Egypt isn’t just about the pyramids. If you do some exploring, you’ll find it’s a country loaded with ancient temples, colossal statues, archaeological museums, and more.
I spent two weeks solo traveling Egypt in 2018, and I was floored by how many of these amazing places are still intact. Every day was a new adventure.
This is not a complete list of every interesting thing to see (that would be impossible!), but just some top highlights. This is a lineup of the very best things to do in Egypt!
North Egypt Things To Do
• Giza Pyramids
Of course — the pyramids! You can’t make a list of the best things to do in Egypt and not include these wonders from 2560 BC.
The Great Pyramids of Giza are just a 30 minute drive from the city of Cairo. This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Africa.
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• Great Sphinx
The giant sphinx of Giza, with its lion shaped body and pharaoh head, is right up there with the pyramids in fame and splendor.
It’s just a short walk from the pyramids, and it’s included in the same ticket, so you can easily visit both on the same day!
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• Camel Rides
Riding camels is a popular activity in Egypt (and elsewhere in north Africa and the Middle East), and what better place to get your picture snapped than on a camel in front of the great pyramids?
The camels are friendly and it only costs about 50 EGP (~$3 USD) to go for a 30 minute ride around the pyramids.
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• Egyptian Museum
Egypt’s most complete museum is home to more than 120,000 artifacts, including King Tut’s gold mask and other fascinating antiques from ancient Egyptian history.
This museum is currently being moved from Cairo to a huge new building at Giza (as of 2020), but the contents will stay the same!
Central Egypt Things To Do
• Luxor Temple
The easiest Egyptian temple to visit in Luxor is —you guessed it— Luxor Temple.
These temple ruins from 1400 BC are located smack dab in the middle of Luxor city, just a short distance from the airport and hotels.
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• Karnak Temple
Karnak was one of ancient Egypt’s grandest and most important temples.
Even today, it’s one of the biggest religious buildings in the world, with still intact statues, obelisks, and a hypostyle hall that features absolutely massive pillars.
This one is on the northern outskirts of Luxor, just a short drive from town!
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• Valley of the Kings
This canyon on the west bank of the Nile river was the main burial place for ancient Egypt’s pharaohs and nobles, including King Tut.
Valley of the Kings is easy to reach from Luxor. It’s worth visiting for the history alone! And the walls in the tombs are loaded with interesting hieroglyphs.
• Hatshepsut Temple
Aside from being one of the most photogenic places in Egypt, this epic tomb is also famous for being dedicated to Egypt’s first female pharaoh.
It’s located on the west bank of Luxor, right across from the Valley of the Kings.
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• Colossi of Memnon
These were two giant statues that used to guard the tomb of King Amenhotep III, near the Valley of the Queens.
The main tomb was destroyed in an earthquake in 1200 BC, but the statues still remain!
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• Medinet Habu Temple
This is another West Bank temple near Luxor.
Madinat Habu is easy to visit in conjunction with Memnon and the Valley of the Queens, and in my opinion it has some of the best inscriptions in any of the Luxor temples!
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South Egypt Things To Do
• Philae Temple
Philae is a Nubian temple that was moved to a small island to protect it from flooding.
This is one of the great temples in southern Egypt, and it’s only a short distance from Aswan, so don’t miss it if you’re exploring that area!
• Kalabsha Temple
This is another Nubian temple relocated to a small island near the Aswan dam.
Kalabsha is easy to reach from Aswan, and the painted reliefs inside the main temple are top notch.
• Abu Simbel Temple
Last but not least, there’s Abu Simbel, an incredible temple with huge sitting pharaoh statues. It’s in the far southern part of Egypt, near the Sudan border.
Abu Simbel was one of my favorite places I went in Egypt. It’s a bit harder to reach than the others, but the hassle is absolutely worth it!
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More Egypt Travel Tips
Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed this list of some of the best things to do in Egypt.
Don’t forget to check out my full Egypt Travel Guide with free tips, info, photos, and more!