Egypt

There’s plenty to do in the adventurer’s utopia otherwise known as Egypt, from archeological indulgence to sun-kissed leisure.

Egypt

Capital City: Cairo

Egypt Key Facts

  • Flag

  • Size

    1, 002, 450 km²
    60th largest 

  • Population

    87, 700, 000

  • Egypt Location

    North Africa

  • Travel Insurance

    For Egypt travel insurance, select Worldwide Region

  • International Calling Codes

    20

  • Cities

    Cairo
    Alexandria
    Luxor
    Giza

  • Language

    Arabic

  • Religions

    90% Muslim
    9% Orthodox Christian

  • Currency

    Egyptian Pound

    Get current exchange rates from

    XE Currency Converter

  • Driving

    In Egypt they drive on the right side of the road

Tourism website: 

egypt.travel

When is the best time to visit?

The best times to go to Egypt is between November and March, when the weather is moderate but not sweltering and you get a chance to see amazing thunderstorms in the coastal regions.

Transport Information

Airports (16 domestic, 9 international), railway, boats, ports and harbours, highways, buses.

World Heritage Sites

  1. Abu Mena, the remains of a Christian holy city built at the site of the tomb of Menas of Alexandria, a martyr from the 3rd century AD
  2. Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis, dedicated to the Sun God Amon, this ancient site contains the palaces of Luxor and Karnak and the necropolis of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of Queens
  3. Historic Cairo, which is one of the world's oldest Islamic cities with lots of famous and beautiful mosques
  4. Memphis and its Necropolis - the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur, the only one of the famed Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence today
  5. Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae, containing the impressive Temples of Ramses II and the famous Sanctuary of Isis
  6. Saint Catherine Area, where Moses is said to have received the stone tablets containing the 10 Commandments
  7. Wai Al-Hitan (Whale Valley), containing the fossil remains of the earliest suborder of whales
  • Average Annual Temperature

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    22 degrees

  • Average Annual Rainfall

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    34 mm

Climate Information

Most of Egypt is a desert and has a climate corresponding to this. Summers tend to be swelteringly hot, and winters are still warm but quite comfortable. There are a few exceptions to this weather pattern, most notably along the coast and in mountainous areas. Coastal areas along the Mediterranean tend to receive quite impressive thunderstorms in winter with lots of rain falling around Alexandria and Marsa Matruh. Areas with mountains, such as the Red Sea mountains, tend to receive more rainfall than the rest of Egypt as well.

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Official Holidays

  • January 1 - January 1 Bank Holiday
  • January 3 - Prophet Mohamed's birthday
  • January 7 - Coptic Christmas Day
  • January 25 - Revolution Day
  • April 12 - Coptic Easter Sunday
  • April 13 - Spring Festival
  • April 25 - Sinai Liberation Day
  • May 1 - Labor Day
  • July 1 - July 1 Bank Holiday
  • July 18,19 & 20 (2015) - End of Ramadan
  • July 23 - Revolution Day
  • September 24-27 - Feast of the Sacrifice
  • October 6 - Armed Forces Day
  • October 15 - Muharram
  • December 24 - Prophet Mohamed's birthday
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Why Visit Egypt?

Egypt is home to one of the oldest civilizations on earth and has the cultural and archaeological record to show it. It also offers access to the Red Sea, which is perhaps the best diving site on the planet.

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Things To Do In Egypt

  • See the famous Pyramids and the Sphinx
  • Haggle at a local market and enjoy adventurous eating at the food stalls
  • Enjoy a cruise on the river Nile
  • Dive in the red sea
  • Visit the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, see the Valley of the Kings and Queens
  • See Karnak and Luxor Temples
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Travel Tips For Egypt

  • Treat yourself to a short or long cruise on the Nile
  • Do eat at bazaars and other places with common sense - hygiene works a little different in Egypt
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Egyptian Food

Egyptian food offers a gentle introduction to Middle Eastern cuisine, with food being generally just a little bit spicy and seasoned with just the right herbs. Generally, Egyptian food is centered around vegetables, as meat is very expensive and hard to come by. As you approach the coast though you will find more and more seafood, and once you hit Alexandria there is seafood everywhere. A common practice is to go to the fish market, buy your produce, and then head over to the 'cooking market', where for a small fee your purchased fish is cooked.


