There are so many incredible tourist attractions in Egypt. In this article I have provided a detailed guide about the major tourist attractions with plenty of helpful travel tips. Are you ready to learn more about the tourist attractions in Egypt? Read on…
- Tourist attractions in Egypt
- Tourist attractions in Egypt: Aswan
- Tourist attractions in Egypt: Valley of the Kings
- Tourist attractions in Egypt: Karnak
- Tourist attractions in Egypt: Pyramids of Giza
- Tourist attractions in Egypt :Lake Nasser
- Tourist attractions in Egypt: Tutankhamun’s tomb
- tourist attractions in Egypt: Hatshepsut Temple
- What is Hatshepsut Temple
- Tourist attractions in Egypt: Memphis
- Tourist attractions in Egypt: Luxor Temple
- Other things to see near Luxor Temple
- Tourist attractions in Egypt: Aswan Dam
- Tourist attractions in Egypt: Abu Simbel
- Tourist attractions in Egypt: Colossi of Memnon
- What are the Colossi of Memnon?
- Tourist attractions in Egypt: Valley of the Queens
- Tourist attractions in Egypt: To Conclude
Tourist attractions in Egypt
The tourist attractions in Egypt are like no other! Below I have outlined all of the major tourist attractions that should be on your Egypt travel itinerary- whether you are spending 8 days in Egypt or a month in the country, there is plenty to keep you occupied. I have organised the tourist attractions in Egypt by locations, where applicable.
Tourist attractions in Egypt: Aswan
Where is Aswan?
Aswan is a city in southern Egypt. It lies on the Nile River, and it is the strategic and commercial gateway of southern Egypt. There are many tourist attractions in Egypt based in Aswan – with villages, gardens, markets and more, as well as the nearby Aswan Dam, you will have so much fun if you choose to visit Aswan as part of your trip to Egypt.
Aswan has its own airport. This is Aswan International Airport, also known as Daraw Airport, 16km from the city itself. It is classed as a ‘minor international airport’. Flights from Europe tend to go via Cairo and then on to Aswan itself.
Another great way of visiting the area and seeing the tourist attractions in Egypt is on a Nile cruise. See the incredible history of Egypt on a small, comfortable boat with gourmet dining, plenty of space to relax, and on-board entertainment. They are such a unique and fun way to travel!
What is the weather like in Aswan
There’s one word for Aswan – warm. January is the coolest month which an average temperature of around 15.3°C and no rain, while June-August are the warmest months. They all have an average daily temperature of around 33°C.
August and October are the two months when it is most likely to rain, but it’s never a lot! November through February are the most humid months – between 32 and 42% humidity. Make sure you pack your SPF and something to keep you cool, like a portable fan, and you’ll be good to go.
Things to do in the city
There is seriously SO many tourist attractions in Egypt based in Aswan. Like most of Egypt, it has a rich and colourful history as well as beautiful scenery and plenty of culture.
The Nubian Museum is listed as the best thing to do in Aswan according to Lonely Planet. You can learn all the history of a culture that was practically wiped out by the construction of the Aswan Dam, as well as how the Philae and Abu Simbel temples were saved.
Going to see the Aswan Dam itself is a must. The views are incredible and if you’re interested in engineering, then you’ll be fascinated. The dam creation was controversial, though. It caused the displacement that you’ll learn about in the Nubian Museum, and you can do a guided tour of the Aswan Dam.
No trip to Aswan is complete without visiting the spice market as this is one of the major tourist attractions in Egypt. Sharia al-Souq is the perfect place to pick up nutmeg, cloves, bergamot and cinnamon as well as plenty of souvenirs. You can take home fabric, jewellery and more.
Easy trips from Aswan
There are some tourist attractions in Egypt that can be easily accessed from here too. You can visit Philae Temple, which stands alone on an island in the Nile. Most people don’t make the effort to see this stunning temple, so it is always a peaceful visit. You can hire a boatman to take you to the temple. There are Christian church ruins on the site, which is Philae Temple’s new home following the construction of the high dam. It is definitely worth making the trip!
TOP TIP: the return felucca journey to Philae Temple should cost 120 LE. Bear this in mind to avoid being overcharged!
Another little boat journey: Elephantine Island. It is beautiful, with traditional Nubian villages – you’ll find locals chatting on to their neighbours as children run away the streets of brightly painted buildings and walls. Love a bit of street photography, or just want some unexpected snaps for the ‘gram? Then visiting the island is ideal for you.
You can also head out to see Abu Simbel, around 280km from the city. One of Egypt’s greatest temples, you should not miss seeing Abu Simbel. It’s simply awe-inspiring. You can book a day trip out to the temple easily.
Places to stay in Aswan
Basma Hotel Aswan is a lovely place to stay. Not far from the Nubian Museum, there is a pool, free WiFi and free parking. An airport shuttle can be arranged, family rooms are available and there is a bar & restaurant too. Special dietary requirements can be adhered to, and there are various activities on offer. A great place to stay in Aswan!
Ekadolli Nubian Guesthouse is on the other side of the Nile, offering the perfect view of Aswan in traditional Nubian accommodation. There is a restaurant, breakfast buffet and bar. With plenty of brightly decorated outdoor space and beautiful views, this is lovely if you’re looking for somewhere to relax while in Aswan.
Aragheed Nubian Guest House is another place for traditional-style accommodation. With BBQ facilities, free parking, live music and so much more as well as a friendly atmosphere, travellers love it here. Airport transfers can be arranged, the views and incredible and there is even a rooftop chill-out area!
If you want to stay on the aforementioned Elephantine Island, then the Mövenpick Resort is perfect. A stunning luxury hotel with a pool, tennis court and gym as well as free WiFi, BBQ facilities and romantic views, it is just incredible. If you are visiting Aswan for a special occasion or just fancy a bit of luxury, then this is ideal.
Tourist attractions in Egypt: Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings is home to many of the tourist attractions in Egypt. In fact, these tourist attractions in Egypt are some of the most impressive in the country! Lets take a closer look…
What is the Valley of the Kings?
The Valley of the Kings is an Egyptian valley full of rock-cut tombs. As the name suggests, these tombs belonged to the various kings of Egypt and are some of the most incredible tourist attractions in Egypt. They were buried there between the 16th and 11th centuries BC – powerful people of the New Kingdom, royalty and more. There is an east valley and a west valley. Most of the royal tombs can be found in East Valley.
Probably the most famous Valley of the Kings burial was Tutankhamun. King Tut, The Boy King – whatever nickname you know him by, most people have heard of him. His gold mask, created circa 1323 BC, is one of the most well known pieces of art in the world. You can see it now at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo as part of your trip to Egypt.
The Valley of the Kings is now a popular tourist site and home to several tourist attractions in Egypt. Every year, history-lovers flock to the archaeological site to see what remains there and visit the tombs of ancient Egyptian pharaohs.
Who was buried there?
There were so many people buried at the Valley of the Kings. Here are just some of them…
- Ramesses VII
- Seti II
- Amenhotep II
- Thutmose IV
Where is the Valley of the Kings?
The site is located in modern day Luxor. This is a city in Upper Egypt (the south of the country) and it is the capital of the Luxor Governorate. Often labelled as the world’s best open-air museum, Luxor is jam packed with ancient ruins, incredible monuments and fascinating history.
Luxor lies on the River Nile, and can easily be visited as part of a Nile cruise. The Valley of the Kings is on the West Bank of the Nile, opposite the city itself – Luxor city is located where ancient Thebes was.
Luxor has its own international airport (LXR). It lies just 6 km away from the city, and you can fly here from Brussels, Heathrow, Paris CDG, Kuwait, Milan, Cairo and some other airports. The drive from the airport to the city takes just 15 minutes.
Visiting the site
If you want to visit the Valley of the Kings, you just need to head to the West Bank. There is a ferry across the Nile from Luxor, and then you can hire a taxi to take you to the valley and to other sites on this side of the river. You can hire a taxi for the whole day, with a driver who will ensure you get to see everything you want. Ask at your hotel if they can recommend anyone, or at least what price you should expect to pay.
TOP TIP: you could also hire a bike on the West Bank, if you are looking to cut costs down and see this part of Egypt in a different way.
