If you’re looking for an amazing travel destination that will give you a great culture shock, then look no further than Egypt! This land has been popular among European travelers who are seeking a Active and happening place to go on vacation with periodic 2-for-1 trips to famous places like Luxor and Cairo.
I grew up seeing many people travel to Egypt solo or with their families, and it’s no surprise that Itraveled there myself after high school. Even though it wasn’t a ‘hot spot’, I enjoyed my experience so muchthat I went back independently a second time! If you’re considering traveling to Egypt, here is everythingyou need to know along with some helpful tips.
Safety in Egypt
Before anything else, let’s address the question everyone has on their mind: is Egypt safe? The answer is yes! I traveled to Egypt back in 2008, and at that time safety wasn’t really top of our concerns. Nowadays, a lot of the Middle East is caught up in political or social unrest– but we often forget to see the difference between Egypt and the rest of conflict-ridden countries in the region. There are some regions which aren’t as stable, but overall most areas are perfectly fine for tourists. Just like any other country or city, there will always be pockets of instability. However, from my experience people were incredibly welcoming and hospitable during my stay– everywhere I went I was told that enjoy myself and feel like home.”
You might be aware that the U.S Department of State doesn’t have Egypt on either the travel alert or travel warning list.
The tourists attractions in Egypt are not only safe, but the Egyptian people are some of the most hospitable I’ve ever encountered. They love tourists! In my experience, I never felt unsafe or like someone was trying to take advantage of me. On the contrary, locals went out of their way to help me and make sure I had a good time.
When to Go to Egypt?
Don’t make the same mistake I did on my first trip to Egypt in the summer. In the sun, temperatures can reach up to 45 degrees Celsius, making Luxor and Aswan unpleasant. Keep in mind that overnight temperatures may be chilly; bring a sweater and a pair of warm socks. You’ll thank me later if you do this!
Between October and April is the optimum time to visit Egypt. The peak season for tourists is from December to February, so if you come at a time other than during this period, you will save money on accommodation and fewer people. Furthermore, avoid visiting Egypt during Ramadan.
How Much Money Do You Need to Travel to Egypt?
Not much. If you’re coming from a developed nation, Egypt is quite inexpensive. You’ll usually pay around $4 for a bed in a dorm, approximately $12 per night at a guesthouse, and anything above that is probably too pricey. For under $30 per day, you should be able to survive without any difficulties if you’re backpacking.
The most valuable thing I spent money on in Egypt was a hot-air balloon ride ($50). Always have a lot of coins and small bills on you. You will be required to “tip” numerous times each day for a variety of reasons. While this isn’t necessary, it is customary to give some money to a bathroom woman who hands you a few sheets of toilet paper.
After seeing the poverty in neighborhoods like Cairo and Luxor, I didn’t mind parting with a few extra coins here and there as tips.
Food in Egypt
I liked the food in Egypt. I tried different kinds of dishes, from Koshary (a mix of rice, macaroni, and lentils topped with tomato-vinegar sauce and fried onions) – which is a very traditional dish in Egypt- to kebabs and local vegetables mixed with rice.
Local hostels and hotels often provide guests with an excessive amount of food, especially for breakfast. I would frequently find myself with a few bread rolls, 8 balls of falafel, hummus, an omelet, hard boiled eggs, french fries, yogurt and a fresh smoothie – more than enough for one person!
How to Travel Egypt Efficiently
Both EgyptAir and NileAir offer great domestic flights at affordable prices. For a flight from Cairo to Luxor or Aswan, you can expect to pay $50-80 one way. The flight time is only about an hour, making it a great option if you’re short on time.
If you’re really trying to stick to a budget, consider taking the bus instead. Go Bus offers comfortable buses that are easy to book online or through their app.
As much as I would have loved to take the sleeper train, my finances disagreed- my flight was only a few dollars more expensive.
Boat (Nile Cruise)
Many tourists think the only way to get see some destinations is by taking a cruise on the Nile, which tour companies capitalize upon. In reality,These places can be reached just as easily by bus or car–though keep in mind that it likely won’t be an authentic experience if you’re hanging out at luxurypools and eating touristy food onboard. If you’re looking for a cheaper option that will still let you explore local culture, consider staying in guesthouses instead.
Uber & Taxis
In Cairo, you can use Uber to travel cheaply. For example, a taxi ride from the airport into downtown Cairo should cost 50-60 LE on average, whereas a trip out to the Pyramids will run you 100-110 LE.