8-Day Egypt Itinerary: The Best Things to See and Do (2020)

8 days in Egypt
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Wanting to book a holiday to Egypt but unsure of what you can do when you arrive there? There’s no need to panic as we’ve got the perfect 8-day Egypt itinerary just for you!

We’ll be telling you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Egypt in this article, so sit back, relax and get ready to dive into the world of mummies, Tutankhamun and camels as we take you on your 8-day Egypt itinerary adventure.

But before we jet off, let’s find out where Egypt is situated on the great map of the world.

Where Is Egypt?

Egypt is located in North East Africa in the Middle East and is bordered by Libya, Sudan, Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. The city’s capital is Cairo which is in Northern Egypt and 65 kilometres (100 miles) south of the Mediterranean Sea.

So, now you know where Egypt lies to on the map, let’s take a look at day 1 in our 8-day Egypt itinerary!

Day 1 – Fly into Cairo International Airport:

Egypt have quite a few international airports but it’s more than likely Cairo is the one that you’ll be flying into. Wherever in the world that you’re flying from, we know that feeling of excitement when it’s time for your holiday to begin and you get to the airport and you might even have a cheeky glass of wine (even if it is 4am) to get your holiday started.

When you have finally made the journey then we hope that you have got something cool to put on as the average yearly temperature in Egypt is 28 degrees and it can even reach highs of 35 degrees (sometimes hotter) in the summer time and rarely dip below 20 degrees in the winter!

If you’re going to be staying in Aswan, Luxor or Abu Simbel then we would recommend staying for two nights in Cairo so you can explore the city before heading off to these places as they’re very far away from Cairo but can be reached within a few hours of each other.

Once you’ve collected your luggage and you’re ready to make your way to the hotel then Cairo airport offer a variety of different travel options that will get you on your way to the hotel. All transport will accept euros, dollars and sterling notes but we suggest exchanging your money before arriving into Egypt to Egyptian pounds as this will stretch your money a lot further.

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Airport
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Taxi: If you’re too scared to rent a car and hate the idea of getting on a bus then a taxi is an easy and quick way of getting from A to B. When you get to the arrival hall there will be lots of taxi drivers who will ask if you need a ride anywhere. There are two different types of taxis in Egypt, an old black and white taxi which don’t usually have a meter and prices are negotiated before travelling and white taxis which do have meters. Taxis are extremely cheap and if you’re heading to Downtown Cairo then this will only take 18 minutes.

Bus: Bus tickets are cheap but there is a cost to them…adding another 30-35 minutes onto your journey, but this isn’t all so bad as you get to see more Egypt than you would if you were to get a taxi. You’re able to get an air-conditioned bus from Terminal 1 that will take you to your desired location.

Car rental: A wide range of international car rental companies operate at the airport and their offices are located in all Terminals. If you would prefer to book a car before you leave for Egypt then you can do this by pre-booking online. A car rental upfront is going to be the most expensive option but if you’re doing a lot of travelling around Egypt then this could work out to be one of the more convenient and cheaper options.

So, that’s day one sorted out in our 8-day Egypt itinerary, let’s see what day two has to offer!

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Day 2 – Explore Cairo:

cairo
Image by shady shaker from Pixabay

You can’t go to Egypt and not visit the capital, so before you head off to your other destinations, you’ll be able to spend the day in this historic city! Cairo is set out around the River Nile and is home to the famous Tahrir Square which has been a location and focus point for political demonstrations.

There’s so much to see and do in Cairo so ideally, you’d have a few more days to spend there but if you’re there for just two days then the Egyptian museum and the Great Pyramids of Giza are must-see trips! So, let’s find out more about them!

The Egyptian Museum:

The Egyptian museum also known as The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities is home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. With 120,000 items inside to view, you definitely won’t be standing around bored and wanting to visit something else.

The museum was built in 1901 by an Italian company and designed by a French architect. It only opened in March 2019 to the public and in 2021, the museum is due to be superseded by the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza. In this museum, you can expect to find the gold mask of Tutankhamun, The Grave Mask of king Amenemope, Merneptah Stele and 119,997 more items!