There are plenty of guided tours of the Valley of the Kings available. These tours generally include transport, and often combine this site with other famous locations that will likely also be on your list. This is a great way of ticking some things off, and not having to faff about with planning everything yourself. Always a good idea if you are on a short time frame!
The entrance fee for the Valley of the Kings is 240 EGP. There are various discounts available – under 5s get in free, while kids up to 12 get a 50% discount. If you have a student ID card, it is with taking it with you as this often qualifies you for a discount (if you’re under 30) too.
The site is open from 6 am daily, closing at 4 in the winter and 5 in the summer.
Valley of the Kings map
This map serves a guide to the most famous tombs located at the Valley of the Kings to help you plan your visit to the tourist attractions in Egypt. You will also be able to get paper maps when visiting. There are often tour guides who congregate near the entrance, so if you want someone to take you around the site then this is worth looking into. It will cost you, but it can be worth your while!
Where to stay
If you are looking to stay somewhere that is close to the Valley of the Kings and these magnificent tourist attractions in Egypt, choose accommodation on the West Bank itself. You can also choose to stay in Luxor, if you want more of a resort feel. There are plenty of options…
West Bank accommodation
Villa Kaslan Apartments are a small group of apartments on the West Bank. The Valley of the Kings is just 2.2 miles away, and each apartment has its own kitchen, bathroom and outdoor space. There is a pool, free WiFi and free on-site parking; transfers to/from the airport can be arranged too. The apartments have air conditioning, a TV and dining space. Previous guests loved the friendly staff, cleanliness and the lovely food.
New Memnon Hotel, just 1.2 miles from the Valley of the Kings, is a great choice. With a rooftop bar and restaurant, air conditioned rooms with private bathrooms and free WiFi, you’ll have everything you need. Nearby parking is free, family rooms are available and housekeeping is daily. With outdoor space to enjoy and so much within easy reach, it’s no surprise this hotel has great reviews. Previous guests have raved about the food, and ambience and the staff.
Around 3 miles from the Valley of the Kings, on the other side of the river, is the Mercure Luxor Karnak. A well-known hotel brand, you know what you’re getting with a Mercure stay. There is a large pool as well as a kids pool, and there are 7 restaurants and bars here. Rooms are large with balconies, air conditioning and private bathrooms. WiFi and parking are free; there is plenty of entertainment and spa facilities are available too.
Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa is the one for you if you’re looking for luxury on your trip to Egypt. The Valley of the Kings is around 2.5 miles away (with a river crossing) and the hotel itself is gorgeous. With hammocks and two infinity pools, a luxurious spa and incredible Nile views, you will be in your element. For those wanting to combine history and exploration with a touch of glamour, look no further!
Tourist attractions in Egypt: Karnak
One of the most iconic tourist attractions in Egypt is Karnak Temple. In fact, Karnak temple was one of my favourite tourist attractions in Egypt!
What is Karnak Temple?
Often simply referred to as Karnak, it is a temple complex that is actually made up of several tourist attractions in Egypt, namely temples, chapels, pylons and other buildings. Construction began in the Middle Kingdom.
The surrounding area was known, in ancient times, as ‘Ipet-isut’ which translates as ‘The most selected of places’. Therefore, it is clear that Karnak Temple was an incredibly important part of ancient Egypt worship and culture. It was the main place of worship during the 18th Dynasty, and was influenced by 30 different pharaohs over the years. It is one of the major tourist attractions in Egypt with significant history.
Did you know: ‘Karnak’ itself means ‘fortified settlement’ in Arabic.
What springs to mind when you think of Karnak Temple is probably the Precinct of Amun-Ra. This is the only part open to the general public. There are three other parts that make up the temple complex: the Precinct of Mut, the Precinct or Montu and the Temple to Amenhotep IV – which has been dismantled. These three sections are closed to the public.
Where is Karnak?
Karnak Temple Complex is in Luxor. This is in the south of Egypt, which is also known as Upper Egypt. It is on the east bank of the Nile River, and actually lies on the site of the ancient city of Thebes.
Driving to the Karnak Temple complex from the centre of Luxor and other tourist attractions in Egypt takes around 15 minutes. It also only takes 6 minutes to drive between Luxor Temple and Karnak – so combining the two is simple and easy.
Luxor has a whole host of tourist attractions in Egypt, and is a real must-visit city in Egypt.
Visiting Karnak Temple
As mentioned, part of the Karnak Temple Complex is open to the public. Entry costs 150 EGP, though if you’re a student make sure you show your ID card as you can get in for a reduced fee!
Visiting Karnak independently is definitely possible, but given the vast size of the temple complex it might be worth hiring a guide when you arrive. This usually costs around 50-100 EGP, and they’ll stay with you for an hour and a half. They can show you the most important parts of Karnak Temple, explain exactly what everything is, and show you the very best photo spots.
If you are travelling independently, you can get a microbus to Karnak Temple. These are heralded as the easiest way to travel around Luxor, and they’re cheap too. You can flag them down while they’re en route, and if they’re heading your way you can jump in. It only costs 1EGP per journey! To get a microbus to Karnak, you can definitely grab one from behind Luxor Train Station or from Luxor Temple – if you don’t want to try your hand at flagging one down, that is…
Of course, there are guided tours that take you to Karnak Temple anyway. These tend to be full day trips around Luxor, highlighting the best parts of the city. You can fly in from Sharm El Sheikh, or hop on an air conditioned coach from Hurghada.
If you visit Karnak at night, you can catch the famous sound & light show at the temple complex. It is a 1.5 hour show which recounts the history of Thebes. For light show fans, this is certainly one. of the best tourist attractions in Egypt.
Places to stay near Karnak
There are various places to stay that are fairly near to Karnak. Luxor has a huge variety of hotels, apartments, hostels and more – so there truly is an option for every type of traveller.
El Mesala Hotel is 1.9 miles from Karnak Temple. There are views of the Nile and Luxor Temple, and reviews praise the fantastic location and helpful staff here. The hotel offers single, double and triple rooms as well as family rooms, and there is free WiFi as well as free public on-street parking for those of you driving to Luxor. They can arrange airport pick-up/drop-off, and there is a pool, BBQ facilities, bar & restaurant and more.
Venus Hostel in Luxor is just 1.4 miles from the temple complex. Reviews cite the staff as being extremely helpful, and you’ll not find any dormitories here. Despite being a hostel, all rooms are private. There is a shared kitchen as well as free WiFi and parking; you can check in at any time, and there is a terrace area too for relaxing in the sunshine.
If it’s luxury you’re after, you’ll find it at the Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa; at just 0.9 miles from Karnak Temple, it is one of the closest hotels to the site. It has eight bars, a variety of stunning rooms (from family rooms to spa suites), BBQ facilities, an airport shuttle service and so much more. The spa offers plenty of facilities and treatments, and reviews say how good the food is too!
For a full list of accommodation options available on your travel dates, use the search box below.
Other things to do near Karnak Temple
As mentioned above, Luxor is home to a whole host of tourist attractions in Egypt. Karnak Temple is just one of them, so here are a few other things you can get up to in the area…
- The Valley of the Kings, and the Valley of the Queens – where royalty was buried, in mummified form.
- The Colossi of Memnon – two ginormous ancient statues.
- Luxor Temple – an incredible temple which presides over the area.
- Medinet Habu – an often overlooked temple that has some wonderfully intact decor and artwork.
- Carter’s house – if you’re interested in all things King Tut, the home of the archaeologist who discovered him is a must-see. There’s a replica tomb there, too.
- Banana Island – you can sail down the Nile on a felucca, and head to this palm-shaded island. Come back in the evening and catch the sunset as you travel!
- Hot air balloon – see Luxor from above, in the early hours of the day when it’s slightly cooler.
Tourist attractions in Egypt: Pyramids of Giza
When you think of Egypt, you very likely think of the Pyramids of Giza and these are some of the most famous tourist attractions in Egypt. They are almost synonymous with the country, and they are absolutely breathtaking.
Where are the Pyramids of Giza?
The pyramids of Giza are located in Egypt, on the outskirts of Cairo. Visiting the pyramids can easily be organised via a tour, with a private guide or independently upon arrival in Egypt. I recommend securing your visa for Egypt in advance of your trip. Prior to our trip, we decided to get our Egypt visa online. Getting the visa was super easy and convenient and helped to make fo a simple entry to Egypt when we arrived.
