All You Need to Know to Plan Your Trip

Get ready for the trip of a lifetime! Whether you’re visiting Egypt for the first time or you’re returning to experience more, here’s everything you need to know and some insider tips to help you start planning your trip today.

Entry Visa

We love welcoming people from around the world, which is why we strive to make your entry to Egypt as easy as possible. There are currently 78 nationalities that qualify for a visa upon arrival or an electronic visa that can be obtained via our portal. Additionally, more than 180 nationalities can get a tourist visa upon arrival if the passport holder has a valid and used visa for the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Schengen Area, Japan, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.

You can check the full list of eligible countries and apply and pay for your visa online using Egypt’s visa online application portal, Egypt Visa. Alternatively, you can obtain your visa through Egyptian consulates worldwide or get your visa upon arrival for USD 25 from the bank counter in the airport’s passport control area.

If you’re travelling directly to Sharm al-Sheikh, Nuweiba, and Taba with a limited stay of up to 15 days, you will receive a free entry permit stamp upon arrival that allows you to move freely across South Sinai destinations, including Dahab. If you intend to travel beyond this area or stay longer than 15 days, you will need to get a visa.

Tips to Plan Your Trip

Here are all the essentials to prepare you for landing in Egypt! After reading through the “All You Need to Know” details, the only thing left to do is book your ticket, pack your bags, and count down the days until you start your dream vacation.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Egypt?

Egypt’s climate is temperate and has short seasonal transitions, and its moderate winter extends from November to March and summer from May to September. Winters are cool and mild, with certain regions in the south remaining warm year-round, and summers are hot and dry with cooler, more humid weather on the Mediterranean coastline and even less humidity on the Red Sea coastline. Almost every day is a sunny day in Egypt, with average daylight ranging between 10 and 14 hours, depending on the time of year.

What Should I Pack?

Light, loose cotton clothing is highly recommended when visiting Egypt, and a light-medium jacket or windbreaker should be sufficient if you’re visiting during fall or winter. Make sure to pack all your hot and sunny weather essentials: sunscreen, lip balm, a hat, and sunglasses! Carrying a scarf or light cardigan is encouraged, as visitors will be expected to cover their arms and legs when visiting certain landmarks and sites, such as mosques, churches, and synagogues. Don’t forget comfortable shoes for visiting archaeological sites.

Will I Be Able to Communicate?

Arabic is the official language of Egypt, spoken by the entire population of over 100 million citizens. In urban centers and popular tourist destinations, many locals understand and are fluent in English. In tourist areas, other European languages—such as French, Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish, and Italian—are also commonly spoken.

What Is the Official Currency?

Egypt’s national currency is the Egyptian Pound (geneh), and the design of each note depicts the country’s rich cultural heritage! Beautiful designs reflect images of ancient Egyptian figures, Islamic civilization, Arabesque patterns, and Arabic calligraphy. Banknotes come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200. The one pound is also circulated as a coin. Currency exchanges are readily available all around the country in nearly every major hotel, tourist destination, and airport. Commercial banks offer ATMs with currency exchange services 24/7.

Will I Be Able to Go Online?

If you don’t have roaming services enabled, all of Egypt’s major telecom operators offer temporary holiday lines for tourists. Visit any WE, Orange, Vodafone, or Etisalat shop and ask for a temporary line with plenty of minutes and internet data to last throughout your trip. If you are working remotely, you can also inquire about buying a MiFi device with a large data package. All telecom service providers will need to make copies of your passport in order to process the required paperwork. The majority of hotels offer free WiFi services for guests to use during their stay.

Travel Safe

For the most up-to-date COVID-19 travel advisory and regulations for tourism, click here.

To safeguard the wellbeing of Egyptian citizens and visitors, the Egyptian government has instituted the following safety regulations:

A Vaccinated Workforce: To enhance the safety of interactions between tourists and staff, all staff members working in the tourism industry have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes, and is not limited to, staff working in hotels, resorts, cafes, restaurants, bazaars, and archaeological sites.

Hygiene Safety Certificate: Hospitality and tourism establishments, archaeological sites, and museums have obtained a Hygiene Safety Certificate to ensure the implementation of proper health and safety practices.

Periodic Inspections: Joint committees have been formed by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Chamber of Hotels Association in cooperation with the Ministry of Health to conduct regular inspections of certified hotels. Violations result in the suspension of the establishment's license.

How to Get There

Egypt has several international airports that you can choose from depending on where you wish to start and end your trip.

By Air

You can fly in and begin your trip from several places around the country. Below is a comprehensive list of Egypt’s airports:

  • Cairo International Airport
  • Sphinx International Airport (opening soon)
  • Hurghada International Airport
  • Marsa Alam International Airport
  • Sharm al-Sheikh International Airport
  • Taba International Airport
  • Luxor International Airport
  • Aswan International Airport
  • Borg al-Arab International Airport
  • Al-Alamein International Airport (opening soon)
  • Marsa Matruh International Airport
  • Asyut International Airport
  • Suhag International Airport
Domestic Airports

Fly domestically on EgyptAir Nile Air, and Air Cairo.

