Egypt

Best time to go and how to get there

Egypt: When to Go

Egypt gets sun all year round, but June, July and August are too hot for comfort, though this is low season in Egypt and prices drop. You’re better off avoiding Ramadan, when some businesses will close for the whole month. Finally, if you are travelling over holidays – Eid al-Adha, Ras an-Sana - expect the rest of Egypt to be competing for your seat. The dates for these holidays change every year, so check before planning your trip.

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TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

Getting There

NB, please do not rely solely on this information for your travel planning.

EGYPT: BY AIR

From the UK: carriers include Egyptair, easyJet, British Airways, Thomas Cook, TUI, Jet2, BMI.

Within Europe: try Egyptair.

From the USA: Egyptair.

Getting Around

Private transfers: The most time-efficient ways to move across the country and your hotel will be able to arrange one for you. Always carry your passport with you, as the police may ask to see it when you stop at a check point.

Internal flights: Unreliable at times but good for jumping large distances: see EgyptAir and Air Sinai (sister airline, no website).

Bus: Popular and easy. You should buy your ticket the day before you travel to ensure you get a seat. They are also good value.

Taxis and service taxis: Service taxis are minibuses that run locally and deviate to drop people off on the way - a great way to get about. Taxis are more expensive, but you get them to yourself and for many they are the best way to get about.

Train: You can travel overnight, but the service is limited and effectively runs between Alexandria, Cairo, Luxor and Aswan, stopping at towns along the way. Not all trains will take foreigners. Sleeping cars are available; more expensive, but better. For more info, see Seat 61.

Visa / Entry Requirements

Unless you're a citizen of Egypt or one of the surrounding Arabic countries, you will need a visa to enter the country. From May 2015 all visitors (unless part of a tour group) will be required to obtain a visa in advance of travel, via their local Egyptian embassy. More details from the British FCO and the Egyptian Consulate.

Other Essentials

Money
The Egyptian pound will prove more useful than dollars, Euros or British pounds. The only problem is that the highest note you are likely to see is a E€100 (€12), so you’ll have a wedge of them. Therefore, you might want to take along some dollars or Euros, too, and change them as you go along. There are ATMs in most towns, but they don’t always have money in them. Some banks will allow you to withdraw money on a credit card at the tiller’s window. You will need your passport to do this.

Health
You should be vaccinated against the following: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid. Make sure you have travel insurance to cover all medical emergencies and if you are ever unfortunate enough to need urgent help, insist on a private hospital.

It is not advisable to drink tap water and bottled water is not expensive. You should also carry sun block, a hat and mosquito repellent as you will need them.

Clothing
Egypt is a Muslim country and women especially should dress conservatively when in the streets; too much flesh can cause offence. It is fine to sunbathe by the pool of your hotel, but walking through the middle of Luxor in your bikini will not go down well with the locals. Please respect local custom and sensitivities.