House include a barbecue. Honeymooners receive s surprise from the property.
A free Egyptian style breakfast is served at the property’s restaurant. A currency exchange shop and gift shop are available at the property.
Complimentary tea/coffee for guests all day and water is served to all guests upon arrival. Bike hire and car hire are available at the property and the area is popular for horse riding.
The Egyptian Museum is 12 km from Horus Guest House, while Mosque of Mohamed Ali Pasha is 13 km away. Cairo International Airport is 29 km from the property. Giza is a great choice for travellers interested in monuments, museums and history.
Luxor Guest House
This features free Wi-Fi. Some units are air conditioned and include a seating area with a TV. A continental breakfast can be enjoyed at the property. The apartment offers an outdoor pool. A bicycle rental service is available at this property.
Colossi of Memnon are 2.4 km from Luxor Guest House. The nearest airport is Luxor International Airport, 7 km from the accommodation. West bank is a great choice for travellers interested in friendly locals, archaeology and ancient landmarks.
This is a very peaceful and quit place for relaxing and clearing your mind. The property is a walking distance from Cairo Festival City and Downtown Mall off Road 90. This air-conditioned apartment features a terrace and a garden with a barbecue.
The unit is 2.7 km from Mobarak Academy. There is a seating area and a kitchen equipped with a microwave. A flat-screen TV with cable channels is provided. The room features air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi.
The property is only minutes away from Carrefour, spinneys, IKEA and many restaurants / cafes such as Paul, Casper & Gambini’s, and Mori Sushi. El-Rehab Metro is 8 km from Etoile. The nearest airport is Cairo International Airport, 10 km from Étoile.
Pyramids Overlook Inn
This is set in Giza in front of the Sphinx and the great pyramids and has views of the Sphinx and the Pyramids. Some rooms include a seating area for your convenience. A terrace or balcony is featured in certain rooms.
Each room has a private bathroom fitted with a bath or shower. Pyramids Overlook Inn provides free WiFi and private parking.
You will find a gift shop, an onsite restaurant and a barbeque at the property. Guests can enjoy various activities in the surroundings, including golfing and horse riding.
The inn also offers bike hire and car hire. Chefren pyramid is 800 m from Pyramids Overlook Inn, while Mikerinus pyramid is 1.2 km from the property. The nearest airport is Cairo International Airport, 29 km from the property.
Panorama Pyramids Inn
This features accommodation with free WiFi in Cairo. Attractively situated in the Giza district, this inn is located an 11-minute walk from Giza Pyramids. The property is 11 km from Cairo Tower.
All rooms at the inn are equipped with a seating area and a TV with satellite channels. All rooms include a private bathroom with free toiletries. Guest rooms at Panorama Pyramids Inn have air conditioning and a desk.
A a la carte breakfast is available daily at the accommodation. The restaurant at Panorama Pyramids Inn specialises in international cuisine. The inn offers a terrace.
Rixos Seagate Sharm
This property is minutes’ walk from the beach. This luxurious 5-star resort in Sharm El Sheikh is located on the seafront among palm trees. Featuring a private beach, Rixos Seagate Sharm offers an Ultra All Inclusive Concept.
It offers 8 swimming pools including 1 indoor pool, 6 a-la-carte restaurants and 9 bars. It includes free WiFi in the entire property.
All rooms feature balcony or a terrace with a pool or a garden view. Each one offers a flat-screen TV, a safety box and a minibar, refilled daily for free. The bathroom includes a bath, a shower and slippers.
It offers 6 a la carte restaurants, 1 buffet restaurant, VIP executive lounge, beach food courts and 9 bars serving imported alcohols.
Rixos’ spa offers a range of relaxation options, including full-body massages, facials, Turkish bath, steam room, therapy saloon, a beauty centre and a Ladies Spa. There is also a modern gym equipped with state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment.
At Rixos Seagate Sharm-Ultra All Inclusive you will find tennis court. Other facilities offered at the property include a nightclub, luggage storage and shops (on site). An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including diving, snorkelling and beach football.
Unique kids concept of Rixy Club with a spacious area, game rooms, special kids’ restaurant and 2 kids’ swimming pools and Teenage Club from the age of 13.
Sharm El Sheikh International Airport is 9 km away from Rixos Seagate Sharm. Guests can do shopping at Naa’ma Bay Shopping Centre which is 18 km away. An airport shuttle is available upon request.
This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. El Palacio is a lively, all-inclusive resort on the Red Sea coast. It features white sand beaches, landscaped swimming pools and excellent diving in the hotel’s lagoon and coral reef.
The spacious guest rooms at Sunny Days El Palacio each have a private balcony or terrace, offering views over the sea. All rooms feature satellite TV and air conditioning.
Sunny Days has a wide range of on-site restaurants and bars including a large international buffet, a specialist Italian restaurant and a seafood restaurant overlooking the sea.
Recreational facilities include beach volleyball, water polo and a fully-equipped fitness centre. The hotel also has its own water sports centre, offering diving, windsurfing and sailing.
Sunny Days has a shopping arcade with over 42 shops to meet your requirements, as well as an internet café and a hairdresser. Sunny Days El Palacio located 9 Km from Hurghada International Airport and 3 km from downtown Hurghada.
This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. Set in Dahab, 100 m from Sea view Divers, Full Moon has a number of amenities including a terrace and free WiFi. The property is situated a 2-minute walk from Sun splash Divers and a 2-minute walk from Sadec Polyclinic.
The property is a 3-minute walk from Big Blue Dive Centre (Dahab) and 200 m from Divers House. All rooms in the hotel are equipped with a kettle.
Rooms are complete with a private bathroom fitted with free toiletries, while certain units at Full Moon also offer a balcony. Guest rooms have a wardrobe.
The area is popular for cycling, and bike hire and car hire are available at the accommodation. The reception can provide advice on the area in order to help guests plan their day.
Penguin Divers is 400 m from Full Moon. The nearest airport is Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport, 58 km from the hotel.
Sporting Suite Studio
Located 2.1 km from Alexandria Zoo, 5 km from Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa and 600 m from Alexandria Sporting Club, Sporting Suite Studio features accommodation situated in Alexandria. This apartment is a 16-minute walk from Al-Salam Theatre.
The air-conditioned apartment consists of 1 separate bedroom, 1 bathroom with free toiletries, a seating area, and a living room. The kitchenette is equipped with an oven and a microwave, as well as coffee machine and kettle.
The apartment offers a terrace. Guests can relax in the garden at the property. Smouha Sporting Club is 1.5 km from Sporting Suite Studio, while Stanley Bridge is 2.1 km from the property. The nearest airport is Borg el Arab International Airport, 41 km from the accommodation.