Welcome to an extraordinary journey through the fascinating realm of Egypt. In this comprehensive Egypt travel guide, we’ll provide you with essential insights, insider tips, and practical advice to make your exploration of Egypt an unforgettable experience.
Fast Facts About Egypt
- Climate: Experience a desert climate with hot summers and mild winters. Prepare for significant temperature changes between day and night.
- Local Currency: The Egyptian Pound (EGP) is the official currency. ATMs are widely available in urban areas.
- Power Voltage: Egypt uses 220V, 50Hz. Bring a plug adapter and voltage converter if your devices require it.
- Language: Arabic is the official language, but English is commonly spoken in tourist areas.
- Religion: The majority of Egyptians practice Islam. Respect local customs and dress modestly, especially in religious sites.
- Safety: Egypt is generally safe for travelers. Exercise caution in crowded areas and be aware of your surroundings.
- Cultural Etiquette: Greet with a handshake, and it’s customary to remove your shoes when entering homes or mosques.
- Tipping: Tipping is customary in Egypt. Tip guides, drivers, and service staff around 10% to 15% if a service charge isn’t included.
Best Time to Visit Egypt: Seasons and Festivals
- October to April: Enjoy cooler temperatures during Egypt’s winter months, making it ideal for exploring historical sites.
- June to August: Experience the scorching heat of summer, but it’s also the best time for diving in the Red Sea.
- Eid al-Fitr: Celebrate the end of Ramadan with feasts and festivities. The date varies each year based on the Islamic calendar.
- Abu Simbel Sun Festival (February and October): Witness the sun illuminating the inner sanctum of the Abu Simbel temple in a remarkable spectacle.
- Sham el-Nessim (Spring Equinox): Join locals in celebrating the arrival of spring with picnics and outdoor activities.
Top Attractions and Things to See and Do in Egypt
- Giza Pyramids and Sphinx: Stand before the iconic pyramids of Giza and the enigmatic Sphinx, marveling at their ancient grandeur.
- Luxor: Explore the open-air museum of Luxor, home to the Karnak and Luxor temples, showcasing Egypt’s rich history.
- Nile River Cruise: Embark on a relaxing cruise down the Nile, passing by picturesque landscapes and stopping at historical sites.
- Valley of the Kings: Uncover the secrets of the pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings, where tombs hold intricate treasures.
- Red Sea Beaches: Relax on the stunning beaches of the Red Sea, known for their clear waters and vibrant marine life.
- Abu Simbel Temples: Admire the awe-inspiring Abu Simbel temples, carved into the rock and adorned with colossal statues.
- Egyptian Museum: Immerse yourself in Egypt’s history at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, home to countless artifacts.
- Khan el-Khalili Bazaar: Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Cairo’s famous bazaar, where you can shop for souvenirs and traditional crafts.
The Best Ways To Get Around Egypt
- Domestic Flights: Travel efficiently between major cities using Egypt’s domestic flight network.
- Trains: Experience the scenery on comfortable trains that connect Cairo to Luxor and Aswan.
- Nile Cruises: Enjoy a leisurely journey along the Nile, stopping at various historical sites along the way.
- Taxis and Ride-Sharing: Use taxis or ride-sharing services for convenient transportation within cities.
- Felucca Rides: Sail the Nile on a traditional felucca, an authentic way to experience the river’s beauty.
- Metro and Buses: Navigate Cairo using the metro and buses, providing cost-effective options for getting around.
- Walking and Biking: Explore compact areas on foot or rent a bike to discover hidden gems at your own pace.
Accommodation Tips: Egypt
- Hotels and Resorts: Egypt offers a range of accommodation options, from luxurious resorts to budget-friendly hotels, catering to various preferences.
- Nile River Views: Opt for accommodations along the Nile River for stunning views and convenient access to historical sites.
- Online Booking: Use trusted travel platforms to book accommodations in advance and secure better deals.
- Local Guesthouses: Experience authentic Egyptian hospitality by staying in local guesthouses, which can also be budget-friendly.
- Safety: Prioritize safety by choosing well-reviewed accommodations in reputable areas, especially if you’re traveling solo.
- Camping: For unique experiences, some areas offer camping options, providing a chance to connect with nature.
Egypt Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips
- Local Eateries: Enjoy affordable and delicious meals at local eateries and street food stalls.
- Bargain at Bazaars: Hone your bargaining skills at markets and bazaars to snag souvenirs and items at lower prices.
- Public Transportation: Utilize cost-effective public transportation options like the metro and buses within cities.
- Combination Tickets: Opt for combination tickets that grant access to multiple historical sites, saving money compared to individual entry fees.
- Student and Senior Discounts: If applicable, inquire about student or senior discounts for entry fees and transportation.
- Water and Snacks: Carry a reusable water bottle and snacks to save on buying beverages and food while exploring.
Culinary Delights and Traditional Cuisine in Egypt
- Koshari: Try this hearty dish made from rice, lentils, pasta, and chickpeas, topped with flavorful sauces.
- Ful Medames: Savor a traditional breakfast of slow-cooked fava beans, often enjoyed with bread.
- Molokhia: Experience a savory stew made from the leaves of the molokhia plant, often served with rice or bread.
- Falafel: Enjoy crispy falafel balls made from ground chickpeas or fava beans, usually served in pita bread.
- Egyptian Tea: Delight in a cup of fragrant Egyptian tea, often accompanied by mint leaves and plenty of sugar.
Souvenir Ideas: Bringing a Piece of Egypt Home
- Papyrus Art: Purchase intricate papyrus artwork depicting Egyptian scenes, symbols, and hieroglyphics.
- Spices: Bring the flavors of Egypt home with a variety of aromatic spices like saffron, cumin, and coriander.
- Handcrafted Jewelry: Adorn yourself with beautifully crafted jewelry featuring semi-precious stones and intricate designs.
- Traditional Clothing: Consider buying traditional clothing items like galabiyas or scarves as unique souvenirs.
- Alabaster Crafts: Take home alabaster sculptures and crafts that showcase Egypt’s rich artistic heritage.