Egypt is an ancient land of dreams, history, and vibrant culture. Isn’t it wonderful that a place they teach us in school is so achievable to see and get to know nowadays? Most of us know that Egypt is the home of one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the ancient Pyramids of Giza and probably everyone wants to go there to see them in person. But the Pyramids are not the only thing you can experience while in this stunning destination.
Actually, before I got there, I was told that Luxor is even more incredible and breathtaking with its speechless temples, full of history and powerful energy of past times. I knew I wanted to visit these sites, but I only had two days. Luckily, through some creative planning, I was able to see an amazing amount in Egypt in only 2 days!
Why I Only Had 2 Days To See Cairo And Luxor
Our Egypt journey started in Hurghada, where we were supposed to spend eight days on a yacht sailing the Red Sea, exploring the beautiful coral reefs and marine life. We weren’t really sure if we were going to have time to visit Cairo to see the Pyramids and Luxor to explore the beautiful temples. That’s why before we left Egypt we bought our plane tickets with two days extra time to try and see as much as we could!
Egypt In 48 Hours
Everyone on the boat told us (including locals) that we must be crazy and that it is impossible to see Luxor and Cairo for two days, especially without taking a plane a few times which would make our budget totally explode (because we are always travelling on a budget). The distances in Egypt are really huge, so that was the thing that motivated us the most to make a great plan to see as much as we could in two days.
Travelling Egypt Takes Time
The final result was managing to visit both Luxor and Cairo in 2 days. It was crazy and I don’t recommend it to anyone who doesn’t love adventure, but it is possible. If you decide to go to Egypt for 1 or 2 weeks – that’s amazing, do it! But if you only have limited time as we did, it is possible to see some of the main highlights in only 2 days.
Two-Day Egypt Itinerary
After a good amount of research and, of course, a little help from a friend, we decided to visit Cairo and Giza for 1 day and then visit Luxor and all the ancient temples and the tombs on the second day. So 2 days in total. No plane, no tour agencies, just the two of us and the help of a couple of friends and we did it.
Day 1: Cairo
The best way to see these Egypt highlights in 2 days for minimal cost is to use overnight buses, so you can travel long distances while sleeping. You can book buses online using Go Bus or Blue Bus. We took the night bus from Hurghada to Cairo and spent the night on the bus.
We travelled for 6 hours and arrived in Cairo around 6:30 a.m., where a local guide named Ahmed was waiting for us. We recommend doing one-day trips in Cairo with a local guide to see as much as possible. Our guide was arranged by a friend, but you can find your own local guide by doing some quick research on TripAdvisor.
Our guide took us to The Pyramids of Giza, then we visited the ancient Egyptian Museum which was one of the highlights of our day trip because we saw a real mummy and found out so much about the history of Egypt. It is totally a must-do, we cannot recommend it more!
We then had the most delicious lunch at the Nile River, and then, on top of everything, we took a beautiful night cruise through the Nile. That night, we took another bus to spend a second night travelling and sleeping uncomfortably on the bus (but it was so worth it) and to wake up in Luxor the next morning.
Best Places To Eat In Cairo
If you’re looking for a luxury experience I recommend eating at the following restaurants:
If you’re more for the cultural experience with high-quality food at a reasonable price, you should check the following restaurants:
Best Places To Stay In Cairo
As you already found out, we didn’t get the chance to stay and sleep anywhere in Cairo, but I researched the most recommended places where to stay in Cairo and I found the following to be the top-rated:
Luxury Cairo Hotels
- Safir Hotel Cairo – Located just a 10-minute walk from the Nile River embankment, Safir Hotel in Cairo’s city centre offers luxurious rooms with balconies. The hotel features an outdoor pool, gym, and free Wi-Fi in public areas.
- Four Seasons Hotel Cairo – Located in Downtown Cairo, this hotel has five restaurants and some rooms have Nile views. This hotel also has two outdoor swimming pools and an indoor swimming pool, surrounded by cabanas and sun loungers.
- Marriott Mena House – Marriott Mena House, Cairo, is situated near the Great Pyramids of Giza. The hotel boasts 40 acres of lush gardens, a spa, a fitness centre, and a pool. The rooms feature handcrafted furnishings.
Mid-Range Cairo Hotels
- The Westin Cairo Golf Resort – This unique hotel is located in New Cairo in the Katameya Dunes business district. The hotel offers guest use of the 27 hole golf course, a garden, an outdoor and indoor swimming pool and an onsite spa.
- Fairmont Nile City – Located in the Nile City Towers by the River Nile, this 5-star hotel features a rooftop pool deck with spectacular views across Cairo to the Pyramids. It offers 7 food and beverage venues.
- InterContinental Cairo – This family-friendly hotel is located just a short walk from Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum.
Budget Cairo Hotels
- Sheraton Cairo Hotel and Casino – This hotel has a variety of different room types, including rooms with river views, presidential suites, balconies and pool view rooms.
- Ramses Hilton – Located in downtown Cairo this hotel is connected to a shopping center and has three restaurants, an outdoor swimming pool, a casino and a nightclub.
- Crowne Plaza West Cairo Arkan – Located in Sheikh Zayed City, this city is close to the Grand Egyptian Museum and Memphis Museum. There is also an 18-hole golf course and an outdoor swimming pool located within the hotel.
