Egypt Travel Guide - Ultimate Trip to This Ancient African Culture - Caravanzers

Egypt travel is an experience you probably will never forget because this destination is so incredibly interesting.

I really do think a trip to this unique country is a journey through time, where ancient wonders and rich cultural heritage come alive.

As you will discover, tourists love going to Egypt to explore iconic landmarks, immerse in fascinating history, cruise down the Nile, and experience warm Egyptian culture in a vibrant and diverse setting.

From when to visit, what to eat, as well as what to do, this guide truly has everything you will need for a lovely trip.

I will also include travel information like airports, tour guides, and even nearby destinations.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Egypt, I invite you to prepare to take notes because I’ve got a lot to tell you.

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Egypt Tourism

Egypt Tourism - A Guide - Caravanzers

Egypt tourism is a vibrant tapestry woven with ancient wonders, cultural treasures, and breathtaking landscapes.

This incredible country has long been a magnet for travelers seeking a glimpse into the past and a taste of vibrant modernity.

Of course, like many of you, the first time I heard about Egypt, it was the ancient culture.

And today, I can tell you that this is a big part of the tourism.

I will never forget seeing a picture of the Pyramids of Giza, which still impresses me even today.

These impressive monuments, protected by the mysterious Sphinx, consistently enchant visitors with their magnificence and enigmatic allure.

Exploring the Nile River is an indispensable part of any trip to Egypt, often described as the vital essence that sustains the country’s existence.

Egypt is also home to bustling cities that seamlessly blend the old with the new.

Cairo, the sprawling capital, offers a kaleidoscope of experiences. And there are also Alexandria, Aswan, and more.

For those seeking relaxation and natural beauty, Egypt’s Red Sea coast is a definite must with its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs.

The resort towns of Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, and Marsa Alam offer an array of water sports, diving opportunities, and luxurious resorts, making them perfect destinations for sun-seekers and adventure enthusiasts alike.

Another thing I think you will love is the food because this cuisine is a blend of flavors and influences from Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and African cuisines.

In addition to its ancient wonders and natural beauty, Egypt is renowned for its warm and welcoming people.

So whether you’re standing in awe before the pyramids, cruising the Nile, or diving into the colorful underwater world of the Red Sea, Egypt tourism is a remarkable journey through time, culture, and natural splendor.

Safety Considerations for Egypt Travel

Unfortunately, safety is a consideration to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip in Egypt.

Although this really is a generally safe country to visit, I would urge you to still keep a few safety tips in mind.

Before your Egypt travel, I would encourage you to check the latest travel advisories.

Check updates from your country’s foreign affairs or state department.

This is really important.

Next, you really want to arrive with respect for local customs and traditions.

Egypt is a conservative country with strong cultural norms.

It’s important to respect local customs, dress modestly, and adhere to local etiquette.

Naturally, I would tell you to be cautious of your belonging.

Keep your eyes on your bags, wallets, and valuables at all times, and use hotel safes for storing important documents and valuables.

If you’re using taxis or other forms of transportation, it’s best to opt for reputable companies or arrange transportation through your hotel or tour guide.

With over 100 million people in this country, you really want to be vigilant in busy tourist areas, such as markets or popular attractions.

Petty theft, like pickpocketing, can occur in crowded places across Egypt.

If you decide to use ATMS, I would say choose ones located in well-lit, public areas and shield your PIN while entering it.

Finally, and I know it sounds like I’m being extra cautious, but be careful in the heat.

Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking bottled water and avoid consuming tap water.

I think if you follow these basic tourist safety protocols, you ought to have a lovely safe trip.

Best Time to Visit Egypt

The shoulder months, namely September, October, November, April, May, and the beginning of June, are the best times to visit Egypt.

Basically, these periods provide pleasant weather and a smaller influx of tourists compared to the busy summer and winter seasons.

Travelers can enjoy more affordable hotel rates and experience less crowding at popular attractions.

But, if you want to be there when the country is hot and popping, then summer is your ideal period.

Meanwhile, the Christmas Season holds particular significance for Christians, as it connects them to the time Jesus spent in Egypt.

Likewise, Muslim tourists can also appreciate Cairo during significant Islamic holy periods like Ramadan, Eid, and Mawlid.

That said, though, I would discourage tourism to Egypt during Ramadan if you aren’t a Muslim.

