Solo travel in Egypt

Types of Girl about the Globe (GatG) – Ancient Civilisation GatG, History GatG, Market GatG, Museum GatG

One of the world’s most unique and iconic destinations, Egypt may have a reputation for being popular for family package holidays and last minute sunshine breaks thanks to its numerous all-inclusive resorts and glorious weather but, it’s also an amazing country for the historical and beach Girl about the Globe.

Below is our guide to how to travel solo in Egypt as well as lots of practical information such as the best place to visit in Egypt, which tour company to use and how to get around. Find out the best time to visit Egypt and what to do in each place. All companies included have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Listen to our podcast episode or read the full article.

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Solo Travel in Egypt

Egypt is a destination that many solo females overlook but if you ever get the chance to go, Egypt is one of the most magical destinations you will ever visit. Although some women may feel intrepid at the thought of visiting this country alone, there are many tours you can take to see this beautiful country. It is also possible to travel independently.

Sharm El Sheikh is the place to meet others. Here you’ll find good nightlife and a plethora of restaurants. For a more relaxing experience on the Red Sea choose Hurghada which is more tailored to the all-inclusive market. As with anywhere be careful walking alone at night and wear modest clothing when you are away from the developed resort areas.

Solo travel in Egypt

Sunset and turquoise ocean in Sharm el Sheikh

Places To Visit in Egypt

Egypt is one of the oldest countries in the world and has been known as the cradle of civilisation for centuries. One of the world’s oldest continuous civilisations. All of the old seven wonders of the world have gone except for the pyramids. If you love history, ancient civilisations or have visions of sailing on a felucca down the River Nile, then Egypt should definitely be on your solo bucket list. If you are planning a trip to the Land of the Pharaohs, here are our recommended must-sees to visit:

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The famous Pyramids

Things To See in Cairo

Cairo is the country's capital and although it may be overwhelming at first, it is a fascinating city to explore but it isn't for the faint hearted due to navigating through crowds and can be quite confusing for those new to the city.

Visiting Cairo is not just about seeing the ancient pyramids and the Sphinx. Escape the traffic and take a step back in time in the old souks at Khan el-Khalili where you can see spice dealers and coppersmiths and barter for Egyptian souvenirs, or spend time in the Great Egyptian Museum, one of the best museums in the world.

Called the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, the museum houses 120,000 Egyptian artefacts and is split into different sections. Here you can learn about Egyptian history from papyrus paper to the last two dynasties of Egypt.

Many pieces from the Valley of Kings are also on display here. The most spectacular being the tomb and mask of Tutankhamen, situated on the upper floor. Tutankhamun died when he was just 19 years old, and it is said that mask is 11kg of pure solid gold. The Royal Mummy Room is where you’ll be able to get up close to the most famous pharaohs such as Ramses I, and Seti I. The mummified bodies are preserved so well that their features are still recognisable.

If you don’t get a chance to visit the Pyramids, the museum has mini replicas of the Sphinx in addition to giant statues of the Pharaohs. You really do need a full day to make the most of your time here. You'll find mini Sphinxes as well as the Royal Mummies collection featuring the famous Ramses II. Don't forget to visit the Egyptian jewellery collection too.

Other places to see in Cairo are the Citadel, and Al-Azhar Mosque which are two stunning pieces of architecture that should also be on your list. If you have time pay a visit to the Citadel, an Islamic fortification which was home to Egypt’s rulers for seven centuries.

The Sphinx

Seeing The Pyramids

The Pyramids are one of the Seven Wonders of the World and the most famous site in Egypt. Built for the Pharaoh Khufu, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest of the three pyramids and is UNESCO listed. It stands at 146 metres tall and was once the largest man-made structure in the world. Visit the Pyramids of Giza and you'll be greeted by the Great Sphinx that guards the complex. This mythical creature has the body of a lion and the head of a Pharaoh and is one of the most iconic symbols of Egypt.

You can visit these alone but it’s advisable to take a tour with an Egyptologist to learn more about these magnificent structures. Although the city does creep very close to the Pyramids, you can still take an image of the structures with the desert in the background. Taking a camel ride here may be touristy but it’s a great experience for the bucket list.

Sharm el Sheikh

The beach at Sharm el Sheikh

Things To Do in Sharm El Sheikh

If you prefer the underwater world to the historic sites, head to the Red Sea to swim with turtles, stingrays and sharks. The Red Sea is a divers’ dream and has over 1000 species and more than 200 types of coral. It is one of the most spectacular places to dive in the world and the ideal place to obtain your PADI certificate.

