EGYPT

Still in De-Nile.

Cairo travel guide

The Nile was a great source of Ancient Egypt's wealth. It provided food, soil, water, and transportation for the Egyptians.

Egypt is the Eastern European Standard Time, which is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 2). This means that if you are on the East Coast and it’s 12:00 PM, it’s 6:00 PM in Egypt.

Visa not required for: 

U.S. citizens can get a renewable single-entry 30-day tourist visa when arriving at Egyptian airports for a fee equivalent to 25 USD. You can also get a for 60 USD.

According to the Egyptian Consulate General in the United Kingdom, citizens of the following nations can get visas when they arrive to Egyptian airports:

  • All EU Citizens
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • New Zealand
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

For more detailed information, visit Egyptian Consulate.

For more detailed info, check out Peru Travel.

Cairo International Airport is the main airport in Egypt and by far the busiest. All Ubers can take you to this airport within the city. The other two major airports are the Hurghada International Airport and the Sharm El Sheikh Airport, mainly used by people visiting the famous beaches of Egypt.

The Cairo Metro is the rapid transit system in Greater Cairo. It was the first of the three full-fledged metro systems in Africa and the first in the Arab world to be constructed, and began operation in 1987. Depending on the distance, the fare ranges from 3 Egyptian pounds to 10. There are three metro lines, covering varying distances and number of stations. Although for the most part it is safe, it can be overwhelmingly crowded at times. If you have Google Maps and some change with you, it is an efficient and affordable way to get around the city.

Outside of Cairo, it may be best to rent a car as Ubers may not be available and public transportation is more scarce.

Since the revolution in 2011, the safety throughout the city of Cairo has been mixed. Be wary of visiting religious institutions, as terrorists are known for targeting Coptic Christians and their places of worship, in both urban and isolated areas. Terrorists also attacked a mosque in the North Sinai on November 24, 2017, killing over 300 people.

Unfortunately, Egypt has a reputation of sexual harassment against women. A study done in 2013 by the UN’s Enitity for Gender Equality shows that it’s estimated that 99% of women in Egypt have been sexually harassed at some point. Foreign women in particular are prone to unwelcome attention from males and verbal mistreatment, and while the country still has a quite a long way to go, sexual harassment was made a criminal offense in 2014. In the evening especially, try your best to stay in public areas or make your way around with a buddy. Despite all this, statistically, Egypt is a very safe country.

The best time to visit Egypt is around the fall and winter, as it can get unbearably hot during the summer, sometimes reaching temperatures of 46° Celsius (115° Fahrenheit). Starting in around October, the weather becomes far more tolerable, usually ranging from 20-25° Celsius. (68° to 77°)

The most common spoken language in Egypt is Arabic, but most locals understand basic English.

Some social customs are:

  • Bringing gifts when visiting someone’s home
  • Taking you shoes off when you enter a house
  • Religion and politics are a very sensitive topic in Egypt, so if possible try to avoid bringing them up
  • People in Egypt constantly offer vacant seats on public transportation
  • Elderly people are highly respected individuals throughout all communities
  • Prayer calls are very common throughout the day
  • Drinking alcohol is very frowned upon, especially in public
  • Cigarette smoking is very common
  • Shisha, an instrument for vaporizing and smoking different flavors of tobacco, is very common and makes up a lot of the night life in Cairo, and is also present in a lot of restaurants

ATMs:

ATMs were once rare in Egypt, yet thankfully they are now common in Cairo, especially near hotels and other tourist attractions.

TIPPING:

Throughout restaurants and hotels, you will be expected to tip whoever is at your service. Service charges in restaurants usually goes to the restaurant itself and not the waiters, so be sure to tip whoever helps you.

In Egypt there are two associated plug types: C and F. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. Egypt operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.

The tap water in Cairo Passed the WHO International Standard and is considered by most that it is safe to drink, yet we recommend you try your best to get it filtered. Cairo tap water is excessively chlorinated and somewhat drinkable. In other parts of the country, however, it is usually unsafe to drink. Bottled water is really cheap and readily available all throughout the country, but consider using iodine or a Steripen to reduce the use of plastic bottles.

WiFi is usually very hard to come by unless you’re at a residence or an airport, so make sure your phone is unlocked, and plan ahead and get data for your phone if you need access to maps and communication. Vodafone is the most popular carrier in Egypt.

LGBTQ people living in Egypt face many hardships and legal dilemmas. According to a 2013 survey done by the Pew Research Center, 95% of Egyptian citizens are of the opinion that homosexuality should not be tolerated by society. Egyptian law does not outright criminalize homosexuality, but it does have orders that criminalize behavior that is believed to be offensive to religious leaders.

Egypt is known to have a big pollution problem, so when traveling to cities such as Alexandria and Cairo it is important to be eco-friendly and aware of the environment.

Egypt is also known for it’s beautiful beaches, so if you ever want to escape the chaos of Cairo and experience fresher air, be sure to visit Ain El Sokhna and El Gouna as they are much easier on the lungs.

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A TIMELINE OF EGYPT'S HISTORY

Pyramids of Giza were constructed.

Giza Sphinx
UNSPLASH Lea Kobal
2550-2490 BC

Egypt is introduced to Christianity and becomes the major religion by the 4th century.

33 CE

Egypt is introduced to Christianity and becomes the major religion by the 4th century.

33 CE

Muslim conquest of Egypt began, overseen by the Rashidun Caliphate. The Rashidun Caliphate was the first of the four major caliphates established after the death of prophet Muhammad.

641-654 AD

Cairo is established as the capital of Egypt by the Fatmid Dynasty.

969

Egypt is taken into the Turkish Ottoman Empire, as a result of the conquest of Mamluk Egypt.

 

Wikipedia

1517

Napoleon Bonaparte attempts to take over, but is resisted by the Turks and the British.

Wikipedia

1798-1801

Suez Canal is built, nearly bankrupting Egypt along with various other infrastructures, leading to British conquest.

1859-69

Due to the declaration of war with the Ottoman Empire, which Egypt was only slightly a part of, in 1914 Britain declared a Protectorate over Egypt.

1914

Independence is restored, and Fuad I becomes king. British influence still remains significant until the 1950s.

Wikipedia

1922

President Anwar El Sadat goes to Israel to begin works on 1979 Peace Treaty

1977

President Anwar El Sadat is assassinated by Islamic extremists in light of anti-government riots. Vice President Hosni Mubarak succeeds him, and reimposes state of emergency, which restricted freedom of expression and political activity.   

1981

Fall of President Mubarak begins. Encouraged by Tunisian street protests, anti-government demonstrations begin due to high unemployment, poor living conditions, and political corruption.

2011

Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood candidate, just barely wins election. Yet, it was an extremely short lived presidency, as in 2013 he was overthrown by the army, and the Muslim Brotherhood is declared a Terrorist organization. In 2014, former army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi wins the presidential election, and wins the next term in 2018.

2012-Present

LOCAL LOOKS:

These Egyptian designers combine intricate textiles with storytelling and contemporary perspectives. 

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