Travel guide

travel guide

Below are some useful hints and tips about travelling to Egypt.

Visas & Immigration

Visas are required by all nationals except those of Malta and Arab countries. These can either be obtained from your home country at the port and airport of arrival. If traveling overland visas can be obtained from neighboring countries without much of a problem. You can apply for either a single entry visa which entitles the holder to a stay of up to one month and is valid for presentation for up to three months, or you can apply for a multiple entry visa which is limited for up to three visits.

There is normally a two week grace period beyond the expiry date of your visa. Visas can be extended for up to a period of six months but you will normally be required to show you have sufficient to support your stay and show bank receipts proving you have changed sufficient money. Credit card receipts for purchases or cash advances are generally not accepted.


Most of Egypt is subtropical area, but the southern part of Upper Egypt is tropical. Northern winds temper the climate along the Mediterranean, but the interior areas are very hot. The temperature sinks quickly after sunset because of the high radiation rate under cloudless skies. Rainfall averages about 2 inches a year, but sudden storms sometimes cause devastating flash floods. Precipitation often approaches 8 inches annually on the Mediterranean coast. Hot dry sandstorms, known as Khamsin, come off the Western desert in spring. In Cairo, average temperatures range from 7 to 29°C (45 to 85°F) in January, while July averages range from 21.6 to 35.5° C (71 to 96° F). Relative humidity varies from 68% in February to over 70% in August to 77% in December. The winter months are considered to be December, January and February.

Transport and getting around

Egypt Air offers daily flights between Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh, Oasis.

Rail: Egypt has a regular efficient train service traveling between every major town within the country and offering a range of services from plush air-conditioned sleepers to 1st class sitting train.

Bus: An efficient Super Speed Bus (Super Jet) services is available from to and from all the major cities in the country including the Sinai.

Taxis: If you decide to venture out on your own, taxis are very affordable and safe. Remember to set the price before you commence your journey and carry the right amount of change if possible, to avoid being taken.

Public holidays

- 1st January New Years' Day
- 25th April Sinai Liberation Day
- 1st May Labour Day
- 18th June Liberation Day
- 23rd July Revolution Day
- 6th October Armed Forces Day
- December 25th Christmas Day

Alcoholic beverages

Alcoholic beverages are available in most hotels, cruises, and select restaurants. Both local and international wine and beer can be purchased. The international brands tend to be more expensive.

Cameras and Video Cameras

Only video cameras must be registered at Cairo International Airport upon arrival. This process takes only a few minutes. There will be a small charge to use both still cameras and video cameras at most museums and sites, including the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. In addition, flashes are prohibited inside most museums and tombs.


Overall, Egypt is a very casual country! However, you may want to plan accordingly for the weather. Day dress should include cotton and breathable fabric clothing, comfortable shoes, hat, and sun block. Shorts are acceptable. Evening dress is smart-casual. A light jacket or sweater is advisable for the months of October - April.

Electrical current

220 volts is the electrical current used within the country. The 220 volts is a two-pronged plug. Most 5 star hotels provide hair dryers and ironing service. However, if you need to bring an appliance, you may want to purchase an adapter before traveling.

Food and water

A change in drinking water and food can upset your stomach when traveling. We advise you to drink only bottled water, which can be purchased at most hotels and vendors. In the first few days, we recommend you eat lightly and avoid any raw vegetables or fruits, unless you can peel them. If you should come in counter with the "Pharaoh's Curse", no worries! Your tour guide or representative will be able to help you obtain certain medications specific for this problem. These medications can be purchased in most pharmacies throughout Egypt.

International Telephone/Fax Service

Most hotels have business centers where you can place international calls or fax. You should be able to place international calls in the privacy of your room, however not in all hotels. A more in-expensive alternative is to purchase an international phone card, which are sold at most small shops and vendors.

Medical Assistance

Medical assistance is available throughout Egypt. If you should require medical attention, please speak with your representative or tour guide for assistance. They will help you to locate a physician or medical center.


The international news can be viewed on BBC and CNN in most 5 star hotels. The local news can be viewed on local channel #9 at 7:00pm (English Transmission). Newspapers and magazines can be purchased at most hotels, bookshops, or news stands. The Egyptian Gazette Newspaper is the local paper published in English.


Your passport will be collected at your hotel upon arrival. The hotel staff will retain a copy of your passport as a standard procedure upon check-in and then return your pass-port to you once this copy has been made. It is advisable for you to make two photocopies of your passport before departure and store in separate locations while traveling.


The local currency used is the Egyptian Pound (LE). The Egyptian Pound is divided into 100 piaster. Prices can be shown in either pounds (LE 2.00) or piaster (200 PT). Most hotels have a bank on the premises for your convenience. The hotel banks offer a fixed rate of exchange. There are also banks located in most cities in Egypt. Make sure to take your passport with you when exchanging money. Most hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops do accept credit cards. Using your credit card within the local markets (among vendors) is not advisable.


Postage stamps can be obtained from hotel and souvenir shops that sell postcards. Depending on the location you are sending mail to, out-bound mail takes approximately 10-14 days to arrive to its destination.

Shopping/Handy Crafts

Egypt is known for its handy crafts and wonderful shopping opportunities. Gold & silver jewelry, brassware, copper work, alabaster, leather goods, papyrus, perfumes, and hand made woolen or silk rugs are among the long list of goods native to this country. Bartering is a way of life here. Feel free to barter away!


Tipping is a way of life in Egypt! It is advisable to carry small change with you. At restaurants, you can base your tip on 10% of the total bill. Porters, hotel/cruise staff, excursion guides, representatives, and drivers look forward to tips if they have given you a good service.


As always, unnecessary valuables should be left at home before traveling. We strongly recommend that you keep your passport, extra money, traveler's cheques, credit cards, and your return airline ticket, when not in use, in the hotel/cruise safety deposit boxes.