This Egypt tourism guide is filled with useful information to make your trip to Egypt as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
When you're planning a trip to Egypt there are certain things that you need to consider. We'll help you understand what to know before traveling to Egypt and how to prepare for a trip to Egypt. This will help you have the best trip ever and make unforgettable memories to take home with you.
Immigration formalities – What you need to know before you travel to Egypt
There are just a few things that you should be aware of when planning your trip to Egypt. It’s worth bearing the following in mind to prevent any stress once your Egypt vacations begins.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months when crossing the Egyptian border as you are required to have six months remaining when you depart the country. Tourists are required to purchase a tourist visa, which is valid for 30 days. You can arrange this online before your trip to Egypt via the website www.visa2egypt.gov.eg. You will need to register on the given website, complete the application in electronic form in English, and pay a fee of $25 per person. It is recommended to submit the visa request at least 7 days before your departure. The printed visa must be presented with your passport at border control.
Egypt visa on arrival
Alternatively, you can purchase your visa at the airport on arrival in Egypt. You need to buy a visa in the form of a sticker that is stuck into your passport and the cost for this is also $25 per person. Visas are sold at the Egyptian bank desks in the arrivals hall before the passport control line. After the expiry date of the visa, if required, it can be extended in one of the offices of the Ministry of the Interior in Egypt.
People who intend to spend time in Egypt only on the Sinai Peninsula are eligible for a free pass called "Sinai Only", which is issued at the airport at the same window as the normal visa. However, it should be remembered that such a pass is only valid for a period of two weeks and you are not able to leave the Sinai Peninsula. In practice, if we intend to explore Sinai only, and the stay is limited to 2 weeks, it makes no sense to spend $25. However, if you are planning to take an Egypt tour and add a trip to Cairo or Luxor as part of your vacation in Sinai, you will need to get the paid visa.
In addition to obtaining the visa, after arriving in Egypt, before the passport control, you should complete your immigration entry form. Theoretically, you should enter the address of your stay in Egypt on it. In practice, however, it is enough to enter the name of the city in which you intend to stay at the beginning of the trip. The remaining fields contain standard questions about personal data, occupation, flight number and the airport from which you arrived from.
When moving around Egypt, it is always worth having your passport with you. There are checkpoints located throughout the cities, where this will be asked for. A passport is also required for check-in at a hotel or for a Nile river cruise. You should also keep a photocopy of your passport pages containing: personal information, photo and Egyptian visa, but this should be kept away from your original passport. By doing this it will help to facilitate formalities in the event of a lost or stolen passport.
Travel Tips for Egypt Customs Regulations
Egypt, like all other countries, apply strict customs rules about bringing items such us alcohol and cigarettes into the country. To avoid any misunderstandings it is advisable to buy at airport shop.
There are many items that are free of duty to be paid when entering Egypt, such as clothes, personal belongings, cameras and video cameras, computers (1 item), binoculars and CD players with CDs. If you have valuables with you, you are under no obligation to declare these valuables at the border.
However, it is helpful to include these items in your customs declaration in the event of their loss.
You can bring the following into Egypt without declaring them at customs: 1 liter of alcohol, 200 cigarettes and 25 cigars. As for cash, you can bring 10 thousand USD and 5 thousand LE both into; and out of Egypt.
There is a very strict penalty for attempting to import drugs into Egypt that could result in the death penalty.
Drones are aslo forbidden in Egypt and cannot be brought into the country. If you do try to bring a drone into Egypt it will be taken from you at immigration at the airport apon arrival.
Export of cultural goods and other items
You can face severe punishments and fines for attempting to take the items listed below out of Egypt.
Customs officers in your own country may also be interested in the contents of your baggage on arrival.
- Fragments of coral, jewelry made from coral and other products made from reef-forming corals.
- Sea shells – both small and large.
- Objects made from protected species of animals. This includes leather products made from: crocodiles, lizards, and snakes, as well as any products made from turtle shell.
- Monuments in various forms - ceramics, figurines, and some reliefs...
- Minerals found in the desert
Recommended Travel Vaccinations for Egypt and Advice
No vaccinations are mandatory when entering Egypt. However, the World Health Organization recommends that you are vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B, typhoid and polio before you travel.
