On this page I’m sharing my travel blog on Egypt. I’m telling you all about the best things to see and do in Cairo, Luxor and Hurghada. From the Red Sea to the pyramides of Giza and the Valley of the Kings. So if you’re planning a trip to Egypt, this travel blog will come in handy!
Most tourists that like to relax visit either Hurghada or Sharm El-Sheikh, both located at the Red Sea. You can find Sharm el-Sheikh on the Sinai peninsula and Hurghada on the mainland a bit further South. I recommend staying in Hurghada rather than Sharm el-Sheikh. This is because from Hurghada it’s easier to travel to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. You can read more about that later in this blog.
Hurghada is a typical resort town. It’s a 60 kilometer long strip at the coast of the Red Sea, consisting of resorts, hotels, malls and further from the coast the houses and shops for the locals that work in the tourism industry.
I don’t like places that are too touristic and staying in an all-inclusive resort wouldn’t make me happy. So I discovered the less touristic spots in Hurghada.
Diving in Egypt
Before I went to Egypt, people told me that the Red Sea is one of the best diving spots in the world. I’ve got my PADI diving certification, so I went on two dives in the Red Sea. There are several good diving schools in Hurghada. We went with Sea Gate and had an excellent experience with them. Dutch Marieke and Egyptian Khaled are the owners of this diving school in Hurghada. I loved it that Marieke speaks Dutch so that we could do all the communication in Dutch and that I knew that all the diving equipment would be well maintained.
We had two very pleasant dives. Although it was quite busy with other boats at the spot we went to, you didn’t notice that underwater.
The water was very clear and we saw quite a few nice fish. Many small tropical fish, and also Moray eels, Clown fish and Lion fish.
Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It might be the city that you fly to from your homecountry or from another city in Egypt. It’s a really big city, with a lot of traffic. And it’s also the gateway to the Pyramids of Giza, of which I’ll tell you more later.
The biggest tip for Cairo, besides the piramides, is to visit the Egyptian Museum. The Egyptian Museum, sometimes called the Cairo Museum, houses over 100,000 items from ancient Egypt. It’s here where you can find treasures from Tutankhamuns grave, actual mummies and many more treasures from the past. The museum has two floors and actually has a bit too little space to house all the works. You’ll need at least two hours to visit the museum, or take half a day if you’re specially interested in it. A guide is not an an unnecessary luxury as there is not that much information on display.
Right through the city of Cairo the Nile river flows. From the rooftop bar of the Ritz Carlton Hotel you’ve got a beautiful view over the Nile and the rest of the city. You can even see the Pyramids of Giza in the background. Food and drinks are overpriced of course, as you also pay for the ambiance and the view.
Are you looking for a good restaurant in Cairo that also has great vegetarian options? Then I recommend Taboula. It’s a Lebanese restaurant and I advice you to order several mezze to share. The labneh is delicious, and also the hot hummus is a recommendation.
On the westbank of the Nile, you can find the Giza pyramids. Officially that area is called Giza, hence the name. But you’ll see that the city of Cairo now reaches all the way to the pyramids. The Giza Pyramid complex is very impressive. The Great Pyramid of Giza and the smaller pyramids around it are over 4,000 years old. It’s fascinating to think that they were able to make these giant structures back then, with heavy rocks that are perfectly right-angled. And it’s also amazing that they’re still here. That they survived all these years. The great Pyramid of Giza is in fact the only of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World that still exists.
You can take a taxi to get there (I advice an Uber so that you’ve got a fixed price). Don’t be fooled by people that will stop your taxi telling you that the road ahead is closed and that you need to go with their horse to the entrance. It’s a scam. As well as a ‘Papyrus Museum’ that some taxi drivers will want to take you to. It’s a shop, so don’t do it.
You can buy your ticket at the entrance gate and walk around on your own pace. A ticket is around 200 Egyptian Pounds per person (8 Euro). If you want to go inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, you’ll need an additional ticket of around 400 Egyptian Pounds (16 Euro).
I thought it was a great experience to go inside this world wonder, but I don’t want to oversell it. You have to walk into a very small corridor, some parts are only around 1 meter high. And you have to go back via the same way, so you’ll meet people going the other way in that small corridor. So this is not for the claustrophobic! At the end you’ll enter the tomb. This might be a bit of a disappointment, as this small space is completely empty. Most of the treasures have been robbed in history, and the remaining ones are now in the British museum. But apart from that, it’s quite impressive to realize that you’re in the oldest still existing building in the world. And you might not even want to think about the weight of the stones that are pressed together above your head.
In some travel blogs I read that you can’t bring your camera inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, and that you had to hand it in to a security guide. But when we were there (December 2022), we didn’t have to hand in anything. We could just bring our backpacks with us.
Besides the pyramids, you can also find the Sphinx at the complex. You can see it with the same ticket. You might find it to be a smaller in real life than expected. But it’s absolutely beautiful.
You’ll see many camels and a few horses on the site of the Pyramids of Giza. And you’ll get asked tens of times if you want to ride one. I would recommend to not use these animals that are often in bad shape and probably very thirsty. You can easily discover the site by foot so there’s no need to (ab)use the camels for it. If you do want to ride a camel, please look for one that is a healthy shape and that gets treated nicely.
We continue my travel blog on Egypt with the city of Luxor and the Karnak temple complex. Karnak is a big area with remains of temples, obelisks and statues. It’s one of the largest religious complexes ever constructed, together with Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Karnak was build to worship the Pharaohs and the Gods. It’s super impressive to walk around the complex and see the huge columns. It definitely keeps the magic of ancient Egypt alive.
You can take a taxi to Karnak and buy your ticket at the visitor center. But many will visit Karnak on a day tour of Luxor together with visiting the Valley of the Kings.
Valley of the Kings, Luxor
While Karnak was build on the Eastbank of the Nile, because the East stands for life, as that’s where the sun comes up. The Valley of the Kings is located on the Westbank of the Nile, where the sun sets. In this area in the dessert mountains, are the graves of tens of Pharaohs. Including the famous grave of Tutankhamun. The treasures of the graves have either been robbed in the past, or have been transferred to museums all over the world. But the tombs are impressive nevertheless. Included in you ticket is the visit of three tombs. You’ll have to pay extra for Tutankhamuns grave; that’s definitely not the most impressive one, but it’s the most famous because it was found with all the treasures still inside. You can see the treasures at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and they’ll be transferred to a new museum in Cairo in the future.
More Travel Blogs
I hope you enjoyed reading my travel blog on Egypt. I’ve traveled to 70 countries in my life and I’ve written blogs about most of my travels. You can find all my travel blogs here.