Egypt is the land of dreams. It is where the past, present and future are tied in an unbreakable bond of life. While on one hand it faces the hard life of the arid desert, on the other hand it is blessed with nature’s bounty in the form of the Nile Delta. It is the land where time stops as the mighty Pyramids, the magnificent temples, timeless art and labyrinths of markets transfix you beyond the present. But before you plan or book any of the Egypt tours, here is a comprehensive guide of everything you need to know before your trip.
Best time to visit
The peak tourist season to visit Egypt is the months of December and January when the weather is cool and comfortable. However, this is also the time when there is a lot of rush and all the popular tourist spots will be full of tourists. If you want to avoid this rush you can also opt for the shoulder season between October to November and February to April. The prices will also be a little lower during this time. The summers are best avoided as the temperatures rise above 40C makes it very difficult to travel. Moreover, the month of Ramadan, which falls in summer, is also best avoided as a number of establishments are closed for worship.
Visa regulations for entering Egypt
The rules for getting an Egypt tourist visa varies depends on the country you are visiting from. While some countries are exempted from the need to obtain any visa, others can enter without a visa on certain condition. But for most other countries they can either get a visa on arrival or have to apply for their visa online beforehand. All citizens of EU, and a few other nations are eligible for visa on arrival. Applicants of E-Visa can fill up an online application and the visa can be obtained from the Egypt embassy of the respective county.
Currency and money exchange
The currency of Egypt is the Egyptian Pound (EGP) which is equivalent to 0.061 United States Dollar. Egyptian currency can be exchanged at most money exchangers at your country. It can also be obtained at one of the many kiosks at the airports. There are innumerable convenient money exchange counters available in all major cities of the country which exchange a variety of currencies from different countries. In case of fund shortage, Egyptian Pound can be conveniently withdrawn from the ATMs all over the country, in exchange for a small additional withdrawal charge. While most popular tourist places, restaurants, shops etc. do accept card payment, it is best to carry cash for your street shopping etc. especially while visiting offbeat remote places.
Clothing regulation for tourists
There is no strictly enforced dress code for tourists visiting Egypt, but it is better to be respectful of the culture and dress decently. Avoid wearing extremely short, revealing and skimpy clothes. Several religious places have some dress regulations which are usually restricted to wearing covered clothes, not exposing beyond knee or elbows. While visiting mosques it is expected to cover your head. However, it is important to remember that the climate of the country is super hot and sultry, thus you will sweat. Therefore, it is best to stick to light comfortable clothes, preferable those made from natural fabrics. All swimwear, including bikinis, are acceptable and common in popular beach areas.
Tourists visiting Egypt are recommended by WHO to take a number of vaccinations against diseases such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, etc. On being cleared for travel, a person can safely visit the country. However, tourists should also carry certain off the counter medication for common illnesses so that a simple headache or diarrhea cannot come in the way of travel. It is also important to stay hydrated in the heat. In case of any discomfort medical help is available easily and your hotel is likely to be able to get a doctor on call.
Egypt is a beautiful country which boasts of a rich, advanced, ancient culture and their immense contribution to the human civilisation. A trip to Egypt is an unforgettable experience filled with history, art, architecture and more.