You might be on the fence about visiting Egypt and that’s absolutely understandable, it doesn’t exactly have the best reputation as a travel destination.
When I hear people talk about Egypt, they talk about how big it is, how chaotic and busy it is, and that solo travellers never get a moment’s peace.
But I’m here to ease your mind and tell you that not all of Egypt is like this. There are countless reasons TO visit Egypt and make it a stop on your next vacation.
Not only is there so many things to do in Egypt, but it has plenty to offer every type of traveller; from history buffs to beach lovers, to hiking enthusiasts and adventurous explorers.
If you think Egypt has nothing but pyramids in Giza and other old monuments in Luxor and Aswan, then it’s time to change this perspective.
Here are all the top reasons to go to Egypt and make it your vacation destination!
- Reasons to Visit Egypt
- 1. Egypt has Amazing Beaches
- 2. Egypt Offers Relaxation
- 3. There’s Plenty of Adventure in Egypt
- 4. For the Historical Experiences in Egypt
- 5. To See The Amazing and Diverse Egyptian Culture
- 6. Egyptian Cuisine is Divine!
- 7. It has a lot of Religious Importance for Many Religions
- 8. It has bucket list experiences
- Before You Go
- More Egypt and North Africa Tips
Reasons to Visit Egypt
Whether you’re a history buff, a beach lover, a nature lover or explorer, here are the main reasons to visit Egypt in North Africa for your next vacation.
1. Egypt has Amazing Beaches
Who said that all of Egypt is considered to be a close-minded country where you can’t possibly even wear shorts?
I would like to invite you to Hurghada , Sharm el Sheikh and other places in Sinai (like Dahab, Taba and Nuweiba)
If you’ve ever been to any of those beach getaways in Egypt you would know that, not only it is allowed to wear your favorite bikini to the beach (yes in Egypt!), but they also have amazing waters for you swim in wearing them.
You’ll find amazing aquatic life, coral reefs and colorful fish; many amazing diving and snorkeling spots, and more centers offering day trips to those amazing diving and scuba diving spots, for next to nothing!
2. Egypt Offers Relaxation
Are you looking for that relaxed getaway where you can lay back all day and do nothing without being hassled and just enjoy the moment?
Not all of Egypt is as loud and crowded as Cairo.
I would like to introduce you to the relaxed (and more hippie towns) of Egypt: Siwa and Dahab. With both of them totally opposite to each other, you will find the place that meets your taste!
Siwa, the oasis that is literally in the middle of nowhere, lies alone in the middle of the desert at the borders of the Great Sand Sea, and at least 500 Km from any civilized city.
At Siwa you can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the culture of the Amazigh people, the nomadic tribes that have always lived the Great Sahara.
Dahab, on the other end of Egypt, is a small relaxed hippie town on the shores of the Red Sea. Relax, enjoy the beautiful view, go for a swim and more!
Dahab also has the advantage of being so close to many other destinations in Sinai.
The best that comes to mind is the day trip you can take to St. Katherine city, where the St. Katherine monastery lies in the middle of the Sinai Mountains and is also where Moses talked to god on top of Mount Sinai.
While many people visit Sharm el Sheikh on the Mediterranean Sea, this has become over populated with tourists, so if you want somewhere quieter then consider the places I’ve suggested above.
Top tip: Close to Dahab is Nuweiba, full of beach camps that are made only for relaxation…my favorite is in a place called Ras Shitan (translated to Devil’s Head!)
3. There’s Plenty of Adventure in Egypt
Adrenaline. I hear you. This is my personal favorite. And Egypt is not short on that side either!
Sand drifting in the Great Sand Sea
Many adventurous things come to my mind, but the top would be the desert safaris from Siwa, or from the other oases in the middle of the Western Desert of Egypt.
Lots of sand, lots of high dunes – just being in a car with a good desert driver gives you LOADS of adrenaline!
Water Adventures/Sports in Sharm el Sheikh – Banana Boat
Water adventure? How about diving?
There are AMAZING diving places all along the Red Sea on the Eastern side of Egypt. With Dahab and Sharm el Sheikh being on top of the list of diving spots, there are many undiscovered places along that shore!
Other adventures would include hiking in the mountainous National Park of St Katherine in Sinai, Mountain Climbing in Sinai, as well as sand surfing in the Western Desert.
Wind surfing and water surfing are also growing day by day in Egypt!
4. For the Historical Experiences in Egypt
You knew it’s coming, it just can’t be ignored!
Egypt for the historians’ Mecca! With temples, monuments and buildings standing for 5,000 years, you can’t beat that.
I am not by any chance a professional Egyptologist, but it doesn’t take that to enjoy the fact that you’re seeing the Pyramids for example. It doesn’t take a professional to appreciate King Tut’s golden tomb.
Then there’s also the Grand Egyptian Museum which contains many ancient artifacts and relics from the time of the pharaohs, and is where you’ll find the gigantic, 82-ton statue of Ramses II which was built over 3,200 years ago remains.