If you’re interested in visiting the museum then to avoid queues, you can pre-book tickets online or just pay at the door. Ticket prices will vary depending on which package/tour you choose to book – you can choose from guided tours, thematic tours, archaeology, kings and queens and ancient Egypt. The tour guide can either speak to you in English or Italian.

What Can be Bought From the Gift Shop and Where Can You Eat?

If you’re wanting to buy a little souvenir to remember the day you had at the museum then just like all great museums of the world, this one has a gift shop too! The gift shop sells things like books, journals, mugs, puzzles, magnets, accessories and children’s colouring books.

Once you’ve finished browsing around the museum and gift shop then we’re sure you would’ve worked up an appetite! Unfortunately, the museum doesn’t have a restaurant on site, but luckily you’re in Cairo so you’ll be spoilt for choice with a range of different foods.

If you want to try local cuisine then Bab El-Sharq is the restaurant for you! Situated just a two-minute walk from the museum, you can tuck into lamb kebabs, kofta, falafel, pastry puddings, nuts and so much more all for an affordable price when paying in Egyptian pounds.

So that’s day two of eight in our 8-day Egypt itinerary. Once you’ve finished for the day in Cairo, you can make your way to the next hotel where you’ll be spending the rest of your holiday to. So, let’s look and see what you’ll be doing on day three!

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The Egyptian museum 8 Day Egypt Itinerary
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Day 3 – Visit the Great Pyramids of Giza:

The Great Pyramids of Giza are one of the most famous monuments not just in Egypt but in the entire world! It is also the oldest of the seven wonders of the ancient world and the only one said to remain largely intact. These pyramids are the largest of all pyramids in Egypt and are located five miles to the west of the River Nile.

The Great Pyramid was built as a tomb for the pharaoh Khufu and once held all the treasures that Khufu would take with him to afterlife. Construction began in around 2580 BC, shortly after Khufu became pharaoh and it took 20,000 workers around 20 years to build although no one is quite sure how it was built!

When the pyramid was finally built, it was around 480 feet tall but due to some erosion, it now stands at around 455 feet tall, at its base, each side is approximately 755 feet long which is extremely massive! There are two other major pyramids that stand in Giza which are the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure however the pyramid of Khufu is the largest out of the three.

These pyramids are situated just a 35-minute drive from the Egyptian museum. The pyramids open from 8am to 5pm from October to March and 7am to 7pm every day between April and September. The tickets for this trip are extremely affordable and this is one place that you wouldn’t want to miss seeing! When you arrive there, you’ll get to see how it looks even better than the pictures.

So thats day three of eight in our 8-day Egypt itinerary, but what will you be doing at the halfway mark? Let’s find out!

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Great Pyramids of Giza - 8-day Egypt itinerary
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Day 4 – Visit Aswan:

Day four already, these 8 days are going quick and on day four we’ve got some great places for you to visit in the city of Aswan! Aswan is located in Southern Egypt and lies on the River Nile and It boasts significant archaeological sites, two of which you could be visiting in the same day!

Let’s see what they are!

Philae Temple:

There are a lot of temples in Egypt but this one is the most picturesque that you’ll find. To get to this temple you’ll have to get a boat across which won’t cost much money and you’ll get to see a little bit more of Egypt than you would travelling by car! The Philae temple is an island in the reservoir of the Aswan low dam which is downstream of the Aswan dam and Lake Nasser.

When the Aswan high dam was being constructed (you’ll learn more about that later) this temple was forced to move to its current location as the high dam threatened to submerge it. The temple had to be carefully reconstructed and the appearance and layout of the original construction had to be preserved to match the former location that it was built in.

Philae became known during the Ptolomaic Dynasty as the centre of the cult of the goddess Isis. The temple is one of the last remaining places where the ancient religion survived after the arrival of Christianity in Egypt, officially closing only in 550 AD. Early Christians then used the main temple on the island as a church.