Hepatitis A is contagious and can be transmitted by eating food or drinking water that has been handled by a person who has the virus. Infection can also occur through direct contact and/or through sexual intercourse with an infected person. People can also become infected by the virus in a public hospital.
Mosquitoes and Fies
There are many mosquitoes in Egypt. However, the risk of contracting Anopheles mosquito-borne malaria is very, very low. Even without the risk of contracting malaria, mosquitoes can make your stay in Egypt unpleasant. In summer, they are everywhere, and you can't ever get rid of them completely. You should always take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Use insect repellents such as spray, silicone wristbands or patches soaked in essential oil, such as lavender stuck to your clothes. Make sure to cover your skin after dark, especially your feet and ankles.
Flies are equally as common and troublesome in Egypt. Only insecticides, fans and air conditioning protect against intrusive flies.
Sunburn and Dehydration
You can avoid sunburn and dehydration by using plenty of sunscreen, wearing light clothing and a hat and drinking lots of water. The health care facilities in Egypt are generally good and it is advisable to have health insurance, while traveling.
Egypt has lifted all restrictions previously imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. You can now travel to Egypt without a negative PCR test 72 hours before departure, or an accredited COVID-19 vaccination certificate proving that you have been fully vaccinated 14 days prior to your departure.
There has never been a better time to book your trip to Egypt with us! Our all-inclusive Egypt vacation packages allow you to experience Egypt in style, as we offer small group tours with a maximum capacity of 20 people, 5 star accommodation, and an exclusive deluxe experience.
Many tourists visiting Egypt suffer from “pharaoh's revenge.” The main symptoms are nausea, diarrhea and stomach cramps. This common ailment is caused by a variety of factors, including the change in climate and the dietary change and climate changes.
To avoid spending all your time in the bathroom we suggest comsuming probiotics before your trip. This will help improve immunity before you travel. Probiotics can be found in a number of foods and drinks (buttermilk, kefir, natural yogurt and pickles, among others). You can also buy probiotic supplements in your pharmacy.
When you arrive in Egypt, it is important to regulate your body temperature, avoiding extreme cold as well as the heat. You can do this by making sure that your drinks are not too cold with ice and that you do not have the air conditioning on a very low temperature in your accommodation.
When drinking water, brushing your teeth and rinsing your mouth, always use bottled water rather than tap water.
Carry hand sanitizer with you when going out and about and dealing with the local currency.
Following the above advice should help you to avoid pharaoh’s revenge. However, if you do find yourself feeling ill, please do not suffer in silence. You should contact our staff to get the correct treatment or medication for your condition so you can continue to enjoy your Egypt vacation.
Although Egyptian pharmacies are very well stocked and you can buy all common medications without a prescription, it is worth briging a handy mini first aid kit with bandages, hand sanitizer and medicines for basic ailments with you. These drugs include: painkillers and anti-fever pills, anti-diarrheal agents, and antihistamines.
Some drugs readily available through prescription or over-the-counter in Europe or the US are considered controlled substances in Egypt and cannot be imported into the country without a permit or the required documentation - such as amphetamine-based stimulants, opioids, and benzodiazepines. An example of this is Tramadol, which is not permitted in Egypt.
If you need these types of medication, be sure to confirm your prescription in writing with your doctor before you travel. You will need an official document stating that the medicines you are taking to Egypt are for personal use only, the amount you will be transporting and details of your medical condition.
The official curency of Egypt is the Egyptian pound, which is divided into 100 piasters. Cash is easily obtained from ATMs, which can be found in larger towns and cities. Most of the major hotels and stores accept credit cards, such as Visa and MasterCard, along with traveller's cheques and certain foreign currencies like euro, sterling and dollars. If venturing off the beaten path you will find that - in general only the Egyptian pound in cash is accepted.
Here you can check the exchange rates in Egypt according to the National Bank of Egypt.
Comfortable shoes are a must when sightseeing. Sneakers or strong leather shoes are ideal.
It is best to choose comfortable clothes for your trip. We suggest packing light, loose clothes made of natural fabrics like cotton, linen or cashmere. These allow your skin to breathe and protect you from the sun.
