Plan to visit Egypt soon?

20 Common Questions About Traveling to Egypt Answered

Traveling to Egypt can be both exciting and overwhelming. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, Egypt is a dream destination for many travelers. However, having these questions before embarking on such an adventure is natural. In this blog, we’ll answer 20 of the most common questions travelers ask about visiting Egypt, helping you prepare for an unforgettable journey.

 

 

Traveling to Egypt: Adventures & Rich Culture

Is Egypt Safe for Travelers?

Safety is a top concern for many travelers. Generally, Egypt is safe for tourists, especially in popular areas like Cairo, Luxor, and the Red Sea resorts. It’s always best to stay informed about current events and follow local advice. Using reputable tour companies such as  Simsem travel app for local guidance can enhance your safety

All FAQs about Traveling to Egypt

 

Do I Need a Visa Before Traveling to Egypt?

Yes, most travelers must submit a visa to enter Egypt. However, there are two options for doing so: a tourist visa upon arrival at Egypt airports or checking the official website of your embassy to get an e-visa online before your trip. This visa is usually valid for 30 days and costs around $25 – 60$ USD.

 

What Is the Best Time to Visit Egypt?

If you’re asking about the weather, the best time to visit Egypt is during the cooler months, from October to April. Expect to enjoy a pleasant breeze, making it ideal for exploring outdoor attractions. Summers (May to September) can be sweltering, especially in the southern regions. Traveling to Egypt at the right time can make or break your vacation.

 

What Should I Wear in Egypt?

Egypt is a conservative country, so it’s respectful to dress modestly. For example, women should cover their shoulders and knees, especially when visiting religious sites. Men should avoid wearing shorts in urban areas. When planning your trips to Egypt, please consider using light, breathable fabrics due to the hot climate. However, in touristic sites, hotels, and private beaches, dressing is more open, similar to Western standards.

 

What Currency Is Used in Egypt?

The currency used in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound (EGP). ATMs are widely available in cities and even inside tourist establishments such as hotels and malls. Almost all attractions in Egypt now accept credit cards. However, it is a good idea to carry some cash for smaller transactions and tipping.

 

Can I Drink Tap Water in Egypt?

It’s best to avoid drinking tap water in Egypt. There are always certain doubts and concerns, so use bottled water, which is mostly available and inexpensive. Also, be cautious with ice and salads that may have been washed in tap water. Traveling to Egypt might be a dream, but trust your gut regarding food and water. 

 

What Are the Must-See Attractions in Egypt?

Egypt is an iconic destination brimming with numerous breathtaking attractions, including:

You can also explore many hidden gems to communicate with locals and understand Egypt’s authentic culture. But it can’t be done without a local tour guide in Egypt—check Simsem’s local guides and hosts, who are ready to show you around many less-known sites. 

 

How Can I Experience Local Culture in Egypt?

To truly immerse yourself in Egyptian culture, consider using the Simsem travel app. This app connects you with local guides in Egypt who offer authentic experiences. From cooking classes to guided tours of historic sites, Simsem helps you discover Egypt on your way. 

 

Is It Customary to Tip in Egypt?

Tipping, or “baksheesh,” is customary in Egypt and expected in many situations. In restaurants, a tip of 10-15% is appreciated for guides and drivers, tips based on the level of service provided. Even small tips for hotel staff and restroom attendants are common. However, if you book your trip in Egypt with a local guide, you will be acknowledged with traditions and create your itinerary based on your preferences.  

 

How Can I Get Around in Egypt?

Egypt has various transportation options that will enable you to get around Cairo and beyond easily, including:

  • Taxis: Widely available in cities; use Uber or Careem for reliable services.
  • Trains: A good option for long distances; book in advance for popular routes.
  • Buses: Affordable but can be crowded and less comfortable.
  • Domestic Flights: Convenient for traveling between major cities like Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan.

 

What Language Is Spoken in Egypt?

