Updated: Mar 30
Like a lot of people, I was very hesitant to visit Egypt and had many people tell me it wasn't a safe place. Personally, I had a very positive experience in Egypt however I would still recommend making sure you research and pre-plan your trip as much as possible.
Utilise tour guides and tour groups, this will be the safest option and they often know the best spots for photos. (Always book tours through official sites).
Watch out for scams! Every country will have some sort of tourist scam but Egypt seems to have every type of scam in the book, make sure you remain vigilant.
Dress modestly. As a predominately Muslim country not only is it respectful to cover appropriately you may also get unwanted attention if you don't.
If possible try and get all travel documents arranged beforehand. Egypt's airports can be confusing at the best of times so having all the paperwork ready can make customs a smoother process.
Where I stayed...
Unlike the majority of people staying in Cairo, I stayed in Hurghada instead. Approximately 280miles southeast of Cairo not only are hotels usually cheaper there but it is a much easier location to visit both Cairo and Luxor on the same trip.
Home to the Great Pyramids of Giza this is the most popular destination for a trip to Egypt, if you're staying in Hurghada a trip to Cairo is about a five-hour drive so be prepared for an early start and make sure to bring a coat as the mornings can be quite chilly.
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities
Most Cairo tours will include entrance to the museum and there are some amazing artefacts on display including Tutankhamun's mask and mummified bodies. Definitely worth a visit if you have the chance..
The Great Pyramids of Giza
As one of the seven wonders of the world, the pyramids are one of the most famous landmarks in the world I was concerned it would not live up to expectations but safe to say these amazing structures are breathtaking and like nothing else I had ever seen. There are trips to take you inside the pyramids however the interior is relatively plain and most say it's not worth it.
If you've chosen to stay in Hurghada during your trip there are a multitude of excursions you can take. The one I would recommend is a quad biking tour through the Eastern Desert which also includes a short camel ride and break at the Bedouin camp. Make sure you take a scarf and sunglasses to keep the sand out of your eyes and face. You can hire goggles if needed but all other equipment is included.
Duration - 3hours
Price - £22 (not including tips)
Boat trips are a unique way to see the city, with tours running in most cities along the Nile you will have no trouble finding a tour. As a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the streets and an easy way to wind down after exploring the city.
The boat trip I took was part of my day trip to Luxor from Hurghada, ask your tour guide to organise a trip or for recommendations.
For me, Karnak Temple was just as impressive as the Pyramids - if not more! Dating back to around 2055 BC it is an extraordinary place. The Great Hypostyle Hall has over 130 intricately carved columns standing at around 20 meters high, you can also explore the Barque Chapel of Ramses III which is lined with grand statues. With grounds stretching over 5 thousand square meters, there is plenty more the see including The Sacred Lake and the Avenue of Sphinxes lining the grand entrance to the complex.
Valley of the Kings
Home to over sixty tombs including Tutankhamun's with more still being excavated, eight are currently open to the public and general admission tickets will allow you to choose three tombs to visit. I would most recommend visiting is that of Ramesses III where the walls are covered with hieroglyphics and colour paintings - yes colour! Be sure to look up the ceiling holds some of the most vibrant paintings in the tomb.
Temple of Hatshepsut
Commissioned by one of the first female pharaohs who rules for more than two decades this is a truly impressive structure. This will be a great place to view the desert surroundings.
Colossi of Memnon
These figures once marked the entrance to a lavish temple and although the temple has been reduced to ruins these statues have stood the test of time. Worth a pit stop if you are passing on the way to the Vally of the Kings.