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How To Travel To Egypt


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Nadia Lebrun



Welcome to the land of mystical wonders and ancient treasures – Egypt. Known for its rich history and iconic landmarks, Egypt is a dream destination for travelers seeking a blend of culture, adventure, and relaxation. From the enigmatic pyramids of Giza to the tranquil waters of the Nile River, this North African country offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave you mesmerized.


As you embark on your journey to Egypt, it’s important to be well-prepared and equipped with the right travel essentials and accessories to ensure a seamless and enjoyable trip. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about traveling to Egypt, from visa requirements and flight bookings to accommodation options and must-see tourist attractions.


Before diving into the specifics, it’s worth mentioning that Egypt is a country steeped in history, and with that comes a unique set of customs and traditions. Taking the time to understand and respect the local culture will not only enhance your experience but also foster a positive relationship with the Egyptian people.


So, pack your bags and let’s delve into the essential information you need to know for a remarkable journey through the land of pharaohs and pyramids.


Getting a Visa for Egypt

Before you embark on your trip to Egypt, it’s important to ensure that you have the necessary documentation to enter the country. Most travelers will need a visa to visit Egypt, although the specific requirements may vary depending on your nationality. It is recommended to check with the Egyptian embassy or consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information.


For citizens of many countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the European Union, a tourist visa can be obtained upon arrival at major Egyptian airports. The visa is valid for a stay of up to 30 days and allows for multiple entries.


To obtain the visa, you will need to provide a valid passport with at least six months of remaining validity, along with the required visa fee in cash (usually payable in US dollars or local currency). It’s important to note that the visa fee is subject to change, so it’s a good idea to have some extra cash on hand in case of any fluctuations.


For travelers who prefer to arrange their visa in advance, it is possible to apply for an e-visa online before your trip. This option is especially convenient if you want to avoid potential long queues at the airport. The e-visa can be obtained through the official Egyptian visa website and typically takes a few business days to process.


It’s important to note that travelers entering Egypt with a tourist visa are generally not permitted to engage in any form of paid work or employment. If you are planning on working or staying in Egypt for a longer period of time, it’s recommended to explore other visa options that align with your specific circumstances.


Remember to keep your visa in a safe place throughout your trip, as you may be required to present it upon departure from Egypt. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to make photocopies of your passport and visa and keep them separate from the originals, as a precaution in case of loss or theft.


By ensuring that you have the necessary visa documentation, you can enter Egypt smoothly and start your adventure without any hassle.


Booking Flights to Egypt

When it comes to booking flights to Egypt, there are several factors to consider in order to secure the best deals and a convenient travel experience.


The first step is to determine which airport in Egypt you would like to fly into. Cairo International Airport is the main hub and offers the most flight options, making it a popular choice for travelers. However, if you plan to visit other cities or regions in Egypt, such as Luxor or Sharm El Sheikh, you may also consider flights that land directly in those airports.


Next, it’s important to keep an eye on flight prices and book your tickets in advance to secure the best deals. Prices can fluctuate, so it’s recommended to set fare alerts or subscribe to airline newsletters to stay informed about any promotions or discounts.


When it comes to choosing an airline, there are several options to consider. EgyptAir, the national carrier of Egypt, offers direct flights from major international cities. Other major airlines, such as Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines, also operate flights to Egypt with convenient connections.


As you evaluate your flight options, take into account factors such as layovers, total travel time, and baggage allowances. It’s important to check the specific baggage policies of your chosen airline to ensure that they align with your needs and avoid any unexpected fees.


Additionally, consider the time of year you plan to visit Egypt. The high season, which typically runs from October to April, may have higher flight prices compared to the low season. If you have flexibility in your travel dates, you may be able to find better deals by flying during the shoulder seasons.


Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that some airlines may offer package deals that include flights and accommodation together. These packages can sometimes offer cost savings and added convenience. It’s worth exploring these options to see if they align with your travel plans.


By considering these factors and doing your research, you can book your flights to Egypt with confidence, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable start to your Egyptian adventure.


