Egypt travel guide

Where to go, what to see: your Egypt travel guide

Why visit Egypt?

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The land of the pharaoh and the cradle of civilization dates back more than 5,000 years, a unique combination of mystery and beauty. Throughout the centuries, the culture of ancient Egypt has fascinated the whole world. Some of the greatest monuments in the history of mankind are found here: the temples at Karnak and Luxor, the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, and the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Pyramids.

Situated in northeast Africa, Egypt is at the junction of the land routes joining Africa to the Near and Middle East. It covers an area of approximately 386,000 square miles with a population of about 100 million people. Egyptian weather is gloriously sunny year round with star-studded night skies. Its people are very proud of their ex-president and unforgettable hero Anwar Sadat, who won the Nobel Prize for peace. The novelist Naquib Mahfouz won the 1988 Nobel Prize for literature. Egypt is the principal filmmaking country in the Arab world.

Egypt offers a variety of cuisine—from international to spicy Middle-Eastern recipes—and memorable highlights. Imagine a camel ride in the desert to enjoy the "Heat of Egypt" or a felucca ride on the Nile. It is one of the best places to shop for cotton clothing, gold and silver jewelry, handmade carpets, perfumes, and, of course, papyrus.

Weather and climate in Egypt

When is the best time to visit Egypt?

The climate is semi desert in the Cairo region, temperate along the Nile Valley, and desert in the South of the country. Winter (October-February) is mostly sunny and warm, with occasional rainfall. To help you plan, below are average low and high temperatures for Egypt.

To help you plan, below are average low and high temperatures for Egypt.




























Egypt food and fun facts

Food specialities of Egypt

Bean/lentil/couscous/chickpea dishes including hummus; kofta, kebabs, lamb, chicken, and pigeon dishes; grilled aubergines; milk custard and rice pudding; kahwa (thick, strong coffee), shay bil na'na' (mint tea), and karkaday (red drink from hibiscus flowers).

Fun facts

● Ancient Egyptians used cosmetics as far back as 5,000 years ago.

● Egyptians were among the very first people to invent writing, along with ink and paper.

● The earliest known wine cellars have been discovered in Egypt.

● Egyptians are known to have invented the 365-days calendar and the 24-hour division of the day.

Things to consider before visiting Egypt

How to call Egypt: Country code

The country code for Egypt is 20. When calling to Egypt from overseas, dial your international access code (+44 from the UK), followed by the country code, area code, and phone number.

Egypt’s currency

The official currency of Egypt is the Egyptian Pound (LE).

Bank hours: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday through Thursday.

1 EGYPTIAN POUND (LE) = 100 Piastres

● Banknote denominations: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 LE

● Coin denominations: 50 Piastres; 1 LE.

Shopping in Egypt

The following budget guidelines are just approximate values or starting values for meals and are per person. Actual prices will vary widely by restaurant and city within a country but below are some averages as provided by our experienced personnel.

● The approximate cost of a soft drink/mineral water/coffee is 9-15 LE.

● An average lunch consisting of a salad or sandwich and a soda or water starts at approximately 55 LE.

● Dinner at a mid-range restaurant with dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage starts at approximately 85 LE.

Shopping specialties: pottery, blown glass, jewelry, papyrus, carpets, leather goods and basketware.

When and how much to tip in Egypt

In Egypt, it is common for all service personnel to ask for a tip for any service or help offered (“baksheesh”). It is recommended you tip a small amount unless you feel service was very bad.

● Restaurants in Egypt add a service charge to the bill. However, it is common to add an additional tip on top of that (12% is usually an acceptable amount). Tips should be left in cash and not added to the credit card payment.

● For taxis, round up fares to the nearest figure on the meter. It is best to negotiate the fare in advance to avoid being overcharged at your destination.

● For hotel staff, a tip of 10 LE for doormen and room service is usually acceptable.

● Restroom attendants expect a small gratuity as well. 3 LE is a common tip