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Egypt Travel Tips: 24 Essential Things You Should Know Before You Visit Egypt (2024)

Essential Egypt Travel Tips You Should Know in 2023

Travelling to Egypt? This Egypt travel tips guide will give you a detailed rundown of absolutely everything you should know before visiting Egypt. Including what to wear, tipping culture, scams, and loads of other useful hacks.

Egypt is awesome. Seeing its magnificent monuments and the mighty Nile will no doubt leave a lasting impression on you.

If you’re reading this, then there’s are good chance you have either booked your flights to Egypt  or you’re seriously considering going. Either way, that’s great! You’ve come to the right place and are in good hands.

You won’t regret deciding to travel to Egypt. I know  you will have a fabulous time.

How do I know that? Because you’re here reading this article!

You’re doing the right thing by researching and arming yourself with information. This is guide covers literally everything you need to know before visiting Egypt.

This is a very honest (and sometimes brutally honest)  guide. No sugar-coating. My intention is not to be a Debbie Downer. I simply want to prepare you, so you will have a wonderful time because there won’t be any nasty surprises.

You won’t find a more comprehensive guide out there on how to prepare for and what to expect in Egypt. I’ve literally poured all my knowledge (and then some!) into this guide because just like you, I was both excited about going to Egypt but also very anxious and probably a bit paranoid too.

With that in mind, here’s everything we’ll cover. Plus a bonus tip at the end you won’t want to miss!

Looking for something in particular? Use this table of contents below to jump around using the links.

Table of Contents

Why you should go to egypt, is it safe to travel to egypt.

  • Is Egypt Safe for Solo Female Travellers?
  • Survival Arabic Language Guide

When Should You Go to Egypt?

What is the safest way to travel around egypt.

  • Food and Upset Stomachs
  • Heat and Hydration
  • Vaccinations
  • Haggling and Bargaining
  • Nothing is free
  • Cairo Airport
  • Crossing the road
  • Photography
  • Camel Rides
  • School Children
  • Mosques and Religious Sites
  • Fridays and Saturdays
  • BONUS TIP: Fake Papyrus Scam

Egypt Travel Tips - Karnak Temple

Karnak Temple

There’s so much to love about Egypt and nothing comes close to experiencing it in in person and not through a TV screen. The history, the temples, the smells, the heat, the sand, the Nile and the moment when your eyes finally gaze up at the Pyramids of Giza. All along the Nile you can trace the Ancient Egyptians through history as you visit their impressive and carefully decorated temples and tombs. Learning about the Ancient Egyptians, how they lived, their beliefs, inventions, and actually seeing their creations is something that will stay with you forever. Egypt is simply a marvel that should be experienced by everyone.

Yes! It’s much safer than the media may lead you to believe. Which is probably why you’re here reading about this Egypt travel tips guide

As an Aussie, I always check the Australian Smart Traveller site for travel warnings. This is the equivalent of the travel warning list by the U.S Department of State for American citizens.

While Egypt is currently listed with a Level 2 travel warning (go to page 4 ) (True as of August 19, 2018), it’s important to remember that governments will always err on the side of caution.

There are four levels used. Where Level 1 means ‘exercise normal precautions’ and Level 4 means ‘do not travel’.

As you can see, this particular warning doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel. It just means that certain areas are better off being avoided and you just need to be more cautious when visiting them. That’s up to you to decide what you’re most comfortable with.

As of August 2018, the areas of Egypt which are flagged as dangerous are:

  • The Sinai Peninsula (with the exception of travel to Sharm El-Sheikh by air) due to terrorism.
  • The Western Desert due to terrorism.
  • Egyptian border areas due to military zones.

The site goes on to suggest ways in which you can reduce any risk:

  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Obtain comprehensive medical insurance ( get a free quote here ) that includes medical evacuation.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Egypt.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

There are other ways you can ensure your safety and help you to feel more confident with your decision to travel to Egypt. This is covered in a later section.

Because of all the negative attention Egypt has received, tourism has fallen drastically which is great for us travellers but not so great for the locals who depend on the tourist dollar.

With fewer visitors, there are also fewer scammers and smaller crowds at famous attractions. So, there is a silver lining.

On a more personal note, I felt safe during my entire Egypt trip which started in Cairo and went all the way down the Nile to Abu Simbel near the Sudan border.

If I can offer any addition peace of mind, it’s that tourist attractions are generally the safest areas to be in in Egypt as they are heavily guarded.

In addition to this, the locals who I met in hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, souks and the Telecom store where I bought my local SIM card, were all very helpful, kind, and friendly.

Is Egypt safe for solo female travellers?

Egypt Travel Tips - Pyramids Complex

Admiring the Pyramids

Yes! While Egypt is safe, as a female, you will feel a little bit uncomfortable. This feeling will come mainly in open public places such as walking down the street and in souks.

It’s in these places that you will find men loitering, either by themselves or with a couple of other men. I can only describe this as people watching as most of the time they are sitting on plastic chairs and watching the world go by, including us.

If you’re female, you will receive a lot of looks. In my experience they were harmless. If anything, it just made me feel a bit self-conscious.

Sometimes these men will try to start talking with you or guess where you’re from (they’re very good at getting this right, by the way). Somehow they can tell an Australian from an American just by looking or listening to us speak. Very clever cookies.

It’s at this point, you should do what a local Egyptian man told to me, and that is, to ignore them. Don’t even look at them. This will be enough to discourage them. It might seem like you’re being rude, but ultimately it will protect you.

I was told that the seemingly harmless conversations that start with something like guessing where you’re from, will eventually lead into being invited into their home, shop or restaurant, where they will offer you tea (a traditional welcoming custom), then after some more small talk, they will present you with something and insist you buy it. If you decline, they will get angry.

Okay, so I just painted a terrible picture, but it’s important to be aware of these things. I experienced this first-hand and didn’t know what had happened until my local guide told me that it’s a very common ploy.

Not all men are like this by the way. Just some that give the rest a bad name.

Let’s move on, shall we?

Survival Arabic Travel Phrase Language Guide

Knowing some Arabic ahead of travelling to Egypt is such a game changer. When you can show that you speak a bit of the Arabic language   and can recognise certain keywords, this will give you an extra layer of protection, especially when it comes to dealing with money.

Not only will you feel more in control, but locals will appreciate and respect your efforts to learn their language.

Here are 13 useful Egyptian Arabic words and phrases you should learn and use:

  • Hello – salam / marhaban / ahlan
  • Peace be with you – As-salāmu alaykum – Even though this literally means ‘peace be with you’, it is a commonly used greeting. The response would be Alaikum Salaam, meaning ‘upon you be peace’.
  • Thank you – shukran
  • Please – min fadlak (if you’re a male), min fadlik (if you’re a female)
  • Y ou’re welcome – Afwan
  • Yes – aywa, No – lā, Ok – Mashi
  • How much is this? – bi-kam da. You can say, I’ll pay 100 – Enna hafda meeya. Incidentally, if you say ‘meeya meeya’ (’100, 100′) this means ‘perfect’ or ‘really good’.
  • It costs too much – Da ghali awi
  • I would like… – momkin
  • I want – Enna iza (if you’re a female) or Enna ayez (if you’re a male). To negative the sentence, add ‘mish’. For example, ana mish iza/ayez (I don’t want)
  • I don’t understand – ana mish fahem
  • Go away – Em’shee
  • Pyramid – Haram. Most Egyptians don’t understand the word “Pyramids”, so make sure you learn the Arabic word for them, especially if you’re taking a taxi there. Haram also means. The strict translation of the Arabic word ‘harim’ means (a prohibited place) and is from the verbal root ‘harama’ (prohibited), designated as ‘haram’ (a pyramid). ( Source )

For more Arabic phrases, get my free Arabic travel phrases guide here. 

Between June and August, the temperature in Egypt is unbearable. While you may have the luxury of quiet tourist attractions and more hotel options, to be honest, in that heat you won’t want to do anything but relax in a pool somewhere.

The best time to visit Egypt is in Spring. The weather is pleasant and the major attractions such as the Pyramids of Giza, Aswan, and Luxor are still fairly quiet.

You’ll also benefit from cheaper hotel prices, especially if travelling either side of the high season which is December to February.

Avoid traveling during Ramadan.

Egypt Travel Tips - Safest way to get around Egypt

Cruising down the Nile at sunset

This is probably my top tip in this guide. It’s not Earth shattering, but it made all the difference to me and was the only way I could see myself travelling around Egypt and finally fulfil my childhood dream.

Go on an organised group tour!

To simplify and avoid overthinking everything, I knew that I had to travel with an organised group tour. That way I would have a local guide with me, I wouldn’t have to worry about transportation and other logistics and I could just concentrate on having a good time.

Choosing Topdeck to go to Egypt with was a no brainer, for two reasons. I’d already travelled with them before around Outback Australia and really rated my experience with them. The accommodation, transportation, guide and organisation was all spot on. Plus, I met some wonderful people that I’m still friends with.

The second reason (which might sound a bit silly) was that they are an Australian company, which I knew would put my dad’s mind at ease. I knew he would be super worried about me going. Even me living in London makes him worry!

By the way, remember that Egyptian guy I mentioned earlier who warned me about talking to strangers? That was our Topdeck tour manager, Ramzy. Top bloke!

Ramzy gave a bunch of useful tips, a language guide (on behalf of Topdeck), and was basically a kind of bodyboard who protected us from negative experiences and scared off a few scammers. This made all the difference. If you’re curious, I went on the Egypt Express tour . Book your Egypt tour here.

Now, let’s get into the niggity gritty of the everyday realities of travelling in Egypt.

