Egypt Travel Info

Egypt Travel Information

)Egypt Arabic مصر)‎ Miṣr, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in western Asia. Egypt is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the red sea to the east, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.

Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East. Live near the banks of the Nile River where the only arable agricultural land is found. The large areas of the Sahara Desert are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with the majority spread across the densely populated centers of greater CairoAlexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.

Egypt is famous for its ancient civilization and some of the world's most famous monuments; Egypt is widely regarded as an important political and cultural nation of the Middle East.

Egypt possesses one of the most developed economies in the Middle East, with sectors such as tourism, agriculture, industry the Egyptian economy is rapidly developing.

Egypt Climate:-

 

Egypt is a very large country - when it is chilly and wet in Alexandria, it can already be ravishingly hot in Aswan.
 
The best time to visit the majority of sights, including the pyramids and the Valley of the Kings, is from February to April and October to November, when it is hot enough to know it's the ‘Land of the Sun', but not too hot to be enjoyable. At this time, the skies and sea are a perfect blue. The downside is that the weather is a poorly kept secret and these are the most popular times of the year for visitors.
 
In April, the hot, dustyKhamsinwind blows from the Sahara, making the touring of sights troublesome: during an intense sand storm, vision may be reduced to a few meters.
 
The intensely hot, dry summers carry the threat of dehydration and heat exhaustion, confining the visitor indoors for much of the day. The winter, on the other hand, is mild and often overcast, leaving the desert and its ancient monuments looking lackluster. Rainfall is negligible except on the coast.

Required Clothing

Loose, lightweight, modest cottons and linens with warmer clothes for winter and cooler evenings are culturally and climatically suitable.

City

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Cairo

High

19

21

24

28

32

35

35

35

32

30

24

21

Low

9

9

11

14

17

18

22

22

20

18

14

11

Luxor

High

23

25

29

35

40

41

41

41

39

35

30

25

Low

5

7

11

16

21

23

24

24

22

18

12

8

Aswan

High

24

30

35

39

42

41

41

40

36

30

25

25

Low

8

9

13

17

21

24

24

25

22

9

14

10

Sharm
el Sheikh

High

23

26

29

33

36

34

34

34

33

28

23

23

Low

16

17

18

21

24

26

27

27

26

23

20

18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holidays:-

Banks, shops and businesses close (or the following Egyptian National Holidays (civil, secular), and public transport may run only limited services:

■          7th January (Eastern Orthodox Christmas)

■          25th April (Liberation Day)

■          1st May (Labour Day)

■          23rd July (Revolution Day)

■          6th October (Armed Forces Day)

■          1st Shawwal, The10th Hijri month (Eid Elfitr)

■          10th Tho-Elhejjah, the12th Hijri month (Eid Al-adha)

 

Ramadan in Egypt

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the most important month in the Islamic Calendar for Muslims, the majority religion in Egypt. Commemorating the time when God revealed the Qur’an to Mohammed, during this holy month, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking or smoking until after sundown on each day. Although strict adherence to Ramadan is for Muslims only, some Muslims appreciate that non-Muslims do not take meals or smoke in public places. During Ramadan, many restaurants and cafes won't open until after sundown. Public transport is less frequent, shops close earlier before sunset and the pace of life (especially business) is generally slow.

As expected, exactly at sunset minute, the entire country quiets down and busy itself with the main meal of the day (iftar or breaking-fast) that are almost always done as social events in large groups of friends. Many richer people offer (Tables of the Gracious God) in Cairo's streets that cater full-meals for free for the passers-by, the poorer ones or workers who couldn't leave their shifts at the time.

Prayers become popular 'social' events that some like to enrich with special food treats before and after. An hour or two later, an astonishing springing to life of the cities takes place. Streets sometimes richly decorated for the whole month have continuous rush hours till very early in the morning. Some shops and cafes make the biggest chunk of their annual profit at this time of year. Costs of advertising on television and radio soars for this period and entertainment performances are at their peak.

Egypt Terrain:-

Egypt consists of vast desert plateau interrupted by the Nile valley and delta, along with the Sinai Peninsula.

Portions of the Nile River valley area bounded by steep rocky cliffs, while the banks are relatively flat in other areas, allowing for agricultural production.

