Egypt travel guide
As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, Egypt is a must-visit destination for any traveller. Whether you’re planning a short trip or a long-term stay, this Egypt travel guide will help you make the most of your visit.
With its stunning architecture and rich history, Egypt is a captivating destination that will leave a lasting impression on visitors. From ancient ruins to the vibrant cities of the present day, this fascinating country has something to offer everyone who visits. It’s had to deal with its fair share of turmoil in recent times, but this North African nation remains proud, welcoming and accessible.
When you visit Egypt, you’ll find that it is known for its ancient Egyptian civilization, with its temples and hieroglyphs. However, you may be less familiar with Egypt’s medieval history, which includes Coptic Christianity and Islam – ancient churches, monasteries and mosques can be seen all over the country. As a result of this rich history, Egypt inspires visitors in ways few other countries do.
The Nile River has a consistent flow that allowed for the development of one of the world’s great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose around 3200 BC and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. In 341 BC, the Persians conquered Egypt and replaced the native dynasty with their own. The Egyptians eventually regained their independence in 30 BC under Cleopatra, but fell to Rome in 30 AD. The Byzantines recovered Egypt in 642 AD, and it remained an important part of their empire until it was abandoned in the 13th century AD.
Important Things to Know Before Going to Egypt
If you’re not prepared for the heat and humidity in Egypt, you’ll quickly find yourself in trouble. Make sure to pack plenty of water, sunscreen, and hats to keep yourself comfortable while visiting this beautiful country! If you’re looking for a beautiful and exotic place to visit, Egypt is definitely worth considering. However, be prepared for the customs and norms there to be quite different from what you’re used to – it can take some getting used to. Egyptian people are very friendly and hospitable though, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Why you need a good tour operator in Egypt
The most important thing to consider when traveling to Egypt is finding an experienced local operator. These professionals will be in charge of creating the itinerary you want, arranging for trustworthy drivers and experts, and ensuring a seamless customer experience. A good local operator will make your trip infinitely better and help you see and do things that you never would have been able to on your own.
There are a number of things to consider when choosing a local operator in Egypt. Here are a few of the most important:
- Make sure they have a solid reputation. The last thing you want is to be working with a company that is known for being disorganized, unreliable, or worst of all, unsafe. Do your research and make sure you’re working with a company that has a good reputation.
- Make sure they can customize your trip. You’re going to Egypt to see the pyramids, but there’s so much more to see and do in this country. A good local operator will be able to customize your trip to include everything you want to see and do, while still giving you the flexibility to change your plans if you want to.
- Make sure they have a good network of drivers and guides. This is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a local operator. You want to make sure they have a solid network of drivers and guides who are knowledgeable, reliable, and trustworthy.
- Make sure they’re organized and efficient. You don’t want to be waiting around for your local operator to get their act together. Make sure they’re organized and efficient so you can maximize your time in Egypt.
- Make sure they put customer experience first. This is the most important thing to consider when choosing a local operator. You want to make sure they’re focused on giving you the best possible experience. Look for reviews from past customers and make sure the company you’re considering is known for putting their customers first.
What to Wear in Egypt as a Female Traveler
When traveling to Egypt, it is important to be aware of the local customs and dress appropriately for the climate. While many women wear pants and shirts year-round, it is important to be aware of the conservative culture in Egypt and dress modestly when visiting religious sites or other areas where more conservative attire is expected.
Women should also be aware of the local climate and dress accordingly when traveling to Egypt. While many women wear pants and shirts year-round, it is important to be aware of the conservative culture in Egypt and dress modestly. Additionally, while beaches are a favorite destination for tourists, it is important to remember that swimming costumes are not typically worn in most parts of the country. When travelling to Egypt, make sure to consult with a trusted travel agent who can provide you with advice on what clothing to bring and how best to dress for each location you visit.
About alcohol in Egypt
As a Muslim country, alcohol is going to be a sensitive topic for Egyptians. It’s not allowed by law, and even though it’s permitted in specific tourism-approved locations, you won’t find any stores selling it easily. If you want to drink, you’ll have to do it on your cruise or at your hotel. There are also tourist-specific restaurants where you can order alcohol.
What are The Religions in Egypt
Ancient Egyptians and Coptic Christians have shared a lot in common – from the language spoken in church services to the ancient calendar that still dominates today. While these traditions may seem disparate at first, they all trace back to ancient times, when Egypt was ruled by powerful pharaohs.
Beaches in Egypt
Setting sail from the Red Sea’s coast, travellers are rewarded with a rugged desert beauty high above the water line before descending into an ethereal psychedelic vibrancy below. Whether exploring one of the world’s great dives or enjoying an afternoon of underwater exploration, this coast is sure to please. The coastline of the Red Sea is home to some of the world’s most beautiful dive sites. With crystal clear water and a variety of colourful fish, it is no wonder that this area is so popular with divers. From the shallow waters of the coral reefs to the deep blue waters of the open sea, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Whether you are a experienced diver or a beginner, the Red Sea has a dive site to suit your needs. For those looking for a challenge, there are a number of shipwrecks and caves to explore. For those who prefer a more relaxed dive, there are plenty of reef dives to enjoy.
