History, Temples & Beyond: 8 Day Egypt Itinerary and Travel Guide

History, Temples & Beyond: 8 Day Egypt Itinerary and Travel Guide

Ever want to experience your middle school history book in real life? Egypt is a magnificent place full of beautiful architecture, endless history, temples, and of course, home to the famous Great Pyramids of Giza. My trip to Egypt was life-changing. If anyone is ever considering going to Egypt, I highly recommend doing it! This trip was nothing short but magnificent. Egypt is the perfect country for someone wanting an out-of-the-ordinary trip on a budget. Not only does the US dollar go a long way, but this trip will be absolutely incredible for you, as it was for me. 

Girl wearing overalls posing at the pyramids in Giza, Egypt


Things to Know About Traveling to Egypt 

Hire a Guide

It is worth it to budget your money and hire a guide, especially if you plan on going to places other than Cairo. Egypt is known for being more difficult to get around using public transportation if you are trying to travel to Egypt on a budget. A local guide will ‌help you navigate around safely as well as communicate with locals, avoid any common scams and give you all the information about the history of all the landmarks throughout. Guides cost about $100 per day. If you are interested in a guide, you can schedule a consulting call with me by clicking here and I can help you or answer any questions regarding travel to Egypt.

Be aware of hustlers

The Egyptian culture is centered around hustling. It is common, especially in more tourist areas, that workers will follow or ask you to buy things. I suggest you ignore them and do not be overly friendly or they will keep asking you to purchase whatever they are trying to sell. This isn’t something to be concerned about, but it's important to be aware of this common practice to avoid getting caught up in it. Make sure to also not purchase anything from children.

Dress appropriately for the culture 

Egypt is a Muslim country, so women need to wear conservative clothes. It gets very hot in Egypt, so make sure you pack very light clothing and nothing too revealing (longer skirts, pants, and shirts should not be too low cut, no crop tops and they should have long or short sleeves). You can dress slightly less conservatively in POPULAR tourist areas, but still be respectful to local culture. 

Cash is Egypt's primary form of payment  

I would recommend the Charles Schwab Debit Card to withdraw cash from ATMs to avoid paying ATM fees. When using your credit card to book accommodation or transportation, etc. I recommend using a card that doesn’t charge international transaction fees, such as the Capital One card. 

Be aware that WIFI is spotty 

The Wifi in Egypt is NOT reliable. If you need to use your phone, I suggest purchasing a data sim card plan with Orange. You can pick one up at the airport and it costs $8 USD for 16 GB of data. Another option is Airalo. Make sure your phone is unlocked before departing to Egypt. I would highly suggest getting the Airalo App and downloading an eSim Card instead. Airalo is an app that allows you to have affordable cell data plans all over the world without needing a physical Sim Card which is what makes using your phone without Wi-Fi extremely convenient. Use my code ARIAHN516 for $ off!

The tap water is dangerous to drink

There are convince stores on almost every block. You can purchase bottled water there for as little as 5 cents. Do not drink the tap water! You need to constantly be drinking water as it gets hot!!!

Do not forget sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses

Egypt is in the middle of the desert, so ‌bring the proper necessities to adventure throughout the desert climate. 

Day 1: Cairo (Arrival Day) 

You will want to fly into Cairo, as this is the main airport and travel hub, plus home to the pyramids. Depending on how much time you have you can check out the local Bazaar Market and grab dinner at Antakh Lounge for delicious Mediterranean cuisine and or Shisha.

Bazaar Market in Cairo, Egypt

Where to stay 

Accommodation in Cairo is very affordable, below are some recommendations. I always suggest booking.com for hotel deals or Hostelworld for hostels. 

Hotels in Cairo

Pharaoh's Inn (Where I stayed and in Downtown Cairo) $50/night 

Pyramids Planet Hotel (near pyramids) $46/night 

Brothers Pyramids View Hotel (near pyramids) $69/night 

Cairo House (downtown Cairo) $52/night 

Hayat Pyramids View Hotel (near pyramids) $53/night 

Other hotels in Cairo

Hostels in Cairo

Holy Sheet Hostel $5/night

Dahab Hostel $6/night 

Australian Hostel $7/night 

Cheers Hostel $13/night 

Other hostels in Cairo

girl wearing round sunglasses, a white shirt and overalls posing with a camel at the Pyramids in Egyot

Day 2: Full Day in Cairo

Pyramids & Sphinx 

girl with long blonde hair posing next to the Sphinx in Giza, Egypt

This will be your first full day in Egypt. I ‌suggest doing most of your activities right away early in the morning to avoid the afternoon heat. 

You are going to go to the Pyramids right away! The Pyramids are as great as you can imagine and much more! I suggest first going to the pyramids and seeing them up close, then heading to the panorama viewpoint. Take some cool photos and ride a camel. 

