Traveling to Egypt should be on everyone’s bucket list. The Pyramids of Giza, the mighty Nile and the ancient history Egypt has to offer – all of this can’t be found anywhere else on earth. A journey through Egypt is truly an immersive experience that will enhance your knowledge of world history.
If you are planning on visiting Egypt then you are in the right place. Here is your complete guide on having the best experience as a tourist – filled with travel tips, advice and best practices for first time visitors.
Best Practices for First Time Visitors to Egypt
It’s essential to follow the best practices and protocols while visiting Egypt, especially because of the ongoing pandemic. The landscape of travel has changed and so here are some tips to ensure safe travel as a tourist:
- Wear a mask when in close proximity to others
- Sanitize and wash your hands at regular intervals
- Avoid large gatherings if you can
- Safeguard all of your essential documents such as your passport
- Have an extra copy of your Egypt eVisa
- Respect the regulations and restrictions in place.
These are the six best practices to incorporate on your trip to Egypt. Following these guidelines will allow you to have a safe experience and help ensure the safety of other travelers and local citizens too.
3 Essential Travel Tips for Visiting Egypt
1. Learn Some Basic Arabic Before you Go
It’s always a good idea to be able to interact with the locals and know some basic phrases when traveling. Local Egyptians will appreciate the effort you make with their language and it will help you travel through the country more efficiently. Here are some basic Arabic phrases to learn before you go:
- Salam o alaikum: Hello (Peace be upon you)
- Shokran: Thank you
- Ismak aih?: What is your name?
- Ana mesh bafham Arabi kwayyes: I don’t understand Arabic well.
You can also use a language translation app on your phone to ensure you don’t get lost. Of course, the best way of learning the Arabic language is to take classes (either at home before you go or if you have time when in Egypt). Knowing the basics of Arabic will go a long way here in Egypt.
2. Pick a Central Location when Staying in Cairo
Many people just travel to Egypt to tick the Pyramids off their bucket list, so they book a stay near the Pyramids. However, these hotels are far away from a lot of the action in Cairo and you won’t be able to get around easily.
That is why you should stay in a central location in Cairo such as Zamalek or Tahrir. Staying at these locations will allow you to see the rest of Cairo and you will find a lot of things to do nearby. If you are visiting Egypt for the first time, don’t book a stay near the Pyramids no matter what people tell you.
3. Use Taxis Instead of Other Public Transport
One of the best ways to get around Egypt is by taxi. They are accessible and affordable. All you have to do is go to your nearest main street, wave your hand and a taxi will show up for you. There are three types of taxis in Egypt:
- Black Taxi: The oldest taxi and it has no air conditioning or meter.
- White Taxi: Same as above but they have air conditioning and a meter.
- Yellow Taxi: These are run by professionals and you have to book them beforehand. They have a higher price than the black and white taxis.
You should at least use the white taxis in Egypt as the air conditioning and meter will be of great help to you. Make sure you agree to a fair rate before you get in the cab so you don’t end up overpaying the driver. Also, keep an eye on the meter and ensure that the driver doesn’t overcharge you.
What Not To Do While Visiting Egypt
1. Don’t Use Drones without Permission in Egypt
If you are an avid photographer and have all kinds of gear then this is something to keep in mind. Flying drones isn’t allowed in Egypt without obtaining permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (normally quite difficult to obtain). It’s forbidden under the Egyptian Aviation Act Article 46 Sentence 8, which states that utilizing unmanned aircraft is prohibited.
So, if you are planning on bringing your drone to Egypt, you should think twice or do some research about getting the proper permission. You could get fined or in the worst case scenario get deported out of the country.
2. Don’t Drink the Tap Water in Egypt
Not all tap water is drinkable. If you live in a place where drinking tap water is okay, keep in mind that the same doesn’t apply to Egypt. Instead of drinking tap water, you should carry a refillable bottle or buy bottled water. However, it’s always best to carry a refillable bottle as it lowers your use of plastic and is much better for the environment. Don’t forget this in Egypt.
3. Don’t Wear Clothes that are too Revealing
For men, it’s acceptable to wear singlets, vests and shorts, but not for women. You have to remember that Egypt is a Muslim country and so females dress conservatively. To blend with the locals and not draw too much attention to yourself, wear clothes that align with the culture.
You should also keep a scarf with you if you plan on visiting mosques. Besides that, in Red Sea towns such as Marsa Alam, Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and Dahab, you can wear more revealing clothes as these are mainly tourist areas. Heading to the beach with your swimwear is okay.
Final Thoughts Before you Travel to Egypt
That was my complete guide to visiting Egypt as a tourist. It’s essential to follow these practices and guidelines as best as you can so you can have an immersive experience while visiting this extraordinary country. It will allow you to enjoy the country even more without facing any issues.
So what are you waiting for? Now that you know everything about visiting Egypt, it’s time to brace yourself for the trip of a lifetime. Once you go, you will fall in love with this country. Visit natvisa.com for more tips on Egypt.