Egypt’s wealthy historical past reverberates in its modern-day tradition. There are lots to have interaction with all of your senses, from majestic historic sights to vigorous streets rife with fragrant meals and the colorful and eclectic nightlife.

To totally take pleasure in all the thrill, there are some issues you must think about, together with the nation’s cultural traditions. However, fear not: all its essential hop on an aircraft is your passport and sunscreen, plus the precise expectations and this nifty checklist that will help you mix in with the locals.

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Planning your journey to Egypt

Getting your visa

Luggage in a single hand and paperwork within the different is all it’s essential to get on an aircraft and fly to Egypt. If you’re eligible, you will get a renewable single-entry vacationer visa on arrival for USD$25, legitimate for 30 days. Nonetheless, you could be denied entry if you lack any paperwork or if there’s an issue processing your visa on arrival.

When you want a multiple-entry visa, you’ll have to use it beforehand. Apply for an e-Visa by the official authorities portal to keep away from any entry points or delays. The method is straightforward, and you’ll apply for the visa entry sort you like.

Interior of Dendera temple or Temple of Hathor. Egypt. Dendera, Denderah, is a small town in Egypt. Dendera Temple complex, one of the best-preserved temple sites from ancient Upper Egypt.
The Dendera Temple advanced is among the best-preserved temple websites from historic Egypt © Merlinus74 / Getty Pictures.

Put together a rough itinerary.

There’s more to Egypt than the pyramids, and planning forward will enable you to avoid a logistical nightmare. Plan your days by space (particularly in main cities, the place site visitors are each intense and unpredictable), so it’s simpler to maneuver around between areas.

When you’re a beach lover, there are many locations on the North Coast or Naama Bay for diving or snorkeling journeys. When you’re an avid explorer and like one thing off the overwhelmed, observing Egypt’s lesser-known gems – just like the gorgeous Siwa Oasis – is completely definitely worth the journey.

Egypt really caters to each type of traveler, and the easiest way to create customized expertise is to give attention to what’s necessary to you and plan accordingly.

Brush up on fundamental Arabic phrases

Whipping out Google Translate for fast questions on instructions might be useful. However, natural responses to fundamental niceties will be helpful.

Most Egyptians are keen to assist when requested. However, you would possibly tie up just a few odds and ends in Arabic with unilingual locals. Additionally, they come in useful if it’s essential to fend off hustlers or persistent retailers. Learning a few words and phrases like “al-salam alaykom” (hiya), “shukran” (thanks), “aywa” (sure), “la’a” (no), and “ma’ al-Salama” (goodbye) will go a great distance.

Don’t underestimate Egypt’s excessive climate – each cold and warm

Sunscreen is essential should you don’t wish to spend the higher half of your trip huddled up with ice packs. That is very true should you’re visiting through the summer season; however, holds up all year long.

July is the most popular month, with temperatures ranging anyplace from 34.7 levels C (94.5 levels F) to a scorching 43.3 levels C (109.9 levels F). But, regardless of its year-round sunny skies, Egypt’s general desert local weather makes winters particularly chilly – the type of chilly that creeps beneath your garments and offer you chills proper right down to your bones.

It doesn’t assist that the poorly insulated buildings barely preserve the freezing climate at bay, so it’s a must to speak yourself into going exterior due to its hotter outdoor than indoors. Temperatures drop as little as ten levels C (50 levels F) at instances, so should you visit between October and March, be sure to pack some thermals alongside your sunscreen.

Pack for the warmth however preserve it conservative

Egypt is understood for its cotton, and what higher place to put on cotton than right here. Pack ethereal breathable garments, and escape all of the pastels and vivid colors in your closet.

Most individuals in main cities gown casually and embrace consolation over trend. However, do not forget that tradition is king in Egypt, a rustic with primarily conservative locals.

You’ll be able to’t go flawed with unfastened clothes, and exposing an excessive amount of pores and skin is usually frowned upon. Males can sport tank tops in the event that they’re snug with just a few additional stares however quick shorts will not be advisable, and ladies ought to keep away from low-cut tops, quick shorts, or revealing clothes.

Seaside locations bend these unstated guidelines, and locals are accommodating to guests, so don’t depart all of your shorts and sundresses behind.

Hold transportation in thought when reserving lodging

Whereas reserving your lodgings, look into modes of transport within the surrounding space. When planning a brief go-to, go for lodgings central to the sights in your itinerary or near a metro station so that you don’t waste excessive time on site visitors.

When you’ve received extra time, you may go for something less central but accessible – simply be sure you consider journey instances.

Cairo and Giza are largely accessible utilizing the metro system, and should you’re a feminine traveler, we suggest you search out the carriages reserved for girls.

Some locations would require additional planning, and white taxis and Uber rides are your greatest guess. When you go for a white taxi, always be sure that the meter’s operating earlier than you hop in, and hail it just a few meters out of your resort for a less expensive journey. Keep away from taxis that don’t use meters and aren’t very tourist-friendly.

Lengthy-distance buses and home flights are a choice too, relying on your finances.

A Coptic family visits a shrine at Deir al-Muharraq monastery  also called the Burned Monastery. Being one of the oldest functioning monasteries in the world it is an important pilgrimage place for Coptic Christians. Deir Al Muharraq monastery
Be conscious of what you put on visiting non-secular websites, just like the Deir al-Muharraq monastery © Luis Dafos / Getty Pictures.

