Entry/Exit Requirements

A passport and visa are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Egypt. Tourists can obtain a renewable single-entry 30-day tourist visa on arrival at Egyptian airports for a 25 USD fee. A multiple entry visa is also obtainable for 35 USD. Egyptian immigration officials occasionally have denied entry to travelers without explanation. U.S. citizens who have experienced difficulty with their visa status in Egypt or are concerned about their eligibility for a visa upon arrival should apply for a visa at an Egyptian embassy or consulate prior to travel. Visas for gainful employment or study in Egypt must be obtained prior to travel.

 

For more updated and other information please visit:

http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/egypt.html

 

Please note:  Each traveler is fully responsible for bringing and acquiring travel documents (e-tickets, hotel and travel vouchers, etc.) necessary for his or her itinerary. If you are not a citizen of the United States, your entry requirements may vary—please contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the country or countries to be visited and obtain the specific requirements for entry.

Arrival Information

A GLOBOTOURS local representative or driver will meet you at the arrival hall after customs and immigrations, holding a placard with a Globotours signboard and your name. If in the event that you are unable to locate our representative, please call the local contact number as specified on your voucher or confirmation itinerary.

Egypt; Memphis; Ramesses II Statue

Map of Egypt

Country Information

 

Capital: Cairo

Population: 78.8 M (estimate)

Location: Northeastern Africa

Largest Cities: Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said, Aswan, Luxor

Religion: Muslim, 90 %

System of Government: Republic

Timezone

 

GMT + 2 hours in winter; clocks move forward 1 hour in summer.

 

Practical Information

A good source of health information for travelers is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

 

You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Please be advised that high-standard medical care is not available in the more remote areas of Egypt. Please ensure that we are aware of any physical disability or frequent of ongoing medical requirements.

  • To prevent sickness while staying in Egypt you are advised to follow the golden rules, which are:
  • Only drink bottled water, never tap water
  • Avoid ice in your drinks
  • Eat only vegetables that have been cooked
  • Avoid salads and all fruit that cannot be peeled
  • Avoid food that looks as if it has been around for some time especially meats or salad dressings containing mayonnaise
  • For up to date information on latest health and vaccination recommendations, please contact your doctor.

Foreign currencies can be exchanged at exchange offices or banks, so there is no need to resort to the dodgy street money changers. Many higher-end hotels price in dollars or euros and will gladly accept them as payment, often at a premium rate over Egyptian pounds. ATMs are ubiquitous in the cities and probably the best option overall; they often offer the best rate and many foreign banks have branches in Egypt. These include Barclay’s Bank, HSBC, CitiBank, NSGB, BNP Paribas, Piraeus Bank, CIB, and other local and Arab Banks. Bank hours are Sunday through Thursday, 08:30-14:00.

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted, but only bigger hotels or restaurants in Cairo and restaurants in tourist areas will readily accept credit cards as payment. Travellers cheques can be exchanged in any bank, but it could take some time.

For the most updated exchange rate, please check http://www.xe.com.

220V, 50Hz (Europlug and Schuko plug)

  • Egyptian food is generally similar to many other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, including stuffed vine leaves, grilled meats, and numerous “dips” traditionally eaten with pitta-style bread. Rice with vegetables in tomato sauce, and pasta dishes baked in a similar way to lasagna, are both common. Specialties include stuffed or spit broiled pigeons, small ground lamb kebabs called kofta and shish kebabs made of marinated chunks of lamb and spices grilled over hot charcoal. Seafood is a good choice with prawns from the Red Sea, sea bass from the Mediterranean and a wonderful fish dish, tilapia, from the Nile.
  • Desserts range from regional specialties such as honey-soaked pastries like kunafa which looks like shredded wheat, made with rose water, nuts and sugar, and basbousa made from fine semolina and flavoured with almonds, lemon and vanilla to the famous and uniquely Egyptian “Om Ali”, a baked dish of layered pastry cooked with milk, nuts, raisins and spices.
  • Traditional drinks abound, ranging from chilled carob juice or hot liquorice infusion, to a thick milky concoction filled with nuts and spices called sahleb. Karkady is a local speciality – a rich, sweet infusion of the dark red hibiscus flower, usually drunk cold but also sometimes served hot – and lemoon is a fresh lemonade made from the small local yellow limes, served frothy, tangy and sweet.
  • Alcohol is available in all hotels in Egypt, and most restaurants are licensed. Bars and other drinking establishments are commonplace, and are popular with many locals as well as foreigners. In addition to the usual range of international brands, visitors can try Egyptian-made wine and beer, some of which are very good quality.

The national language in Egypt is Arabic. However, tourists will rarely find a problem communicating as English is widely spoken in hotels and shops, with French a close second, and many staff in tourist areas also speaking German or Italian.

Weather

Egypt is largely a desert, an extension of the great Sahara that bands North Africa. Save for the thin strip of watered land along the Nile River broadening into the Nile delta, very little could survive here. As the ancient Greek historian Herodotus stated: “Egypt is the gift of the Nile”.

Generally, the summers are hot and dry and the winters, moderate. November through March are definitely the most comfortable months for travel in Egypt. There is almost no rain in the Nile valley, so you won’t need wet weather gear!

 

Other Information

This will be contingent on your own personal preference and the time of year you are traveling. Pack less than you normally would, since you’ll likely be lugging your baggage around frequently during your trip. Unless traveling to Egypt in winter, prepare for warm, and often sweltering, weather. Those visiting in winter should pack a light jacket, layering shirts and an umbrella. Bring sunglasses and a brimmed hat to shield your face from the sun plus comfortable, lightweight cotton or linen clothing as well as a pair of shorts, swimsuit, socks and underwear. A pair of comfortable walking shoes is indispensable for treks through ancient Egyptian archaeological sites. Women should bring at least one long-sleeved blouse and head-covering scarf for visits to mosques. Pack just one versatile, slightly dressy outfit for nights out.

Always wear what you are most comfortable traveling in, but a reasonable amount of modesty ought to be exercised. In most areas, comfortable, casual clothes such as short sleeved shirts, polo shorts, etc., are great for sightseeing. Remember that temperatures are likely to be hot and humid so wearing light, loose fitting fabrics is a good idea.

 

When visiting places of worship, dress politely in modest and conservative clothing as they would at any other religious place. Clothing such as short sleeved shirts, polo shirts, and bottoms or skirts that cover the knees are acceptable. You will need to cover one’s shoulders, and women will need to wear long sleeved tops to cover their arms. Bring a lightweight scarf just in case required.

Hotels may impose a hefty charge on international calls. Check your hotel’s policy before placing any calls. To avoid hotel markups you can use a calling card from your local long-distance carrier. A number of United States cell phones manufactured today have the ability to operate overseas on the GSM (Global System for Mobile) standard. We recommend that you contact your cell phone service provider to determine if your phone operates on the GSM and what, if any, activation may be required. In Egypt, reception on any cell phone can be unreliable and unpredictable. In some locations, transmission is not possible at all. If access to e-mail is of critical importance during your trip, please check availability in advanced. Most hotels have business centers or in room WI-FI service, surcharges may apply.

The nationwide emergency phone numbers are:

Ambulance: 123

Fire: 180

Tourist Police: 126

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