This is still a conservative culture, and chances are many restaurants will be closed.

Nevertheless, Cairo is a wonderful city to visit throughout the year.

Travel to Egypt

Travel to Egypt - A Guide - Caravanzers

Egypt has a well-developed aviation infrastructure, ensuring easy accessibility from around the globe.

The country has several major airports acting as gateways for international travelers.

With convenient direct flights, Egypt travel is a seamless journey to indulge in the country’s cultural, historical, and coastal treasures.

Cairo International Airport is the biggest and busiest port of entry for foreigners, and this is a world-class space.

Generally speaking, the Egyptian staff at the airport speak several languages, including Arabic, English, and French.

Let’s discuss the visa situation in Egypt.

Typically, individuals visiting Egypt will need a visa, which can be obtained before arrival or upon reaching the airport.

Visa requirements may differ based on your nationality and the purpose of your visit, so proactive planning is highly recommended.

Taxis are readily available outside the airport terminals, and they are usually metered.

The journey to downtown Cairo takes approximately 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic. Meanwhile, there are also rideshare available. For example, Uber operates at the airport.

Your taxi ride shouldn’t cost more than $10.

The official currency is the Egyptian pound, which translates to about 30 pounds for 1 US dollar.

Of course, you can exchange your currency at the airport or at various exchange offices throughout the country.

You should also probably plan on the fact that the country operates on Eastern European Time (EET), which is about 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Enjoy your adventure, and let Egypt’s timeless beauty unfold before your eyes!

Where to Visit in Egypt

Let’s start your incredible Egypt travel with a trip to mega city of Cairo.

Cairo is a metropolis that seamlessly blends the ancient with the modern.

Begin your exploration by visiting the iconic Pyramids of Giza.

Lose yourself in the bustling streets of Islamic Cairo, where the scent of spices and the sound of merchants haggling fill the air.

Explore the Khan El Khalili market, a maze of narrow alleys adorned with colorful trinkets, handmade crafts, and vibrant textiles.

Don’t be shy to try some traditional street food like falafel or koshari – they’re delicious!

Once you’ve had your fill of the big city, head to the beautiful city of Alexandria.

This city has a completely different ambiance with its refreshing sea breeze and the relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle.

Stroll along the scenic waterfront promenade, explore the fascinating underground burial site with a unique blend of Egyptian and Greco-Roman influences, and visit the iconic fortress built on the site of the ancient Pharos Lighthouse.

Next, it’s time to go south to Aswan, a city that truly gives you a glimpse into authentic Egyptian culture.

Immerse yourself in the Nubian way of life, take a felucca boat ride along the Nile River, and make sure to stop and enjoy the beautiful landscapes and picturesque villages.

To truly experience the resort lifestyle, head to the coastal towns of Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh.

These vibrant resort destinations along the Red Sea coast offer pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a paradise for water sports enthusiasts.

From the bustling streets of Cairo to the serene shores of Alexandria, the authentic culture of Aswan, and the beachside bliss of the Red Sea, Egypt has a diverse range of experiences.

What to Eat on Your Egypt Travel

I’m sure you will immediately notice how the food in Egypt is a fusion of flavors and influences.

These tastes truly reflect the country’s rich history and diverse culinary traditions, including African, Arab, and even European.

Starting in Cairo, you’ll find a ton of yummy traditional Egyptian foods to try.

Begin your culinary adventure with classics like ful medames, a hearty stew of cooked fava beans seasoned with garlic, lemon, and olive oil, typically enjoyed for breakfast.

In Alexandria, being a coastal city, seafood takes center stage.

Savor the flavors of shrimp or calamari cooked in aromatic spices and herbs, reflecting the Mediterranean influences on the city’s cuisine.

Aswan has a taste of authentic Nubian cuisine. Try dishes like fatta, a hearty stew made with pieces of bread, rice, and meat, all soaked in a flavorful broth.

While exploring these local delicacies is a must, Egypt also embraces a diverse international culinary scene.

In major cities like Cairo, you’ll find a wide range of international restaurants offering flavors from around the world.

Meanwhile, one of the fantastic aspects of dining in Egypt is the ability to customize your meals.

Egyptians are really hospitable people, and many restaurants will happily accommodate your preferences.