When you arrive in Cairo you will need to book a tour or a private car to take you to the pyramids. The pyramids are in the Al Giza Desert, and the complex is called the Giza Necropolis, home to these incredible tourist attractions in Egypt. There are three pyramids here: the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Menkaure, and the Pyramid of Khafre.
Giza is a city on the west bank of the Nile, near to Cairo. Alongside the Pyramids of Giza, there are other ancient monuments to behold. Giza has always been an important part of Egypt’s history, due to its close proximity to Memphis – the capital city of the first unified Egyptian state under Narmer, the first pharaoh.
Why were the pyramids built?
These tourist attractions in Egypt were built as tombs for ancient Egyptian pharaohs and their queens. They contain chambers inside, and are surrounded by smaller pyramid structures, mastaba tombs and mortuary temples. While there are over 80 pyramids across Egypt, the Pyramids of Giza are the best preserved and most well-known.
The Great Pyramid, which is also the oldest, was built for a pharaoh named Khufu. He is referenced inside the pyramid. For almost 4,000 years this pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world, and it is believed that the architect was Hemiunu, Khufu’s highest ranking official. At the time of construction it was around 146.5 metres tall (480ft) but now stands at 138.8 metres (455ft) due to erosion and the loss of its pyramidion.
The second tallest of the Pyramids of Giza is the Pyramid of Khafre, also written as Chephren. He was a pharaoh who ruled from around 2558-2532 BC. It is 136.4 metres tall. The Pyramid of Khafre was first explored (in modern times) in 1818 by Giovanni Belzoni. An open sarcophagus was found inside, but no bones.
Last but not least is the Pyramid of Menkaure, which is the smallest of the three Pyramids of Giza. Menkaure was another fourth Dynasty pharaoh. This pyramid is 61 metres tall (204ft), and the pharaoh’s coffin was found within. However, the bones inside were likely not his – carbon dating placed them at less than 2,000 years old.
Without a doubt, these are some of the most amazing tourist attractions in Egypt and are the reason many people travel here.
Visiting the Pyramids of Giza
As the complex is home to the only remaining ancient wonder of the world, as well as being utterly awe-inspiring, many tourists are keen to visit the Pyramids of Giza. And there are a variety of ways in which you can make sure you get to these tourist attractions in Egypt.
If you’re on a Mediterranean cruise, then Port Said or Alexandria might be one of your ports. Both are around 2.5 hours away by car or coach, and you will more than likely be able to book onto an excursion that takes you to see the Pyramids of Giza alongside the Sphinx and the Cairo Museum.
There are also river cruises that incorporate Cairo and Giza as well as Luxor and Aswan – these are often smaller and more intimate than Mediterranean cruises so depending on what you’re looking for, bear that in mind.
Did you know: there is often a light and sound show at the pyramids, and other sites around Egypt. You might want to plan your trip to coincide with this! These tourist attractions in Egypt looks especially incredible in the dark!
If you are staying in Cairo and prefer a DIY-style of travel, take a private taxi from the city to the Pyramids of Giza and surrounding complex. As of 2019, Uber is available in Cairo too. If you have hired a car, there is parking available near the pyramid complex.
There are also public buses that can take you from Cairo to Giza; there is a bus stand behind the Cairo Museum, and there are a few different buses to choose from.
You can also book an organised tour to the Pyramids of Giza. There are plenty of options available leaving from Cairo, and incorporating other sites into the day. They are typically inexpensive, and having a guide with you can be helpful when it comes to knowing what you’re looking at.
Where to stay
There are plenty of options when it comes to staying near to the Pyramids of Giza, ensuring that you are nearby these tourist attractions in Egypt. Some are even within walking distance of the plateau, if you can stand the heat. Here’s some picks…
Giza Pyramids Inn is literally across the street from the entrance gate of the complex. You can look out across the pyramids, so the view is an absolute win here. The hotel has air conditioning, free airport pick-up, free WiFi and parking as well as private bathrooms in all hotel rooms. There is a bar and restaurant, 24-hour check in and a tour desk – perfect for planning your visit to the Pyramids of Giza and beyond.
Pyramids Valley Boutique Hotel is 0.5 miles from the Pyramids of Giza. Again you can see the pyramids from your balcony or the rooftop terrace – there are single and double rooms, both standard and deluxe, and the property has free WiFi and parking available. There is a restaurant and a 24-hour front desk, too.
Slightly further out, although still less than a mile away from the Pyramids of Giza, is Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa. WiFi is free and there’s a pool, a separate kid’s pool, spa facilities such as a jacuzzi, massages and sauna and a fitness centre to boot. Rooms have a few of either the pyramids, or the pool area. There is a bar and restaurant as well as a snack bar and places to get coffee. For something more luxurious, this is definitely an option to consider.
For a full list accommodation and availability on your travel dates, use the map widget below.
Tourist attractions in Egypt :Lake Nasser
The most iconic waterway and one of the most fascinating tourist attractions in Egypt is the River Nile – however, there is other water to explore in the country.
What is Lake Nasser?
Lake Nasser, a vast reservoir, is one of the biggest man-made lakes anywhere on Earth, making it one of the most notable tourist attractions in Egypt. It is in the south of Egypt, as well as in northern Sudan. However, the Sudanese call their portion of water ‘Lake Nubia’.
The main (much larger) part of the lake is in Egypt. Lake Nasser is 298 miles long (479 km) and at its widest point is 9.9 miles wide (16 km).
Did you know: There are small islands within Lake Nasser, such as Philae and Agilkia.
Lake Nasser is named after one of the leaders of the 1952 Egyptian Revolution, Gamal Abdel Nasser. It was created by the impounding of water from the River Nile, because of the construction of the Aswan High Dam. The lake has brought a further 800,000 acres of land under irrigation, with another 700,000 acres being converted from flood to perennial irrigation.
When Lake Nasser was being created, it meant that a lot of significant historical sites in Egypt would be submerged. Therefore, temples like Abu Simbel had to be moved to new locations to avoid being lost forever, luckily because of the relocation we can still visit these tourist attractions in Egypt.
Visiting the lake
One way to visit Lake Nasser is to incorporate it into a Nile Cruise and combine it with visits to other tourist attractions in Egypt. Many cruise operators give you the option to extend your trip and spend a few nights sailing on Lake Nasser. Or, for a shorter trip, you can opt to just take a 4 night cruise around the lake. The views are incredible!
You can do day trips too if you are staying in Aswan or very nearby. For example, there are fishing trips to Lake Nasser available from Aswan – equipment and refreshments are provided, transport to and from the lake is included and you can spend the whole day on the water catching tiger fish, Nile perch and more.
Other day trips take you to Kalabsha Temple, which is right on the shores of Lake Nasser. It is often overlooked by tourists, meaning it’ll likely be quiet if you do visit and you’ll have the place to yourselves, able to soak everything it and admire Lake Nasser too. As you can see, there are a lot of tourist attractions in Egypt based here.
You can, of course, see the lake from the Aswan High Dam. Here you will find plenty of information boards with facts and statistics about Lake Nasser. At the centre of the dam there is parking, clean toilets and the opportunity to buy food, drinks and souvenirs. You can also see construction photos. It is incredible to look back at how the dam and the lake were made!
Wildlife at Lake Nasser
In and around the lake there is plenty of wildlife to be seen. Ecosafari boat trips are available to show you exactly what’s living in the water and on its shores, and if you’re lucky enough you might spot some of the 100 species of birds on the lake as well as the ones who are passing over on their annual migrations.
There are also mammals and reptiles. Crocodiles and monitor lizards and particularly common, and you might also spot gazelle, dorcas, desert fox, jackals and more. As expected, Lake Nasser is home to plenty of fish too, like the aforementioned tiger fisher and Nile perch.
Lake Nasser weather
Aswan and Lake Nasser have lows of 10-12°C between December and February, with the highest temperatures in June, July and August when it reaches as high as 42°C. It often goes years without raining near Lake Nasser, so it’s a very dry heat.
When travelling to this area, be sure to wear thin clothing that will keep you cool – linen and cheesecloth are good materials to consider. Sun protection is vastly important too! Pack a hat, portable fan and a cooling towel if you think the heat will get to you, and remember to stay hydrated at all times.