You can also visit the temples created by Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, such as Abu Simbel Temples, and see their tombs and sarcophagi.
If you’re thinking of coming to Egypt for history, this is one of the biggest attractions for tourism and you don’t be disappointed. It’s a history buffs paradise!
5. To See The Amazing and Diverse Egyptian Culture
Travel around Egypt for a while and you’ll notice the differences between Egyptians.
While it might seem like most Egyptians have so much in common, if you take it to the extremes from Alexandria to Nubia, you’ll notice a huge difference in the cultures and traditions of these places!
The people of Egypt are very kind and hospitable, especially outside the touristic places; you’ll see people genuinely happy to help you and trying their best to make sure you’re having a good day! This can also specially be witnessed in the less civilized cities or towns, like Siwa for example!
6. Egyptian Cuisine is Divine!
Egyptian food is warming, hearty and filling. Not to mention healthy, compared to Western standards.
You’ll find most Egyptian dishes are prepared with fresh vegetables and more savory spices, as opposed to spices that pack a lot of heat.
The most famous dish is Koshari (also spelled Kushari), the national dish of Egypt. It can be found almost everywhere in the country. It’s made from rice, macaroni, chickpeas and lentils, before being topped with caramelized onions, tomato sauce, and garlic vinegar.
Ta’meya is another popular dish, which is like an Egyptian falafel. It’s made with fried fava bean with tahini.
Of course, Egypt is known for its lamb and veal Kebabs, which are usually served with salad. Vegetarians can also enjoy stuffed vegetables such as peppers or zucchinis.
You’ll find that most dishes tend to use chicken meat, but they also eat rabbit, duck and pigeon (hamam mahshi).
Each region of Egypt has its own unique cuisines and flavor, so be sure to sample these culinary delights on your trip.
7. It has a lot of Religious Importance for Many Religions
Another top reason to visit Egypt is to learn about and experience the countries religious importance.
Religion in Egypt is an integral part of the culture and has been a cornerstone of its society for centuries. The predominant faiths are coptic Christianity and Islam, which both have roots here in Egypt.
Most famously, Egypt was the home of Moses, who wanted to free his people from slavery and move to the promised land (now Israel).
It is said that Mount Sinai, which is one of the world’s most important pilgrimage sites, was where God spoke to Abraham and gave Moses the Ten Commandments.
When visiting Egypt, you can see the remains of the countries ancient religions in its many temples, including the Luxor Temple which dates back to 1400 and the Karnak Temple, which is said to be the place where the Egyptian god Amun-Ra spoke to the people.
With coptic christians making up around 10% of the population, churches can be found alongside mosques throughout Egypt and play an integral role in many ceremonies like Easter celebrations.
8. It has bucket list experiences
Of course, there are so many tourist attractions in Egypt from visiting the Great Pyramids of Giza to bathing in the Dead Sea, and these are all bucket list experiences that you will only do once in your life.
But you can see these attractions in different ways to make the experience more memorable.
You can enjoy hot air balloon rides over Valley of the Kings, or take a Nile Cruise down the world’s longest river, The Nile River, or camel riding in the desert.
You don’t have to be a history buff to know that the Egyptian civilization is one of the oldest and most historically fascinating in the entire world, and experiencing it and learning about it in the country itself, is one of the top reasons to visit Egypt.
Check out three amazing bucket list experiences for Egypt here:
Before You Go
So there you have it, those are the main reasons to visit Egypt and as you can see, there’s a lot of pros to visiting this exciting and historically fascinating country.
Before you go, make sure you understand that Egypt is a busy place, and Cairo especially can make travellers feel overwhelmed.
Keep an eye on your belongings, don’t interact with people who are too pushy, and you shall have a great time.
I hope this guide helped you understand what’s in store for you in Egypt and gave you some insight into why you should visit!
Bio: Mina Mahrous is an Egyptian young guy who is trying to follow his dreams of travelling and witnessing the world rather than the conventional dictated future for people his age in Egypt. Mina blogs about Egypt, his dreams and travel as seen from a Middle Eastern/Egyptian eye. Follow Mina on his blog Someday I’ll be There or become a fan on facebook to follow along the adventure that is still in the making!
Tours of Egypt
If you don’t want to travel to Egypt as an independent traveler, G Adventures offer small-group guided tours for ages 18+. We partner with G Adventures because of their commitment to the supporting the environment and conserving local cultures.
And if you want to travel Egypt independently, don’t miss out on these highly-rated tours of Egypt!
More Egypt and North Africa Tips
Are you planning to visit other places in Egypt or Northern Africa? Then you may find the following guides helpful…
- Beautiful Reasons to Visit Morocco
- Things to do in Marrakesh, Morocco
- Things to Do in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands
- Things to do in the Canary Islands
- Ethiopia Travel Advice
- How to Become a Master of Baksheesh in Egypt
- What to do in Cairo, Egypt
What places would you recommend to visit in Egypt and why? Let us know in the comments!