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12 Best Tips for Traveling to Egypt

Egypt is one of the most exciting and interesting destinations to do at least once in a lifetime. No matter who you talk to, whoever goes to Egypt, always has excellent memories.


If you are thinking of traveling to Egypt, in this post I add several tips to take into account when traveling to Egypt, such as the weather, the visa, the route, hotels, security...


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BEST TIPS FOR TRAVELING TO EGYPT


1. Flights to Egypt


Depending on where in the world you leave from, the ticket rate can vary a lot. If you are traveling from Spain, from Madrid or from Barcelona, ​​you can find direct flights to Cairo.

If you want to reach other cities in Egypt, you have several options, but always with a stopover.

My recommendation is that you get to Cairo first. It is the perfect start to start the tour of Egypt.


The rate can vary a lot depending on how far in advance you book the flight. In our case, we have traveled in January 2023 leaving Barcelona, ​​on a direct flight to Cairo and the round-trip ticket cost us 260 euros per person (round-trip) buying it only 30 days in advance.




To move around the country, a good option is flights. They are around 50 or 60 euros per person and return, but you will avoid many hours of buses.




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2. Visa to travel to Egypt


If you are a Spanish citizen to access Egypt you need a visa. You can process it in two ways:


2.1. Process the visa online to travel to Egypt


Process it in advance online (recommended option). You will save time and once you arrive at the airport in Egypt you will go directly to immigration to the online visa queue. Once you go through the control everything is faster.


2.2. Process the visa to travel to Egypt on arrival


Process it directly at the airport in Egypt upon arrival. It is also very simple, although it is usually the slowest option. You must buy the visa document to fill in at the currency exchange office upon arrival (first queue). Once filled out, you must go to the immigration security control in the "visas here or something like that" queue (second queue) and once you arrive at the control, they will review your documents and they will stamp your entry.


For both cases the cost is more or less the same (24.40 euros online) and 25 euros at the airport. The electronic visa (processing it online) is valid for 90 days. You have the option of multiple entries, in case you are going to be traveling to another neighboring country and returning to Egypt. This option is more expensive.


If you are not a Spanish citizen, I recommend that you check this web page, entering your nationality. The website will tell you if your nationality requires a visa or not and the cost.



3. Best time to travel to Egypt


Egypt is a very hot, desert and sweltering country. With hardly any humidity. Therefore, avoid the hottest months (especially from the end of May to the end of September). In my case, I have traveled to Egypt in January and we have had very mild temperatures. Highs of 25ºC and minimums of 9ºC in Cairo at night. And although visiting the temples always gives the feeling of more heat, it could be said that we have been very lucky.


However, travel when you travel, Egypt is a spectacular country and if your only option is to travel in months where temperatures are higher, do not miss the opportunity.


To avoid the heat, the best way is to get up early and try to visit some of the “most sweltering” places first thing in the morning, such as the temples and pyramids of Giza.


I always travel with my portable fan. I bought it in Vietnam on my last trip and although I use it a lot, it still works. Even if you seem like a lost foreigner, I assure you that in moments of suffocating stress it is a good solution. Also, do not forget to always wear a cap, hat and something that covers your shoulders, otherwise you will burn easily. Water in the backpack is essential, even if you plan to visit the city where you know you will find where to drink something.


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4. Travel to Egypt on your own or with an organized tour


This was the question I asked myself when they asked me to go to Egypt in less than a month. We barely had time to organize the trip and it's not like I knew much about the history of Egypt, beyond Cairo, The Pyramids of Giza and Luxor.


I began to investigate, I read a thousand blogs, many opinions and the organized tours had very good itineraries and very good reviews.



If you don't want to worry about anything or when you travel on your own you don't feel completely safe, you have many very complete organized tours. You will not have to worry about transfers, guided tours, excursions, hotels... they include everything, except the plane ticket.


The tours are quite cheap. For us, it was more expensive for us (we included some more visits) but the tours are really a good option to stay within your budget and see all the essential places.


You have organized tours from 890 euros per person all inclusive for 8 days, and more complete tours where the Red Sea is included.


Tours organized by Egypt:



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5. Nile Cruise Is it worth it?


Yes absolutely. If you are thinking of traveling to Egypt, you cannot leave a cruise on the Nile off your list. You have several options, although almost all of them have the same route, from Luxor to Aswan, visiting all the temples in the area.


The experience is unique. And it's a fantastic way to get around Egypt without being stuck on a bus for many hours.