But you don’t have to dive here. The sea is so clear that you have amazing visibility just snorkelling. If you prefer to make the most of the weather you can just sunbathe on the miles of sandy beaches.

Sharm El Sheikh offers first class diving and a chance to relax on a beach after all the sightseeing. If you’re into nightlife, there are open-air bars including bedouin bars with carpeted floors and hookah (flavoured tobacco in a pipe). Sharm is really close to the Sinai Mountains so if you are an adventurous Girl about the Globe, you can join a quad biking excursion to witness the sunset over the red-coloured mountains.

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Luxor

Things To Do in Luxor 

Luxor is known as the best open air museum in the world. This impressive city is home to the Valley of the Kings which is situated on the riverbank. This is where Tutankhamen, Egypt’s most famous child king is laid to rest. Inside the valley are more than 60 tombs from Egyptian dynasties. The paintings and colours here so real that you would think they were only painted last week.

The Valley of the Queens is an ancient burial site which is smaller than the Valley of the Kings. Over 70 tombs of queens from the 19th and 20th dynasties are here. Luxor is also home to the Luxor Temple and the Karnak Temple. The Temple of Karnak covers more than 100 hectares. An impressive avenue of Sphinxes line the entrance of this temple city which dates back 4,000 years.

There are many other temples here such as Kom Ombo Temple, Dendera Temple, and the Temples of Abydos. For a depiction of daily Egyptian life, Deir el-Medina is a remnant of a workers’ village with paintings of the tomb walls.

TIP – To make your most out of the sites, sign up with a tour guide and get up extra early to avoid the crowds just before midday (plus you miss the heat too).

A traditional felucca along the River Nile

River Nile Cruise 

Taking a Nile river cruise is the best way to see most of the well-known sights. Waking up each morning with the sight of camels on the river bank and the desert is simply like no other. If you can't take a cruise then opt for a sailing trip on a traditional wooden boat called a felucca. Many cruise boats operate along the Nile and include your cabin, food and excursions as you dock. 

Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel 

Most visitors bypass Abu Simbel but if you do have time, travel to southern Egypt to see this ancient complex that isn't comparable to any other site that I've seen. It is thought that Abu Simbel took twenty years to build. The two temples were constructed during the reign of Ramses II, and are 3000 years old. The Great Temple is 30 metres tall and represents the former Egyptian king on his throne. Four statues of Ramses II stand at the entrance to the temples and inside are three main halls with more statues of Ramses II. Carved out of a sandstone cliff, the temples were discovered in the early 19th century. 

Transported to a different location to make way for the Aswan Dam, Abu Simbel is only reachable via an internal flight which leaves incredibly early on various mornings. This giant temple carved out of solid rock is definitely worth the flight, and as you gaze up at the famous temple of Ramses II, you’ll wonder how this magnificent structure was ever created.

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Other Places To See in Egypt

Journey into the heart of the Western Desert to Siwa, an oasis town surrounded by large saline lakes. Siwa is home to the ancient Oracle temple where Alexander the Great went after conquering Egypt. With hot springs, Roman ruins, and the mud walled town of Shabli to explore, stay in an eco lodge to immerse yourself within this Egyptian town.

Whether you want to set sail along the River Nile or roam the incredible Valley of the Kings, there’s a new adventure around every corner when you visit Egypt.

Egypt 2010 247

Tours To Egypt 

G Adventures Egypt

If you feel more comfortable in a group for either part of your trip or the whole duration, G Adventures is a responsible tour company which mainly caters towards budget travellers. Most of their Egypt tours have an average of 12 people and there is no upper age limit. Once you book your trip you pay extra for any excursions you want to do when you’re there.

G Adventures trips to Egypt range from a 2 day Alexandria independent adventure, an 8 day Best of Egypt tour encompassing Cairo, Aswan and Luxor seeing the Pyramids and the Sphinx and visiting a Nubian village and local family, to an epic 22 day Best of Egypt, Jordan and Israel beginning in Cairo and ending in Jerusalem. I have personally used G Adventures and recommend them as a solo female friendly company. 

Click here for the full itineraries, prices, and start dates

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel is similar to G Adventures with an average of 12 people on each tour. They tend to use hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation hence the trips can appear a bit more costly than G Adventures. Their trips are carbon offset and their Intrepid Egypt trips range from an 8 day Egypt Adventure along the River Nile and the land of the pharaohs, a 15 day Explore Egypt trip beginning and ending in Cairo, to an epic 26 day trip uncovering the best of Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories. With both tour companies you share a room with someone of the same gender or you can pay extra for your own room.