Egypt Regions:-

Lower Egypt

Containing the northern Nile delta, and the Mediterranean coast: Cairo, Alexandria

Middle Egypt

The area along the Nile where the historical Upper and Lower kingdoms met

Upper Egypt

A string of amazing temple towns located on the southern stretch of the Nile

Western Desert

Location of the Western Oases: five pockets of green, each with their own unique attractions

Red Sea Coast

Luxury beach resorts with diving and marine life.

Sinai peninsula 

Rugged and isolated peninsula, with fascinating relics of the past and great scuba diving

Egypt Cities:-

■         Cairo- the capital of Egypt, home to the Giza Pyramids, the Egyptian Museum and fabulous Islamic architecture

■         Alexandria- Egypt's window on the Mediterranean, with still-palpable glimpses of the past

■         Aswan- a more relaxed option, full of amazing sights

■         Luxor- gateway to the Valley of the Kings, amongst other fabulous attractions

■         Hurghada- a town on the Red Sea, filled with all-inclusive resorts and diving

Other destinations

■         Abu Simbel- a very remote town in the far south, with some beautiful ancient temples

■         Dahab- backpacker central, with excellent scuba diving

■          Lake Nasser - created by the Aswan Dam

■          Memphis & Saqqara - both filled with relics and ruins of ancient Egypt, they're often combined as a day trip from Cairo

■          Sharm el-Sheikh - a hugely popular resort town on the Sinai Peninsula, with some of the best scuba diving in the world

■          Siwa - a stunning remote oasis near the Libyan border

 

Visa Entry to Egypt:-

Get in and Obtaining Visa

As a major tourist destination whose economy is dependent upon tourist money, Egypt is relatively easy to enter and/or obtain visas (or if necessary. There are three types of Egyptian visa:

■ Tourist Visa- usually valid (or a period not exceeding 3 months and granted on either a single or multiple entry basis

■ Entry Visa- required (or any foreigner arriving in Egypt for purposes other than tourism, e.g. work, study, etc. The possession of a valid Entry Visa is needed to complete the residence procedure in Egypt.

■ Transit Visa- rarely needed and only for certain nationalities

Entry visas may be obtained from Egyptian diplomatic and consular missions abroad or from the Entry Visa Department at the Travel Documents, Immigration and Nationality Administration (TDINA). Non-Egyptian travelers are required to have a valid passport.

Citizens of many countries may obtain a visa on arrival at major points of entry; the fee is demanded on arrival. At airports, you must obtain these from a bank office before passport control, ostensibly to verify that the currency is real; however, you will have no problem obtaining one. Check with your nearest Egyptian Consular mission for more details concerning visa regulations applying to your citizenship.

The fees for a single-entry visa are as follows:

■          UK citizens: £15

■          US citizens: US$15

■          Irish citizens: €15/US$15

■          Australian citizens: A$45

■          Canadian citizens: C$26

■          Other countries: US$15

Citizens of Bahrain, Guinea, South Korea, Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen receive a 3 month visa on arrival. Citizens of Kuwait can obtain 6-month Residence Permit upon arrival. Malaysian citizens receive a 15 day visa on arrival. Citizens of Hong Kong may have a 30 day visit without visa.

Citizens of the following countries are currently required to have a visa before arriving, which must be applied for through an Egyptian consulate or embassy outside of Egypt:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, China (People's Republic of; except Hong Kong and Macau), Croatia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia (if you intend to stay for more than 15 days), Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and all African countries (except citizens of Guinea and Libya, who do not require visa).

Visitors entering Egypt at the overland border crossing at Taba or at Sharm El Sheikh Airport can be exempted from a visa and granted a free fourteen day entry visa to visit the Aqaba coast of the Sinai Peninsula, including Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab and St. Catherine's Monastery. Visitors wishing to leave the Sinai Peninsula and to visitCairo and other Egyptian cities are required to hold full Egyptian visas. These are not issued at the Taba border crossing and must be acquired in advance either in the country of residence, at the Egyptian consulate in Eilat or airport upon arrival. Visitors traveling on organized tours often may be able to have their visas issued at the border, but you should verify in advance with their travel agent or tour operator if this option is available to them. Those in possession of a residence permit in Egypt are not required to obtain an entry visa if they leave the country and return to it within the validity of their residence permit or within six months, whichever period is less.

