St. Catherine's Monastery
St. Catherine's Monastery
4.5
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Monday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
About
This is the 6th century formidable fortification and still working Christian monastery. It has the second largest collection of illuminated manuscripts.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
568 reviews
Excellent
317
Very good
149
Average
73
Poor
14
Terrible
15

Claire L
Delamere, UK4 contributions
Feb 2024 • Solo
St Catherine's Monastery is open for five mornings a week. Free to enter and there is also a small museum inside with ancient icons and manuscripts for an entry fee of 60 LE. This is an intimate space. Make time to go when you can appreciate the peace and sacredness of the site. It's the oldest continuously working monastery in the world with so much history and stories to tell. Set against the brilliant blue skies and crystalline sunshine of the Sinai desert it's a magical place. I visited alone without a guide. You do need a driver or guide and passport to get you through the security checkout 1 km before the monastery.
Written 8 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

s m
SC360 contributions
Dec 2023 • Solo
This is a short side trip from Mount Sinai, unless you are religiously devoted. Of the monastery you can only see the chapel of Saint Catherine, the burning bush, and Mose's well, for an additional fee you can see the illuminated manuscripts. All together maybe 30 minutes. Worthy of the historical and religious aspect but otherwise underwhelming. Realistically you can visit with a rented/hired car, but as of December 2023 it is more practical to take a tour bus due to security concerns.
Written 29 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ms.Taisiia Kb
Moscow, Russia6 contributions
Jan 2023 • Family
Love this place and monastery,full of light .I found some photos from there in my phone,and just remembered how it was.Sinay is beautiful May you please pray for kids of Pales tine.May we all pray.
Written 28 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Traveller
3 contributions
Oct 2022 • Solo
This requires a 4 hour drive through the desert then you are only allowed to see a small part of the monastery. Public only allowed to see a small courtyard and a very small chapel. This takes about 10 minutes. The rest is off limits to the public.
Written 26 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stuart h h
Liverpool, UK33 contributions
Apr 2023
On Tuesday 11th April, I went on an excursion run by Menem Tours (Menemtours.com). I was picked up by minibus at my hotel and we began the 2 hour journey to St Katerine’s Monastry. The minibus had only marginal air conditioning and neither the driver nor the guide seemed willing to turn it up beyond its lowest setting. I discovered that the guides name was Hamdi, He seemed quite surly when I met him, for example his opening address to me was ‘Passport?’ rather than something better mannered like ‘good morning’
From the outset I had concerns about Hamdi’s ability, his English was poor to a level that I could only understand around 70% of what he was saying and was frequently asked by other tourists to translate for him. His knowledge of St Catherine’s Monastery was no better than my own and was also frequently factually incorrect. I have a University Degree in History and have studied Roman/Byzantine history in some depth, some of the dates and historic circumstances around the Monastery were incorrect or misleading, for example stating that three religions were based at St Catherine’s which painted a disingenuous portrayal of the historic context of the site.
Aside from Hamdi’s knowledge, we spent more time in shops than at the site. I visited Egypt 20 years ago and am well aware of the ‘Papyrus Museum’ con in which a guide is paid a cut of profits if they send tourists to their shops. We spent around 40 minutes at an Icon shop and around 50 minutes at an oil shop which was selling oils and balms on a basis of healing and wellbeing with no scientific basis whatsoever. By the time we had visited these shops the tour was around 2 hours over due. It was around 3:00pm when we drove to Dehab for ‘lunch’. This was in a poor quality café called Alladin’s. We were served a starter of cold bread and humus, the humus had set and the bread was not fresh. We were also served a tomato and lettuce salad, which is one of the easiest ways of getting a gastric infection if someone is not used to the water in a particular country. The main course was some stringy chicken, rice and some raw chopped cabbage. None of these ingredients were hot and presumably had been sitting around for some time. Having now contacted a gastric infection I can only assume that this was the source of this problem, despite the fact that I only ate the chicken and a couple of mouthfuls of rice.