Click here for the full itineraries, prices, and start dates

Day Tours – Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated activities and day tours in worldwide destinations including Egypt. Choose from a day trip to the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, a skip the line ticket for the Cairo Egyptian Museum, or a 3 hour quad bike and camel ride on a desert safari. There are several to choose from and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online.

* Check all day tours, prices and availability for Egypt

Solo travel in Egypt

Accommodation in Egypt

There are a variety of accommodations in Egypt including all-inclusive resorts along the Red Sea coast, luxury hotels, guesthouses and camping. If you are on a budget there are cheaper Egypt hotels called pensions. For those looking to meet others Egypt has hostels within the most popular destinations of Cairo, Luxor, Hurghada, Aswan and Sharm el Sheikh. Stay in a desert camp along the Sinai coast or an eco lodge, or choose to sleep on a boat on a short cruise along the River Nile.

Egypt has Airbnb where you can stay with locals or rent an entire apartment in various locations across the country. Stay in an apartment along the River Nile or with a view of the Pyramids in Cairo. There are plenty of options to choose. Save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link

* To book, check prices or availability for all accommodation in Egypt

Solo travel in Egypt

Getting Around Egypt

Egypt is relatively easy to get around with long distance buses and trains. There are sleeper trains from Luxor to Cairo or Cairo to Aswan and coaches that operate to the Sinai Peninsula. There are bus services between the main cities and towns. You can fly from Alexandria airport to Luxor, Aswan and Sharm al Sheikh, each can be reached in about an hour by air.

You can summon taxis on the streets of the bigger cities but agree a price before you go. Cairo has a good underground metro system or if you are planning to visit a distant beach or ancient site you can hire a car with a driver for the day. Arrange it at your hotel for a trusted operator.

* Use Rome2Rio to help you plan your journeys

You need at least two weeks to see most of Egypt's iconic sites. There is so much to do here that you’ll need a holiday afterwards just to recuperate. If you can’t afford the whole two weeks then experiencing just a Nile cruise is a cheap way to see some of Egypt. Below is an example of a solo itinerary for Egypt from 10 to 14 days.

10 days in Egypt: Travel from Cairo to Luxor on a sleeper train. See the Philae Temple & Aswan Dam, then fly to Abu Simbel then a felucca in Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. Return back to Cairo and fly out of Cairo. Cairo – 3 days , Luxor – 3 days, Aswan – 1 day, Abu Simbel – 1 day, Cairo – 2 days.

14 days in Egypt:  If you only have two weeks to spare, here’s an itinerary that incorporates the best of Egypt. Luxor – 2 days, Nile Cruise – 4 days, Abu Simbel – 1 day, Cairo – 2 days, Sharm el Sheikh – 3 days.

Best Time To Visit Egypt

The best time to go to Egypt is March/April, Sept/Oct as mid 20’s. All of fish swimming together here so close to the surface – you don’t even need to dive. One word of warning though, Egypt can be incredibly hot in the summer months. If you do visit during the heat visit the sites as early as possible. You will also avoid the crowds during this time. With immense heat in the summer months, but chilly temperatures overnight exploring Egypt is a thrilling adventure but one that’s recommended for the experienced traveller.

Below is the annual weather chart (from January to December) for Cairo to help you to plan your trip.

FAQS

  • Can I drink the water? No, it isn’t advised to drink the tap water in Egypt. Buy bottled water or take a water filter with you.
  • Is tipping expected? A service charge is added to your bill but it is still recommended to tip 10% for the staff.
  • Fixed price or barter? Bartering is accepting in the souks.
  • Any ATMs? There are ATMs in the two main cities: Cairo and Alexandria, as well as Hurghada.
  • Which side of the road do they drive? The right-hand side.
  • Good for vegetarians? Kushari is a national dish which is vegetarian as well as Egyptian falafel. There are vegetarian restaurants and options in Egypt.
  • Any seven wonders of the world? The Great Pyramid of Egypt, and The Lighthouse of Alexandria.

Map of Egypt

Planning a Trip to Egypt

To help you plan a trip to Egypt.

Budget – £40 a day

 

 

 

Current Time in Cairo

Capital – Cairo

Population – 97.55 million

Language spoken – Arabic

Local Currency – Egyptian pound 

Do I need a visa?

Vaccinations Required 

Did you know? Luxor has a third of the world’s monuments.

 

LingoUseful Arabic phrases 

Useful Info

Airlines to Egypt

Best Time To Travel To Egypt – March, April and October for Cairo 

Which Plug Do I Need? 

UNESCO Sites in Egypt

Events and Festivals in Egypt 

Local Cost Guide

Local Customs & Etiquette  

Sacred Sites in Egypt 

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