What Should you Know Before You Come to Egypt?

Egypt is a sophisticated and modern country, and most anything that you need may be purchased in Egypt But providing that you do not wish to purchase such things as shoes in Egypt,  and that other items may be difficult to find, or very expensive,  we have compiled a checklist of some of the more important items you may wish to carry with you. This list may seem rudimentary for the seasoned traveler, but for many making a first time trip to Egypt,  it may prevent problems.

Hats ;

Other Covering Large brimmed hats that provide not only a head covering but also a certain amount of shade will come in very handy in the hot Egyptian sun. In addition, women will be more acceptable when touring old churches and mosques if they are wearing some sort of head covering. In addition, scarves or other apparel should be taken along to cover shoulders and arms, and again, or not only important for visiting religious sites, but also to keep the sun off during treks.

 In very hot weather, a cloth hat or scarf that can be soaked will also help keep your head cool.&quot

Squeeze Breeze:

this is a water bottle with a sprayer and a battery-operated fan attached, which is available in such stores as Wal-Mart in the US. This item literally kept our Senior Editor, Mary Kay Radnich, from hitting the deck in the 104F heat on the West Bank, late one morning. If you can find something like this among the beach toys this summer, pick it up. Sun block: While sun blocks may be purchased in Egypt, you might prefer to bring your own favorite brand, but do bring it. We have often, and I wish to emphasis, very often, seen tourists with painful sunburns after a days worth of sightseeing. 


Another item that may be purchased in Egypt are sunglasses, but again, many people will prefer to bring their own. There will be many times that tourists find themselves in a blaring, sand and desert landscape and there is nothing better than a good pair of sunglasses, with the highest UV rating you can find Canteen or water holder: Staying hydrated will mean the difference between a comfortable tour and one that might end with trouble.

Most people quickly learn to carry a water bottle with them, and bottled water is easily accessible. However, lugging around a water bottle in your hand can be tiresome. It is much better to bring along either a canteen, or some other utensil that will allow you to carry the water bottle on your waist or around your shoulder. Fanny packs or backpacks with holders for water bottles, and for women, even a shoulder bag type of purse will make this more convenient. Other Needs Very good, comfortable walking shoes: This is probably one of the first things most people will tell you to bring to Egypt.


Most tourists will be doing a considerable amount of walking, and shoes should not be just comfortable, but comfortable to walk long distances. Unlike leather shoes for mountain walks and such, it is also preferable for walking shoes to be breathable and perhaps made of a lightweight nylon or similar fabric. "Tennis shoes" or other sporting type of shoes are good for this.

Power Adapters:

Power Adapters come in two different varieties. Some electronic equipment have switches to allow you to change the power input type. For these, a simple wall adapter is all that is required. However, other electronic devices do not have such switches and in this case, you not only need a wall adapter, but also a power converter. Egypt uses 220 volt and plugs are two prong rounded. Camera: Most people are not going to forget to bring their cameras on an Egyptian tour. However, a couple of things should be pointed out. First, while you may take pictures as you like from the outside of most monuments, many require that you do not use a flash when taking pictures inside. If you intend to take pictures inside tombs, for example, you will need to bring high-speed film. Most people use ASA 800 film, which they push to 1600. For the most part, this requires a good 35 mm SLR camera. In addition, monuments in Egypt are truly monumental, and tourists will often be disappointed with regular lenses. If possible, a good wide-angle lens will be nice to bring along. A video camera will also provide you with nice souvenir footage of your trip, however, keep in mind that filming inside many of the museums, monuments and tombs is prohibited.

Health & Safety;

Many tourists have health concerns when travelling in other countries and these usually revolve around the cleanliness of the water, the safety of the food, potential illnesses and the standard of hospital care. Keep reading and we will give you the facts on these as well as some conclusions from our long experience in leading tours.When visiting Egypt don't drink the tap water, As it is highly chlorinated. However, this water is only safe to drink if you got used to it, and if you are willing to live in Egypt for a long time; then it should be ok.It would be better if you  bring a supply of any medicines that you take regularly, and bring the prescription too. Feel safe in the knowledge that in the unlikely event of serious trouble, your hotel or cruise boat staff will find, and provide, a doctor for you 

It is always a good idea to bring mosquito repellent for open-air night events, just to minimize the annoyance factor!

Currency & Money

The Currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (referred by LE - Livre Egyptienne) and it is divided into 100 piaster. In Arabic it is called Genaeh. . At present $1 dollar is equivalent to 17.50 Egyptian pounds (2017). In Egypt, most of the banks are open from Sunday to Thursday; working hours being 08:00 to 17:00, though banks at the airports and the major entry ports are open 24 hours daily.Note: Most of the major credit/debit cards, such as American Express, MasterCard, Visa, all Euro cards and JCB, are widely accepted in various hotels and shops. If you want to use an ATM machine, they mostly accept Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus cards. If you can't find an ATM machine in your vicinity, you can still obtain cash if you go to any of the Misr Bank branches. Banks are unwillingly to accept $100 notes issued before 1992. If you wish to convert your currency, you can use $US, £UK or Euros, as they are accepted in all  banks and other places.TIP: Don't change your $, £ or Euro until you arrive in Egypt – the conversion rate is much better here! Please don't bring Scottish pounds, Irish punts, and New Zealand dollars etc. as they are not accepted in Egypt! You will find plenty of banks at the airport and several foreign currency exchange offices. Your duty free goods must be purchased within 48 hours after arrival.If you at any point during your tour, run out of money, and your credit cards are not accepted, you still can get money wired to you from abroad. In Egypt, there are plenty of Western Union branches; it takes just a few minutes to get any sum of money sent to you from abroad.