So, if you want your dish spicier, less salty, or sweeter, all you have to do is communicate your needs to the waitstaff.

They will gladly tailor the flavors to suit your taste buds.

From the aromatic spices of Egyptian dishes to the global flavors that await you, Egypt is a culinary experience that will leave you satisfied and craving more.

Tourist Attractions in Egypt

Tourist Attractions in Egypt - A Guide - Caravanzers

Egypt is truly a unique experience because it can feel like there’s historical importance to every inch of the country.

Of course, tourist attractions in Egypt may be plenty, but there are some you simply can’t miss. Let’s start with the biggest of them all: the Pyramids of Giza.

There’s a reason why this is considered a world wonder.

Likewise, Luxor has mesmerizing sites such as the Karnak Temple Complex and the Valley of the Kings.

Similarly, Abu Simbel features a grand temple complex with colossal statues and intricate carvings.

Meanwhile, Aswan is home to the serene beauty of the Philae Temple, as well as the opportunity for a boat ride along the Nile River.

Alexandria is popular for its catacombs, Qaitbay Citadel, and charming Corniche – all incredible sites.

The Red Sea Riviera is home to pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and water sports.

And, of course, the White Desert gives you a surreal landscape and camping under the stars.

Siwa Oasis is an enchanting town with ancient ruins and natural springs, and you really will feel like you’re in the Sahara Desert.

Egypt has countless other attractions, including temples, monasteries, and bustling markets, each adding to the country’s fascinating tourism landscape.

Ancient Sites

My goodness, Egypt is truly a treasure trove of ancient sites steeped in history and mystery.

Ancient Egypt was one of those cultures that really transformed the human experience.

To this day, this is a country that leaves travelers in awe of its magnificent, preserved history.

From the majestic Pyramids of Giza, standing as a testament to ancient engineering, to the stunning temples of Luxor and Karnak, showcasing grandeur and architectural brilliance.

The Valley of the Kings reveals intricate tombs of pharaohs, while Abu Simbel mesmerizes with colossal statues.

These sites offer a glimpse into the remarkable civilization of ancient Egypt, leaving visitors in awe of their magnificence and cultural significance.

I would say this is really something you cannot miss in Egypt, and you should really prepare for it in advance.

Nile Cruise

One of my favorite tourist attractions in Egypt is cruising down the Nile River.

If you can, try a 2-week trip from Cairo to Aswan, which is really an incredible experience.

First of all, these cruises in Egypt are super comfortable, and some even come with modern amenities in your own private room.

Generally speaking, the itinerary includes stops at cities and towns like Beni Suef, Asyut, and Luxor.

Some itineraries can have as many as fifteen stops, which is actually really amazing as you will feel like you’ve seen the entire country!

What I love about them is that they allow passengers to explore historical sites like tombs, temples, and museums along the way.

If you’re a travel content creator, I would encourage you to consider this because you will come back with tons of material.

But, of course, this is a great experience for everyone, too.

Desert Trip

One of the most fascinating aspects of Egypt travel is the chance to explore the desert.

The desert culture in this country holds a profound significance in the history and identity of the people.

Bedouin tribes have thrived in arid landscapes, preserving traditional practices and nomadic lifestyles.

Desert dwellers in Egypt embrace hospitality, communal bonds, and a deep connection to nature.

They possess an intricate knowledge of survival techniques, relying on camel herding, agriculture, and handicrafts.

One aspect that I really like about this culture is that it’s steeped in storytelling, music, and dance, which serve as mediums for preserving their heritage.

The vast expanses of Egypt’s deserts are not only geographical features but also repositories of cultural wisdom and a testament to human adaptability.

If you have the chance, try to go on a desert trip because you really won’t regret it!

Coptic Churches

Travelers really enjoy visiting Coptic churches in Egypt because they represent the rich heritage of Coptic Christianity.

Of course, this is one of the oldest Christian traditions in the world.

For example, the Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church, also known as the “Hanging Church,” dates back to the 3rd century!

These churches display unique architectural styles, blending ancient Egyptian, Byzantine, and Islamic influences.

Generally speaking, these churches have intricate carvings, colorful murals, and ornate domes.

I would say the Coptic churches provide a glimpse into Egypt’s Christian history.

These churches serve as places of worship, preserving centuries-old traditions and rituals.

