One of the oldest tourist destinations in the world, Egypt and its collection of world-famous ancient sites and legendary national treasures have been wowing the crowds for centuries.
Beauty is, of course, is subjective but Egypt isn’t short on places that could be considered very beautiful. From world-famous historical sites to hippy-dwelling laid-back beach resorts, here is our list of 20 of the best and most beautiful places to visit in Egypt…
1. Alexandria – a historic and elegant port city
Egypt’s second-largest city feels as Mediterranean and cosmopolitan as Marseille or Athens. Known for its époque buildings and grand squares it was once a very fashionable city.
Although it charms have faded a little, it’s still a must-see destination in Egypt.
For peace and quiet head for the regal Montazah Palace Gardens or for your history and architecture fix try Citadel of Qaitbay, an impressive-looking 15th-century fortress. Alternatively, choose one of the many antique coffee houses and sip coffee and puff on a water pipe while looking out over the Mediterranean sea.
2. Cairo – Egypt’s buzzing capital and a must-see destination for tourists
Once you get over the chaos, the culture shock and in-your-face touts, this city is a traveller’s dream and easily one of the most important destinations to travel to in Egypt. History fans will also be in their element here with age-old traditions perfectly preserved in every corner of the city.
Of course, there’s also an endless supply of ancient temples, tombs, churches, monuments and the museums to explore.
Don’t leave without visiting the famous Khan el-Khalili souk or other street markets, especially if you feel the need to stock up on everything from exotic-looking carpets to brass trinkets.
3. The Red Sea Coast – a beautiful diver’s paradise
A highlight of many a traveller to Egypt, Sharm el Sheik is a holiday resort filled with luxury hotels, casinos, nightclubs and tourists getting their sun, sea and sand fix. Sharm el-Sheikh holidays are very popular although the real beauty of this area is the Red Sea.
The Red Sea has clear azure waters and an incredible amount of exotic fish and coral – which is why is so highly regarded as a diving destination.
In fact, it arguably offers some of the best diving and snorkelling experiences in the world. Get hold of some scuba gear (and an experienced instructor) and take a look for yourself – you won’t regret it.
4. Pyramids at Giza – Egypt’s must-see world-famous tourist attraction
Eternally a top-rated attraction in Egypt, no visitor should leave without visiting Great Pyramids and the Sphinx of Giza. They are the only remaining seven wonders of the world of the ancient world and over 4600 years old. They’re an imposing sight and the whole complex is still shrouded in mystery.
If time is an issue it is possible to see the main parts of the Pyramid site in around 2 hours but spend a full day in this area if your schedule will allow.
5. Luxor – the pharaohs’ capital and a must-see destination
Easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in Egypt, this is one of the best cities to explore in Egypt – there are only a few places in the world that could be called an open-air museum but the Egyptian city Luxor is definitely one of them.
In fact, the number and preservation of the monuments in the Luxor area are unparalleled anywhere else in the world and most Egypt holidays wouldn’t be complete without a visit.
Spend a day or two at both the Valley of the Kings and the Queens which are each home to over 60 carved underground tombs. Make sure you also include a visit to the very impressive Luxor and Karnak temples.
6. The Nile – Egypt’s world-famous spectacular river
The best way to explore one of the world’s most famous rivers is by a cruise lasting for more than a few days. The stunning Nile is filled with interesting flora and fauna and a trip to this Egyptian delight will give you an interesting insight into the rural parts of Egypt.
You’ll also get to stop at plenty of famous temples and other ancient sites of interest. Although if boats are really not your thing head for the banks of Aswan to watch the sunset at one of the most beautiful stretches of the Nile.
7. Dahab – a laid-back resort attracting backpackers and divers
Dahab is a laid-back resort town located on the Southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula. This beautiful town attracts both hippies and travellers who want to stay in a peaceful location in Egypt that isn’t packed with tourists year-round.
We love Dahab because of the incredible natural beauty of the place and it’s easily one of the most beautiful resorts in Egypt.
You will enjoy the golden sandy beaches with incredible ocean views that stretch across the Gulf to Saudi Arabia’s Hijaz Mountains.
There is plenty of beauty under the water as well, with corals and marine fauna, which is why Dahab is considered one of the best locations for scuba diving and snorkelling on the peninsula.
The famous Blue Hole is also located near Dahab — a gaping sinkhole carved into a reef. Its beautiful sparkling-blue water is an amazing sight. You can also venture into the Bedouin desert to the West of Dahab. It is a serene location with plenty of places to explore.
8. Mount Sinai – Egypt’s stunning holy mountain
If you stay in the Cairo area this will be a 1-2 day trip for you. Although I would say Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula is definitely worth the journey and has a different feel to the rest of the country.
Mount Sinai is a popular attraction in Egypt this area. It has huge religious significance having been mentioned many times in the book of Exodus, the Bible and the Quran.