Best Tours To Take In Cairo
Cairo offers a variety of enjoyable tours for exploring the area, taking a cruise and visiting historic landmarks. Here are three great tour options:
- Experience the wonders of Egypt with an all-inclusive 8-day tour from Cairo. Explore the pyramids, cruise down the Nile River, and discover the greatness of Abu Simbel, all while enjoying 5-star accommodation.
- Experience the historic treasures of Egypt on a thrilling half-day tour from Cairo. Visit the Great Pyramid of Giza, other pyramids, and the Sphinx.
- Explore Egypt’s rich ancient history with a visit to the world-renowned Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Utilize your private guide’s expertise to view the museum’s most impressive artifacts.
Day 2: Luxor
After Cairo, we travelled on the bus for eight and a half hours overnight and arrived in Luxor around 9:30 am. We met up with our local friend and went to all the temples that you should see while in Luxor – Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple, Valley of the Kings and Colossi of Memnon.
We then had lunch with our friend’s family, so I highly recommend finding a local guide for your time in Luxor as well as Cairo. It was amazing to see the ancient temples, visit a traditional Egyptian home, and have the best lunch ever with those nice people!
Then we took the bus again around 3 p.m. to go back to Hurghada (which took us around 4 hours) and we had enough time for dinner, souvenirs shopping and then headed to the airport where our Egypt adventure ended. Pretty crazy and exhausting, right? But it shows it is possible to see these Egypt highlights all in two days by taking advantage of the overnight buses!
Best Places To Eat In Luxor
Some of the top-rated restaurants and cafes in Luxor include:
Best Places To Stay In Luxor
I wish we could have stayed for more than a day in Luxor, so if we do come back someday we will definitely choose one of the below places to stay:
Luxury Luxor Hotels
- Al Moudira Hotel – Located at the gateway to Luxor and is the only palace located on the west bank of the Nile. The oriental décor of the hotel is characterized by beautifully ornate domes and patios with arabesque designs. The hotel features an outdoor pool and a spacious terrace, perfect for relaxing and taking in the stunning surroundings.
- Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa – Nestled on the banks of the Nile, Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa offers stylish rooms with uninterrupted views from the water’s edge, luxurious spa facilities and stunning infinity pools.
- Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor – The hotel is a perfect place to enjoy a calm and peaceful atmosphere. It’s a gateway to the ancient splendours of Egypt. The hotel offers luxurious rooms and suites, beautiful gardens, a pool, as well as fine dining restaurants and bars.
Mid-Range Luxor Hotels
- Sonesta St George Hotel Luxor – Located just a short drive from Luxor Market, Luxor Temple and the Mummification Museum. The hotel features 322 rooms and has premium comforts, including unique decorations and incredible views.
- Steigenberger Nile Palace – This hotel has 304 rooms in a range of configurations, sleeping between two and four people. The hotel also has two swimming pools and five onsite restaurants.
- Steigenberger Resort Achti – With 281 rooms, this hotel has a room configuration to fit everyone’s requirements. The hotel also has two outdoor swimming pools, free self-parking, two poolside bars, and on-site shopping.
Budget Luxor Hotels
- Pyramisa Hotel Luxor – This hotel is located close to the Luxor Temple and the Tombs of Ankhtifi and Sobekhotep at El-Moalla. There is also a poolside bar, a terrace and onsite shopping.
- Pavillion Winter Luxor – With 102 rooms, this hotel offers classic two twin rooms and king rooms with balconies. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool for guests to use, in addition to a swim-up bar and three restaurants.
- Aracan Eatabe Luxor Hotel – This budget-friendly hotel has a small price tag but is filled with great features, including an outdoor swimming pool, a buffet breakfast, a terrace, and four onsite restaurants.
Best Tours To Take In Luxor
Luxor offers a variety of enjoyable tours for exploring the area, taking a cruise and visiting historic landmarks. Here are four great tour options:
- Explore Luxor’s magnificent temples on a full-day tour led by an Egyptologist guide. Visit both the west and east banks of Luxor.
- Fly over Luxor’s West Bank on an early morning hot air balloon ride. See ancient landmarks like the Colossi of Memnon, Valley of the Kings, and Hatshepsut Temple from above the Nile.
- Explore the West Bank on a full-day Luxor tour. Visit the Valley of the Kings tombs and the impressive Hatshepsut Temple at Deir el-Bahari with a guide.
- Embark on a 3-night cruise from Aswan to Luxor along the Nile River. Enjoy full board and a private guide.
Is Egypt Worth It?
If you still wonder if you should visit Egypt, stop wandering and just do it! This is an incredibly beautiful land, full of history and places you will remember forever. It is totally safe to travel, so you don’t have to believe in the media and be scared to go there. I personally know so many people who did solo travels in Egypt, and most of them are women. So just do yourself (and probably your family) a favour and visit that historic country!
Oh, and one tip: because you made it to the end – if you plan to visit Egypt for more than 2 days on land, we recommend you to go see and explore Aswan, Nubian Village, and Alexandria. Also, a two day cruise trip through the Nile River would be an amazing experience too, and if we ever come back to Egypt, we are totally doing this!
I hope this article was interesting and useful for you and I hope that you will book your tickets to Egypt as soon as possible and go explore this land of dreams!
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Our Top Places To Stay In Cairo, Egypt
- Safir Hotel Cairo
- Fairmont Nile City
- Marriott Mena House
- Find the best price on hotels in Cairo, Egypt
Read More About Egypt
- Is Solo Female Travel Safe In Cairo?
- 8 Reasons Why You Should Visit Egypt In 2018
- My Experience Taking A Tour Through Egypt
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