Accommodation Options in Egypt

When it comes to choosing the right accommodation in Egypt, you’ll find a wide range of options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses, Egypt offers a variety of accommodations to enhance your travel experience.


One of the most popular choices for tourists in Egypt is staying at a hotel. Major cities like Cairo, Luxor, and Hurghada are known for their wide selection of hotels ranging from budget to luxury. These hotels often provide amenities such as swimming pools, on-site restaurants, and concierge services, ensuring a comfortable stay.


If you’re looking for a more immersive experience, consider staying in a traditional Egyptian guesthouse or riad. These charming accommodations offer a glimpse into local culture and provide a warm and personalized experience. You may have the opportunity to interact with friendly hosts and learn more about Egyptian traditions and customs.


For the budget-conscious traveler, there are also hostels available in popular tourist destinations. These hostels offer dormitory-style accommodations with shared facilities, making them a great choice for backpackers or those looking to socialize with fellow travelers.


Another unique accommodation option in Egypt is a Nile cruise. Sailing along the iconic Nile River allows you to visit multiple destinations while enjoying the comfort and convenience of your floating hotel. These cruise ships offer a range of amenities, including spacious cabins, onboard dining, and organized sightseeing tours.


If you’re seeking more off-the-beaten-path experiences, you can also find eco-lodges or desert camps in Egypt’s remote areas. These accommodations provide an opportunity to connect with nature and immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding landscapes. Whether it’s sleeping under the stars in the desert or staying in a sustainable lodge overlooking the Red Sea, these options offer a unique and unforgettable experience.


Regardless of the type of accommodation you choose, it’s always a good idea to read reviews and do thorough research to ensure that it meets your expectations. Websites such as TripAdvisor and Booking.com provide valuable insights from fellow travelers, helping you make informed decisions.


Ultimately, the choice of accommodation in Egypt depends on your travel style, budget, and preferences. With the wide range of options available, you can find the perfect place to stay and create unforgettable memories during your time in Egypt.


Transportation within Egypt

When it comes to getting around in Egypt, there are several transportation options available to suit your needs and preferences. Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Cairo or venturing into the serene landscapes of Luxor, here are some transportation options to consider:


1. Taxis: Taxis are a popular mode of transportation in Egypt, especially in cities. Make sure to use licensed taxis with meters or agree on a fare before starting your journey. It’s always a good idea to have small denominations of Egyptian pounds to pay for your ride.


2. Uber/Careem: Uber and its local counterpart, Careem, operate in major cities in Egypt. Using these ride-sharing services provides a convenient and reliable way to get around, with upfront pricing and the ability to track your ride.


3. Public Transportation: Cairo has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and the Cairo Metro. The metro is a fast and efficient way to navigate the city, with different ticket options available. Buses and trams cover various routes and offer more flexibility, but they can be crowded and subject to traffic congestion.


4. Domestic Flights: If you’re planning to visit different regions of Egypt, domestic flights can save you time and make your journey more comfortable. EgyptAir and other airlines operate regular flights to popular destinations such as Luxor, Aswan, and Sharm El Sheikh.


5. Train: Egypt has an extensive railway network that connects major cities and some tourist destinations. The trains offer different classes, including air-conditioned options, and can be a scenic and affordable way to travel within the country.


6. Felucca: If you’re exploring Luxor or Aswan, taking a traditional felucca ride along the Nile River can be a charming and relaxing experience. These traditional sailboats offer a unique perspective as you glide along the river, especially during sunset.


7. Rental Cars: If you prefer more independence and flexibility, renting a car in Egypt is an option. However, it’s important to note that Egyptian driving habits can be quite chaotic, especially in cities, so driving may not be suitable for everyone.


When using any form of transportation in Egypt, it is always advisable to plan your routes in advance, especially during peak times, and allow for extra time to account for potential traffic delays. Also, remember to be cautious of your belongings and stay aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas.


By utilizing these transportation options, you’ll be able to explore the wonders of Egypt with ease, making the most of your time and creating unforgettable memories.


Currency and Money Exchange in Egypt

When traveling to Egypt, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local currency and understand the options for money exchange. The official currency of Egypt is the Egyptian Pound (EGP), and it’s widely accepted throughout the country.


