Five Days in Egypt Guide
I’ve always been fascinated by Egypt. It all started when I was 7 years old, and my mom bought me a book about Egypt. From that point on I was hooked. My lifelong fascination with Egypt inspired me to finally take the plunge and visit this beautiful country. It was everything I could have asked for and more. If you only have five days in Egypt, here is how you can make the most of your visit.
Day 1: Visit Saqqara/Memphis, Giza Pyramids, Camel Ride
Start your visit in Egypt by visiting the ancient capital of Memphis/Saqqara and the Giza Pyramids, one of the last remaining Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
If you’re interested in Egyptian history, I highly recommend visiting Memphis and Saqqara. Memphis was the first capital of the unified kingdom of Upper and Lower Egypt. It’s also one of the oldest capital cities. One of the most impressive sights at Memphis is an enormous colossus statue of Ramses II, one of the most renowned Pharaohs, lying on his back. The statue is truly impressive and standing next to it you can get a good idea of its impressive magnitude.
Located near Memphis is the necropolis of Saqqara, home of Egypt’s first pyramids. You can get an impression for how Egyptians evolved their pyramid building by looking at the early pyramids. The Pyramid of Djoser was built as a step pyramid and is one of the oldest pyramids in Egypt. You can also visit the Bent Pyramid in nearby Dahshur to get an idea for how Egyptians refined their pyramid building skills. Like everyone, the Egyptians got better over time at building pyramids and no aliens were involved in the making of the pyramids.
After visiting Memphis and Saqqara, you will see the pinnacle of Egypt’s pyramid building skills at Giza. The Giza Pyramid complex is home to three major pyramids, the Sphinx, and smaller pyramids designated for queens. The pyramids were built over the course of 20 years by 4,000 workers. And no, they were not built by slaves but by paid workers and farmers who would build during the flooding season when they could not work their fields.
I also recommend doing a camel ride or horseback ride to cap your visit and see the Giza Pyramids from a different perspective. Getting a guide is the best way to make the most of your time. I did my tour with Antons Tours and they arranged everything from tickets to the camel ride.
Also read my post on what you should know while traveling in Egypt to get more info on tipping guides and other things you should know.
Day 2: Visit Egyptian Museum, Citadel, and Khan el-Khalil Market
For my second day, I did my tour with Emo Tours and had a great experience. The tour includes a guide trained in Egyptology who can provide historical details that really enrich the experience. The first stop was at the world-renowned Egyptian Museum, which houses one of the most impressive collections of Egyptian artifacts. While most of the mummies have been moved to the new Egyptian Museum of Civilization, there’s still a lot to see at the Egyptian Museum. One of the highlights is the treasures from King Tut’s tomb, including his solid-gold death mask. Another highlight is the bust of Akenaten, the father of King Tut known as a heretic Pharaoh for abandoning traditional Egyptian polytheism and introducing monotheism and the worship of the Sun God Aten.
After visiting the Egyptian Museum, you will visit the Citadel of Cairo and get a taste of Islamic Cairo. The Citadel offers an amazing view of Cairo. You can also visit the Mosque of Muhammad Ali, which looks similar in style to the Hagia Sophia in Turkey.
A visit to Islamic Cairo would not be complete without a visit to the Khan-el-Khalili market. The market is one of the oldest bazaars in the Middle East. While it’s a good place to look, be warned that the vendors can be aggressive, and you will have to bargain. If you’re looking for a shop at the market with fixed prices look for Jordi Bazaar, which offers reasonable prices for souvenirs.
Day 3: Red Sea Resort
After the hustle and bustle of the first two days, I wanted to enjoy a nice relaxing day at the beach. Many tour companies offer day trips to the Red Sea where you can enjoy the day use of a resort on the Red Sea. I did my Red Sea day-tour with Emo Tours and was provided transportation to and from the resort (about 2-hour drive) and lunch and amenities at the Dome Marina resort.
Day 4: Luxor
One of the highlights of my trip was visiting Luxor. If I could do the trip again, I would have spent more time in Luxor. To get to Luxor from Cairo you either must take a train or fly. I chose to fly. The flight takes about an hour to get there from Cairo. I arranged my tour with Hesham’s Tours and they arrange everything including the flight and all transportation. My guide Dina was excellent, and I highly request you ask for her.
Luxor is home to some of Egypt’s older and most ancient Egyptian sites. There’s so much to see here that if you want to get the most of your time here, I highly recommend spending more than a couple of days here.
Highlights of Luxor include:
Hatshepsut’s Temple – a mortuary temple dedicated to Pharaoh Hatshepsut
Valley of the Kings – the valley contains the tombs of some of Egypt’s most famous historical figures. Currently, there are eight tombs open to the public and your ticket will allow you to visit three of them. Entering the tombs themselves is a magical, reverent experience. I felt a sense of awe upon entering the tombs. There are “guides” in the tombs who will try to talk to you – you can either ignore them, or you can let them share their knowledge with you, but it’s not free and you will be expected to tip.
Karnak Temple – Karnak temple is an open-air museum and nearly thirty Pharaohs contributed to its buildings, creating a large and diverse temple complex. One fun part about visiting Karnak is walking around the statue of the scarab beetle for good luck.
Day 5: Felucca Ride
One of the best ways to cap off a trip to Egypt is by doing a Felucca ride along the Nile River. I did my Felucca Ride with Emo Tours and had an excellent time. The boat operator even let me sail the boat. Sailing down the Nile River in a felucca at sunset is a great way to end an amazing adventure in Egypt.
Visiting Egypt was an incredible experience. From the gorgeous monuments to the friendly people, Egypt is well worth the visit.
P.S. If you want to bring the essence of Egypt with you – try our Egyptian perfume oil samples, made with Egyptian essential oils.