Tourists visiting Sharm-el-Sheikh who are planning to undertake scuba diving outside local areas (i.e. Ras Mohammed) will need to obtain the tourist visa, because this technically means leaving the Sharm-el-Sheikh area and leads to the requirement for a visa. Officials on boats may check dive boats whilst on the waters so you are advised not to obtain the visa beforehand: there may be fines involved for you and the boat captain, if you are caught without the appropriate visa. Most reputable dive centers will ask to see your visa before allowing you on trips.

Passports

Passport valid for at least six months from the date of travelling required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.

Passport Note

Visitors from all countries, except nationals of the EU and the USA, must register with the police within one week of arrival in Egypt, although this service is normally undertaken by hotels.

Egypt By plane

Egypt has several international airports:

■  [http://www.cairo-airport.com/ Cairo International Airport]— the primary entry point and the hub of the national carrier Egypt Air (see [http://www.egyptair.com/website]).

■ Alexandria Nozha

■  [http://www.luxor-airport.com/ Luxor International Airport]— now receiving an increasing number of international scheduled flights, mostly from Europe, in addition to charter flights.

■  Aswan International Airport

■  Hurghada International Airport — receives a number of charter flights

■  Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport — receives a number of charter flights.

■  Burg Al-Arab International Airport

Egypt By boat

A car ferry runs between Aqaba in Jordan and Nuweiba in the Sinai, tickets $70. The ferry departs at 13:00 according to its timetable, but you should expect delays of up to 40 minutes or more. A and Aswan in Egypt. Ferry boats also weekly ferry also runs between Wadi Haifa in Sudan between the Red Sea coast to ports in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Egypt By bus

Travelers can easily access Egypt by bus from Israel from the bus stations in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. You will take a bus to Eilat where you can cross over the border into Taba and take a bus to Cairo or into the Sinai. The Jordanian state bus company, JETT, also operates a direct bus between Amman and Cairo which leaves at 03:00 from the JETT terminal in Amman and takes approximately 19 hours to reach Cairo.

Generally, only two or three buses leave from Taba to the various destinations each day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon and sometimes one in the early evening. You should plan your arrival by bus in Eilat accordingly, and be prepared to spend the night in either Eilat or Taba it you will arrive in the evening. All foreigners must pay a 63LE tax at a small office after the bus leaves the station. Also, be aware that all of the routes by bus must by necessity cross Israel; keep this in mind if you plan on further to travel to Syria, Iran, Libya, or other countries which routinely deny entry to those with evidence of travel to Israel in their passports.

Egypt By car

Gas is rather inexpensive in Egypt, prices are heavily subsidized, and they have recently fallen to under USD$ 1 .00/gallon. If you decide to rent a car, you will not add significantly to the cost through gas. Car rental sites require you to be at least 25 years old. Driving in Egypt is very different than in a Western country and is not tor the faint of heart; unless you really need this option it is just as easy and probably cheaper to travel by taxis and around the country by airplane, train, and/or bus. As you will see shortly after arrival, obedience of traffic laws is low and there are very few signs indicating road rules.

What to See in Egypt:-

Highlights of any visit to Egypt include famous archaeological sites from both Lower (North) and Upper (South) Egypt. The most famous are:

■          The Pyramids

■          The Egyptian Museum

■          The pyramids and temple complexes at Saqqara and Dahshur

■          The temples of Luxor and the West Bank across the Nile

■          The Valley of the Kings

■          Alexandria, with several historical sights and the stunning new Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

■          The Temples of Abu Simbel

When you're done with touring the historical sites above, don’t miss:

■ The Red Sea resorts at Sinai Peninsula, including Dahab, Hurghada, and Sharm el-Sheikh. The Red Sea offers some of the best dive locations in the world.

■ The sights of the Sinai Peninsula, including

Saint Catherine's Monastery and Mount Sinai.