Top 24 Egypt Travel Tips You Should Know Before You Visit Egypt

The tap water in Egypt is heavily chlorinated and tastes terrible. It’s okay for brushing your teeth with, but don’t drink it. Especially if you have a sensitive stomach. Buy bottled water. It’s easy to get and only costs 5 EGP (0.28 USD) for a 1-litre bottle.

2. Food and Upset Stomach

You’re in a foreign place with foreign food, diarrhoea will happen. To help prevent this, again, buy bottled water and check the seal isn’t broken. Avoid eating salads, raw vegetables, unpeeled fruit, and meat that isn’t thoroughly cooked. Don’t buy food from street vendors that don’t have running water. If you want an ice-cream, check that it hasn’t melted and been refrozen. If you do get an upset stomach, take diarrhoea relief tablets  and drink plenty of purified water  with fresh lime.

3. Heat and Hydration

Egypt Travel Tips - Dealing with heat and staying hydrated

Looking up at the Great Pyramid of Giza

Egypt gets hot, obviously. You’re in the desert! Dehydration, sunburn and heat exhaustion are common, especially in Upper Egypt. As your sweat evaporates you may not realise how dehydrated you are.

If you’re travelling outside of winter, then I highly recommend wearing loose-fitting clothes made of natural fibre. Keep up your fluids up by carrying around this travel bottle  and add a bit of extra salt to your food to replace salts lost in sweat. Pack electrolyte tablets to take just in case you feel unwell.

If you need further medical assistance, Egyptian pharmacists generally speak English and can be trusted to provide sound advice and help you find a doctor if needed.

4. Vaccinations

Officially, visitors to Egypt do not require any vaccinations unless you’re coming from an infected area. However, there are some vaccinations you should get or have topped up as a precaution.

Check with yourr GP what they recommend. Beyond ensuring your tetanus and polio is up to date, other common recommendations include getting vaccinations against typhoid, Hepatitis A and B, and rabies. Rabies is a problem throughout Egypt, so avoid touching stray animals such as cats, dogs, monkeys, and bats.

Money and Valuables

5. currency.

Egypt Travel Tips - Currency - Egyptian Pounds and Piastres

Remember the difference between 50 Piastres (top) and 50 Egyptian Pounds (bottom)

The unit of currency used in Egypt is the Egyptian pound, written £E or LE. The Egyptian pound is divided into piastres (pt). My top tip is to recognise the difference between the 50 pt against the 50 Egyptian Pound notes since they are very different in value.

Make sure that if you’re given change or are paying for something, that you’re not duped into thinking that 50 piastres (or cents) is the 50 Egyptian pounds note. This is a common scam that is used on unsuspecting tourists. When I found out about this, I made sure I kept both denominations on me so I could tell them apart. Compare the difference of the 50 pt and 50 LE in the photo above.

Another word to add your vocab is ‘baksheesh’, which means ‘tip’. You’ll hear this one a lot and it will be expected for anything and everything. Tipping locals for their services is expected and a way of life in Egypt.

Many Egyptians are paid such low salaries that receiving tips is an important part of their income. But rest assured you won’t have to fork out much.

In restaurants, it’s normal to round up the bill or give 10 per cent directly to the waiter. Smaller tips (0.25 piastres to 1 EGP) are given to the likes of lavatory attendants, porters, and anyone willing to bend the rules a bit like letting you enter a site after hours or taking a photo in a restricted area.

While the rules are often bent in Egypt, authorities are cracking down on certain things (like being able to take a photo inside King Tuts tomb) with hefty fines. Don’t risk offering money just to get your way.

7. Haggling and Bargaining

One of the best things to do in Egypt is to visit a souk market. When browsing comes to buying and you ask, bi-kam da? (How much is it?) be prepared to bargain hard or walk away. As a general rule, offer one third of the asking price and expect to pay half.

8. Nothing is free

Egypt Travel Tips - Karnak Temple

Taking a sneaky photo at Karnak Temple without being spotted

Want to take a photo of a camel at the Pyramids? If the owner catches you look, he will probably demand to be paid.

I learned this lesson the hard way. I was at least 20 metres away when I was spotted taking a photo of a camel resting. It’s up to you if you choose to offer the owner something and if you feel like you’ve done something wrong.

A similar incident happened when I was at Philae Temple. Three men were talking amongst themselves and with the temple behind them I thought it would make a great shot. With at least 50 metres between us , I took the shot. They spotted me and came over and offered to have a group photo. By this point I knew the drill and was happy to give them a little baksheesh.

9. Belongings

It goes without saying that you should always keep your valuables with you. Decide on whether or not you feel comfortable  leaving your passport, laptop or iPad in the hotel room safe or if you’re better off keeping it on you. Using a PacSafe is a great option if you want to leave stuff in your room and there is no safe available.

If you go on a tour, don’t leave anything valuable on the bus, even if the driver is around. They can’t be responsible if something happens.

egypt travel 24

What to Wear

10. clothing.

Egypt Travel Tips - Souks and Markets - Khan el-Khalili

Khan el-Khalili market in Cairo

Egypt is dusty, sandy, and dirty. Your clothes will dirty easily and you’ll be washing your hair most nights. Be prepared to rinse out your clothes each night ( this will do the trick ) or pack extra items to wear.

So, what should you wear? As a general rule, wear loose-fitting clothes that are made of breathable material.

Ladies, it’s a bit more complicated for us. While Egypt is one of the more liberal Islamic countries, it has become more conservative in recent years with many women wearing a hijab or headscarf. Female tourists aren’t obligated to wear these but you may feel more at ease doing so, especially in mosques.

As a general rule, avoid showing your chest, shoulders or legs below the knees.

At this point you’re probably looking at my photos wondering why I didn’t cover up my legs, and you’re right! I did pack longer dresses, but when Ramzy told the group that it’s ok to wear shorts and normal summer attire when visiting monuments such as the Pyramids and the temples along the Nile, I felt comfortable in taking his advice.

The only exception he made was when visiting mosques, markets or souks. Which is why you’ll see me wearing long pants in the photo above in Khan el-Khalili souk in Cairo.

If you’re a female travelling alone, place ring on your wedding finger, this will show respectability.

11. Footwear

However hot and tempting it maybe to wear flip flops, with all the dirt, sand and grime present, I recommend wearing closed toe shoes.

You’re going to be doing a lot of walking in some pretty unclean areas and the last thing you want is having dirty feet all day.

Getting Around and Transportation

You need a visa! For Americans and Aussies, and a few other countries, you can either apply in advance for an Egypt e-Visa , or queue at the border for a visa on arrival.

For most travellers, the visa will cost roughly $USD25 (single entry, valid for 30 days) or $USD35 (multi-entry). Since I travelled with Topdeck, they organised my visa once I arrived. All I had to do was bring American Dollars to pay for it. Only American Dollars or Egyptian Pounds are accepted. In addition to your visa, ensure your passport is valid six months beyond your planned date of entry.

Taxis are cheap and easy to use. Simply go to a main street and wave your hand, that’s it. They even have Uber if you prefer!  Just be sure he follows the GPS.

Before jumping in the taxi, agree on the price beforehand and stick to it. Not matter what reason they come up with. For getting around Cairo, you can expect to pay 50 to 80 EGP. (2.70 – 4.50 USD).

If you’re staying in Downtown Cairo, getting to the Pyramids should only take 30 minutes, but Cairo has very busy roads so it can take 60-90 minutes.

There are three kinds of taxis in Cairo: Black Taxis, Yellow Taxis and White Taxis. Black taxis are the oldest ones. Most are without a meter and without air-conditioning. White taxis are the modern equivalent of black taxi. They have a meter and air-conditioning. Yellow taxis are professionally run and can be booked over the phone but are the most expensive. I recommend getting a white taxi and bargaining hard.

14. Air travel

With raised safety concerns in Egypt, some airlines like British Airways are becoming more strict with what you can take in your carry-on luggage or even in your checked luggage.

I flew both ways with British Airways but they only had an issue when returning to the UK. They had very strict guidelines on what size lithium batteries were allowed on board.

A bunch of us were fuming when we were forced to leave behind expensive powerbanks which we weren’t reimbursed for or given alternatively means of keeping them. To give you an idea, this is the one I had to part with. *sniff*.

Air France, who were also flying that day but didn’t have this rule. Check with your airline ahead of travelling so you’re not caught out and left out of pocket.

15. Cairo Airport

Cairo Airport is unlike any airport you’ve experienced. Upon arrival, everything seems pretty standard until after you go through passport control.

Once you pick up your luggage and head to the exit, there will probably be a massive long queue that wraps around the luggage collection hall. Guarding the exit is one or two men who will look you up and down and decide if they want to check your luggage.

Since we were with a Topdeck escort who came to help us get a visa and take us to the hotel, he was on familiar terms with the airport staff and was able to get us through quickly.

Once we got through to the other side, our escort disappeared briefly to hand back a permit he was given in order to come and meet us inside. This is just another reason why travelling with an organised tour is great.

If, at the end of your trip you leave via Cairo Airport, be prepared for three separate security checks; one as soon as you enter the airport at the entrance, one at customs, then another at the gate. The first one is where they’ll flag any illegal objects like my poor powerbank .

16. Crossing the road

Crossing the road in Cairo is a skill. If you’ve ever been to Rome  and stared down a driver then confidently walked out into a busy street, then you’re well-prepared for Cairo.

If locals see you struggling to cross, they will either let you join their own crossing convoy or come and assist you.

