Most Instagrammable Places in Egypt

Most instagrammable places in Egypt
Lisa Homsy at Grand Pyramid in Giza, Cairo

Egypt is filled with endless beauty and so rich in history just waiting for you to discover. For a country so rich in history it’s said that they’ve only uncovered 30% of their history! 🤯

Did you know that every month in Egypt there are at least one or two new discoveries? Fresh off the plane from my month-long adventure, I’m sharing all my favorite spots & most Instagrammable places in Egypt.

A few things to note before booking your trip to Egypt is that photography in Egypt is quite strict. If you’re looking to take more than just the average selfie and are walking around with a large camera, just keep in mind you will be a walking target.

Tripods are banned in most places, and drones are illegal, so don’t even try bringing a drone into the country (trust me, even if they manage to miss it on the way in if they find it on the way out, they will still confiscate it).

The big issue with cameras is that these days, anyone can be a photographer, and with social media, it’s very difficult to determine who is shooting for personal reasons vs a campaign.

**Note if you are shooting a campaign you need to pay for commercial rights for the location.

After doing my fair share of sweet talking to the security guards, I thought I’d put together a guide to help fellow creators find the most photo-worthy places in Egypt. Before planning your trip to Egypt, read these posts first and then come back to add these places to your itinerary.

Egypt travel tips

10-day Egypt itinerary

Egypt packing guide

Lisa Homsy with hieroglyphics at Philae Temple, Aswan

Before sharing the best Egypt photo spots, let me say that I would not have appreciated Egypt the same way without hiring a guide. Egypt is so rich in history that having a guide is critical.

And I have the best ones to recommend! I’ve hired both Sameh and Mohamed when traveling with my group trips, and I would 1000% book them again. Their contact info is linked at the bottom of this post.

And if you don’t know, I host group travel and photography retreats around the world. In 2022 I hosted 5 retreats and welcomed 55 people to experience Mexico, Bali and Egypt, I can’t wait to host more in 2023.

Make sure to follow me on Instagram and join my newsletter to be the first to know about upcoming 2023 destinations and early bird discounts.


Most Instagrammable Places in Cairo

No trip to Egypt is complete without a stop in Cairo. It is also the starting and ending place for your trip to Egypt. And home to one of the 7 Wonders of the World – The Great Pyramids of Giza. Here’s your list of the best photo spots in Cairo.

Great Pyramids of Giza

It’s no surprise that seeing the Great Pyramids of Giza with your own two eyes is a MUST when visiting Egypt. Then you can check seeing one of the 7 World Wonders off your list.

Seeing them up close and standing on the grand pyramid feels so surreal and can make for beautiful photos if you can dodge the crowds. But personally, I love shooting the pyramids from farther.

Head to the Panoramic Point (middle photo), from here you can pay to rent a camel, which also makes another great photo stop along the way.

I recommend visiting in the morning to beat the heat (8-11 am), then grabbing some lunch at 9 Pyramids Lounge, located in the park. It has a great view of the pyramids. And yes, there are in fact 9 pyramids!

Lisa Homsy with camel at Grand Pyramid in Giza, Cairo

Great Sphinx

On the same grounds as the Great Pyramid you’ll find the Sphinx. If you position yourself correctly you can get a beautiful shot right in front with both the Sphinx and a Pyramid perfectly in line. For a different perspective, venture inside the temple and get a cheeky photo of you kissing the Sphinx. 😘

I recommend visiting in the afternoon, after lunch at 9 Pyramids Lounge, just before closing (the park closes at 4 pm). At that time you’ll get nice soft light & hopefully fewer people.

Lisa Homsy at the Sphinx in Giza, Cairo

Ibn Tulun Mosque

Ibn Tulun is one of the oldest mosques in Egypt as well as in all of Africa surviving in its full original form and is the largest mosque in Cairo. It’s also one of the most beautiful mosques I’ve ever visited, with light peaks pouring in from every direction. The mosque features ancient architectural styles of Egypt.

If you’re a sucker for good light like I am, do yourself a favor and visit around 9-9:45. I squealed when I was these light beams! 🤗😁

Light leaks through the window at Ibn Tulun in Cairo

Keep in mind that this is a Muslim mosque so dress appropriately or else you will have an issue. I was wearing a long sleeve button-up dress that went past my knees but because it had a slit on the side, the female staff kept a close eye on me.

My guide didn’t see any issue with my outfit or else he would have warned me but the staff certainly had an issue. Not sure if it was the big cameras, the attire, or the fact that we were a large group each taking photos but they didn’t like it.

It’s important to always remain respectful of their customs. If you visit keep in mind they may want to review the photos you take and can ask you to delete anything they don’t find appropriate.

Also if you are planning to visit as a couple it’s important to note that there is NO TOUCHING in the mosque. Yes, that means no holding hands.

Khan el-Khalili Market

The most popular market in Cairo and the perfect place to practice your bargaining skills. Get lost in the back streets filled with little trinkets, lanterns, spices, and jewelry.

It’s the perfect place to get any last-minute gifts to bring home. Local markets can also be a great photo spot and this one while hectic, is full of beauty. While wandering around we stumbled on the iconic archway.

