Things not to miss

updated 11/6/2020
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The monumental sun temple of Ramses II is the most spectacular of the Nubian antiquities that were relocated to higher ground on the shores of Lake Nasser


© Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock

#02 Valley of the Kings

The descent into the Underworld, the Judgement of Osiris and the rebirth of the pharaoh are vividly depicted on the walls and ceilings of the royal tombs.

Hieroglyphs on the wall in King Tut's Tomb © bleung/Shutterstock

#03 Street Food

Sold from pushcarts or in sit-down diners, taamiya, kushari, fuul and shawarma are tasty, cheap and nourishing.

Shawarma with chicken on wood table © MOUTASEM PHOTOGRAPHY/Shutterstock

#04 Bellydancing

The centuries-old tradition of raqs sharqi (oriental dance) is best seen at clubs frequented by locals, where the dancers and musicians will set your pulse racing.

© Waleed Shah/Shutterstock

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#05 Karnak Temple

Dedicated to the ancient Theban Triad of Amun

, Mut and Khonsu, this vast complex reached its zenith during the New Kingdom.

© serpetko/Shutterstock

#06 Jeep or Camel Safaris

Make tracks into the dunes of the Western Desert or the canyons of Sinai

– overnight trips or major expeditions are easily arranged.

© Banana Republic images/Shutterstock

#07 Islamic Cairo

City of a thousand minarets, teeming with life and chock-full of architectural masterpieces and historic monuments. Head for Khan el-Khalili bazaar, or the Citadel.

Detail of a wall, Khan el-Khalili souk © Eric Valenne geostory/Shutterstock

#08 Feluccas

These lateen-sailed boats can be hired for an afternoon lazing on the Nile

, or a two- or three-day journey from Aswan, visiting the temples at Kom Ombo and Edfu .

© Raimonds Romans raymoonds/Shutterstock

#09 Fresh Juice

Most towns have a sprinkling of juice bars or carts, where you can quench your thirst with whatever’s in season, from freshly pressed oranges and mangoes to strawberries and sugar cane.

© Shutterstock

#10 Catacombs of Kom es-Shoqafa

Beneath the Karmous quarter of Alexandria

are the spookiest tombs in Egypt, with a bizarre fusion of pharaonic, Greek and Roman funerary motifs reflecting the city’s ancient diversity.

© Justina Elgaafary/Shutterstock

#11 White Desert

A tract of weird wind-eroded rock formations in Farafra Oasis

, often visited on overnight safaris from the neighbouring oasis of Bahariya .

© sunsinger/Shutterstock

#12 Balloon Rides

Enjoy a magnificent view of the Theban Necropolis

on Luxor’s west bank.

© Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH/Shutterstock

#13 Abydos

One of the most ancient cult-centres in Egypt, Abydos’ mortuary temple of Seti I contains magnificent bas-reliefs, the finest to have survived from the New Kingdom.

© akimov konstantin/Shutterstock

#14 Aswan

Aswan has been Egypt’s gateway to Nubia

since ancient times, and its islands, bazaars and riverside restaurants can keep you happy in between excursions to sites such as Abu Simbel .

© Marcel Bakker/Shutterstock

#15 Mount Sinai

This awesome peak is revered as the site where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.

Mount Sinai, Egypt © Anton Kozlovsky/Shutterstock

#16 The Egyptian Museum

Home to Tutankhamun’s treasures, monumental statues from the Old Kingdom and the Amarna era, a dozen royal mummies and countless other artefacts, some engagingly humble.

© Sean M Smith/Shutterstock

#17 The pyramids of Dahshur

Less famous than the Giza trio but no less fascinating – and far less crowded. The Bent Pyramid, resting place of Snofru, has a distinctive angled top.

© Shutterstock

Dreaming of seeing the ancient sites of the world? Don't miss our guide to the lost cities of the world


#18 Ras Mohammed

Egypt’s oldest marine nature park boasts spectacular shark reefs and the wreck of the Dunraven.

Scuba divers entering a shipwreck Dunraven © Anna segeren/Shutterstock

#19 Alexandria

With its fabulous seafood and vintage coffee houses, its dazzling new library and the chance to dive the ruins of Cleopatra’s Palace, there’s plenty to discover in this Mediterranean port city.

© Shutterstock

#20 St Catherine’s Monastery

Secluded beneath Mount Sinai, St Catherine’s harbours the burning bush that appeared to Moses in the Bible, among other holy relics.

© Mildax/Shutterstock

#21 The Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza

The world’s most famous monuments have inspired scholarly and crackpot speculations for centuries.

© Raimonds Romans raymoonds/Shutterstock

#22 Dahab

Sinai chill-out zone, renowned for its diving, beach cafés, and camel and jeep safaris into the rugged interior.

© Shutterstock

#23 Siwa Oasis

With its unique culture, hilltop citadel and spring-fed pools, Siwa is rated by many as the best of Egypt’s oases.

© Shutterstock

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