If you’re still too nervous to go it alone, you have some other options for crossing the road:

  • Wait for a lull in the traffic before crossing (this may take a while).
  • If possible, cross where there is only 1 or 2 lanes of traffic. Don’t stop in the middle of the road between the two lanes either. Cars will drive dangerously close to you while you wait for the other lane to have an opening.
  • Ask someone to join them as they cross. If they can’t understand English, simply smile and indicate to the other side of the road.
  • Find a policeman to help you, there are plenty around.

17. Driving

Whilst driving from Cairo to Luxor during the night, I noticed that many drivers didn’t have their headlights on. This is totally normal and nothing to be concerned about. Egyptians believe they see better this way.

When a car is approaching, they’ll flash their lights to let them know they’re there. Some drivers may keep their fog lights on. If you’re wondering, our Topdeck driver kept his headlights on.

Cultural Tips and Other Useful Tips

18. photography.

Egypt Travel Tips - Pyramid of Khafre and satellite pyramid

You will have to pay a small fee to take your camera inside the Pyramids Complex

Want to take your camera with you? Be prepared to pay for it!

Whether you want to take photos or film video, every monument, temple, tomb and museum you visit will charge a small fee just to take it inside. Expect to pay anything from 50 to 100 EGP (2.70 – 5.60 USD).

I was even charged extra when guards are Philae temple saw my tripod. At first they wouldn’t let me take it at all then they came around when I said I wouldn’t use it so they charged me for another camera ticket.

Once inside, flash photography is generally forbidden and should be strictly followed.

19. Camel Rides

Egypt Travel Tips - Camel rides

Camel and horse rides at the Pyramids of Giza

Going on a camel ride and taking a photo with the pyramids behind you is one of the most desired tourist souvenirs from a trip to Egypt.

If you know that going on a camel ride around the pyramids is something you definitely want to do, you may (and I hope), reconsider once you arrive and see how malnourished and badly treated the camels, and horses for that matter, are.

Egypt is a third-world country and many citizens are living in a state of desperation. As such, the men who run these camel rides prioritise feeding their families over feeding their camels. While they may have their priorities right, I can’t bring myself to support them. This has only become worse since tourism has declined.

If you do choose to take a camel ride, make sure you’re not hassled into paying more than the fair price. In order to crack down on scamming tourist signs have now been put up showing set prices for camel rides which are 50 Egyptian Pounds for 30 minutes.

Make sure you check out my guide on everything you need to know about visiting the Pyramids.

20. Toilets

Public toilets in Egypt are not the best, and that’s putting it lightly.

A trip to the loo will set you back 1 or 2 EGP and give you access to either a squat or western toilet. They generally don’t have toilet paper, are dirty, and the tap water may not be running. Bring your own toilet paper ( these flushable wipes are great ), hand sanitizer, and wipe down the seat if you must sit or get one of these.

There will usually be a hose next to the toilet, but the water will only be turned on if you pay a baksheesh.

Toilets in restaurants and hotels are usually staffed by an attendant who will give you toilet paper and turn on the tap for you. Giving a baksheesh of 25 – 50 piastres is standard.

21. School Children

You might feel famous when travelling around Egypt. At least that’s how the students in large school groups will make you think,

On countless occasions, at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the Pyramids, and Karnak Temple, young kids would run up to us asking for selfies or yell out and wave as our group walked passed. They were so excited and interested in us.

When I asked Ramzy why, he said that we are sort of celebrities to them. They watch people like us on TV who have very different lives from their own so they get excited when they see us in their country.

It’s actually very sweet. However, if you say yes to one, they’ll all come running. It’s best to politely decline from the start.

22. Mosques and Religious Sites

Egypt Travel Tips - Visiting Mosques

A beautiful Mosque on the Nile

Dressing modestly is a must when visiting mosques. Some places may ask women to cover their hair and will provide you with a headscarf. Before entering you will be required to remove your shoes and leave them with a shoe custodian (give him a baksheesh).

If you want to climb the minaret (tower), carry your shoes with the soles pressed together. It’s best to avoid visiting mosques during prayer times as to not intrude on worshippers.

23. Smoking

Everywhere you go, everyone will be smoking. Whether it’s a cigarette or shisha water-pipe, if you’re a non-smoker it can get really annoying.

Smokers are allowed to light up pretty much anywhere. The only exception is in fast-food restaurants thanks to an initiative by the environment ministry.

Restaurants have non-smoking tables, but these are almost pointless since they are surrounded by smoking tables. If you’re outside, try and stay upwind and always ask for a non-smoking room in your hotel.

24. Fridays and Saturdays

As in most Arab countries, their weekend falls on a Friday and Saturday. This means tourist attractions are much more busy on these days than the rest of the week.

I strongly recommend not visiting the Pyramids, Cairo Tower or the Egyptian Museum in Cairo on either of these days. The queues will be torture.

25. BONUS TIP: Fake Papyrus Scam

Egypt Travel Tips - Fake papyrus scam

Lady writing my name in hieroglyphics on real papyrus

The Ancient Egyptians were one of the first to master the production of paper, known as papyrus. One of the nicest souvenirs you can get after a trip to Egypt is a papyrus print. But, there is a very common scam take catches out many tourists. Fake papyrus!

In many markets and other street vendors will sell fake papyrus that is actually made from banana leaf, not the papyrus plant. These will be cheaper than the real thing.

So, how do you spot a fake papyrus? Easy! First, notice how these vendors show or display their “papyrus”, it’s stiff, like cardboard and will tear when rolled which is why they’ll never roll it. Real papyrus is strong, flexible and durable and can be rolled up. Second, hold the papyrus up to the light, you should be able to see vertical and horizontal strips that make up the papyrus sheet, within these strips you should see little dark fibres or flecks. This is a good sign!

I hope this guide has helped you feel more prepared for your trip to Egypt. Remember, every country has its quirks. If things were the same as home, you wouldn’t be visiting.

I would go back to Egypt in a heartbeat. Everything I saw blew me away. It’s such an incredible country with a wonderful history. The locals are welcoming and it’s very cheap to travel to.

If you still have any questions or concerns, please reach out and leave a comment below. I’d be happy to help where I can. If not, then I wish you a wonderful trip! Support this blog and book your Egypt tour here.

Shukran for reading! 😉

Take a day trip from Cairo

  • Alexandria Day Tour: See the city built by Alexander the Great
  • Private Full-Day Tour of Historical Alexandria from Cairo
  • Pyramids of Giza, Sakkara & Memphis: Private Tour with Lunch
  • Pyramids, Museum & Bazaar Private Tour with Entrance & Lunch
  • Cairo: Dinner Cruise on the Nile River with Entertainment
  • Cairo: Egyptian Museum 4-Hour Private Tour with Transfer
  • Cairo: 1 or 2-Hour Felucca Ride on the Nile with Transfers
  • Old Cairo and Khan El Khalili Bazaar: Private Half-Day Tour
  • Cairo: Best Kept Secrets Night Tour
  • Plus loads more here …

Let me remind you again why Egypt is amazing and watch my Egypt vlog below.

Going to Egypt? Get my free Arabic travel phrase guide.

Like it? Pin it for later

Essential Egypt Travel Tips You Should Know

Sources Eyewitness Egypt

Over to you!

Which of these tips did you find the most useful? Is there anything you would add? Tell me below! Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

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Michele creates language learning guides and courses for travel. What separates her from other instructors is her ability to explain complex grammar in a no-nonsense, straightforward manner using her unique 80/20 method. Get her free guide 9 reasons you’re not fluent…YET & how to fix it! Planning a trip? Learn the local language with her 80/20 method for less than the cost of eating at a tourist trap restaurant Start learning today!

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Thank you so much for all the information.

Looking forward for a trip to Egypt !!

My pleasure! Have a wonderful trip 🙂

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Hi Michele, a lovely and useful article to read! Just wanted to check with you about passport safety: was it with you at all times, or you left it in your hotel room? Also – when entering Egypt have you been questioned about what, if any medication you had with you – as some over the counter meds in Europe or US can be problematic to bring into Egypt? Thank you!

Hi Jo, thank you so much and thank you for your questions. Yes, I always carried my passport on me. In fact, I do this wherever I travel. I would also ensure you have a photocopy in your luggage and a copy saved on your phone or on the cloud as an extra safety measure. When it comes to medication, I would email the airport directly for any questions you have. I was worried when flying from London to NY after I had heard that you can’t take a certain quantity of protein powder in your luggage. I emailed US customs and they said it was ok. I also kept a copy of that email on me and on my phone and was ready to show the customs officers on arrival if I had any issues. This is good practice as the problem with customs is that it’s sometimes open to interpretation and depends on how the officers feel on the day. I hope this helps 🙂 Have a wonderful trip!

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Where do you recommend converting US $$ to LE and what volume of notes should I get to handle all the tipping. If at airport, is this best done before the border/customs or after? Thanks!

Hi David, before arriving, I ordered some USD so I would have enough to pay for my visa on arrival and have some money for incidentals. I had heard that they accept both USD and Egyptian Pounds at the airport. The tour company I travelled with had a guide on the ground who helped me through this process and I knew I need 100USD to pay for the visa. The rest of the time I used Egyptian Pounds. There is no tipping culture like the USA, so you can tip if you like but it’s not always necessary.

Hi David, before arriving, I ordered some USD so I would have enough to pay for my visa on arrival and have some money for incidentals. I had heard that they accept both USD and Egyptian Pounds at the airport. The tour company I travelled with had a guide on the ground who helped me through this process and I knew I need 100USD to pay for the visa. The rest of the time I used Egyptian Pounds. There is no tipping culture like the USA, so you can tip if you like but it’s not always necessary.

