Best things to do in Egypt with kids
You are planning on visiting Egypt with kids? Are you crazy? This is the reaction I received when I shared with family and friends that we were travelling to Egypt for 12 days with our 2 and half year old twins.
As you can deduce we are all still well and happy, and I can share that we not only had an amazing experience but also that kids in Egypt are really welcomed and often help to break cultural barriers. Taking children to Egypt is not much different to bringing them to other destinations, your major concerns will be the dust, heat, and taking care with food (The camel drivers at the Pyramids must also be regarded which some suspicion!). If you want some tips then don’t miss my post on how to make a trip to Egypt with kids successful!
Our kids were really young during our trip, so I also asked a couple of other travellers to share their experience of visiting Egypt with kids.
Egypt for kids is like entering a magical place: the pyramids, the bazaar, the mummies, all these things and much more will keep them entertained and have them walking without complaining!!! Engage them before the trip with books about Egypt for kids and bring one or two with you, they will never forget it!
Let’s now have a look what activities can you do in Egypt with kids!
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Must do in Egypt: Visiting the Pyramids of Giza
by Lindsay from Step into Jordan
The Pyramids of Giza are an obvious choice for things to do in Egypt with kids. It is one of the most amazing sites in the whole world, and a must see for any world traveller.
About 45 mins drive from Cairo they offer a stunning glimpse into the 5000 year old history of the Pharaohs and something that kids can instantly recognize.
Tickets are purchased on the site, if you are taking a tour, your guide will have arranged those for your. If you are visiting on your own, be wary of the “many helpers” who will help you to the ticket window, but likely have something to sell you afterward.
For my kids, a horseback ride was a must, but I was very concerned with checking out the horses before we chose to ride them. Satisfied with their healthy appearance, we took a ride to the panoramic viewpoint. It is a nice open space to ride. Beware of pricing scams, horse riding, camels and carriages have a set rate.
My kids also liked going inside the pyramid, so consider buying an extra ticket before you go into the site for that as well (there is general ticket to enter the site, but doesn’t provide you access inside the Pyramids). Do not forget to get a picture kissing the sphinx and spend some time looking for souvenirs. Giza pyramids are one of the top places of interest in Egypt, ensure you have half a day for it as a few hours is not really enough to see everything.
Entrance price can change, but is about EGP200
HOT TIP: We choose to stay directly in front of the Pyramids at the Marriott Mena House hotel and open the window every morning to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, if you do the same you will not regret it. Read here my review.
Visiting the Egyptian Museum
by Vrushali from Couple of Journeys
The Egyptian Museum is located in Cairo’s heart and is one of the best places to visit in Cairo with kids. Kids of all ages are fascinated by its collection and the lessons in history that the exhibits provide.
The Egyptian Museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm. You can easily buy tickets on the spot at the Museum. However, be prepared to stand in a small queue. The tickets cost approximately USD 10. A thorough visit can take up to 2.5 to 3 hours. Therefore, you should plan accordingly. There is a cafeteria inside the premises and plenty of clean toilets making the Museum a place suitable for traveling with kids.
The best way to explore the Museum is by hiring an Egyptologist or a guide to explain the significance of the various exhibits inside the Museum. The ground floor is mostly dedicated to artifacts from the Old Kingdom. It provides excellent insights into the history of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. On the other hand, a large part of the upper floor is dedicated to the gold treasures found in Tutankhamen’s tomb.
The highlight of the Museum is the Mummy Room. You need to buy an extra ticket for this, though. Bear in mind that the somber vibe inside the Mummy room can make young kids and toddlers uncomfortable. Therefore, it is advisable to only take older kids inside the Mummy room.
Also, note that all the exhibits inside the Egyptian Museum are likely to be moved to a bigger museum – The Grand Egyptian Museum, in Giza, which is expected to open in 2021.
Is it safe to travel to Egypt with children?I asked myself this question several times: before purchasing the flights, while organising the itinerary and up to the time of departure. I did a lot of research, tried to understand the political situation, and tried to have a temperature check.
There are still areas of Egypt where it is not recommended to venture, but otherwise if you make a more detached analysis of the situation you can easily see that statistically Egypt is no more dangerous than many other developed countries where every year sadly there are bombings, shootings, and so on. The riots of 2011 have passed, and the police and military are an evident presence throughout the territory, particularly at tourist attractions and international hotels where private security is often also in place.
The whole time we were in Egypt we never felt that we were in danger or that anything would happen, but we naturally took the normal precautions when travelling in an unfamiliar country.
Not to miss: Cairo Food Tour
Adventuring with kids is an amazing journey full of new experiences and adventures together as a family, but it is surely not without its challenges. One of the trickier mountains to climb is definitely food, even the most ambitious toddler and the sunniest teenager can turn their noses up at a plate of unfamiliar delicacies.
So, do you just abandon dreams of couscous in the casbah with the family and head for the golden arches? I must admit we’ve taken the easy option a few times, but there are many tricks to try from introducing typical foods at home before travelling, to using a favourite food (bread for our kids) and adding the new flavours to it.
When we visited Cairo with children whilst travelling through Egypt however, we added another implement to our culinary arsenal with a City Food Tour.
The Food Tour was a delightful solution to explore a new culture and cuisine. A very knowledgeable local lady, Laila from Bellies En-Route guided us through the cultural and culinary history of bustling Cairo as we hopped from Cafe, to restaurant, to Juice Bar, to Coffee Roastery having a small plate, snack, or drink at each. Kids (and Adults) enjoy tasting a little of many different dishes, if you don’t like something then just wait for the next one!