In Christianity, it’s the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Hiking this holy mountain is a popular activity and many even choose to hike through the night or stay in a lodge to wake early (2 or 3 am) and watch a sunrise of biblical proportions.
9. Saint Catherine’s Monastery – an incredible sacred site located at the foot of Mount Sinai
Saint Catherine’s Monastery can be found just below Mount Sinai. It’s a very old and very important tourist site in Egypt and has a UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is, in fact, the oldest working monastery in the world.
St.Catherine’s is an unusual and strangely beautiful building juxtaposed against acres of dry arid landscapes.
Find the water well where Moses met his wife, see the ancestor of the famous burning bush and take a look at the cage of old monks’ skulls. Macabrely you can also see what is said to be the preserved hand of the real Saint Catherine.
10. Siwa Oasis – a beautiful desert gem and one of Egypt’s top attractions
The Siwa Oasis is often mentioned as one of the most stunning places to visit in Egypt.
Located off the beaten track between the Qattara Depression and the Egyptian Sand Sea (in the Libyan Desert) it has its own distinct Siwan culture which differs from the mainstream Arabic culture.
The Siwans speak their own language and this area is known for its hot springs, fine jewellery and tasty dates and olives. Take a trip here and kick back for a while, swim or just try your luck at some sandboarding.
11. White Desert – one of Egypt’s most unique destinations and a must-see place
The fabled White Desert of Egypt is a very interesting area in Egypt that can be found 28 miles north of the town of Farafra. The desert has an otherworldly beauty with bizarre, ghost-white rock formations sprouting from the desert sands.
The strange structures are actually huge chalk formations created as a result of occasional sandstorms in the area. Take a four-wheel drive through the desert or stay overnight for a truly surreal experience.
12. Hurghada – a beautiful and popular beach resort
Hurghada is a stunning resort town located on the Northeast coast of Egypt, just below the Gulf of Suez. A better description of Hurghada would be the Hurghada Riviera as it stretches for 40 miles along the Red Sea Coast and is home to many luxurious resorts.
Originally a fishing town, Hurghada has grown quickly over the past few decades to become something of a tourist hotspot. There are many excellent restaurants, tourist attractions and accommodation options to choose from in the region.
This includes luxurious resorts like Makadi Bay, Sahl Hasheesh and El Gouna which make it the perfect location if you want to be pampered. However, it is the stunning natural beauty of Hurghada that is the highlight of this destination.
There are many pristine beaches to explore with bright white sand and crystal clear water. The coastline is also dotted with coral reefs, which is the reason why Hurghada is one of the most popular locations for diving and snorkelling in Egypt.
If you intend on exploring the reefs, be sure to check out Careless Reef, Giftun Islands, and Omo Gamaar. You can also swim with the dolphins off the coast of the Aden Beach Resort.
Finally, be sure to visit the Eastern Arabian Desert. There are many tours available for activities including quad biking, and visiting historical sites.
13. The Fjord Bay (Taba) – one of Egypt’s top beauty spots
Taba is one of the most spectacular locations to pay a visit to in Egypt. It is a colourful little town positioned at the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. Despite its small size, it can get busy because it is used as a border crossing into Israel.
There are many attractions to enjoy in-and-around Taba including Red Sea Water World Taba Heights, Castle Zaman, Canyon Motor Sports, and the stunning Salah El-Din Castle.
The landscape is absolutely gorgeous and you will be constantly amazed by how scenic the locations are. Fjord Bay is a short drive from Taba. It is a natural bay that has become a popular spot for swimming, diving, hiking, climbing, boating, and many other outdoor activities.
The bay is surrounded by rolling hills which gently sweep down to the stunning aqua-blue water. It is a picturesque location that you won’t forget.
14. Aswan – a stunning and important city located on the Nile
Aswan is a historic city on the southern end of the Nile River. One of the must-see cities in Egypt, it is a gorgeous metropolis set in an idyllic location with a pristine natural environment and scenic views.
In addition to being situated in a picturesque part of Egypt, the city itself is and packed with many amazing ancient buildings that give it a delightful ambience.
Aswan is one of the oldest cities in Egypt and has a rich history dating back many thousands of years. There are many beautiful locations to visit including the Aswan Botanical Gardens, Ruins of Abu, Tombs of the Nobles, and Elephantine Island.
It is the perfect location for learning more about Egypt’s rich culture and vast history.
15. Abu Simbel Temples – home to two huge and incredible rock temples
The Abu Simbel Temples are one of the most instantly-recognisable historical sights in Egypt.
They are massive rock temples built by the ancient Egyptians between 1264 BC and 1244 BC. Known as the Temple of Ramesses, beloved by Amun they are one of six rock templates built-in Nubia during the reign of Ramesses II.
The scale of the Abu Simbel Temples is incredible. They have a timeless beauty that continues to attract millions of visitors each year. The temples are a must-see location for any visitor to Egypt.
