PASSPORTS & VISAS
All visitors must be in possession of a valid passport for at least 6 month beyond their anticipated departure dates from Egypt. A tourist visa is recommended to be obtained prior to arrival at Cairo airport.
For many nationalities it can be obtained at airport upon arrival against visa charge. As official regulations can change without prior notice, we recommend that Traveler should check with the nearest Egyptian Consulate for the updated appropriate information shortly before traveling.
All Items of personal nature are exempt from duty, yet, electronic equipment’s, video cameras, laptop computers must be declared upon arrival and may be listed on a declaration form by custom’s officials that will retain the original and give you the copy. This copy should be kept safe as may be needed upon departure.
Customs officials may examine baggage upon arrival and possible upon departure.
Egypt is generally dry throughout the year with low humidity, although rain is often experienced along the coast in winter. Winter months are generally warm with sunshine most of the days, can be cool and get cold some times by night, while it can get very cold in desert areas.
April to June, temperature is conformable, but can get hot in the middle of the day. July to September is very hot in Upper Egypt (Luxor & Aswan), but Air-conditioned vehicles, Hotels and Cruises would make the relief. October & November (autumn) is a very pleasant weather in general.
The Egyptian climate varies according to the seasons. While very warm and dry in summer (June, July and August), it can get rather cold in winter (especially 2nd half of December & all January).
Cotton cloth are referable in summer, light warm outfits are more suitable for winter. The sun can get quite strong, therefore a Cap and a pair of sunglasses are strongly recommended.
Comfortable shoes are also recommended specially for the sightseeing tours. It is important that women should not wear revealing clothes in religious buildings (Mosques & Churches).
There is a wide choice of food in Egypt, from European to Middle Eastern. Egyptian cuisine is similar in many ways to that of North African countries. Egyptian fruits (especially in summer) are cheap and delicious, but should be properly and thoroughly washed by water before eaten.
Egyptian food is mixture between Turkish and Lebanese food which is delicious. The Far eastern food is relatively known in Cairo and includes variety between Thai, Chinese, and Sushi.
Tap water in Egypt is purified and safely drinkable by most of the Egyptians, Yet it is recommended for foreigners to drink only Mineral water which is available at all hotels and can be bought almost everywhere in Egypt.
Ice added to cold drinks might be made out of tap water (in some hotels and Nile cruises), thus should be avoided.
The Egyptian pound (LE) = 100 Piaster (PT).
Bank notes are issued in the following denominations: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 pounds.
Coins are: 1pound, Half Pound, Quarter a pound, 20 Piaster, 10 and 5 Piaster.
BANKS & EXCHANGE RATES
No restrictions on foreign currency or traveler’s checks brought to the country.
The US Dollar is best known and widely used in Egypt. There are no Exchange control regulations, and exchange rates are determined by the Swiss Stock exchange.
(For general guidance 1 USD = LE 22.50 valid October 2022). Local banks deal with foreign currency and Travelers checks. Banks open from Sunday to Thursday 08.30 to 14.00 hours. Bank branches are available in all 5 star and some 4 star hotels.
Egyptian money is not allowed to be taken out of Egypt in large sums (e.g. maximum LE 10000 per departure – subject to change of regulations), so please make sure to spend or change the remaining Egyptian pounds to your desired currency before arriving at airports for final departure.
220 VOLTS / 50 CYCLE (2 Pins plug), visitors should bring international adapter for any electrical appliances they have.
TRAVEL BETWEEN CITIES
Air-conditioned busses make regular runs between Cairo and the major cities. Reserved seat tickets can usually be bought up to 2 days in advance. It is recommended to check departure time on purchasing the tickets as schedules are subject to change without long prior notice.
The Egyptian state Railways is founded in 1851. It maintains over 7000 Km of rail. The most common used trains by tourists are:
The sleeper train: run by Abela Egypt (Single & Double compartments), an overnight air-conditioned train between Cairo, Luxor & Aswan (Dinner & Breakfast included).
The Spanish train: a first class overnight air-conditioned train between Cairo, Luxor & Aswan (No meals are included, no sleeping compartments, seats are available only).
First class Express trains between Cairo & Alexandria and the main cities in Egypt (seats only – no meals included).
Egypt-Air with its fleet of Aircrafts having regular scheduled flights between the following cities:
From To & vice versa
Cairo Alexandria, Aswan, Hurghada, Luxor and Sharm El Sheikh
Alexandria Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, and luxor
Luxor Abu Simbel, Aswan and Hurghada
Aswan Abu Simbel, Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh
Sharm El Sheikh Abu Simbel and Luxor
Hurghada Sharm El Sheikh and Abu Simbel
‘Please note some sectors may not be applied occasionally’
Public Transport (buses and micro-buses), are very cheap but crowded most of the day.
Taxis are available all over Egypt, where In Cairo we have 3 types of Taxis:
* The Yellow cab (with fixed ammeter and fares)
* The New white cabs with black stripe of small squares on the 2 sides (with fixed ammeter and fares)
* The old black cabs with white corners (these are cheaper but be prepared to bargain and fix fare before you step in).
Egypt is free from diseases that could be met within normal circumstances. Chemists, clinics and hospitals are open for tourists and public every day in almost all areas.
Check with your local health bureau for the relevant vaccination should be taken before traveling to Egypt as it varies from one country to another.
Shopping in Egypt is a wonderful experience, and like most Middle Eastern countries, bargaining is not only accepted, but also actually expected in most of the gift shops. Among the souvenirs on offer are the alabaster and soap stone carvings, handmade paintings on Papyrus, carpets, leather goods, silver and gold.
Khan El Khalili Bazaars in Cairo is famous for its hand -crafted souvenirs as well as its excellent reproductions of antiques. Center city shops are famous of the fine natural, Egyptian world famous cotton cloths & materials.
A visit to Kerdassa or Harania is of great interest to see how the rugs and carpets are manually weaved. Silver or gold Cartouches with Hieroglyphic letters (names) is of the favorites for visitors to order & buy.
Like many other countries, hotel porters, waiters, drivers and guides generally expect tipping.
There is no set amount as the tip given is left to the individual’s discretion to show his appreciation of the service received.
It is recommended to have your Travel insurance bought before you arrive to Egypt as such service may not be available after your arrival.