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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.
This family-friendly Cairo hotel is located on the boardwalk, within 1 mi (2 km) of Tahrir Square, Egyptian Museum, and Cairo Tower. Coptic Museum and Museum of Islamic Art are also within 2 mi (3 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.
Located near the airport, this family-friendly hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of City Stars, Virgin Mary's Tree, and Ain Shams University. Cairo International Stadium and Cairo International Convention Centre are also within 9 mi (15 km).
Nestled on the beach, this Sharm el Sheikh resort is within 3 mi (5 km) of Sharm El Sheikh Golf Resort, Shark's Bay Beach, and Montazah Beach. SOHO Square is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away.
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. First Mall Cairo and Giza Zoo are also within 9 mi (15 km).
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.
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of City Stars, Cairo International Stadium, and Virgin Mary's Tree. Egyptian Presidential Palace and Cairo International Convention Centre are also within 9 mi (15 km).
This family-friendly Luxor hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Luxor Museum and Luxor Temple. Karnak is 1.6 mi (2.5 km) away.