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Getting there:

Whether you’re travelling from Europe, North America, Asia, Oceania or the Middle East, the indisputably easiest way to get to Egypt is by plane. Egypt boasts 10 international airports that welcome millions of tourists and visitors each year. Most of these airports welcome regular flights from several international destinations, as well as charter flights, departing mainly from Europe and the Middle East to the paradisiacal Red Sea coast airports.

Egypt also has its own national airline, Egypt Air, which flies from the main cities of the European Continent, North America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

  • Passport& Visa
  • Many nationalities (including USA, Canadian, UK, European, Australian, Asian) can obtain their Egyptian visa on arrival in Cairo airport (cost US$15 or equivalent). This type of visa is valid for a one-month period, starting from your arrival date. To obtain this visa, it is required that you hold a valid passport at least 6 months beyond the time you chose to travel. All African nationals will need to arrange their Egypt visa in advance. To avoid the bother of finding out too late that you might need to apply for a visa in your homeland prior to your journey to Egypt. Visa requirements can change at any time.

  • Travel Insurance
    People planning a trip to Egypt should have travel insurance for several reasons. The climate of Egypt can often catch tourists by surprise. Conditions such as dehydration and heat stroke often do not present symptoms until they are acute, unusual events like losing luggage. Purchasing Egypt travel insurance will allow an individual’s financial investment in a journey to be completely protected. Sunny Egypt strongly recommends travel insurance for all travelers.

    First time there:
    Is it your first time in Cairo, or Sharm el-Sheikh, Luxor, Hurghada, or any Egypt location and you aren’t sure what to expect? Pick your intended vacation spot from the list below to find some information that might come in handy. You’ll feel welcome in each and every Egyptian town or city you’ll visit. Nonetheless, each destination has its own special spirit which you might want to know about before going there.

  • Getting around
  • Getting around in Egypt is pretty easy. Although it may seem very different from what most travelers are used to back home, taxis come as the easiest way for moving around in cities. The easiest way to move around major Egyptian cities is by using the always abundant public taxis; Cairo has a fleet of metered, air-conditioned Yellow and White Taxis. Ask your sunny Egypt guide or your hotel desk for assistance.

    Stay safe
    Egypt is generally a safe and friendly country to travel. Egyptians on the whole are very friendly - if you are in need of assistance they will generally try to help you as much as they are able. Egyptian men will make compliments to women; do not take offense if they do this to you. Men shouldn't be worried, either; if they do this to your partner/daughter, it will be nothing more than a compliment, and hopefully won't go any further than that.

    If you are a woman traveling alone or with another woman, be warned that some men will touch you or grab you anywhere on the body, whether you are negotiating with them or simply walking down the street. Dressing modestly will not deter them. Getting upset at them for touching you will be met with amusement by them and any onlookers, both male and female. The best way to avoid this is wear a wedding band and don't be too friendly.

  • Scams and hassle
  • Travelers often complain about being hassled and attempts at scamming while in Egypt. While irritating, most of this is pretty harmless stuff, like attempting to lure you into a local papyrus or perfume shop. Typically, you will be approached by a person speaking fluent English who will strike up a conversation under social pretenses. He or she will then attempt to get you to come along for a cup of tea or similar at his favorite (most-paying) souvenir shop. This could also happen outside museums etc. where the scammer will try to make you believe the "museum is closed" or similar.

    Hassling, while never dangerous, could also be annoying, especially in the main tourist areas. There is no way to avoid this, but a polite la shukran (no thanks) helps a lot. Apart from that, try to take hassling with a smile. If you let yourself be bugged by everyone trying to sell you something, your holiday won't be a very happy one.

    Culture Advices
    Do not photograph people without their permission, and in areas frequented by tourists do not be surprised if a bit of baksheesh (tipping) is requested. If you're male, don't be surprised if another male holds your hand or forearm or engages in some form of bodily contact - there's no taboo against men holding hands and unlike in the West, this behavior is not associated with homosexuality. In general, Egyptians are a lot more comfortable with less personal space than are most Westerners; however, pairs of Westerners should be cautious in engaging in same-sex contact. Normal contact is quite acceptable (shaking hands, pats on the shoulder, etc.) but holding hands could be mistaken in Westerners as a sign of homosexuality, which is quite taboo in Egypt. Smoking is very common and cigarettes are very cheap in Egypt.

