A dream became a reality after visiting the Land of Pyramids, Egypt in Africa during a holiday season. Visiting Egypt is to breathe history. It has many ancient archaeological sites, traditional and historic markets, and restaurants to modern beautiful beach resorts. There is a lot of things to do and see in Egypt. Just a few days are not enough, and so I stayed almost three weeks. During my solo trip to Egypt, I explored several destinations on my own. I also preferred to go with local guided tours. Here is my Egypt three weeks itinerary along with travel experiences and tips for planning a trip yourself either in a group or solo.
If you’re visiting Egypt during the holiday season in December, then early flight, tours, and hotel bookings are a must for avoiding the rush. I traveled to Egypt via Dhaka-Dubai-Cairo routes with Emirates Airlines.
Uber and private taxis are there to move around in Egypt. For long distances, the train is the cheapest transportation in Egypt.
I traveled from Alexandria to Cairo by local train. The EgyptAir’s service was good from Cairo to Aswan and Hurghada to Cairo.
Egypt is a land of several ancient UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Once you reach the hotel, authorities may also help you to arrange local tours. It is better to go with a registered local travel agency for tour bookings and choose a tour and cab carefully. A proper plan is a must to explore a vast country like Egypt. I planned a bit, slow, and relaxing trip to explore the best. But before that, I read some best travel books to visit Egypt.
Table of Contents
- 1 Places To Stay in Egypt
- 2 Three Weeks Egypt Tour Itinerary [18 Days]
- 2.1 Day 1: Giza
- 2.2 Day 2: Giza, Cairo
- 2.3 Day 3: Giza, Cairo
- 2.4 Day 4: Aswan
- 2.5 Day 5: Aswan
- 2.6 Day 6: Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu
- 2.7 Day 7: Edfu, Esna, Luxor
- 2.8 Day 8: Luxor, Hurghada
- 2.9 Day 9: Hurghada
- 2.10 Day 10: Hurghada
- 2.11 Day 11: Hurghada, Cairo, Alexandria
- 2.12 Day 12: Alexandria
- 2.13 Day 13: Alexandria
- 2.14 Day 14: Alexandria, Cairo
- 2.15 Day 15: Cairo, Bahariya Oasis
- 2.16 Day 16: Bahariya Oasis, Cairo
- 2.17 Day 17: Cairo
- 2.18 Day 18: Cairo
- 3 Are You On Pinterest? Click To Save These For Later Read!
Places To Stay in Egypt
If you don’t want to spend more on accommodations, there is plenty of budget option to select and stay in Egypt. I have stayed in different ranges of hotels and cruise during my solo trip to Egypt. Besides that, a one-night camping tour was inside the tent in Bahariya Oasis.
I found it is best to stay in Giza and possibly go for Cairo day tours from Giza only. I’ve stayed at Marvel Stone Hotel for one night. It is one of the best budget hotels and is located very close to the Pyramids of Giza. I got the first look of the Pyramid from the restaurant and the rooftop of this hotel. This hotel is perfect for solo travelers.
I already booked a tour package and stayed three more nights at the Oasis Hotel Pyramids. This 4-star hotel offers all the top facilities for the guests. In the first three days, I moved around Giza and Cairo by staying at this hotel.
I stayed three nights in two different Cairo hotels. City View Hotel in Tahrir Square, Downtown, is a good option for budget travelers for the location. This budget hotel overlooks the famous Egyptian Museum, and you can have some fantastic shots with the backdrop of the museum.
Square Boutique Hotel, another budget accommodation and located in Talaat Harb Square, Downtown. This neighborhood is perfect for shopping and local restaurants.
And the Nile Corniche area is best for luxury hotels in Cairo.
I had four nights cruise tour from Aswan to Luxor with MS Monica Nile Cruise. This 5-star luxury Nile cruise ship offers separate cabins with balconies and all the standard comforts and amenities for all guests.
Hurghada is a popular beach town for the extreme beauty of the Red Sea. I had a perfect relaxing three nights at AMC Royal Hotel & Spa.
The 5-star beachfront resort AMC Royal Hotel & SPA offers a private beach along with all luxury comforts. Many luxury hotels and resorts are the best to stay in Hurghada.
I had my three nights elegant stay at Paradise Inn Le Metropole Hotel in Alexandria. The 4-star vintage-style hotel offered some of the best Mediterranean Sea views and located in the city center. However, you’ll find all ranges of hotels in Alexandria.