Here are some key points to keep in mind regarding currency and money exchange in Egypt:


Currency Exchange: It’s recommended to exchange your currency for Egyptian pounds upon arrival in Egypt. Exchange facilities are available at international airports, major hotels, and banks. While it’s possible to exchange money at other locations, such as local exchange offices or street vendors, it’s advisable to use reputable and authorized places to ensure fair rates and minimize the risk of counterfeit currency.


ATMs: ATMs are widely available in cities and tourist areas, and they accept major international credit and debit cards. It’s advisable to inform your bank about your travel plans to Egypt to avoid any issues with card usage. Keep in mind that there may be withdrawal limits and associated fees, so it’s a good idea to check with your bank beforehand.


Traveler’s Checks and Credit Cards: While traveler’s checks are becoming less common, some establishments in Egypt may accept them. However, credit and debit cards are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants, and larger stores. Visa and Mastercard are the most commonly accepted cards, but it’s always recommended to carry some cash for smaller establishments or places that may not accept cards.


Tipping: Tipping, or “baksheesh,” is a common practice in Egypt and is expected for many services. It’s customary to leave a small tip for hotel staff, restaurant servers, and tour guides, as they often rely on tips as part of their income. It’s a good idea to keep some smaller denominations of Egyptian pounds handy for tipping purposes.


Currency Exchange Rates: Currency exchange rates fluctuate, so it’s advisable to check the current rates before exchanging your money. You can use online currency converters or mobile applications to get an idea of the current exchange rates.


Remember to keep your money and passport in a secure place while traveling and avoid displaying large sums of cash in public. It’s also a good idea to make multiple copies of important documents and store them separately from the originals, as a precaution.


By familiarizing yourself with the local currency and understanding the options for money exchange, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free financial experience during your visit to Egypt.


Must-See Tourist Attractions in Egypt

Egypt is a treasure trove of iconic landmarks and ancient wonders that have captivated travelers for centuries. From magnificent pyramids to well-preserved temples, here are some must-see tourist attractions that should be on your itinerary when visiting Egypt:


1. Pyramids of Giza: No trip to Egypt is complete without a visit to the Pyramids of Giza. These towering structures, including the Great Pyramid of Khufu, are among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and are a testament to the architectural genius of the ancient Egyptians.


2. The Sphinx: Located near the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx is an iconic symbol of ancient Egypt. This mesmerizing statue, with the body of a lion and the head of a human, is a remarkable site to behold and holds many secrets and legends.


3. Luxor Temple: Situated on the east bank of the Nile River, Luxor Temple is a stunning display of ancient Egyptian architecture. Dedicated to the deity Amun, this temple is particularly captivating at night when it is beautifully illuminated.


4. Valley of the Kings: Venture into the Valley of the Kings in Luxor and discover the ancient tombs of pharaohs, including Tutankhamun and Ramesses II. The intricate wall paintings and artifacts found within these tombs provide a glimpse into the rich history and mythology of ancient Egypt.


5. Abu Simbel Temples: Located in southern Egypt, the Abu Simbel Temples are an impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site. These monumental temples, built by Ramesses II, showcase intricate carvings and are famous for their alignment with the sun, creating a mesmerizing spectacle during certain times of the year.


6. Karnak Temple Complex: The Karnak Temple Complex in Luxor is one of the largest religious complexes in the world. Explore the vast open-air museum filled with towering columns, colossal statues, and ornate sanctuaries dedicated to various gods and goddesses.


7. The Egyptian Museum: Located in Cairo, the Egyptian Museum is a treasure trove of ancient artifacts and treasures. Home to the famous Tutankhamun’s treasures, mummies, and a vast collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, this museum offers a fascinating insight into the country’s rich history.


8. Red Sea Riviera: For those seeking relaxation and underwater adventures, the Red Sea Riviera is a must-visit. With crystal-clear waters teeming with colorful coral reefs and marine life, coastal towns like Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh offer a paradise for diving, snorkeling, and beachside relaxation.


