Perfect 10 Day Egypt Itinerary

Egypt Itinerary

Honestly, Egypt is one of the best travel destinations you can head to right now.

Chocked full of sensational historical sights, amazing adventures, bustling cities and welcoming locals, it really is hard to believe just how affordable it is to adventure here.

Ending my 10 month African journey in Egypt – having travelled north overland all the way from South Africa – I have to say this country certainly ranked as the cheapest destination, along with its neighbour Sudan, across my whole trip in this incredible continent, and offered unparalleled value for money.

From excellent-priced accommodation and entrance tickets, to bargain Nile cruises and some of the cheapest scuba diving on the planet, I really can’t recommend Egypt enough for a great value trip and yes, I can attest to the fact it’s definitely safe for solo female travellers too.

So here’s my perfect 10 day Egypt itinerary to help you get the most from your budget and your timeframe…


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Day 1-3: Aswan

Egypt, Aswan, Philae Temple

Begin your 10 day Egypt itinerary in the southern city of Aswan – a beautifully relaxed metropolis that sits on the bank of the Nile and was definitely one of my favourite spots in the whole country.

Either enter Aswan from Sudan, or grab an overnight train, or cheap, quick domestic flight from Cairo.

Use 12Go to buy your train tickets in advance, or Skyscanner to get the best rates on flights.

Once in Aswan, check into your accommodation (Eka Dolli GuestHouse is a great option for budget travellers) and then set out exploring!

 

Day 1

On your first day in Aswan I’d suggest just getting used to the steamy temperatures here by taking it easy as you relax on a Felucca (traditional sailboat) and head over to Elephantine Island.

Costing you just 5 Egyptian Pounds (LE) each way from the city centre, the island is a delightful place to stroll around, taking in the quiet, dusty streets and traditional Nubian villages.

Elephantine is also home to an important archaeological site, currently being worked on by a Swiss / German team, as well as the Aswan museum, which is currently undergoing refurbishment.

Entrance to both of these attractions is 90 LE, but it makes for a delightful couple of hours and includes a guide, who will show you around.

Also included is access to the Nilometer, which is situated down some steps that lead to the river.

It makes the perfect place to watch the world go by, dangle your feet in the water and grab some beautiful Instagram shots!

To round off day 1 on your Egypt itinerary, head to the excellent Nubian Museum (which reopens in the evening).

Curated in conjunction with UNESCO, this exhibition will give you a great understanding of the local Nubian culture in Aswan, as well as the effects development in the region has had on their lives and homeland.

Learn more about all these places in my list of the 10 unmissable things to do in Aswan.

 

Day 2

Continue the Nile adventure in Aswan by hopping on a boat to Philae Temple on day 2 of your Egypt itinerary.

Allow at least 45 minutes at this site to take in the beautiful watery views.

Entrance for Philae Temple is 180 LE and the boat ride is 150 LE return – do not pay more than this!

The boatmen may try to insist it’s 170 LE each way, but don’t believe them for a minute!

After Philae, why not journey to the Unfinished Obelisk, the High Dam and, if you’re feeling super energised, Kitchner Island too.

While most of these activities incur entrance and transport fees, the costs are so minimal it’ll be easy to see them all while still sticking to your budget.

Finish the day with another boat trip to a Nubian village, where you can visit local houses as well as explore the traditions and culture of the Nubian people.

 

Day 3

It’s an early start on day 3 of your Egypt itinerary, when a trip to Abu Simbel awaits you.

Abu Simbel is an absolute must on your Egypt itinerary and you can’t fail to be incredibly impressed by this huge temple that was reconstructed, brick by brick, in 1968 to avoid being lost at the bottom of Lake Nasser!

Check out this top tour to Abu Simbel, which includes an Aswan hotel pick up and drop off.

This is a great added bonus because most Abu Simbel tours leave Aswan at 4am, in order to ensure they can make the 230km journey in time for when the temple opens.

Getting there early is great for avoiding the crowds and getting some amazing snaps in the morning light, but bad for those who want to lie-in!

If you prefer not to take an organised tour, then shared minivans from Aswan to Abu Simbel cost 300 LE for a return journey. Entrance tickets cost 255 LE and include the services of a guide, which is worth it.

Once you’ve bought your tickets, prepare for your first glance of those iconic rock relief statues, which will likely have you gasping out loud with wonder.. no? Just me?!