■ The Western Desert and the oases there, including Siwa,

■ Memphis, with some relics of ancient Egypt • including a huge statue of Ramesses II, evoking the image which inspired Percy Bysshe Shelley's poemOzymandias

Talk in Egypt:-

The official language of Egypt is the Egyptian dialect of Modern Arabic. Egyptian Arabic differs in that the letterJimis pronouncedginstead ofj. Travelers are unlikely to encounter difficulties finding someone who speaks English, especially in tourist centers. Egyptians are eager to improve their English and so offering a few new words or gently correcting their mistakes is appreciated.

Following usual rules of politeness, instead of simply starting a conversation with someone in English, ask "Do you speak English?". All the more better if you can do it in Arabic: inta/inti aarif il-inglezi? "Do you (male/female) know English?".

Money and shopping in Egypt:-

The local currency is the Egyptian pound (EGP), which is divided into 100 piastres. The currency is often written as LE (short for French livre egyptienne) or by using the pound sign £. In Arabic the pound is called gunaih, in turn derived from English "guinea", and piastres are known as qirsh. Foreign currencies can be exchanged at exchange offices or banks, so there is no need to resort to the dodgy street moneychangers. Many higher-end hotels price in dollars or Euros and will gladly accept them as payment, although often at a premium rate over Egyptian pounds. ATMs are ubiquitous in the cities and probably the best option overall; they often offer the best rate and many foreign banks have branches in Egypt. Bank hours are Sunday through Thursday, 8:30am until 2:00pm.

Banknotes are available in all denominations ranging from 200 pounds to the thoroughly useless 5 piastres, while coins were rather rare until new 50-piastre and 1-pound coins were introduced in the summer of 2006. Counterfeit or obsolete notes are not a major problem, but exchanging pounds outside the country can be difficult. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted, but only bigger hotels or restaurants in Cairo and restaurants in tourist areas will readily accept credit cards as payment. Traveler's checks can be exchanged in any bank, but like all Egyptian bureaucracy could take some time.

Shopping:-

Egypt is a shopper's paradise - especially if you're interested in Egyptian-themed souvenirs and kitsch. However, there are also a number of high quality goods for sale, often at bargain prices. Some of the most popular purchases include:

■         Antiques(NB: not antiquities, the trade of which is rightly illegal in Egypt)

■         Carpets and rugs

■         Cotton goods and clothingCan be bought at Khan E Khalli for around 30-40 EGP

■         Inlaid goods, such as backgammon boards

■         Jewellery Cartouchesmake a great souvenir. These are metal plates shaped like an elongated oval and have engravings of your name in hieroglyphics

Of your name in hieroglyphics

Leather goods,such as wallets, ladies’ bags etc.

Music,Egyptian music is very popular now.

Papyrus,The real authentic papyrus not the fake which is made of banana leaves or sugar cane.

Perfume- Perfumes can be bought at almost every souvenir shop. Make sure that you ask the salesman to prove to you that there is no alcohol mixed with the perfume.

Water-pipes (Sheeshas),used for smoking different fruit flavored tobacco.

Spices- can be bought at colourful stalls in most Egyptian markets. Dried herbs and spices are generally of a higher quality than that available in Western supermarkets and are up to 4 or 5 times cheaper, though the final price will depend on bargaining and local conditions.

Final price will depend on bargaining and local conditions.

When shopping in markets or dealing with street vendors, remember to haggle.

You will also find many western brands all around. There are many malls in Egypt, the most common being Citystars Mall, which is the largest entertainment center in the Middle east and Africa. You will find all the fast food restaurants you want such as McDonald’s, KFC, Hardees, Pizza Hut, etc. Clothing brands such as Morgan, Calvin Klein, Levi's, Facconable, Givenchy, Esprit, and more.

Egypt Duty Free

 

The following goods may be imported into Egypt without incurring customs duty:
 
• 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 200g of tobacco.
• 1l of alcoholic beverages.
• 1l of perfume or eau de cologne.
• Gifts up to the value of E£500.
 
Note:Persons travelling with valuable electronic equipment such as cameras, video cameras or computers may be required to list these in their passports to ensure that they will be exported on departure.
All cash, travellers’ cheques and gold over E£500 should be declared on arrival.

