18 Ultimate Things to do in Egypt

By Margaux | Updated Apr. 16, 2024

A trip to Egypt is not complete without ticking off one or more of these incredible things to do around the country. Whether you're interested in diving in the Red Sea, crawling inside the chambers of the Great Pyramid of Giza, or keen to ride a camel in the desert, Egypt has something for everybody.

Read on to find out which top 18 ultimate activities we recommend for your time in Egypt!

1. Crawl into the Great Pyramid of Giza

Stairway of the tomb in the center of a pyramid at Giza, Cairo Stairway of the tomb in the center of a pyramid at Giza, Cairo

Being able to visit the inside of the Pyramid of Khufu at Giza is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Visitors are able to enter from the Grand Gallery through to the King's Chamber, but there are only a limited amount of tickets available daily to avoid damage to the pyramid.

Inside, it's not very spacious, unlike what you might imagine from seeing the pyramid from the outside. The passages are narrow, and are said to have been designed only to fit in the sarcophagus, as getting this inside was the main priority.

Suggested reading: How to Plan Your First Trip to Egypt

2. Explore the Inside of The Red Pyramid of Dahshur

Inside of The Red Pyramid of DahshurInside of The Red Pyramid of Dahshur

Another pyramid you can enter is the Red Pyramid of Dahshur. It is a really unique experience to see the inside of a pyramid, and a similar opportunity if you weren't able to get tickets for more-popular the Great Pyramid of Giza, but do take note that the space through which you enter is extremely small and narrow. There's a ladder to help you get in and out, but you'll have to watch your head when you're descending and ascending. Once inside, you'll see the chambers and passageways leading into the final burial chamber.

3. Dive to See the Remains of the Lighthouse of Alexandria

The City of AlexandriaThe City of Alexandria

Listed as one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Lighthouse of Alexandria was damaged in three earthquakes, becoming an ancient ruin. Today, you can actually dive at the site in Alexandria and see some of the ruins, which makes for a really unique diving experience.

Why not head underwater to see this landmark of Alexandria? It won't be every day that you get to go on an archaeological dive!

Suggested reading: How Much Does It Cost to Travel in Egypt?

4. Dive in Ras Mohammed National Park

Diving in EgyptDiving in Egypt

Located in the Red Sea, Ras Mohammed National Park offers some of the best scuba diving in Egypt and the region. The dive sites are located at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, not too far from Sharm el-Sheikh, which explains why it is such a popular diving destination. You can easily combine a dive at Ras Mohammed National Park with a few days lazing around on the beaches of Sharm el-Sheikh!

The marine life you'll see there include barracudas, manta rays, gray and blacktop reef sharks, and many different types of corals. You'll also be able to see anemones and clown fishes.

5. Ride a Camel in the Desert

Ride a Camel in EgyptRide a Camel at the Pyramids of Giza

There is plenty of opportunity to ride a camel in the desert in Egypt, including at the Giza Pyramids, but also at the Siwa Oasis and in the Sinai Desert.

Camel rides can take anywhere between 30 minutes and a few hours, making for a great way to experience the desert of Egypt. If you wanted to, you could even go at sunset or sunrise for a wonderful view over the vast landscapes, or you could spend the night in the desert to enjoy a local dinner and camp (or glamp) amongst the stars.

Suggested reading: How to Plan a 2-Week Egypt Itinerary: 4 Itinerary Ideas

6. Enjoy a Quad Bike Safari in Hurghada

Enjoy a Quad Bike Safari in HurghadaRide a Quad Bike In Desert

Hurghada might be known as a seaside destination, but it is also close to the desert, and there are a lot of different activities there. The most popular one involves taking quad bikes and racing them through the desert, a very fun way to enjoy the unique landscape, passing rock formations and rugged terrain.

A must-do for any thrill seeker with some extra time on their hands, you can either take quad bikes that fit one person, those that fit two people, or even a larger quad bike more similar to a dune buggy to fit the entire family.

The way it works is that a guide on a bike will show the way, with everyone on your group following behind in their own bike or buggy. This way you will not get lost in the desert!

7. Gaze at the Stars in the Sinai Desert

Campfire under the stars in the desertCampfire under the stars in the desert

The Sinai Desert is separated from the continent of Africa by the Gulf of Suez and the Suez Canal. It's where you'll find Mount Sinai as listed above.

The desert is sparsely populated, but worth a visit and camping overnight if you are interested in spending the night in the desert. The lack of light pollution means it'll give you an incredible view of the stars.

Let us know if you'd like for us to arrange an overnight trip to the desert, as Global Highlights can help arrange this.

8. Drive a 4x4 into the White Desert

Egypt's White Desert National Park is unique in that it contains large chalk rocks and special sand formations, and is named after the fact that it contains white sand. Between the white sand and the sun shining on the sand, it's a very cool sight, being a different color to what you would traditionally expect a desert to look like.

To get there, you'll have to drive a 4x4 to get through the rough terrain, and there are museums and other sights to visit too, including the Valley of Agabat and Badr's Museum.

9. Go Sandboarding in the Siwa Oasis

SandboardingSandboarding

Sandboarding is an activity loved by tourists traveling to destinations with deserts around the world, and Egypt is no different! You could go sandboarding in the Siwa Oasis, but there are also sites at the Yellow Dunes between Dahab and the Saint Catherine Monastery, or even in the Bahariya Oasis, with plenty of soft sand locations to choose from.