As each dish comes in a different place, the children are also kept engaged and excited as they move through this fascinating city. A food tour is also a perfect bridge between ancient and modern Egypt for kids that like to understand where traditions come from. Our guide Laila was wonderful but also the Egyptian people were very welcoming and delightful with our boys.
Dream with a Dahabiya Nile Cruise
A Nile cruise may seem like one of the last activities to consider while in Egypt with kids, but it is not necessary to give up on this magical experience. It is definitely a must do in Egypt!
Egyptians are very helpful people and love children, if you choose a reputable company you will see that with a few small tricks you can spend 3-4 idyllic days.
For the Nile cruise you will have the choice between the classic large cruise ships or a cruise on a Dahabiya. The latter is a traditional sailing boat and it is the solution we chose to cruise the Nile with the kids.
There are usually no more than 5-6 cabins, which means 10-14 people maximum. Even when the boat is full there is plenty of space preventing the concern of the children disturbing. Cruises usually travel from Aswan to Esna (near Luxor) and last 3 or 4 days depending if they are going downstream or upstream.
Meals usually take place on the sundeck all together giving you the opportunity to know the other guests with whom you will also participate in the various excursions. An Egyptologist will be with the group all the time. For the children it will be a wonderful adventure, our twins were just over 2 years and they were able to participate in almost all the excursions organised during the day.
The crew and the captain were super kind with our kids and even joined us sometimes to entertain them. The captain very kindly even organised dinner for them at a different time, and the cook prepared simple dishes such as grilled chicken or scrambled eggs. We booked with Djed and we couldn’t have been happier!
Go back in time visiting the Valley of the Kings
Luxor, although smaller than Cairo, is still a large city rich in history with many attractions, one of the most unmissable being the Valley of the Kings.
With children, the only real precaution in this case is to go for a visit very early. The sun is very hot and apart from inside the tombs there are not many shelters.
The Valley of the Kings is an incredible place and it is difficult to express its magnificence in words or without professional photos. The site is easy to explore and you can get to the entrance with a stroller (or fold it and take the train that connects the visitor centre with the entrance).
Children aged 7-8+ will be fascinated for life by having entered the tomb of an ancient Egyptian King. For them and for you it will be one of the most interesting things to do in Egypt!
The site is made up of 62 tombs, but only a few can be visited. Although the layout is the same, with a sloping corridor towards the burial chamber, all the tombs are different. The entrance ticket gives access to 3 tombs, then you can pay separate tickets to access the others. Consider to hire a guide to fully appreciate the site.
To get there, take a taxi and make sure to be there very early (around 10 am the day trip tours arrive from the Red Sea) or at the end of the day. The 3 tombs ticket costs 240 Egyptian pounds (if you want to see Tutankhamun’s tomb you will need to add another 300 Egyptian pounds ticket!!!)
It is one of the most expensive sites to visit in Egypt but it’s really worth the money!
Sharm el-Sheikh: the perfect ending of any family holiday to Egypt.
Lindsay from Carpe Diem OUR Way
Sharm el-Sheikh is a beach vacation destination that feels like a mix of Mexico and a Greek Island like Santorini. The air is warm and sweet-smelling, and the all-inclusive atmosphere with entertainment and kids-club activities are like the resorts that are popular in Mexico and around the world.
Sharm el-Sheikh is most popular in the winter, with Europeans taking advantage of cheap flights from Europe to the warm weather on the Sinai Peninsula. If you do not leave the resort, you can’t really tell you are in Egypt however, you should head into the town, at least for a few hours. Enjoy a typical meal, wander around the shops and buy some souvenirs. If you are looking for some down time, 4 days is the perfect amount of time to be in Sharm before or after visiting other highlights of Egypt.
As for costs, that is going to depend on the property you choose. You can get a 5* hotel or a 3* and the price will change dramatically. If you have kids, choose one with a good kids club or a good pool with a slide. If you have kids who are into horses, Movenpick Sharm has a great equestrian centre with lessons starting at USD20. You can even ride the horses on the beach and into the Red Sea. My son loved bathing and grooming them afterwards to get the salt off of them.
HOT TIP: Egypt offers several options for families that want to relax by the beach. If you only have a couple of days you can also consider Hurghada or El Quesir. They are both easy to reach with a transfer from Luxor. These destination are less famous than Sharm El Sheikh, but the sea is as amazing. We had a wonderful time at the Radisson Blu Resort El Quseir. You can find here my review.
Feel the Magic: take a ride on a Hot Air Balloon
Seeing your child’s eyes light up with joy makes everything worthwhile for every parent especially during a more challenging trip like Egypt can be, with high temperatures and lots of dust.
Going up in a hot air balloon has something magical taking you back in time. A journey that takes on the flavour of adventure!
In Luxor there are various companies offering the possibility to see the Nile, the Valley of the Kings, the Colossi of Memnon, and more from a different angle.
These companies will (usually) pick you up at dawn from your hotel and take you to the starting point of the balloon trips where, with 15-20 other participants you will venture on a magical flight for about 45 minutes.
Children are welcome, but I would only consider this activity with children of at least 6-7 years old so that they can safely and independently see the view that unfolds from the balloon. We didn’t participate in this activity for lack of time and because our kids were still really young, but we will do it next time we have the opportunity.
If you have been or go to Egypt with kids let me know in the comments and share your experience!
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