Arabic is the official language of Egypt. English is widely understood in tourist attractions and hotels. However, if you plan to dig deeper into cultural spots and popular districts to get in touch with locals, you’d definitely need a local guide. Learning a few basic Arabic phrases can be a lifesaver, such as “la shukran—aywa—bkam?” which means “no thank you—yes—how much is it.”

 

Are There Any Health Precautions I Should Take?

In general, there are no health precautions. However, you need to recheck if you need to take any routine vaccinations before traveling to Egypt. It’s also wise to check if any specific medications, such as those for hepatitis A, typhoid, or malaria, are recommended. Pharmacies are everywhere in Egypt; you still need to bring your drugs as exported medications can not be easily found there.

 

How Should I Handle Money and Payments?

Cash is preferred in many smaller establishments, the public market, and for tipping. You can exchange some cash before leaving the airport if you require UBER, as the drivers here still prefer cash. Also, while planning your trips in Egypt, ensure enough Egyptian pounds, especially if you want to pick up some souvenirs. It’s a good idea to carry smaller denominations for convenience.

 

Can I Use My Mobile Phone in Egypt?

Most international mobile phones work in Egypt, but you know international roaming charges before emailing your friends and family. Bringing a SIM card from the airport is a cost-effective option for making local calls and using Facetime or any other calling app such as Messenger.

 

What Is Egyptian Food Like?

Egyptian cuisine is delicious and diverse. Some must-try dishes include:

  • Koshari: A mix of rice, pasta, lentils, chickpeas topped with fried onions, and the tomato sauce is optional.
  • Ful Medames: Stewed fava beans, often served with olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice.
  • Taameya: Egyptian falafel made from fava beans.
  • Molokhia: A leafy green soup often served with chicken or rabbit.

 

Is Bargaining Common in Egypt?

Yes, you can bargain in markets and bazaars in Egypt. It’s expected when purchasing souvenirs, clothing, and even some services. You can offer half the asking price and negotiate to a mutually agreeable amount. And try not to show off, especially when wandering around crowded spots. It’s one of the skills you need to hone before traveling to Egypt.

 

Are There Any Etiquette Tips I Should Know?

Respect local customs and traditions. Taking photos without permission is not a good idea, particularly in rural areas. Being a somewhat conservative community, don’t get involved in public displays of affection, dress modestly, and be polite and patient in interactions.

 

What are some unique experiences in Egypt?

  • Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Luxor: Experience the sunrise over ancient temples and the Nile.
  • Nile River Cruise: Sail from Luxor to Aswan, exploring temples and enjoying scenic views. 
  • Desert Safari: Explore the dunes and oasis of the Western Desert. However, to guarantee a safe and sound trip, you need to get there with a local guide in Egypt.
  • Local Experiences in Egypt with Simsem: Engage in cooking classes, traditional music sessions, and guided tours offered by local hosts.

 

How Can I Stay Connected to the Internet?

You can connect with Wi-Fi in your hotel, well-known cafes, and restaurants in major cities. Consider purchasing a local SIM card with a data plan for continuous access. This can be especially useful for navigating with maps and using travel apps like Simsem.

 

What Souvenirs Should I Buy in Egypt?

Popular souvenirs can be found anywhere while enjoying your trips in Egypt, including

  • Papyrus Art: Traditional paintings on papyrus paper.
  • Alabaster Items: Vases, statues, and other decorative pieces.
  • Spices: High-quality spices and herbs for cooking.
  • Jewelry: Silver and gold jewelry with ancient Egyptian designs.
  • Perfume Oils: Fragrant oils and essences.

Elevate Your Egyptian Adventure with Simsem

Make your trip to Egypt truly unforgettable by downloading the Simsem travel app, crafted by both travelers and locals. Simsem is the world’s first app that connects travelers with Middle Eastern locals, offering authentic tours and experiences. Whether you are passionate about history, cuisine, or local traditions, Simsem provides unique opportunities to fully immerse yourself in the rich local culture.

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