Coptic liturgy, hymns, and religious art are integral parts of these churches, which also house relics and icons revered by the faithful.

These sanctuaries stand as symbols of resilience and faith, representing a vibrant Christian community in Egypt.

Islamic Architecture

Islamic architecture in Egypt is something of importance to travelers because it’s part of the country’s rich cultural heritage.

From the iconic mosques of Cairo, such as the grandeur of the Sultan Hassan Mosque and the intricate beauty of the Al-Rifa’i Mosque, to the unique narrow streets, the architecture showcases intricate geometric patterns, towering minarets, and exquisite domes.

In Alexandria, you must visit the Qaitbay Citadel, which is from the 15th century and proudly sits on the Mediterranean coast, overlooking the sea.

With its imposing walls, medieval architecture, and panoramic views, the citadel offers visitors a glimpse into Egypt’s rich Islamic history and serves as a testament to its maritime heritage.

In Aswan, there are historical mosques that hold significant importance in the region because they are from the Mamluk era.

Mamluk style is Turkic, and the interior of these mosques is adorned with intricate decorations. Sufi shrines are another beautiful type of architecture.

In Egypt, these are sacred sites where followers gather to honor and seek spiritual enlightenment.

These shrines are adorned with vibrant decorations, feature soothing music and dance performances, and serve as places of pilgrimage and contemplation for devotees.

Islamic structures blend traditional elements with influences from various dynasties, and they’re perfect to visit on your Egypt travel. They are a captivating display of the country’s architectural splendor.

Egypt Tour Guides

Egypt Tour Guides - A Guide - Caravanzers

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa, Egypt has a ton of tour guides.

Meet Tarek Kouta, who runs the Cairo Private Tours.

Tarek and his team offer travel solutions for planning the perfect trip to Cairo and beyond.

He’s a licensed and knowledgeable tour guide with a master’s degree in archeology and history and has been in the industry since 2011.

The team at Cairo Private Tours can arrange various attractions and experiences, including Nile cruises, train journeys, and even city touring.

As a digitally-connected company, Cairo Private Tours provides multiple contact options, including email, WhatsApp, and phone, and they are even available for last-minute inquiries.

If you want to partner with a bigger company, consider Viator.

This company has a lot of tour guides on their website, and these are ones they vetted themselves.

If you want to rough it and do it yourself, you can negotiate with tour guides at the airport.

I warn you, though, some of them tend to be shady people who aren’t even licensed.

So, do it at your own risk.

Nearby Destinations for Your Egypt Travel

Egypt is strategically located so that you can visit other countries.

Although it also has borders with Libya and Sudan, I actually recommend visiting Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

Let’s start with Eilat, a cool city in southern Israel on the shores of the Red Sea.

It has beautiful coral reefs, pristine beaches, and great marine life, perfect for divers and snorkelers.

With a lively nightlife, water sports activities, and a desert backdrop, Eilat is a popular tourist destination.

Likewise, Aqaba is an interesting city in Jordan on the northeastern tip of the Red Sea.

It’s a picturesque beach town with crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs that attract diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.

With a rich history, modern resorts, and a duty-free zone, Aqaba has a unique blend of relaxation, adventure, and cultural exploration for visitors.

Finally, there is Magna. This is a remarkable city in Saudi Arabia that has historical significance. It was once a thriving trade hub along the ancient Incense Route.

Today, it showcases well-preserved ruins, including temples, tombs, and palaces, providing a glimpse into its glorious past.

Check out the Springs of Moses (euyun muqana, literally “eyes of Magna”).

Magna offers a fascinating journey through time for history enthusiasts and explorers.

So, yeah, here are a few destinations to add to your list if you have the time.

Egypt Travel – Final Thoughts

Egypt travel means an immersive experience of this incredibly fascinating destination.

A journey through time, this guide took you through a unique country that showcases ancient wonders and rich cultural heritage.

We explored the iconic landmarks, cruised the Nile, and embraced the warm Egyptian culture in a diverse setting.

So, this comprehensive guide gave you all the essential information on when to visit, local cuisine, and must-see attractions, as well as practical details like airports, tour guides, and nearby destinations.

If you’re planning a trip to Egypt, you now truly have everything you need to create a memorable experience.

Enjoy Egypt!

AJ Paris is a travel photographer based in New York. He is the editor of Caravanzers.

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