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Travelling to Egypt – what you need to know

Pyramids in EgyptEssential information for your trip to Egypt

Ahlan wa sahlan!

Egypt is one of the oldest civilizations on the planet, with over 7,000 years of recorded history and culture. 

Travel back in time to the land of the pharaohs, where ancient pyramids, sand-covered tombs and temples stand
alongside modern cities.

Because of the recent plane disaster in North Sinai, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are advising against all but essential air travel to or from Sharm el Sheikh. Any British citizens that are currently in Sharm el Sheikh should contact their travel agents to arrange departure dates.

Egypt, know before you go…

Travel insurance 
It's important to get travel insurance when travelling abroad, especially when visiting Egypt. It's not uncommon for visitors to experience upset stomachs or dehydration, and local medical care isn't cheap.
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Egyptian pound

Money info
Credit/debit cards are accepted in larger hotels and restaurants, but are less common in local shops and bars.

It's advised to exchange currency in Egypt rather than doing it before you go, as the exchange rates are much better.

ATMs can be found throughout large cities such as Cairo and Alexandra. However, you may struggle to find some in smaller towns. It's worth noting that ATMs in Egypt can be temperamental. You might try three ATMs before you get a working one!

Tipping or baksheesh is expected in tourist areas, and for services in hotels and restaurants. 

Official language


Cairo (Population - 7.7 million)

Time difference
GMT +1

Visa requirements
You don't need a visa if you're a UK citizen and you're travelling to either Nuweiba, Dahab, Taba or Sharm El Sheikh resorts.

The maximum stay is 15 days, and if you plan on travelling outside these areas, you'll need a visa.

Generally, your routine vaccines should cover you. But the need for extra vaccinations can vary depending on where you plan to visit or what activities you take part in. Therefore, it's recommended that you visit a GP at least eight weeks before you travel.

Driving in Egypt 
Driving in Egypt is hectic, especially in Cairo. Accidents are quite common. But if you're prepared to drive here you'll need:

- A full UK licence
- Proof of third-party insurance
- Passport 
- International Driving Permit (IDP)

For more information see

British embassy  
The British Embassy can be found in Qasr an Nile, Cairo. They can assist British citizens in an emergency

Egypt has a hot desert climate.
Temperatures often reach over 40°c.

Main attractions
Egypt has a wealth of historical attractions including the Pyramids of Giza, Luxor Museum, souks (local markets) and the river Nile. It also offers a selection of stunning beaches and world-class scuba diving.

National dish
Koshari is considered one of the national dishes of Egypt. Often sold on road-side stalls and restaurants, it's a mixture of rice, lentils and macaroni.

Other things to consider
Egypt has experienced terrorism in the recent past, making it unsafe for visitors at times. Most tourist areas are trouble free, but it's a good idea to check the current situation before you travel. For further advice visit

Crime tends to be low across the country. However, like many other western countries, tourists can easily fall victim to pick-pocketing and scams. Be sure to get travel insurance to cover any unexpected losses. 

Local information site

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