From ancient culture, breathtaking attractions, to a delightful range of cuisine, Egypt has it all. It’s a historic trip that begins with exploring the spellbinding Pharaoh civilisation, eventually leading, one into the vibrant markets full of Egyptian traditions, people and exciting activities. Which is why, Egypt, is a bucket-list destination to many. Although, to get the most out of your experience, here’s a rundown of essential things you need to know before you plan your actual travel to this magical and mysterious destination. This list will ensure that you return with many stories to tell!
Visa to Egypt
Egypt facilitates ‘visa on arrival’ for all visa exempt countries. Everyone else must obtain a visa from the Egyptian diplomatic missions before arriving into the country. To apply for an Egyptian Visa, you must hold a valid passport which has a validity of 6 months from the date of arrival to Egypt. If you are from the UAE, Oman, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Macao, Lebanon or Kuwait, then you can visit Egypt without a visa for three months. Malaysians for 14 days. Visa exemption also applies to children born to an Egyptian father or mother, except those who are nationals of Syria, Qatar, Iraq, and Yemen. All in all, to get access to Egypt, hold a return ticket, travel with a tourist group, book accommodation in advance and have a signed guarantee letter from a travel agency.
Travel Preparation for Egypt
Amongst all your priorities, getting travel insurance must top your chart. Purchase a reputable and flexible insurance policy that covers medical, lost/stolen bags, flight delay and cancellation cover. With this taken care of, you can survive most serious emergencies in Egypt. Next, make hotel reservations and hire a tour guide. Planning a trip-ahead is a great thing to do when thinking Egypt. Last but not least, carry comfortable shoes, cotton clothing, toilet paper and hand sanitiser. Having said that Egyptian weather is habitually warm and never really cold. Just perfect to visit the beautiful Egyptian beaches! Don’t forget the sunscreen and a hat though! Also, it’s important to remember that Egypt is a conservative Muslim country, and has a culture which encourages women to cover their arms and legs in most cities.
Guide to Egyptian Dress Code to Help You Pack
To not attract any unwanted attention or physical advances by Egyptian men, worldwide women travellers need to keep these few tips in mind. Cover your hair with a scarf when visiting a Mosque or a religious site. At all times, keep your knees and shoulders covered. Men, on the other hand, must not carry sleeveless shirts. You may wear shorts in the daytime however must dress up in formals in the evening. By and large, pack light!
While You are in Egypt
Egyptians are helpful people so don’t worry about getting lost in the city. While you are here on your pursuit of exploring the most-popular landmarks and Pyramids, ensure to well-plan, your travel time. Cairo, of all Egyptian cities, is always buzzing with the traffic. Egypt is a gastronomy haven for foodies. However, to taste the best Egyptian food, follow the footstep of locals. Whether street food or fancy dining, the crowds will lead you to the right food destinations. Tipping is a part of Egyptian culture. Thus, don’t forget to tip those who help you with parking, luggage, food etc. Else, they may think of you as cheap and consider the act disrespectful. The shops, cafes and restaurants shut down by midnight after which, you can leisurely stroll around the streets in peace.
Egypt is a fairytale for art, history and architecture lovers. But did you know that Egypt is also popular for “Therapeutic Tourism,” as it has therapeutical hot springs, sand and water? We highly recommend a sand-burying massage which is known to heal physical injuries. For water therapy, a River Nile cruise is sufficient. Sailing through the longest river in the world has its own high. Those who love water sports must try diving in the Red Sea. It’s a diver’s paradise full of colourful fish and unique corals! Likewise, the best way to discover the “black and white oasis” is through a safari trip. And to explore the sand mountains or plateaus, try a horseback riding experience.
Insider Tips for a Wonderful Egypt Vacation
One skill you need to have, to have an enjoyable Egyptian vacation, is that of negotiating and haggling. Yes, you read that right! Much like India, almost everything from souvenirs to water to non-metered taxis is negotiable in Egypt. Haggle a bit and you will get the item at the local rate. While you are in Cairo, take advantage of the efficient Metro system. Although, all throughout your journey, purchase a lot of bottled water. No one drinks tap water in Egypt. Besides, the Egyptian heat will require you to stay hydrated all along.
That being said Egypt, is full of fascinating-antiquity thus you will never run out of ‘interesting’ landmarks. From Pyramids of Giza to the Sphinx to the Egyptian museums, Egypt is a dedicated tour to the reign of the Pharaohs and Egypt’s most prosperous dynasties. And you can even go scuba diving at the Red Sea coast. Egypt will allow you to celebrate diversity at every corner.