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Hi, I have read and re-read this several times. Thank you. I’m going with a friend to Egypt early March and want to go on organised trips but I’m disabled and can only walk very slowly. In other countries I’ve just let the group go ahead and done my own thing then joined back at the coach. Is this a good idea in Egypt or can I hire an electric mobility scooter while there.

Hi Gabrielle, I’m not 100% sure how this works and it will vary depending on the accessibility of the group tour company. I would reach out to them directly for advice before booking. Best of luck and I hope it works out 🙂

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Hello, thank you for your honesty. I enjoyed reading all of your tips. I am considering going in February from the 19th to the 24th. Do you think this is enough time to see everything you saw?

Hi Caroline, I went on a Top Deck tour, this is the best way to ensure you that we see everything and safely too. I highly recommend it. You can see the tour I did here

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Great info! Where did you take your photos??? THEY. ARE. FABULOUS.

Thank you SO much, Naomi. I took them during my Top Deck tour around Egypt . I highly recommend it! 🙂

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This has been helpful and has eased my mind about travelling to Egypt. Going in a tour group, can’t wait ! 😀

I’m so happy to hear that. You’re very welcome, Jacinda 🙂

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Thank you so much for such a wonderful article, I can’t wait to land egypt.

Thank you so much, Priya 🙂

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Egypt Travel Guide

Sail the Nile River and discover the land of mysteries. Pyramids, ancient temples, and artifacts.

Best time to visit Egypt

Best places to visit in egypt, egypt travel guide: best places to visit, 7 best things to do in cairo, egypt, visit the colorful nubian villages in egypt, 7 best things to do in luxor, egypt, map of egypt, weather in egypt.

Egypt’s weather is dry year-round, seeing very little rain. Summers are intense, experiencing high temperatures that can reach 40°C. Visiting between October and April is much more bearable, with comfortable temperatures making it perfect for exploring.

How to get a visa for Egypt

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  • Get a Visa via iVisa
  • How to pack light for your trip
  • How to plan your trip our tips

Why is Egypt worth visiting?

Egypt is a living history book. Wander the ancient temples and the world-famous pyramids, explore beautiful landscapes and colorful villages, or relax on golden beaches and dive into the vibrant waters of the Red Sea; Egypt is full of wonders.

Is Egypt cheap to visit?

Egypt is a budget-friendly treasure trove! While luxury experiences are available, with hostels starting from $10 per night and meals for just $4, it’s easy to experience the country’s incredible sights without breaking the bank.

Can I drink tap water in Egypt?

It’s recommended to steer clear of tap water throughout Egypt. Stay refreshed by bringing a reusable water bottle, refilling at your hotel and restaurants with filtered water, or getting an in-built filter system.

Do I need a visa for traveling in Egypt?

Nearly all countries require a visa to enter Egypt. Thankfully, getting a single entry visa (valid for a maximum of 30 days) is a relatively simple process, either purchasing it online, at the Egyptian embassy, or on arrival.

Wha​​t language do they speak in Egypt?

Arabic is the official language spoken in Egypt, with different dialects depending on the region. The majority of the population can also speak English, so you’ll have no problem connecting with locals as you travel around Egypt.

Do I need travel insurance for Egypt?

Travel insurance protects you wherever you go. From unexpected medical emergencies to lost luggage, ensuring your holiday in Egypt is worry-free.

Is Egypt safe?

Egypt is a relatively safe place for travelers. Crime rates are low, but expect scam artists and pickpocketers in tourist hotspots. Staying cautious means you can explore this mysterious country worry-free.

What power plug type does Egypt have?

Type C and F are the two types of plugs used in Egypt. They have two round pins, but type F also has two earth clips on the side. Purchasing an international plug adapter ensures you’ll always have the correct plug type, keeping you connected as you explore ancient wonders.

Why do people love Egypt?

Egypt is a country steeped in history and cultural treasures, enticing travelers from all over the world. With the mystical allure of the pyramids and temples, passion from the locals, and the enticing Red Sea, Egypt is a unique place that captivates the hearts of many. 

Travel to Egypt 

A destination full of mysteries, Egypt feels like stepping back in time. From the iconic Pyramids of Giza to the bustling markets of Cairo , Egypt is a treasure trove of history and adventure. It is a place where landscapes vary, home to bustling cities, colorful villages, crystal clear salt lakes, vast deserts full of artifacts and rock formations, tranquil rivers, and magnificent coastlines with bright blue sea. A vacation in Egypt offers endless wonders to see! 

How to plan your trip to Egypt

Due to being a time-consuming destination to travel around, we’d recommend following our 10-day Egypt travel guide to visit some of the best places in Egypt without feeling rushed. Spend your days getting lost in the chaotic city of Cairo , wandering around the world’s largest open-air museum in Luxor , sailing down the Nile to Aswan, taking in the incredible sight that is Abu Simbel, and strolling the colorful Nubian village . End your trip by relaxing and snorkeling at the chilled backpacker town of Dahab on the Red Sea. 

Tip: Travel in Egypt can be a little hectic, so joining a tour can be a great way to see the country. Find the best tours . 

Egypt is stunning year-round, seeing limited rainfall and beautiful sunny days. With varying temperatures throughout the year, choosing the best time to visit Egypt depends on your preferences. 

Summer: The summer months in Egypt can get extremely hot, making exploring all the incredible sights a little unbearable. But if you’re planning to bask in the sun at one of the beach towns or looking for the best chance to spot hammerhead sharks and dolphins during your diving adventures, this may be the perfect time to visit. 

Winter: From October until April, the weather in Egypt is at its best. The temperature in the daytime is much more comfortable, and nights are cool and refreshing, perfect for backpacking around the beautiful country and visiting the historic desert sites. December and January can be very busy, so it’s worth avoiding these months.

Coastlines and beaches in Egypt

Beyond the iconic temples and pyramids, Egypt boasts stunning coastlines ready for sun-seekers and ocean enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for serenity or adventure, Egypt beaches are a haven for all. 

Along Egypt’s eastern coast, the Red Sea has some of the world’s most spectacular underwater landscapes, with unspoiled coral reefs teeming with marine life. From the lively beach town of Sharm El Sheikh, ideal for those who prefer staying in resorts, to the chilled, laid-back charm of Dahab, home to the Blue Hole, the Red Sea is one of the best places to visit for adventure seekers and nature lovers, catering to every type of traveler. 

For those looking for pristine white sand beaches with historic charm, the Mediterranean Sea on Egypt’s northern coastline is the place to go. The towns of Marsa Matruh and El Alamein not only have breathtaking white sand beaches and lagoons but also show remnants from WWII. 

Egypt’s coastlines are vibrant and full of life, offering the perfect blend of relaxation and exploration. Whether you’re diving into the colorful underwater world of the Red Sea or strolling along the shores of the Mediterranean, Egypt’s beaches are nothing short of spectacular! 

Food, culture and religion in Egypt:

Hearing the peaceful calls to prayer, experiencing the aromas wafting through the bustling souks, and exploring the ancient temples, Egypt is a land where history and culture combine, creating something magical. 

Egyptian cuisine is simple and full of spices, heavily influenced by Middle Eastern and African dishes and incorporating Mediterranean flavors, with unique dishes like Koshari, Egypt’s national dish (a mix of fried rice, pasta, and lentils topped with spicy tomato sauce and crispy fried onions), or the ancient dish of Ful Medames, made with slow-coked fava beans, cumin, and olive oil. With the majority of the population following the Islamic faith, food is a social occasion traditionally consisting of many dishes to enjoy. 

Beyond the cuisine, Egypt’s culture is shaped by its long history and religious influences. From magnificent temples and lively souks to the warmth of the locals eager to share stories and family honor, you’ll experience a deeper understanding of the cultural richness that defines Egypt as you travel through the bustling streets and historic sites.

Why you should travel to Egypt:

A journey through Egypt will leave you speechless. Whether you seek adventure in the boundless deserts, relaxation on pristine beaches, or to immerse yourself in ancient history, there are many amazing things to do in Egypt . 

With a sunny climate year-round and the opportunity to travel on any budget, Egypt is an extraordinary destination to explore. Wake up to the birds chirping and the call to prayer as you sail down the Nile, visiting mesmerizing destinations like Aswan and Luxor en route. Head off the beaten track to the breathtaking natural beauty of the salt lakes in Siwa Oasis and the rock formations in the White Desert National Park. Unwind in the many coastal towns full of colorful marine life. Don’t miss this unique and unforgettable destination! 

Safety and travel advice Egypt

When it comes to safety in Egypt , it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest travel advice to ensure you have a fantastic, risk-free adventure. 

Natural Disasters: Natural disasters, like earthquakes and sand storms, are fairly rare in Egypt but can happen. Register your trip with the embassy to receive emergency updates when traveling through Egypt. 

Crime and Safety in Egypt : Petty crime can occur in tourist hotspots, particularly focusing on scamming travelers. For instance, if you’re told there is a shortcut or the entrance you’re heading to is closed, it’s almost certain that isn’t the case, and they’re trying to get some money from you. Downloading offline maps so you always know where you’re heading and keeping your wits about you will prevent these experiences. 

While this shouldn’t deter you from visiting this mysterious landscape, Egypt is at risk of terrorism, so always stay vigilant and follow advice from local authorities. 

Learn more about travel safety .

Traffic: Traffic in Egypt can be hectic, particularly in Cairo, and road conditions can be poor.  It’s worth using taxis, hiring a driver, or joining an organized tour rather than driving yourself while on your vacation in Egypt. 

Travel Insurance: We highly recommend getting travel insurance for your holiday in Egypt . With many outdoor and adventurous activities you can do, like hot air balloon rides, diving, and quad biking, having insurance allows you to enjoy these experiences with full peace of mind. It’ll also cover you if your luggage gets lost or your flights get canceled. 