Where to stay near the lake
Given the location of the lake and the tourist attractions in Egypt, there is not too much choice when it comes to looking for somewhere to stay nearby. But the following accommodations are fairly near the lake!
Nefertari Hotel Abu Simbel overlooks the lake, which means the views are beautiful. The hotel has different room types as well as a pool, free WiFi and free parking. Rooms have private bathrooms, and the hotel has a bar and restaurant. 24-hour check in is available, and there are shops on site as well as a laundry service. Traditional decor and the lovely surroundings give this hotel an authentic look and feel.
In Aswan, a 15 minute drive from the High Dam, the Basma Hotel has free parking and free WiFi as well as a variety of air-conditioned rooms with minibars. There is a coffee house, snack bar, restaurant and bar on site as well as BBQ facilities. There is a pool and outdoor seating, and they can arrange packed lunches for your day trips as well as massages, a 24-hour front desk and an airport shuttle service. The decor is colourful and reviews praise the staff, the breakfast and the location.
Star Abu Simbel is an apartment near the famous temple, meaning it is really close to Lake Nasser too. It sleeps six, and there is free WiFi as well as free parking. The entire apartment is on the ground floor, and the kitchen means guests have the freedom to eat when they want. Mosquito nets are present, there is an outdoor terrace to relax on as well as air conditioning.
Tourist attractions in Egypt: Tutankhamun’s tomb
When heading to Egypt, high on everyone’s list of historical sites to see is the Tutankhamun tomb. We stopped here during our travels through Egypt and recommend that you do too!
What is the Tutankhamun tomb?
Known as King Tut or the boy king, Tutankhamun was an 18th Dynasty pharaoh. He was only 8 or 9 years old when he became king, and he reigned for a further 9 years. His death has been the subject of debates for years – it was thought he may have been murdered by a blow to the head, but x-rays and CT scans have disproved this. Cause of death remains a mystery for now, however.
His tomb was discovered by Howard Carter. In 1922, British archaeologist Carter and his team were in the Valley of the Kings when they discovered a step leading into a tomb that was remarkably intact. With four rooms and several thousand objects, it took Carter years to excavate the tomb.
Within the tomb, of course, was a stone sarcophagus. Three coffins nested inside of each other like Russian dolls, and the final one – made from solid gold – contained the mummy of Tutankhamun himself. It had been preserved for over 3000 years!
Where is the tomb?
The Tutankhamun tomb is in the Valley of the Kings, which is home to some of the best tourist attractions in Egypt. This is on the west bank of the River Nile, opposite what we call Luxor today. It’s fairly remote, in order to deter thieves in days past. Sadly this didn’t really work, and a lot of the tombs were raided – the Tutankhamun tomb was not, though, which is part of what makes it so famous today.
Can I go inside the Tutankhamun tomb?
YES this is one of the tourist attractions in Egypt that you can enter! The tomb is open for visitors, however you do have to pay extra. Tickets and packages for entry into the Valley of the Kings do not cover entry into the Tutankhamun tomb, however it is only a few pounds/dollars extra.
The tomb has recently been restored, making this one of the most impressive tourist attractions in Egypt. The project took a decade, and the Tutankhamun tomb was still open to visitors during this time. The Valley of the Kings has been a tourist trap for thousands of years – before it was rediscovered by modern day archaeologists, the Romans and Greeks of ancient times found it and visited the tombs. Because of this, and because interest doesn’t seem to be waning at all, something had to be done.
For the most part, the Tutankhamun tomb has been emptied. However, there’s one thing you will get to see if you visit: the king himself! That’s right, the mummy of the boy king remains in the tomb. When discovering and excavating the tomb, Howard Carter caused a little bit of accidental damage to the mummy. Because of this, it can’t be moved to Cairo with the rest of the goods. Doing so would damage it completely.
Getting to the Valley of the Kings
There are many ways to get to the Valley of the Kings. By using Luxor as a starting point when visiting the tourist attractions in Egypt based here, you can easily make your way to the Tutankhamun tomb and all of the other tombs in the valley…
First of all, you need to get to Luxor. The closest airport is Luxor International Airport (LXR) – it is 4 miles east of the city itself, and the drive from airport to city centre takes roughly 15 minutes. You can fly to Luxor from many major cities (London, Paris, Glasgow) but most flights are indirect.
- The ferry takes you across from Luxor to the west bank, and from here you can hire a taxi with a driver who will take you on a full day tour of the sites for the right price.
- You can also hire a bike. This keeps costs down and allows you to do it all at your own pace.
- Another option is to hike to the Valley of the Kings. You can do this from Deir el-Bahari, or from Deir el-Medina. Be warned, it’s a hot and dusty hike!
There are organised day trips available too. These will take you to the Valley of the Kings as well as arranging access to the Tutankhamun tomb. Tours run from Luxor and Hurghada as well as other nearby locations.
Other things to see near the Tutankhamun tomb
While the tomb of the boy king is one of the most popular sites to see – the one on everybody’s bucket list – there is plenty else to have a look at nearby. Here are some of the best:
- The 64 other tombs at the Valley of the Kings
- Sunset river cruise
- The Colossi of Memnon
- Luxor Temple
Where should you stay
There are plenty of places to stay that will give you easy access to the tourist attractions in Egypt based in the Valley of the Kings and the Tutankhamun tomb. From apartments to hotels and hostels, you’ll be able to find something perfect for your needs…
For a bit of luxury, the Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa is only a few miles away. With pool and spa facilities, free WiFi, a dedicated airport shuttle, bar & restaurant and free parking, the hotel has everything you could ever need for a relaxing stay that still allows you to be well located for visiting historical sites. They can cater to special dietary requirements, and guests can check in or out 24 hours a day.
If you’re after something a bit more low key, Villa Bahri offers two apartments just a couple of miles from the Valley of the Kings. There is free WiFi and public parking as well as your own kitchen, an outdoor pool, air conditioning and more.
For a budget hotel, check out the Pharaoh’s Hotel. Offering twin, double and triple rooms as well as a terrace for eating meals and an on-site bar, this hotel is popular with long-term travellers. The Valley of the Kings is just a 10 minute walk away, and free WiFi is offered alongside air conditioning and somewhere to do your laundry.
For a complete list of available accommodation options on your travel dates, use the map below.
tourist attractions in Egypt: Hatshepsut Temple
Whether Hatshepsut Temple is already on your list of tourist attractions in Egypt or not, here’s a complete guide to visiting.
What is Hatshepsut Temple
Located beneath the cliffs at Deir el-Bahari on the west bank of the Nile – close to modern day Luxor – the temple serves as just one of many incredible tourist attractions in Egypt to see in the area.
Its full name is The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, and it is also know as Djeser-Djeseru which translates roughly as Holy of Holies. It was built for 18th Dynasty pharaoh Hatshepsut. She was only the second-ever female pharaoh, history tells us.
Construction of the Hatshepsut Temple was overseen by the royal architect Senenmut. There are layered terraces, porto-Doric columns and square piers as well as ramps that would once have been surrounded by gardens filled with plants. With the temple there is a sun court, chapel, sanctuary and more.
Visiting the temple
To get to Hatshepsut Temple there are various routes. You can take a half-hour walk from the Valley of the Kings over the mountain pass – there is a trail, and it isn’t as busy as other ways of getting to the temple. Of course, this involves getting to the Valley of the Kings. You can get here easily on foot or by taxi. If you are coming from Luxor on the other side of the Nile take the ferry.
DON’T FORGET! You can also visit the temple, and all of the other popular sites in the area, on a Nile Cruise.
It is best to visit Hatshepsut Temple with a guide. There are some fascinating stories about the temple as well as the pharaoh herself, and a guide will be able to tell you everything you want to know.
There is an entrance fee to visit Hatshepsut Temple. You may be on a tour that includes entry to the temple area, but if not the costs are as follows…
Hatshepsut Temple entrance fees
- Non-Egyptian tourist: 80 EGP
- Non-Egyptian student (with relevant ID): 40 EGP
- Egyptian national: 10 EGP
- Egyptian student (with relevant ID): 5 EGP
As mentioned, tours are available. These tend to be tours of the west bank as a whole, that incorporate Hatshepsut Temple as part of the day. These leave from the likes of Aswan and Hurghada. There are also different and slightly unique tours available, such as a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the temple and other sites.