No matter what your level of experience, the Red Sea is sure to offer you an unforgettable diving experience.
Some Places to Visit in Egypt
Amun Temple Enclosure
The courtyard between the Hypostyle Hall and the seventh pylon, built by Tuthmosis III, is known for its large number of ancient statues. Thousands of stone and bronze statues were discovered here in 1903, and most were sent to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. However, four of Tuthmosis III remain standing in front of the seventh pylon – an impressive sight!
St Catherine’s Monastery
There is a descendant of the original burning bush in the monastery compound. Near the burning bush is a well that has been said to bring marital happiness to those who drink from it. Legend has it that visitors used to snip cuttings off of the bush in order to take them home as blessings, but thankfully this practice has stopped. Above the Well of Moses, and one of the main highlights of a monastery visit, is the superb Monastery Museum. It has been miraculously restored and is a must-see for any visitor.
Mount Sinai is a mountain on the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. It is possibly the location of the biblical Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Mount Sinai is surrounded on all sides by higher peaks in the mountain range of which it is a part, including nearby Mount Catherine which, at 2,629 meters or 8,625 feet, is the highest peak in Egypt.
Temple of Horus
The entrance to the temple’s outer hypostyle hall once had two sets of Horus falcon statues flank it. Today, only one remains in black granite.
Inside the entrance is a library on the right and a vestry on the left, both decorated with reliefs of the temple’s founding. The 12 columns in the hall are decorated with scenes from ancient Egyptian mythology.
Temple of Seti I
The rear of the hall is decorated with sanctuaries for each of the seven gods. The Osiris sanctuary, third from the right, leads to a series of inner chambers dedicated to Osiris, his wife Isis and son Horus. The most interesting chambers are off to the left of the seven sanctuaries – here, in a group of chambers dedicated to mysteries surrounding Osiris, he is shown mummified with Isis hovering above him as a bird. This scene records their conception.
Great Temple of Ramses II
Every day, on Ramses’ birthday and coronation day, the first rays of the sun move across the hypostyle hall, through Ptah’s temple, and into the sanctuary. However, because Ptah was never meant to be illuminated, this happens one day later- on 22 February.
Temple of Isis
The Isis Temple was built to honour the goddess Isis, one of the most popular deities in ancient Egyptian religion. Construction began around 690 BC and it remained one of the last temples dedicated to Isis for centuries. The cult of Isis continued here until at least AD 550, long after other ancient Egyptian religions had ceased to be practised.
White Desert National Park
When you first glimpse the White Desert National Park, you’ll feel like Alice through the looking-glass. The 20km northeast of Farafra chalk rock spires stand out against the desert landscape like lollipops frosted in white paint. View them at sunrise or sunset for a beautiful orangey-pink hue, or under a full moon for a ghostly Arctic appearance.
Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings Visitors Centre & Ticket Booth features a model of the valley, a movie about Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, and toilets. A tuf-tuf (a little electrical train) ferries visitors between the visitors centre and the tombs, and it can be hot during summer. The ride costs LE4.
Pyramids of Giza
The Giza Pyramids are one of the last remaining wonders of the ancient world. For nearly 4000 years, their extraordinary shape, impeccable geometry and sheer bulk have invited speculation about their construction.
Though much remains unknown, new research has given us a better understanding of how these massive tombs were built by teams of workers tens-of-thousands strong. Centuries of study have yielded fragments of the answer, but there is still much to learn about this amazing structure.
Abu Simbel is a historic site comprising two massive monoliths, carved into the side of a mountain in the village of Abu Simbel. The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, commemorating his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Today, visitors can see figures representing Ramesses’ wife and children by his feet – considered to be lesser importance – as well as external rock reliefs depicting scenes from his life.
In 1968, the entire complex of Abu Simbel was relocated to a new artificial hill high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir. It was necessary to protect these ancient temples from being submerged during the construction of the dam. Today, Abu Simbel and the other relocated temples are part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site known as the “Nubian Monuments.
How to Get Amazing Photos at the Pyramids of Giza
- Use a tripod – This will help you get sharp, clear photos without any camera shake.
- Use a remote shutter release – This will allow you to take photos without touching the camera, preventing any blurriness.
- Use a long lens – A long lens will allow you to capture close-up details and sweeping landscapes in one photo.
- Use a wide aperture – A wide aperture will give your photos a shallow depth of field, making the pyramids stand out against the background.
- Use HDR photography – HDR photography is a great way to get amazing photos of the pyramids, as it allows you to capture a wider range of tones and details.
The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Pyramids of Giza
If you’re ever in the vicinity of the Giza Pyramids, it’s worth taking the time to visit. Not only are they one of the most iconic sights in all of Egypt, but they’re also an incredible archaeological site that’s well worth a visit. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting the Giza Pyramids.