Egypt Weather 

Days are commonly warm or hot, and nights are cool. Egypt has only two seasons: a mild winter from November to April and a hot summer from May to October. The only differences between the seasons are variations in daytime temperatures and changes in prevailing winds. In the coastal regions, temperatures range between an average minimum of 14 C in winter and an average maximum of 30 C in summer. Temperatures vary widely in the inland desert areas, especially in summer, when they may range from 7 C at night to 43 C during the day. During winter, temperatures in the desert fluctuate less dramatically, but they can be as low as 0 C at night and as high as 18 C during the day.The average annual temperature increases moving southward from the Delta to the Sudanese border, where temperatures are similar to those of the open deserts to the east and west. In the north, the cooler temperatures of Alexandria during the summer have made the city a popular resort. Throughout the Delta and the northern Nile Valley, there are occasional winter cold spells accompanied by light frost and even snow. At Aswan, in the south, June temperatures can be as low as 10 C at night and as high as 41 C during the day when the sky is clear. Egypt receives fewer than eighty millimeters of precipitation annually in most areas. Most rain falls along the coast, but even the wettest area, around Alexandria, receives only about 200 millimeters of precipitation per year. Alexandria has relatively high humidity, but seas breezes help keep the moisture down to a comfortable level. Cairo receives a little more than one centimeter of precipitation each year. The city, however, reports humidity as high as 77 percent during the summer. But during the rest of the year, humidity is low. The areas south of Cairo receive only traces of rainfall. Some areas will go years without rain and then experience sudden downpours that result in flash floods. Sinai receives somewhat more rainfall (about twelve centimeters annually in the north) than the other desert areas, and the region is dotted by numerous wells and oases, which support small population centers that formerly were focal points on trade routes. Water drainage toward the Mediterranean Sea from the main plateau supplies sufficient moisture to permit some agriculture in the coastal area, particularly near Al Arish What to wear  On the practical side, leave your synthetics at home as they will prove to be too hot in summer and not warm enough in winter - bring materials that breathe. It is advisable to wear cotton in summer as the heat can be like a furnace.

During wintertime

Wear layers that can be taken off during the heat of the day and put back on for cool evenings. Wear loose and flowing garments, which are not only modest, but practical in a hot climate. Have you ever wondered why the Bedouins wear layers of flowing robes? Why they cover their heads and the back of their necks? Centuries of living in desert climates have taught them that loose garments keep one cooler and layered garments allow wind to enter and circulate, creating a natural ventilation system. Protecting the head and neck from loss of moisture prevents heat stroke. Bring comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking and temple floors are not that even.

Egypt Entry Visa

Who requires a visa? Either a tourist or a student visa may be required, depending on length of study and nationality. There are 3 types of Egyptian Visa: Entry Visa: is required for any foreigner arriving in Egypt for purposes other than tourism, e.g. work, study, etc. The possession of a valid entry visa is needed to complete the residence procedure in Egypt. Tourist Visa: is usually valid for a period not exceeding three months and granted on either single or multiple entry basis. The Visa is valid only for travel within three months from the date of issue and is valid only for One- month stay in Egypt, beginning on the date of arrival. If you have a reason to extend your stay, you can do that from the ministry of interior affairs in Egypt after declaring the reasons for that and their acceptance for that reasons. Tourist visas for Egypt can often be obtained upon arrival in Egypt, for citizens of most countries (It is highly recommended to confirm visa particulars with the appropriate consulate, however).However, citizens of the following countries are required to be in possession of a pre-arrival visa: Afghanistan, Algeria,  Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya,  Georgia,  Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, The Philippines,  Sri-Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and all African countries. Egyptian consulates do not issue student visas; application for a student visa (if required) is made after entering Egypt with a tourist or entry visa. Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa:

 a) Nationals of Kuwait, who are allocated a six months’ residence permit upon arrival;

 b) Palestinians holding an Egyptian residence card, provided the stay outside Egypt does not exceed six months') nationals of Bahrain, Djibouti, Guinea, Jordan (only with a passport with at least five years’ validity), Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen for stays of up to three months;

d) Holders of diplomatic passports of Argentina, Bosnia Herzegovina, Italy, Malaysia, Malta, Singapore, the Slovak Republic and Turkey; 

e) Those continuing their journey to a third country within 24 hours provided holding confirmed tickets. 

f) Cruise ship passengers entering Egypt at any port for a maximum stay of 3 days. For current visa information, please contact the nearest consulate. What documents will be required? Passport (passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining) Completed application form1. Recent passport-type photograph (2in. X 2in.).Copy of airline tickets or itinerary. 

Please contact the nearest Egyptian Consulate for furtherinformation on what documentation may be required for you to enter Egypt. Time required to issue a visa Although tourist visas are issued on-arrival in Egypt in many cases, Egyptian authorities strongly recommend inquiry at the local Consulate for specific information. What is the cost of a visa? Approximately. US$20 How long is the visa valid for? Tourist visas: 30-180 days Other information Extensions to a tourist visa are possible; enquire at your local consulate for details. Visitors from all countries except Canada, EU and the USA must register with the police within a week of arrival in Egypt, although this service is usually undertaken by the hotel. Embassy contact information Please contact the nearest Embassies of Egypt to Other Nations for information on what documentation you may require to enter Egypt.