When it comes to respecting Egyptian customs, men's clothing is not normally a problem; normal pants or long shorts paired with polo shirts or T-shirts are fine. In general, short shorts, fitted clothing, and tank tops or sleeveless shirts are not preferred for man.
Women should dress conservatively. Women's clothing should include loose linen or cotton pants or a below-the-knee skirt and a blouse or top with sleeves below the elbow. Women should keep a scarf handy to cover their head when visiting inside the Muhammad Ali Pasha Mosque in Cairo. (This is the only religious place on the tour where head coverings are required.) In the mosque men are also asked to wear long sleeves and long pants.
Don’t forget to bring sunglasses and something to cover your head from the sun like a hat or a scarf.
It can be quite cool in the mornings and evenings, so please bring a jacket or a sweater as well.
While visiting the sights around Egypt, there are endless opportunities to purchase souvenirs and gifts. You’ll find vendors at every monument, and they will try to get your attention to hawk their wares.
There’s no rush to shop as soon as you arrive, as you will have many opportunities to purchase what you would like during your stay. We advise you to wait a few days so you can then get to know and understand the bartering system. The products do not have prices listed – you must negotiate with the seller.
Also note that in some hotels and on the ship there will be shops that offer more elegant products and where you can buy high-end goods. We think the best shopping location is the Khan el-Khalili bazaar in Cairo, where you can buy almost anything. Learn more about buying souvenirs in Egypt,
Egypt is one of the hottest and sunniest countries in the world. It receives very little rain. The average temperature in the Nile Valley is over 100°F (38°C) from May through September. The average temperature in the region during the coldest months of the year is in the 60s (15°C-20°C). Egypt has two seasons: a mild winter from November to April and a hot summer from May to October. Along the Mediterranean coast, there is an average annual rainfall of approximately eight inches. Rainfall decreases rapidly toward the south. Cairo receives on average only one inch of rain a year, and in many desert locations it may rain only once every several years.
To ensure your trip to Egypt is as enjoyable as possible, we have organized our tours during the fall, winter and spring seasons to avoid the harsh summer sun. The weather during these times is more suitable for travel throughout Egypt and visiting historical sites. Read our blog:Best Time to Visit Egypt.
Egypt's electricity works on 220v with sockets being of the two-pin. European mainland variety. It's a good idea to pack an adaptor if planning to use personal items like mobile phone chargers.
The official language of Egypt is Arabic and other languages are widely spoken, especially in tourist areas.
Egypt is 2 hours ahead of GMT.
Egypt is full of armed police and you will find them on every street. In Cairo there are more police officers per 1,000 inhabitants than in any other capital city in the world. The police officers on the streets and the numerous police checkpoints on the main roads in every town or city are often perceived poorly by visitors to Egypt as they look intimidating. However, constant police presence has been normal practice in Egypt since the 1960's and this is also normal throughout the Middle East.
Egyptians may fear the police and treat them with respect. Foreign tourists are treated kindly by the majority of police officers in Egypt. Police officers generally trust the word of a foreign tourist, unless suspicion of drug smuggling or espionage is involved.
If you have a problem or need to report a crime you should contact the tourist police. You will find policemen of this formation at airports, stations, ports, museums, ancient sites and tourist resorts. They are trained to assist tourists and should theoretically speak at least a little English.
Junior policemen usually wear khaki uniforms with a "Tourist Police" armband on their arm. Officers wear black uniforms in winter and white in summer. You will certainly be able to communicate with a senior officer in English.
Baksheesh is a very popular form of tipping in Egypt given for services rendered.This is not alms (a charitable gift)! Baksheesh has its roots in tradition. Therefore it is highly recommended to be given by everyone (not only tourists) who visits a restaurant, coffee shop, hotel or ship. Even the smallest service deserves tipping called baksheesh. When it comes to tipping in Egypt, advice suggests tipping smaller sums frequently. If you feel satisfied about the service given you can give a bigger tip, to show your appreciation.
In hotels, restaurants or coffee shops (regardless of the category) you should leave tips equivalent to 10-15% of the price. In addition, you should give baksheesh for each service, even the minor ones. A baksheesh should not only be given to staff in hotels, coach/jeep drivers, boat captains, horse carriages and camel caretakers but also to workers in mosques, churches, ancient temples and tombs as well. They always try their best to show you, for example the most interesting places to take pictures. Usually, tipping in Egypt of $1-2 dollars is sufficient.
