56 Best Things To Know Before Visiting Egypt -Egypt Travel Tips For First Timers
This post will be your go-to guide to get to know more of Egypt and what awaits you from culture, people, places to visit, how to move around to delicious food to try in Egypt. Click here to book online Cairo and Giza Tour
Egypt Travel Tips And Things To Know Before Visiting Egypt For First Timers
1. IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL IN EGYPT
When you visit Egypt your will feel pretty safe during the day and at night. You can feel safe everywhere, literally. Make sure that you keep your valuables with you in crowded places and that should be more than enough. So yes, it is safe to travel in Egypt.
2. EASY VISA IN EGYPT
The visa is easy for Egypt. US and Canadian Citizens may enter Egypt for up to 30 days only for tourist and business purposes with a $25 USD fee and $35 USD multi-entry. You can get the Visa on Arrival at the airport and you can pay with Euros and British Pound too. Check the list if you are eligible for visa on Arrival in Egypt!
If you are from a country of citizenship that is not covered under the Schengen Agreement, you’ll need a visa even if it’s just a short stay. Read here our article for the Schengen Visa Philippines where Rachel explained step by step how to get Schengen Visa Philippines.
3. ATMS AND CURRENCY IN EGYPT
Cash is the king in Egypt but credit cards are accepted. There are ATMs in Egypt and exchange offices in the main touristic points. The main currencies are accepted and the local currency is the Egyptian Pound around $1= 15 EGP.
4. BEST TIME TO VISIT EGYPT
In Egypt the summer months from June to August is so hot the weather. During the winter months from November to February the temperature is mild. We believe the best time to visit Egypt is during the spring months from March to May when the days are fresh and sunny.
5. HEALTH TRAVEL INSURANCE
Things to know before visiting Egypt we recommend always bringing a travel insurance when traveling abroad just in case you have any problems. You can always have food Poisson, fever or any other kind of disease.
Just make sure you are ready since it can be really expensive if you get a big surgery or problem in Egypt. You can check ours in this link where you can get covered starting from $40 USD per month
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FACTS ABOUT EGYPT
6. EGYPT IS SO CHEAP
Facts about Egypt if you have been traveling around Southeast Asia Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines are so cheap and prices in Egypt are so affordable. Especially for accommodation where is easy to find a room for less than €15 for a dorm and prices for food and transportation are more affordable. Keep reading below!
7. ACCOMMODATION BUDGET IN EGYPT
Things to know before traveling to Egypt for accommodation in Egypt you can find deals starting from $25 USD per room. If you prefer mid-budget accommodation will cost $40-60 USD and for $80 USD you will find luxury accommodation in Egypt.
8. FOOD BUDGET TRAVEL IN EGYPT
Food travel budget in Egypt you can find juices for half a dollar and a whole meal in local places starting from $3-4 USD and it’s so delicious their gastronomy. If you go to fine restaurants expect to pay around $6-7 USD per person and even more expensive for dinner.
9. WI-FI AND INTERNET CONNECTION IN EGYPT
Internet in Egypt works great in big cities and you will have internet connection in most of the places you will have 4G except in remote areas. You can access free WiFi at hostels and hotels and there are lots of restaurants that are offering free WiFi.
SIM CARD AT EGYPT AIRPORT
I wouldn’t recommend you to buy a sim card at Egypt airport. If you wish comfort you can buy eSim online and if you aren’t in a hurry just go around phone shops in the city and compare prices to buy the cheapest sim card in Egypt. Read here Egypt sim card for tourist and best Egypt eSim
The cheapest Egyptian eSim for Egypt for €24 with 4 GB data valid for 14 days with MTX Connect eSim. You can get Airalo Egypt eSim prepaid for $36 USD with 3 GB data and for $49 USD with 5 GB data valid for 30 days (USING DISCOUNT CODE GAMINTRAVELER 10%).
Holafly Egypt eSim for $50 USD if you use our code GAMINTRAVELER coming with 6 GB data valid for 15 days. Ubigi Egypt eSim for $14 USD with 1 GB data valid for 30 days and for $28 USD with 3 GB data valid for 30 days. And for $54 USD with 10 G
10. ADAPTER IN EGYPT
In our Egypt travel tips you should know they use the European adapter. A few places make it possible to fit your American adapter in the plug. If you are coming from American countries, we recommend you to bring an European adapter to be able to charge everywhere.