Note: Please be aware many of the animals around the pyramids including the camels are not treated ethically. Please do your research and find a reputable company to do the camel ride.

Next, admire the Sphinx and her beauty. This viewpoint overlooks both the pyramids and the Sphinx. Take an iconic photo kissing it too!!!

Hanging Church OR the Egyptian Museum 

hanging church in Cairo, Egypt

Hanging church in Cairo, Egypt

The Hanging Catholic Church can be easily reached by using the metro system. it costs as little as 25 cents for a round trip. There are two churches, both free to enter as well as a beautiful courtyard to admire. After checking out the hanging churches and courtyard, head over to Old Cairo Restaurant and Cafe for some cheap, delicious local cuisine. 

Another option to spend your afternoon would be to head to the Egyptian Museum. You can see lots of mummies and more interesting history. 

Overnight Sleeper Train to Aswan

You are then going to take the overnight sleeper train to Aswan. It costs about $40 USD for a shared cabin. This was such a budget-friendly, yet comfortable way to travel throughout Egypt. The beds are very comfortable, plus both dinner and breakfast are included! 

Day 3: Aswan 

group of friends kayaking in the Nile River

Make sure to visit Philae Temple. This temple is not nearly as popular as some of the other temples in Egypt and was so nice to soak in its beauty without the overbearing crowds. I linked a cheap tour here, as you need a tour in order to get there because you take a boat to cross the river. 

For lunch, I suggest heading to the local market and eating at Almasry Restaurant 

After, grab a sunset dinner over the Nile river at Makani 2. They have large portions of traditional African dishes for as little as $3 USD and it is DELICIOUS! 

Where to Stay

Below are some budget-friendly accommodations for your stay in Aswan

Go Inn Backpackers $19/night

Oscar Hotel $44/night

Orchida St. George Hotel $43/night

Other hotel options 

Day 4: Optional Abu Simbel Temple

girl with thick blonde braid and straw hat at abu simbel temples in Aswan, Egypt

I highly recommend budgeting for an Abu Simbel Tour. You can book the tour directly with your hotel or on Viator (the cheaper group tour option linked here). Tours can range from $50-$100 USD which includes transportation, the ticket into Abu Simbel, and a breakfast box to go for in the morning. I am very glad I did this tour because Abu Simbel is definitely a must-visit when going to Egypt. 

girl with thick blonde braid and straw hat at abu simbel temples in Aswan, Egypt

In the evening, have dinner with a local family. My guide booked us with JJ Jamaica and we were so pleased with the company, plus we were able to support a local family. 

Stay in Aswan again (see above accommodation recommendations). 

Day 5 & 6: Felicia Sailing Boat 

felucca sailboat in Aswan, Egypt

This was definitely the highlight of my Egypt trip. You can arrange a felucca sailing boat by booking here or through JJ Jamaica Tours again. We sailed down the Nile river for HOURS and enjoyed music, swimming, local stories, relaxing, and soaking in the Egypt sun! Lunch and dinner were included on the first day, and breakfast on the second. You even get to sleep on the sailboat!! how cool! it was very comfortable and a great way to wake up for sunrise surrounded by nature.

group of friends on a felucca sailboat in Aswan, Egypt

Friends on a felucca sailboat in Aswan, Egypt 

If you would rather just do a day trip, you can book this option here

Day 7: Luxor 

girl with long blonde curly hair and white pants at Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt

Have your guide arrange for transportation to drive up to Luxor from Aswan. The drive is about 5 hours from Aswan to Luxor. Once you arrive, I suggest checking out Karnak Temple as this was the best temple I have ever seen in my Life! End your day with a sunset rooftop dinner at Al Sahaby Lane 

Where to Stay 

Booking.com is the best place to find great deals on accommodation. Below are also some recommendations for you. 

Hotels in Luxor 

Cleopatra Hotel $13.50/night

El Mesala Hotel $25/night

Nefertiti Hotel $24/night

Other budget hotels in Luxor 

Hostels in Luxor 

Bob Marley House $8/night

New Everest Hostel $10.78/night 

Other hostels in Luxor

Day 8: Luxor then back to Cairo 

girl in hot air balloon ride in Luxor, Egypt

Wake up early for a Hot Air balloon tour at sunrise. I highly suggest booking a sunrise hot air balloon tour. Flying over Luxor at sunrise truly felt like a fairy tale. It was a great way to sightsee. After the hot air balloon, head over to Valley of the Kings. Enjoy the rest of the day by walking around town or relaxing by the pool 

Take the sleeper train back from Luxor to Cairo 

I hope this itinerary was helpful! Please ‌comment or ask me ‌questions regarding your upcoming trip. For more information about traveling to Egypt, you can book a consultation call with me or request a custom itinerary by heading to this page. Happy traveling! 

1 comment

  • I have always wanted to see the pyramids in person! This is incredible


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