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Egypt Travel Guide

Do you hear that? Egypt is beckoning. Home to some of the world’s best-preserved temples and monuments, this nation carries rich traditions and boasts panoramic landscapes from sweeping sand dunes to the scenic Nile River. With multiple ways to explore the country – either by road, air or by cruising along the Nile, it’s time to start your journey and channel your inner explorer.

The Highlights

  • Cairo

    The first thing you notice about Cairo is the craziness of rush hour. Once you become comfortable navigating your way through the overwhelming traffic and narrow streets, it becomes evident that the capital is filled with character and with a proud sense of history. From the Saqqara Pyramid to Khan El Khalili Market and more, a trip through Cairo will leave you with a lasting impression.

  • Luxor

    For many, the painted tombs of the Valley of the Kings and the nearby Temple of Hatshepsut are the highlights of a visit to Luxor. This valley, located on the west bank of the Nile, is known as the principal burial place of Pharaohs from the 16th to 11th-century BC and is home to an estimated 60 Egyptian tombs and chambers, covered with decadent frescos and immaculately preserved carvings.

  • Alexandria

    Home to a legendary library, European elegance and flair, Alexandria is a vibrant Mediterranean port and Egypt’s second largest city. Founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great, here you will find old-world style cafes, Roman structures, the Catacombs of Kom Ash Shuqqafa and sandy beaches.

  • Abu Simbel

    Accessible by road only when escorted by a police convoy, Abu Simbel should not be missed. Located on the border of Egypt near Sudan, Abu Simbel is home to two temples – the Great Temple of Ra-Harakhte, with its four giant statues of Ramses II and the Temple of Hathor, dedicated to Queen Nefertari. Shaped and carved out of the mountainside, the temples are an impressive tribute.

  • Mount Sinai

    If you’re searching for the best vantage point in all of Egypt, Mount Sinai is the only place to go. Revered by Muslims, Jews and Christians, Mount Sinai is believed to be the location that God delivered his Ten Commandments to Moses. Following a gentle climb to the top, you will be rewarded with commanding views of the surrounding valley. 

  • Dahab

    After spending your time hopping between dozens of impressive temples and historic museums, you’re bound to need a break. And that break should be enjoyed in the fishing village of Dahab. Make time to simply do nothing, or grab your snorkel and visit the famous Blue Hole, shop at surrounding markets and visit bedouin-style seafood restaurants. 

The Basics

When to Visit

when to visit
  1. Peak Season

    October to February

    The winter season in Egypt is when travellers will be treated to lower temperatures, however, the climate will still be sunny, pleasant and much more enjoyable for visiting outdoor temples without sweating profusely. At night, you can expect the temperature to drop, so make sure to pack a light jacket. For many travellers across the globe, Christmas and Easter are popular times to visit, so best to book as far in advance as possible. The most notable sights including the Pyramids of Giza, the Temples of Luxor and Abu Simbel are likely to see a greater number of visitors during this time. 

  2. Low Season

    May to August

    Egypt really is a year-round destination, however, this is mostly determined by your tolerance for extreme heat. Travelling in the height of summer across Egypt means one thing only: scorching temperatures. You can expect to see the average climate jump to 35°C–40°C across the country. If you’re unfazed by the dramatic climate, you’ll be rewarded with reduced rates across flights, accommodation and some transport costs. Make sure you take note of when Ramadan will occur, as this is the month of daytime fasting. It might be difficult to find food at eateries outside major hotels, but as long as you’re prepared then you will have no trouble.

Egypt Tours

  • Visit Responsibly

    Travelling responsibly means respecting the communities, culture and environment of the places you visit. Keep these tips in mind when travelling to Egypt:

    Go green. Be environmentally conscious on the road by taking short showers; turning off the lights in your hotel room when you leave; and resisting the urge to collect any plants, seashells, or other natural flora.

    Respect cultural differences. Before travelling, read about the local culture and customs – even just knowing the dress code and a few basic phrases in the local language will go a long way.

    Support local businesses. Enjoy a more authentic experience and directly support the local economy by travelling with a local guide, eating in local restaurants, buying from local artisans, and staying in locally-owned and operated accommodations.

    Wherever possible, avoid single-use plastics. Pack reusable items such as your own shopping bags, utensils, a water bottle, and a straw. These items are typically lightweight and compact, and will greatly reduce your consumption of plastics.

    Be conscious of overtourism. Opt to visit the lesser-known regions of Egypt or travel outside the peak season – you'll likely even get a better deal and won't have all the crowds!
  • Sustainable Tourism in Egypt

    Egypt’s Protected Areas
    While the number is always increasing, the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency reports that there are currently some 30 nature reserves, better known as “Protected Areas.” Among the country’s most notable Protected Areas, St. Katherine and Wadi El-Rayan encompass UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and El Omayed and Wadi Allaqi are Biosphere Reserves.

    Environmental Certification Programs
    Several Sinai Peninsula and Cairo resorts have started participating in environmental certification programs that evaluate their footprint on the environment and aim to improve overall sustainability. Among these certification programs is the Green Globe – just awarded for the 9th year to the Mövenpick Resort & Spa El Gouna.

    Organizations Dedicated to Protecting Marine Life
    As its name implies, the Red Sea Rangers are based on the Egyptian Red Sea coast. Tasked with protecting over 700 km of coastline, they are highly trained in a diverse set of skills. They also monitor tourist dive boats and maintain moorings.

    The NGO Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA) specializes in marine and land conservation along the Egyptian coast. Among many other things, they protect the Red Sea coral and wrecks.

FAQs about Egypt

  • Do you tip in Egypt?

    It is generally recommended to leave a tip of 10% in a restaurant, although a service charge can already be included on the bill in Egypt so be sure to check. 
  • What is the internet access like?

    Internet connection can range in quality, but you should have no problem with day-to-day tasks like emailing or surfing the web. WiFi is available in many cafes in Cairo, Luxor and Dahab for free, but outside urban areas, this is not as common.
  • Is the tap water safe to drink?

    Avoid drinking the tap water where possible as it is highly chlorinated. Buy bottled water, boil the tap water or use water purification pills.
  • Can I use my credit cards?

    Yes, credit cards are widely accepted throughout Egypt. Please check with your bank about any foreign transaction charges.
  • What are the public holidays?

    Public holidays in Egypt include Coptic Christmas Day on January 7, Sharm El Nessim on April 9, Sinai Liberation Day on 25 April, Labour Day May 01, Revolution Day July 23 and Islamic New Year on September 23 among others. 
  • Is it safe to travel solo in Egypt?

    Travelling on a tour doesn't mean sacrificing your independence and Egypt is most definitely the best place to join a group tour, learn from a local guide and meet new people. While you can travel to Cairo and beach resorts solo, travelling beyond these areas alone should be treated with caution.