• Local's Guide To Egypt

20 Reasons Why You Definitely Should Visit Egypt In 2020

Updated: Aug 9, 2020

Recently Lonely Planet released their list of top 10 cities to visit in 2020... and guess who made it to number three? Our very own Cairo, Egypt!

Yep, our capital city beat out other fan favorites like New York City, Paris and Dubai to snag the number three spot. And while Cairo is definitely worthy of the accolade, Egypt as a whole deserves a little spotlight too -- so we're sharing 20 reasons why Egypt should be at the very top of your 2020 travel bucket list.

1. It’s one of the cheapest destinations you can travel to.

Egyptian pounds to US dollars. Egypt is one of the cheapest travel destinations in the world

Egypt is cheap. Like, really cheap. As in, cheapest country in the world to take a taxi in. Or if eating is more your jam: Egypt is one of the cheapest countries on the 2019 Big Mac Index. You can extrapolate these two statistics and pretty much apply them to everything else in Egypt.

Read: Cairo on a Budget: 10 Cheap Ways to Enjoy the City

Read: Cairo Sightseeing For Free: 10 Awesome Sites That Don't Cost Anything To Visit

2. Year-round sunny beaches.

Egypt beaches. Red Sea Beach, Hurghada, Sharm el Sheikh. Best beaches in the world. Egypt is the best 2019 travel destination

Home to both the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, Egypt has beaches that can easily compete with some of the best in the world. Even in winter months, it’s never too cold to sit on the Red Sea’s white sand beaches and soak up the sun.

Read: 9 World-Class Beaches in Egypt

Read: 7 Tropical Islands You Won't Believe Are In Egypt

3. Our world-famous museums.

Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, Cairo, Egypt. Largest architectural museum in the world and a top travel destination for 2019
Aerial view of the Grand Egyptian Museum's construction

The Grand Egyptian Museum unfortunately will be opening its doors in 2021 instead of 2020 as planned due to Covid-19 (ugh). When opened, it'll be the biggest archaeological museum in the world. It’ll also be home to the full Tutankhamun collection, with pieces on public display for the first time ever.

But don't let the delay get you down -- you can check out our other world-famous museums, like Cairo Museum in Midan Tahrir -- the museum’s collections exceed over 120,000 pieces, from the pre-historic era to the Roman-Greco period. There's also Karnak Temple in Luxor, which is considered the biggest open-air museum in the world.

Read: 9 Museums In Cairo You Need To Visit At Least Once

Read: 7 Important Egyptian Museums To Truly Understand Egypt's History

4. Natural treatments and climatic physiotherapy.

Natural therapy in Egypt, climatic therapy in Egypt, therapeutic therapy in Egypt. Hot sand baths. Safaga, Siwa, Fayoum and Aswan. Best 2019 travel destination

The secret is out: Egypt is one of the best destinations in the world when it comes to therapeutic tourism -- those seeking natural treatment for various ailments, or seeking physical and spiritual cleansing.

Egypt is home to more than 1,300 natural springs, and their clay and minerals help treat bone, skin and digestive diseases. The 365 days of sunshine and dry climate in places like Aswan help respiratory and rheumatoid diseases. The sea and treatments like ‘sand baths’ are proven to help with skin diseases like psoriasis.

Best climatic physiotherapy destinations in Egypt: Safaga, Aswan, Siwa, Fayoum and Sinai.

5. The last standing Ancient Wonder of the World.

Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Egypt is the best travel destination of 2019

The Great Pyramid of Giza (known as either Khufu or Cheops) is literally the last existing Ancient Wonder of the World. At around 4500 years old, it’s kind of crazy that you can get so up and close to it, but indeed you can. Its surrounding pyramids and Sphinx are no less impressive, and it’s truly worth being on every single human’s bucket list.

Read: 9 Different Egyptian Pyramids (That AREN'T The Giza Pyramids!) You Need To See

6. A Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan.

5 star Nile Cruise between Luxor and Aswan in Egypt. Pool on the river. Egypt is the best travel destination of 2019

When was the last time you went on a cruise? Or better yet, when was the last time you went on a cruise that had regular stops to dock and see thousands-of-years-old monuments, tombs and artifacts? These five star, luxury cruises range from 3 to 5 nights, and are both affordable and an awesome option for all ages and families with young kids. You’ll sail down the river in Ancient Upper Egypt and see sights like the Luxor Temple (the world’s largest outdoor museum), Karnak Temple and Philae Temple (the last place where the Ancient Egyptian religion was practiced).