Tipping in Egypt:-

Tips orbaksheeshare an integral part of Egyptian culture. As many people receive low wages, so they tend to supplement their wages by tipping. Keep a stack of small bills handy for tips — no change is given! Some general guidelines:

■          Bathroom attendants: LE 1

■          Cruises: LE 15/day, to be divided by all staff on board

■          Guide: LE 25-30/day

■          Hotel bellman: LE 5 per bag

■          Hotel doorman: LE 10 for services rendered (flagging down taxis etc)

■          Restaurants: In fancier restaurants, a service charge (10-12%) is added to bills,

■          Restaurants: In fancier restaurants, a service charge (10-12%) is added to bills, but a 5-10% tip on top of that is common. In fast-food places, tipping is unnecessary.

■          Taxi drivers: 10% on metered fares, but not necessary if you agreed the fare in advance

■          Site custodians: LE 5 if they do something useful, none otherwise

■          Tour drivers: LE 20/day

If you ask a stranger for directions, tips are not necessary and may even be considered offensive. Officials in uniform, such as police officers, should not be tipped, even though a good few will ask you.

Eatin Egypt:-

Egypt can be a fantastic place to sample a unique range of food: not too spicy and well-flavored with herbs. For a convenient selection of Egyptian cuisine and staple foods try the Felfela chain of restaurants in Cairo.

As in many seaside countries, Egypt is full of fish restaurants and markets--so fish and seafood are must-try. Frequently, fish markets have some food stalls nearby where you can point at specific fish species to be cooked. Stalls typically have shared table, and locals are as frequent there as tourists.

Hygiene in Egypt:- 

Be aware that hygiene may not be of the highest standards, depending on the place. Number of tourists would suffer from some kind of parasite or bacterial infection because the change of diet and weather. Exercise common sense and bring appropriate medications to deal with problems. "Antinal" is cheap, effective and available in every pharmacy. "Immodium" or similar products are not sold in Egypt.

Egypt Local dishes:-

Classic Egyptian dishes: The dish Ful Medames is one of the most common Egyptian dishes; consists of fava beans (ful) slow-cooked in a copper pot (other types of metal pots don’t produce the right type of flavor) that have been partially or entirely mashed. Olive oil is often an ingredient, and garlic is sometimes added. Ful Medames is served with plenty of olive oil, chopped parsley, onion, garlic, and lemon juice, and typically eaten with Egyptian (baladi) bread or occasionally Levantine (shami) pita. Also sometimes seasoned with chili paste and tumeric.

One must try is the classic Falafel (known as Ta'miya in Egypt) which is deep-fried ground fava bean balls (but better known worldwide for the ground chickpea version typically found in other cuisines of the Middle Eastern region) that was believed to be invented by Egyptian Bedouins. Usually served as fast food, or a snack.

Koshary is a famous dish .which is usually a mixture of macaroni, lentils, rice, chickpeas and tomato sauce. Very popular amongst the locals and a must try for tourists. The gratinated variation is called Taagin.

Egyptian cuisine is quite similar to the cuisine of the Arabic-speaking countries in the Eastern Mediterranean. Dishes like stuffed vegetables and vine leafs, Shawarma-sandwiches are common in Egypt and the region.

Exotic fruits

Egypt is one of the most affordable countries for a European to try variety of fresh-grown exotic fruits. Guava, mango, watermelon, small melons, bananas and grapes are all widely available from fruit stalls, especially in locals-Oriented non-tourist marketplaces.

Drinks in Egypt:-

Water

Bottled water is available everywhere. The local brands (most common being Baraka, Siwa, Hayat, Dasani) are just as good as expensive imported options, which are also available: Nestle Pure Life, Evian.

Juices

Juices can be widely found in Egypt -kasab(sugar cane); erk soos (licorice); sobiia (white juice); tamer and some fresh fruit juices(almost found at same shop which offer all these kind of juices except erk soos may be which you can find another places).

Karkadae is also famous juice especially at Luxor and it is hibiscus tea which is drunk hot or cold but in Egypt it is preferred to drink it cold. Should mention also that hibiscus tea is known to lower blood pressure so be careful.

