Where to Visit in Egypt

Person walking towards the Pyramids and Sphinx in Egypt.

Egypt’s high ranking on many a travel bucket list is well-deserved. The reasons for that run aplenty: With hundreds of captivating archeological sites, beguiling cities, and natural wonders from the Sahara to the Red Sea—all bifurcated by the mighty Nile—this destination is one of the all-time best. Here, five places to visit in Egypt.


Buildings with dome tops and towers in Egypt.
Balcony with curved arches and a view of other buildings in Egypt.

Where to Stay: Le Riad Hotel De Charme

Le Riad Hotel de Charme is, as its name suggests, a charming boutique in the heart of Old Cairo. Tucked off fabled Muizz Street, its individually designed suites are inspired by distinct themes and important places from Egyptian history, echoing medieval Islamic patterns and motifs that can be spotted throughout the surrounding neighborhood.

The Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza.

What to Do:

Enlist a private guide to tour the Pyramids of Giza, the last of the ancient world’s seven wonders, which are set about 30 minutes away from Cairo. If you have the time, don’t pass up a visit even more ancient pyramid sites, like Djoser and the Saqqara Necropolis. Also on the Giza Plateau, the highly-anticipated opening of the gargantuan Grand Egyptian Museum will take place in 2023, while Cairo’s legendary Egyptian Museum receives a facelift.

Outdoor dining area overlooking a body of water in Egypt. There are various chairs and tables in the area.

Where to Eat and Drink:

Named after Egypt’s most celebrated Nobel Prize-winning author, the old-world Naguib Mahfouz Cafe is an air-conditioned oasis amid the freneticism of Khan El-Khalili—and a top choice for traditional Egyptial cuisine. Catch another side of Cairene life at Crimson Bar & Grill, a see-and-be-seen rooftop restaurant in Zamalek that serves everything from sushi to steak.

Buildings with medieval Islamic architecture in Egypt.

Can’t-Miss Neighborhood:

Wander the labyrinthine alleyways of Khan El-Khalili Market in Old Cairo for awesome medieval Islamic architecture, bustling food stalls, old bookstores, tarboosh hat shops, and so much more. Zamalek, an island on the Nile, remains one of the oldest and most fashional districts of this megacity, though well-heeled neighborhoods like Heliopolis and ultra-modern New Cairo are the place to go for Dubai-style luxury.


Body of water in Egypt with numerous boats on it and a city in the background.
Hotel room overlooking a grassy outdoors area.

Where to Stay:

Alexandria’s most plush stay is the Four Seasons Hotel at San Stefano, a palatial seaside resort with a private beach, opulent guest rooms flaunting French architect Pierre Yves Rochon’s designs, several high-end restaurants and bars, and a world-class spa.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a modernist resurrection of Alexandria’s mythic Great Library.

What to Do:

The colossal Norwegian-designed Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a modernist resurrection of Alexandria’s mythic Great Library, another one of seven wonders of the ancient world. Marvel at the curved exterior wall constructed with granite blocks from Aswan, then head inside to tour rare documents, ancient sculptures, and artwork at the Manuscripts and Antiquities Museums. For some of Alexandria’s most fascinating historic sites, add to your itinerary the Citadel of Qaitbay and second-century Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa.

Inside of a restaurant with various paintings and overlooking a body of water.

Where to Eat and Drink:

One of the city’s most elegant restaurants, Byblos at the Four Seasons serves refined Lebanese fare alongside French bistro dishes with Mediterranean views. Sahar El-Laialy is another exceptional Lebanese eatery, while Jeeda’s serves up excellent paella and tapas. For cocktails and cigars, head to The Cigar Bar at Hilton Alexandria Corniche.


Hieroglyphics inside a large, narrow room in Egypt.
Hotel room in Egypt surrounded by large archways. There is a bed, table, and chairs in the room.

Where to Stay:

The all-suite Al Moudira Hotel is an Arabian Nights dream-come-true on the Nile’s West Bank, shielded from Luxor’s busiest tourist corridors. Proprietor Zeina Aboukheir, an Italian-Lebanese photographer, sources all furniture, art, and decor from souks and antique shops across the Middle East. The hotel’s pool is a dream after steamy days exploring Luxor.

Three striped sofas in a room. The room is overlooking a body of water.

What to Do:

Luxor is home to the grandest and most monumental archeological sites from Egypt’s ancient past, like the Valley of the Kings (and Queens), Karnak, and the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. A multi-day Nile cruise is a great way to see the bulk of attractions through Upper Egypt (Nour El Nil is our top recommendation if you are), though flying into Luxor and arranging private land tours in an air-conditioned vehicle is equally as satisfying.

Where to Eat and Drink:

 The restaurant at the Nubian House is a can’t-miss journey into authentic Egyptian gastronomy, with produce and other ingredients, like guava and goat’s meat, sourced from the on-site garden or nearby farmers. Sitting on the banks of the Nile, the terrace views at El-Kababgy make it another solid pick for enjoying local dishes.


Old building in Egypt with many columns near a body of water.
Rectangular indoor pool with columns around it.

Where to Stay:

Built on a cliff facing Elephantine Island, Aswan’s Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Hotel is one of Egypt’s most storied luxury hotels. If you’re not planning to sail down the Nile on a cruise, this is the place to live your Death on the Nile fantasy.

Inside of a restaurant in Egypt with many tables and chairs, as well as circular archways.

What to Do:

The 7th-century St. Simeon’s Monastery on Elephant Island once housed more than one thousand monks inside its stone walls. Today, the fortress-like ruins are one of Aswan’s most frequented tourist sites. For an added treat, pair with a visit to the Tombs of the Nobles nearby. Learn more about Upper Egypt’s ancient civilizations at the Nubian Museum, which exhibits relics spanning 4,500 B.C. to the present day salvaged from the region. Then hit up the colorful Aswan Souk for souvenirs.

Where to Eat and Drink:

Modeled after the Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo, 1902 at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract signature is a fine dining experience that blows anything else south of Cairo out of the water. Dressing up is encouraged. If a casual meal is more your speed, check out the Panorama (the 360-degree views are unparalleled) or Mezze—both at the Movenpick Resort Aswan. For a coffee pep, Al Qahwa Cafe has the best in town.

Grass path leading to an area with huts and tables.


Hotel area in Egypt with a tile floor and different colored columns.

Where to Stay:

Located just north of Hurghada in the neighboring resort town of El Gouna, La Maison Bleue is a slice of European decadence on the Red Sea. The lavish 13-suite mansion stands out with its Venetian architecture and titular blue façade.

People flying different colored kites on the beach in Egypt.

What to Do:

Maximize your time on the talc-fine beaches, or enjoy the cerulean waters with a boat day. Hurghada is near some of the world’s top snorkeling and diving sites, with healthy coral reefs thriving in crystal-clear shallow waters year-round. Most of the on-land action, from shopping to dining to nightlife, takes place along the lively Hurghada Marina.

Where to Eat and Drink:

Le Restaurant at La Maison Bleue offers exceptional upscale dining a la français, so don’t sleep on a meal there. Back at the Hurghada Marina is where you’ll find a dizzying array of easy-going eateries, like grillhouse The Lodge and Argentine steakhouse Che Guevara. For Indian cuisine, Amaya is a slam dunk.

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