Find the best travel insurance .

Egypt Trips & Tour Packages

Group of travellers marvel at the pyramids in Cairo

Awesome ancient wonders, endless golden sands and atmospheric local souqs make Egypt the ultimate travel destination.

You’ve got to see it to believe it in Egypt – the chaos of Cairo (seriously, this city never stops); the bustling bazaars; the imposing glory of the Pyramids of Giza, and the world’s most famous lion with a human head (the iconic Sphinx).Only in Egypt can you sail into the sunset on a felucca cruise along the Nile, marvel at the world's most spectacular temple complexes, wander through Luxor’s Valley of the Kings, and then float facing towards the sky in the glittering expanse of the Red Sea. Take a moment as time stands still in Egypt.

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Egypt at a glance

Capital city.

Cairo (population 9.4 million)

107.5 million

Egyptian pound (EGP)

(GMT+02:00) Cairo



Type C (European 2-pin)

Learn more about Egypt

Best time to visit egypt.

Egypt is blessed with lots of sunshine and very little rain. Generally, the hottest months are June to August, and the coolest month is January. Rainfall is negligible, except on the coast, with rain usually occurring during the winter months (December to March).

During the summer months (from June to August), daily temperatures can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) - perfect for snorkeling and soaking up the sun on the beaches of Sinai, but can prove challenging for some in the crowded streets and souqs of Cairo.

Choose to escape the crowds by traveling from March to May or September to November when the weather is milder, and there's the opportunity to experience Egypt during Ramadan and the celebrations of Eid (which marks the breaking of the fast). If you are planning to travel during Ramadan, it's important to consider that many restaurants and shops will either be closed or operating at reduced hours.

Read more about the best time to visit Egypt

Culture and customs

Life in Egypt has been in a state of flux since the 2011 revolution. Many of the issues that motivated so many to take to the streets in protest continue to be points of contention, but Egyptians remain hopeful, relying on religion, family and humor to get them through, like they have for thousands of years. A strong sense of community binds people across the country. Families and communities support each other and there is a prevailing sense that everyone is in it together. For all these reasons, most express great pride in being Egyptian, despite their nation’s recent turmoil.

As a largely Muslim country (about 90% of the population is Muslim while most of the remaining 10% identify as Coptic Christian), Islam permeates daily activities. Life revolves around the five daily prayers and everything is closed on Friday, the Muslim holy day. A wide array of cultural norms, including how people dress and interact with the opposite sex, are influenced by religion. Women are largely defined by their role as a mother and matron of the house, whereas men are expected to be the provider.

Many Egyptians consider their country the gateway between the West and the rest of the Arab world, and take pride in their ability to mix tradition with modern influences. This mixing is most apparent in major cities, such as Cairo and Alexandria, where American fast-food chains can be found next to traditional cafes, secular attitudes are more common, and pop music rings through city streets.

Food and drink

With fragrant spices, fresh fruit and vegetables, and delicious sweets on offer, culinary adventures in Egypt are guaranteed. On many Intrepid trips you'll be given the opportunity to dine with a local family – this offers a great chance to see how meals are prepared and learn more about the ingredients.

Things to try in Egypt

1. Hamam mahshi

A north African delicacy, hamam – roasted pigeon stuffed with cracked wheat and rice – can be found on the menu of most traditional Egyptian restaurants. You may need a few to fill up though, as they don’t contain a lot of meat. And be careful of all the tiny bones.

2. Ta'ameya (falafel)

Crunchy on the outside, and moist on the inside, these deep-fried balls of spiced fava beans are a Middle Eastern vegetarian staple. Usually served in a pita with salad, pickles, and sesame-based tahina - buy it at a street stall for a quick, cheap meal.

Shops specializing in this popular ‘poor man’s dish’ can be found throughout Cairo. A hearty mix of rice, macaroni and lentils, chickpeas, and fried onions, koshary is topped with a tomato-vinegar sauce.

4. Ful medames

Don't leave Egypt without trying the classic dish of ful medames, which can be traced back to pharaonic times. Consisting of slow-cooked fava beans, served with olive oil, parsley, garlic, and lemon juice - add some spice by seasoning with chili paste and eat with bread.

5. Pastries

Delicious, sweet pastries are found in restaurants, markets, and cafes in Egypt. Never was there a better time to live by the adage ‘Life is short, eat dessert first’.

Egypt is a mostly Muslim country, and any consumption of alcohol here is relatively low-key. There are many fantastic alternatives. Juice stands are common on main streets offering freshly squeezed banana, guava, or mango juice. Karkadai is a chilled, crimson drink brewed from hibiscus leaves (served hot in the winter). And tea (or shai) is the beverage of choice for most Egyptians, which is sipped throughout the day and with meals.

Read more about what to eat in Egypt

Read more about what to drink in Egypt

Geography and environment

Located in the northeast corner of Africa, Egypt shares its borders with Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Libya, and Sudan, as well as the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the east. The two seas are connected by the man-made Suez Canal.

The remote triangle-shaped peninsula is largely characterized by limestone and desert, but also has a vibrant coral reef along the Red Sea coastline. Hot, dry desert covers most of the country’s terrain, with the Western Desert occupying much of the west, and the Arabian (or Eastern) Desert stretching the length of the eastern coast. These two regions are dissected by the Nile River, which runs the length of the country, emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile Valley, a narrow fertile band extending from the river, is the country’s only fertile land and where 98% of the population lives.

History and government

Recent history.

Napoleon Bonaparte, the infamous pint-sized French leader, invaded Egypt in 1798, seeking to set up a French colony. However, not long after, the French were repelled, and Egypt became a part of the Ottoman Empire once again.

From 1882, the British Army occupied Egypt to protect the Suez Canal. Muhammad Ali officially ruled from the early 1800s, and his family and successors continued to rule for decades (alongside and during British occupation) until overthrown by a military coup in 1952.

During World War II, Egypt became a crucial element in Britain's defense. The Italian Army tried to advance into Egypt in 1940 but was stopped by the British Army at Mersa Matruh. Egypt continued to serve as a vital base for British troops during World War II and despite the disruption, Egypt's shopkeepers and retail trade benefitted from the thousands of Allied troops staying in Egypt.

In 1953, Egypt was officially declared a republic, and a year later, Colonel Nasser was declared Prime Minister, then President. In 1979, after decades of confrontation with neighboring Israel, the historic Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty was signed. This agreement made Egypt the first Arab country to officially recognize Israel as a country - a significant step in the peace process. More recently, in February 2011, large-scale protests and mass demonstrations resulted in the removal of President Mubarak after decades of autocratic rule.

Early history

Ancient Egypt has been the focus of much fascination, investigation, speculation, and intrigue. It's hard to escape the education system without having studied Ancient Egypt in some way. Drawn in by the mighty pyramids, mysterious hieroglyphics, distinct burial rituals and animal-headed gods - scholars, students, historians, and travelers are all amazed by this civilization which has endured cycles of dynastic rule, invasion, and natural disasters.

Through key archaeological finds, historians have been able to unravel some of the mysteries of this great land. What is known is that the daily life of the average Egyptian usually involved working in agriculture with the waters of the Nile providing fertile ground for planting crops. Egyptians usually lived in modest homes with children and domestic pets. Professions were usually inherited - so if your father was a farmer, then so were you.

While most Egyptians led simple lives, dynasties of Pharaohs led lavish lifestyles, with the most well-known being Ramses II, Hatshepsut, Akhenaten, Tutankhamun, and Cleopatra. Huge monuments, imposing pyramids, golden artifacts, and detailed paintings all hold details about pharaonic rule and succession, as well as commonly held beliefs about religion and the afterlife.

Spanning centuries and full of drama worthy of a soap opera, the epic history of Ancient Egypt is complex and we suggest you read about it before visiting.

Top places to visit in Egypt

1. nile river.

Sail down the mighty Nile River on a traditional Egyptian felucca.

Trip: Egypt Experience

Trip: Explore Egypt & Jordan

Dive into the warm, glittering waters of the Red Sea on a snorkeling adventure in Hurghada.

Trip: Jordan & Egypt Express

Trip: Explore Egypt

Trip: Egypt Family Holiday

3. Alexandria

Discover the historic wonders of Alexandria, an ancient port city that locals call the Bride of the Mediterranean Sea.

Trip: Jordan & Egypt Uncovered

Experience the bustling energy of Cairo and shop for souvenirs at Cairo's Khan al-Khalili bazaar.

Trip: Egypt Adventure

5. Mt Sinai

Hike to the summit of Mt Sinai, which many believe is where Moses received the ten commandments.

Trip: Discover Egypt & Jordan

Explore the impressive chapels, pylons and obelisks of Karnak Temple.

Trip: Egypt, Jordan, Isreal & the Palestinian Territories

7. Abu Simbel

These massive monuments dedicated to Ramses II and Queen Nefertari are seriously impressive.

8. Valley of the Kings

King Tut’s treasures may be long gone, but his hieroglyphic-covered tomb remains an incredible sight to see.

Trip: Essential Egypt

Trip: Epic Egypt, Jordan & Isreal & the Palestinian Territories

Trip: Real Egypt & Jordan

Top 10 ancient wonders of Egypt

1. grand designs.

The original grand design - monumental and magnificent - the Pyramids of Giza are an impressive achievement in ancient engineering. Towering above the desert sands and standing proudly for centuries, the first glimpse of these stunning structures will render visitors breathless.

2. Stony enigma

Be captivated by the mysterious aura of the Great Sphinx of Giza. This monolithic mythical beast possesses a lion’s body and a human head - and has sat quietly in the desert sands for eons. Gaze at the Sphinx and try to work out the riddle of its existence.

