Egypt Travel Guide

Your ultimate Egypt travel guide, with tips, things to do, and best things to see in Egypt. Great for first-time and returning travelers.

Egypt. The Land of the Pharaohs and one of the world’s greatest civilizations, with its temples, hieroglyphs, mummies, and pyramids.

It is filled with iconic landmarks and remarkable landscapes. It has a rich history, strong culture and it boasts world-class diving, incredible beaches, and exciting nightlife. 

Egypt really does have it all. 

This Egypt travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.


Fast Facts about Egypt

  • Power: Egyptian power voltage is 220 V 50Hz;  Plug C & F
  • Currency: The Egyptian currency is the Egyptian pound and is around 7 EGP to 1 USD
  • Egyptian laws towards alcohol are quite liberal, except for the month of Ramadan when alcohol is strictly forbidden
  • Egypt has a reasonably modern telephone service including three GSM mobile service providers: Mobinil, Vodafone, and Etisalat. It is possible to purchase tourist mobile phone lines for your trip, which usually will cost around 30 EGP.
  • Random fact: More than 90% of Egypt consists of desert
  • SIM Cards: You can get a local sim card from Vodafone or Orange in Cairo. We suggest getting a SIM card at the airport when you arrive.

Things to See and Do in Egypt

  1. See all the amazing Temples of Egypt
  2. Scuba dive in the Red Sea – Egypt has some of the best diving in the world where avid scuba divers can get up close and personal with hammerhead sharks, colorful coral, and wrecks.
  3. Alexandria – the pyramids and tombs aren’t the only ancient monuments in Egypt, the trolleys of Alexandria are one of the country’s historical treasures, dating back to 1860.
  4. Explore Egypt’s Red Pyramid, Inside and Out – The Red Pyramid is the 4th largest pyramid in all of Egypt and is located just 40 km outside of Cairo.
  5. Visit the White Desert – this national park is best known for its chalk rock formations that look strikingly like snow strewn across the desert.

Egypt Travel Guides


Budgeting

Accommodation

Budget: You can find hostels and budget hotels in the range of 100-260 Egyptian Pounds per night. The hostels come with private or dorm-styled rooms, free Wi-Fi and breakfast, storage lockers, and great city locations. 

Mid-Range: For mid-range, expect to pay around 330-1,500 Egyptian Pounds per night. Enjoy private rooms with a television, room service, a hotel restaurant and bar, free breakfast, and a fitness center. 

High-End: For luxury hotels, expect to pay around 1,500- 8,000 Egyptian Pounds per night. Take in the best with fine dining options, rooms and suites with balconies and dining rooms, spa services, outdoor pools with lounge areas, and refined hotel bars.

Food

Egyptian cuisine favors fruit, vegetables, rice, and legumes as staples. Kushari (rice, lentils, chickpeas, and macaroni) is a favorite dish in Egypt, as is Kofta (minced lamb).

When out and about, look for full beans (often put in a sandwich) or mahshi (rice-stuffed peppers).. You can also head to a sit-down restaurant to sample more authentic Egyptian cuisine. In total, expect to pay around 100 Egyptian Pounds per day for food.


The Best Ways to Get Around Egypt

Getting to Egypt: The main airport to fly into is the Cairo International Airport, located 13.7 miles from the city center of Cairo. Alexandria also has its own international airport (4.3 miles from the city center). Hurghada International Airport is another busy one, but it is mainly for European flights. You can check for the best flights to Egypt on Skyscanner.

Transportation:

Buses: Buses are one way to get around, though they tend to be slower than other means of transportation. A typical fare is 1.50-2.50 Egyptian Pounds.

Metro: Cairo has its own metro system, with tickets costing just 1 Egyptian Pound and operating daily from 5:30 AM to midnight.   

Taxis: Taxis are metered and have a starting fee of 7 Egyptian Pounds and increase about 5 Egyptian Pounds per mile traveled, though these prices can vary. Knowing Arabic can help with negotiations for prices or for getting to and from destinations.

Car Rental:  To rent a car, you need to be at least 25 years old and have both a U.S. driver’s license and an International Driving Permit. Note that it is not recommended to drive unless you really know the roads, as they are more hectic than in the US. Prices start at around 800 Egyptian Pounds for drivers 25 and over.

Uber: Uber is available in Cairo, Alexandria, Hurghada, Mansoura, Tanta, and Damanhour.


When to go to Egypt

The best time to visit Egypt is between October and April. During these months, temperatures are lower (highs of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit), which makes going to the pyramids or other outdoor activities more pleasant.

If you are looking to avoid some of the crowds, go before or after December and January, as this is Egypt’s peak tourist season and hotel rates will also be at their highest.


Where to Stay in Egypt

Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir Cairo: Stay at this four-star hotel in downtown Cairo. See views of the Nile River from your room while enjoying in-room minibars and flat-screen TVs, two saunas, an outdoor pool and hot tub, the hotel restaurant that serves international cuisine, and the fitness center. Kids 12 and under stay free with a parent. 

Grand Pyramids: Just a short walk from the Giza Pyramids (so close you can see them from your room), this popular hotel in Giza comes with rooms with flat-screen TVs and balconies, multiple hotel restaurants serving Italian and international cuisines, a spa, a kid’s pool plus an outdoor pool and heated indoor pool, and a gym. 

Paradise Inn Beach Resort Maamoura: Relax at this great resort in Alexandria. Head to Maamoura Beach or the Montaza Palace (both a short trip away) or stay in the hotel for complimentary breakfast, the indoor and outdoor pools, a café and bar right on the beach, and the open-air hotel restaurant.

Check out our favorite booking platforms Booking.com, Tripadvisor, and VRBO for the best deals on accommodation in Egypt.


What to Pack for Egypt

Egypt has a hot desert climate that is generally dry.

The most moderate temperatures can be found near the thin coastal strip in the north and November through March are considered the most comfortable months to travel.

Although temperatures can reach up to 40 degree Celsius travelers must remember that Egypt is a rather conservative country and therefore it is wise to pack accordingly.

  • Avoid packing skirts or shorts – instead invest in a good pair of long pants made from a breathable fabric like linen.
  • Scarves or a light sweater – short sleeve tops and sleeveless tops are acceptable for women visiting tourist areas, however it is recommended that travelers carry around a scarf or light sweater to cover up when traveling to and from tourist destinations.
  • Protection from the sun – the sun can get extremely hot in the summer months so make sure to pack sunscreen, a sturdy had and a good pair of sunglasses.
  • Walking shoes – Egypt is a sightseeing country and travelers do a lot of walking. Make sure you bring a comfortable pair of shoes that you have already broken in and leave the flip flops at home.

See our packing tips: packing list for smart travel.


Egypt Travel Guide: Best Booking Resources

Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies. We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

  • Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It usually has the cheapest prices, especially in Europe and we love their interface. Not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.
  • Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. TripAdvisor is where we go when we want to compare prices with multiple accommodation providers.
  • VRBO: VRBO is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It can sometimes be cheaper than hotels and it is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.
  • Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.
  • Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.
  • Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs.I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.
  • Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.
  • World Nomads Insurance: When traveling to Italy you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.

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