Alcoholic drinks

Egypt is a predominately Muslim nation and alcoholic drinks are forbidden (haram) for strictly observant Muslims. That said, Egyptians tend to adopt a relaxed and pragmatic view towards alcohol for non-Muslims and foreigners it is tolerated by the vast majority of Egyptians and consumed by a sizable number of them (including less strict Muslims - you may even be asked to "procure" drink for someone!) Alcoholic beverages and bottled drinks are readily available throughout the country (especially in larger towns and cities, as well as tourist centers). Please note, however, that public drunkenness (especially the loud and obnoxious variety) is definitely not appreciated - without caution, you may end up drying out in a police cell. Try to be a good ambassador: if you must get "tipsy", confine it to the hotel or very nearby! (It's actually quite rare to see drunken tourists, even in the most intense tourist areas...)

Stella (not Artois) is a common beer in Egypt. Other local brands are available, most with higher alcohol variant that have claimed levels of 8% or even 10%.

Egypt Restrictions on Alcohol:-

Egyptian laws towards alcohol are officially quite liberal compared to most Islamic countries, except for the month of Ramadan when alcohol is strictly forbidden. During Ramadan only holders of foreign passports are allowed to buy alcohol, by Egyptian law. However, the enforcement of this law is by no means consistent. During Ramadan alcohol is often sold only in Western-style hotels and pubs/restaurants catering especially to foreigners. A few days of the year, as the day of the full moon the month before Ramadan, alcohol is completely banned. Also some hotels and bars catering to foreigners will stop serving alcohol during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Egypt Nightlife:-

 

At times, it seems as if Egypt sleeps by day and wakes up at night. In any town, from around sunset until the small hours of the morning, people start spilling onto the streets, congregating incoffee shopsandrestaurantsor just strolling in the company of their fellow citizens. Go to any water front - along the Nile in Cairo and Luxor, or the seafronts in Alexandria and Sharm El Sheikh - and you'll find the Corniche humming with the chatter of friends cruising arm in arm to catch the breeze.  Street vendors selling kebabs, chi-sellers shouldering giant urns and trinket merchants with the latest colorful imports vie for the attentions of passers-by. For the visitor, this is the place to meet the locals, gauge the national mood and share in the jubilations of a local football success.
 
The chief night-time attractions are undoubtedly thesound and light showsthat are held in spectacular fashion in many of the country's archaeological sites. There is nothing quite like coming face to face with the spot-lit Sphinx at Giza or watching the entire Temple of Karnak unfolds to music at Luxor. The best of these shows is held at the Temple of Ramses II in Abu Simbel where the history of this once-buried treasure is brought to life in a pageant of images projected onto the temple walls.
 
For those with temple fatigue, there are plenty more contemporary entertainments. Sophisticatednightclubs,discos,casinosandrestaurantscan be found in Cairo,Alexandria and most large towns. The nightlife in Luxor and Aswan often includesbarbecuesalong the Nile or dinner cruises. In fact, the cruise boats are often the best place to see the whirling dervishes or that quintessential nightlife of Egypt - the belly dance. Refined into a gymnastic display of muscle-rippling beauty,belly dancingis usually accompanied by Egypt's famous Arab pop musicians who universally seem to sing about unrequited love.

Sleep in Egypt:-

Egypt has a full range of accommodation options, from basic backpacker hostels to five-star resorts. Most major hotel chains are represented in CairoSharm el-Sheikh and Luxor at least.

Stay safe in Egypt:-

Scams and hassle

Travelers often complain about being hassled and attempts at scamming while in Egypt. While irritating, most of this is pretty harmless stuff, like attempting to lure you into a local papyrus or perfume shop.

Typically, you will be approached by a person speaking fluent English who will strike up a conversation under social pretenses. He (and it will always be a he) will then attempt to get you to come along for a cup of tea or similar at his favourite (most-paying) souvenir shop. This could also happen outside museums etc. where the scammer will try to make you believe the "museum is closed" or similar.

Hassling, while never dangerous, could also be annoying, especially in the heavy touristic areas. There is no way to avoid this, but a politela shukran(no thanks) helps a lot. Apart from that, try to take hassling with a smile. If you let yourself be bugged by everyone trying to sell you something, your holiday won't be a very happy one.

Egypt is generally a sate and friendly country to travel. Egyptians on the whole are very friendly - if you are in need of assistance they will generally try to help you as much as they are able.