11. LOCAL TRANSPORTATION IN EGYPT
For local transportation in Egypt local buses will cost less than $1 USD but traffic is crazy in the cities. If you go by taxi a short ride in the city will cost you $5-6 USD but make sure you agree the price before the ride. You can use also Careem App like Uber in Egypt where you will have a fixed price. Long distance buses are affordable and cruising the Nile is little bit expensive.
12. UBER AND CAREEM APP
If you are moving around big cities like El Cairo use Uber and Careem App a popular one in Egypt. It will be easy you download. order and wait until they pick you up until your final destination. You will avoid so much negotiation and wasting time with taxi drivers.
13. EGYPTIAN TIME
You can expect Egyptian time for transportation since buses and vans they have schedule but it’s flexible. Also people are very laid back in Egypt about the time when you meet up with locals.
14. LANGUAGE IN EGYPT
The official language in Egypt is Arabic language You will find people in Egypt can speak English. In touristic areas English is spoken. Young people will be able to communicate in English but not always!
15. LEARNING ARABIC LANGUAGE
As Egyptian people don’t usually speak English. The challenge is learning Arabic language at least the essentials to move around. It’s very useful if you will be traveling around Egypt and neighbor countries for a few weeks.
There are some basics that you need to learn to communicate with them, for example numbers, asking daily questions like, “How much is this?” and “Where is it?” – It will be hard but it will be very helpful for meeting locals.
16. CRAZY TRAFFIC IN EGYPT
You will find crazy traffic in Egypt and it’s difficult to get used to it. El Cairo will be the worst for traffic and you will get stucked it doesn’t matter you go by taxi or by bus. You need to be patient with the traffic!
17. EGYPT WEEK DAYS AND WEEKEND
Egypt week days will go from Sunday to Thursday and the weekend is Friday and Saturday. You will see on Friday a few places busy since it’s the day that locals go around having off for work. If you visit touristic places on Friday and Saturday expect huge lines and everything is crowded.
18. DUST, POLLUTION AND TOO HOT IN EGYPT
The weather is hot, pollution and so much dust in Egypt. Make sure you drink water and you keep hydrated. You will find dust when walking around in Egypt, traffic and hot. So make sure you are aware of this!
19. RELIGION IN EGYPT
The main religion in Egypt is Muslim around 85%. You will find other religions in Egypt like Christians around 10% and Orthodox around 5%.
20. EGYPTIAN PEOPLE ARE VERY FRIENDLY
Are the Egyptian people very friendly? Egyptian people are very friendly and hospitable. Not all of them will be able to communicate in English don’t forget their language is Arabic. But most of them will show to you how nice they are trying to communicate with you. A few people can communicate in English in Egypt especially in touristic places.
21. DRESS PROPERLY IN EGYPT
Dress properly in Egypt covering your shoulders and if you can wear pants covering your knees too. Egyptian people are very religious and it’s not the same like Western countries where they don’t care as much as they do in Egypt.
22. BE CAREFUL IN EGYPT WITH TOURIST SCAMS
Be careful in Egypt with the scams. People will try to bring you to perfume stores and carpet stores charging high prices for tourists. They will treat you for a tea and telling you about materials and quality of the job. Egypt is similar to India with the scams. Also travel agents offering camel rides or tours for a high price. Just use common sense to avoid them.
23. BARGAIN SKILLS FOR EVERYTHING
You need bargains skills for everything in Egypt especially when going to local markets. The prices are high in Egypt for tourists and they expect you bargain a bit. Just do it with a smile and pay what you consider fair for yourself. If not just move forward!
24. Everything Has An Additional Fee
Everything has an additional fee in Egypt. If you are bringing your camera additional cost. If you pay the entrance for a museum expect an area where you will find an additional fee. When doing a tour make sure there are no additional fees, But for sure you expect that you have to tip them.
