I dreamed of going to Egypt since I was a child. Egypt is a once in a lifetime experience and something that you have to see for yourself. Everyone will have a different experience, but to make your life easier, I came up with 15 tips to help you plan the most memorable trip. Let’s go!
1. Citizens from the United States must have a visa to enter Egypt. A single-entry 30-day tourist visa can be obtained at the airport upon arrival for $25. You can also purchase a multiple entry visa for $60. Always check before traveling for the most up to date information.
2. The hustle is real in Egypt. You will be approached on every corner and asked for either money or to purchase something. The best way to avoid it is not to make eye contact.
3. In Cairo, Uber is available, and it is cheaper than taking a taxi. The advantage of using Uber is that you will get fair rates, and avoid the need to haggle with taxi drivers and possibly get scammed.
4. The traffic in Egypt is extremely congested, and road fatalities are incredibly high compared to other countries. Plan your excursions accordingly. I recommend making a list of everything you want to do and going to attractions in the same vicinity each day.
5. Summer is scorching and almost unbearable. I went in the summer because that is what I wanted to do, but f you know that you cannot stand the heat, it is better to travel in the winter months.
6. Cash is king in Egypt. Many restaurants, shops, guides, and drivers will not have credit card machines. Plan in advance to make sure that you have cash or the ability to withdraw from an ATM. Using an ATM is a personal decision, but there are plenty available for use.
Guides & Drivers
7. To have the best experience, I recommend using a guide. Guides have a wealth of knowledge, and will also take you to spots that others may miss on their trip. If you are traveling solo, a guide will help you avoid haggling from locals.
8. Hiring a driver is another tip. They are better equipped to navigate Egypt’s traffic, and they will alleviate the need to worry about how you will get around Egypt.
9. Be cautious of the scams in Egypt, especially Cairo. A friend of mine got caught up in a common scam. She accepted a package deal in Cairo that included a photographer and camel ride. She agreed upon a fixed price. Once her ride was over, they changed the price and charged her double.
Valley of The Kings Ticket
10. When visiting the Valley of The Kings, your ticket allows you entrance into three tombs. There are over sixty-five tombs, so prepare ahead of time to view the tombs you want to see the most. There are also additional tombs that you can visit with an extra ticket.
Cairo or Giza
11. Keep in mind that Cairo and Giza are two different cities in Egypt. People often book a hotel in Cairo, not realizing that the Pyramids of Giza are in a different city. It is not that big of a deal, but if you want to be closer to the pyramids, knowing this is helpful. Certain hotels in Giza offer a beautiful view of the pyramids. Cairo International Airport is about a forty minute to one hour drive to Giza, depending on the traffic.
12. Always check before bringing a drone. Many countries ban the use of drones, but Egypt may allow it if you obtain the proper permission before use. Always check before your trip.
13. The official language in Egypt is Arabic. If you do not have a guide to assist, it is important to make sure that you are prepared. I recommend downloading Google translate.
14. Please be conscious of cultural differences. It is important to respect the standard of dress. I am not saying that you have to dress the same as local, but it is a conservative culture and very important to cover up.
15. Travel beyond Cairo! There is so much beauty in Egypt. In Aswan, you can visit Elephantine Island, Nubian Museum, and tombs of the nobles. Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt, and there is plenty to see and do. It is about two and a half hours from Cairo. These are just a few things that were on my list, but please research things outside of Cairo, and you will have a much more enjoyable experience.
These are just a few tips to help you plan your trip.
Have you been to Egypt? If you have any advice for others, please leave your tip in the comments below.
Check out my Youtube video of my trip to Egypt and Luxor.