The cruise makes the budget more expensive, I know, but really, if you count how much the transfers, accommodation and tickets with a guided tour, meals... in the end, the difference is not that much. Watching the sunset on the Nile is priceless.


The Nile is the second longest river in the world after the Amazon. The river runs through Egypt and the vast majority of places of interest are located nearby.

Being in one of the most desert areas on the planet, the river has always been an inexhaustible source of life and resources.

Most of the cruises make the route from Aswan to Luxor in 3 or 4 days, sailing at night and stopping to visit some of the most important temples. I explain how to take a cruise on the Nile here.


Cruises on the Nile River in Egypt that may interest you:



6. Is it safe to travel to Egypt?


Egypt is a country that for years has seen its security seriously threatened by terrorist attacks and the country's political instability after the Arab Spring. However, at present, Egypt is a country that is committed to tourism and takes great care of it, since it is its main source of income.

The vast majority of tourist complexes have security and as long as you are careful, move during the day and be cautious, nothing has to happen.

However, keep in mind that even in the Barcelona metro you can be robbed (I'm from Barcelona hehe and it wouldn't be the first time I came home without a wallet).

In my case, I have traveled to Egypt with young children (5 and 8 years old). And I'm not going to lie to you, before we arrived we were a little scared, but as we arrived, we saw what Cairo was like and we moved around the country, we relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.

In our case, we are used to traveling constantly for work and leisure, we almost always travel with the little ones, and in the end we have adopted a series of precautions. Mainly, move during the day, through known areas, avoid alleyways, travel with a backpack (not very heavy) with secret compartments and always with a padlock and above all, choose accommodation with a good security rating, with a safe... sometimes for few euros more you have much safer accommodation, protected with private security and more central. It is not worth saving a few euros if the option is to stay on the outskirts, in accommodation without security...


7. Travel insurance to travel to Egypt


ESSENTIAL. If you don't have money for travel insurance, you don't have money to travel. And after years of traveling the world non-stop, I can assure you that when you least expect it you feel bad, your documentation is stolen or your leg is broken (yes, the leg was me, and all of the above too ).


Travel insurance is not expensive. You can have comprehensive travel insurance to Egypt for less than 20 euros per week per person. ONLY 20 EUROS! That will include hospitalization, air transfer if necessary, operations, being sent back home if you need to get to your hospital in Spain... Is it really worth traveling without insurance?


In Cambodia last April 2022 he made a very ugly cut on his foot. We called insurance and within 30 minutes we were walking through the emergency doors of an international hospital. Attention at the moment, they insisted that they transfer us to Bangkok to the international hospital, because they believed that this wound needed more surveillance. They called us all the time… and they took care of everything without us having to pay anything.


I broke my leg in California in the dumbest way. America is not the best place to go for hospitals… literally my hospital bill was almost $30,000. Luckily the insurance took care of everything and I didn't have to pay anything.



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8. Necessary vaccinations to travel to Egypt and health precautions


No vaccinations are required to travel to Egypt. However, there are recommended vaccines such as typhoid fever and Hepatitis A.

In my case, in recent years I no longer get the typhoid vaccine since now there are some pills that you must take 3 weeks before the trip. These pills are 3 doses and it is called vivotif. No prescription is needed, it costs around 20 euros and they have worked great for me. Whenever I travel to Southeast Asia or Africa, I take them. Always consult with the pharmacist or with your family doctor.


9. SIM card to travel to Egypt


If you want to have internet access during your trip to Egypt, I recommend buying an e-SIM card directly from Spain. This way you will also have coverage during the Nile cruise or anywhere you visit in Egypt. The cost of the SIM card for 15 days costs about 37 euros. It's all online and very easy to use.



10. How to get around Egypt


10. 1. Getting around Egypt over short distances


For short distances I recommend private transfers or if you hurry me, taxis. For example, when you arrive in Cairo you can book the Transfer to Cairo airport, it is more profitable than airport taxis and you will save yourself from being "ripped off".


10. 2. Getting around Egypt by taxi


In short distances, the taxi is a good alternative to get around. But… don't be ripped off! Taxi drivers tend to be clueless, go around a lot and overcharge you. The best way so that they do not abuse is that before getting into a taxi you agree on the price. You can ask at your hotel “hey, what does it cost to go from here to X place by taxi?” They will tell you an estimated price and then you will have to agree with the taxi driver. If you don't agree on a price and get on, when the race is over they will probably charge you 3 or 4 times more.


