You’ve heard about the spooky mummies and tombs; the dry, expansive desert; those pyramids… but there is so much more to Egypt than pharaohs and camel rides. Read on to find out exactly what we’re talking about.
First… why Egypt?
Uhm, why not? Egypt is hands-down one of the most underrated tourist destinations for young travellers in the world. It’s easy to assume it’ll be nothing more than a live-action history trip, but you would be mistaken. Egypt has so much to offer when it comes to relaxing days at the beach, crazy days in the city, fantastic foodie experiences and (surprise!) some unforgettable nightlife experiences (let’s face it, Egypt isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind when your friends shout “PARTY TRIP!”, but we’re hoping to convince you otherwise).
Where to go when the sun rises
Spend your day at the beach and work on that tan. You don’t even know what an awesome photo-opportunity looks like until you see the sea meet the desert (it’s mind-blowing). Egypt has some of the best beaches, along with that stereotypical postcard-perfect Instagram moment waiting to happen: beaches are delightfully quiet while the coral reefs offshore will give you so much vibrancy not even a top-of-the-range GoPro could do your snorkelling trips justice (thank goodness for memories, right?).
Where to go when the sun sets
Given the fact that Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country, it is not famed for its vibrant nightlife, but you’ve just got to know where to go. There are discos, clubs, casinos and bars waiting to be enjoyed. Kick your evening off with a hookah (on offer at many of the local cafes), followed by a trip to bar (usually marked by being an indoor spot with blacked out windows, but we promise it’s not as dodgy as it sounds). If you want to enjoy the night by dancing it away, you can find nightclubs and discos at most of the major hotels, with the main nightclub area in Cairo being in the Zamalek district. If you’re feeling lucky, punk, try your hand at any one of the number of casinos to choose from (don’t forget to be responsible, though… it’s no fun being penniless in a foreign country). Here are the top clubs to look out for:
- The GardenKorba, Heliopolis
- Riverside, Zamalek
- Amici Bar, Heliopolis
- Johnny's Pub, Le Pacha Boat, Zamalek
- Cairo Jazz Club, Mohandessin
- Pub 28, Zamalek
- Vent, Downtown
- Almaz, Mohandessin inside Swiss Inn Hotel
- L’Aubergine, Zamalek (and Heliopolis)
- The Lemon Tree, Zamalek (perfect for any time of day thanks to its amazing views of the Nile)
- Aperitivo, Zamalek
- Stage One, Conrad Hotel
- Sachi, Heliopolis
- The Cellar, Zamalek
Where to eat (no matter the time of day)
Cafes and coffee shops form a big part of Egyptian culture, and serve delicious food from sunrise to sunset (some even stay open until 4AM). Given that Cairo is the largest urban area in the Middle East, you can be guaranteed of two things: 1) a large variety of food and 2) good grub! The odds are in your favour when there’s so much to choose from and enjoy, with meals suitable for any budget. Authentically Egyptian cuisine is best-enjoyed on the streets, more specifically at Kebdet El Prince. This foodie destination is also popular with the locals, and serves up classics such as molokhia (a dark, leafy vegetable) and tender waraet lahma (cubed beef with vegetables). Oh, we forgot to mention… there is also some mouthwatering seafood on offer here, and if you’re pesce-obsessed, you’ve got to go big and get some prawns while you’re sampling all the other local delights. Other flavours to enjoy are of course Shawarmas, generous amounts of tahini and baba ghanoog.
Before we wrap things up, if you’re looking for a typical tourist experience of Egypt, have a look at these hotspots:
- The Pyramids of Giza (obviously)
- Old Kingdom Art
- Western Desert Safari
- Any of the Temples (Horus, Ramses II, Seti I etc)
- Valley of the Kings
Now you’ve got the facts on where to go and what to do if you’re looking to experience Egypt the unconventional way (and even if you’re looking to experience it like a typical tourist would), and given how amazing it all sounds, you’ve got no excuses for turning down a trip to this desert paradise. Contact one of our travel agents today and get started on making the trip happen.