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Egypt

Continent: Africa

Ideal Duration: 8 - 12 days

Best Time: September-April Read More

Currency: Egyptian Pound (EGP)

Budget: Moderate

"The Exotic Land of History and Mystery"

Egypt Tourism

Egypt is a country that brings to mind the exotic. Beautiful pyramids, mysterious mummies and lots of gold. That is what everybody perceives Egypt as. But it is so much more. There is Cairo, its most famous city, the river Nile, desert adventures, its temples and mosques and the general aura of history rooted in the culture that pervades the entire country.

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Best time to visit Egypt

September-April is the best time to visit Egypt

October to April is the best time to visit Egypt. During this time, the weather is pretty comfortable. December and January are the peak seasons in Egypt and the famous places like the Temples of Luxor, the Pyramids of Giza, and Abu Simbel remains the most crowded. Also, during these two months, the rates of all the Red Sea resorts are the most expensive. The summer months in Egypt are generally too hot and dry. From May to August, the sun is very strong, and it is imperative for you to carry sunscreens if you are travelling to Egypt during this time. The Nile Delta region and Cairo are cold from October to February. Apart from the weather conditions, the Islamic calendar can have a profound effect on your travel plans to Egypt. The weather in Egypt is usually sunny and hot throughout the year. So much so, that the wettest places in the country like, Rafah and Alexandria gets only around 46 days of rain per year. If you are planning to travel during Ramadan, you might need to give it a second thought. This is the month of daytime fasting, and hence, it might be problematic for transport and eating.

Regions in Egypt

Egypt can be divided into four prime regions: The Nile Valley and the Nile Delta which form the greatest oasis on the planet, the Western Desert which holds the Great Sand Sea, the Eastern Desert which is known for the Red Sea Hills and the Sinai Peninsula, rife with animals, birds and reptiles.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Kind locals. Beautiful sight-seeing spots. Good and varied food.

What's Not So Great?

Pollution. Traffic on roads. Trash on streets. Too crowded at times.

For Whom?

History lovers. Culture enthusiasts. Architecture lovers. Archaeologists.

Read More on Egypt

Currency of Egypt

The Egyptian Pound is the official currency of Egypt. The most frequently used notes are of denominations EGP 1, EGP 5, EGP 10, EGP 20, EGP 50 and EGP 100. Coins are also used. Dollars, euros and sterling are accepted here by the people, however, the EGP or the local currency definitely holds more value. Cards are accepted by most places.

Exchanging Money in Egypt

There are currency exchange shops scattered around, as well as several banks. You can exchange currency there. ATMs are also available in all the popular central hotels. You can even find ATMs stationed outside some banks. Regarding exchange, the EGP to USD conversion rate is the most popular and most frequently used one. Barclays, Citibank, HSBC, Credit Agricole are some of the international banks that you can access here.

Nightlife in Egypt

Egypt is not a party destination. However, there are odd clubs, pubs, and casinos for tourists and locals. Cairo has a couple of clubs, most of which are located inside hotels. The areas of Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab also have pubs and clubs. Bars can be found in nearly all of the Egyptian cities, and they churn out the famous local beer named Stella.

Shopping in Egypt

Egypt is a treasure trove of things just waiting to be found. Its Souks or the local markets are very popular and thronged with tourists and locals alike. Egyptian markets sell clothes, jewelry, fruits, vegetables, souvenirs and more. Cairo has a lot of lanes and markets to shop from including The Khan El Khalili Market which is a very well-known one, filled with a lot of beautiful objects. Portsaid, Luxor, and Alexandria are the other areas that are great for shopping.

Festivals of Egypt

Egypt celebrates some festivals, both religious and cultural. Songs and dancing in the streets during festival time is no uncommon sight. Ramadan, Leylet en Nuktah which includes worshipping the Nile, Sham al-Naseem, Coptic Christmas for the Catholics are some of the important festivals of Egypt. During this time, everyone comes together, and unity is forged. The Festive season is a great time to visit Egypt.

History of Egypt

In the 4th Century, Egypt was known as the Byzantine Empire. Ancient Egypt was very well organized, divided into appropriate areas. Egypt's central authority crumbled in 1281 BC when it was split. However, it was soon reunited and art and literature truly flourished during this time. This was followed by the Second Intermediate Period when Egypt was seized by the Hyskos. Egypt became partly autonomous under the Ottomans. After a lot of civil unrest, wars and power struggles, Egypt finally received its new Constitution in the year 2014. Today, it is a flourishing nation.

Hygiene in Egypt

Public toilets in Egypt are not that many. They aren't very often clean either, so it's safer to use ones at restaurants or your hotel. Toilet paper is seldom used. Improvements are being made to provide potable water and other sanitation facilities through various public initiatives.

Customs of Egypt

It is important to dress well but conservatively in Egypt. Preferably, women should avoid wearing clothes that are too revealing. Tipping is expected here. It is considered rude, impolite or a way of saying you are unhappy with the services provided if you do not leave a tip. Generally, peole tip up to 10% of the total bill.

Tips for visiting Egypt

Ask the hotel desk/reception to book you a cab; else you may end up getting mugged.  Do not drink tap water here. Stay aware while crossing the road, as there is always a lot of heavy traffic.
Public displays of affection and Kissing are frowned upon.

Culture of Egypt

A lot of civilisations developed in the Nile Valley, making Egypt deeply rooted in culture. The country does have a gap between the classes and the masses. Polygyny is on the decline. The nuclear family system is the most predominant one, although there are a few households that still have an extended family unit. Christianity and Islam are the major religions of Egypt. Arabic is the most common language spoken here. Apart from that, a couple of regional dialects also abound. English and French languages are also spoken in equal measure by the locals.

Food of Egypt

Egyptian cuisine contains a lot of fruits, vegetables and legumes. This is because of the Nile valley, the presence of which makes the growth of the same very conducive. Bread is a staple here. It is consumed on a large scale and eaten along with nearly every meal. The Egyptians are also known to add a lot of onions and garlic to their preparations. Tea, usually without any milk, is consumed all across the country. Some famous Egyptian dishes are kushari, ful medames and other meat dishes. Desserts include basbousa, a sweet and spicy dish and Kahk, which is a customary sweet dish.

Stay options in Egypt

There is no dearth of hotels in this country. From luxurious properties to two/three-star ones and from hostel stays to Airbnb apartments, rest assured that you will have plenty of choices. The area of Dahab provides the best budget options, including hostels. Cairo and Luxor have most of the prime properties, like the luxury hotels and popular guesthouses. Staying aboard cruises on the Nile is yet another attractive option, albeit a slightly expensive one.

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