Giza pyramids, Egypt
Giza pyramids, Egypt

Camel rides at sunset

The Pyramids of Giza are the largest and most recognizable pyramid structures in the world. They were built to honor certain Pharaohs of the fourth ruling dynasty of Egypt during a period known as the Old Kingdom.
Photo by Simon Berger

EGYPT

Africa

Egypt Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Cairo

Location:

Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip, and the Red Sea north of Sudan, and includes the Asian Sinai Peninsula

Currency:

Egyptian pounds (EGP)

Area:

1,001,450 sq km

Population:

106,437,241 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

Arabic (official), English, and French widely understood by educated classes

Religion:

Muslim (predominantly Sunni) 90%, Christian (majority Coptic Orthodox, other Christians include Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, Maronite, Orthodox, and Anglican) 10% (2015 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC+2

Tel Code:

+20

Weather

Climate in Egypt

Egypt has a desert climate, with hot summers and mild winters. The temperature in the summer can reach up to 40°C (104°F) in the daytime and can drop to around 20°C (68°F) at night. In the winter, the temperature ranges from around 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F) during the day, and can drop to around 5°C (41°F) at night.

Best Time to Visit Egypt

The best time to visit Egypt is in the spring (March to May) and the fall (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and not too hot. During these months, the temperature ranges from around 20°C (68°F) to 30°C (86°F) during the day, and is comfortable for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

Winter (December to February)

Winter also be a good time to visit as the weather is mild and the crowds are fewer. However, some tourist sites, such as the Abu Simbel temples, may be closed during the winter.

Summer (June to August)

Summer be very hot and dry, making it less ideal for outdoor activities, but it is the peak tourist season and the best time to experience the vibrant atmosphere of the country.

It's worth noting that Egypt is a desert country, and it can be very hot and dry. It's essential to take precautions and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Also, it's recommended to avoid the hottest hours of the day (from 11 am to 3 pm) and wear loose and light-colored clothing.

Transportation

Air travel

Egypt has several international airports, including Cairo International Airport, Hurghada International Airport, Luxor International Airport, and Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport, which receive flights from major cities around the world. From there, domestic flights are available to other destinations within Egypt.

Bus and Microbus

Buses and microbuses are widely available and are a cheap and convenient way to travel between cities and towns in Egypt. These buses are operated by several companies and offer different levels of comfort and amenities. They are a good option for budget travelers.

Train

Trains in Egypt are operated by the Egyptian National Railways and connect many major cities, including Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, and Aswan. They are a comfortable and relatively cheap way to travel, but the schedule and route options may be limited.

Car rental

Renting a car is a good option for travelers who prefer to have more flexibility and independence during their trip. There are many car rental companies in Egypt that offer a wide range of vehicles to suit different needs and budgets.

Taxis

Taxis are widely available in Egypt and can be found at airports, train stations, and on the street. They are a convenient and relatively cheap way to get around cities and towns. However, it's recommended to agree on the fare before the trip, as some taxi drivers may try to overcharge tourists.

Boat

Cruising the Nile River on a traditional felucca sailboat or a luxury cruise ship is a great way to explore the ancient temples and monuments along the Nile, as well as to admire the lush green banks of the Nile. Also, it's possible to take a boat trip to explore some of the Nile Delta and the Red Sea coastal towns.

Accommodation

Luxury Hotels

Egypt offers a wide range of luxurious accommodation options, such as five-star hotels and resorts, which are located in key tourist destinations like Cairo, Luxor, and Sharm El-Sheikh. These hotels offer amenities such as spas, swimming pools, and fine dining restaurants, and are ideal for those looking for a more upscale and comfortable stay.

Mid-range Hotels

There are also many mid-range hotels and resorts available in Egypt, which offer comfortable accommodation at more affordable prices. These hotels are located in popular tourist destinations and offer amenities such as swimming pools and restaurants. They are ideal for those looking for a comfortable stay without breaking the bank.

Budget Accommodation

Egypt also offers a wide range of budget-friendly accommodation options, such as hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels. These accommodation options are basic but offer comfortable and clean rooms at affordable prices. They are ideal for backpackers and budget-conscious travelers.

Camping and Glamping

For those looking for a unique and adventurous way to experience Egypt, camping and glamping options are available in the desert. These options offer a chance to experience the natural beauty of the desert and to sleep under the stars. They are ideal for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Egypt.

Homestays

Another alternative is to experience local hospitality and culture by staying with a local family in their home, known as a homestay. This can be a great way to learn about local customs and traditions, as well as to get a taste of Egyptian home-style cooking. Homestays are available in many cities and villages and can be arranged through local tour operators or online platforms.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Egypt Open
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Egypt is a land of ancient wonders, rich history, and breathtaking landscapes. From the iconic pyramids to the Nile River, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this fascinating country. Here are the top 10 things to do in Egypt:

      1. Visit the Great Pyramids of Giza

      The Great Pyramids of Giza are the most famous and iconic attraction in Egypt. These ancient tombs of the pharaohs have stood for over 4,500 years and continue to amaze visitors today. Climb to the top of the Pyramid of Khufu for a panoramic view of the pyramids and the surrounding desert.

      2. Explore the Sphinx

      The Great Sphinx, a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human, is located near the pyramids of Giza. It is one of the oldest and most mysterious statues in the world, and it is believed to have been built around 2500 BC.

      3. Take a Nile River Cruise

      The Nile River is the lifeblood of Egypt, and a cruise along its waters is a must-do for any visitor. Relax on a traditional felucca sailboat or take a luxury cruise and admire the lush green banks of the Nile and the ancient temples along the river.

      4. Visit the Valley of the Kings

      The Valley of the Kings is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the final resting place of the pharaohs of the New Kingdom. The tombs are filled with intricate carvings and hieroglyphics and are a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the ancient Egyptians.

      5. Explore the Temples of Luxor

      The Temples of Luxor and KarnACK are some of the most impressive and well-preserved ancient temples in Egypt. The temple complex was once the center of the religious and political life of the New Kingdom and is a must-see for any history buff.

      6. See the Abu Simbel Temples

      The Abu Simbel Temples are two massive rock temples located in southern Egypt. The temples were built during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II and were relocated to their current location to avoid their flooding during the construction of the Aswan High Dam.

      7. Visit the Egyptian Museum

      The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is home to the world's largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. This museum is a must-see for anyone interested in Egypt's history, and it is home to some of the most important pieces of ancient Egyptian art and artifacts.

      8. Take a hot air balloon ride over Luxor

      Take a hot air balloon ride over Luxor and get a bird's-eye view of the ancient temples and tombs of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens.

      9. Take a desert safari

      Explore the vast Sahara desert on a camel or 4X4 safari and experience the unique beauty of the desert and the Bedouin way of life.

      10. Visit the Coptic and Islamic Cairo

      Cairo is home to many religious sites, including the Coptic Orthodox and Islamic Cairo, which offers a unique blend of history and culture that is not to be missed. Visit the Hanging Church, the Coptic Museum and the mosque of Al-Azhar.

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