Digital Nomad Kimmie Connor’s Guide to Egypt

The majestic pyramids and ancient hieroglyphics are probably the first things that come to mind when you think of Egypt, and while they certainly deserve their fame, there is much more to it. This according to full-time travel blogger and content creator Kimmie Conner.

She’s been on the road and blogging for seven years, and throughout her adventures she’s worked as a tour guide, and in sales and hospitality to stay on the road while building her platform. Now she’s living the “digital nomad” lifestyle with her boyfriend, staying in different places around the world for a few months to a year at a time, learning about the regions, then writing all about them on her site and sharing his experiences. on Instagram and TikTok.

“Our last destination was Egypt – where we had planned to stay for a month, but fell in love and stayed for four, exploring all the amazing places to visit,” says Conner.

With four months in Egypt under his belt, Conner has valuable insight into the best places to eat, play, stay and explore – from where to get the best view of the Giza pyramids (the answer will surprise you!) dish that every Egyptian tourist must try. We’ve done our best to pick out his mastermind below.

Kimmie Conner

WHY EGYPT?

Egypt is one of the countries that surprised and captivated me the most. We first decided to visit partly out of convenience. We came to visit a friend and see the main sights – pyramids, Luxor etc. But once we arrived and discovered the incredible depth and complexity of this country – history, culture, landscapes, adventure – we fell more and more in love.

Egypt is a must visit for many more reasons than the Giza pyramids. I would even say that if that’s all you see, it doesn’t even count! To truly experience Egypt, you must travel to the Red Sea coast to snorkel and dive in stunning reefs and marine life, get lost in remote deserts with otherworldly landscapes, bathe in hot springs surrounding secluded oases, drink tea with hospitable Bedouins and learn about their culture, haggle for your life in city markets, discover hieroglyphics inside ancient temples and enjoy the view with delicious cuisine from Egyptian street. Oh, and the locals here are some of the friendliest and most hospitable I’ve met.

Egypt is literally the oldest tourist destination on the planet, with some of the most ancient, mysterious and fascinating history, but also the most incredible and varied landscapes and surprises around every corner.

Egypt travel guide
Kimmie Conner

What is one thing every first-time visitor should see or do in Egypt?

I was going to say the pyramids, but this one is painfully obvious. I will say, however, that it is worth visiting the three pyramid sites in Cairo – check out the pyramids of Dahshur and Saqqara before going to Giza to better understand the background.

Other than the pyramids, I’m torn between saying everyone should go to the Red Sea or take a Nile cruise. I think both are super important to get a complete idea of ​​Egypt! When you take a Nile cruise between Aswan and Luxor, you will be able to understand much of the history of Egypt’s New Kingdom. There are dozens of temples you will visit on this river cruise that can give you a great perspective of what life was like thousands of years ago. You can also visit the Valley of the Kings – where dozens of tombs of Egyptian pharaohs have been discovered, including that of King Tut. History buff or not, it’s absolutely fascinating.

I think it is imperative to visit the Red Sea on your first trip to Egypt as it is absolutely spectacular and one of the most beautiful areas in Egypt for sure. The Red Sea has some of the clearest and purest waters in the world and is famous for boat trips, scuba diving, snorkeling, snorkeling and just swimming in the warm, sparkling water . My most recommended place to visit near the Red Sea would be the small hippie town of Dahab (more on that later), or Hurghada or Sharm El Shiekh for a more resort-style trip.

Egypt travel guide
Kimmie Conner

Where to have the best view of the Giza pyramids?

Well, I found one of the most…controversial views of the pyramids while checking out the roof of KFC just outside the lower entrance! That’s right, you can get a great view from the fourth-floor rooftop of a KFC-Pizza Hut hybrid right outside (watch my video here). But there are also many other incredible views of the pyramids!

You can get other amazing views of the pyramids from the “lookout points” in the desert west of the pyramids (most tours will take you there), the new bohemian desert restaurant 9 Pyramids Lounge and my favorite , a jacuzzi in a studio room with a view of the sunset from the pyramids.

Egypt travel guide
Kimmie Conner

Can you recommend a lesser known city in Egypt that is worth visiting?

It’s easy – DAHAB!! Dahab is one of the main reasons we stayed in Egypt for so long. In fact, we lived here for two and a half months of our four months in the countryside. Why? It’s pure MAGIC! Dahab has one of the best lifestyles of any place I’ve lived and seriously rivals our other favorite, Bali.