After exploring Abu Simbel extensively, you’ll return to Aswan at lunchtime, so I suggest heading straight to the railway station to catch your train to Luxor.

Trains in Egypt are excellent and cheap, and I highly recommend hitting up first class as it’s just a few LE more – still totally affordable and wonderfully comfortable!

Book your train tickets in advance here and then sit back and enjoy the sensational views of the world’s most famous river rushing along beside you.

 

Day 4-5: Luxor

Egypt, Luxor, Temple of Hatshepsut

Welcome to Luxor!

An absolute must-visit destination on this Egypt itinerary, this city is chock full of historic treats.

Budget travellers can enjoy a great value stay at Bob Marley Peace Hostel – a super accommodation option in the heart of the city that boasts an amazing roof terrace.

 

Day 4

Once you’ve arrived and settled in, it’s time to hit up Luxor’s famous West bank – home to the Valley of the Kings and some of the city’s most iconic temples.

A great place to visit in the morning, before the sun gets too hot, I’d highly recommend one of Bob Marley Peace Hostel’s tours, which will set you back less than $10 USD and include all transport, as well as an experienced guide across the West Bank.

Otherwise, check out this half day tour if you want to pre-book your excursion.

Rather than battling the poor driving and lack of signage, booking a tour, so you have a guide and a comfortable minivan to shuttle you around is a really great way to ensure you get the best from the Valley of the Kings.

Top sights to visit here (and included in most tours) are:

– Colossal of Menmon (free)

– Medinat Habu (90 LE)

– Temple of Hatshepsut (120 LE)

– Valley of the Kings (240 LE)

Learn more about all these sights in my ultimate 2 day Luxor itinerary.

 

Day 5

Your final day in Luxor is the perfect opportunity to hit up the city’s East Bank – home to its great museum and the largest temple in the country!

I’d highly recommend the East Bank as an afternoon excursion because once you’ve seen the Luxor Museum (100 LE) and then Kabak Temple, heading to Luxor Temple (160 LE) is the perfect finale to your time in this city.

Open until 9pm, catching sunset here as the golden rays hit the Avenue of Sphinxes and Pharaoh statues really is something else!

Ticket prices are payable at each attraction, but the few dollars they amount to, are well worth it.

This is especially true given that your Luxor Temple ticket will allow you to enter and re-enter the site anytime on the same day.

 

Day 6-8: Cairo

Egypt, Giza, Pyramid

And now it’s time to explore Egypt’s crazy capital.

Absolutely huge and chaotic, but filled with life and local action, there’s no way you can head to this country and not make a stop in Cairo.

Just beware when crossing the road – the driving here is pretty insane!

 

Day 6

To get to Cairo, I recommend using day 6 of your Egypt itinerary to hop on a train from Luxor to Cairo as you start to make your way further north.

Whilst you can get a night train for this 10 hour ride, these sleeper trains are hugely expensive, so I’d strongly recommend getting a first-class morning train instead – it will only set you back a fraction of the price.

Seats are allocated on Egyptian trains and it’s best to buy tickets at least one day in advance as they do fill up.

Taking some snacks and water on board with you will also save you cash and don’t forget a sweater and a blanket – they crank the aircon something chronic!

And if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Cairo on a budget, then check out these top 5 hostel recommendations in this city.

 

Day 7

Today is the day to really hit the WOW pedal on your Egypt itinerary and tick the mighty Pyramids of Giza off your list.

It’s best to head to Giza – which sits on the other side of the Nile from Cairo – early in the morning to try and avoid the crowds – catching Cairo’s excellent metro is the cheapest way to do it.

Spend a good few hours, wandering, snapping and heading inside the Pyramids, before checking out the Sphinx and the Cheops Boat Museum – they are just as hard to get your head around!

In the afternoon, head to the spellbinding Egyptian Museum.

This amazing exhibition space has moved to a brand new, purpose-built site in Giza and is the country’s flagship museum; chock-full of ancient treasures, it’s absolutely mind-blowing.

Entrance costs 160 LE for foreign visitors, although do be aware that the Mummy Room costs an extra 180 LE to enter and access to a camera anywhere in the museum will cost you a further 50 LE.

Alternatively, if you want to discover the marvel of Cairo with a local, you can find a list of guided tours (including visits to the pyramids) here.

