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The Ultimate Egypt Bucket List

When you think of Egypt, I can guarantee the first things that come to mind are the Pyramids, Camels, and Mummies.

So when planning a trip to the country, oftentimes (if you’re not a big history nerd) it’s hard to think of WHAT ELSE IS THERE??

After living and exploring Egypt for over a year now I want to share the things I’ve found that will give anyone visiting the ULTIMATE Egyptian experience!

Here are my 10 must have experiences in Egypt that you’ll want to add to your bucket list!

1. Souvenir shopping at Khan el Khalili

You can’t miss this bazaar! It’s the perfect location to find all your souvenirs as there are so many stands and vendors you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for there! Bring a guide to help with bartering as also it can be chaotic (especially on weekends Fridays and Saturdays) so it’s nice to have someone guide you through the masses.

2. Visit Abu Simbel

Outside of the Pyramids (they really can’t be beat by anything) this structure is one of the most awe-inspiring sites to see! A four hour drive from Aswan but completely worth it to stand under these colossal statues of Ramses II. Next to Abu Simbel is the temple dedicated to Nefertari, Ramses II’s wife. These two temples will make you feel so small as you wander through their corridors.

3. A trip to the Siwa Oasis- Drink Bedouin tea in the desert

The village of Siwa is located near the border of Libya and because it’s so far from Cairo has been able to keep much of its old Egyptian charm. Siwa has a special place in my heart because being there feels as if you’ve stepped back in time through an oasis portal that brings you to simpler times of life in Egypt. Be sure to do a Desert adventure while you’re here and have a Bedouin take you into the dunes of Siwa and drink Bedouin tea while watching the sunset over the golden hills.

4. Shisha in a cafe

It wouldn’t be an authentic trip to Egypt without smoking some hookah! You can find shisha (same thing as hookah) at most local cafes or rooftop restaurants. I love going to the local cafes in Tahrir Square to watch a game or if I prefer a more relaxing experience I’ll find a hotel rooftop near the Pyramids and smoke while watching the Sound and Light show.

5. Lounge on the sundeck while on a Nile Cruise

I always recommend if you’re interested in exploring the temples along the Nile to then take a Nile cruise to have the smoothest and most luxurious experiences. In the afternoons head up to the sundeck and find a lawn chair while you’re served tea or a beer. Catch some rays as you watch the rural Egyptian scenery pass by.

6. High Tea at the Cataract in Aswan

Before you set sail on the Nile cruise from Aswan, you’ll want to make a stop at the Cataract Hotel. Now I haven’t visited myself but everyone I’ve spoken to says its a must see! The Old Cataract was built in 1899 and became quite the must-stay location for royalty, celebrities, and dignitaries. Everyone from Tsar Nicholas II, Princess Diana, WInston Churchill, to Agatha Christie (who references the hotel itself in her book, Death on the Nile) were guests of the hotel. Having high tea in the afternoon, overlooking the Nile, you’ll be joining the ranks of special people who graced its property.

7. Visit the Nubian Village

While in Aswan, on your way to the Philae Temple ask the driver to take you to the Nubian Village as well on your boat ride. You’ll land on the island of colors galore as you witness the local Nubian culture. The Nubians were a large population of Upper Egypt and the borders of Sudan and they were constantly warring with the Egyptians during the time of Pharaohs. Now the villages are much smaller and you can experience their local life as you visit their shops and cafes. Careful they may try to sell you a live alligator- literally!

8. Scuba Dive in the Red Sea

Bet you didn't know that one of the most famous scuba diving locations in the world is actually in Egypt! The Blue Hole, near Dahab has some of the most incredible diving with the most vibrant corals and beautiful exotic fish. There's many places you can scuba dive (or free dive if you prefer) throughout the coast of Egypt such as: Hurghada, El Gouna, Sharm el Sheikh, and Dahab. Even if you aren't a big diver you can enjoy laying on the beach- you'd never know you're in Egypt (except when a camel walks by)!

9. Hot Air Balloon Ride over Luxor

You won’t regret taking the hot air balloon ride (even if you’re afraid of heights) it’s absolutely worth the courage to get into that basket! I am afraid of heights but as soon as the hot air balloon lifted off into the purple morning and watching the sun rays hit the temples of Hatshepsut lighting up the Valley of the Kings- it’s *chef kiss* so magical!

10. Go Inside Sakkara.. The world’s oldest Pyramid

It wouldn’t be a trip to Egypt without going inside a Pyramid. Did you know that the Step Pyramid, Pyramid of Djoser, is OLDER than the Giza Pyramids? It actually was the first Pyramid built in Egypt and in fact is 200 years older! Entering this Pyramid is not as tight or small of an entrance as say Khafre or Khufu Pyramids, there is much more open space, though I am 5’8’’ and still need to bend a little but eventually near the sarcophagus you can stand up straight and marvel at this ancient wonder!

I hope this gives you some new ideas of some fun experiences to have while you explore Egypt! Write in the comments below if you have done any of these before or which ones you're adding to your bucket list!

If you're interested in having any of these arranged for your own trip,

feel free to reach out to us so that you can expereince these adventures for yourself!


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