Egypt Travel Tips: Everything you need to know before visiting Egypt

Egypt is conservative yet more modern than I had imagined. Over the past decade, Egypt has become the modern hub of Africa. Contrary to other middle eastern countries, women work in all fields such as doctors, lawyers, scientists, and even small business owners. 

This blog post will cover safety as a female, best time to visit, as well as some important Egypt travel tips and guidelines to follow for your trip.

Looking for more Egypt travel tips? Get my 10 day Egypt itinerary here.

Safety in Egypt as a Female

Many people worry about safety in Egypt, in particular women and I cannot talk about travelling to Egypt without first addressing these concerns that fill my DMs every time I visit.

First of all, I do feel as though the media portrays Egypt to be much less safe than it actually is. I never once felt in danger being in Egypt. For example, if I looked up the travel advisory for Americans or Canadians right now it would say ‘reconsider travel due to terrorism’ or ‘travel with extreme caution’.

After years of being a solo female traveller, I am very trusting of people but I have learnt to also be very alert. Whether solo or with a group, always be aware of your surroundings. No matter where you travel, tourists are always a target. The less touristy you look, the better. When traveling with all the gear I have, I always carry a backpack. I try to avoid walking around with my camera as it does make you stand out more.

Egyptians can be very pushy but never once have I felt in danger. Maybe I’m bias because I’m half Egyptian myself but Egyptians are so kind. However if you are not used to that kind of hustling, it’s very overwhelming.

Anywhere you go you’ll encounter people wanting you to visit your shop, promising they will give you the best price, and everyone commenting on you looking like Barbie, or JLo or any other celebrity they know.

I look middle eastern and it still happens to me so I can see how it would heighten a sense of fear so anyone not used to that. Because of this, you’ll read very mixed reviews about Egypt.

An important word to know before arriving in Egypt is no. No is pronounced ‘La’. It might be basic, but it will be your most valuable word.

In the end, it’s always good to do your own research. I have nothing but positive things to say about Egypt but I know other travel bloggers who feel differently.

In the end, your experience will totally be your own. Don’t let someone else’s opinion influence your decision, instead, use this guide to plan your trip and see for yourself. You could be missing out on the best experience of your life!

Weather in Egypt & best time to visit

Egypt only has two seasons, hot summer and mild winter. Below is average temperatures of Cairo however temperatures will vary widely south in Aswan and the desert areas.

Summer / Off Season: June – September the temperatures will be unbearable, especially near Aswan in the south. Most tour groups will visit temples at sunrise and sunset to beat the heat. But if you can handle the heat, it’s a great time to visit for content as less tourists visit during this time.

Winter/ High season: November – March the temperatures drop significantly and it’s pleasantly warm. These are also the most popular months of travel, so expect lots of tourists. December/ January being the busiest month as you’ll experience warm daytime temperatures and cool weather by night.

What to wear in Egypt: Culture & Etiquette

Egypt is quite progressive in comparison to other middle eastern countries. However, it is still a predominantly muslim country, meaning a mostly conservative dress code in comparison to Western standards.

My tour guide reassured me that as a tourist there is no need to follow such a conservative dress code. The country receives so much global tourism that it is not considered insensitive to “dress as you would” in your home country. 

However, I always feel it is important to remain respectful of the local culture. A good practice would be to avoid things like crop tops and short shorts, anything that too revealing. But I was reassured showing your shoulders or showing your knees was fine as a tourist.

Get my complete Egypt packing list here.

Essential things to know and prepare before you visit Egypt

  • Visa process – You will need a VISA for Egypt. This can be acquired beforehand or at the border for $25USD for single trip which applies for most countries on Visa2Egypt.
  • Get Travel Insurance – I recently switched to Nomad Cities as they have good offers and policies for digital nomads.
  • Muslim culture – Over 90% of the Egyptian population are muslim, making it a conservative country. Women should cover up their shoulders and knees where possible and men should avoid wearing shorts.
  • Tour companies – You will be a minority in Egypt if you’re not travelling in a tour group. But I highly recommend my guide Sameh of Egypt Eye Tour who can plan tours for you. I’ve booked him personally 3 times, and so many of you have booked with him because of me. I definitely recommend a guide as Egypt is so rich in culture, you will not appreciate it the same without one. (Tell him Lisa sent you)!
  • Currency – Egypt uses the Egyptian Pound. $1 USD equals approximately £19 Egyptian pounds.
  • Tips – when budgeting for Egypt, do not forget to tip for services. Drivers, luggage porters, guides should always be tipped. There are also small fees for public washrooms. It’s always best to try and carry some small bills for tips.
  • Ramadan – When planning your trip to Egypt, make sure you check when Ramadan will fall in the calendar year. If you visit during Ramadan, you will find local shops and restaurants closed. The tourist sites and hotels are not affected. There are also a lot of restrictions with Ramadan such as no eating or drinking in public, which is not mandatory for tourists but always nice to try and respond when you can.

Best Souvenirs to Buy in Egypt 

Did you know that Egypt produce 50% of Jasmine worldwide and exports a lot of natural oil to Europe. If you want to get souvenirs that are authentic to Egypt, the best items to buy would be essential oils, alabaster, incense, papyrus artwork, perfumes, gold jewelry, and scarves. 

Planning a trip to Egypt but no idea where to start?

Check out my complete 10 day Egypt Itinerary

Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments, I’m happy to address any questions you might have about visiting this incredible destination!

xx Lisa

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