What else can I see nearby?
Near to Hatshepsut Temple there are plenty of other tourist attractions in Egypt. If you are interested in Ancient Egyptian culture and history you will likely already have an idea of the tourist attractions in Egypt you want to visit – but here are the most popular sites near to the temple itself…
- The Valley of the Kings – home to over 60 tombs, the valley was the final resting place for many kings during the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties.
- The Temple of Karnak – one of the biggest temple complexes with plenty to see. Again it is advised that you visit with a guide to get the most out of your trip.
- Ramesseum – otherwise known as the Mortuary Temple of Ramses II, it was built on the site of Seti I’s ruined temple. It also inspired a Percy Bysshe Shelly verse, linked to its nickname of the tomb of Ozymandia.
- The Howard Carter House – home of the archaeologist who discovered the tomb of King Tut himself. The house still has his dark room as well as plenty of his possessions for visitors to see.
Where to stay when visiting the Hatshepsut Temple
In order to be within easy reach of the temple and other tourist attractions in Egypt, it is best to stay in Luxor. This modern area lies on the site of the ancient city of Thebes. Luxor has plenty of accommodation to offer as well as museums, bars, restaurants, shops and more. Here are some options…
At just 1 mile from the Hatshepsut Temple, Nour El Gourna is perfectly located. The authentic-looking hotel offers single, twin, double and triple rooms for an affordable price. There is free parking available as well as an airport shuttle service; the rooms are non-smoking, and pets are allowed for any more-local tourists. Many of the west bank sites are within walking distance.
Memnon Hotel, located in Luxor, offers single and double rooms with free WiFi and free on-site private parking. No-smoking rooms, a 24-h front desk, bike rental service and more are available at this hotel which is approximately 1.3 miles from Hatshepsut Temple.
If you’re travelling with a larger group and are looking for a villa, Shahhat House sleeps six. With stunning views and huge outdoor seating area to take it all in, this is perfect for a short or long stay. There are three bedrooms – two with double beds and one with two singles – as well as a kitchen, free WiFi and free parking.
For more accommodation options, try Luxor- which isn’t far away. Type in your travel dates below to see what’s available.
Places to eat and drink in the area
Although there isn’t a lot in the immediate vicinity, there are some eateries and bars that aren’t too far from the Hatshepsut Temple. Here are some visitor favourites…
- Wenkie’s – a German coffee and ice cream parlour. They offer a wide variety of sorbet and ice cream flavours as well as hot drinks, waffles and more.
- Al-Sahaby Lane Restaurant – this traditional Middle Eastern restaurant comes highly recommended, offering vegetarian, vegan, halal and gluten free options.
- Pizza Roma-it – if you’re looking for Italian food, their pizza is raved about by many. You can watch them being prepared, too.
- Hatshepsut Restaurant – this is a rooftop bar with views of the west bank, and the opportunity to watch some belly dancing on certain evenings.
- The King’s Head – if you’re visiting from England and want a bit of home, head here. It’s not tacky, but it is warm and welcoming if you want a nice drink away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the tourist traps.
Tourist attractions in Egypt: Memphis
Memphis – your mind may immediately jump to Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, but there is another Memphis. Located in Egypt, this Memphis is an ancient city that is home to several tourist attractions in Egypt.
It may not be the most well known area to visit, but it is well worth the trip if you are staying in or near Cairo. Here’s why!
Where is Memphis?
You’ll find Memphis around 12 miles (20 km) south of Giza itself, and 15 miles (24 km) south of Cairo. The city lies on the west bank of the Nile. It was the ancient capital of Egypt, also know as Inebu-hedj. This translates as the white walls. It marked the boundary between upper and lower Egypt, and thus was sometimes referred to us as Ankh-Tawy, which means life of the two lands.
Various modern towns and cities lie within the administrative borders of the historical city of Memphis, Egypt. These include:
- Mit Rahina
- Abu Gorab
- Zawyet el’Aryan
The city of Memphis, Egypt, is said to have rivalled Thebes at one point – both politically and architecturally. In 1979, Memphis and its necropolis were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Getting to Memphis, Egypt
The nearest big city to Memphis, Egypt is Cairo. To drive from Cairo to Memphis takes around 40 minutes – the suggested route is via Al Wosta. The short journey makes it a relatively easy day trip from Cairo, especially if you have hired a car for your trip.
Driving in Egypt, however, isn’t for the faint hearted so I would personally recommend booking an organised tour to take you to Memphis, Egypt. Many, like this one for example, will combine it with a visit to the Sakkara Step Pyramid. The pyramid is just north-west of the city of Memphis.
Things to see in Memphis
Memphis, Egypt is home to a lot of statues, constituting many of the tourist attractions in Egypt. The city is now what is known as an open museum. Visitors can wander around, feeling as though they’re stepping back in time without the confines of glass boxes and harsh lighting. There is an entrance fee of 80 EGP, which is roughly £4 (GBP) or almost $5 (USD).
Here are some the sites you can see in the ancient city of Memphis, Egypt…
- Limestone colossus of Ramses II – it’s over 10 metres (33 ft) long, and the king’s feet are missing.
- Giant alabaster Sphinx – this statue weighs more than 80 tonnes, and once stood outside the temple of the god Ptah.
- Stone beds – these are where the sacred Apis bulls were mummified before they were placed in the Serapeum at Sakkara, the step pyramid.
- Various other statues of Ramses II
- Granite coffins
- Commemorative tablets
It is often quiet at the museum. Many tourists skip Memphis on their tours and travels, but it is absolutely worth seeing the ancient city as there are some amazing tourist attractions in Egypt here.
Other things to do near Memphis
One of the closest landmarks, as mentioned, is the Sakkara Step Pyramid. Its official name is the Pyramid of Djoser, and it lies just north-west of the city of Memphis. This is one of the must-see tourist attractions in Egypt when visiting the country, and you can easily combine this with a visit to the ancient city of Memphis, Egypt. There are other tourist attractions in Egypt to see and things to do nearby, too…
- Imhotep Museum – he was the architect behind the building of the step pyramid, and this museum is dedicated to him. Complete with sarcophagi and a mummy, there are plenty of interesting exhibits.
- Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep’s Mastaba – this is the tome of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep, which looks plain from the outside but is home to hieroglyphs, carvings and paintings inside.
- Camel rides – many day trips include a camel ride, but it is possible to arrange your own should you be travelling DIY-style.
Places to eat and drink near Memphis, Egypt
While there aren’t many places to eat and drink within walking distance of Memphis, there are some vendors around the ancient city to grab a quick drink or snack. However, go a little further afield and you’ll find plenty of nice places to eat and drink near Memphis, Egypt.
- Alfi Bek Restaurant is around 3 miles away, and serves traditional Egyptian dishes. The lamb comes highly recommended by previous visitors!
- Not too far away, just past the Sakkara Step Pyramid, is a restaurant called Roastery. It offers a variety of food for good value, and they do take-out too.
- Also near the step pyramid is Studio Masr; offering traditional Egyptian food with vegetarian options available, there’s a nice view too.
- Sedra offers beautiful-looking pastries and cakes, as well as hot drinks – and is highly recommended for breakfast.
Places to stay near the city
While Cairo is your best bet in terms of hotels and hostels, there are a couple of places to stay that are closer to Memphis, Egypt, enabling easier access to these tourist attractions in Egypt. Here’s some of them…
Located near 1.2 miles from the Step Pyramid, the aptly named Sakkara View Guest House offers rooms of varying sizes, with free WiFi, an on-site coffee house and live music as well as free parking, an airport shuttle service and more. With traditional decor, beautiful outdoor spaces and stunning views, it’s the perfect choice if you’re looking to be near to Memphis.
Sakkara Inn is also nearby. There’s free parking and each room has a private bathroom; the hotel offers an airport shuttle service and there is plenty of outdoor seating space. Looking out from the terrace as the sun sets behind the Step Pyramid is bound to be a delightful experience, and it’s not far from Memphis either.
Snefru House is a holiday home located in Abu Sir, a few miles away form Memphis, Egypt. It has one bedroom but offers a sofa bed too; there is a large garden and traditional decor, with parking and your own kitchen. The views are amazing, too!