Learn more about all this city’s top spots, including the Sphinx and the Egyptian museum, in my article about the top 10 things to do in Cairo.

 

Day 8

On day 8 of your Egypt itinerary it’s time to explore the Coptic and Islamic parts of the city.

A walk through the Coptic area of Cairo is a fascinating half day trip, that will give you a glimpse into the ancient Christian roots of this land and marvel at the churches that still survive.

Top of the list is the Hanging Church, which sits above ancient Roman ruins and is really beautiful.

The Ben Ezra Synagogue, Coptic Museum and Cavern Church (where Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus are meant to have stayed for 3 months in their bid to escape King Herod) are also worth a look.

Following this, Islamic Cairo is one of the oldest parts of the city, but from its beautiful mosques to its bustling markets and winding old streets, it’s definitely a very real and lively part of Cairo even today.

Getting lost in Islamic Cairo really is part of the adventure and don’t forget your camera – it feels like almost every corner here has a story to tell.

Top of my list is Muizz Street – rumoured to be the oldest in Cairo – which is littered with “antique” shops, old city walls and mausoleums.

Personally, I thought the famous and nearby Khan-al-Khalili market was overrated, but it’s worth a look for the bucket list’s sake.

 

Extra Day in Cairo?

If you can possibly stretch your itinerary to include an extra day in Cairo, then I have the perfect option for you…

The excellent Dahab Hostel in Cairo can arrange super-priced backpacker tours for you and top of the list is their trip to Saqqara.

Near the site of the ancient city of Memphis – the capital of the Old and Middle Kingdom in Egypt – Saqqara is the site of the oldest stone monument in the world.

Known as the Step Pyramid of Zoser, deceased pharaohs and their families, as well as important generals and sacred animals, were buried and found here.

Delightfully free of crowds compared to the pyramids of Giza, heading here is a must if you have time for 1 Cairo day trip.

 

Day 9-10: Dahab

Egypt, Dahab, Sunset

And with the last 2 days of your trip, it’s time to get a dose of the Red Sea and my pick of places along this coastline is the chilled spot of Dahab.

Perfect for independent travellers, this destination is far more lowkey than resort-filled Sharm El Sheikh and much nice than Hurghada – yup not even going to dress that up!

 

Day 9

Start your day with an early morning flight from Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh – which is the closest airport to Dahab.

Book your tickets here and try to do this at least a few weeks in advance to get the best prices.

It’s also possible to catch a bus from Cairo to Sharm and then onto Dahab, which is obviously cheaper than a flight, but much longer too and probably won’t work if your itinerary is only 10 days long.

I stayed at Alaska Camp & Hotel in Dahab and loved its central location.

Enjoy your day by hitting up some of the friendly cafes, restaurants and bars in Dahab, which all offer great rooftop terraces to relax on and direct access to that gorgeous warm sea.

 

Day 10

And then, on your last day in Egypt, it’s time to go underwater!

And there’s no better place to do it than Dahab!

Diving and snorkelling in the Red Sea are a must here and I highly recommend Sea Dancer for their professionalism and safety… not to mention great prices!

Just remember that, if you are planning to dive, you’ll need to make doing so is safe before your flight home – ask Sea Dancer for advice.

 

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Mini Egypt Travel Guide

Egypt, Luxor, Temple Paintings

When to Visit Egypt?

No question in my mind that you should definitely visit Egypt during the spring and autumn seasons i.e. from April to May and September to November.

This will allow you to get the most from the country’s lovely historical and coastal sites without being too hot!

 

How to Get to Egypt?

Most people access Egypt by flying into the international airport in the capital Cairo.

As always, I use Skyscanner to find the best prices.

If you are crossing into Aswan from Sudan, check out this post which details all the ins and outs of crossing this African border.

 

Top Egypt Tours

I travelled Egypt as a solo female and felt perfectly safe, but if you’d rather take a tour of the country and enjoy then the company of other travellers, I totally understand.

Here’s my top picks.

 

Best Travel Insurance for Egypt

I would never think of travelling to Egypt without proper coverage and always recommend travel insurance from World Nomads, which I’ve used during my time in this country and throughout Africa.

I love their great coverage of outdoor activities – crucial for travel in a country like Egypt – as well as their excellent customer service and ability to claim online, which is very handy if you’re travelling in remote places for a long time.

