How many days to spend in Egypt

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 21.06.2023

The majesty of the Nile Valley’s monuments. The markets, mosques and madrassas of Islamic Cairo. Ancient rock art, and out-of-this-world reefs. There are plenty of reasons tourists are attracted to Egypt’s epic wonders. But such diversity raises a tricky question. Namely, how many days to spend in Egypt? Planning is paramount, which is where this guide comes into play — read on for itinerary suggestions covering different length stays.

How many days to spend in Egypt — overview  

First things first. Before you can determine how many days to spend in Egypt, you’ll want to have a budget in mind, and decide what you most want from your visit to Egypt. 

For example, some visitors come purely to enjoy Egypt’s best beaches and dive experiences. Others want to focus entirely on Egypt’s ancient attractions, like Luxor and other treasures of the Nile Valley

With that in mind, you’ll want to research the historic sites and attractions you most want to see. And, if you fancy mixing it up, you'll need to factor in transfer times.

Top tip: read up on the best things to do in Egypt to help you plan your trip. Or, to take a whole lot of hassle out of planning, talk to our Egypt travel experts.

Valley of the Kings, Tutankhamun Tomb, Luxor © Shutterstock

Wondering how many days to spend in Egypt Try to factor in Luxor's Valley of the Kings © Shutterstock

Egypt in 7 days

Planning to visit Egypt for seven days? Be assured you can see a whole lot of top attractions in a week.

If culture is top of your travel priorities, your best bet is to base yourself in Cairo to access a richness of ancient treasures. In the city itself, don’t miss visiting the esteemed Egyptian Museum.

Top tip: discover how to spend 24 hours in Cairo.

Cairo also offers easy access to incredible day trips, among them the Pyramids of Giza, and the show-stopping Sphinx.

You can also escape Cairo’s intensity by taking an immersive day-trip to Alexandria. With a string of beaches, modern Alexandria has a laid-back vibe, with the Mediterranean Sea and maritime influences on show.

Though Alexandria was an important centre of Hellenistic civilisation and the capital of Ptolemaic, Roman and Byzantine Egypt, little remains from those eras. But in good news for history buffs, the Alexandria National Museum, set in an Italianate villa, reveals the city’s history.

As part of your 7-day trip, you could also explore the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, the Citadel of Fort Qaitbey, and the Library of Alexandria. Fancy some retail therapy? Don’t miss Khan el-Khalili Bazaar.

During a week-long visit, you can also take a trip on the Nile, with plenty of short cruise trips available.

You could also arrange to visit the awe-inspiring oasis at Faiyum (also spelt Fayoum), some 62 miles southwest of Cairo.

Here Lake Qarun serves scenic beauty, with Kom Aushim, located past the eastern tip of the lake, hosting the ruins of a temple dedicated to the crocodile-headed god Sobek.

Have a week in Egypt? Check out our customisable Introduction to Egypt itinerary.

Sunset on Lake Qarun, Fayoum, Egypt © Shutterstock

Sunset on Lake Qarun, Fayoum, Egypt © Shutterstock

Egypt in 10 days 

With 10 days in Egypt, it’s perfectly possible to combine seeing a stack of astounding ancient attractions with exploring cities, and soaking up sun on beautiful beaches. You could also add in hopping over the border to Jordan. 

In addition to doing everything outlined in our seven-day suggestion, make your way to the magnificent Montazah Palace Gardens. Located in the Alexandria area, this opulent complex has a stunning coastal setting. 

Having ten days in Egypt also gives you the freedom to enjoy a longer cruise along the Nile. How does stopping off at Aswan High Dam, Edful‘s temples and Luxor sound? You could even opt to include the resort city of Sharm El Sheikh

Inspired by the sound of a cruise? See our eight-day Nile Cruise itinerary

For an entirely different outlook, you could journey into Jordan.The cultural treasures of Amman and Petra are second-to-none.

Indeed, meandering Petra's monastery route is a Jordanian must-do — the views from the mountain-top are jaw-droppingly spectacular. 

We also recommend seeing the lunar landscapes of Wadi Rum, another of Jordan’s best things to do.

