15 Best Places to Visit in Cairo and Luxor | Solo Female Travel
There are many beautiful places to visit in Egypt; places that are artistic, historic, picturesque – all in one! I mean how AMAZING is that! The fact that it is an underrated solo female travel destination is completely baffling!
I travelled solo to Egypt and had the best time of my life hands down! It was a 6 days trip so I spent the first 4 days in Cairo and the rest of the days in Luxor. How I wish I had more time and money to cover other beautiful places like Alexandria, Sharm El-Sheikh, Abu simbel! Talking of places, following are my absolute favourites in Egypt. Read on:
Cairo, the largest Egyptian city has got the international airport. Honestly speaking, the airport could be very chaotic to travellers around the world. There is a good chance that you may miss your flight. So, be more cautious and “extra early” if you are catching a local flight to other parts of Egypt. Apart from the chaotic airport, Cairo is also about the mysterious pyramids, huge museum and beautiful mosques & churches. I visited the following places in the capital city and were completely blown away!
Saqqara, located in the Giza Governorate near the Nile delta was a burial ground in the ancient Egypt! However, it is one of the famous tourist attractions today. It has a few pyramids, one of them is the oldest of 97 pyramids in Egypt – the step pyramid (tomb of king Djoser). This historic one is about 5000 years old (woah)! How can you NOT visit Saqqara when you’re in Egypt? You got to be kidding me!
2. The great pyramid and Sphinx of Giza
The great pyramid of Giza is only about 10 minutes away from Saqqara by taxi. It is the oldest of the seven wonders in the ancient time. The architecture is so massive in real life that even pictures cannot do justice to it’s original size! There was a city view with popular fast food chains on the other side of the desert. It was kind of weird to me! Well, I guess it was like the best of both worlds – Ancient architectures with urban vibes! You can ride a camel/horse around the desert. However, I personally loved the horse riding since it made me feel like a queen who owned the desert all to myself. Also, no Egypt trip is complete without a picture of you french-kissing the Great Sphinx! It was just adjacent to the Great Pyramid.
3. Egyptian Museum
If you are into history, you’d probably require more than a day to spend in the Egyptian museum! It is located in the downtown Cairo, Egypt. Furthermore, it is the only place where you can see the mummies of famous pharaohs from the ancient times. Also, there is a new museum under construction in Giza Governorate.
Citadel is one of the underrated places in Cairo. It certainly deserves a lot of attention for it phenomenal view. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to see the panoramic view of the city during the sunset. It has got the most famous Muhammad Ali mosque and a few other museums too. I spent around 3 hours in the Citadel. Make sure to wear a comfy pair of shoes because you will have to do a lot of walking! And it is about 45 minutes travel time by taxi/Uber from the downtown Cairo.
Zamalek is a small residential district in Cairo. The architectural designs are urbane, extremely different from the ones in the downtown Cairo or Giza governorate. It paints a modern picture to Egypt with it’s western vibes. It has got some cute boutique cafes. Also, Zamalek was a lot greener than other districts in Cairo. It was one of my favourite places in the whole of Egypt hands down!
6. Old Cairo
The old Cairo has got some beautiful mosques, churches and a lot of cute cats following around! It is so artistic and not very touristy too.
7. Khan El-Khalili
Khan El-Khalili, located in the Islamic Cairo is one of the largest markets in the African continent. I had to go on a shopping spree on my last day of the trip to buy souvenirs for friends and family back home. And I loved it! It is absolutely magical in the night time as the lamps twinkle like you’re in the movie sets of Aladdin.
Luxor is an ancient city filled with temples and monuments. It is about 10 hours travel by bus/train from Cairo. It takes an hour to travel by flight. If you are on a short trip, you can take a local flight to save time. But I got to admit, the views from the train were amazing, especially with the Nile across the fields. It is a very small city and you only need about 3 days to cover the following places.
8. Karnak temple
So, there are 2 banks in Luxor – West and East. Most of the historical monuments and temples are located in the west Bank. Many locals live in the West Bank as well. However, hotels and hostels are located in the East bank. There are only two temples located in the East bank and one of them is the karnak temple. All the Instagram worthy pictures are shot here.
9. Luxor Temple
Luxor temple is located in the East bank. It is similar to the karnak temple but the history speaks volumes. You can visit karnak and luxor temples on the same day.
10. Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens
Valley of the kings is located in the West bank and it is one of the most iconic places in Egypt. I was taken back to my childhood by looking at the picturesque views. They reminded me of my favourite scenes from cartoons and movies about Egypt. Most people ignore Valley of the Queens due to time constraint but I think it is also a must-visit for its unique beauty.
11. Hatshepsut temple
Hatshepsut temple is the most interesting one on my entire Egypt trip hands down! I was impressed with it’s story. Queen Hatshepsut disguised as a man and ruled Egypt for about 20 years. She was one amongst the most successful pharaohs in the ancient history. You cannot miss to visit this temple at any cost!
12. Hot air balloon
The hot air balloon ride in the West bank of Luxor is a beauty on its own. It was one of the reasons why I wanted to visit Luxor in the first place! I have given more details about the ride here.
14. Colossi of Memnon
Colossi of Memnon are the two large statues located in the West bank. I had to stop for a couple of minutes here to click pictures before I left to other sites. It was surreal to look at something that was only familiar to me through my history text books in school.
15. Felucca boat cruise in Nile river
Felucca is the oldest Egyptian boat and is still being used by the locals today. It is similar to a sailor boat because it travels via wind direction. The ancient boat ride on Nile a must-do activity in Egypt! Also, it is also very non-touristy!
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.