25. Visit Egypt in Ramadan
Visit Egypt in Ramadan? I would say yes it can be a great experience and maybe you can get invited for locals. You can expect in Ramadan to get alcohol can be more complicated and food during day time since a few places are closed. But you will always find places to eat. A few places for tourists can be opened only a few hours or even closed during Ramadan. Just be polite and respect them with their traditions and costumes.
26. VISIT THE BAZAARS IN EGYPT
You will find bazaars everywhere in Egypt. You can buy whatever you need in the bazaars for affordable prices especially in local markets. Bazaars for tourists have high prices and you will have to bargain a lot in Egypt to get a decent price.
27. DON’T BRING YOUR DRONE TO EGYPT
You should know flying a drone in Egypt is illegal. So make sure that you aren’t bringing your drone to Egypt to avoid problems. It’s not only about flying you can have problems if they see you are bringing.
28. TOILET IS PAID IN EGYPT
Toilet is paid in Egypt. Apart from being paid is usually squat toilet in Egypt. Prices are only 1-2 EGP which is only a few cents of USD. Don’t expect toilet paper in the toilet. So make sure you are bringing yours!
29. TIPS EVERYWHERE IN EGYPT
Expect to tip everywhere in Egypt. People will be asking for Baksheesh which is tip in their language. Whatever you image a guide, someone who helped you, taxi driver, restaurants toilets. Tips are asked any time in Egypt.
30. ARMY IS EVERYWHERE
Army is everywhere in Egypt. You will find the army in the touristic places holding their guns. Everywhere the army in the streets that’s why you can feel safe in Egypt. But sometimes it can impact watching them all the time.
FACTS ABOUT EGYPT FOOD
31. Tamiya (Egyptian Falafel)
Tamiya (Egyptian Falafel) is the most popular fast food to try in Egypt. Tamiya is made of cooked fava beans putting together in a dough and later fried. You can find Tamiya or Egyptian Falafel as street food almost everywhere. You can eat with bread or salad and Egyptian Falafel is a perfect vegetarian food in Egypt.
32. Kebab And Kofta
Kebab And Kofta is the most popular food in Egypt and Middle East and you will find everywhere. Kebab is grilled meat usually lamb and kofta is also minced meat. You can eat Kofta or Kebab with salad, bread and rice as side dishes.
Shawarma is also popular in Egypt but originally from Turkey. Shawarma is made of meat lamb, chicken or beef grilled all the day. Shawarma is usually eaten with salad or in a bread. You can also have rice and French fries as side dish.
Koshari is one of the most popular lunch to try in Egypt. Koshari is made of rice, macaroni, lentils, with tomato sauce, garlic, vinegar, onion and chili sauce. Koshari sounds like a strange mix but it’s so delicious!
35. Fifteer Baladi
Fifteer Baladi is a delicious bread usually eaten as side dish in Egypt. You can eat Fifteer Baladi with cheese, vegetables, meat and even sweet ones with honey and sugar.
Besarah is a great option for vegetarian food in Egypt. Besarah is made of mashed parsley, beans, spices, green pepper and onions. A perfect food to eat with bread and it’s so delicious you will love it!
Kunafa is one of the most popular desserts to try in Egypt. Kunafa is usually made for Ramadan with kunafa pieces filled with cream or cheese baked. You can top up with syrup!
38. Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate juice is one of the most popular ones in Egypt. You will find in the local markets anytime of the day. Apart from pomegranate juices you can find orange juice also popular in Egypt. Prices are around $1-2 USD depending on the size and they are so delicious!
39. TURKISH COFFEE
Turkish Coffee is strong and unfiltered. Since Egypt is near Turkey and you like coffee you will be able to enjoy Turkish coffee. Prices are around $1 USD in local coffee shops.
40. SUGAR CANE
Sugar Cane you will find with street vendors as well in Egypt. Sugar cane isn’t my favorite but it’s so refreshing. Be careful not having a few of them since is full of sugar.
41. Egypt Shai Tea
Egypt Shai Tea taste strong and very sweet. You will find locals in Egypt drinking anytime of the day. Sometimes they will invite you to drink with them and asking questions about your country. As we mentioned above Egyptian people are so friendly.
42. Lemon Juice
Lemon Juice is also popular in street markets in Egypt and bars. Lemon juice is made of squeeze lemon, water, sugar and served with ice. Prices are around $1-2 USD.
