The great cities of ancient Egypt, such as Memphis and Thebes, were built along the banks of the river Nile. Small towns grew up haphazardly around them. Special workmen's towns such as Deir el-Medina were also set up around major burial sites and temples to help with building work.

Egyptian towns were defended by thick walls and the streets were planned on a grid pattern. the straight dirt roads had stone drainage channel, or gutter, running down the middle. Parts of the town housed important officials, while other parts were home to craft workers and poor laborers.

Only temples were built to last. They were made of stone. Mud brick was used to construct all other buildings from royal palaces to worker's dwellings. Most Egyptians homes had roofs supported with palm logs and floor made of packed earth. In the homes of wealthier Egyptians, walls were sometimes plastered and painted. The rooms of their houses included bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens in thatched courtyards and workshops. homes were furnished with beds, chairs, stools and benches.

In the cool of the evenings people would sit on the flat roofs or walk and talk in cool, shady gardens.