Three Weeks Egypt Tour Itinerary [18 Days]
My 18 days tour itinerary of Egypt included Giza, Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, Hurghada, and Alexandria. I loved all about Giza even a bit more than Cairo for the less crowd and atmosphere.
Historic Cairo and Giza were the best to visit ancient landmarks and mosques. Colorful traditional markets will let you know a lot more about Egyptian culture and art.
Nile river cruise is entertaining from Cairo or Aswan and Luxor.
Moreover, it was a whole new thing to discover that Egypt is not all about pyramids. You may also enjoy camping in Bahariya Oasis. Even many modern luxury resorts are there for perfect beach holidays in the Ocean of Sand.
Is it safe to travel solo? It is not unsafe, but taking precautions is a must to enjoy the best all alone in Egypt as a solo female traveler. Read inside to get the itinerary along with top travel tips and my complete Egypt tour experiences.
Day 1: Giza
Live music show, Buffet dinner & Tanoura dancing
I arrived in Cairo at night and directly left for the hotel from Cairo International Airport.
So my first day in Egypt began at Marvel Stone Hotel in Giza. I enjoyed a healthy breakfast with the Giza Pyramids view from the restaurant. The entire Giza Plateau with the Sphinx view was fantastic from the rooftop of the hotel.
According to the prebooked package, I left for Oasis Hotel Pyramids on the same day and had a relaxing time in the hotel only. I had a Cleopatra Cocktail with mixed fruit salad for lunch at the hotel poolside Safari Club Restaurant. Later I enjoyed a live music show in the evening.
The best part to travel during holidays in Egypt is the festivity everywhere you visit, from the airport to the hotel and cruise. All were ready to celebrate different festivals from Thanksgiving to Christmas and New Year.
Colorful decorations and good food was something to love during my entire solo trip to Egypt. Many varieties of pastries were my favorite to have a lot during the festive season. And so maybe we don’t count calories during holidays.
At night I went for a buffet dinner with Tanoura dance show at Queen Cleopatra Restaurant in Giza.
Day 2: Giza, Cairo
Pyramids of Giza, Great Sphinx, Saqqara and Memphis, Khan el-Khalili Souk, Café of Mirrors
On the second day, I started by visiting the top attraction, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre, the Pyramid of Menkaure, and the Great Sphinx famous archaeological complex.
The main reason for all to visit Egypt is the Ancient Wonder of the World, and finally, I could too. There are many activities to enjoy in Giza Plateau. I bought an inclusive ticket and entered inside to see Khufu’s burial chamber, the builder of the Great Pyramid. It was a unique experience, and the construction is so different inside the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops.
I had some fun photoshoots with the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx. The panoramic view of the three pyramids together is too beautiful. You can take a camel ride to move around all pyramids. The light and sound show is popular to enjoy at night. You have to pay extra for each pyramid activity.
I bought some souvenirs, one earring from Giza Plateau. Remember to bargain when shopping in Egypt to get the right price.
On the way to Saqqara, I visited El Omda Palace, one oldest perfume factories established in 1955. There are many benefits of natural oils and perfumes. I bought one Aloe Vera extracted oil and scent from the shop.
Saqqara and Memphis are must-visit to explore the ruins of the original ancient Cairo. The Pyramid of Djoser or Step Pyramid is the top attraction in Saqqara. And it is the oldest Pyramid in Egypt.
Later, a delicious lunch from one local restaurant before visiting the Memphis Museum in Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt. 10 meters long colossal sculpture of Pharaoh Ramesses II is the main attraction of the Memphis Museum.
I enjoyed a night tour at the famous Khan el-Khalili, the oldest Bazar or Souk of Cairo. It was built in the 14th century and best to buy local products – perfumes, jewelry, spices, colorful lamps, traditional souvenirs. It was fun to observe the local vibes, smells, and sounds of the souk and discover the cultural Cairo. The renowned Café of Mirrors or El Fishawy Café is also located inside the souk.
Day 3: Giza, Cairo
Citadel of Cairo, Al-Nasir Muhammad Mosque, Alabaster Mosque, Amr ibn al-As Mosque, Coptic Neighbourhood, Alsaraya Floating Restaurant, Egyptian Museum, Abou Shakra Restaurant
The third day was mostly for all about Historic Cairo. I loved the iconic massive castle Citadel of Cairo, which is also known as the Citadel of Saladin. This impressive castle was built in the 12th century by Saladin, and inside, there are museums and mosques to visit.