If you book this trip with a tour guide online then you’ll get four hours to look around the temple as well as a free lunch and private transportation to take you to and from the drop-off point.

Philae Temple
Image by DEZALB from Pixabay

Aswan High Dam:

The Aswan high dam is the largest embankment dam in the entire world which was built across the Nile between the 1960’s and 1970’s at a cost of $1 billion! The Dam is 11,811 feet long, 3,215 feet thick at the base and 364 feet tall – no wonder it cost so much to build!

The high dam provides the whole of Egypt with irrigation and electricity and from the top of the dam you can see views of Lake Nasser. It was also one of the most important achievements for Egypt in the last century which symbolises the new era after 1952.

It has helped Egypt to reach its highest ever level of electric production, granting many small villages the luxury of using electricity for the first time! So if you’re interested in seeing something that’s helped to change the lives of Egyptians then this is the trip for you!

You can buy tickets for this trip along with the Philae Temple for a reasonable price, or if you’d rather just visit the Aswan high dam then you can buy a separate ticket for this. This tour will only take 30-45 minutes so if you want to spend the rest of the day having your own free time then we won’t hold that against you!

So thats day four of eight in our 8-day Egypt itinerary, but what will you be doing on day five? Let’s find out!

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philae temple
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Day 5 – Visit Luxor:

Luxor is a large city that sits on the East bank of the River Nile in Southern Egypt and is the most well know recognised city in Upper Egypt. It is known for its oldest and most Ancient Egyptian sites which luckily we’re about to tell you about!

So, if you love temples and exploring ancient ruins then Luxor will be a dream come true for you. There are many temples in Luxor including the Karnak temple but we’ve decided to all you about two of our favourite ones so let’s get to it and find out more about these temples.

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Luxor Temple:

The Luxor Temple was constructed in 14BC there are four other temples in Luxor but this one is said to be one of the best preserved of all of the ancient monuments with large amounts of structure, statuary and relief carvings still intact.

Unlike the other four temples, Luxor temple is not dedicated to a cult God or a deified version of the pharaoh in death. Instead, Luxor temple is dedicated to the rejuvenation of kingship – it has been heard of that potentially this temple is the place where many of the pharaohs were crowned including the one and only Alexander the Great.

The entrance fee to this temple is fairly priced for what you get to see, just remember to take your Polaroid with you and a few bottles of water especially if you’re visiting in the afternoon where the sun is at its hottest!

Luxor Temple
Image by Nadine Doerlé from Pixabay

Hatshepsut Temple:

This temple is a 45-minute drive from Luxor temple, so we recommend doing both in the same day as they’re fairly close to one another. The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, also known as the Djeser-Djeseru, is a mortuary temple of Ancient Egypt located in Upper Egypt.

The temple was built for the eighteenth dynasty ‘Pharaoh Queen Hatshepsut’ hence why the temple has this name and it is considered one of the incomparable monuments of ancient Egypt. Inside the temple you will find different things like the birth colonnade and the punt colonnade, Hathor chapel and Anubis chapel as well as the sanctuary of Amun.

The temple is open from 6am to 5pm where you will need to pre-book tickets. The ticket price for this attraction is fairly more expensive than some of the other Egypt tours that we’ve seen but it’s definitely worth a visit! Just outside of the temple is a bazaar (marketplace) that sells various Egyptian goods.

So, now we’re over the halfway mark in our 8-day Egypt itinerary, let’s see what day six has to bring.

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Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Egypt
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Day 6 – Go on a Camel Ride:

Now, when people mention Egypt to you, one of the first things that probably pops into your head are camels? Are we right? Well with camels being native to Africa and the Middle East one thing that you have to do when you’re visiting the amazing country of Egypt is to go on a camel ride. Camels are integral part of traditional Egyptian heritage.

The most notable to place to ride a camel is by the Great Pyramids of Giza, however if you’re not staying near Cairo then we would recommend Luxor as you’re able to get picked up at your hotel which will be included in the ticket price as well as lunch, of course if you’ve rented a car then you can always drive to the location.

