6 Day Trips from Cairo, Egypt: How to Escape the City

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Cairo can be a lot of fun, but sometimes you need a break from the chaos. Read this to learn where to go for the best day trips from Cairo.

night at the pyramids near Cairo

Cairo is a city like no other. It’s a melting pot of cultures, blending ancient traditions with a modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere. The city is hectic, crazy, noisy and brilliant all at the same time. For some people, the capital city of Egypt can be a bit too much. Good thing there are some easy day trips from Cairo to sneak in the well-deserved break. 

There are several adventures less than two hours from the city, depending on traffic, of course. Cairo has some of the worst traffic you’ll ever see!

The most popular day trip is to the magnificent Pyramids of Giza. Almost everyone who visits Egypt wants to tick off this Wonder of the World, and who can blame them? They’re mysterious masterpieces!

However, this guide shows you there’s more outside the city than the pyramids. Keep reading to discover the best day trips from Cairo, what to do, and how to get there. 

Best day trips from Cairo

Pyramids of Giza 

Pyramids of Giza and Spinx with blue skies

The Pyramids of Giza need no introduction. 

The Great Pyramid of Giza may have made it onto the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World list, but don’t forget about the other two equally impressive pyramids, Khafre and Menkuare. 

Built in the early 26th century BC, the magnificence and sheer scale of these pyramids have baffled civilizations. How could ancient society create such architecturally brilliant and frankly huge structures?

The pyramids were built as elaborate tombs for pharaohs and their treasures intended for the afterlife. Nowadays, they’re one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, receiving around 14 million people every year. 

You simply can’t come to Cairo and not visit all the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. 

How to visit the Pyramids of Giza

camels in front of the Pyramids of Giza near Cairo

Getting from Cairo to Giza is simple and can be done in several ways. The easiest way is to use Uber or InDrive, another popular cab-hailing app in Egypt. The prices are fair, especially when you split it between a group, and you don’t have to haggle like with taxis off the street. 

Another option is to book a minivan or private transfer online. The journey takes anywhere between 30 minutes and one hour, depending on the traffic and where you’re staying in Cairo. 

Two of the cheapest ways to get from Cairo to the Pyramids of Giza are the bus or the metro. The metro allows you to avoid the city’s chronic traffic, but you’ll still need to grab a taxi or minivan once you arrive in Giza. 

If you’re up for the adventure, buses 355 and 357 run from downtown Cairo to the pyramids. 

Tips for visiting the Pyramids of Giza:

  • Try to go to the Great Pyramid of Khufu entrance. The Sphinx entrance can get a bit hectic. It’s very poorly organized with one tiny ticket window, often leading to long, unorderly queues. 
  • Get there early! Seeing the pyramids without lots of tourists makes the whole experience even more special. 
  • Many people are going to try to sell you things. The best phrase you can learn is “la shukran,” or “no, thank you” in Arabic. 90% of the time, they’ll leave you alone when you say this. 

Dahshur Pyramids 

Dahshur Red Pyramid with Bent Pyramid in the background. It's a day trip from Cairo

Don’t make the same mistake most tourists make when visiting Cairo and forget about the Dahshur Pyramids. 

The Dahshur Necropolis is home to two main pyramids — the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid. Both are incredibly unique due to their construction. 

A mistake made by the architect meant that partway through the construction of the Bent Pyramid, the angle had to be changed, thus resulting in its bent or crooked appearance. 

The Red Pyramid, located 2km (1.2 miles) from the Bent Pyramid, isn’t famous for its color. Instead, it’s for being the first perfect pyramid with straight sides. The Pyramids of Giza wouldn’t look that good if this pyramid wasn’t built first!

And one of the best things about visiting the Dahshur Pyramids is that you’re not going to be overwhelmed by other tourists. What a treat!

A day of exploring pyramids is hungry work. Use our list of must-try Egyptian dishes to decide what to eat to satiate your hunger. 

How to visit the Dahshur Pyramids

road to Dahshur Bent Pyramid near Cairo

One of the best ways to get to the Dahshur Pyramids is to hire a private driver for the day. You can order an Uber or take a taxi there, but you need to ensure they’re happy to wait for you. 

