Perhaps no other people in the world say ‘Welcome’ so frequently – and mean it every time. Egypt’s ancient civilisation still awes, but today’s Egyptians are pretty amazing, too.
Pyramids & More
With sand-covered tombs, austere pyramids and towering Pharaonic temples, Egypt brings out the explorer in all of us. Visit the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, where Tutankhamun’s tomb was unearthed, and see the glittering finds in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Hop off a Nile boat to visit a waterside temple, or trek into the desert to find the traces of Roman trading outposts. You never know – your donkey might stumble across yet another find, just as many previous discoveries were made.
Egypt once ruled an empire from al- Qahira – Cairo, the City Victorious. The metropolis is packed with soaring minarets, and medieval schools and mosques, some of the greatest architecture of medieval Islam. At the same time, Egypt’s native Christians, the Copts, have carried on their traditions that in many respects – such as the church’s liturgical language and the traditional calendar – link back to the time of the pharaohs. Tap into the history in remote monasteries and ancient churches.
Beaches & Beyond
That empty beach with nothing but a candlelit cabin, and a teeming coral reef offshore: they’re waiting for you in Egypt. The coast along the Red Sea has a rugged desert beauty above the waterline and a psychedelic vibrancy below – rewarding to explore on a multiday outing to one of the globe’s great wreck dives or on an afternoon’s snorkelling jaunt along a coral wall.
Whether you’re watching the sun rise from the lofty heights of Mt Sinai (Gebel Musa) or the shimmering horizon from the comfort of a hot spring in Siwa Oasis, Egypt’s desert landscapes are endlessly fascinating – good thing, because they make up 95% of the country. In a land where time is measured by dynasties, and distance by the setting sun, there are plenty of opportunities to relax into the infinite expanse of sand and sea.
Egypt is the most traveller-friendly country in the Middle East. This means you’ll enjoy cheap buses, decent budget places to sleep, English spoken to some degree everywhere and even good cold beers. It also means that if you ever get into a jam, an Egyptian will likely be there to help you out. Then again, an Egyptian will also be there to sell you some papyrus or perfume – an undeniable reality of travel here. But the souvenir sales are a minor irritant when compared with the chance to connect with some of the world’s most generous people.
Best places to stay in Egypt
Middle East travel guide
The Middle East is one of history’s grand epics – a cradle of civilisations and a beautiful, complicated land that’s home to some of the most hospitable people on the planet.
Top tips for travelling during Ramadan
Ramadan Mubarak! The Islamic holy month of Ramadan runs from the end of June to the end of July this year – and if you're planning on travelling to a Muslim-majority region during this time, you’re in for an utterly fascinating experience...
Top ancient sites in Egypt
Egypt travel guide
Pyramids, ancient temples, camels: everything you’ve seen on the postcards is true. But the full picture of Egypt includes beautiful beaches, the megacity of Cairo – and the Egyptian people themselves.
Cairo & Around
Is now a good time to visit Cairo?
'Do you have a strong heart?' asked the man behind the Egyptian Museum’s bookshop counter. 'You need one here…' 'Yes, yes, I think so', I said, nodding earnestly. I assumed we were about to segue from a conversation about the museum’s layout to talk of the challenges facing Cairo after three years of revolution...
The Pyramids of Giza, Siwa Oasis, Luxor Museum – we’ve selected the most iconic sights and incredible places so you can enjoy the real Egypt with the minimum of fuss.
Private Tour: Giza Pyramids, Sphinx, Memphis, Sakkara
Step back in time to the days of ancient Egypt on a private tour of the Great Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx, the necropolis of Sakkara and the former capital, Memphis. With your own private Egyptologist guide to lead the way on this private tour, you can determine the amount of time you'd like to spend at each of the sites you'll visit.
Private Tour: Giza Pyramids, Sphinx, Egyptian Museum, Khan el-Khalili Bazaar
Take a leisurely private tour of Cairo's most famous sites: the Giza Pyramids, Sphinx, Egyptian Museum and Khan el-Khalili bazaar. With your own private Egyptologist guide to lead the way, you'll see Cairo's most famous attractions in one day. As this is a private tour, you can determine the amount of time you'd like to spend at each site.
Moulid of Sayyed Ahmed Al-Badawi: a guide to Egypt's huge religious festival
Tanta mosque by Martyn Smith. Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY 2.0) Location: Tanta, Egypt Dates: end of the cotton harvest in late October Level of participation: 2 – wander among snake charmers and entranced Sufis...
Egypt - Alexandria & the Mediterranean Coast (Chapter)
Egypt’s northern coastline draws summertime revelers who come to cool off in the sea air and splash in the water. Alexandria is the region’s hub, with ancient sights, terrific restaurants, and a distinctly different urban pulse than that of Cairo.
Sights in Egypt
Activities in Egypt
Tours in Egypt
Restaurants in Egypt
Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Upon arrival, the choreographed chaos here hits you like a ton of bricks. It doesn’t take long, however, to acclimatise to Cairo’s wall of noise, snarl of traffic, cry of hawkers and blanket of smog, and get drawn into the hypnotising charm of this pulsating metropolis.