For a full list of accommodation options and availability on your travel dates, use the map below.
Tourist attractions in Egypt: Luxor Temple
High on the list of things to see and do in Egypt is the Luxor Temple. In fact, Luxor Temple was one of my favourites tourist attractions in Egypt!
Where is the temple?
As the name suggests, Luxor Temple is in the city of Luxor, Egypt. The city is on the east bank of the Nile, in the south of Egypt and is home to several tourist attractions in Egypt. Luxor lies on the site of the ancient city of Thebes – this was the pharaoh’s capital, at the height of their power.
You can fly to Luxor from around the world, but be prepared to fly indirectly. Some direct flights are available, from Heathrow, Istanbul and a few other airports. However, most tourists choose to fly into Cairo or Hurghada. There are plenty of flights to these two airports, from various places around the world.
Getting to Luxor from Cairo or Hurghada is fairly straightforward. It is a 3 hour drive from Hurghada, and around 7.5 hours in the car from Cairo. Some public transport is available too. For more information about train travel in Egypt, click here – and to see the bus timetables for getting to and from Luxor, click here.
What is Luxor Temple?
This is one of the most magnificent tourist attractions in Egypt. Constructed in approximately 1400 BCE, the temple is also known as ipet resyt which translates as “The Southern Sanctuary”. Luxor Temple is dedicated to the rejuvenation of kingship – most temples are dedicated to the life and death of a specific pharaoh, but this one is said to be where many Egyptian pharaohs were crowned.
The temple is built from sandstone. This specific sandstone is from the Gebel el-Silsila area in the south-west of Egypt, and is referred to as Nubian Sandstone. Most of Luxor Temple is still intact today! It is surrounded by mud-brick walls, which is symbolic of the separation between our world and the of the sacred realm of the gods.
Luxor Temple was originally built by Amenhotep III, but was added to over the years by Tutankhamun, Horemheb, and Rameses II.
Did you know: there was once a pair of 80ft obelisks at the Luxor Temple, but one was removed and now stands in Paris, France.
There are various shrines and chapels within the temple, making for some of the most fascinating tourist attractions in Egypt. These are dedicated to different gods and extraordinary people: Amun, Serapis, Isis, Alexander the Great. As well as these, visitors can see statues of Rameses II, the sun court of Amenhotep III, the avenue of sphinxes and more!
Above all, walking around Luxor Temple is breathtaking. To see the sheer size of it, and marvel at the history that has taken place there over thousands of years, is fascinating to any visitor or tourist.
Visiting the temple
Depending on what kind of holiday you are on, there are different ways in which you might visit Luxor Temple. If you are on a Nile cruise, for example, it is a given that the temple will be included on the list of sites you visit during your trip.
If you are staying in Luxor, simply walk to the temple. It costs 140EGP to enter the Luxor Temple grounds; this is less than £7 sterling, around $8.60 USD. You can hire a guide. This is recommended as the temple is so large, it helps to have someone with you who know the history of it and can point out all the important monuments and artwork that you may otherwise miss.
Top tip: there is little shade at Luxor Temple, so consider bringing a portable fan and wearing cooler clothing.
Other things to see near Luxor Temple
There are plenty of other things to see and do in the area. Some of these include:
- The Colossi of Memnon
- Karnak Temple
- The Valley of the Kings
- Temple of Deir al-Bahri
- Medinet Habu (a small temple)
- Luxor Museum
- The Valley of the Queens
- Mortuary Temple of Seti I
- Replica of Tutankhamun’s tomb/Howard Carter’s house
It’s no wonder that so many people flock to Luxor, with all of these tourist attractions in Egypt and more within easy reach!
Places to stay in Luxor
There are plenty of places to stay that offer easy access to Luxor Temple. Here are some of them…
We stayed at the Pavillon Winter Luxor, famously known as the ‘Princess Diana hotel’, because she stayed here many years ago. It is a luxury hotel with a pool, multiple restaurants and bars as well as free WiFi, the option to have breakfast in your room, and a 24-hour front desk.
It is 0.2 miles from the temple, and the decor is stunning – royal reds, palm trees outside and chandeliers everywhere. For something a bit special, this is definitely a great option (and you can get some AMAZING deals too- we stayed here for just £30 a night!!).
If you’re on a budget, there are hostels in Luxor. Bob Marley House is a firm favourite among travellers, and offers a mixture of private rooms and dormitories. Luxor Temple is 0.4 miles away, and the hostel has free WiFi and free parking available on site. There is a cash machine, 24-hour check in, a shared kitchen and BBQ facilities – plus reviews say that the staff are absolutely incredible.
For those travelling as a family, there are some apartments in Luxor too. Consider this penthouse apartment overlooking the Nile which sleeps four – you have your own kitchen, granting you the freedom to eat when you want, and there’s a hot tub as well as plenty of seating areas, stunning views and bikes available to use free of charge. There is a TV and free WiFi as well as plenty of other facilities.
For a full list of hotel availability on your travel dates use the map below.
Tourist attractions in Egypt: Aswan Dam
A slightly lesser known of the tourist attractions in Egypt to see in Egypt is the Aswan Dam. While it might not appear on every tour itinerary, it’s still worth seeing, especially if you’re in the area anyway visiting Abu Simbel.
What is the Aswan Dam?
Otherwise known as the Aswan High Dam, it is exactly what it says it is – an embankment dam that was built across the Nile river in Aswan, Egypt. There was previously a low dam, completed in 1902, but the current high dam has been there since the 1960s.
The dam came from the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. There was the need for better flooding-control, increased water storage and the generation of hydroelectricity. It had a significant effect on the country’s economy.
The Aswan Dam is 111 metres tall, and 3,830 metres long. The base width is 980 metres. The spillway of the Aswan Dam has a maximum discharge capacity of 11,000m³ per second. It was designed by the Hydroproject Institute, based in Moscow.
Where is the dam?
The Aswan Dam is located at the northern border between Egypt and Sudan. It is fed by the River Nile, and the reservoir forms Lake Nasser. The lake is 550 km long, and 35 km wide at it’s widest point.
Many archaeological sites and tourist attractions in Egypt- such as the Abu Simbel temple complex – were submerged due to the conception of the Aswan Dam. Other sites were relocated. 100,000 people had to be relocated too.
Visiting the Aswan Dam
You can visit the dam on a trip to Egypt. Aswan is a city in the south of Egypt; it is a busy tourist city and a market centre. There are plenty of archaeological sites nearby, making it a popular destination for people travelling to and around the country.
The Aswan Dam is hailed as an engineering marvel and one of the most incredible tourist attractions in Egypt. It contains 18 times the amount of material used to build the Great Pyramid of Giza! It also allows you to see Lake Nasser up close – it was once the world’s largest artificial lake, meaning it’s high on some people’s bucket lists.
Because of how high the dam is, it provides incredible views up and down the Nile River. I recommend that you take one of the various tours from the city, which will take you to see the Aswan Dam, often combining a visit with other sites in the area.
Other sites to see in the area
There are so many tourist attractions in Egypt based in Aswan and the surrounding areas. From archaeological sites and snippets of day to day life, combine the Aswan Dam with any of these to make your trip an amazing one.
The Nubian Museum
This museum showcases a lot of lost culture. The Aswan Dam wiped out a lot of Nubian culture, and you can see documents and artefacts that bring it back to life. Lonely Planet rates it as the best thing to do in Aswan!
This is the largest island in the Nile and a lovely place to walk around, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a travel photographer’s dream, with two traditional Nubian villages that are known for their bright wall paintings. Have a chat with the locals while you’re there, too.
The Unfinished Obelisk
Located in the Northern Quarry, not far from Aswan and the Aswan Dam, is an obelisk that is (as the name suggests) unfinished. Not much is known about who commissioned it and why, or where/when it was going to be placed. But it was abandoned, and you can see it at the quarry. It provides an insight into ancient Egyptian architecture techniques, too.
The Aga Khan Mausoleum
This one of the lesser-known things to do near the Aswan Dam. On top of a hill that overlooks the Nile, the Aga Khan was buried here following his death in 1957, and to this day the tradition of placing a red rose on his sarcophagus is continued.