Read: 2 Weeks in Egypt: The Ultimate Local Itinerary

7. Camping in the Sahara Desert.

Camping in The White Desert in Farafra, in the Sahara Desert in Egypt. Best travel destination of 2019
Photo credit: Dany Eid Photography

Egypt’s Western desert is a pristine, stark wilderness where you can camp, do Jeep safaris, sandboard, immerse yourself in natural hot springs and see the Milky Way and an infinite amount of stars at night. White chalk formations like in the White Desert area of the Egyptian Sahara are some of the coolest natural wonders (and very “gram-able”).

Read: Camping in Egypt: 7 Beautiful and Remote Places To Camp

8. Disconnecting from the world at an Egyptian ecolodge.

Adrere Amellal Ecolodge in Siwa Oasis. Best ecolodges in Egypt. Egypt is the best travel destination of 2019
Adrere Amellal Ecolodge in Siwa Oasis.

If peace of mind is your end goal, then Egypt’s ecolodges are what you should be looking into for 2020. Whether you choose an ecolodge at a desert oasis, or next to the Red Sea, or at the very edge of the Great Sand Sea, you’re guaranteed to disconnect from your super plugged-in world; many of these places don’t even have electricity. Perfect for those who want to disconnect, eat fresh, get back in tune with nature and leave as small a carbon footprint as possible.

9. Scuba diving in some of the world’s very best dive spots.

Scuba Diving in the Red Sea in Egypt. Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, Hurghada, Marsa Alam. Egypt is one of the best diving destinations in the world and one of the best 2019 travel destinations

According to the Reader’s Choice Awards 2019 on ScubaDiving.com, the Red Sea in Egypt was voted among the best in the world for: wreck diving, cavern, cave & grotto diving, shore diving, advanced diving and best value diving.

Notable Egyptian dive sites mentioned: Shark Reef (best dive sites), Daedalus Reef (best wall dives), Little Brother (best wall dives), Thistlegorm (best wreck sites, best night dives and best liveaboard sites), Dunraven (best wreck sites) and Blue Hole (most unusual dive sites).

Read: 7 Best Diving Destinations in Egypt’s Red Sea for Divers of All Levels

10. Religious significance for the three Abrahamic religions -- Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

St. Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai, where it's believed by the Abrahamic religions that Moses found the Burning Bush and received the 10 Commandments. Mount Sinai, in the Sinai peninsula in Egypt. Egypt is the best travel destination of 2019
St. Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai, where it's believed by the Abrahamic religions that Moses found the Burning Bush and received the 10 Commandments.

While the Ancient Egyptian religion is what usually takes center stage when people think of Egypt, the country is of extreme significance to the Abrahamic religions as well. In Egypt you can climb to the summit of Mount Sinai, where it’s believed that Moses encountered the Burning Bush and received the 10 Commandments. You can also follow the journey of the Holy Family (Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Joseph) from the Sinai peninsula into mainland Egypt and back again.

If you’re interested in more modern historical religious sites, Islamic and Coptic Cairo are home to centuries-old mosques, churches, and the Ben Ezra synagogue.

Read: 9 Egyptian Churches, Cathedrals and Monasteries You Need to Visit at Least Once

Read: 10 Most Beautiful Mosques in Egypt

11. Ancient whale fossils in the desert, anyone?

Wadi el Hitan (Whale Valley) in Fayoum, Egypt, is home to something very strange and very cool -- whale fossils, but not your average whale; these whales had hind legs.

According to UNESCO (Wadi el Hitan is an official UNESCO Heritage Site): “These fossils represent one of the major stories of evolution: the emergence of the whale as an ocean-going mammal from a previous life as a land-based animal. This is the most important site in the world for the demonstration of this stage of evolution.”

Read: 7 Egyptian UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Which Ones You MUST See

12. Medical and dental tourism.

Dar Al Fouad hospital in Egypt. Egypt is a great option for medical tourism and dental tourism. Egypt is the best 2019 travel destination

If you need tests done, dental work or a medical consultation and don’t feel like going through thousands of dollars and weeks of waiting for an appointment in your home country, then Egypt is a great alternative. The medical sector in Egypt has excellent doctors, and the vast majority speak English so you don’t have to worry about the language barrier.

You can get an appointment with a dentist or specialized doctor of your choice in just a matter of days, and the consultation will cost you between 200-600 EGP ($11-$33), and the follow-up is free. Blood tests and other scanning are similarly affordable.

13. Kitesurfing.

Kitesurfing in Egypt. Egypt is the best 2019 travel destination

Kitesurfing is the world’s fastest-growing water sport, and not many know that Egypt is a treasure trove for both beginner and advanced kitesurfers alike. According to Kitesurfing Holidays, Egypt has 3 different placings in the 10 best spots in the world to learn to kitesurf (Soma Bay, Hamata and El Gouna). Our local tip is to add to those places Ras Sedr and Dahab, also on the Red Sea.

Read: 7 Extreme Adventure Experiences in Egypt for Adrenaline Junkies

14. 10,000 year old rock art.

Cave of the Beasts in Gilf Kebir, Egypt. Nearby is Cave of the Swimmers. This cave rock art is Neolithic and have both petroglyphs and pictographs. Egypt is the top travel destination of 2019

If you thought the pharaohs’ tombs were about as Ancient as Egypt’s history gets, think again. In the caves of the Gilf Kebir plateau in the remote Southwest Egyptian Sahara desert, Neolithic cliff paintings (pictographs) and rock carvings (petroglyphs) were found, depicting the daily life of those who dwelled there around 10,000 years ago. The most famous of those caves are the Cave of the Swimmers and the Cave of the Beasts.

15. That boat life.

Red Sea Boat trip, Mahmya, Hurghada, Egypt. Renting a boat in Egypt. Egypt is the best travel destination of 2019
A boat trip in the Red Sea, Hurghada.

We already talked about 5 star Nile cruises, but what about the rest of what Egypt has to offer when it comes to boating? Whether it’s something easy and quick, like an hour’s sail in of the famous Nile feluccas (little sailboats popular in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan), or a fishing boat in the Red Sea, or a glass-bottom boat (awesome family alternative to snorkeling), or even powerboats that you can rent out for reasonable prices in Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh, the options of enjoying Egypt from the water are endless.

Read: 25 Fun Things To Do In Hurghada and El Gouna

16. The crazy beauty of the remaining temples, monuments, tombs and artifacts of the Ancient Egyptian civilization.

Hatshepsut Mortuary in Luxor, Egypt. Beautiful Ancient Egyptian temples, tombs and artifacts. Egypt is the best 2019 travel destination
Hatshepsut Mortuary in Luxor, Egypt.

This, like the Pyramids, is really kind of a no-brainer. The fact that you can literally walk into temples and tombs thousands of years old, and see the original art and hieroglyphics is really kind of mind-boggling. Sites like the Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple, Dendera, Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Abu Simbel, Temple of Hatshepsut, Philae Temple and many others are always *so* much more interesting than anything you might have ever read about them.

Read: Ancient Egypt Bucket List: 20 Must-See Ancient Egyptian Sites

17. The ability to have a super diverse vacation, all in relatively easy reach of each other, in the same country.

Sinai, Red Sea, mountains. Egypt has many diverse trips and adventures, which is why it's the best travel destination of 2019

Whether you’re looking for a beach vacation, a journey into ancient history, a diving adventure, a mental, physical and emotional retreat, a city jaunt or a commune with nature, Egypt delivers all, in just a few short days. It’s not all sand and pyramids --although that would be pretty cool too-- which is what a lot of visitors fail to realize, and thus cheat themselves out of some of the best beaches in the world or some amazing retreats.

18. The views, oh, the views.

Nile felucca in Aswan, Egypt. Egypt is the best travel destination of 2019

I’m just going to leave this here.

Read: 12 Places To Go For The Most Beautiful Views in Egypt

19. Egyptian food <3

Egyptian cuisine might not be super widespread internationally, but for us Egyptians, it's a national treasure. Our famous fuul, taameya (Egyptian falafel) and koshary are all cheap, nutritious and even vegan-friendly. And if you're a meat lover, our grills just can't be beat.

Read: 12 Local Egyptian Foods You Need To Try

20. Egypt is a great winter destination. And summer for that matter. Basically, it’s an all-year destination.

Camels at the Pyramids of Giza at sunset in Egypt. Egypt is the best travel destination of 2019

It’s a million degrees below zero, and you don’t think you’ll ever see a not-gray sky again. This is where Egypt comes in -- even in the dead of winter, the sun is always shining and the skies are always blue.

Read: 7 Reasons Why Winter Is Actually One Of The Best Times To Go To Egypt

1 comment