Small gifts like pens, colorful markers or sweets (chocolate) are appreciated by Egyptians. It is always a great idea to shop for these before coming to Egypt.
Please do not give any money to children or women begging in the street!
Unfortunately the concept of baksheesh is often manipulated and wrongly used by street beggars who hope for extra cash from tourists. These beggars usually have no understanding of how to make a living, so they treat begging as a way of earning money. Learn more about giving tips in Egypt.
Photography is a personal experience and in Egypt, as with everywhere in the world, you should not take photographs at military sites, the administration, judiciary and parliament buildings, bridges, stations, airports, harbors, as well as dams.
Egyptians themselves do not like to be captured on camera without asking, especially in more isolated rural regions. You may also meet people who will not like the photos showing Egypt as a "poor country" or "developing nation." Taking pictures of people you have become friends with (and sending them the photos) is very welcome - at least in larger cities.
In museums, tombs, and some temples, there is a special fee for taking pictures of the interior with a camera. If you have a tripod with your camera, you may also have to pay a small fee for this camera accessory.
Want to know more about photography in Egypt? Read our blog: Egypt Photography Tips.
When planning a trip to Egypt, you definitely want to stay in touch with your family and friends. Therefore, It is important to understand how to get internet and how much it will cost in Egypt before you go.
Many hotels offer free Wi-Fi in certain areas or hours. However, this is usually poor quality. In addition to time constraints and selected locations where you can connect to the internet in a hotel, the speed of the connection is usually slow.
If you want to stay online throughout your stay, it's worth buying a SIM card with the internet. One of the most popular service providers in Egypt is Vodafone.
At Cairo International Airport, prices can be a bit higher. In all other Vodafone shops the prices should be the same and given in Egyptian pounds.
To buy internet in Egypt you should take your passport to one of the Vodafone, Orange or Etisalat shops and buy a SIM card, then recharge it and activate one of the internet packages.
It is very important to ask the person who sells you the card and the internet to show you how many GB have been purchased. This can be checked on your Vodafone account and in the "Ana Vodafone" application. Some tourists are alarmed to see that they had paid for more GB than they received.
Hydration of the body is important in the warm Egyptian climate, as the heat that prevails in this country, especially in summer. Due to the hot temperature, the body loses a lot of water when sweating, and the concentration of electrolytes decreases with this water loss. To keep your body hydrated effectively, you should drink water frequently. Bottled (non-carbonated) water is best for this, and doctors recommend drinking in small sips, because it is best absorbed this way. You should only buy water at grocery stores and there should be a protective seal on the bottle cap to guarantee quality. Bottled water should also be used for rinsing and washing the mouth and teeth.
It is recommended to drink about 2 liters of fluid a day. In hot weather this amount should be significantly increased. You should not drink tap water in Egypt as it is not considered safe for consumption. You should also avoid cold drinks with ice, as ice can be prepared from tap water.
Coffee and tea are not suitable for hydration, since these fluids increase diuresis (i.e. urine output) and are dehydrating.
What to pack for Egypt? It's a challenge when packing for any holiday, especially when you will be travelling around the country.
Some areas in Egypt are very quiet with little or nothing around. Even the more busier areas will not have everything you need. Therefore, you should make sure that you have the basics to hand.
Below are some items that are considered necessities when travelling around Egypt:
1 - Everyday prescription medicine.
2 - Cosmetics and sanitary products. Little choice and high prices.
3 - Wet wipes, sanitiser. For use in public toilets.
4 - Suncream. To stop the burn from the hot sun.
5 - Camera. To capture the memories.
6 - A wide-brimmed hat & sunglasses. To stop the glare from the sun.
7 - Power adapters (2 pin adapters).
8 - Copies of documents (passport, travel docs).
9 - Money for tips.
10 - Light-colored summer clothes & comfortable footwear. Lots of walking around monuments & temples.