The main attraction is the most beautiful Alabaster Mosque or The Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha and Al-Nasir Muhammad Mosque. The Ottoman-style architecture of the Alabaster Mosque is genuinely appreciated.
Then I had a walking tour in Cairo’s Coptic Neighbourhood of many Coptic churches, Coptic Museum, and the Babylon Fortress. Among all the Hanging Church or Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church is the most famous one. The surrounding neighborhood is best for local eateries and fancy shopping.
During lunch hour, fueled up at Alsaraya Floating Restaurant on Nile Corniche. The delicious food with the river view was interesting, and the interior of the restaurant was eye-catching.
After lunch, I explored Cairo’s top popular tourist attraction Egyptian Museum or The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, built-in 1902. There is a total of 120,000 items, but the most exciting part was to see many mummies for the first time inside the museum. This Museum of Cairo will supersede by the new Great Egyptian Museum in Giza, scheduled to open in 2021.
It was a good experience to visit one Papyrus Museum in Giza and saw Papyrus’s makings from the Papyrus plant. Ancient Egyptians used to write on Papyrus. Hand-painted Papyrus is genuinely very artistic. I also bought some antique showpieces from Mamluk Jewellery & Bazar.
I had an authentic dinner night with Egyptian food at Abou Shakra Restaurant, one of Giza’s oldest, built-in 1947.
Day 4: Aswan
Cruising with MS Monica Nile Cruise, Felucca Boat ride
Early morning I left Giza for five days Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor. I took a flight to Aswan from Cairo International Airport. Aswan located on the east bank of the Nile. You will enjoy the top view of Aswan from the airplane.
Five days four nights Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor to visit plenty of ancient Egyptian temples from the east and west bank of the Nile.
The fourth day began on the luxury MS Monica Nile Cruise. They welcomed all guests on board with Egyptian sweet cookies and Karkade (Hibiscus Iced Tea). Later it became my favorite tea.
In the afternoon, the traditional Felucca boat riding was fun, one of the top things to do in Aswan.
I love cruise food for many varieties. There was a special dinner arrangement for Christmas Eve.
Day 5: Aswan
Philae Temple, Christmas party
The fifth day started with a visit to the Philae temple built in the first century AD. This classic Egyptian temple is located on an island in the Nile. We took a boat to reach the island, and this journey was very scenic.
Every ancient Egyptian temple has its unique beauty and is dedicated to a different God. The significant part of each temple architecture is massive decorative pillars and carvings or murals on the wall.
Spending the evening on the deck was very relaxing while watching the sunset with tea. There is also an outdoor pool on the rooftop deck.
There was a party at night for Christmas after the dinner; all indoor programs were the bonus fun during the festive season.
Day 6: Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu
Abu Simbel, Kom Ombo Temple, Crocodile Museum
On the sixth day, we left within 2 AM to reach the temple sites of Abu Simbel by road before sunrise. UNESCO World Heritage Site Abu Simbel is one of the top tourist attractions in Egypt. Twin massive rock temples built in the 13th century BC.
The first temple is for Pharaoh Ramesses II and the second one for His Queen Nefertari and the Goddess Hathor. The entire site looks fabulous during the sunrise hour and too scenic for the Nasser Lake.
Then the cruise sailed the Nile for Kom Ombo, the agricultural town of Egypt, for visiting the famous Kom Ombo Temple. On the way to this historic temple, the riverside view was worth to enjoy from the balcony and the deck of the cruise. We reached after evening and visited the temple with Crocodile Museum. But it is worth exploring the temple during sunset hour.
Day 7: Edfu, Esna, Luxor
Temple of Edfu
On the seventh day, early morning, we took a horse carriage to visit Edfu Temple. Temple of Edfu is the second-largest and one of the best-conserved temples in Egypt.
Then the cruise headed towards Esna to reach Luxor. Luxor is a beautiful city surrounded by Qurna Mountain on the River Nile’s east bank. The next day to visit all the top sightseeing attractions of Luxor.
