15 Top Egypt Travel Tips

15 Top Egypt Travel Tips

By Margaux | Updated Sep. 28, 2023

Before setting off on your adventure of a lifetime to Egypt, there are a few things to keep in mind as you are heading off into a different country with a different culture and customs. We've gathered all of the best travel tips for travelers looking to visit Egypt to help you make sure that everything runs smoothly, from the planning process to your actual time in Egypt.

1. Book Travel Insurance

A top tip for any journey abroad, is to start with travel insurance! Getting the right insurance will give you peace of mind when it comes to you and your family's healthcare should someone get sick while being on holiday, but also in the less serious but still annoying case of a missing bag or a delayed flight. It is always better to be safe than sorry, especially when further from home.

2. Make Sure You're Wearing Appropriate Clothes

What to Wear in EgyptHappy young Egyptian women in the city centre of Cair, Egypt

Egypt can be hot, even outside of the summer months, so we recommend wearing loose-fitting light clothing. As the country is predominantly Muslim, it's also important to be respectful and cover up more than you would during the summer at home. For women, we recommend longer skirts or trousers, as well as sleeved T-shirts or blouses. A general rule of thumb is not to have your knees or shoulders showing.

Read more on What to Wear in Egypt: For Women and For Different Seasons

3. Wear Appropriate Footwear

You'll likely be doing a decent amount of walking while in Egypt, so make sure that you're wearing the right footwear. We recommend trainers or other comfortable footwear for walking around throughout the day when you are sightseeing, and slippers or sandals for when you're by the beach. Having more than one option is also a good idea, in case you need back-up trainers.

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4. Plan Your Visit According to the Weather

We recommend planning your visit to Egypt in line with the weather that suits you, avoiding the hot summer months between June and August. The best time to visit is between October and April when the temperatures are cooler, with December and January being the most popular months to visit.

Read more about When is the Best Time to Visit Egypt

5. Hire a Tour Guide

If you want to know more about the sights you are visiting than what you're getting from the signs and the guide books, we recommend hiring a tour guide. Not only will they be able to give you more background into certain tourist destinations, but hiring a tour guide can make your trip a whole lot smoother, as they'll know exactly when to go where and how to get there! Often, they can also arrange local transport within Egypt, to make the trip a stress-free experience for you.

Contact us for a hassle-free Egypt tour planning.

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6. Learn How to Haggle

Things to Do in CairoLamp or Lantern Shop in the Khan El Khalili market in Islamic Cairo

You might need to haggle while you're in Egypt, especially if you're planning to do a little bit of souvenir shopping. It's important to stay friendly and smile, as this is part of the fun when shopping in Egypt. Remember, the shopkeepers aren't trying to rip you off, they're just hoping to earn a little extra money. It can help to decide how much you're willing to spend before you start negotiating, so that you know what your upper limit is.

7. Stay Alert When Out and About

As with any country popular with tourists, do stay alert when you're out and about in Egypt to avoid falling victim to pickpockets, but also to make sure that you're being safe in traffic. Cairo is especially notorious for being very busy, so cross the road carefully as a pedestrian.

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8. Bring Your Own Toilet Paper

Some restrooms in Egypt do not supply toilet paper, so you're best off having some in your bag just in case. Most toilets in Egypt do have bidet sprays for those who don't have any toilet paper, but you might as well carry some with just in case you prefer that over using the bidet spray.

9. Drink Plenty of Water and Wear Sun Protection

Quad bikes safari in desert near Hurghada, EgyptQuad bikes safari in desert near Hurghada, Egypt

Don't forget to stay hydrated! Egypt can get warm, and with all the walking and exploring you're doing, it's important to stay hydrated. We recommend always carrying a bottle of water around in your bag when you're out and about. You'll find plenty of shops to buy water along the way too. Tap water is heavily chlorinated in major cities, and some find it unpleasant to drink, while in other areas (e.g. Dahab), Egyptian tap water is not even recommended for cleaning teeth.

We also recommend that you wear sun protection such as a hat or sunscreen to avoid getting sunburned or too hot.

10. Learning a Few Arabic Phrases Can Go a Long Way

Learning a few phrases can help you make friends along the way! These are a few key phrases that you might want to use while you're in Egypt:

  • Hello – Salaam
  • Peace be with you (a more formal greeting than 'hello') — As-salaam alaykum
  • Thank you — shukran
  • Yes — aywa
  • No — la

It is also good to know that Egyptian Arabic does differ from other Arabic speaking countries, but some phrases are similar, too. The differences are mostly in the pronunciation and the grammar.

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11. Bring Some Travel Medication with You

When you visit somewhere new, an upset stomach might be your body's way of dealing with the different foods. Bringing some anti-diarrhoea medication with you is a good idea just in case this happens to you.

Other medications you'll want to bring include pain killers, some basic antibacterial in case of scrapes or cuts, plasters, and any other medication that you might need personally.

It's also a good idea to bring female hygiene products with you as there's no guarantee that you'll be able to find tampons or the same brand of sanitary napkins that you're used to.

12. Be Careful with What You Eat

Traditional Egyptian food: KosharyTraditional Egyptian food: Koshary

There are a few things that you can do to try and avoid getting an upset stomach, including staying away from salads, raw vegetables, unpeeled fruits, or meat that isn't cooked thoroughly. This is especially the case if you're getting dinner from a market or street stall. A lot of the time these items will be washed in water that hasn't been purified, and can give you a minor stomach upset. It isn't the end of the world, but not fun when you're on the go.

13. Double Check Your Travel Vaccinations

While there aren't any official vaccinations that you should get before visiting Egypt, there are a few that are recommended for travelers in general.

Firstly, we recommend checking that your tetanus and polio shots are up to date. On top of that, other common recommendations include vaccinations against typhoid, Hepatitis A and B, and rabies. As rabies is a problem throughout Egypt, we also recommend steering clear of stray animals including cats and dogs, but also monkeys.

14. Tipping is Welcomed

In Egyptian Arabic, a tip is known as baksheesh. You'll hear this word a lot, as tipping is expected for everything. While it isn't mandatory, many Egyptians are on a low salary, with tips being an expected additional part of their income. In restaurants, it is common to round up 10 percent, and it is best to give this directly to your waiter.

15. Bring Egyptian Pounds Along

Egyptian pounds banknote and coins setEgyptian pounds banknote and coins set

The office ready when you land in Egypt. Major cities also have ATMs that accept intial Egyptian currency is the Egyptian Pound, which is divided into piastres (abbreviated as pt). You can exchange some money before setting off on your adventure, so that you'rernational bank cards, so you can also withdraw money there. Smaller cities do not always have ATMs that work with foreign bank cards, so we recommend stocking up before leaving the bigger cities.

At the time of writing (January 2023), the exchange rate was approximately 10 Egyptian Pounds to 0.4 US dollar, 1 GBP to 22 Egyptian Pounds or 1 EUR to 19 Egyptian Pounds, but this will change with time.

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