Best Places in Egypt for Families
Egypt may seem like an adult-only destination, but young travelers will surely be fascinated by the country’s storied history and range of activities. Parents interested in a family trip should consider booking one of the best Egypt tours focusing on attractions for all ages. From fun activities along the Red Sea coast to camel rides at the Pyramids of Giza, these must-visit sights and family-friendly activities offer adventure for the young and old alike. Here are some of the best places in Egypt for families.
The Tomb of King Tut in Luxor
All Egypt guided tours should include time exploring King Tut’s tomb in the town of Luxor. After a nine-year restoration, this archaeological site in the Valley of the Kings reopened in February 2019. Although it’s fascinating for both adults and kids, the tomb of King Tut is small and can get crowded at times. No photography is permitted, but the craftsmanship, carving of the stone coffin, and the intact linen-wrapped mummy makes this ancient tomb worth a visit.
Camel Rides at the Pyramids of Giza
The pyramids alone are stunning and probably the world’s most recognizable wonder, but families will enjoy camel rides as much as the touring the Pyramids of Giza. Egypt tailor-made tours should include a day at the Pyramids, so inquire about camel rides for the whole family at the time of booking. If you don’t book a camel ride in advance, be sure to set the price before you agree to the trip. Although tipping or “baksheesh,” as it’s called in the Middle East, is not required, it is appreciated if you’ve experienced excellent service. Guides will take photos of visitors if requested, so be sure to bring a camera or smartphone with you to capture your family’s moment gliding through the desert.
The Child Museum
Located in the Heliopolis district in Cairo, the Children’s Civilization and Creative Center teaches children and teens about Egypt’s rich heritage. Inside, visitors will discover four sections. “Where am I from?” dives into the history, the Pyramids, and King Tut’s tomb. “Who am I?” peers into the country’s development along the Nile River. “What is Egypt like today?” concentrates on present-day Egypt. And finally, “What is the future of Egypt?” focuses on the science aspect of the country and looks toward the future. Although this museum is geared toward younger travelers, parents will find it interesting as well.
Shopping Khan el-Khalili
Dating back to the Middle Ages, the bazaar or old souk in Old Cairo is a bustling market and an essential aspect of Egyptian culture. Curious kids will welcome the excitement and stimulation because there’s so much to observe, all while shopping for souvenirs alongside their parents. Afternoons and evenings tend to be busy at the souk, so aim to arrive early around 11 a.m. or shortly after the marketplace opens. Be sure to keep your children close to you at all times to not be separated in the crowds.
Escape the madness of the city for a few hours of respite in Al-Azhar Park. This 74-acre urban oasis is a terrific option for those high-energy little ones who won’t tire out. At this picturesque park in Islamic Cairo, kids will adore the sliding boards, jungle gyms, and other recreation equipment in the playground, as well as space to romp and play on the green. But this beautiful park is a must-see attraction for every adult tourist in Egypt too, as it provides breathtaking views of the city and lies adjacent to several prominent historic districts in Islamic Cairo.
When the kids need a break from learning about the ancient culture and history of Egypt, take them to this entertainment complex where they can pretend to be a firefighter, chef, doctor or another professional while sporting uniforms and working in their chosen field. Catering to kids from age four to 14, KidZania aims to educate children and allow them to have an entertaining experience simultaneously. Parents will get a kick out of watching their sons and daughters role play and amuse themselves in a fun, yet safe environment.
Located in Nubia in Upper Egypt near the border of Sudan, these two rock temples were commissioned under the dynasty of King Ramesses II. The Great Temple at Abu Simbel, which took approximately 20 years to construct, is often considered one of the most alluring temples in Egypt. The Small Temple, also referred to as the temple of Hathor and Nefertari, sits about 330 feet away from the Great Temple. Families can learn about the detailed history while touring the two temples. Fun fact: In 1960, both temples were moved 200 feet up the cliff to escape damage from the looming waters of Lake Nasser.
The Nile is synonymous with Egypt and a cruise tops every Egypt travel list. Hence, older children will like spending time on the river almost as much as their parents. Some luxury Egypt tours may include a cruise on the Nile River, so be sure to ask when booking your trip. Most cruises last three or four nights, coasting from Aswan to Luxor and making stops along the way. Buffet meals are included, and some cabins offer terraces. Entertainment such as live music and belly dancing is also an attraction for the kiddos, keeping them engaged onboard the ship.
Beach towns on the Red Sea
The sand, the ocean, the warmth on their faces, for these reasons and many others, all children love the beach. For the ultimate beach vacation in Egypt, take the kids to Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh, two beautiful towns on the Red Sea. Kids will like the outdoor activities at the Jungle Aqua Park in Hurghada – an all-inclusive resort set in a waterpark – and the luxe Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh with its tech amenities (iPads can be rented) and a Kids’ Club. Take the family snorkeling, for a sail, or build castles in the sand. Whatever you choose to do, a relaxing family holiday on the Red Sea is one to be remembered forever.
Tracy Kaler is a ballet dancer turned interior designer turned lifestyle and travel writer who blogs at tracysnewyorklife.com. Find her byline in The Telegraph, IN New York Magazine, TravelMag, National Geographic, Mabuhay Magazine, Metro NY and others. When she’s not glued to her laptop, you’ll find her wandering the streets of New York City or off discovering another part of the planet.”