The Tomb of the Nobles
While it doesn’t exactly rival the Valley of the Kings, The Tomb of the Noblesis the place to go if you want to see tombs without being entirely surrounded by tourists. It contains tombs of Egyptian princes. Most date back to the Old Kingdom, with others from the Middle and New Kingdoms.
Hotels near the Aswan Dam
There are no hotels particularly close to the dam itself. However, there are plenty in the surrounding area. Here are some good options to choose from…
Located around 10 miles from the Aswan Dam is the stunning Ibiza Nubian House. A combination of white walls and bright artwork sets it apart from other hotels, and it offers a variety of different room sizes with free WiFi and its own restaurant. It even has a river view. There is an outdoor dining area, an airport shuttle can be arranged and the hotel offers a wake up service too!
Eight and a half miles from the Aswan Dam, you’ll find Baba Dool. It has single and double rooms, with the options of shared and private bathrooms. There is a shared kitchen, and the entire property is on the ground floor which is great in terms of accessibility. WiFi is free, too.
If there’s slightly more of you, opt for a guest house apartment. Awi Guest House sleeps four, and has its own kitchen so you’re not restricted in terms of meal times. The dam is 8.3 miles away, and the apartment comes with WiFi and excellent views!
For a full list of accommodation options available on your travel dates use the map below.
Tourist attractions in Egypt: Abu Simbel
Egypt is packed with incredible locations and tourist attractions in Egypt. One that’s near the top of everybody’s bucket list is Abu Simbel, and it’s easy to see why. We loved Abu Simbel! Whilst it wasn’t the easiest attraction in Egypt to reach, I would highly recommend it.
What is Abu Simbel?
Also known as Abu Simbal, Ebsambul or Isambul, Abu Simbel is a village located in the south of Egypt. It is near the Sudan border. The area was, once upon a time, known as Nubia. The village is home to just under 3000 people, and falls under the Aswan Governate. The entire population of Abu Simbel relies on tourism driven to the area.
So what exactly is it that drives tourists to a humble village in southern Egypt? The village is the location of the Abu Simbel temples: two ginormous rock temples commissioned by Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 19th Dynasty.
The temple complex is home to several tourist attractions in Egypt and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Nubian Monuments. In the ‘60s, the entire Abu Simbel temple complex was cut into large blocks, dismantled, moved and reassembled further away from the Nile to avoid it being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser.
Facts about Abu Simbel
There are actually two temples. The Grand Temple, which is 30 metres high, feature 4 seated statues at the entrance (all of King Ramesses II on his throne) as well as various paths and rooms. The smaller temple is dedicated to one of his wives, said to be his favourite: Queen Nefertari. It also features four seated statues, two of her and two of the pharaoh himself.
Abu Simbel was rediscovered in 1813. It was Swiss researcher Johann Ludwig Burckhardt who located them. The temple complex was properly explored a few years later, by prolific Venetian Egyptologist Giovanni Battista Belzoni in 1817.
Did you know: Burckhardt is well known for his discovery of Petra in Jordan, and also for accustoming to Muslim life. He wore traditional Muslim dress and even took a Muslim name: Ibrāhīm Ibn abd Allāh.
Like other Egyptian tourist attractions in Egypt, Abu Simbel has a particular solar alignment. It is an Ancient Egyptian phenomenon! Twice a year, the sun penetrates the temple in a particular way to light up statues in the inner sanctuary. This happens on February 22nd, as well as October 22nd. The February date is to celebrate the season of agriculture and cultivation, while the October date celebrates flooding season. The dates also coincide with the birth and coronation of Ramesses II.
Visiting the temple complex
The nearest city to Abu Simbel is nearby Aswan. There are many ways to travel to the area, such as flying from Aswan (it’s a 45 minute flight) or driving there. The drive takes roughly 3.5 hours and because of unrest in the area you must be escorted by police.
The only way, therefore, to visit Abu Simbel is by organised tour. There are plenty of organised tours and day trips which visit Abu Simbel. I recommend taking a tour from Aswan, but there are also longer trips available from Luxor too.
Top tip: wear something comfortable and breathable when visiting the tourist attractions in Egypt, as you will likely have a long day getting to and from Abu Simbel as well as spending time in the hot sun while you’re there. In terms of shoes, there are paved paths for walking so you’ll get away with wearing sandals or flip flops – again just make sure they are comfortable enough!
You will also have the opportunity to visit Abu Simbel on many Nile cruise trips, although this will also be in the form of a day trip from Aswan. Viator has some brilliant cruise options. We booked a mid range Nile cruise and LOVED it. In my opinion this is the best and easiest way to see all of the sights that Egypt has to offer.
Where to stay when planning a visit to Abu Simbel
There isn’t a huge amount of options if you are looking to stay in the village of Abu Simbel itself. Most tourists stay in the nearby city of Aswan. You can see hotel availability for your travel dates below.
For something a little closer to the temple complex and tourist attractions in Egypt, there are a couple of places you could opt for…
Applicators Hotel is 1.2 miles from the Abu Simbel temples. There is free WiFi and free public parking, a restaurant and plenty of outdoor seating as well as stunning views and a 24-hour front desk. The hotel offers single, double and triple rooms as well as suites all with private bathrooms. Rooms are basic but clean and spacious, and it takes just half an hour to walk to the temple complex.
Nefertari Hotel overlooks Lake Nasser, which is where the temple complex would be today had it not been moved. Free WiFi and free private parking are both available, and the hotel has a pool. It boasts garden and lake views, and has double/twin/triple rooms as well as suites. With air conditioning and en suite bathrooms, an airport shuttle and a 24-hour front desk, the hotel is ideal – what’s more, it is only 500 yards from the temple complex and other tourist attractions in Egypt!
Mariette Amon is a budget hotel that offers single and double rooms. Pets are allowed at the hotel,and there is free WiFi and free parking. It is entirely on one floor, meaning it’s more accessible than other hotels, and you can choose between private and shared bathrooms depending on what you’re after. With city, river, lake and mountain views, the area is stunning and there is an outdoor dining area too. Located just 0.7 miles from the Abu Simbel temples, it isn’t difficult to get there by car or on foot.
Tourist attractions in Egypt: Colossi of Memnon
Egypt is home to hundreds of ancient monuments and tourist attractions in Egypt, and the Colossi of Memnon are high on the list of things to see.
What are the Colossi of Memnon?
Located just west of Luxor, the Colossi of Memnon are two statues that are over 3,400 years old. These fascinating tourist attractions in Egypt used to be identical, both representing the Pharaoh Amenhotep III – originally flanking his mortuary temple, which was lost through flooding. He reigned in Egypt during the Dynasty XVIII.
In 27 BC there was an earthquake in the area, causing damage to the tourist attractions in Egypt. The northern colossus was shattered – its top collapsed and its lower half was cracked. But as well as being damaged, it also began to sing. Each day at dawn the statue would emit a powerful tune that attracted tourists from all over the Greco-Roman world. However, in the third century AD the singing had stopped. Emperor Septimius Severus wanted to gain some popularity so he had got the statue repaired. Sadly, this actually meant the singing voice was lost forever – and the two statues no longer looked like twins.
The singing is actually how the Colossi of Memnon got their name, which comes from ancient Greece. In Greek mythology, the story goes that Memnon (mortal son of Eos, who was the goddess of Dawn) was slain by Achilles. The sound that came from the northern colossus every morning was said to be him crying to his mother.
Fun fact: modern scientists say that the singing was actually dew trapped within the cracks in the statue, evaporating due to the early morning heat and causing a series of vibrations echoing through the air!
The statues depict the pharaoh in a seated position. Two shorter figures are carved into the front – his wife Tiye, and his mother Mutemwiya. The side panels show Hapy, the god of the Nile. The Colossi of Memnon are made from quartzite sandstone which was quarried at el-Gabel el-Ahmar. This is near Cairo. The colossi are 18 metres (60 ft) tall, and each weigh approximately 720 tons!
Getting to the statues
The nearest city to the Colossi of Memnon is Luxor, where many tourist attractions in Egypt are found. It takes around 36 minutes to drive to the statues from the city, or you can walk and take a ferry across the Nile – this takes around an hour from the city centre. You don’t need a guide, but they are readily available.
To get to Luxor, the nearest airport is Luxor International Airport (LXR). The airport is 4 miles east of the city, and it generally takes just under 20 minutes to drive the centre. Car hire is available from the airport.