*Kind reminder that if you’re wanting to take photos in someone’s shop it’s always best to ask for permission first and try to support them by buying something or offering a small tip.

Shopping at Khan el-Khalili Market, Cairo

Most Instagrammable Places in Aswan

Philae Temple

Philae Temple was a new temple for me but I’m so glad we visited. Combining history and nature, it was a highlight for many on my group trips. One of the most impressive facts about this temple was that in 1902, as the Aswan Low Dam was completed, it threatened to submerge many ancient landmarks, so it was moved to a nearby island as part of the UNESCO Nubia Campaign project.

It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful temples in Egypt. It is considered to be a true symbol of Egyptian ‘classic’ architecture. It was believed to be the burial ground of Osiris and was built to honor the goddess Isis, the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus.

Lisa Homsy with hieroglyphics at Philae Temple, Aswan
Lisa Homsy with hieroglyphics at Philae Temple, Aswan
Lisa Homsy with hieroglyphics at Philae Temple, Aswan

Nubian Village

One of my favorite places to visit in Egypt both for the cultural experience as well as for photos. Just across the Nile River from Aswan, you’ll find the friendliest and most colorful villages in the entire country.

To get there you’ll need to arrange a motorboat. A relaxing 15-minute boat ride cruising through the Nile’s shallow waters. When visiting, make sure you plan to stay for a home-cooked meal, it’s probably THE BEST meal you’ll eat in Egypt.

It’s important to note that there are 2 Nubian villages. The more authentic one and the more touristy one (featured below).

Both Nubian villages are authentic in terms of food but if you’re going for photos, you can’t beat the colorful walls of the touristy one. It’s definitely a must-visit. The other one isn’t as aesthetics however the food, culture, and warm welcome from the Nubian people can’t be beat!

Lisa Homsy twirling at the colorful Nubian Village, Aswan

Abu Simbel

One of my favorite temples in Egypt, it’s so surreal to see it in real life. Mainly because it’s so impressive in size and that both temples were carved out of a single piece of stone. And because the temples were dismantled when they built the high dam.

So in 1964, the temple was cut into 836 pieces and moved 65 feet up and 200 feet back to avoid it being flooded. I couldn’t take my eyes off Rameses temple trying to imagine how they could move something so massive and put it back together so flawlessly. 

At Abu Simbel, you actually get 2 temples in one. One for King Ramses II and the other to his Nubian wife Nefertari.

Abu Simbel is packed with tourists from 8-10 am, but it is the best time to visit because it gets really hot midday. If you can bare the heat, the tour buses leave around 10 am making it much quieter and easier to take photos without anyone in it.

Traditional Felluca Boat

There’s nothing quite like sailing down the Nile River on a traditional felucca. It’s a sailboat so don’t expect to be moving quickly but it’s so peaceful. During the day you can jump off the boat and swim in the Nile and you’ll notice young kids will catch up to the boat on a paddle board and hold onto the side and be dragged while they sing to you.

Lisa Homsy on a traditional felucca boat sailing the Nile river in Aswan, Egypt
Lisa Homsy on a traditional felucca boat sailing the Nile river in Aswan, Egypt
Lisa Homsy on a traditional felucca boat sailing the Nile river in Aswan, Egypt

Most Instagrammable Places in Luxor

Valley of the Kings

While Valley of the Kings is not the most photogenic location, booking a sunrise hot air balloon experience for an aerial view definitely is. It’s an early wake-up call but totally worth it.

Due to its popularity, there are 3 flights with each balloon fitting 20-30 people. But if you’re looking to be in the air to witness the sunrise make sure you book the first flight.

I’ve booked both through Sinbad Balloon and Dreams and would recommend them both.

Lisa Homsy is a hot air balloon overlooking Valley of the Kings, Luxor

Karnak Temple

Another favorite of mine is Karnak Temple, due to the magnitude of the pillars and the incredible light that pours through every crack. This temple is even more breathtaking in person as it’s the biggest temple in Egypt and the second biggest temple in the world.

While the main photo spot is the pillars, the temple is huge and there is beauty to be found everywhere. Be sure to plan for 2 hours here, you’ll need it if you plan to learn a little of the history and take photos.

The below photo was taken in 2019 vs the others being my recent trip (2022). Since 2019, they’ve done a lot of restoration on the pillars to reveal the original colors painted on the pillars (look at the second pillar in the second image).

Lisa Homsy walking through the pillars at Karnak Temple, Luxor
Lisa Homsy walking through the pillars at Karnak Temple, Luxor
Lisa Homsy walking through the pillars at Karnak Temple, Luxor

Luxor Temple

3km from Karnak Temple and connected by an impressive boardwalk, the Avenue of the Sphinxes stretches all the way to the Luxor Temple. The avenue is lined by rows of human-headed sphinxes on either side.

I personally love visiting Luxor Temple at night. Which unfortunately tends to be the most popular time to visit. Many people crowd in to watch the temple light up at sunset. This made photos a little bit of a challenge.