More Egypt Travel Tips And Things To Know Before Visiting Egypt For First Timers
Festivals in Egypt
Ramadan is the biggest festival in Egypt, There is no exact date for Ramadan and every year change dates. Make sure you check in advance online. During Ramadan locals aren’t allowed to eat during day time and they have to wait after sunset to eat and drink water. It will be a great experience if you enjoy the end of Ramadan. Last days are crazy busy for locals in Ramadan and of course the celebration is the best!
44. El Hijra (Islamic New Year)
El Hijra (Islamic New Year) has no fixed dates every year and you will have to research. The Islamic New Year is celebrated for Muslims mostly with traditional meals at their homes but not so important and huge as Ramadan in Egypt.
45. Eid al-Adha
Eid al-Adha has no exact date every year commemorates when Abraham sacrificed his son. You will find locals celebrating for 3-4 days and if you are traveling in the country locals will invite you to join to their homes. They usually celebrate eating traditional food at their homes. The most common way is buying a goat killing, cooking and sharing between family and friends. Apart from goat they will cook rice, salads and a lot of food!
PLACES TO VISIT IN EGYPT
46. El Cairo
El Cairo is the place to arrive in Egypt if you are getting by plance. Apart from bars and restaurants in the capital. You can visit the Egyptian Museum, the Citadel, local markets, mosques, the Giza Pyramids and a few more places will make you stay a few days in El Cairo. El Cairo is one of the places to visit in Egypt that you can’t skip.
47. Pyramids of Giza
Pyramids of Giza also known as Pyramid of Cheops is the oldest and largest of the pyramids in the pyramid complex in Cairo. The Pyramids of Giza are the largest pyramid structures in the world. Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and it’s a must visiting in Egypt.
48. The Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings also known as the Valley of the Gates of the Kings is located on the West bank of the Nile opposite to Thebes modern Luxor. The Valley of the Kings is famous for its royal tombs. The Valley of the kings was the principal burial place of the Egyptian New Kingdom and privileged nobles. The Valley of Kings were designated a UNESCO Site in Egypt.
49. Luxor’s Karnak Temple
Luxor’s Karnak Temple is an ancient Egyptian temple located on the East bank of the Nile River in Thebes modern Luxor. Karnak Temple is dedicated to Amun, Mut and Khonsu. Karnak Temple is one the largest religious building.
50. Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel are massive rock temples are dedicated to 13th century Pharaoh Ramesses II and his first wife Nefertari. Abu Simbel in the village of Abu Simbel located near Sudan. Abu Simbel is one of the most visited places in Egypt after the Pyramids of Giza.
51. Red Sea
Red Sea is located in the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia. The Red Sea is one of the most tourist places to visit in Egypt. The most popular activities in the Red Sea are snorkeling and diving.
Alexandria is the second largest city in Egypt after El Cairo and a Mediterranean port city in Egypt. Alexandria was a major center of civilization in the ancient world. Alexandria was controlling commerce between Egypt and the Mediterranean in the past being one of the most important strategic points in the past.
Aswan is located in The Nile River at the South of Egypt. Aswan has a few archaeological sites like the Philae temple complex and Philae ruins. Aswan is an ancient city on Egypt a strategist point with a military base.
54. Cruising the Nile
Cruising the Nile is one of the most tourist things to do in Egypt. Many travelers come to Egypt with a package for cruising the Nile and you can have a luxury experience. Prices are expensive and you will have to book in advance.
55. Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula is a perfect place to visit in Egypt if you are looking for off-the-beaten-path places. The Sinai Peninsula is a desert region between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea on the Southern tip in Egypt. You can enjoy the landscapes near Gaza and Israel area. The Sinai Peninsula isn’t dangerous but will be so useful if someone is guiding you around.
56. White Desert
White Desert is located 45 kilometers far from Farafra town. The White Desert National Park in Egypt is a protected area since 2002. The most popular places to visit at the White Desert are Farafra Oasis and the Rock formations.
Hope you liked our Egypt travel tips. Let us know if we missed things to know before visiting Egypt and facts about Egypt in the comments below.
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