If you are already in Egypt and want to travel to Luxor, here’s how you can do so…
From Cairo to Luxor, it is a 7 hour drive via the Asyuit Desert. Flights from Cairo to Luxor take just over an hour and cost anywhere between £50 and £300. There are multiple options for taking the train from Cairo to Luxor: the train journey takes between 8 and 10 hours and can be done during the day or on a sleeper train. Here is some more information about routes, times and trains.
From Alexandria, slightly further north than Cairo, it takes 9.5 hours to drive to Luxor. If you’re a total DIY traveller, you can get the bus from Alexandria to Hurghada, and then from there to Luxor. This will take you almost 13 hours, but only costs around £5. You can also take a train to Cairo, and join the route mentioned above.
To get to Luxor from Aswan, it takes just over 3 hours by car. A 3.5 hour train journey is available a few times each day.
There are also day trips that will take you to Luxor to see the Colossi of Memnon and other sites. You can find out more about that here.
Place to stay near the Colossi of Memnon
There are many private villas and apartments to stay in near the statues and other tourist attractions in Egypt. The Queen Valley Apartment on the West Bank is just 0.3 miles from the Colossi of Memnon, and 6.1 miles from LXR airport. It is a whole apartment with a large double bed, a balcony, patio & garden, air conditioning and an en-suite bathroom. There is a kitchen and dining area, laundry facilities and bright modern decor.
There is another private villa available which has more traditional decor: dark wood, patterned rugs and curved balconies. It sleeps four, with a double room and a second bedroom with two single beds. There is a kitchen, bathroom, air conditioning and free private parking. It is 0.2 miles from the Colossi of Memnon.
New Memnon Hotel is a mere 100 metre walk from the Colossi of Memnon. With a 24 hour front desk, airport transfers, a laundry service and bike hire, everything is convenient. There are single, double and king rooms available with free WiFi and public parking as well as outdoor seating, breakfast and lovely views.
The stunning Thebes Hotel is 0.5 miles from the Colossi of Memnon. It has free WiFi and private parking, stunning Ancient Egyptian art painted on the walls, a pool and bright, spacious rooms. There are coffee shops, supermarkets and restaurants nearby, and the hotel itself boasts a bar and restaurant too.
Other things to see near the statues
There is so much to see in Luxor and many tourist attractions in Egypt, which are probably already on your list. However, specifically near to the Colossi of Memnon you can see all sorts…
- Habiba Hand Weaving (0.6 miles away) – see fabric and scarves being weaved in front of you. Can be purchased at a fair price.
- Temple of Medinat Habu (0.6 miles away) – lesser visited ancient temple. Tranquil in comparison to other sites, with some shade.
- Ramesseum, the Mortuary Temple of Ramses II (0.5 miles away) – another quieter temple site; the perfect place to soak up some ancient history.
Tourist attractions in Egypt: Valley of the Queens
Everyone’s heard of the Valley of the Kings in Egypt – but there’s another site you should add to your bucket list: The Valley of the Queens.
We loved visiting the Valley of the Queens on our travels through Egypt so today I will share with you what we learnt from our visit.
Where is the Valley of the Queens?
You’ll find the Valley of the Queens on the Nile’s western bank, in Upper Egypt. It is close to the modern city of Luxor, and not far from the Valley of the Kings. It is an isolated valley, likely chosen because of its proximity to Thebes as well as the Valley of the Kings and the workers’ village of Deir el-Medina. There are several tourist attractions in Egypt located here.
What is the Valley of the Queens?
Simply, the Valley of the Queens is where the wives of the pharaohs were buried. In ancient times it was known as Ta-Set-Neferu, which translates as the place of beauty. Nowadays it is home to several tourist attractions in Egypt.
The main wadi contains the majority of the tombs and tourist attractions in Egypt. There are 91 tombs in total. The Valley of the Queens is also home to the Valley of Prince Ahmose, the Valley of the Rope, the Valley of the Three Pits and the Valley of the Dolmen. These extra valleys add another 19 tombs, all dating back to the 18th Dynasty.
There is also a sacred grotto at the entrance of the Valley of the Queens. It is dedicated to Hathor, and is said to have been associated with rejuvenation of the dead.
Who was buried there?
There many tombs. They date from between 18th and 20th Dynasties, and a wide variety of women are buried there. They included…
- Princess Ahmose
- Queen Sitre
- Hebiri (head of the stables)
- Queen Nefertari
- Princess-Queen Tyti
- King Amenhotep’s wife, Henut, and daughter Ti
- Queen Iset Ta-Hemdjert
- Princess Merytre
- Two of Ramesses II’s daughters, who he also went on to marry: Nebettawy and Meritamun, both known by the title of Princess-Queen
There are many other tombs, and many other women – princesses and queens for the most part – were buried at the Valley of the Queens.
Visiting the Valley
There are a variety of ways to visit the Valley of the Queens and other tourist attractions in Egypt nearby. If you are staying in Luxor, you can easily get the ferry across the Nile to the western bank and jump in a taxi, or head there by foot if you’re up to the walk.
It costs 35 EGP to visit the Valley of the Queens, or 20 EGP if you are a student. Extra fees are applicable for certain tombs such as Nefertari, Ay and more.
Most guided tours around the area will include the Valley of the Queens and other nearby tourist attractions in Egypt. These tend to be available from Luxor or Hurghada. If you are on a Nile Cruise, chances are you will be able to pick an excursion that includes the Valley of the Queens.
If you are staying in the Cairo area, consider a few-day trip to the west bank to see the valley and all of the other sites in the area. It is a 7 hour drive via the Asyuit Desert. You can also fly from Cairo to Luxor in around one hour, which is much quicker but can be pricey. Trains are another option – sleeper trains bring you into the city overnight, so you don’t feel as though you’re wasting too much travel time. You can find out more about train travel in Egypt here.
Other sites to see near the Valley of the Queens
There are plenty of tourist attractions in Egypt in the surrounding area. A huge majority of Ancient Egyptian history is near the Valley of the Queens. Some sites include…
- The Valley of the Kings – where the pharaohs themselves were buried.
- Valley of the Artisans
- Ramesseum – the mortuary temple of Ramses.
- Temple of Karnak
- Luxor Temple
- Medinet Habu – 18th Dynasty temple and the great Temple of Ramses III.
- Colossi of Memnon – two enormous twin statues.
- Mortuary Temple of Seti I
You can also visit the Luxor Museum, which is home to many Ancient Egyptian artefacts and tourist attractions in Egypt. Also in the area is Howard Carter’s house, where the archaeologist lived during his time in Egypt, complete with a replica of King Tut’s tomb. As well as this, consider visiting Habiba Hand Weaving, to see fabric being hand-woven in front of you. You can purchase any that takes your fancy, too.
Places to stay nearby
Luxor has a multitude of places to stay, and it’s not too far from the Valley of the Queens and other major tourist attractions in Egypt. Here are some of the best options…
For a bit of luxury, there’s a Hilton Resort & Spa in Luxor. It has a pool and spa facilities, a bar and restaurant as well as other places to get food, with a variety of different sized rooms depending on your needs. There is free WiFi and free parking, as well as the opportunity for airport transfers. The hotel is a short ferry ride from the west bank, with easy access to the Valley of the Queens from there.
Memnon Hotel is on the west bank itself; it is only 10 yards from the viewpoint for the aforementioned Colossi of Memon, and free WiFi and parking are available on site. There is daily housekeeping, a bar and restaurant, and the rooms are non-smoking.
If there’s a large group of you, it might be worth looking into hiring a villa. Shahhat House is a traditionally decorated villa that sleeps six, located on the west bank of the Nile which means it is within easy reach of the Valley of the Queens and other historical sites. Parking and WiFi are free, the kitchen means you are free to eat whenever you want, and there is plenty of outdoor area to relax in.
For a full range of accommodation options for your travels dates, use the map below.
Tourist attractions in Egypt: To Conclude
There are many tourist attractions in Egypt that are absolutely fascinating. These tourist attractions in Egypt are historical and cultural in nature and make for the perfect educational tourism experience. People come from all over the world to visit these tourist attractions in Egypt.
If you enjoyed this article about the tourist attractions in Egypt, I am sure that you will enjoy these too: