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9 Days in Egypt: Cairo, Luxor, & Aswan Adventure

Trip Highlights: Pyramids of Giza, Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan.

This 9 Days in Egypt travel itinerary offers an incredible journey through time and culture. Starting in the vibrant streets of Cairo, you’ll witness the ancient wonders of the Giza Pyramids. As you travel by train to Luxor and Aswan, the landscape unfolds into a tapestry of historical marvels. From the grandeur of Karnak to the majesty of Abu Simbel, each day unveils new adventures. This itinerary blends the bustling city life with the tranquility of the Nile, ensuring a trip filled with unforgettable experiences.

9 Days in Egypt (Pyramids of Giza, Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel)
9 Days in Egypt (Pyramids of Giza, Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel)

Landing in Cairo, I made my way to a hotel in Giza, overlooking the Three Great Pyramids. With help from the friendly receptionist, I hopped into an Uber to the Saqqara Pyramids. The descent into the Red Pyramid was eerie yet awe-inspiring. As dusk fell, the Giza Pyramids came alive with the vibrant Light and Sound Show, a mesmerizing blend of history and technology under the stars. The view from my hotel, with the pyramids silhouetted against the night sky, was simply breathtaking.

Day 2: Exploring the Great Pyramids of Giza

Waking up to the sight of the Giza Pyramids, I ventured out early to beat the crowds. Navigating the interiors, I was mindful of the notorious scams. My visit to the Grand Egyptian Museum felt exclusive, thanks to advance booking. Its treasures, nestled within the Pyramids complex, were astounding. In April 2024, this new, glittering museum will be opened fully to the public (that’s what they said). Later, in Cairo’s heart, I explored the Egyptian Museum. The treasures of Tutankhamun, ancient mummies, and glittering artifacts were highlights. Dinner was delightful at Koshary Abou Tarek, a haven for authentic and affordable Egyptian cuisine.

Where to Stay in Giza with Pyramid Views

In Giza, accommodations cater to every budget. For backpackers, Giza Pyramids View Inn stands out, offering affordable stays right before the Sphinx. Meanwhile, Giza Pyramids Inn strikes a balance, providing comfortable, mid-range rooms with stunning pyramid views. Lastly, Marriott Mena House dazzles for luxury seekers, nestled close to the Pyramids, combining opulent rooms and breathtaking vistas for an unforgettable experience. Each choice promises a unique perspective of Giza’s ancient wonders.

9 Days in Egypt Travel Itinerary (Pyramids of Giza).
9 Days in Egypt Travel Itinerary (Pyramids of Giza).

My third day was a deep dive into Cairo’s historical layers. Starting in Coptic Cairo, I meandered through narrow lanes, finding the Hanging Church an architectural marvel. In the afternoon, the bustling Khan El Khalili Bazaar was a sensory overload with vibrant stalls and aromatic spices. I dined at Naguib Mahfouz Café, nestled in the bazaar’s heart, offering a taste of traditional Egyptian dishes in a time-honored setting.

Day 4: Cairo’s Culture and Train to Luxor

My morning began with tranquility at Al-Azhar Park, a green oasis with panoramic views of Cairo. The visit to Ibn Tulun Mosque was spiritually uplifting, its grandeur a testament to Islamic architecture. After a restful afternoon at my hotel, I embarked on the overnight train to Luxor, a journey threading through Egypt’s heartland, offering glimpses of rural life and the changing landscape under the starlit sky.

Where to Stay in Cairo

For budget travelers, Tahrir Square Hostel offers a cozy stay 100 meters from Tahrir Square. It’s perfect for backpackers seeking comfort and community. Meanwhile, Steigenberger Hotel Tahrir Square strikes a balance, providing great value with its modern amenities and central location. For luxury seekers, the iconic Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino delivers opulence and stunning Nile views, ensuring an unforgettable experience in the heart of the city.

Stepping off the train in Luxor, I felt a wave of excitement. After settling into my hotel, I was off to explore. The Karnak Temple awaited, its grandeur overwhelming. Roaming its vast grounds, I marveled at the colossal pillars and ancient carvings. By 3:30 PM, I was at the Luxor Temple, basking in its afternoon glory. I lingered till evening, watching the temple transform as it lit up, its stones glowing against the night sky – a truly magical sight. Dinner was at Sofra Restaurant & Café, a local gem with delicious, affordable Egyptian cuisine. It was the perfect spot to reflect on a day surrounded by millennia of history.