10. 3. Travel by train or bus around Egypt


The train and bus in Egypt is a bit rudimentary. They are not modern, the train toilets are almost untouchable and they do not usually have many schedules per day. However, there are routes that you will have to look for this transport alternative. If you are not sure which transport to use in which area, you can see our itinerary through Egypt, where we add which transport options are better depending on where you want to go.


A website that makes my life completely easier in terms of transport is 12goAsia. It started as a page only for Asia and I have been using it since 2012 and since then the web has been expanding to countries all over the world.

The web will tell you what transport there is from one point to another. What prices, schedules... In addition, it offers the option of secure reservation and in your language.



10. 4. Getting around Egypt by rental car


It is an alternative, although I do not think it is 100% safe. Although the country has evolved a lot in terms of safety, traveling alone or with your partner, with a rental car, on the roads of Egypt (unmarked) and sometimes without coverage, is not a highly recommended option. However, it is an alternative and you can see car rental offers in Egypt here.


10. 5. Getting around Egypt with domestic flights


There are many cities with airports. And a good option is to take domestic flights to go to some destinations. In our case we traveled from Cairo to Luxor by plane for 50 euros per flight. And we took a few more flights to make connections with Sharm El Sheikh and Aswan. You can see our Egypt itinerary here.


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11. Money and credit cards in Egypt


In Egypt you can pay with a credit or debit card only at the airport, in almost all hotels, in some stores in large cities such as Cairo, shopping centers and some restaurants. But in general, most places only accept cash of local currency (Egyptian pounds).


A good option to avoid carrying money on you is to have a special credit card for travel. You can use these cards in your day to day (I always use them) and when traveling you have the advantage of withdrawing money from ATMs with the local currency at a very low commission. In general, the commission is much less than the commission charged by currency exchange houses.


The advantage of these cards is that you control them 100% with your mobile and you can activate and deactivate it whenever you want. In case of theft or loss, you can block it instantly, but continue using the mobile card.


The N26 is completely free, without maintenance costs and you can make up to 5 withdrawals in euros throughout Europe at 0% commission and withdrawals with local currency worldwide with a very low commission.



12. 5 Essential places to see in Egypt


The Pyramids of Giza are the only one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World that is still standing. Located a few km from Cairo, they are a must to visit in Egypt.


The Pyramids of Giza are 9, although those of the pharaohs Cheops, Kefren and Menkaure stand out. During its construction around 2500 BC, the exterior was covered with large limestone blocks, formingwhite stone pyramids in which the sunlight was reflected and through which the pharaohs believed they would achieve immortality. Next to the Pyramids of Egypt is the Sphinx, another of the essential places to see in the country.


To visit the pyramids it is advisable to book a guided tour. It is the only way that you will be able toknow and learn about the history of the Pyramids.


Guided tours in the Pyramids of Giza:



Posts about the Pyramids of Giza that may interest you:



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12. 2. Abu Simbel, an essential thing to see in Egypt


In Nubia, south of Egypt, is the archaeological site of Abu Simbel. It stands out for the two rock-cut temples that the great Pharaoh Ramses II ordered to be built in the 13th century BC. c.

The temples were built to commemorate a war victory and honor the pharaoh and his favorite wife, Nefertari.


Posts about Abu Simbel that may interest you:



12. 3. Luxor and nearby temples


Luxor is a city full of temples, including the Luxor Temple. It is an essential city to see on any trip to Egypt since near it are the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, the Karnak temple, the Hatshepsut temple and the Memnon colossi, among others.



12. 4. The Fayoum desert and its oases


The Fayoum desert and its oases are a natural wonder to visit in Egypt. They are a natural reserve protected by UNESCO. The best way to visit it is by taking a tour that includes stops in the Black Desert, the petrified forest and fossils, the Valley of the Falcons, the Hermit's Cave, Lake Qarum, the waterfalls of the Oasis Wadi El Ravan V and the enchanted lake.


I explain everything you need to know to visit the Fayum Desert and its oases here.



12. 5. Sharm el Sheikh


Sharm el Sheikh is a paradise located on the Red Sea. Considered the warmest sea in the world, it is a paradisiacal place with crystal clear waters and large coral reefs. It is the perfect place to enjoy diving and snorkeling.



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In the post route through Egypt I add many travel tips, what are the best transport to do according to the routes, recommended hotels, days needed to see each place... as well as some travel anecdotes.



PLAN YOUR TRIP STEP BY STEP



I hope you enjoy your trip to Egypt a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.


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A hug and see you soon!

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