Family Travel Guide to Egypt
Some things you should know about Egypt in general:
You can’t drink the water
Traffic is insane
Expect to be followed and bothered by EVERYONE
Tips are expected for literally everything
Egypt is dirty
Most people do speak English
Playing it Safe
Traveling to Egypt would have looked a lot different if we didn’t have our kids with us, but because we did, we knew we should “play it safe”. That meant using the hotel to pick us up from the airport instead of hailing a cab, taking private tours to visit each site, and not leaving the hotel grounds at night to go exploring. Travel this way isn’t normally our style, but for Egypt, we were willing to make the sacrifice.
What to do:
We visited two cities in Egypt: Cairo (3 nights) and Luxor (4 nights). If we had more time, we would have either taken a Nile River cruise for a few nights or stayed in Alexander as well.
If you want to see pyramids, then you must go to Cairo. There are 9 pyramids still standing and you can even go inside a few of them, which was a huge highlight for our kids. The pyramids we visited were: the pyramids of Giza (and Sphinx), Saqqara, Red Pyramid, & Bent Pyramid. You may also wish to visit the Egyptian museum which holds a lot of artifacts found in the pyramids when they were discovered.
However, unfortunately, while exploring the pyramids of Giza, we were bombarded with locals asking us if we wanted to take their chariot ride, have a private guide, help us, buy their souvenirs.. you name it, they were there and wouldn’t take no for an answer. It really tainted our experience and we never knew who to trust.
We decided to book a private tour guide to take us to the other pyramids and were bothered much less. The kids LOVED walking into the Red Pyramid and it was a tiny bit less tight than the Great Pyramid.
We flew one hour from Cairo to Luxor. Luxor is much smaller and it was nice, there are two main temples you can visit right in the city center. And not far is the Valley of the Kings, which is a main tourist attraction where you can actually walk through King Tut’s tomb and view his mummified body. It was definitely an experience I imagine our boys never forgetting… it’s not every day you get to see THE actual King Tut. Also impressive, the Temple of Hatshepsut. Completely built in rock and so fascinating.
My favorite temple was actually an hour away in Qena called Dendera Temple. This day it was over 100 degrees and the majority of our exploring was all inside the temple. It was absolutely stunning to view and the kids just loved running all around the maze of rooms and hidden staircases, every room covered with Egyptian writing, it was amazing.
We stayed at Hilton Luxor and there were so many families there as well. The hotel pool was busy with kids playing and we had so much fun ordering food at our lounge chairs and playing in the water after a hot day of tours. They also provided a nice sunset Nile River boat ride which the kids really enjoyed. Matt researched the area pretty well and this hotel is the best in Luxor so we would definitely recommend staying here if you go.
Egypt is a once in a lifetime experience and I’m so happy to check it off our bucket list. It certainly is unique compared to anywhere else we’ve traveled and we are so grateful we had the opportunity to experience it as a family!