9 Days in Egypt Travel Itinerary (Luxor)
9 Days in Egypt Travel Itinerary (Luxor)

Day 6: Exploring Luxor’s West Bank

The seventh day in Luxor began with an air of adventure. I joined a tour that promised a full-day exploration of Luxor’s West Bank. Our group set off early, crossing the Nile to a landscape rich with ancient tales. The first stop was the Valley of the Kings, where the tombs of pharaohs lay hidden beneath the barren hills. Wandering through these ancient corridors, the intricate hieroglyphs spoke of a time long past. Next was the majestic Temple of Hatshepsut, its terraced structure a testament to ancient architectural prowess. The towering Colossi of Memnon greeted us next, their solemn faces weathered yet imposing. Back in Luxor, I enjoyed a hearty and affordable meal at a small local eatery, relishing the flavors of Egypt and the day’s unforgettable experiences.

Where to Stay in Luxor

In Luxor, accommodation options cater to all budgets. For budget travelers, Bob Marley House Hostel offers a friendly, vibrant atmosphere, just a stone’s throw from Luxor Temple. Mid-range seekers should check out Susanna Hotel Luxor, boasting comfort and convenience within walking distance to Karnak Temple. Those seeking luxury find Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor irresistible. Offering opulent rooms and lush gardens, it is nestled right by the Nile and close to both temples. Each option promises a unique experience, making your stay memorable.

I embarked on my journey to Aswan early in the morning, catching a train from Luxor. The ride, lasting about 3 hours, offered scenic views of the Egyptian countryside, the Sahara Desert, and Lake Nasser. Arriving in Aswan before noon, the city’s distinct charm was immediately apparent. Another option from Luxor to Aswan is a night boat/felucca cruise on the Nile River, which is a bit expensive for me. 😆 

In the afternoon, I explored the vibrant Aswan Market. Its bustling lanes, filled with spices, textiles, and handicrafts, were a feast for the senses. I then visited the beautiful Philae Temple, a jewel of ancient architecture set on an island in the Nile. The boat ride to the temple was as enchanting as the temple itself. I strolled along the Corniche, the city’s picturesque waterfront, to round off the day. The views of the Nile at sunset were breathtaking. For dinner, I found a delightful spot called El Masry, known for its authentic Egyptian cuisine. The food was delicious and affordable, perfectly capturing the essence of Aswan’s culinary scene.

9 Days in Egypt Travel Itinerary (Abu Simbel, Aswan)
9 Days in Egypt Travel Itinerary (Abu Simbel, Aswan)

Day 8: Journey to Abu Simbel

On my eighth day, the much-anticipated trip to Abu Simbel was on the agenda. The most convenient way to reach the colossal statues of Ramses II was through a guided tour – a 3-hour drive through the desert landscape. I opted for a budget-friendly tour, which allowed me the freedom to explore the temple at my own pace. The option of a bus or self-drive was available, but the tour offered the ease of hotel pickup and drop-off, making it a hassle-free choice.

The temple, with its massive statues, left me in awe. The intricate carvings and the sheer scale of the construction were a testament to ancient Egyptian engineering and artistry.

Another tour option included an Egyptologist guide for those seeking a more in-depth experience. This would provide a richer historical context to the visit, ideal for history enthusiasts.

Regardless of the choice, a visit to Abu Simbel is a highlight of any Egypt trip, a magnificent window into the past that’s both humbling and inspiring. This is the best way to end your 9 Days in Egypt trip of a lifetime!

Where to stay in Aswan

For backpackers, the Go Inn Backpackers offers a friendly, budget-friendly stay accessible to the heart of the city. Mid-range travelers can enjoy the comfort and convenience of Hotel Basma, which is known for its excellent service and central location. Those seeking luxury will find their haven at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract, an iconic hotel blending historic charm with modern luxury and offering stunning Nile views. Each option ensures a memorable stay in Aswan.

9 Days in Egypt Travel Itinerary (Cairo Citadel).
9 Days in Egypt Travel Itinerary (Cairo Citadel).

My final day in Egypt began with an early flight from Aswan to Cairo. Arriving back in the bustling capital, I savored my last moments in this land of wonders. With memories of ancient temples and Nile sunsets, I headed to the airport, ready for my late afternoon flight to the next adventure. Egypt, you’ve been unforgettable!

End of the 9 Days in Egypt Journey

Concluding my 9 Days in Egypt travel itinerary, I’m in awe of its timeless beauty and rich history. Each day was a new discovery, from the enigmatic pyramids in Cairo to the majestic temples in Luxor and Aswan’s charming streets. This journey through ancient wonders and vibrant cultures perfectly blended adventure and enlightenment. With its mesmerizing Nile and welcoming locals, Egypt has etched itself in my heart, making these 9 days in Egypt an unforgettable chapter in my travel diary!

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