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Your Bucket List Trip — Egypt

Eliya Brennan, writer

Some trips will change you, give you a greater understanding of the world. They can make you realize how small and insignificant your life is when you view it in the context of thousands of years of civilization. Egypt forces that kind of contemplation on you. Of course, the country has history. It has architectural marvels. It has luxury that is at the top of what you can experience in travel. But it also has soul that can’t be described. You must experience it yourself. Egypt is a destination to put a pin in, a true must-do on your bucket list of travels. This is the snapshot of what you can do when you travel to Egypt.

Good For: Couples, families, multi-generational groups, and singles.


Open yourself up to the intersection of ancient human history and natural beauty. These accommodations keep you close to the majestic Nile River, the pyramids, marketplaces, and architectural structures that go back centuries, even millennia. Travel to Egypt if you want to enter a time capsule with all of the creature comforts of modernity.

Where to Stay

Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza

Well-decorated rooms with muted colors and views of the Nile await you. This place also has friendly staffers who can tell you about various can’t-miss local spots and hidden gems.

Four Seasons Cairo at the First Residence, Giza

Ever wanted to feel like Egyptian royalty? You can with a massage by the pool at Four Seasons Cairo. Dine in luxury abroad The First Nile Boat, which features four restaurants and unique sunset views.

The St. Regis Cairo

Seven outstanding restaurants and bars, the famous St. Regis butler service, and the Iridium Spa make the St. Regis Cairo a top hotel to stay during a trip to Egypt. The on-site restaurants reflect cuisines from various places around the world, including Italy and Southeast Asia.

The Oberoi Philae Luxury Nile Cruiser

If views of the Nile aren’t enough, opt for this cruise ship and make the river your home away from home. In addition to fine dining and spa treatments, there’s a movie theater and a dance floor to enjoy.

Sharm El Sheikh Hotel & Red Sea Resort, Four Seasons Resort

Maybe you’ve already seen the Nile, and you’d like to opt for views of the Red Sea. Sharm El Sheikh has you covered. Accommodations include modern suites as well as ones decorated in a traditional Arabian style.

The Highlights

Egypt has a lot to offer. Something for everyone, in fact. Rich in historical sites, it is a place where the past still bleeds into the present. Explore the origins of science and the study of archeology, or the histories of religion — including Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and the Ancient Egyptian Gods. Whatever’s your fancy, you’ll find something that piques your interest.

Here are a few highlights:

1. Sunrise in the Valley of the Kings

Watch as the colors of the rising sun create a timeless backdrop for floating hot air balloons. Or, take a balloon ride yourself and soar high above the majestic valley.

2. The Ancient Tombs

Visit the elusive (and dare we say iconic) Queen Nefertari. You can find her tomb in The Valley of the Queens — brightly painted and decorated, making it one of the most beautiful.  To avoid crowds, visit early in the morning.

3. Abu Simbel

In Aswan, go out of your way to view this incredible temple. The countenances of four pharaohs were chiseled into the living rock on the order of the Pharoah Ramesses the Great (who is by some accounts the stepbrother of Moses, and a very interesting historical character).

4. Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza were built to stand the test of time, and they have certainly done that very well. The jutting graves were constructed approximately 4,500 years ago, making them some of the oldest man-made structures still standing. They were designed to be giant tombs so that pharaohs could bring all of their earthly possessions with them into the afterlife.

5. Scouring the Old Bazaars of Cairo

Shopping in Cairo is no conventional activity. It takes a sense of adventure and a lot of patience to find the perfect souvenir. Along narrow streets and alleyways, some lined with cobblestones, sellers offer an enormous range of goods. With dedication, you’ll find collectibles that you’ll keep for the rest of your life.

The Itinerary

During your travel to Egypt, following a detailed itinerary will help you get the most out of your experience.

Day 1

  • After arriving in Egypt, take a van to the hotel of your choice.
  • Settle in, enjoy a meal, and rest up for the vacation of your lifetime.

Day 2

  • Take a walking tour through the Islamic quarter. You’ll see lots of “wekalas,” or trading places and roadside shops.
  • After the tour, continue to the Khan El Khalili Bazaar, claimed to be the largest bazaar in the Middle East.
  • After exploring, enjoy an Arabian-style dinner at Zeeyara restaurant.

Day 3

  • Visit the National Museum and Civilization Museum to see the world-famous mummies and tombs of ancient Egyptian royalty.
  • Grab lunch at one of the nearby authentic restaurants.
  • Explore Coptic Cairo, the Church of St. Sergius, and the Synagogue of Ben Ezra.

Day 4

  • Start Day 4 early to view the pyramids. Visit the most famous of them all, including the Dahshour Pyramids, the Bent Pyramid, the Red Pyramid, and the Step Pyramids at Sakkara.
  • Enjoy lunch at 9 Pyramids Lounge restaurant, which offers excellent views.
  • Visit the Pyramids of Giza, take a camel ride, and explore the Temple of the Sphinx.

Day 5

  • Check out of your hotel and fly to Luxor.
  • Here you’ll start the cruise leg of your visit to Egypt on the Oberoi Philae Nile Cruise.
  • Visit the Nubian Museum, which contains many rare artifacts from ancient Egypt.

Day 6

  • Board a motorboat and head to the Island of Agilkia. Here you can visit the Philae Temple.
  • Sail to Kom Ombo, where there are temples to the Crocodile and Falcon Gods.

Day 7

  • Visit the West Bank of Luxor to see Ancient Thebes.
  • Nearby is the Valley of Kings, which houses the tombs of King Tutankhamun.
  • Visit the Madinat Habu Temple.
  • Visit the Tomb of Nefertari and the Seti First Tomb.
  • See the Karnak Temple and the Luxor Temple.

Day 8

  • Enjoy breakfast and disembark the ship to fly back to a hotel in Cairo, where you’ll spend the night and rest up.
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