Egypt is a vast country that is situated on two continents, Africa, and Asia. To visit its most important monuments and attractions, you have to travel long distances. Cairo has direct flights to Luxor, Aswan, Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh and Marsa Alam. You can also fly from Aswan to Abu Simbel. It is worth using air transport, because such a journey is fast, comfortable, and safe. However, it is not cheap and costs a lot more than land travel.
Almost all the towns along the Nile can be reached by train, as the main railway line runs through the center of Egypt and along the Nile. You can travel from Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea in the north of Egypt, through Cairo, Beni Suef, Minya, Sohag, Asyut, Qena, Luxor, Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo to Aswan in the south of Egypt on one railway line. The second railway line runs from Cairo via Ismailia to Suez.
When deciding to travel by train on a long route such as Cairo-Luxor (9h) or Cairo-Aswan (12h), it is worth choosing a sleeper train or a trip in a first-class car. It will take you much longer than it would by plane, but you will travel comfortably and safely, and get to take in the views of daily Egyptian life from the train window.
The commuter trains in Cairo are in poor condition and can be crowded, so bear this in mind if you're planning to use them.
When it comes to coach transport, it is necessary to pay attention to what class of coach you are traveling and with which carrier. We advise you to choose the highest class of ticket on each given route, as this means that the journey will be relatively fast and by a modern coach.
Popular coach companies in Egypt are Go Bus, Blue Bus and Pullman. The long journey by coach is tiring and along the way, there is usually one longer stop (30 minutes) with coffee shops and a toilet. However, you will encounter several checkpoints due to checks by the Egyptian police.
Taxi services such as UBER and DiDi taxi operate in large Egyptian cities such as Cairo, Alexandria and Hurghada. You can arrange the taxi using your smartphone, as you would do in your home country.
In any medium-sized Egyptian city you can take a taxi from the street or travel by tuk- tuk. Before getting into a taxi, you should agree on the price with the taxi driver, as many taxis do not have meters, and even if they do, they are not turned on.
Whichever way you choose to travel in Egypt, make sure that you know the length of the journey, facilities and amenities available, and the cost before you start your journey.
In general, Egyptians do not drink alcohol because Muslims are strictly forbidden by religion. Christians also rarely drink alcohol. But of course there are exceptions.
It is not customary to drink alcohol for dinner or to celebrate birthdays, weddings (except in southern Egypt) or holidays with alcohol. You won't meet drunken Egyptians on the streets of Egypt.
Alcohol cannot be bought in stores. It is available only in hotels, selected cafes and restaurants that have a special license. The quality of the local alcohol sold in Egypt is not the best, apart from beer. Imported alcohol can be bought at airports and in duty-free shops.
In Egypt, you are not allowed to drink or buy alcohol if you are under 21. The sale of alcohol in Egypt is restricted during the holy month of Ramadan and during this period alcohol may be unavailable in hotels, cafes and restaurants, where it was previously sold.
Both the sale and consumption of alcohol in public places is prohibited .
If you fancy a glass of wine, drink it in a restaurant, a coffee shop in your hotel, or in your hotel room.
Egyptians do not like to eat alone. They believe that eating in a group will increase their appetite, and one would certainly enjoy a hearty and nutritious Egyptian meal with great company. The dishes are high in protein and vegetables, with a variety of savory dips and -Aish Baladi, a light flat bread.
One of the hearty meals to note is a hot and creamy Bechamel pasta dish; this is a tasty Egyptian casserole with minced meat and bechamel sauce. We can't talk about Egyptian food without mentioning the famous Molokhia soup, a nutrient-dense meal with over 32 vitamins in nutritional value.
The Egyptian word for "fish" is Samak. Since Egypt is positioned between the Mediterranean and Red Seas, seafood is prepared in a variety of ways in the country's many coastal towns and this would definitely be an ideal meal as u sail along the Nile on our luxury cruise.
Egypt has a wide variety of desserts and sweet snacks. A konafa, on the other hand, is probably the most popular, The dish is constructed around a thin, noodle-like pastry that has been soaked in syrup and stuffed with a creamy cheese.
You will also get to try a large variety of herbal teas, like the Karkade - hibiscus tea, that won't only help you to relax but they also boost immunity with its medicinal properties.
Learn more about Egyptian cuisine.