Intrigued by Jordan? Browse our customisable Jordan itineraries. For example, our Treasures of Jordan trip takes in a tonne of top sights.


Spending 10 days in Egypt? Consider hopping over the border to Jordan © Shutterstock

Egypt in 14 days/2 weeks 

Yay! With planning, having two weeks in Egypt means you could opt to see an array of areas. You could also spend time in Jordan, as suggested above, or mooch around Morocco.

To take in a lot of Nile attractions in one immersive, exhilarating trip, a cruise could be the way to go. 

After spending time in Cairo and seeing the Pyramids of Giza, lots of cruise itineraries include drifting down the Nile to the Valley of the Kings, the temples at Edfu and Kom Ombo, and Philae Temple near Aswan. 

With 14 days, why not enjoy an immersive desert excursion and overnight at a Bedouin camp?

Alternatively, you could opt to mix things up further by doing pretty much all of the above, plus spending a chunk of time in Morocco.

Depending on how long you allocate to this segment of your trip, you could visit Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, enjoy Fes’ fabulous food and medieval majesty, or meander Marrakesh

Of course, if you prefer to take things slower, simply cut out some of these suggestions and spend more time the places that most take your fancy — simple!

Not sure where to start? Our Egypt experts are on hand to help you curate your perfect trip on the Nile, and beyond — we also offer immersive Morocco itineraries.

Relief showing Seti first in front of Anubis in his tomb at the Valley of Kings, Luxor, Egypt © Shutterstock

A relief in Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt © Shutterstock

Egypt in 20 days/3 weeks 

Three weeks in Egypt gives you greater freedom, and tremendous opportunities to truly immerse yourself in the country’s diverse experiences.  

Of course, you could also cross a few borders to also experience Jordan and Morocco, visiting some of the top attractions outlined above. 

Back in Egypt, rather than try to pack in too much into your three weeks, consider touring the top ancient attractions before resting up by the beach at the end of your trip.

If the idea of not packing in too much has piqued your interest, you could book an immersive two-week sailing cruise aboard a traditional dahabieh ship. 

With three weeks, you'd still have time to explore some of Egypt’s cities, or discover Egypt's underwater attractions.


Ships that pass on the Nile © Shutterstock

Tips for travelling in Egypt

Best time to visit

Egypt’s traditional tourist season runs from late November to late February. That said, in recent years Luxor and Aswan have only really been busy with tourists during the peak months of December and January.

Note that while the Nile Valley is balmy throughout this winter season, Cairo can be overcast and chilly.

Want more more detail? Read up on when to go to Egypt.

Visa regulations for US and UK visitors

All travellers entering Egypt must have a passport valid for at least six months and a valid visa.  

For most visitors, including nationals of the UK, the European Union and the United States, it's easiest — and cheapest — to get a tourist visa at the point of arrival.

They can be obtained from Cairo International Airport, Luxor Airport, Aswan Airport, Hurghada Airport, Sharm El Sheikh and Alexandria Port.

The fee can only be paid in cash. If you have currencies other than US dollars, bank kiosks will exchange your money. Alternatively, you can apply for an e-Visa.

Extension of stay

Visas can be renewed at the Mugama’a — Cairo’s massive central administrative building on Midanat-Tahrir.

Orman Garden in West Bank, Cairo © Shutterstock

Orman Garden, Cairo © Shutterstock

Safety and security tips for travellers

Petty theft in Egypt is generally very rare, but because of variable economic reforms over the years that have created hardship, muggings and hotel and vehicle theft occasionally occur.  

So, use common sense. Keep your passport and valuables hidden, use hotel safes, and beware of pickpockets and bag snatchers.  

While security is tight at places visited by foreigners, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) currently advises against all travel to the Governorate of North Sinai and within 20km of the Egyptian and Libyan border.  

The FCDO also advises against all but essential travel to several places that have long been on travellers routes e.g. the oasis town of Siwa. So, be sure to check current advice before planning your trip,

Want more info to help you plan? Take a look at our guide to the best tours in Egypt, or talk to our local Egypt experts to help you curate your ideal itinerary.

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