3. Mighty Nile River

No trip to Egypt is complete without visiting the Nile River - the life force of Egypt that has flowed for centuries. A provider of irrigation, an essential travel route, home to hippos and crocodiles, and now a source of leisure for locals and travelers alike, the Nile is an aquatic link to Egypt’s ancient heritage.

4. Terrific temples

Discover an enormous open-air museum like no other. The awe-inspiring Temples of Karnak are filled with stately statues, immense columns, and gigantic gateways. Explore this intriguing site and be left in no doubt about the brilliance of the ancient Egyptian civilization.

5. Holy mountain

Embark on a trek to the top of Mt Sinai and witness an incredible golden sunrise to remember. A place of worship for many faiths, a pilgrimage to Mt Sinai reveals stunning scenery, an ancient monastery and historic chapels. An iconic highlight of Egypt for believers and non-believers alike, Mt Sinai is not to be missed.

6. Double happiness

Located in the Nile Valley, the unique Temple of Kom Ombo is a ‘double temple’ and a rare archaeological find. Dedicated to two gods, a visit here is a true highlight of an Egyptian escapade. Marvel at the well-preserved wall reliefs, try to decipher the hieroglyphics and honour the craftsmen who created this wonder.

7. Museum magic

Step into a dazzling world of antiquity at the Egyptian Museum. Be amazed by the glittering treasures recovered from King Tutankhamun’s tomb – with jewelry, furniture, chariots and that famous gold funerary mask, this pharaoh was certainly prepared for the afterlife.

8. Roman ruins

The Roman ruins of Kom el-Dikka in Alexandria may not be the biggest, but they are certainly among the best-preserved in Egypt, if not the world. Soak up the atmosphere of the Roman amphitheater and imagine it in all its glory - packed with 800 spectators ready for action.

9. Colossal characters

Near the modern city of Luxor stand the imposing Colossi of Memnon. These massive stone statues of Amenhotep III, while badly damaged, still maintain an unmistakable air of authority. Stand below them and be dwarfed by the scale of these tremendous figures.

10. The ancient heart of Cairo

Wander the cobbled streets of Islamic Cairo and uncover the ancient heart of this chaotic city. Admire mosques, palaces and houses, and peruse the goods on offer at one of the world’s oldest bazaars. Dating back to medieval times, the Khan al-Khalili bazaar is where people have traded goods for centuries.

Souqs – or open-air bazaars – are both the best place to shop in Egypt and attractions in their own right. The biggest and most famous souq is the 500-year-old Khan El Khalili Bazaar in Cairo. Within the maze of narrow streets and laneways lie stalls selling jewelry, glass, copper, spices and artisan goods, along with more standard tourist fare. Quality can vary greatly so spend some time shopping around.

Like many markets around the world, bargaining is the norm, but Egyptians take it to another level. Expect to be offered tea (it can take that long) and for elaborate theatrics from the seller. While bazaars in Cairo tend to sell everything, visit Aswan’s bazaar for spices, incense, and basketwork, and Luxor for cheaply priced alabaster figurines and vases. It's also a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country.

Things to buy in Egypt

You’ll often see spices piled high in bazaars. In addition to making a great photo for Instagram, they’re often a good buy as long as you keep a couple of things in mind. Always buy whole spices rather than ground to ensure freshness and skip the ‘saffron’ – it’s actually safflower and tastes like dust.

2. Glassware

Hand-blown Muski glass, recognizable by its air bubbles, comes in brilliant shades of blue and green and purple and has been made in Egypt since medieval times. Be careful with this purchase though as it’s extremely fragile.

3. Cartouche

A kind of nameplate written in hieroglyphics. Most gold or silver shops sell these and many can customize them by engraving your name.

Festivals and events

Eid al-fitr.

After fasting for an entire month, Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan with Eid al-Fitr, or ‘Feast of Breaking the Fast’. For three days, starting on the first day of the tenth month of the lunar calendar, people celebrate with feasts, family, and festivals. Look for vendors selling kahk cookies (nut-filled cookies covered in powdered sugar) while taking in the festivities, a tasty treat synonymous with Eid for many locals.

Eid al-Adha

Arguably the most important holiday in Egypt, the ‘Feast of Sacrifice’ is not one for vegetarians and vegans. About 70 days after Eid al-Fitr, sheep, and goats are slaughtered (often in the middle of the street) for a mighty feast.

Sham el-Nessim

Each year on March 21st, Egyptians celebrate the coming of spring by spending the day outdoors. Join the locals for this ancient holiday by packing a picnic and heading to a park or public garden.

Abu Simbel Sun Festival

As if the two temples dedicated to Ramses II and Queen Nefertari weren’t impressive enough, they were constructed in such a way that twice a year, the sun’s rays reach its innermost chambers and illuminate three stone gods that reside within, while leaving Ptah (god of the underworld) in the dark. And those days just happen to be Ramses’s birthday (October 21) and coronation (February 21). Coincidence? We think not.

Read more about festivals in Egypt

Similar destinations

We have a variety of similar destinations, trips and routes that you could consider! Tie another trip into your holiday, or, see how we can help you get from A to B. We have tours departing from a number of locations across Africa. The options below may be of interest:

Cairo to Madaba

Amman to Madaba

Tours from Cairo

Tours to Cairo

Egypt or Jordan?

Further reading

Egypt travel faqs, do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Do you need a visa to travel to Egypt?

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Check the Essential Trip Information section of the itinerary for more information.

Is tipping customary in Egypt?

Tipping is customary for pretty much all services in Egypt. A tip of 10–15% is customary at cafes and restaurants and loose change is acceptable for food purchases from street vendors and markets. It’s also a good idea to tip local guides and drivers USD$2.50-3 per day.

What is the internet access like in Egypt?

Internet access is growing in Egypt, with internet cafes and Wi-Fi hotspots becoming increasingly common in large cities, especially Cairo, though access may be limited in smaller towns and remote areas.

Can I use my cell phone in Egypt?

Cell phone coverage is generally good in Egypt’s urban areas, but may not be available in remote and desert areas. Ensure global roaming is activated with your service provider before leaving home.

What are the toilets like in Egypt?

Squat toilets are most common in Egypt, although Western-style flushable toilets can be found in larger hotels and some tourist areas.

What will it cost for a...?

Egypt's unit of currency is the Egyptian Pound (EGP). Here's what you can expect to pay for a:

A couple of pastries = EGP 49 Cup of tea or coffee = EGP 35-50 Falafel sandwich from a street stall = EGP 92 Sit-down dinner at a local restaurant = EGP 100-300

Can I drink the water in Egypt?

Drinking tap water isn’t recommended in Egypt. Remember to avoid drinks with ice and to peel fruit before eating it. Help the environment and try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle with filtered water. Ask your leader or hotel where to find filtered water.

Are credit cards accepted widely in Egypt?

Credit cards are usually accepted by modern hotels, large retailers, and tourist sites but are less commonly accepted by smaller vendors in remote areas. Always carry enough cash for smaller purchases in case credit cards are not an option.

What is ATM access like in Egypt?

ATMs are commonly found in larger cities, like Cairo and Alexandria, near shopping centers, tourist areas, and 5-star hotels, but are far less common in small towns and rural areas. Make sure you have enough cash before leaving urban areas.

What public holidays are celebrated in Egypt?

  • 7 Jan: Coptic Christmas
  • 28 Apr: Coptic Easter*
  • 25 Apr: Sinai Liberation Day
  • 28 Apr: Sham el-Nessim*
  • 1 May: Labor Day
  • 5 Jun: Eid al-Fitr*
  • 23 Jul: National Day
  • 12 Aug: Eid al-Adha
  • 11 Sep: Coptic New Year
  • 1 Sep: Islamic New Year*
  • 6 Oct: Armed Forces Day
  • 10 Nov: Birth of Prophet Mohammed*
  • *Please note many of these public holidays are religious holidays and change each year as they are celebrated according to the Islamic lunar cycle. For a current list of public holidays in Egypt go to World Travel Guide's website.

Is Egypt a safe destination for LGBTQIA+ travelers?

Discretion is advised for LGBTQI travelers in Egypt. Though homosexuality is not officially outlawed, gay men have been prosecuted using debauchery and public morals laws and given long prison sentences. Be aware that signals are ambiguous in Egypt as men commonly hold hands, link arms and greet each other with a kiss on the cheek. As long as you use common sense, travel in Egypt should not be a problem.

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex  or ILGA before you travel.

If you are traveling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a passenger of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at the time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. A single supplement is available on some tours for travelers who do not wish to share a room.

What to wear in Egypt

Summer temperatures can get very high, so light fabrics like linen, cotton and athletic gear made to take the heat are best. If you’re traveling outside of winter, don’t underestimate the cool change that can come in the evenings, especially if you’re spending the night in the desert or on a Nile cruise. Avoid packing anything in white – desert dust will quickly turn those light-colored clothes a not-so-delightful shade of brown.

How will I travel around Egypt?

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.

Where will I stay in Egypt?

Traveling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavor to provide travelers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.

When traveling with us in Egypt you may find yourself staying in a:

Felucca Glide down the Nile on a traditional Egyptian felucca; sleep on deck under the stars as the sun slides away for the day - a must-do experience while in Egypt.

Homestay Be welcomed into the home of a local family and experience the cuisine, culture and customs of Egypt firsthand during your stay. A truly authentic travel experience like no other.

Desert camp Travel deep into the White Desert to camp under the stars amid surreal scenery. This is a rare chance to experience the remote wonder and isolation of the Egyptian desert.