Finding another Uber or taxi to return to Cairo can be a struggle. That’s where having a private driver who can work with your schedule is better. 

The journey from downtown Cairo takes around an hour. 


Alexandria fortress and shore are a day trip from Cairo

Some people spend a few days in the historic city of Alexandria, but it can be done as a day trip from Cairo. 

Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE, the city became a prominent center of learning and trade in the ancient world. It’s renowned for the Great Library of Alexandria, which, though it no longer exists, was one of the largest and most important libraries in the ancient world.

Pharos Lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was also located in Alexandria, but like the library, can no longer be seen. 

Things that you can actually see today include the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, Fort Qaitbey, the Roman Amphitheatre, and the city’s vibrant markets. 

The city was a major center of early Christianity and is still home to many Christians, giving it a slightly different cultural feel than the rest of Egypt. 

How to visit Alexandria

Alexandria bridge is a day trip from Cairo

Get up early and head to Alexandria. That way, you can (fingers crossed) avoid the worst traffic and make the most of your day trip from Cairo to Alexandria. 

There are two main ways to get from Cairo to Alexandria: by bus or train. The bus is the cheapest option, costing less than $5, but it takes around three hours. This eats up a lot of your time in Alexandria. 

The train takes half the time but is almost ten times as expensive. 

If you want to balance time with money, consider taking the train one way and the bus the other. 

Wadi el Natrun

Monastery of Saint Bishoy Egypt

For those who really want some peace and quiet from the noisiness of Cairo, Wadi el Natrun oozes tranquillity. 

This valley, nestled in the desert, is famous for its ancient monastic communities that have gathered here since the 4th century. 

Scattered throughout the valley are several well-preserved Coptic monasteries like the Monastery of Saint Macarius and the Monastery of Saint Bishoy.

Wandering around the monasteries is a fascinating and awe-inspiring experience. The buildings are stunning!

How to visit Wadi el Natrun 

palm garden in Wadi el Natrun, near Cairo

Most people will tell you to join a tour group to visit Wadi el Natrun, as getting there yourself can be a little complicated. 

The cheapest option is to get on a bus going from Cairo to Alexandria. You’ll need to tell the driver that you want to get off at Omar Oasis service station. From here, you can grab a taxi or tuk-tuk the rest of the way to Wadi el Natrun, taking just under an hour. 

To get back to Cairo, you’ll need to flag down the bus from the road. 

Faiyum Oasis

Faiyum Oasis lake near Cairo

Siwa is the most famous oasis in Egypt after blowing up on social media this year. But it’s a 10-hour bus journey from Cairo. If you’re not willing to sit on a bus for that long, we don’t blame you. 

Faiyum Oasis is a great alternative and a beautiful day trip from Cairo. It’s not like most oases you’re probably imagining. Faiyum isn’t just one small pool of water but a collection of many lakes and canals hidden in the desert. 

Beyond the lakes is Wadi El Rayan, a protected national park home to Egypt’s largest waterfall.

Faiyum Oasis is the perfect place to escape the urban jungle of Cairo and immerse yourself in idyllic nature. Its beauty is striking, and its history is almost as captivating. People have been living here since 4000 BC. 

How to visit Faiyum Oasis

Faiyum Oasis waterfall day trip from Cairo

You have a few options to get from Cairo to Faiyum. The easiest is to join a tour or hire a private driver for the day. This way, you’ll be there in under two hours. 

Alternatively, you can book a minivan or private car to take you to the city of Faiyum and then hop a taxi from there.

Up for an adventure?

You can also get to Faiyum by public transport…, but it might be a bit hectic. First, you’ll need to get to Remaya Square near the pyramids. Here, you’ll find microbuses heading to Fayoum. Tell the driver you’re heading to Tunis and enjoy the ride. 

Ain Sokhna 

Ain Sokhna beachfront near Cairo

If you don’t have time to properly visit the spectacular Red Sea, visiting Ain Sokhna from Cairo as a day trip can be a great way to get a little taste. 

