By Azure Lee
Egypt has consistently ranked among the top five desired travel destinations worldwide. Renowned for its extensive history spanning over 5000 years, Egypt has played a pivotal role in shaping a distinct and captivating culture that encompasses a wide array of wonders and enchantment. Across the ages, Egypt has been hailed as the ultimate haven for travelers due to its abundant collection of captivating monuments dispersed throughout the country, gracing iconic cities such as Cairo, known as the City of Wonders, Luxor, often referred to as the pearl of the Mediterranean Sea, the mythical city of Aswan, and the exotic tropical shores of Hurghada along the Red Sea.
If you're planning your first trip to this captivating country, there are several key tips and insights that can enhance your journey and help you make the most of your time in Egypt. In this article, we'll learn the best Egypt tips for first-timers and everything you need to know before you go.
Egypt has consistently ranked among the top five desired travel destinations worldwide
10 Things To Know Before Travelling To Egypt
Egypt, a land of ancient wonders, timeless history, and vibrant culture, has long been a bucket-list destination for travelers around the world. From the awe-inspiring pyramids to the serene beauty of the Nile River, Egypt offers an experience that's unlike any other.
Here are 10 Egypt tips for first-timers
1. You will need a visa to travel to Egypt
Most foreign tourists visiting Egypt require a visa as well as a valid passport.
You can apply for an Eygpt e-visa through Eygpt Immigration Services. This is the most convenient and straightforward method. Presently, approximately 150 nations are eligible to request an electronic visa for Egypt using a swift online application process. Once endorsed, the e-Visa will be digitally linked to your passport, and a duplicate will also be dispatched via email. This copy should be printed out and presented to immigration authorities upon your entry into Egypt. The Egypt tourist e-Visa permits a maximum stay of 30 days.
At any immigration checkpoint, you can also get a visa immediately after arriving. At passport control in the Cairo International Airport, there is a bank window where you can buy a visa on arrival. You must pay cash, and the price is roughly $25.
2. Keep small change
In Egypt, you'll require a lot of cash. In Egypt, the currency is the Egyptian pound (EGP).
Tipping remains a common practice in Egypt, particularly within the service sector. Tips, referred to as baksheesh, can vary between 5 EGP (<$0.50) to 100 EGP ($5.50), depending on the recipient and where.
Pick up both large and small bills when you exchange money to make payments and tips simpler in Egypt, which is mostly a cash-based culture.
Loose change is typical for food purchases from street sellers, and restaurants and cafes are simpler to figure out because 10-15% of the total is normal. Long-term service providers, including tour guides and drivers, typically receive larger gratuities. Although tipping for delivery services, cabs, and ride-hailing apps is optional, you may choose to do so if your experience is satisfying.
In Egypt, the currency is the Egyptian pound (EGP)
3. Learn a few Arabic words
Learning a foreign language is the best approach to get to know the locals better. With our Egypt tours, we aim to show you not only the popular tourist attractions but also local culture and daily life. Egyptians will warm up to you quickly if you learn a few basic phrases like "is salam Alaykum," which means "hello," and "shukran," which means "thank you."
4. Don't drink the tap water
Do not drink tap water in Egypt is one of the best tips for traveling to Egypt. Although Egypt's tap water is not dangerous to drink, it has a bad flavor and might irritate your stomach due to its high chlorination.
You should drink bottled water to stay hydrated throughout your Egypt tour, especially when moving about in the heat.
When purchasing bottled water in Egypt, make sure the seal is intact. Drink bottled water, brush and rinse your teeth with it, and, most importantly, avoid any uncooked meals, such as salads, raw vegetables, unpeeled fruit, and undercooked meat.
5. Avoid public displays of affection
Egypt tends to be conservative, and this includes how people express their love in public. Even while holding hands won't attract much attention, keep your public physical contact to what would be considered modest and appropriate.
In Egypt, platonic kisses on the cheek are a frequent greeting, although depending on your surroundings, you should only give them to those of the same sex.
6. Do Haggle!
Egypt's markets offer various goods, ranging from papyrus papers and traditional keepsakes to intricately crafted silverware and hand-painted ceramics. However, if you find that an item seems to be priced higher than you'd like, don't hesitate to engage in some haggling. Please remember that haggling is customary in Egypt and that market vendors anticipate your request for a lower price.
Although vendors might not particularly relish the process of negotiation, it's an integral part of the shopping encounter. Regardless of the final amount you pay, you can easily convince yourself that you've secured a favorable deal.
Avoid trying to bargain in larger stores within or outside tourist attractions, and if a thing has an official price written on it, it's usually not negotiable.
Please remember that haggling is customary in Egypt
7. What to wear in Egypt
Figuring out what to take and how to dress is one of the best things to know before traveling to Egypt for first-timers. Egypt is a Muslim nation, so it's necessary to dress appropriately. We advise bringing midi skirts, tank tops, t-shirts, scarves, and loose jeans.
You should carry lighter items and stay away from jeans because it is very hot here. There will be a few locations where you must cover your knees and shoulders (like the Muhammad Ali Mosque in Cairo).
You'll be walking a lot, so make sure your shoes are comfy. You can bring a few pairs of sandals and a pair of shoes.
8. Camera fees and photography
For people who want to snap photos at specific tourist locations, most tourist attractions charge a "camera fee" in addition to an entry price. Egypt is often pretty strange when it comes to photography and filming, particularly street photography and other things.
A police officer may reprimand you for photographing certain structures for some strange reason, even if there are no signs prohibiting it. Ask for permission before photographing someone, and provide a gratuity as well.
9. Eat where the locals eat
Egypt has a wide range of gastronomic alternatives, including five-star restaurants and freshly prepared street cuisine. Everything is reasonably priced and filling. The greatest place to discover delicious, authentic food is usually where the locals dine, so pay attention to where they frequent. If you can peel it or if it's served hot, street food is thought to be safe to eat. In Egypt, it's considered unsanitary to eat with your left hand or to pass food to someone else with that hand. In addition to the service charge and sales tax at the restaurant, your server will want a tip.
Eat where the locals eat
10. Best time to visit Egypt
The best months to visit Egypt are from October through March, and December and January are the busiest travel months.
We believe that the shoulder seasons, which are March through May and September and October in Egypt, are the ideal times to travel there. There should be less of a throng and nicer weather.
If you visit during the dead of the summer (in July), the weather is freaking hot. Although the crowds weren't too awful at this time, you might want to avoid visiting Egypt in the summer if you have a problem with the heat.
Other Useful Information For First-Time Travelers To Egypt - Souvenirs To Buy
Here are several enjoyable keepsakes to buy while in Egypt!
- Papyrus: The first form of "paper," transformed from papyrus plants into exquisite pieces of artwork.
- Essential Oils: Perfumes and essential oils hold great popularity in Egypt. The perfume bottles also make for delightful souvenirs.
- Cartouche: A charming jewelry item that can be personalized with either your own name or the name of a pharaoh.
- Egyptian Cotton: Renowned for its quality, Egyptian cotton offers a wonderful souvenir choice.
By keeping these essential tips in mind, you'll be well-prepared to navigate the intricacies of travel in Egypt and make the most of your first-time visit.
If you have any questions, contact us for more detailed information on visa requirements for foreign tourists.