With calming Red Sea views and fresh sea breezes, this rustic breach abode is all about life’s simple pleasures.

How do I stay safe and healthy while traveling?

From Australia?

Go to: Smart Traveller

From Canada?

Go to:  Canada Travel Information

From the UK?

Go to:  UK Foreign Travel Advice

From New Zealand?

Go to:  Safe Travel

From the US?

Go to:  US Department of State

The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before traveling?

Absolutely. All passengers traveling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

What is it like traveling on a small group tour?

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or you’re about to embark on your first trip, traveling can be as intimidating as it is exciting. That's the beauty of a small group tour. From handling the logistics and organizing amazing cultural activities to local leaders who know each destination like the back of their hand (like which street has the best markets and where to get the most authentic food), traveling on a small group tour with Intrepid will give you unforgettable travel experiences without the hassle that comes with exploring a new place. Plus, you'll have ready-made friends to share the journey with. All you have to do is turn up with a healthy sense of adventure and we’ll take care of the rest.

Does my trip to Egypt support The Intrepid Foundation?

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. In fact, we make a donation on behalf of every traveler. Trips to Egypt directly support our foundation partner, Animal Care in Egypt . 

Animal Care in Egypt  

Animal Care in Egypt (ACE) cares for sick or injured working animals, like horses and donkeys, in Upper Egypt. Donations from our trips help ACE provide free veterinary care and fund education programs that empower local people with the knowledge and skills to best look after their animals. 

Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Does my Intrepid trip include airfare?

While our Intrepid trips include many modes of transport, from tuk-tuks to overland vehicles, bullet trains and feluccas, airfare to and from your home country is not included in your tour package.

The 8 best places to visit in Egypt

Monica Gerges

Aug 18, 2023 • 8 min read

"Two Muslim men smoking sheesha (waterpipe) in Nubian Village near Aswan, Southern Egypt, Africa."

There's much more to Egypt than the pyramids at Giza, but you certainly don't want to miss them © Hady Nyah / Getty Images

From diving the Red Sea’s crystal blue waters and stargazing amid the vastness of the desert to floating down the Nile River and standing in awestruck wonder before the ruins of one of the world’s most ancient civilizations... When it comes to travel experiences, Egypt is a destination that leaves visitors spoiled for choice.

With so much to see, the struggle for many visitors is just where to begin – as always, we’re happy to help! Here is our pick of the 8 best places to visit in Egypt.

Egypt’s bustling capital city is layered with cultural, religious, architectural and even culinary history. Its wonders stretch far beyond the walls of its famous museums. You can take in centuries worth of sights just by walking down the city streets, and discover untapped wonders just by saying hello to a stranger. Then there are the Pyramids of Giza , truly a wonder of the world.

At the epicenter of history in the core of the city is Islamic Cairo, the city's most atmospheric quarter. Just grab your camera and venture down its vibrant alleyways. Take in the views from the Citadel and the old city gates – known as Bab Zuweila , Bab al-Futuh and Bab an Nasr – and admire the intricate details of the area’s stunning mosques. The ancient Mosque of Muhammad Ali , Ibn Tulun Mosque and Al-Hakim Mosque are particularly incredible. Islamic Cairo is also home to monument-lined Muizz Street and Khan El-Khalili bazaar – great spots to grab some souvenirs (if your haggling skills are up to the task).

A more under-the-radar-spot is Coptic Cairo, home to the Coptic Museum , the Hanging Church , the towers of the vanished Babylon fortress – the focal point of Egypt’s tiny Christian minority since the first century CE.

Local tip: By night, Cairo transforms thanks to its buzzing nightlife scene – sip a drink in historic downtown bars or take in live performances at hip clubs and art spaces.

A Dugong with yellow fish ascending to the surface at Marsa Alam in Egypt

2. Marsa Alam

Life is definitely better when you’re scuba diving through colorful corals and swimming with dolphins, dugongs and sea turtles in Marsa Alam ’s beautiful blue waters. A serene escape on the western shore of the Red Sea, Marsa Alam is one of the top spots in Egypt for underwater escapes . Popular dive spots include the Elphinstone reef and Abu Dabbab, one of the world's top beaches for snorkeling .

For land-based adventures, head to Wadi el Gemal National Park, where you can lay back by the water at Hankorab Beach or safari, hike or bike through rugged, mountainous terrain. Keep an eye out for camels at Sharm El Luli Beach or take in the beautiful scenery at the resort town of Qulaan.

To learn about Marsa Alam’s local Bedouin community, visit the Ababda House Cultural Museum or have dinner and an aromatic cup of Jebena coffee with the locals.

Detour: If you're looking for interesting souvenirs, head to Ghosoun and Hamata and meet local tribeswomen making unique hand-woven crafts and jewelry (each tribe has its own unique patterns and styles). 

Felucca on the river Nile in Egypt. Luxor, Africa.

The site of the magnificent ancient city of Thebes, Luxor is said to preserve a third of the world’s ancient monuments between the pillars of its majestic temples. Dubbed the world’s greatest open-air museum, the capital of Upper Egypt recently celebrated the grand reopening of the 2.7km (1.7 mile) Avenue of the Sphinxes, an ancient thoroughfare connecting Karnak Temple , home of the famed Temple of Amun-Ra , and the impressively preserved Luxor Temple .

A sunrise hot air balloon ride will give you a captivating bird's-eye view of this city of ancient wonders. Once you're back on the ground, head to Hatshepsut Temple and Medinet Habu – two massive ancient architectural wonders that feature prominently on travelers' Instagram feeds – and cross the river to the Valley of the Kings , the royal burial site of Tutankhamun, Seti I and Ramses II.

Palm trees and patches of greenery cling to the dusty riverbanks of Aswan , one of Egypt’s most tranquil locations, celebrated for the unmatched hospitality of its Nubian community. Sail your way to any of the 20 river islands accessible by felucca, the traditional wooden sailboats that ply the river Nile.

To learn more about Nubian culture, visit the island of Gharb Soheil or stroll around the colorful streets of Aswan's Nubian Village. Sample homestyle veggie-based or chicken tagines in local cafes, or purchase aromatic spices from the vibrantly colorful Aswan spice market.

Aswan is famed for its stunning sunsets, which you can watch from any of the islands or while sailing the Nile on a felucca. Another top spot for watching the sunset is the restaurant at the iconic Sofitel Legend Old Catarac t where English author Agatha Christie penned her famous mystery, Death on the Nile .

Local tip: If you’re willing to wake up at 3am for the journey south across the desert, a day trip to Abu Simbel is a history buff’s dream; the whole temple complex was moved when the valley was flooded by the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s. If you’d rather let the sun wake up before you, explore Aswan’s Temple of Isis , also moved from its original location on Philae Island.

White chalk rock formations in the White Desert, Egypt

5. Black and White Deserts

The appeal of Egypt’s Black and White Deserts is quite literally black and white. These monochrome landscapes are like something out of a sci-fi movie, but the surreal scenery is a product of natural geology – the White Desert’s uniquely shaped limestone rock formations give the illusion of a snowscape, while the Black Desert features small black volcanic stones scattered over bright orange-colored sand.

A visit to either of these desert areas is perfect for a stargazing camping trip – it's the ultimate escape for anyone who’s had their fill of temples and big city traffic. The White Desert and Black Desert lie just south of the Bahariya Oasis , in Egypt’s Western Desert , which is accessible by bus from Cairo.

Local tip: While you’re out there, make sure you visit Crystal Mountain, a natural rock arch surrounded by glittering walls of quartz crystals, and Djara Cave, one of the country's most impressive, stalactite-filled caves. You’ll need to crouch down to enter the cave, but once inside, the ceiling looks like it’s coated in giant icicles. 

6. Egypt's Mediterranean Coast

Egypt’s northern shoreline – affectionately known as El Sahel, meaning "The Coast" – is the ultimate summer escape on the shores of the Mediterranean. This sun-kissed coastal strip comes alive from May to September every year, drawing hordes of beach bums by day, and a veritable who’s who of Egypt’s party people by night.

The strip is lined with luxurious hotels and resorts, upscale residential compounds and world-class restaurants such as The Smokery Beach at Stella di Mare  and  Kiki's Beach at Hacienda White. The shores of Sahel are where you’ll find most of Cairo’s millennial and Gen Z crowd on Egypt’s hottest summer days.

Woman looking at scenic view of Siwa oasis at sunset

7. Siwa oasis

Far removed from the mayhem of Egypt's big cities, this little gem of an oasis is home to Siwan Bedouin people who follow a largely traditional way of life, and the town has thus far been only lightly touched by tourism. The locals are Amazigh tribespeople, who have managed to preserve much of their linguistic and cultural heritage thanks to the isolated location of their oasis home.

Siwa is often described as "the Sunset Oasis", and its sunsets are indeed unparalleled in Egypt. Whether you find a vantage point atop Dakrour Mountain or the ruined Shali Fortress , or take in the scenery and serenity of Taghaghien Island or Fatnas Island, you’re promised an unforgettable sunset. You can also expect a lot of mosquitos, so don’t forget your repellent.

Siwa is a prime destination for tourists looking to escape the winter chill and it's a leaping off point for the Great Sand Sea (the world’s third-largest dune field), swimmable hot and cold springs and crystal clear salt lakes where you can float effortlessly, supported by the saline waters.

Siwa is also famed for producing some of the country’s best dates, and you may be able to sample straight from the tree – just ask locals first. Every November, Siwa holds the Siwi Palm Date Festival.

Local tip: Try the local Abu Mardem chicken or lamb – a spiced dish that’s marinated for eight hours before being put into an iron pot and buried under the sand to cook.

