Have you found yourself curious to explore the home of the Pyramids, ancient mummies, and thousand-year old temples? We don’t blame you! Traveling in Egypt is one of the most rewarding and special experiences, and we want you to experience it to the fullest. Read on to discover some important Egypt travel tips before you go.
When should I go?
While Egypt is beautiful and mostly temperate all year long, the summer months are particularly hot. The farther south you go in Egypt, the hotter it gets, sometimes even unbearably so. The best time to go to Egypt is generally between October to April, however, this is peak tourist season. While it gets sweaty in the summer, the upside of traveling to Egypt during this season is that there are far less tourists. You might even find yourself with a temple to explore all by yourself!
What should I pack?
One of the most important Egypt travel tips we can give you is to pack clothes that are modest yet breathable. As we mentioned, Egypt can get very hot, so you’ll want to pick lighter clothes that won’t leave you sweltering. However, the locals expect a certain degree of modesty, especially when visiting holy sites like mosques or wandering around ancient temples. In some tourist attractions, women are required to cover their shoulders. We recommend bringing a light scarf or shaul and keeping it in your bag to cover up quickly when you need to. Of course, don’t forget to pack an adapter and/or converter. Egypt uses the classic European two-prong plug and runs at 220-240 V. Be sure to also pack tons of sunscreen and bug spray, especially if you’ll be cruising by The Nile!
Is Egypt safe?
Like any country, the content we see in the media is rarely what tourists experience when they arrive. Though it has suffered from a bad reputation in recent years, in general, Egypt is a safe country to travel to. Egyptians are kind and helpful, and tourist attractions usually have guards and security.
With that being said, we do strongly recommend visiting Egypt on a tour instead of on your own. While it is safe, there are some areas that would be more difficult to travel on your own. It’s much easier to navigate the country with a local guide who understands the language, culture, and landscape. Egypt is a large country, and it’s tricky to get around with public transportation. Booking a tour not only helps ensure your safety, but also saves you time and the headache of doing things on your own. If you are going to head out on your own, we suggest consulting with a local you trust to ask for recommendations on areas that are ok to wander alone. When booking a taxi, it’s always best to ask a hotel concierge to order one for you so that they can explain directions and help you negotiate the cost.
What should I bring back?
When giving clients our personal Egypt travel tips, we always recommend they do one thing while visiting this beautiful country: SHOP! Egypt has a wealth of natural and artistic beauty, and you can commemorate your trip by bringing a few things home for yourself and your friends (we also won’t blame you if you don’t want to share).
Some things we definitely recommend are papyrus art. This is a staple of Egyptian culture. Beware to go to reputed papyrus dealers, as there are shops that sell fake knock-offs. Ask your tour guide to bring you to a reputed papyrus store. Another thing Egypt is known for is their perfumes, which date back to Ancient Egypt. There are great original perfume stores around the country where you can pick up your favorite scent or choose out a unique new one. Of course, as the home of Egyptian cotton, we definitely recommend picking up some scarves or comfy pants. Lastly, the spices in Middle Eastern food is second to none, so be sure to collect your favorite flavors to pack up and bring home.
What should I eat?
Egypt has some great and simple culinary options suitable for all diets. Of course, like many Middle Eastern countries, food like falafel, shawarma, and pita are staples. Another authentic Egyptian dish is Koshary, a dish made with rice, pasta, lentils, chickpeas, onions and tomato sauce. It’s vegetarian-friendly, filling, and absolutely delicious! Be sure to also try ful, aka fava beans, which is a common street food dish. For meat lovers, you can find great kebabs or kafta in most places to satiate your hunger.
Is there anything else I should know?
When it comes to Egypt travel tips, there are a few other things to keep in mind:
Incase we didn’t emphasize it enough, Egypt can get HOT. It’s important to bring a water bottle with you everywhere and stay hydrated. The tap water isn’t potable, but bottled water can be purchased for no more than a few EGP in most places.
Tips for service is expected in Egypt, especially of tourists. It’s common to tip servers like waiters, bellboys, or the concierge. In restaurants, usually 10% is recommended. It’s also common for locals, especially those who hang out in popular tourist attractions, to offer to take your photo in exchange for a tip.
This is the Middle East, bargain for everything! Test out your haggling skills by visiting the Khan el-Khalili market in Cairo.
It’s a no-brainer to bring your camera along with you to Egypt. You’re walking through Ancient Egypt, where pharaohs once walked! The Egyptians know this and have decided to monetize it in some places, therefore it’s common for there to be a “camera fee” if you want to bring your camera along into popular tourist attractions. Note that a few temples don’t allow photography at all.
Keep in mind that the weekends in Egypt are Friday and Saturday, unlike in most of the western world. Therefore, tourist attractions will be particularly busier on these days.
Armed with these Egypt travel tips and an amazing tour to Egypt, you’re ready for the adventure of a lifetime! Contact us today and we’ll help you turn these Egypt travel tips into the most unforgettable tour in one of the world’s most interesting countries!
Need some more Egypt travel tips or have any questions we didn’t cover? Ask us in the comments below!