The camel ride will last approximately one hour and during this time you’ll get to ride from the west bank into the surrounding nature so you can expense desert life whilst riding a camel – what could be more Egyptian than that? There will also be plenty of time for photo opportunities with the camels before, during and after you’ve gone for your camel ride and you’ll also get to find out a little bit more about camels.

Well, that’s day six sorted out, what do you think will be happening on day seven in our 8-day Egypt itinerary?

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Camel ride - 8-day Egypt itinerary
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Day 7 – Visit Abu Simbel:

So, it’s day 7 and the final day before you head home, so this means you’ll want this day to be something good before leaving so on this day you’ll be visiting Abu Simbel. Abu Simbel is a small village in the Egyptian part of Nubia, about 150 miles southwest of Aswan and near the border with Sudan.

If you’re travelling from Aswan, then this will take around three hours in the car but we promise that it’s worth it! The most famous thing to see in Abu Simbel are the temples – yes more temples but they won’t disappoint you in the ‘wow’ department.

Abu Simbel Temples:

Located on the River Nile, the temples were built by the pharaoh Ramses II in 1200 BC. The temple is built out of sandstone cliff and there are two massive statues in these temples, one of Ramses II which stands at about 66 feet tall at the main temple and one of his wife and queen, Nefertari which stands at 35 feet tall at the second temple.

The main temple was dedicated to two sun Gods and the second temple was built for Nefertari. It was dedicated to Hathor, who was the goddess of the sky, women, motherhood and love.

Today, Abu Simbel is known as world heritage site and when the construction of the Aswan high dam started, it threatened this temple as it would flood the village. A team of engineers and scientists carefully took apart the structures then they rebuilt the temples about 200 feet above their original location.

This attraction is extremely cheap and although the journey may be a long one, it’s definitely worth the visit to explore the village and temples. You can also pay a bit extra for a tour guide who will be able to explain a lot more about the history of the temple.

So, that’s day seven of eight complete in our 8-day Egypt itinerary, so what will you be doing on the last day?

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Abu Simbel Temple
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Day 8 – Spend the Day Near Lake Nasser:

You can’t go on holiday without visiting something close to a beach and although Egypt does have many stunning beaches, unfortunately they’re not near the area that we’e told you about. You can find beaches in Hurghada, Marsa Alam and Sharm El Sheik.

But as there isn’t a beach near, we thought that you could make the most of lake Nasser and this is the perfect activity to do on your final day in Egypt. You can just sit back, relax and make the most of finishing topping up on your new golden bronzed tan and not have to think about walking around and exploring other areas for the day.

As lake Nasser has an average depth of 85 feet and up to 10,000 African Nile crocodiles living in the water, we wouldn’t recommend going for a swim or even dipping your toes in, instead just relax near the lake bed and enjoy the cool breeze and hot sun shining down on you.

The great thing about lake Nasser is that it’s 341 miles long so if you want to be close to the airport before you jet off then you can drive or get a taxi to an area of lake Nasser and then head home.

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Lake Nasser
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How Many Days is Sufficient for Egypt?

If you want to do lots of travelling around Egypt then 10-days would be sufficient to see all the sights as well as not tiring yourself out too much. We’ve talked about what you can do in Egypt in 8-days and although you can get a lot done if you’re mainly looking to relax and not travel around so much then 6-7 days will also be enough time.

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Strictly speaking, any month is the best month to visit Egypt as the sun shines 365 days a year. Cairo receives on average only about 29mm of rain each year and in many desert locations it may rain only once in several years – when can we re-locate here?

The coolest months are between October and April but if you enjoy the blazing hot sun then July is the month to travel with temperatures reaching up to 40 degrees – let’s just hope your hotel room has some good air conditioning!

And there you have it, our 8-day Egypt itinerary has come to an end, but don’t be sad as we have lots of other destinations for you to check out including Turkey.

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