The time was around 4:20pm when we finished ‘lunch’ and began our journey home, there was a thunderstorm and it became apparent that about 10km outside of Dehab that a wadi had broken its banks and had deluged the road. The tour now stopped at a service area, that was made of a mud hut and freestanding. We sat at these services with around ten other tours for 5 hours. At no point did Hamdi, speak to anyone with an update or take care of the clients he was responsible for. Hamdi did manage to have Iftar with his colleagues and skulked in the background smoking a hookah pipe. At around 9:00pm I asked him for an update and he informed me that the roads was destroyed. I suggested that perhaps he ought to speak to his clients and ask them if they wanted to return to Dehab in order to get something substantial to eat, get access to wi-Fi and do some shopping while we waited. He informed me that ‘Dehab was closed’. This was insulting to my intelligence as – after 30 years of travelling the world – I have never come across a town that ‘closes’. He suggested that I ask the clients to see what they though nwanted to do, I replied that he had a duty of care and that this was his responsibility. He then sauntered off and asked around 4 women on the tour and couple of guides what their views were; they stated that they wished to stay. By this time around 6 other tour groups had returned to Dehab. I suggested that perhaps one bus could be used to ferry any other tourists who wanted to return back to town. Hamdi, Informed me that neither he nor any of the other guides would be willing to do that. I was now becoming increasingly frustrated by this man’s total lack of professionalism and disregard for the welfare of his clients. I asked if a bus could just take me back to Dehab. In broken English Hamdi stated that a bus could take me back but ‘You will be left in Dehab’. I was disgusted to hear this rude and inconsiderate attitude, it was perfectly clear that Hamdi and his colleagues intended to spend as little money as possible on his clients including the cost of the extra fuel to return to Dehab. As a professional guide he could have bought water and some crisps etc for the people in his charge, he could have updated his clients with events and he should definitely have given his clients the opportunity to find somewhere comfortable with food and Wi-fi in Dehab whilst we waited. He chose to put his profits before the safety and comfort of people he was duty bound to look after and did none of these things.
I finally, gave this man an ultimatum and stated that if he did not take me back to Dehab, I would walk back alone and in pitched darkness to Dehab. His attitude was entirely nonchalant and he stated that if that it what I wanted then I should go. I informed him that I would report his appalling behaviour to his company and the Tourist Police, both he and a number of other guides stated that there was a Policeman at the services and that I should report the matter to him. They did not know that I am in fact a Police Officer myself and that I had seen this person earlier, sitting around smoking and drinking tea with the guides. He was wearing the epaulettes of a Chief Inspector of the Traffic Police and rather than conducting important Road policing work, instead chose to sit on his backside chatting with his friends. Knowing that I would get nothing helpful out of such an unprofessional man, I decided that I had no option but to carry out my threat and walk the 10kms in the dark to Dehab. I had gotten about a mile down the road, when I tripped and twisted my knee. Fortunately I saw some lights in the distance and miraculously these were the lights from an Ambulance station. The two excellent paramedics put me in their ambulance and drove me to Dehab, where my knew was x-rayed. (a medical report is obtainable and the matter was reported to tourist police in the hospital)
I have been travelling for 30 years; from France to Kenya, Vietnam and Australia. I can honestly say I have never come across a worse guide in my life. A man who puts money before the lives of the people he has a duty to care for, ought in now way to be allowed to remain in this position. In fact I feel that his negligence is criminal and I would be more than willing to press charges against him.
I have a high rating on Trip adviser (300,000 visits) and Booking.com (Genuis 3) and will be warning other travellers not to use this man or the company that he works for. Further I have reported this matter to the Egyptian Tourist Police.
Written 2 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Liz
Greensboro, NC4 contributions
Apr 2023 • Friends
A beautiful oasis in the Sinai Desert. Very basic hotel rooms. Lovely grounds and buildings. Church and icon museum were amazing. Coffee shop became our gathering spot for lattes and wine. Also the start of hike to the top of Mt Sinai. The cool temperatures were a bonus!
Written 6 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Xbabr
Highett, Australia17 contributions
Feb 2023 • Friends
Buses upon buses dump tourists in this place who are desperate to see the cathedral. Sadly, no entry.
Written 13 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vladimir C
Holsworthy, UK282 contributions
Feb 2023 • Couples
We took the TUI trip from Sharm. The pickup was at 5 a.m. The journey took 5 hours, although the first hour was spent driving from one hotel to another doing pickups. It's a long way to go for a short stay, and the minivan is uncomfortable if you get stuck in the back. The monastery itself is at over 5,000 ft, so in January, when we went, it was bitterly cold, so dress warmly! It's interesting but doesn't take long to see. Lunch at Dahab on the way back is included. Ali Baba is deservedly the best restaurant there. We got home at 5 p.m., so it's a 12 hour day.
Written 1 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RohanChristian
Ahmedabad, India184 contributions
Nov 2022
out of this world location is excellent, well maintained, just that too many vendors trying to sell one thing or the other.
Written 16 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jatita
Washington, DC30 contributions
Jan 2023
Visiting was something I never thought I would ever do due to security concerns and distance. Visiting is the highlight of my visit to Egypt. Not cheap due to transportation costs to-and-from Cairo, but well worth it. The Bedouins help make the experience. They are multi-lingual and provide translation services for the local police and the monks.
Written 7 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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