  • Port Said Airport
  • Al-Kharga Airport
  • Abu Simbel Airport
By Sea

You can also enter Egypt through several sea ports:

  • Alexandria Port
  • Hurghada Port
  • Safaga Port
  • Taba Marina Port
  • Nuweiba Port
  • Ras Ghaleb Port

Practical Info

We want your trip to start on the right foot, so here are some insider tips to help! As soon as you land and switch on your phone, you should receive an SMS with a welcome note and important hotlines to call for all the information and services you may need—we’ve got you covered!

Photography & Filming Permits

Whether you’re standing in awe of the Giza Pyramids, riding a camel by the shoreline in Marsa Alam, or staring out over the mountains from the top of Mount Sinai, taking stunning photos of your trip is encouraged!

Taking photos and videos for personal, non-commercial purposes is allowed without a permit, and free of charge in public places using any type of camera. This includes photography at archaeological sites and museums but without the use of flash photography indoors.

Taking photos of children is forbidden, and Egyptian citizens can only be photographed after obtaining their written permission.

Photography without a permit is also prohibited in institutions such as ministries, legislative councils, government facilities, police stations, buildings and sites belonging to the Armed Forces, and other sovereign and security authorities.

If you are using the following types of equipment, you will need to obtain a special permit:

  • • Shooting equipment, such as professional photography umbrellas
  • • Outdoor artificial lighting gear
  • • equipment that occupies or blocks public roads

For more information regarding commercial photography and videography at archaeological sites and museums, please contact the Cultural Relations Department at the Ministry of Tourism.

Email: [email protected]

To ensure smooth entry, please make sure you declare your professional camera equipment and drones at the airport, as the use of this type of equipment requires special permits issued by the government.

Insider Tips

Although credit cards are accepted in all the major cities and tourist destinations, Egypt is still a cash-based society, especially when dealing with taxis, small shops, etc., so make sure to always carry enough Egyptian cash.

Getting Around

With ride hailing apps widely used, navigating the streets of Greater Cairo and Alexandria is no trouble at all. Taxis are readily available and required by law to have a working meter. Make sure that the meter is turned on once you start the ride.

Here’s all the information you need about traveling from city to city inside Egypt!

By Air

A short, 60-minute domestic flight will get you to most places inside Egypt, transporting you swiftly to beaches, resorts, mountains, and temples. Check out the extensive list of airports Here. Book your flight online with Egypt Air, Nile Air, and Air Cairo.

By Railway

Egypt’s air-conditioned trains are a good option for scenic travel between Cairo and Alexandria, Marsa Matruh, the Delta, and the Canal Zone, as well as for heading south to Luxor and Aswan. Tourists can opt for first class ticketing, at reasonable prices, giving you access to waiter service, reclining armchairs, and on-board entertainment. If you’re looking for more luxury, then go for sleeper cars with a two-bed cabin, sink, plus access to a dining car and a bar serving breakfast and dinner. Schedules and online tickets are available on the Egyptian Railways website. Seats can be reserved up to seven days in advance, but return tickets are not necessarily available for purchase from your journey’s starting point.

By Bus

Hit the road and travel across Egypt by bus! Egypt’s three main bus companies crisscross the country. The Upper Egypt Bus Company connects Cairo to the Nile Valley, Fayoum, the inner oases, and Red Sea Coast all the way down past Marsa Alam. The East Delta Bus Company crosses over to Sinai and the Suez Canal Zone, while the West and Middle Delta Bus Company heads north to the Nile Delta and Alexandria and northwest to Marsa Matruh and Siwa. Tickets can easily be booked online.

Rent a Car, Motorcycle, or Bicycle

Renting a car can give you the freedom and autonomy to zip around and make your own schedule! For slightly more money, you can hire a driver if tackling the streets of Egypt proves to be overwhelming. Several private rental companies are readily available, with online booking and pickups from airports or hotels. Another great way to get around small beach towns, local sites, or remote beaches is by motorcycle or bicycle. Explore places like Luxor, Aswan, Hurghada, Dahab, Sharm al-Sheikh, Al-Gouna, and Siwa from the seat of a two-wheeler and add to your holiday experience!

By Boat

Sail down the Nile like the ancient Egyptians! In Cairo, speedy Nile taxis are available to shorten the trip between neighborhoods. A quick internet search will provide you with rates, online booking options, and drop-off and pick-up points. Dozens of cruise ships operate along the Nile, with most sailing from Luxor to Aswan (or vice versa) on three- to seven-night trips with stops at major attractions. Luxury Dahabeyas operate between Aswan and Luxor. Local ferries are also available to cross the Nile and Suez Canal at various points. Don’t miss floating up and down the Nile in Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan on a felucca for transportation and sightseeing while enjoying the serenity of the river.

If you’re planning on exploring the marvels of Egyptians deserts or going on an adventure to one of the more secluded sites and hidden gems around the country, make sure to check with your hotel, licensed guide, authorized travel agency, or tour operator if the destination is open for visitors and ask them to help you make the necessary arrangements.

Useful Numbers

We wish you a pleasant stay, but just to be extra safe, keep these numbers handy for quick and easy access in case of inquiries, suggestions, or emergencies! They will be sent to you via SMS upon arrival.

Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities 19654
Tourist Police 126
Ambulance 123
Air Hospital Service +(202) 377 66392/3
Telephone Guide 140
Cairo Airport Shuttle Bus 19970
Gas Emergency 129
Fire services 180