 

5 Essential Packing Items for Egypt

#1 Egypt Lonely Planet – A great travel aide to this country with tons of historical info, the Egypt Lonely Planet will help you get the best from your time here.

#2 Arabic Phrasebook – Most people in Egypt who are connected with the tourism industry speak good English, but learning some Arabic never goes a miss, especially if you want to ensure you’re paying the best prices! The Egyptian Arabic Lonely Planet phrasebook is a super affordable option.

#3 Good Camera – Egypt is one of those ultimate bucket list destinations and travelling here with a good camera will help you preserve the memories. I highly recommend the mirrorless Sony A6000. Light, compact and robust, it’s been perfect for my African travel adventures.

#4 Sun Hat – Egypt is hot and dry, really like hot and really dry. When you’re walking around temples and other sights you’ll be exposed to the sun for long periods of time, so making sure you pack a sunhat for adequate protection is key. I love this one from Hello Sunshine.

#5 Amazon Audible – Travel in Egypt can often involve long train or bus journeys, so having something to listen to while you enjoy the scenery is a must! I love Amazon Audible, which is the best audiobook service around in my opinion!

 

SAVE THIS TO PINTEREST!

 

So there you have it, my perfect 10 day Egypt itinerary.

Is this insanely brilliant country on your bucket list yet?

Let me know any questions you have about visiting in the comments box below…

 

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About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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There Are 12 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Olga says:

    Hi Stephanie, thanks million for this great itinerary and tips👍🙌
    How much roughly would it cost all transport, sightseeing and accomodation included? It’s to give me a rough idea of budget needed. If poss in £ or $.

    I’m female, and been wanted to go to Egypt for decades, so what would you recommend for female solo travelers?
    Safe journeys n much fun 🌈🦋🐬

    • Steph says:

      Hi Olga! Great to hear from you and excited to hear you’ve dreamed about visiting Egypt for a while… so had I before I went! And trust me, it will exceed your expectations. I went as a solo female traveller and felt very safe. No particular advice out of the usual common sense! If you’re happy to backpack and stay in hostels – you’re looking at under $10 USD per night and day tours to the temples are under $10 USD too (although entrance fees are not included). Trains also very reasonable, even in 1st class! $40 USD a day should be more than ample therefore for those travelling on a tight budget … depending on how quickly you move, how much you want to see and how much luxury you opt for!

  2. Murad says:

    Hi Steph,
    Big thanks for sharing your experience. It helps a lot in planning my own trip to Egypt. My question is related to diving, snorkeling costs you had in Dahab. I emailed Sea Dancer for their price list, and received one with prices in EURO. And tbh they seem a bit high(especially 2-3 days options) to me but because I never had this kind of activity I might be wrong in judgment. Can you please share your actual costs in Dahab incl. the prices for snorkeling/diving/training?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Steph says:

      Hi Murad, I was in Dahab a year ago, so can’t accurately remember prices I’m afraid, but I think the cost was around 20-30 Euros per dive for an already qualified person, all equipment and transport included. Was this similar to what you were quoted? Food there is cheap and there are many budget accommodation options which you can find through Hsoteworld etc. Please say hi to Steve from Sea Dancer for me 🙂

      • Murad says:

        The prices including equipment are as below(the list is long, so I’ll just put the basics):
        Discover Scuba Diving/half day/48.00 €
        Refresh Dive/50.00€
        1 x Guided Dive/40.00€
        What surprises me is that they quote the prices in EUR rather than USD. The same figures in USD would probably be more attractive to the beginners. Anyway, I will try to compare prices across dive centers to see what is the reasonable price for this year.

  3. Tom says:

    Thank you for your sharing great experience. It’s the valuable thing to me for my itinerary planning in Egypt.

  4. NARAYANA SWAMY POOLA says:

    hi Murad. There is one question fro me. Why you have not included Alexandria in your trip and also visiting Petra from Egypt.

    • Steph says:

      Hi there, not sure who Murad is, my name is Steph! In answer to your questions, I’ve covered Petra in my articles about Jordan as this is the country in which it’s located. Sadly I didn’t make it to Alexandria when I was in Egypt, but just means there’s something to go back for!

  5. Annie says:

    Hi Steph,

    You have mentioned that you took a morning first class train ride from Luxor to Cairo. May i know where you purchase the train tickets from?

    Thank You =D

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