It’s very hard to put it into words how I feel about Egypt after going there. It would be at least one hour long read, so I will try to keep it short and to the point.
I always wanted to visit Egypt since I was little, to see the pyramids, ride a camel (you have to be careful about that one) and to see the desert. It only became a reality when I put it on the list of the things that I want to accomplish in 2019 and immediately after that I started my research.
When to go to Egypt?
The best time is between October and April. High season is considered between December and February. We were there at the beginning of March, and the weather was perfect. Don’t go during summer time. It’s hot and dry. Temperatures can be up to 40 °C / 104 °F
How to get around Egypt:
Cheap and easy way (you might check GoBus and book your ticket online)
Domestic flights are very affordable
The way locals use them looked pretty scary. So, just book a first class ticket and sleep overnight on the train. We did it from Cairo to Aswan. Dinner and breakfast were included.
(Cruise on the Nile River) There are a lot of companies that you could choose from. Our cruise was for 4 days/3 nights and I loved it. It was so beautiful and relaxing to spend some time on the Nile River. The food on the ship was delicious, and you can eat as much as you want. I got to know so many local people who were working on the boat and it was just a fantastic experience. I definitely would do it again.
It’s a very cheap and convenient way to get around Cairo. Just download the app while you are still at home to make it easier to use.
Things to remember about Egypt and helpful travel tips
Egypt is safe. No matter what they tell or show you on the news, it’s not what it is in reality. You just have to be mindful of your surroundings because bad stuff can happen anywhere in the world. Don’t walk alone at night, through sketchy alleys and don’t go with people anywhere if you don’t feel like it. Avoid demonstrations and crowds and listen to your gut. Just don’t be fearful.
Egyptians are very kind and open-hearted people. Their culture is so different, and it could show you a lot. It’s always very nice to see and learn how other people live.
It can be a very cheap destination to travel to if you need it. You can easily find comfortable and affordable places to stay. Just do your research beforehand and read the reviews of the area. Local food is cheap and very delicious. The only time you’re going to spend more money is if you don’t bargain enough.
On every street, people will try to sell you stuff in a very persistent way and it can get overwhelming. In my opinion, it is not that bad and it will not ruin your experience if you don’t let it. It can look very strange and rude to us because we don’t see it very often. Remember, travel is not about sticking to what you know. Just please, try to stay positive and don’t let it ruin your experience. Always bargain and negotiate the price first. If you don’t want to buy anything, the best thing to do is to ignore the sellers. I know it sounds kind of harsh but believe me, it’s the best option.
You are expected to leave a tip almost everywhere in Egypt. In restaurants, on guided tours, hotels, cruise ships which I also consider the right thing to do. Just be prepared that for almost every kind of help that you received, you’ll have to leave a tip.
You are a celebrity
Local kids will want to take selfies with you and it’s not something to be afraid of. Even though Egypt is a very popular country among tourists, you still look very different to them. I personally didn’t refuse any of the kids. However, if you don’t feel comfortable to be on other people’s phones, it’s ok to say “no” just do it politely and respectfully.
Try to wear clothes that cover your knees and shoulders at all times. Don’t forget that Egypt is a Muslim country and you should respect that. Best clothes to wear are loosely fitted clothes from breathable materials. It can get very hot during the day, you are in Africa after all.
Don’t drink tap water, if you don’t want to get sick on your trip. Just buy water from the stores or refill your own bottle.
Always keep your stuff close to you because if you don’t, there is a high chance that you won’t see them again.
Crossing the road
It’s an experience in itself. You will definitely understand what I mean when you see it. Traffic in Cairo is insane, hectic, and just crazy. Don’t stand in the middle of the road waiting for the cars to pass, you just have to move with the flow
In some museums and temples, you will have to pay extra if you want to take your camera inside. If you want to take good pictures, don’t try to hide your camera. I saw so many tourists arguing with the guards about it. Just pay the extra fee, it’s not that much.
What to pack for Egypt:
Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat – most of your activities most likely will be under the hot sun, so you don’t want to get sunburned.
Scarf – you can use it to cover your head when entering the mosque and to protect your skin.
Loose fit clothing – it won’t be comfortable to wear tight fit clothes in high temperatures $25 to pay for your entry visa at the airport
Hand sanitizer – I pack it for all my trips and it’s beneficial in a lot of situations.
Adaptor – depending on where you are from, you might need it, in Egypt they use European plug.
Anti-diarrhea pills – I didn’t use them, but still, I recommend taking them just in case.