Egypt

Sidewalk meets the sand in Egypt. Vibrant, energetic Cairo contrasts starkly with the timelessness of pyramids and the silence of the desert. Marvel at the Pharaoh's treasures, then haggle for your own at a rowdy open air bazaar. Sail the Nile by luxury cruise ship or felucca, a small Egyptian sailboat.

Fast Facts

Already booked on one of our packages to Egypt? See everything you need to know before you go.

Overview

Capital: Cairo
Population:  95.69 million
Currency: Egyption pound (LE)
Languages: Egyptian Arabic
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: EET (UTC +2)

Weather

Egypt has two seasons: November thru March which is the cooler season, and April thru October which is its hot season. However, October is a good month to visit off-season. Late March to Early April bring sandstorms which reduce visibility.

Entry requirements

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid at the time of entry, though we strongly recommend it be valid for at least six months after your return date. U.S. passport holders must have a visa to enter Egypt, which will be issued upon arrival. You may also apply for a visa prior to travel at an Egyptian embassy or consulate or through a fee-based visa service such as our preferred provider VisaHQ. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

Booked on one of our packages with Scheduled Dates? We will pre-arrange your travel visa, which will be stamped upon arrival.

More information about passports & visas.

Shopping

Egypt's most famous items include jewelry, brassware, leather goods, carpets, shisha water pipes, carvings, rugs, gold, silver and copper ware, perfumes, herbs, and Egyptian clothing. Don't forget to visit the bazaars! Do remember to bargain!

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

According to the Center for Disease Control, “A limited risk of malaria exists in parts of Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco. Taking an antimalarial drug is not recommended as the risk for travelers is considered to be extremely low. However, travelers should use insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites.”

Do not swim in fresh water or ocean water, as parasites are prevalent. Skin infections are common; even the smallest wound should be disinfected and covered with a bandage.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

Power & Adapters

220 volts. Plug C. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit. View more information about electrical standards around the world.

Tipping

A 12% service charge is included in the bill in most restaurants, but add a little extra since that 12% does not necessarily go to the waiter. Doormen receive a 1 pound minimum as well as other servicers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are ATMs available in Egypt?

    ATMs are widely used and can be found at most large hotels, in front of most banks and in some stand-alone locations.

  2. Can I take my cell phone?

    See our blog post on using your cell phone abroad.

Tours & Packages to Egypt

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Best of Egypt & Nile Cruise
Timeless Cairo & the Pyramids, plus a Nile cruise through the temples & history of Luxor, Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo & Aswan; optional extension to Petra
10 days  •  from $2399 $2099
per person, double occupancy*
dates small group tour + cruise + flights
Dazzling Dubai & Cairo
The glittering playground of Dubai; plus buzzing Cairo, the Sphinx & Pyramids of Giza; optional Nile Cruise extension
9 days  •  from $2699 $2399
per person, double occupancy*
dates small group tour + flights

Rave Reviews

Thanks Friendly Planet for all of your help. You were wonderful. You were always willing to go out of your way to make this trip to Egypt work for me. You always responded to my contacts in a timely manner. Thank you so much.

Beverly Ford

My wife and I have always traveled on our own but felt that our first visit to Egypt should be with a guided group. We were slightly apprehensive about whether we would begin to chafe at having our schedule determined by others but are happy to report that the tour with Friendly Planet was a delight. From the moment we arrived at Cairo International Airport the necessary details for our stay were managed with seamless efficiency. The hotel and its location were amazing and check in was painlessly and quickly handled by the FP representative who met us at the airport. We were well informed of each day's activities and liked the optional extras that gave us the choice of either participating or having our own time. Our guide, Walaa, was truly erudite concerning the sites we visited, imparting a great deal of history and cultural context yet keeping it on a personal level. We felt as if he was sharing his knowledge and not lecturing. Ground transportation and ticketing were handled well in advance and there was no time wasted waiting for anything. The Nile cruise was a carefree way to travel from site to site with no worries about lodging or meals. I can not say enough about the positive impression our Friendly Planet tour has made on us. We have been contemplating visiting China and are now convinced that we will be doing so through Friendly Planet.

Robert Kidd, Columbia, SC
Pyramids & Nile Cruise