Exotic yet accessible, Egypt is steeped in history yet completely set up for modern tourism. Bring your kids to Egypt and you’ll bring their studies to life. Our Egyptian trips are a far cry from the flop and drop, sit-by-the-pool Sharm el-Sheikh holiday. Instead, they’re an action packed, every-day-is-different adventure. You can be sure that each and every member of the family will be completely absorbed and fascinated.
Some holidays in Egypt with kids feature a seemingly endless list of temples and ruins. However, if you want to keep the children’s attention and interest, it’s important to mix things up. For every attraction where you’ll be wowed by antiquity, add something else that’s ‘of the moment’. This might be a camel trek, a donkey ride, or (our favourite) a relaxing sail down the Nile on a traditional felucca.
Egypt with kids must dos
Ancient vs. modern; fast-paced to completely chilled, take your pick from our eight Egypt with kids experiences for the perfect combination.
1 – Take a camel ride around the Pyramids at Giza
It’s always rather surreal to come face to face with one of the world’s most iconic structures and this is absolutely true for the Pyramids (and Sphinx) at Giza. Who knew that they are RIGHT NEXT TO CAIRO, the perfect juxtaposition of ancient and modern? Avoid the heat and the crowds by taking a camel ride around these imposing structures. This makes the experience easier and even more authentic. Could there be a more quintessentially Egyptian experience? We doubt it. Check out our Highlights of Egypt itinerary.
2 – Go underground to visit Pharaohs’ burial chambers in Valley of the Kings
The dusty, steep valley sides give very little hint at the treasures that lie beneath. But, once you’ve descended into the burial chambers at the Valley of the Kings (including that of famous Tutankhamun), you’ll be literally awestruck. The bright colours and spectacular hieroglyphics engraved on the walls of the tombs are astonishing.
Sadly, most of the treasures buried with the Pharaohs have been ransacked over the centuries, first by thieves and later, archaeologists. However there’s an on-site museum that brings the history to life. If the kids start to lose interest, we give you our permission to mention the ‘Mummy’s Curse’. Intrepid families can opt to arrive at the Valley of the Kings by donkey.
Both our example Egypt itineraries take you to the Valley of the Kings.
3 – Come face to face with a Mummy
There are over 120,000 artefacts stored in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The kids will be greatly relieved to hear that not all are on display! What you can see, though, will wow the whole family and is a must on any trip to Egypt with kids. Chief amongst the attractions are the incredible treasures from King Tutankhamun’s tomb, exquisite gold and turquoise masks and sarcophagi that lay beneath the ground for centuries. The Royal Mummy Room is also a highlight, with 11 mummies on display including the great pharaoh Ramses. A new ‘Grand museum of Egypt’ is currently under construction near the pyramids at Giza and promises to be even bigger and better!
4 – Enjoy a traditional dinner with a local family on the West Bank
When travelling to Egypt with kids, many families are pleasantly surprised by Egyptian cuisine. With both African and Arabian influences, the dishes will be more familiar than you might expect. Falafel, hummus, kebabs and fattoush salads all recognisable favourites and popular with children. There’s even a ‘lasagne’ made out of macaroni and bechamel. At Luxor, you’ll enjoy lunch with one of the west bank local families, who’ll not only cook for you but take you on a (very short) guided tour of their home. Make sure you’re hungry beforehand: it’s delicious!
5 – Go shopping in a real-life Aladdin’s Cave
It’s an easy comparison to make but wandering through Cairo’s most famous bazaar, Khan al Khalili, is like stepping in to Aladdin’s Cave. The stalls here are packed from floor to ceiling with shoes, carpets, lights and lanterns. There are spices, mosaic earthenwares, hookah pipes and other souvenirs you will wish you had room for. Kids will enjoy practicing their haggling skills with the hawkers, leaving you to walk around quite agog at what’s on offer. It’s a feast for all the senses.
6 – Spend the night sleeping on a felucca
Packed as it is with sites and sights, the pace of an Egyptian trip can feel a little hectic. Slow it down with a night spent sailing down the Nile on a ‘felucca’, a traditional wooden boat. This enables you to experience an authentic form of transport that has been unchanged for centuries.
Propelled by the wind and nothing else, you’ll watch Nubian life unfold before you on the river banks, past villages and people tending their fields. Following behind you will be a support boat with toilets and kitchen. At night you’ll moor up alongside the riverbank, sleeping under the stars for the night. When we went, there were a pack of wolves were spotted nearby, a truly magical encounter!
Enjoy a felucca trip and see all of Egypt’s highlights in just over a week.
7 – Take a horse drawn carriage and be wowed by Karnak
Camels, donkeys, feluccas: is there no end to the transport options used on a Stubborn Mule trip to Egypt with kids? At the risk of boasting, that answer would be ‘no’. You will arrive in Karnak in style, courtesy of a horse drawn carriage. Once there, prepare to be wowed. The largest religious temple ever built, Karnak covers around 200 acres and whilst most of it is now in ruins, you can still imagine just how phenomenal it must have been in its day. Wander around and try to decipher the hieroglyphs or play hide and seek with younger children in the vast hall of columns. Find out more on our Places to visit in Egypt overview.
8 – Learn about the Egyptian Gods at Kom Ombo and Edfu
History leaves its mark in Egypt more than almost anywhere on the planet. Whilst it’s important not to include endless temples, two of our favourites are at Kom Ombo and Edfu. Kom Ombo sits in a beautiful location on the banks of the Nile. The kids will be fascinated here by the forty-plus mummified crocodiles on display. Edfu is the best preserved temple in Egypt and the perfect place to hear tales of ancient Egypt, its Gods and the myths behind them. (Check out this great kid-friendly resource courtesy of National Geographic Kids).
More about holidaying in Egypt with kids
Want to know more about our Egypt trips? Do take a look at our Egypt Family Holidays page or click to our sample itinerary, Highlights of Egypt. As neighbours, Egypt is a great place to combine with Jordan, as our Egypt and Jordan Highlights itinerary shows.
For the best family travel advice, please do ring us on 01728 752751 or send a message via our contact page.
Liddy Pleasants, MD Stubborn Mule Travel
We always love to hear about your experiences holidaying in Egypt with kids, so do send us your reviews and photos. Thank you.