Day 8: Luxor, Hurghada
Valley of the Kings, Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, The Colossi of Memnon, Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple
The eighth day was for visiting all the iconic historical sites Valley of the Kings, Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, The Colossi of Memnon, Karnak Temple, and Luxor Temple.
Valley of the Kings is a vast ancient burial ground of the Pharaonic period and located on the west bank of the Nile.
The historic Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut was built for the Egyptian queen, Hatshepsut, who ruled as a man (King) for over 20 years and declared herself the 18th dynasty Pharaoh.
Karnak Temple is the most visited historical site of Egypt after the Great Pyramids of Giza. Many huge columns of the temple will make you astonished. It is the oldest temple in Egypt and built in the 11th century by Ramesses III.
It was worth visiting one Alabaster stone factory and shop near Mortuary Temple. I bought one Alabaster vase as it was handmade, where the workers also show the process of makings. This shop had a huge collection of many other stones too.
If you can manage the time during sunrise, hot air ballooning is a popular Luxor activity. Next, I wish to spend more time in Luxor, indeed a beautiful historic city.
The same day left for Hurghada by road after the cruise tour. And I reached AMC Royal Hotel & Spa at night to enjoy the next two days relaxing beach holidays in a beautiful beach town Hurghada located on the Red Sea.
Day 9: Hurghada
AMC Private beach, Private boat trip, Snorkeling/diving
On a ninth day, my first morning was blissful with the remote view of the Red Sea from the hotel room balcony. I enjoyed a beach walk on the private beach of the AMC Royal Hotel & Spa.
It was all fun to enjoy even the whole day inside the hotel for all the cool amenities and beach activities.
Furthermore, for adventure lovers, Hurghada is the perfect destination where you can enjoy the underwater beauty while diving or snorkeling in the Red Sea.
Any private boat trip offers snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, or even a full-day diving tour with lunch in the dive sites.
Day 10: Hurghada
AMC Private beach, Local market, Desert safari/Squad tour
The tenth day had the same relaxing beach time, and photo shooting was fun at the private beach of AMC Royal Hotel. I loved the weather of Hurghada, so clear sky and crystal blue water of the Red Sea.
The best part about Hurghada is you’ll get both sea and mountain views from this town; the landscape is impressive. I wish to revisit this beautiful beach resort town.
I moved around the local market in the afternoon near the hotel. All beach resorts own private beaches. You may also check some public beaches. Some even prefer desert safari or squad tours during sunset.
Day 11: Hurghada, Cairo, Alexandria
Road trip from Cairo to Alexandria, 31st-night dinner/program
My next two days in Egypt was for the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. I left Hurghada after breakfast and took a flight to Cairo from Hurghada International Airport. Later hired a private taxi from Cairo to Alexandria. It was a long journey and became hectic.
On the eleventh day, I spent the whole day on the way and reached at night the prebooked Metropole Hotel. All guests fully booked the hotel Sky View Restaurant for the 31st-night programs.
You’ll find plenty of good restaurants to enjoy Mediterranean food in the city center near the El Raml Train Station. Also, this area is suitable for budget shopping and accommodations.
Day 12: Alexandria
The Corniche, Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, Pompey’s Pillar, Ancient Roman Amphitheater, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Sidi Abo El Abbas El Morsi Mosque, Qaitbay Citadel, Alexandria Port, Fish Market Restaurant
My twelfth day in Egypt was the first day of 2020. It was all nice to have a delicious buffet breakfast with the Mediterranean Sea view from the hotel’s rooftop restaurant.
The Winter season is not the best time to visit Alexandria; either fall or spring is perfect for the weather. You might experience sudden rain.
My fave spot in the city was the ten miles long Corniche, a waterfront promenade. It is best to walk through this corridor, which will let you see the sea’s extreme beauty with the dramatic sky. This long passage will also lead you to Alexandria Port and the most beautiful Qaitbay Citadel.
I took a horse carriage for four hours to move along the top sights in Alexandria. Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, Alexandria Library, Citadel of Qaitbay, Alexandria National Museum, Montaza Palace are some of the top places to visit during your trip to Alexandria.
I enjoyed exploring the Citadel of Qaitbay and the harbor side. Later ended up with lunch from Fish Market Restaurant. This seafood restaurant is located on Corniche Road and overlooking the beautiful Qaitbay Citadel and eastern harbor point. They serve all fresh seafood. You can select your favorite sea fish and will prepare for you according to your choice.