These are just a few highlights of the many incredible attractions Egypt has to offer. From ancient historical sites to natural wonders, Egypt is a destination that will leave you in awe of its cultural heritage and unparalleled beauty.


Exploring Egyptian Cuisine

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in Egyptian culture is through its delectable cuisine. Egyptian cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors, influenced by ancient traditions and neighboring countries. From richly spiced meats to flavorful vegetarian dishes, here are some must-try Egyptian dishes:


Koshari: Often considered Egypt’s national dish, Koshari is a hearty and comforting vegetarian dish made with a combination of rice, lentils, macaroni, and spicy tomato sauce. It’s typically topped with crispy fried onions and served with a side of vinegar and garlic sauce.


Mulukhiyah: This thick green stew made from jute leaves is a staple in every Egyptian household. It’s often cooked with chicken or rabbit and seasoned with garlic, coriander, and other aromatic herbs. Mulukhiyah is typically served with rice or bread.


Ta’meya (Egyptian Falafel): Egyptian falafel, known as ta’meya, is made from mashed fava beans mixed with fresh herbs and spices. The mixture is shaped into balls or patties and deep-fried until crispy. Ta’meya is commonly served in pita bread with tahini sauce and vegetables.


Mahshi: Mahshi refers to vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplants, that are stuffed with a mixture of rice, herbs, and spices. The stuffed vegetables are then cooked in a flavorful tomato-based sauce or broth.


Molokhia Soup: Another popular Egyptian dish, molokhia soup is made from the leaves of the jute plant. The leaves are finely chopped and cooked in a meat-based broth. The soup is often flavored with garlic, coriander, and lemon juice and served with rice or bread.


Shawarma: Although shawarma originated from the Levant region, it has become a beloved street food in Egypt. Thin slices of marinated meat, usually beef or chicken, are roasted on a vertical spit and then wrapped in pita bread or served with rice and a side of tahini sauce and vegetables.


Basbousa: For those with a sweet tooth, Basbousa is a must-try dessert. This semolina cake is sweetened with a rosewater or orange blossom syrup and often topped with almonds or coconut flakes. Basbousa is a delightfully moist and fragrant treat.


In addition to these dishes, be sure to sample traditional Egyptian drinks such as hibiscus tea (karkadeh) or a refreshing glass of sugar cane juice (aseer asab). You can also indulge in delightful Egyptian pastries like baklava and konafa, which are made with layers of thin pastry and filled with nuts and sweet syrup.


Exploring Egyptian cuisine is a journey that will tantalize your taste buds and introduce you to unique and flavorsome dishes. So, don’t hesitate to indulge in the diverse flavors that Egypt has to offer.


Navigating Egyptian Customs and Etiquette

When traveling to Egypt, it’s important to understand and respect the local customs and etiquette to ensure a positive and culturally sensitive experience. Here are some key customs and etiquettes to keep in mind:


Dress Modestly: Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country, and it’s respectful to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Both men and women should avoid wearing revealing clothing and opt for longer sleeves and pants or skirts below the knee.


Greetings and Politeness: Egyptians are known for their warm hospitality and politeness. Greet people with a friendly “as-salamu alaykum” (meaning “peace be upon you”) and respond with “wa alaykum as-salam.” It’s customary to address people using their titles, such as “Mr.” or “Mrs.,” followed by their last name.


Personal Space and Touch: Egyptians generally value personal space and prefer a shorter distance during conversations. Avoid touching others unless there is a close relationship or you have been given permission. Handshakes are common between members of the same gender, but it’s best to wait for the other person to initiate it.


Dining Etiquette: If invited to an Egyptian home for a meal, it’s polite to bring a small gift, such as pastries or flowers, for the host. When dining, wait for the host to initiate eating or for them to say “bismillah” (in the name of God) before starting. It’s customary to eat with your right hand and to try a little bit of everything on the table.


Ramadan Etiquette: If visiting Egypt during the holy month of Ramadan, it’s important to be respectful of the fasting customs. Avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours, as it’s considered impolite. Many establishments may have altered operating hours or limited services during this time.