Make sure you do wear goggles and a helmet for your safety, and don't wear white clothes as you'll likely come out covered in sand/dust stains — but that's part of the fun!

10. Sail Down the Nile in a Traditional Egyptian Felucca

Enjoy a Felucca on the Nile RiveEnjoy a Felucca on the Nile Rive

A felucca is a traditional Egyptian sailing boat that has been used since ancient times and is still popular with tourists and locals alike today. Feluccas are made of wood and come with a canvas sail, but today are made in a lot of different shapes and sizes.

You usually can catch a ride on one along the Nile at either Aswan or Luxor, for a different and more relaxing way to enjoy the river Nile. If you're looking to get somewhere quickly, a cruise might be a better fit for you, but a felucca is a more intimate and calm experience as there are fewer people on a felucca compared to a cruise, and you don't have the sound of the boat's engines since you are powered by the wind.

11. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride in Luxor

Take Hotair Balloon over the Valleys of the KingsTake Hotair Balloon over the Valleys of the Kings

Have you always wanted to take a hot-air balloon ride? Luxor is a great place to do this, as you'll be able to see the views of ancient Thebes, Luxor Temple, the temple complex of Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings and Queens from above.

We recommend going on a hot-air balloon ride after you've seen the sights on the ground, just so that you know what everything is before you get up there. Because sights like the Valley of the Kings and the Karnak Temple Complex are so large, these are perfect to enjoy from above.

12. See King Tutankhamun's Tomb with Your Own Eyes

Valley of the KingsValley of the Kings

One of the top reasons tourists come to Egypt, or become fascinated by ancient Egypt, is the discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamun.

During your time in Egypt, you'll be able to visit the Valley of the Kings and see this tomb with your own eyes. An incredible experience and not one to miss, you'll be able to enjoy all the wall paintings and decorations, and see some of the items that were found inside his tomb. More of the treasures found inside are located inside the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, too, including his famous golden mask.

13. Explore Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel at SunriseAbu Simbel at Sunrise

The temples at Abu Simbel are dedicated to the gods Amun, Ra-Horakhty, and Ptah, as well as the deified Rameses himself, being commissioned during this reign. They are some of the most beautiful temples in Egypt, having been carved out of rocks.

They're also unique in that they were actually moved by archaeologists and engineers after their original location risked being flooded after the creation of the Aswan Dam. The journey there is worth the visit, but it does take approximately 3 hours each way to get to the site where the temples now reside.

14. Hike to the Summit of Mount Sinai

Chapel on Mount SinaiChapel on Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai is one of Egypt's most well-known mountains, particularly because this is where Moses found the Ten Commandments, making it one of the most religiously significant peaks in the world. Besides that, it is also gorgeous, making it worth the trip on two counts.

Today, you can hike up to the top of Mount Sinai, something which is not recommended for those who aren't in good shape or active due to the gradient and length of the climb. For an active traveler, the climb to the top is very doable and takes around 1½–2½ hours.

The closest cities are Dahab and Sharm el-Sheikh, meaning a beach stop is definitely in order after this hike!

15. Trek the Sinai Trail

View from the Mount Sinai, EgyptView from the Mount Sinai, Egypt

If you're really adventurous, you could take on the long Sinai Trail hike. This hike launched in 2015, covering 220 kilometers (roughly 137 miles), and taking approximately 12 days. Today, it covers 550 kilometers (340 miles) and it takes approximately 54 days to walk it. The trail passes through eight Bedouin tribes' villages, making for a really unique experience. If you wanted to, you could also hike smaller parts of it, instead of taking on the full trail!

16. Go Kitesurfing in El Gouna

Kitesurfing in El GounaKitesurfing in El Gouna

El Gouna is known for kitesurfing, with enough water during both high and low tides, and winds most of the year too.

This is a great destination for both beginners and more-experienced kitesurfers to get in the water, as the water isn't too deep either.

If you're a beginner, there are a lot of kitesurfing schools with instructors that will be more than happy to help you kitesurf for the first time. The views there are stunning too, so those who want to come with, but don't want to hit the winds, can relax on the beach, swim in the sea, go for a snorkel nearby, or join in with plenty of other water sports available.

17. Go Fishing in Lake Nasser

Lake NasserLake Nasser

Lake Nasser is the world's largest man-made lake, and is a great place to go fishing. You'll find Tiger Fish as well as Nile Perch there, some of them weighing up to 90 kg (200 lb)! The Nile Perch is unique in that it has been around since the times of the pharaoh, being fished for in the Nile around that time, too. If you are going to go fishing on your holiday in Egypt, Lake Nasser has to be where you do it.

18. Relax in Sharm el-Sheikh

Relax in Sharm el-SheikhRelax in Sharm el-Sheikh

All of these activities do take their toll, and Sharm el-Sheikh is the perfect spot for a little bit of rest and relaxation while you are visiting Egypt.

For those who do not like to sit still, there are places to go snorkeling and participate in other water sports, but most tourists in Sharm will just take in the views, paddle around at the beaches, and enjoy the great resorts and restaurants that are on offer there.

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