Dahab has a laid back hipster vibe with an air of adventure and happiness. Dahab has some of the best waters for diving, freediving and snorkeling, and many people learn here or just swim a few times a day. It’s close to the desert for hiking, climbing and camping – you can also drive up the coast and stay in camps along beautiful beaches at Ras Abu Galum or the Blue Lagoon if you want to get away from it all. There’s great melodic music all over town (we’re fans of organic house and techno – Dahab too) with occasional parties and festivals too. There is a spectacular and varied range of restaurants and dishes to try, from classic Egyptian and Indian to cute breakfast cafes and Italian. It’s also very affordable and the people are very welcoming. Can you tell how passionate I am about this place?

We hope we can have a home here one day, but for now, I recommend anyone who aligns themselves with that type of adventurous hippie town vibe to visit this place.

Egypt travel guide
Via the roots of Kushary

What is a food that every tourist must try and where to get the most out of it?

The first thing that comes to mind is Egypt’s national dish, Koshary. Koshary is a popular street food made from many different types of carbohydrates – rice, pasta and lentils, usually with tomato sauce, crispy onion and other spices and hot sauce. You can find Koshary for 10 Egyptian pounds on the streets of Cairo (less than $1), but my favorite place to get Koshary is in Dahab at a little restaurant called Roots.

Roots only serves two things – “regular” Koshary and “yellow” Koshary, known to many as Alexandrian Koshary. The normal Koshary here is the best I’ve had, and the yellow Koshary is a bit healthier, made with yellow rice, quinoa and cooked vegetables. All dishes are at 40LE, less than $3. You can not be wrong !

Egypt travel guide
Kimmie Conner

What is the coolest hotel or place to stay in Egypt?

As my readers know, I’m a huge fan of unique and boutique hotels. While staying mostly with a friend in Egypt, we discovered some amazing places to stay. I think my top favorites in Dahab are Sukoon Guesthouse and Alf Leila Boutique Hotel. Sukoon was designed by a good friend of mine, and it consistently maintains a relaxing, inclusive vibe among guests in just six rooms. Alf Leila was designed in a Moroccan style around a central courtyard with warm and inviting colors and decoration.

If you have time in Dahab, I recommend going up the coast and staying at Girneta Camp in Ras Abu Galum – you can stay in a small open-topped dome for star gazing, including breakfast and dinner for about $20! As I mentioned, coming to camp on the coast is the best escape from reality and WiFi.

In Cairo, I wanted to mention that my favorite suburb is called Maadi. Cairo is a tough city to break into – with 20 million people and too many suburbs to count, it’s hard to know where to stay. Maadi is a bit far from the city center, but it’s definitely the cutest, greenest and most walkable/welcoming place in Cairo, which might be less of a shock to first-time visitors. The cutest place to stay in Maadi is called Villa Belle Epoque (built from a converted Victorian mansion).

Egypt travel guide
Kimmie Conner

Best time of year to visit?

Going to Egypt in summer means risking temperatures above 45 (113 Fahrenheit), and winter could drop below 15 (59 Fahrenheit). So it depends on what you want, but Egypt is really beautiful all year round. The most ideal time to visit Egypt is the shoulder season between summer (VERY hot) and winter (very cold). October and November are ideal, with warm days and cool nights, as well as March, April and early May.

Egypt travel guide
Kimmie Conner

Do you have anything else to add on Egypt?

Alexandria is a fascinating and beautiful historic city to visit too – it’s worth visiting at least a day trip from Cairo or for one or two nights, but you won’t need more than that. There are tons of fascinating historical sites, beaches and museums!

I can’t end without mentioning some of the most amazing deserts in Egypt – be sure to sign up for a 1-2 night trip to the White Desert and Black Desert from Cairo. This is a standard day trip from Cairo and will allow you to see some of the most eerie scenes ever, from basalt covered mountains to white mushroom rocks to towering cliffs of the desert. You can camp in the desert under the stars and even see a fox if you’re lucky.

If you have time, a more complicated trip to Egypt would be to visit Siwa Oasis – a huge oasis in the west near the Libyan border in Egypt about 10 hours from Cairo. I am not kidding when I say that there is a barren desert for hundreds of kilometers around this place, but you can find huge lakes, hundreds of natural hot springs and salt lakes here in Siwa. The city is built on a 600-year-old mud fortress, where you can stay in hotels carved into the sides of rocky mountains, swim in stunning salt pools, and more. I went to a festival there, but can’t wait to come back and explore properly.