One dish everyone who goes to Egypt already knows is falafel, a popular take away food anywhere on the plant. In Egypt though it is made with fava beans as opposed to the better known chickpea version, giving it a slightly different flavor than you may be used to. Another popular food to try is koshary, a stew with lentils, rice, chickpeas, tomato sauce and macaroni; if this stew is gratinated, it is known as a taagin. Desserts tend to be typically Eastern, and you will find baklava, sweetened couscous, and generally a lot of honey or coconut based foods.

Egypt Travel Safety and Warnings

  • Due to the political situation, you do have to have to be careful when travelling in Egypt. It is best to avoid Northern Sinai as a whole.
  • Avoid any form of demonstration or larger crowd gatherings that may turn into a protest.
  • If you decide to venture out into the desert, check the weather of any surrounding mountains beforehand. Flash floods are common in certain areas of the country.
  • Make sure you have travel insurance for Egypt before leaving on your trip.
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About Egypt

 

When you travel to Egypt nowadays, many people instinctively raise an eyebrow and bring up safety concerns. However, Egypt is a very big place, and while there are certainly places you do not want to go, the main tourist attractions remain intact and safe. With many people staying away, the time to see this spectacular country is now! Pack in a pair of comfortable walking shoes (you will need them!), get your travel insurance for Egypt sorted out, and jump on a plane to the place 'where it all begins'.

Egypt is home to one of the oldest civilizations on the planet, and it is as if you can taste this when you walk through the streets of Cairo. Walking through this buzzing city, you can easily tell that there is an amazing depth of culture and history. The oldest part of Cairo is a UNESCO Site and one of the oldest Islamic cities in the world. The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities is also located in Cairo and offers an amazing array of historic artifacts from excavations all over Egypt. The curators of the museum have been highly active in recovering stolen artifacts from all over the world, so the collection is constantly growing and becoming ever more impressive. While you are in Cairo do make sure to visit the bazaar. At first it can be a bit overwhelming, particularly when you hit the food bazaar, but it is a truly unique mix of things to see, touch, taste and smell. You can find some excellent food here, do make sure to use your common sense though. Hygiene in these places works a little bit differently, so be careful! As a precaution, make sure you have Egypt travel insurance before eating anything too outrageous.

From Cairo you can quickly shoot to the coast and explore the Mediterranean coastline as well as the port city of Alexandria. This coastline is beautiful to explore, with dramatic thunderstorms happening in winter. Due to some current unrest, it is best to stay out of North Sinai and stick to this side of the Suez Canal.

Heading inland from Cairo you find one of Egypt's most recognizable sites: The Pyramid's of Giza. Yes, you may have seen many pictures of it, seen it on television, or seen a snapshot of it from a friend's holidays, but nothing truly prepares you for seeing the Sphinx yourself. To truly stand there staring at a marvel that Ancient Romans already stared at is something quite special. Around this iconic statue are amazing pyramids, and you should make sure to visit this location while you are in Egypt.

Staying in-land but travelling further south, you come across Luxor, and in Egypt's furthest southern reaches, Abu Simbel. Both sites offer amazing artifacts of Egyptian history. The city of Luxor is the springboard to the Valley of Kings. Within the city of Luxor are also the remains of the city the Greeks knew as Thebes and Egyptians knew as The City of Amun, their sun God. For history or Greek literature buffs, visiting Luxor is a must!

If instead of staying in the desert, you venture east, you will find yourself at the Red Sea coast. The Red Sea is a wonderful contrast to all the history and culture you have been seeing so far, and it is nice to get away and relax. While you are here, do make sure to at the very least go snorkeling, or even better, go for a dive. The Red Sea is probably the best diving location in the world, taking into account the amazing marine life, the reefs, the visibility, and the water temperature. There are a lot of diving schools here as well, and if you have the time it is well worth doing a full certification. It is best to have travel insurance for Egypt before going diving though.

Food in Egypt shows its Middle Eastern influences, but it is still a lot more accessible to tourists. While Egyptians like it spicy, the food is a lot milder than in many neighboring countries. One item everyone travelling to Egypt has to try is falafel! Known as one of the most popular take away foods in the world, this Egyptian snack is made here with fava beans as opposed to chickpeas, giving it a different flavor. You can also find a wonderful fruit selection in Egypt and it is recommended to try as many different types of fruit as you can find. At the coast you will find a lot of markets selling the catch of the day - even as a tourist it is well worth buying a good fish, as you can normally find someone to cook the fish for you at the local bazaar.

While it is recommended to stay away from North Sinai, as well as any large protests, Egypt is actually a very safe place to travel. Tourism being so important, everyone is very protective over tourists. Do make sure to have Egypt travel insurance before going, but otherwise enjoy the amazing history, culture, and foods!

 

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