    Never discuss religion from an atheistic or similar point of view. Even highly educated Egyptians who studied abroad won't appreciate it and doors will close for you. Also be aware that the Islamic "call to prayer" happens five times daily and can be heard loudly almost anywhere you go. Just understand that most Egyptians are used to it and enjoy it as part of the cultural experience.

    Dressing Code
    Egyptians are generally a conservative people and most are religious and dress very conservatively. Although they accommodate foreigners being dressed a lot more skimpily, it is prudent not dress provocatively, if only to avoid having people stare at you. It is best to wear pants or jeans instead of shorts as only tourists wear these. In modern nightclubs, restaurants, hotels and bars in Cairo, Alexandria and other tourist destinations you'll find the dress code to be much less restrictive.

    At the Giza Pyramids and other such places during the hot summer months, short sleeve tops and even sleeveless tops are acceptable for women (especially when traveling with a tour group). Though you should carry a scarf or something to cover up more while traveling to/from the tourist destination. Also, it's perfectly acceptable for women to wear sandals during the summer, and you will even see some women with the hijab who have sandals on.

    Women should cover their arms and legs if travelling alone, and covering your hair may help to keep away unwanted attention. Though as a foreigner, you may get plenty of attention no matter what you wear, mainly including people staring at you along with some verbal harassment which you can try to ignore.

    One sign of respect is to use the Arabic greeting, "Asalamualaikum" (means "hello, peace be upon you"), and the other person should reply "Walaikumasalam" ("peace be upon you"). That lets the person know you want respect, and nothing else.

    Egypt is quite a cheap country when compared to many other popular tourist destinations. The Egyptian Pound (EGP) is the national currency in Egypt. Egyptian banknotes come in denominations of 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 pound, and 25 and 50 “piasters.”Branches of major banks are available in abundance in all the major cities. Hotel branches in some of the cities operate throughout the 24 hours. ATMs are also widespread throughout the branches and in other locations such as supermarkets, petrol stations and shopping malls.

  • Cost in Egypt

  • Water - 1.5 litres   LE 3.00 Main Meal  LE 30 - 40
    Taxi ride (10 minutes) LE 7      Alcohol - 1 Beer LE 10 – 15
  • Tipping
  • Tipping is a way of life in Egypt. Everyone tips everyone, and Egyptians tip each other.

    Generally tipping is a kind way of saying thank you for those who are serving you along your way. You don't have to pay huge tips as often smallest bills are appreciated. However, you do not have to tip if you feel that you haven't received any service or help at all or if you feel that the service was bad. Nobody will ever take offense or be disrespectful if you did not tip them. Here are some general guidelines:

    Bathroom attendants: LE 3     Cruises: LE 30/day, to be divided by all staff on board
    Guide: LE 40/day    Hotel bellman: LE 10 for all bags    Tour drivers: LE 10/day
    If you ask a stranger for directions, tips are not necessary and may even be considered offensive

    Be aware that hygiene may not be of the highest standards, depending on the place. The number of tourists that suffer from some kind of parasite or bacterial infection is very high. Despite assurances to the contrary, exercise common sense and bring appropriate medications to deal with problems. "Antinal" (Nifuroxazide) is cheap, effective and available in every pharmacy. "Immodium" or similar products are prescription drugs only. Although Antinal is very effective, sometimes when nothing else is, the elderly should check the brand name with their doctor before relying on it as it contains a high concentration of active ingredient that is not approved by the US FDA or the British regulatory pharmaceutical body.

  • Water

  • Bottled water is available everywhere. The local brands (most common being Baraka, Siwa, Hayat) are just as good as expensive imported options which are also available: Nestle Pure Life, Evian, Dasani (bottled by Coca-Cola), and Aquafina (bottled by Pepsi. No matter where you buy bottled water from, before accepting it check that there is a clear plastic seal on it and the neck ring is still attached to the cap by the breakable threads of plastic.

    Connect World
    Mobile phones: you can chose to roam with your international number by registering on any of the three mobile phone operator networks in Egypt. Alternatively you may want to purchase a temporary visitor line from one of the providers.
    Land-lines: in addition to their availability in all hotels, payphones are also available in some cities.
    Internet: wireless internet is available in a large number of restaurants, hotels and coffee shops throughout the country. Some may provide the service for free while others may charge you for it. Hotels offer wired and wireless access in the comfort of your own room. Some cities, like Sharm El Sheikh, are fully connected using wireless internet connectivity.
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