Egypt has a mysterious allure that is hard to resist , you can confidently say there is something for everyone in Egypt , But in order to return home with a story to tell, you need few essential tips to get the most out of your vacation.
Here are 12 essential tips you need to know before travelling to Egypt for the first time .
1-Check the Visa requirments
Visas are required for ALL visitors to Egypt, Make sure to check your country-specific requirements well in advance to avoid any complications upon arrival or denial into the country.
2-Tipping (Baksheesh) is important and expected .
Even though most restaurants have service included in the check, tipping is still very important here and its a part of the culture , If you don’t tip, they’ll most probably think you’re cheap and consider it disrespectful.
However the fact that salaries are relatively low in Egypt when compared to other countries makes it somehow understandable , The good news is that the amount you should tip is much smaller than you might expect, Usually 5 to 10 Egyptian pounds is quite enough .
3-The first price offered is rarely the actual price You’ll Pay
Many places might try to take advantage that you are a tourist and price everything up, Specially bazars and souvenir shops, don’t settle for the first price but always bargain .
Also It’s better to buy snacks and water from well-known stores and supermarkets that use price tags rather than kiosks.
4- DO NOT drink the tap water
It is very important that travellers are aware that the water standards differs depending on the region you are in, in some touristic cities like Marsa Alam and Dahab water is not properly filtered, resulting in insufficient removal of harmful organisms from the treated water, Drinking the tap water may cause diahhrea .
It is always better either to buy bottled water or buy a small water filter at home.
5- show Respect for the Culture .
Egypt is a Middle Eastern country, and it is somehow conservative, Due to the difference in culture Egyptians might get offended from things and acts that are normal and okay in Europe .
It is always better to respect the local culture by dressing appropriately, too much revealing clothes might get you unwanted attention in some areas, However certain areas are more relaxed as in the Red Sea and Sharm El-Shiekh
Also you won’t find people French kissing in public places , Maybe some hold hands here and there, but public kissing is definitely not a common thing in Egypt .
Some women won’t even shake hands with men they aren’t related to.
6-Egypt never sleeps
Egypt is always awake, Although lots of restaurants and shops might close around 12 , the rest of the city is always awake.
This is a special thing in Egypt and a nice experience for night persons, because you can always walk around, explore streets, eat local food, and enjoy the city at night .
7-The traffic is crazy
in Egypt crossing the street can be a scary experience to those who are not used to it,
Also lots of cars ignores traffic lights and drivers use the horns with and without a reason . Some cities can be very crowded in rush-hour like Cairo and Alexandria
8-the weather is amazing .
The weather is one of the most amazing things in Egypt, ofcourse there are some days that can get really hot in Egypt, but never very cold.
In winter you’ll mostly need a light sweater. Winters in Egypt are relatively warm but it can get cold in January and February .
Ramadan is a holy month for the Muslims in Egypt, in which they fast from dawn until sunset.
This fast includes no food and no water from dawn until sunset for 30 days, The month is intended to install self-discipline through refraining from bad behavior, bad thoughts, smoking, and is marked by lots of daily prayers.
Being in Egypt during Ramadan is a special experience, it is forbidden by the Egyptian law to serve alcohol to Egyptians in Ramdan, however it is still allowed to serve it for tourists in touristic places .
10-Buy mosquitoes Spray and sunblock cream
Egypt is a warm country , therefore its common to find mosquitoes there in some times of the year . It is advised to buy the mosquitoes spray if you do not want to be bitten .
The sunblock cream is also important, As some days can be very sunny .
11-Egyptian Taxi drivers and shop sellers are very persistent .
“No” does not seem to mean no for Egyptian Taxi drivers or shop sellers, specially in the touristic areas, it is very common that you say "No thank you" and still get followed by them in attempts to get you into their Taxi, Shop , or horse-drawn carriage.
The best way to get them leave you alone is to just ignore them .
12-Be peepared for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Egypt is like a whole different world, The ancient history here will blow you away and the hospitable culture will warm your hearts. Egypt is one of the most unusual places you will ever visit and it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will treasure forever.
Egypt has gigantic monuments as old as 6,000 years and lots of other attractions like good weather, Amazing beaches and lovely marine life, So be prepared to for an EPIC vacation and a very uniqe expierence.