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Egypt is best known for ancient historical sites in a barren desert landscape. Many travelers will be surprised to find that some of the best attractions are the opposite: modern cities within a fertile river valley. Visit the pyramids, sphinx and Sahara and enjoy world cities that have grown up on the Nile River banks and the Mediterranean shoreline.
While ancient ruins stand throughout Egypt, the most famous artifacts are near the cities of Cairo and Luxor. Head to Cairo’s southwestern outskirts to find the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. Cairo’s extensive Egyptian Museum features many small artifacts from dig sites around the country, including Tutankhamen’s famous gold burial mask. Tutankhamen’s tomb is in the Valley of the Kings outside the southern city of Luxor, which you can reach by car or Nile River cruise.
Explore the Sahara in Egypt’s Western Desert. Sand dunes roll along the Great Sand Sea, while mushroom-shaped rocks clutter the otherworldly landscape of the White Desert. Visit the Siwa Oasis, where an ancient town thrives on a small green patch around a desert lake. A craggy hill filled with ancient tombs stands at the town center surrounded by the ruins of the medieval Shali Fortress.
After exploring the deserts, return to Egypt’s cities to experience its rich modern culture. Relax in a Mediterranean café on the waterfront of Alexandria, considered to be one of the most liberal cities of the Arab world. Study alongside thousands of visitors and locals under the glass roof of the modern Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
Given Egypt’s 21st-century political turmoil, travelers should be cautious about visiting certain regions of the country. Monitor the news before visiting and check to see if your government has any advisories against travel to particular areas.
Fly into Egypt via airports at Alexandria or Cairo. By the end of your trip, you will be overwhelmed by the number of world-famous sights you’ve seen.
Situated in Giza, this luxury hotel is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Pyramids at Giza and 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Great Sphinx of Giza. Giza Zoo and First Mall Cairo are also within 9 mi (15 km).
Set amid lush tropical gardens in Cairo city center, this palatial hotel is on an island in the Nile within 15 km of Giza's pyramids.
This Sahl Hasheeh resort is on the beach, 3.7 mi (5.9 km) from Makadi Water World, and within 25 mi (40 km) of New Marina and Hurghada Mosque. Safaga Dock and Tobia Arbaa Dive Site are also within 32 mi (52 km).
Located in Zamalek, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cairo Tower and Egyptian Museum. Coptic Museum and Museum of Islamic Art are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Located near the airport, this hotel is in Cairo (Heliopolis), and area attractions include City Stars, Virgin Mary's Tree, and Egyptian Presidential Palace. Regional attractions also include Khan el-Khalili and Museum of Islamic Art.
Located on the banks of the Nile River at the southern tip of quiet El Gezirah island, this 27-story Cairo luxury hotel is within easy reach of the Opera House, Egyptian Museum, Khan El Khalili, and Cairo Tower.
This family-friendly Cairo hotel is located on the boardwalk, within 1 mi (2 km) of American University of Cairo and Egyptian Museum. Coptic Museum and Cairo Tower are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Nestled on the beach, this Village Road resort is within 12 mi (20 km) of New Marina, Hurghada Mosque, and Hurghada Marine Museum & Aquarium. Makadi Water World and El Gouna Stadium are also within 25 mi (40 km).