While it might not be the prettiest out of Egypt’s Red Sea beach towns (check out Dahab instead), Ain Sokhna is still home to turquoise waters and sandy beaches perfect for soaking up some sun. 

Why not try your hand at kitesurfing or get a bird’s eye view of the water from the cable cars? Or take part in Egypt’s world-famous diving or snorkeling. 

Don’t leave without getting a taste of the fresh seafood!

How to visit Ain Sokhna

pool and resort in Ain Sokhna near Cairo

Getting from Cairo to Ain Sokhna takes under 2 hours. There are multiple minivans leaving every day, starting from $9 per person.

Weather in Cairo

bridge over the water in Alexandria near Cairo

The best thing about the weather in Egypt is you rarely have to worry about rain ruining your plans. Instead, the temperature is the biggest thing you need to consider when planning your trip. 

During the summer months (June-August), temperatures in Cairo can reach as high as 40°C (104°F) or more. In these temperatures, exploring the pyramids quickly turns from an adventure into something not too dissimilar to torture. 

The best time to visit Egypt is between October and April, when you can expect little to no rain and cooler temperatures. They typically range from 15-23°C (60-73°F) from October to February, with a slight increase to 30°C (86°F) in March and April.

Packing list essentials for day trips from Cairo 

Roman amphitheater near Cairo

When heading out on fun day trips from Cairo, it’s important to remember some essentials and dress appropriately. 

Egypt is a relatively conservative Muslim country. If you’re a woman, it’s best to wear clothes that cover your shoulders and avoid wearing short dresses, skirts and shorts. 

We recommend wearing light and cool clothes so you don’t get too sweaty. Not sweating at all is almost impossible!

Here are some things to consider bringing with you: 

  • Suncream 
  • Sunhat 
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Day pack 
  • Water 
  • Snacks
  • Your student ID if you have one – you can get a 50% discount on most historical sites in Egypt.

Map of day trips from Cairo 

Cairo is a huge city that seems to keep growing. Once you fight your way out of the traffic and the city, you’re met with a whole host of adventures most people miss out on. 

And the best part is that most of them are less than two hours away by car. 

How to get to Cairo

jeep on the sand in the sunset near the Red Sea in Egypt

Luckily, Cairo’s International Airport receives flights from all over the world, making it a relatively well-connected city. Particularly during the winter, you can find great deals with budget airlines from Europe. 

If you’re already in Egypt, one of the best and most affordable ways to travel around the country is by bus. Just keep in mind that you should always add an hour or two to the journey time advertised! 

Which day trips from Cairo are you going to do?

Skyline of Cairo city and mosque.

With six incredible day trips from Cairo included in this guide, it can be hard to pick which ones to do. Whichever ones you decide on, get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and experience a different side of Egypt. 

Whether you swim in the crystal clear waters of Ain Sokhna, step back in time in Alexandria, or adventure around pyramids, you’ll create memories that you can always look back on. 

If you have more time in Egypt, check out our awesome 2-week Egypt itinerary to plan the rest of your trip!


Can you do a day trip from Cairo to Luxor? 

You can, and tours will offer it by flying, but we wouldn’t advise it. Luxor deserves so much more of your time than just a few hours. 

How many days in Cairo is enough?

We recommend a minimum of three days in Cairo. This gives you enough time to visit the Pyramids of Giza, its vibrant markets, some mosques and explore anything else you’d like. 

Can you visit Cairo from Sharm el-Sheikh?

You can easily visit Cairo from Sharm el-Sheikh, but it’s not really possible as a day trip. You could fly between the two, which takes as little as one hour, but you’d still spend most of your day traveling. The other option is a 6-8 hour bus. 

Posted February 14, 2024
Kate Woodley
After a 2-year career break travelling the world, Kate quit her job as a Management Consultant and went all in on digital nomad life. She continues to travel, working as a freelance writer and inspiring others to travel through her Instagram, Maskedtravelsx. Kate also shares her love of travel by running group trips to unique destinations — Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan etc. Where life will take her next? She has no idea!