16. Nuweiba – an attractive coastal town in Egypt
Nuweiba is a coastal town located on the East coast of the Sinai peninsula. An attractive city to holiday or travel to in Egypt, it’s surrounded by the pristine aqua-blue waters of the Gulf of Aqaba and the bright red sands of Sinai.
There are many beautiful sights to see in Nuweiba including the Coloured Canyon — a narrow trail walk surrounded by beautifully coloured rock formations.
You will be amazed by the colour variations in the rocks, which range from dark purple through to bright yellow. Bedouin tour guides will help you through the canyons and explain the significance of the canyon in their culture.
Another one of the must-see experiences near Nuweiba is Ain Khudra — a natural oasis not far from the town. It is often used as a hiking destination and place to meditate.
The beautiful palm trees and tranquil water pool are stunning. There are also many incredible rock natural rock sculptures and carvings surrounding this area.
There are also plenty of locations to go diving off the coast of Nuweiba including Duna Reef and Coral Island. The coral is plentiful and you will enjoy the diverse marine flora.
17. Berenice (Baranis) – an ancient seaport of Egypt
The ancient city of Berenice is another popular location in Egypt for tourists interested in experiencing the most beautiful parts of Egypt. Located in the Red Sea Governorate, Berenice was founded as a trading port in 275BC and quickly became an important economic centre in the region.
One of the most exciting locations to visit near Berenice is the Temple of Semiramis built by Trajan and Tiberius. This large Roman temple is in excellent condition and is one of the most impressive sights in the region.
The outer walls of the temple are adorned with various artworks including depictions of Emperor Tiberius before the god Min and the nearby the deity of the Green Mines (located nearby).
The coast of Berenice has many pristine natural bays and coves to enjoy. You can also explore the stunning island of Zabargad, which was previously mined for a semi-precious gem named olivine.
There are many breathtaking views to enjoy in this area and plenty of marine life. It’s also a great place to go snorkelling or diving or to simply relax on one of the many beaches.
18. Marsa Alam – a gorgeous Red Sea beach resort
Marsa Alam is another gorgeous resort town to discover in Egypt. Situated on the Red Sea, it’s renowned for its pristine beaches and numerous coral reefs.
Abu Dabab Bay is one of the most popular locations for visitors to Marsa Alam. It is a U-shaped natural bay with crystal clear water and plenty of wildlife, including turtles, dugongs, and dolphins.
The Wadi el-Gemal National Park is just south of the town. It is a large park with a varied landscape that includes islands, desert, seagrass beds, and coral reefs.
You can spend many days exploring this national park and marvelling at its spectacular beauty.
19. Rosetta – a city where the famous Rosetta Stone was found
Rosetta (also called Ar Rashid) is a city located on the western bank of the Nile River, 65km Northeast of Alexandria. Founded in the 9th-Century, Rosetta has an interesting history, incredible architecture and vibrant culture.
Rosetta is mostly known for being the birthplace of the Rosetta Stone, which was used to translate ancient Egyptian into Ancient Greek. So because of this – and its beauty of course – it’s a top attraction in Egpyt.
Rosetta is a beautiful metropolis with amazing Islamic architecture and many lovely public spaces. You will enjoy wandering the winding streets and admiring the ancient mansions of Rosetta.
There are many three or four-story homes lining the streets with beautiful rustic brickwork and detailed mouldings.
20. Al Badari – a site home to predynastic cemeteries
Al Badari, also known as El Badari, is located on the East bank of the Nile River in Upper Egypt. It’s an important location to explore in Egypt which is world-famous because of the ancient cemeteries that were discovered there by the British in the 1920s.
The most popular of the two cemeteries are Mostageddan and Dier, as they contain some incredible ancient Egyptian sculptures and architecture.
They also contain some very old gravesites, with archaeologists finding graves from between 5500BC and 4000BC. They are truly beautiful sites to visit and will give you a real sense of the history of Egypt.
We hope you enjoyed our 20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Egypt, always a good idea to check up-to-date government travel safety advice before you travel.
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Emma-Clair Ni Clearaigh – writer and photographer
With itchy feet, an inquisitive nature and an ardent wanderlust, Emma Clair has always been a traveller at heart. Hailing from the Emerald Isle she calls a small coastal town near Dublin home, but has lived in a few countries including Saigon, Vietnam where she resided for over a year, now she balances travel and travel writing with teaching and a passion for vintage interior design. She counts supping on Bloody Marys on a rooftop in Manhattan, downing Singapore slings at the Raffles Hotel, daring a paraglide on the Grand Cayman, spending an exotic Christmas in Malaysia and exploring the Angkor Wat, Cambodia as her all time favourite travel moments. Although, she’ll always have a special place in her heart for the city where she makes her annual pilgrimages – Paris, her true city of lights. Find Emma-Clair on Instagram or Facebook.