Egypt Travel Guide
An Intro to Egypt
Egypt is home to some of the most fascinating and extraordinary monuments in the world. From pyramids and tombs to enormous temples – there’s so much to discover in the Land of the Pharoes that planning a trip here can feel just a tad overwhelming. Hopefully this handy Egypt travel guide guide will help!
Most first-time Egypt itineraries usually include Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel. If you have more time, you could also include a visit to Alexandria, Siwa oasis, and perhaps a visit to the Red Sea resorts of Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada. A Nile cruise is also a relaxing, must-do experience! Check out my 7 day Egypt itinerary for inspiration.
International flights usually land in Cairo, which is the best place to start your trip. Here you’ll see tourist sights such as the Pyramids of Giza, the Egyptian Museum, the Citadel and Khan el-Khalili market.
Afterwards you can head south to explore some of Egypts most famous ancient temples, including Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple, Philae Temple, Temple of Hatshepsut and Abu Simbel.
Egypt has such a rich and fascinating history that it’s best to tour the sites with an Egyptologist. You can book day tours with guides using Get Your Guide and Viator.
I spent a week in Egypt but I’d suggest 10 to 15 days is the optimal amount of time in Egypt so you’re not in a rush.
Quick Egypt Tips
Language: Literary Arabic is the official language. Egyptians speak a number of dialects; the most predominant one being Masri/Masry.
Plug sockets: There are two plug socket types in Egypt: type C and F. Type C has two round pins, while type F has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. A standard European plug or adapter will work in Egypt. Standard voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 50 Hz.
Currency: The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (EGP).
Safety: Egypt has a bit of a reputation for scams and hassle but these days it is generally quite safe. There’s a strong police presence and security at all the main tourist sights. To avoid getting scammed or ripped off, hire a guide to show you around the pyramids and temples. Always dress appropriately and be aware of your surroundings. If you’re considering traveling alone to Egypt as a woman, check out my Egypt solo female travel guide.
Getting Around: The quickest and easiest way to get around Egypt is by domestic flight with Egyptair. There are also trains between cities such as Cairo, Luxor and Aswan. Alternatively you can book private car transfers (very useful for getting to Abu Simbel) or tours with ground transportation included. In Cairo Uber is very cheap and safe, or you can hail taxis or take the Metro.
Best Time to Visit Egypt
Egypt is warm year-round and is generally sunny with very little rain. It’s a very popular destination for Europeans to enjoy some winter sun and escape the cold.
The hottest period is from June to August, when temperatures can soar above 40 degrees Celsius (103 degrees Fahrenheit). If you visit during these months you’ll need to wear plenty of sunscreen and carry water with you at all times.
The summer months are great for tanning on the beach by the Red Sea or relaxing by a hotel pool. They’re not so fun if you’re exploring temples or walking through the busy streets of Cairo. Luxor and Aswan can also get very, very hot during the peak of summer.
December to March are the coldest months in Egypt and average temperatures can drop to 19 degrees Celsius (67°F). The best time to visit Egypt is therefore in the shoulder seasons of March to May (spring) and September to November (autumn).
If you visit during spring or autumn you’ll find there are fewer crowds and the temperatures will be a bit more comfortable.
Since Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country, it’s wise to check when Ramadan is. Ramadan can affect opening hours of things like restaurants and stores.