Etiquette in Egypt

Be conscious of your environment.

It’s necessary not simply to gown appropriately but even to be conscious of native etiquette, particularly at sure sights.

Are you visiting a mosque? Take off your sneakers earlier than coming into and, should you’re a feminine traveler, cowl your head.

At a historic site? Don’t contact the antiquities and use cameras without the flash all the time.

At the seaside? Sure, you may sport your greatest swimsuit and calm down however, like in each place on this planet, there’s time for a code of conduct. Be observant and observe the locals keep away from pointless problems.

Professional tip: Images are inspired at vacationer sites however, don’t {photograph} folks without their consent, and do not take pictures the place it’s explicitly prohibited.

Restrict PDAs (public shows of affection)

We’ve established that Egypt leans towards conservatism, which extends to public shows of affection. Whereas holding fingers along with your accomplice won’t garner a lot of consideration, restrict your public bodily interactions to what can be thought of delicate and correct.

Platonic kisses on the cheek are a typical greeting between pals in Egypt however, relying on your environment needs to be restricted to members of identical intercourse.

Tipping tradition is alive and proper.

Tipping in Egypt continues to be commonplacely observed, particularly within the service business. Ideas, or baksheesh, can vary from 5 EGP (<$0.50) to 100 EGP ($5.50), relying on who you’re paying and the place.

Eating places and cafes are simpler to determine, with 10-15% of the invoice being customary, and unfastened change is the norm for meal purchases from road distributors. Larger ideas are normally reserved for individuals who give you long-term providers, comparable to drivers and tour guides.

Whilst you’re not required to tip supply providers, taxis, and ride-hailing apps, you may spherical up the invoice should you’ve had satisfying expertise.

Professional tip: Egypt is basically cash-oriented, so decide up each giant and small payment whenever you’re exchanging foreign money to make funds and tipping simpler.

Lamp/lantern shop in the Khan El Khalili market.
Haggling to get a greater deal is appropriate at markets, not at main shops with fastened costs © Merydolla / Shutterstock.

Haggling is an artwork, don’t be afraid to strive for it

From papyrus papers and conventional souvenirs to rigorously crafted silverware and painted by hand ceramics, markets in Egypt are a treasure trove. However, should you feel like one thing is overpriced, don’t draw back from haggling.

Whereas distributors aren’t notably keen on the back-and-forth, it’s all a part of the expertise, and it doesn’t matter what you pay in the long run you may persuade yourself it was a fantastic deal.

Don’t try to haggle in larger retailers in or exterior vacationer sights, and if there’s an official value posted on the product, it’s normally non-negotiable.

Professional tip: Hold your eyes and ears open and gauge the variety of comparable gadgets in close-by shops so you may be overcharged. Haggling is principally confined to memento spots, souks (markets), and fewer formal promoting areas.

Well-being and security in Egypt

Do not drink the faucet water.

To dodge any abdomen bugs that may break your Egyptian journey, keep away from consuming faucet water except it’s filtered, particularly when you have a delicate abdomen. Pack a great water-filtering system or use bottled water like the locals.

Whereas Egyptian delicacies are one of the country’s best assets, and the temptation to pattern it each likelihood you get is comprehensible, some carts improperly retail their meals. It may be tough to inform as a customer, so it might be sensible to go for native retailers as an alternative. They typically provide related meals however is usually safer to indulge in your coronary heart’s content material.

Hold abreast of flooding alerts.

Flooding is a matter in Egypt. However, it’s normally delicate and largely restricted to some coastal areas. It’s all the time a good suggestion to activate information alerts on your cellphone anyway and control the native information.

The floods are normally simple to handle. However, roads might be impacted throughout the flooding season (June to September), particularly in some areas in South Sinai.

A female tourist sitting on a sand dune and looking at the Pyramids of Giza.
A solo traveler sitting on a sand dune and searching the Pyramids of Giza © SrdjanPav / Getty Pictures

Ideas for solo feminine vacationers

When you’re a woman traveling on your own, preserve a watch out for harassers, scammers, and hustlers who could also be pushy and protracted. Assured interactions are sometimes key to driving them away. However, calling out for help or asserting you’ll contain the police could be a good deterrent as properly.

As a rule of thumb, attempt to avoid interactions with people in suspicious settings, like quiet alleyways, darkish road corners, and empty spots, and search for crowds with girls and youngsters should you feel unsafe. By no means get right into a taxi or Uber with anybody, however the driver. And, as is, unfortunately, the case in many of the world, keep away from strolling alone late in the evening.

Egyptian emergency numbers

Egypt is usually thought of as protected to go to however, should you face any points that you simply imagine require legislation enforcement interference, search for cops with a tourism police badge on their shoulders – it’s a navy blue half sleeve with a gold eagle within the center, and “Tourism and Antiquities Police” written on the backside. They’re stationed at each vacationer vacation spot in Egypt and will also be reached by dialing 126 from any Egyptian cellular quantity.

When you’d relatively file a grievance later, you may dial 19654 and talk instantly with the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. It is also a good suggestion to maintain the variety of your own home embassy or consulate helpful.

Professional tip: Spend money on an Egyptian SIM card upon arrival. They’re low-cost and can make native interactions a lot simpler for you. Vodafone, Etisalat, Orange, and WE are Egypt’s high cellular service suppliers; you could find their cubicles within the ultimate corridor in your approach out of Cairo Worldwide Airport.

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