To get photos without the crowd, planning your visit during the day would be best. But, if you can think outside the box, you can make anything work. I personally love shooting inside the temple pillars more than the popular front-of-the-temple photos.  

Lisa Homsy and Haylsa at Luxor Temple, Luxor

Hatshepsut Temple

Dedicated to Queen Nefertiti, Hatshepsut Temple is one of the most architecturally stunning structures in Egypt. And while I feel like I’ve said that about nearly every temple, the symmetry of this place with the long staircase is just stunning. Even more incredible, Hatshepsut was one of Egypt’s first female Pharaohs!

Everyone seems to gather at the stairs but if you’re patient you can get photos in between the groups rolling in. You could position yourself to take up most of the frame you might be able to get a photo with barely anyone in it. Although the stairs are beautiful, there are other corners of the temple that are photo-worthy against the cliffside.

Lisa Homsy at Hatsheptsut Temple, Luxor
Lisa Homsy at Hatsheptsut Temple, Luxor

Most Instagrammable Places in the Sinai Peninsula

Al Sahaba Mosque

Located in Sharm el Sheik, we pulled over straight after landing at the airport on our way to Dahab because the architecture just spoke to me. I felt like Princess Jasmine in front of Agraba in this turquoise dress.

I don’t know much about this mosque but these photos were taken in 2019. What I can tell you is that friends visited earlier this year and mentioned they were getting yelled at for trying to take photos here.

The only thing I can think of is that is a Muslim mosque and they are a couple so as mentioned earlier, no touching. But I didn’t have any issues taking photos here.

Lisa Homsy at Al Sahaba Mosque in Sharm El Sheik, Sinai Peninsula
Lisa Homsy at Al Sahaba Mosque in Sharm El Sheik, Sinai Peninsula

Diving in the Red Sea

If you’re a diving enthusiast like I am then putting the Red Sea on your list is a must! Pack your GoPro and dive right in. The Red Sea has some of the best diving I’ve ever done in the world.

The coral and the marine life are so alive. And if you’re lucky, you can even dive with dolphins! And if you’re extra courageous, you can hire a dive instructor to take you to the blue hole!

The Beach or your Resort in Dahab

There are some beautiful properties I found when staying in Dahab. I personally have stayed at Dahab Paradise twice and always love it. But Tirana Dahab Resort also is worth checking out, right on the lagoon and complete with a private beach!

Lisa Homsy running into the blue lagoon in Dahab
Lisa Homsy diving in the red sea in Dahab

Western Desert

White Desert

The White Desert is one of the most unique-looking places on earth and a spot in Egypt I didn’t see much content from which is what excited me about visiting. It’s a full day of driving to get there but the response from my group was that it was 1000% worth it for the experience.

You spend the night in one of the most unique places I’ve ever seen, building your camp, cooking dinner on an open fire, and sleeping in a tent under the stars.

Plus, after a few days in Cairo, you’ll appreciate the clear air and night sky lit up like a million twinkle lights. And the Bedouin guides who take you to the desert are incredible hosts and amazing cooks.

Lisa Homsy on a 4x4 jeep tour in the White Desert

Siwa Oasis

If you haven’t heard of Siwa Oasis, brace yourself. If you’ve always wanted to swim in the dead sea but haven’t yet made your way to Israel yet, you’ll want to plan to visit. The lakes are nearly 95 percent salt due to a neighboring salt mine, making drowning impossible!

So if you can’t swim there is no need to worry. One of the coolest things we were told about at our hotel is that residents of Siwa Oasis have long utilized the salt to construct dwellings, sharpen and shape their instruments, and even make home decor of it. All the lights in our hotel were made of salt, trust me I licked one just to check!

You can hire a driver to take you to Siwa which is exactly what we did and allowed us the comfort of not worrying about the road. As 2 foreign women, it was nice knowing we had a man with us who spoke Arabic.

There are a few military checks along the journey, always make sure you have your passport with you at all times. But you’ll see, Siwa is worth the road trip!

Lisa Homsy floating in the Siwa Oasis salt flats
Lisa Homsy floating in the Siwa Oasis salt flats
Lisa Homsy sitting in the Siwa Oasis salt flats

I hope this blog post was helpful in mapping out a guide to the most Instagrammable places in Egypt. There is so much to explore in this country and many locations I have not yet explored. If there are any places that I have missed you think should be included, please let me know in the comments.

Have I convinced you to plan your trip to Egypt?

If you’re looking to plan your trip I strongly recommend hiring a guide. As I mentioned I would not have had the same appreciation, takeaways, and love for Egypt as I did without one. And I have THE BEST guides in Egypt for you!

Sameh Makram – Egypt Eye Tour. I’ve hired Sameh twice when visiting and running group trips to Egypt. On top of being an Egyptologist, he was also ranked one of the best guides in all of Egypt. Just mention my name and that you found him through my blog so he knows how you found him.

Mohamed Adel I had the chance of working with on my last group trip to Egypt and everyone absolutely loved him! I highly recommend hiring either one of them! His What’s App is: + 20 100 456 1190

Lisa Homsy and Sameh an amazing guide in Egypt.
Me and Sameh after we successfully completed our 21-person trip!

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