Egyptian men will make compliments to women; do not take offense if they do this to you. Men shouldn't be worried, either; if they do this to your partner/daughter, it will be nothing more than a compliment, and won't go any farther than that.

Crime in Egypt

Pick pocketing is a problem in Egypt's bigger cities, particularly Cairo. Many locals opt not to carry wallets at all, instead keeping their money in a clip in their pocket, and tourists would be wise to adopt this as well. On the upside, violent crime is rare, and you are highly unlikely to physically mugged or robbed. If, however, you do find yourself the victim of crime, you may get the support of local pedestrians by shouting "Harami" (Criminal! while chasing the person who robbed you.

Fluids in Egypt

Ensure that you drink plenty of water: Egypt has an extremely dry climate most of the year - a fact aggravated by high temperatures in the summer end of the year - and countless travelers each year experience the discomforts and dangers of dehydration. A sense of thirst is not enough to indicate danger - carry a water bottle and keep drinking! Not needing to urinate for a long period or passing very small amounts of dark yellow urine are signs of incipient dehydration.

Egyptian tap wateris generally safe, although it does sometimes have an odd taste due to the high chlorine content added to make it so. It is not recommended for regular drinking, especially to very local differences in quality. Bottled mineral waters are widely available. Beware of the old scam, however, whereby vendors re-sell bottled water bottles, having refilled with another (perhaps dubious) source. Always check the seal is unbroken before parting with your money (or drinking from it) and inform the tourist police if you catch anyone doing this.

Be a little wary with fruit juice, as some sellers may mix it with water. Milk should also be treated carefully as it may not be pasteurized. Try only to buy milk from reputable shops. Hot beverages like tea and coffee should generally be OK, the water having been boiled in preparation.

Sun

Wear sunscreen, wear a sturdy hat and bring good sunglasses - it's bright out there!

Respect in Egypt:-

Do not photograph people without their permission, especially of in the countryside where people are more conservative. If you're male, don’t be surprised if another male holds your hand or forearm or engages in some form of bodily contact - there's no taboo against men holding hands and unlike in the West, this behavior is not associated with homosexuality. In general, Egyptians are a lot more comfortable with less personal space than are most Westerners; however, pairs of Westerners should be cautious in engaging in same-sex contact. Normal contact is quite acceptable (shaking hands, pats on the shoulder, etc.) but holding hands could be mistaken in Westerners as a sign of homosexuality, which is quite taboo in Egypt. Smoking is very common and cigarettes are very cheap in Egypt.

Never discuss religion from an atheistic or similar point of view. Also be aware that the Islamic "call to prayer" happens five times daily and can be heard loudly almost anywhere you go. Just understand that most Egyptians are used to it and enjoy it as part of the cultural experience.

Take great care if you choose to drink, especially if you're from countries where heavy drinking is accepted. Even if you are used to it, you can’t estimate the effects of the climate, even at night. The impact drunk people have on Egyptians is quite large and very negative. The best plan is just to abstain or limit yourself to one drink per meal while in Egypt; it will be cheaper too.

Dress in Egypt:-

Egyptians are generally a conservative people and most are religious (roughly 85% Muslim and 15% Christian). Although they accommodate foreigners being dressed a lot more skimpily, it is prudent not dress provocatively, if only to avoid having people stare at you, it is best to wear pants or jeans instead of shorts as only tourists wear these. In modern nightclubs, restaurants, hotels and bars in CairoAlexandria and other tourist destinations you'll find the dress code to be much less restrictive. Official or social functions and smart restaurants usually require more formal wear.

At the Giza Pyramids and other such places during the hot summer months, short sleeve-tops and even sleeveless tops are acceptable for women (especially when traveling with a tour group). However, you should carry a scarf or something to cover up more while traveling to/from the tourist destination. Also, it's perfectly acceptable for women to wear sandals during the summer, and you will even see some women with the hijab who have sandals on.

Women should cover their arms and legs if travelling alone, and covering your hair may help to keep away unwanted attention. Though as a foreigner, you may get plenty of attention no matter what you wear, mainly including people staring at you along with some verbal harassment which you can try to ignore.  In regards to harassment, it's also important how you act. Going out with a group of people is also helpful, and the best thing to do is ignore men who give you unwanted attention. They want to get some reaction out of you. Also, one sign of respect is to use the Arabic greeting, "Salam Aleikum" (means "hello, peace be upon you"), and the other person should reply "Aleikum Salam" ("peace be upon you"). That lets the person know you want respect, and nothing else.