How to Get There
The Giza Pyramids are located just outside of Cairo, Egypt. The best way to get there is by taxi or private car. If you’re taking a taxi, be sure to negotiate the fare before getting in the car. Once you’re at the Pyramids, there is a large parking lot where you can leave your car.
The Best Time to Travel to Egypt
The best time to visit the Giza Pyramids is during the winter months, from November to February. Not only are the temperatures more tolerable during this time of year, but the crowds are also much smaller. Keep in mind, however, that the Pyramids are still a popular tourist destination, so you’ll need to arrive early to beat the crowds.
Public Holidays in Egypt
During Ramadan, the dates change with each lunar cycle and typically fall between April and June. Food outlets remain closed until the evening feast time.
Instead, pack snacks for the road so that you have some sustenance until dinner time. Rarely do you find a place that remains open during Ramadan, so make sure to have enough food supplies on hand. Also avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public during this time out of respect for those who can’t.
What to Eat in Egypt
Any Egyptian travel guide you read, will emphasize on the importance of choosing the places to eat. When choosing a street food vendor, be sure to avoid vendors with poor hygiene standards or food that has been left out. Additionally, make sure the food is properly cooked and hasn’t been exposed to any bacteria or parasites. Eat only safe, uncontaminated foods, like salads and ice cubes made from purified water.
If you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious meal, be sure to try some of Egypt’s traditional dishes. Some of the most popular include falafel (a deep-fried ball of ground chickpeas), koshari (a lentil stew), and shawarma (meat on a skewer). You can also find a variety of international cuisine options, like pizza, Indian food, and Chinese takeout.
There’s no shortage of delicious food options when it comes to eating in Egypt. From traditional dishes like falafel and koshari to international favorites like pizza and Indian food, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. If you’re looking for a healthy meal, be sure to try some of the country’s traditional dishes, like shawarma or ful medames (a type of lentil soup).
Money, Tipping and Haggling
Money Exchange in Egypt
Don’t forget the extra cash for ticket costs and photography permission – this additional 50 EGP ticket is worth the added cost to capture those memories perfectly. When it comes to exchanging money in Egypt, it is important to remember that the official currency is the Egyptian Pound (EGP). However, U.S. dollars and Euros are also widely accepted. There are a few things to keep in mind when exchanging money in Egypt:
- The best way to get Egyptian Pounds is from an ATM. This is the most convenient option and will give you the best exchange rate.
- If you need to exchange cash, do so at a bank or licensed money exchange office. These places will have the best rates and can be found in most major cities.
- Avoid unlicensed money changers, as they will likely give you a poor exchange rate.
- When using an ATM, be sure to use a machine that is affiliated with a major bank. These machines will be more likely to give you a good exchange rate.
Tipping in Egypt – The Concept of Baksheesh
In many parts of the world, tipping is a common practice. In some cases, it’s customary to leave a tip in addition to the bill when dining out. In other cases, tipping is simply a way of thanking someone for their service.
In Egypt, tipping is also a common practice. Tips are generally left in the form of baksheesh – a word that literally means “a gift given with love.” Baksheesh can take a number of forms, including tips given to taxi drivers, waiters, and barbers.
How much do you tip a tour guide in egypt
When touring ancient sites in Egypt, it’s customary to tip your tour guide. However, how much you should tip varies depending on the country and the type of tour. Generally, a 10% tip is common.
Of course, you’re going to get lucky sometimes with your photography. But don’t think you can outsmart these guys if you’re cheeky – they’ll come and ask for their baksheesh. The guards and vendors at sites are experts at knowing how to pester tourists for baksheesh before letting them take pictures. This can be really frustrating when you’re trying to take a picture of a wall carving or a pillar, and the guard always jumps in the shot.
What to buy in Egypt
There are a number of great items to purchase if you’re looking to souvenirize yourself or buy something special for a loved one back home. Antiques, carpets, clothing, and inlaid goods are all great choices, but be sure to bargain hard – prices can be surprisingly affordable when you compare them to other places around the world. For those with a taste for more exotic items, check out jewelry cartouches and perfumes. Finally, water pipes (sheeshas) make perfect gifts for any smoker or tea lover out there!
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or buying a gift for someone else, it’s important to do your research. Prices can vary significantly from one place to the next, so be sure to compare prices before making a purchase. And don’t forget – bargaining is always a good idea.
Is Egypt safe for tourists?
Nowadays, Egypt is a much different place. The unrest that happened 9 years ago has definitely calmed down; in fact, most people I talked to said it was an overall positive experience for the country. Moreover, Egypt’s economy is doing well and tourists are coming in droves because of it. Even during our 10-day trip there wasn’t a single moment where I felt unsafe or uncomfortable – everything went smoothly!
After the January revolution of 2011, tourism in Egypt drastically decreased. However, over the past few years, it has slowly recovered but currently is not at its pre-revolution levels. The main issue with tourism has always been safety concerns due to the images of Tahrir Square and also stories of plane crashes and roadside bombings that have caused a sense of instability and terror. Many countries still have advisories against travel to Egypt, which only makes matters worse.