Photography Etiquette: When taking photos, be mindful of sensitive areas, such as military buildings and airports, where photography may be prohibited. Additionally, it’s considerate to ask for permission before taking photos of individuals, particularly in more personal settings.


Respect for Religion: Egypt is home to many religious sites, including mosques and Coptic Christian churches. It’s important to show respect when visiting these places by dressing appropriately, removing your shoes if required, and refraining from loud or disruptive behavior. Non-Muslims should avoid entering mosques during prayer times unless they have specific permission.


By being aware of and adhering to these customs and etiquettes, you can show respect for the local culture, build positive interactions with Egyptians, and create a more enriching travel experience in Egypt.


Safety Tips for Traveling in Egypt

Traveling to Egypt can be a safe and enjoyable experience if you take certain precautions and stay informed about your surroundings. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:


Stay Informed: Before your trip, stay updated on the current situation in Egypt by checking travel advisories issued by your country’s government. These advisories provide valuable information about safety concerns and any potential risks or areas to avoid.


Research your Destinations: Familiarize yourself with the areas you plan to visit in Egypt and gather information about local customs, transportation options, and potential safety concerns. By being prepared, you can make informed decisions and mitigate risks.


Be Vigilant: Like any other tourist destination, it’s important to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times. Pay attention to your belongings, especially in crowded areas, and keep valuables secure to avoid theft or pickpocketing.


Use Reliable Transportation: Stick to licensed taxis or reputable ride-sharing services like Uber or Careem. Avoid getting into unmarked or unofficial taxis to ensure your safety. If possible, use well-established public transportation options or prearrange transportation with reputable companies.


Respect Local Customs: Egypt has a rich cultural heritage, and it’s important to respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites, and adhere to any local customs or etiquette. This shows respect for the culture and helps you blend in with the local community.


Stay Hydrated and Protect Yourself from the Sun: Egypt can have high temperatures, especially in desert areas. It’s essential to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and to protect yourself from the sun by using sunscreen, wearing a hat, and seeking shade during the hottest parts of the day.


Follow Security Guidelines: Pay attention to security guidelines provided by your accommodation, tour operators, or local authorities. This may include avoiding certain areas or landmarks, especially during times of unrest or protests.


Be Cautious with Street Food: Egyptian street food is delicious and tempting, but it’s important to choose vendors wisely. Look for busy stalls with high turnover, which indicates freshness and quality. Also, ensure that the food is cooked thoroughly to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses.


Travel Insurance: It is highly recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellation, and lost or stolen belongings. Check the policy coverage and exclusions to ensure it aligns with your needs.


Trust Your Instincts: Lastly, trust your instincts and if something feels off or unsafe, remove yourself from the situation. Your safety should be your top priority, and it’s better to err on the side of caution.


By following these safety tips and taking necessary precautions, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience while exploring the wonders of Egypt.



Egypt is a captivating country that offers a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. From the iconic pyramids and ancient temples to the vibrant markets and warm hospitality of its people, Egypt is a destination that will leave you in awe. As you prepare for your journey, remember to equip yourself with the right travel essentials and accessories to ensure a seamless and enjoyable trip.


From obtaining the necessary visa to booking your flights and finding the perfect accommodation, careful planning and research will help make your trip to Egypt a memorable one. Understand and respect the local customs and etiquette, dress modestly, and be mindful of the cultural sensitivities that prevail in this diverse country.


Explore the tantalizing flavors of Egyptian cuisine, savoring traditional dishes like koshari, ta’meya, and molokhia soup. Immerse yourself in the wonders of ancient Egypt, visiting the Pyramids of Giza, Luxor Temple, and the Valley of the Kings. And don’t forget to experience the natural beauty of the Red Sea Riviera and take in the bustling energy of Cairo’s markets and bazaars.


While enjoying your time in Egypt, remember to prioritize your safety and wellbeing. Stay informed, be vigilant, and follow the necessary precautions to ensure a smooth and secure travel experience. With these tips in mind, you can embrace the magic of Egypt with confidence and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.


So, pack your bags, embark on your Egyptian adventure, and let the wonders of this ancient land unfold before you.