Day 13: Alexandria
The Corniche, Mediterranean sunset
On the thirteenth day, I wanted to visit a few more places in the city but became sad after losing money while moving around by horse carriage. I was busy at the Egyptian Tourist Authority Office while complaining about the incident, but they couldn’t do anything.
I kept my handbag in the carriage and got down for some minutes to take some Roman Amphitheater photos. The whole bad incident happened during that time when my bag was not with me. It was my fault due to overtrust the coachman; I had to face this situation. I lost US$400. It was the only bad incident that happened during my solo trip to Egypt. Indeed, a big lesson for me on the first day of the year. Huh!
The weather and mood both were dull, but later enjoyed the sunset’s beauty from the Corniche.
Day 14: Alexandria, Cairo
A train journey from Alexandria to Cairo
The previous day I booked a local train ticket for Cairo from Misr Railway Station. On the fourteenth day, I left Alexandria after breakfast.
The train journey was not tiring and was better than the road trip from Cairo to Alexandria. I spent only 30 EGP on the train ticket where 1000 EGP had to count on the road trip.
In the afternoon, I reached Cairo and stayed overnight at the City View Hotel.
Day 15: Cairo, Bahariya Oasis
Camping in the White Desert, Black Desert, Valley of El Haize, Crystal Mountain, Valley of Agabat, White Desert National Park
I had to come back to Cairo for a tour of Bahariya Oasis, but it is also possible to stay in Giza. On the fifteenth day, after breakfast, left for a trip to Bahariya Oasis. Two days camping tour started with Bedouin lunch at a local restaurant.
Then visited Black Desert, Crystal Mountain, Valley of Agabat, and the White Desert. Each place was very picturesque for the natural rock formations.
It was a solo camping tour with a fire-roasted dinner and stayed overnight in the tent at White Desert National Park.
Day 16: Bahariya Oasis, Cairo
White Desert National Park, Mummies Museum
On the sixteenth day started watching the desert sunrise and with breakfast by sitting under the sky.
You could have also visited the Mummies Museum, a vast burial site at Baharia Oasis in the Western Desert of Egypt.
Then drove back to Cairo after lunch; these are all should be included in your two days Bahariya Oasis itinerary.
Remember to choose a good driver. Suddenly one truck tried to overtake and hit our car wrongly while passing through the highway to Bahariya Oasis. But our tour driver was very expert, and luckily, we were all safe, only the car got a bit damaged.
The last two nights in Egypt stayed at Square Boutique Hotel in Downtown.
Day 17: Cairo
Talaat Harb Street, Nile Corniche, Nile Dinner Cruise
I kept my last two days in Egypt for relaxing in Cairo. On the seventeenth day, after breakfast enjoyed a balcony time overlooking the Talaat Harb Square. I loved the little round balcony ideas in Egypt.
I was moving around the neighborhood, and the more I explored, the more I found how historic is Cairo. The entire Egypt – so many years old shops, restaurants, beautiful ancient architectures.
I had a walk to the Nile Corniche and booked a package for a Nile dinner cruise.
Your Egypt tour incomplete without eating national cuisine ‘Koshary’ from Koshary El Tahrir in Cairo. I tried a small bowl and was too filling for lunch.
Nile River cruise at night from Cairo was fun; it was all safe. I enjoyed local music, Belly dancing, Tanoura dancing with buffet dinner. All cruise starts from the Nile Corniche; the riverside is more beautiful at night for all the lights.
Day 18: Cairo
Talaat Harb Square, Talaat Harb Mall, Nile Corniche
On the eighteenth day, I was ready to leave Cairo and had some last minutes of fun shopping and eating near Talaat Harb Square. During the Nile dinner cruise, I wore the sweater taken from the Givil Fashion Store in Talaat Harb Street.
I had lunch with Chicken Shawarma with Turkish Coffee from Talaat Harb Mall.
My flight to Dubai from Cairo was late at night, so I spent the evening in Nile Corniche watching the riverside sunset; this moment was memorable. I think everything became so beautiful when you’re close to nature. Oh, Nile, you’re so fascinating!
View this post on Instagram
Now, to say goodbye to my solo trip to Egypt and only remember all the good memories.
Are You On Pinterest? Click To Save These For Later Read!
Any other tips to add for a trip to Egypt? Share your experiences in the comments!