Contact in Egypt:-

Egypt has a reasonably moderntelephone serviceincluding three GSM mobile service providers. The three mobile phone providers are Mobinil, Vodafone and Etisalat. Principal centers are located at AlexandriaCairo, Al Mansurah, Ismailia, Suez, and Tanta. Roaming services are provided, although you should check with your service provider. Also, it is possible to purchase tourist mobile phone lines for the duration of your stay, which usually costs around 30 LE.

Internet accessis easy to find and cheap. Most cities .such as Cairo and Luxor, and even smaller tourist sites, such as Edfu, boast a plethora of small internet cafes. The price per hour is usually 2-10 LE depending on the location/speed. In addition, an increasing number of coffee shops, restaurants, hotel lobbies and other locations now provide free wireless internet access. Free Wi-Fi (Mobinil) is also available at modern coffee shops such as Cilantro and Costa Coffee, where you obtain access by getting a 2-hour "promotional" card from the waiter, and if you go into almost any McDonald's, you will have access to a free Wi-Fi connection.

The postal systemis efficient for international mail. Airmail takes about five days to Western Europe, and eight to 10 days to the USA.

Embassies in Egypt:-

American [http://cairo.usembassy.gov/] • 8 Kamal El Din Salah St., Garden City, Cairo, Egypt. Tel: [20] [2] 797-3300, [mailto:consularcairo@state.gov consuiarcairo@state.gov]

Australian [http://www.embassy.gov.au/eg.html] -World Trade Centre (11th Floor), Corniche El Nil, Boulac (Code No. 11111), Cairo, Egypt Phone 20-2 575 0444, Fax 20-2 578 1638, [mailto:cairo.austremb@dfat.gov.au cairo.austremb@dfat.gov.au]

British [http://ukinegypt.fco.gov.uk/] • 7 Ahmed Ragheb Street, Garden City, Cairo (20) (2) 2791 6000 (24 four service, 365 days per year), Fax: (002) (02) 2791 6l32,[mailto:information.cairo@fco.gov.uk information.cairo@fco.gov.uk]

Canadian [http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/cairo/] - 26 Kamel El Shenaway Street, Garden City, Cairo Tel: +20 (2) 791 -8700, [mailto:cairo@international.gc.cacairo@international.gc.ca]

German [http://www.kairo.diplo.de/Vertretung/kairo/de/Startseite.html]- 2, Sh. Berlin (off Sh. Hassan Sabri) Zamalek / Cairo, Tel: (00202) 739-9600 Fax: (00202) 736-0530, [mailto:germemb@ tedata. net. egqermemb@tedata.net.eol

Italian [http://www.italembassy.org.eg/l-15, Abdel Rahman Fahmy Str., Garden City, Cairo Tel: +20 (0)2 7943194 - 7943195 -7940658, Fax: +20 (0)2 7940657, [mailto:ambasciata.cairo@esteri.it]

Spanish - 41, Ismail Mohamed.-Zamalek, Cairo. Phone: 735 58 13, 735 64 37, 735 36 52 and 735 64 62. [mailto:embespeg@mail.mae.es embespeg@mail.mae.es

Egyptian Consulate in the UK

 

2 Lowndes Street, London SW1X 9ET, UK
Tel: (020) 7235 9777 or 0906 550 8933.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0930-1230 (lodging applications); 1430-1600 (visa collection).

Egyptian State Tourist Office in the UK

 

Egyptian House, 3rd Floor, 170 Piccadilly, London W1V 9EJ, UK
Tel: (020) 7493 5283.

Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in the USA

 

3521 International Court, NW, Washington, DC 20008 USA
Tel: (202) 895 5400.

Egyptian Tourist Authority in the USA

 

630 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2305, New York, NY 10111, USA
Tel: (212) 332 2570.

Egyptian Tourist Authority in Cairo

 

Misr Travel Tower, Abbassia Square, Cairo
Tel: (2) 285 4509.

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