Nubian men smoking a water-pipe in Aswan, Southern Egypt

8. El Gouna

It’s always sunny in this fully-integrated little town along the pristine shoreline of the Red Sea, just north of Hurghada. El Gouna has become the base for a multinational community of digital nomads, young families, and expats convinced that life is better by the water.

El Gouna has great aquatic activities, and lots of options for hiking and safaris in the surrounding desert landscapes, appealing to younger travelers. It also has bougie boutiques, cultural events and top-tier culinary experiences thanks to its many upscale restaurants, appealing to an older set.

With its world-class services, restaurants and living spaces, it's a great place to visit but also a fine place to set up your seaside office. There are plenty of coworking spaces and solid wifi connections, and lots of ways to keep busy outside of work hours – why work from home when you can work from El Gouna?

This article was first published January 2022 and updated August 2023

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Top 9 Must-See Attractions In Cairo For A Jam-Packed 24-Hour Visit 🇪🇬

egypt travel 24

Cairo is the capital of Egypt, a city rich in world famous history, it is a great place to explore Egyptian history and culture. Even though Cairo is an ancient city; but it is also a modern metropolis. If you are visiting Egypt then Cairo must be on your Itinerary. There are a lot of things to see/visit in Cairo that I would recommend at least three days, but if you only have 24 hours to stay in Cairo, then this is the perfect itinerary for you.

egypt travel 24

9 Things To Do In 24 Hours In Cairo

1. giza plateau - giza necropolis - giza pyramid complex.

The Pyramids of Giza are the number one thing you need to visit whenever you are in Cairo. Pyramids are royal tombs, and discoveries are done in that area. You will also find The Great Sphinx of Giza there; which is a large limestone statue with the body of a line and the headed of a human, this is an iconic symbol and it is a must see.

You will find three Pyramids there; Pyramid of Khufu , Pyramid of Khafre , and Pyramid of Menkaure . The Giza Plateau is also set to welcome The Grand Egyptian Museum which will be the biggest museum in the world with exhibitions of antiques from a single civilization.

You can arrive by Uber or Careem there, and then book your tickets at the entrance of you can book it online. Opening hours are from 07:00 until 17:00, and tickets costs EGP 200 for adults and EGP 100 for students (For Egyptians and Arabs tickets costs EGP 40 for adults and EGP 20 for students), these are entry tickets to The Giza Plateau only, and last ticket can be bought at 16:00. Inclusive tickets that allow entry into the Great Pyramid and Khufu's Boat Museum costs EGP 600 for adults and EGP 300 for students.

Please do not support the use of camels or horse carriages, it is easy to get around on foot via the pavement.

egypt travel 24

2. The Egyptian Museum

A great way to go back in time is by visiting The Egyptian Museum which is the home of the world's greatest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. It is recommended to plan to stay between 2 to 4 hours exploring the museum. Make sure to visit the Tutankhamun Gallery .

The museum is open from 09:00 until 17:00, and tickets can be bought at the entrance of the museum, and ticket window closes at 16:15. Tickets costs EGP 200 for adults and EGP 100 for students (For Egyptians; tickets costs EGP 30 for adults and EGP 10 for students).

egypt travel 24

3. Salah Al-Din Al-Ayoubi Castle

Cairo's Citadel is a medieval Islamic era fortification in Cairo that was built by Salah Al-Din Al-Ayoubi, this is one of the most iconic monuments in Islamic Cairo. You can view the whole city of Cairo from the hilltop. You will find the Mosque of Muhammad Ali at the hilltop, and you will also find Mosque of Al Nasser Mohammed Ibn Kalawoun and the Nationals military Museum .

Cairo Citadel is open from 09:00 until 17:00, and tickets costs EGP 180 for adults and EGP 90 for students (For Egyptian and Arabs; tickets costs EGP 40 for adults and EGP 20 for students), for night visiting hours tickets costs EGP 160 for adults and EGP 80 for students (For Egyptians and Arabs; tickets costs EGP 30 for adults and EGP 10 for students).

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4. Mosque of Muhammad Ali

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali is located on the hilltop in the Citadel of Cairo. The mosque is a beautiful site to visit and it has a view overlooking the entire city. Entrance is free since you buy tickets for the entry of the citadel, and opening hours are mentioned above for the Citadel of Cairo.

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5. The Coptic Museum

The Coptic Museum contains a lot of information on Egypt's early Christian period and you will find one of Egypt's finest collections of Coptic art. The museum is open from 09:00 until 17:00, and last ticket can be bought at 16:00. Tickets costs EGP 100 for adults and EGP 50 for students (For Egyptians; tickets costs EGP 20 for adults and EGP 10 for students).

egypt travel 24

6. Synagogue Ben Ezra

Located in Coptic Cairo, and it is said to be built near the spot where baby Moses was found. It is open from 09:00 until 16:00 and entrance is free.

7. St. Sergius and St. Bacchus Church

It is said that this is where the Holy Family sheltered during King Herod's massacre of male babies. The church is open from 08:00 until 17:00 and entrance is free. You will also find a map of the Journey of the Holy Family in that area.

8. St. George's church

St. George's Church is a greek orthodox church in Coptic Cairo within the Babylon Fortress, and the church dates back to the 10th century. The church is open from 09:00 until 15:00 and it is free to enter.

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9. The Hanging Church

The Hanging Church is built on top of the ancient Roman Fortress of Babylon hence the name 'The Hanging church'. This is one of the oldest churches in Egypt and it dates back to the third century, and the church belongs to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. You can see how the church is hanging through glass floor areas in the church and through a small window in the church.

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What To Do Before Travelling To Egypt

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How to Get to Cairo

Cairo International Airport  is the busiest airport in Egypt and serves as the primary hub for  several airlines. So, it will be easy to reach Cairo that way, and chances are you will find a direct flight from where you are coming from.

How to Move Around Cairo

Moving around Cairo is easy since services like Uber  and Careem  are accessible and cheap as well so it will be easy to hop from one place to another. You can also use a taxi but you will need to pay in cash as they do not accept credit/debit cards.

Best Time to Visit Cairo

The best time to visit Egypt in general is between October and April, but when it comes to Cairo, if you are looking for a nice and warm weather, then it is best to visit in October, November, and April. You can of course visit Egypt during the summer, but it gets really hot during that time.

Accommodations in Cairo

Since Cairo is a huge city, there is a vast variety of hotels that you can find. If you are looking for luxurious hotels, then you will find them along the Nile River or near the Pyramids of Giza such as the Four Seasons , Sofitel Cairo El-Gezirah & Marriott Mena House . If you are looking for mid-range options, then you will find them in Zamalek - my favorite district - and Garden City districts, such as Steigenberger El Tahrir  & Hotel Longchamps . If you are looking for budget friendly hotels; then you will find them in Downtown district such as Cairo Golden Plaza Hotel  & Osiris Hotel .

If you prefer to stay in an Airbnb then you will be able to find a lot options that suits your budget, you will find a lot of hostels if you prefer to stay there. The point is; Cairo is a large city so your options are endless, and it doesn't matter where you stay in Cairo since you will enjoy it regardless. You can book your accommodation through , which is the one I use the most, or if you wan to stay in a hostel you can book through HostelWorld . You can also use Agoda , Trivago , or Vrbo  to book your accommodations. I know most people have a favourite website or app to use, so just choose what you prefer best.

Best Cafes & Restaurants in Cairo

Sea Salt Cafe & Bakery (Gluten-free, vegan options available)

Eish + Malh (Gluten-free)

Zooba (Best Koshari in Cairo)

The Bakery Shop (Desert)

Naguib Mahfouz Cafe (Located near Khan El Khalili)

Abou El Sid (Egyptian cuisine)

If you wan to find more cafes & restaurants to try, then you can do so through TripAdvisor .

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My trip to egypt was nothing short of extraordinary, and I am truly grateful for your service and attention to detail you provided. When I arrived in Egypt, I was greeted with warmth and hospitality. The transfers from the airport were smooth and efficient, and I was immediately whisked away to my accommodations. 

I had the most incredible experience with Egypt Planners on my recent trip to Giza Pyramids. The tour was very organized, and our guide Sara, was amazing. From start to finish, they exceeded my expectations. Our driver Ahmed was very professional and kind. I can’t recommend Egypt Planners enough for an unforgettable…..

I recently enjoyed taking a half-day Giza Pyramids tour with Egypt Planners, and I cannot recommend it more highly. Our tour guide, Sarah, was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the pyramids and Egyptian history. He made the tour informative and enjoyable, and he was always happy to answer our questions.

Our experience with Ahmed and the Egypt Planners was amazing! Ahmed was so attentive, friendly, helpful and kind. Everything we needed and anywhere we wanted to go, Ahmed took care of us and made sure we went around Cairo and all the major sightseeings passing through the best and more scenic routes…

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We recently took a half-day tour of the Giza Pyramids with our family and had a wonderful time. Our tour guide, Ahmed, was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about Egyptian history. He took us to all the major sites, including the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Sphinx, and the Valley Temple. He also told us many interesting stories…

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Things to know about Egypt & Nile Cruises

Is nile cruise a magical trip that you must experience.

A Nile cruise is a magical and unforgettable experience that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. It’s a journey that takes you back to the ancient world of Egypt, where you’ll see some of the world’s most iconic historical sites up close. From the Valley of the Kings to the Temple of Karnak, you’ll be transported to a world of mystery, intrigue, and wonder. And all while enjoying the comfort and luxury of a five-star hotel on water. Don’t miss out on this incredible adventure. Book your Nile cruise today and experience the magic for yourself.

Where do Nile cruises depart from?

Nile cruises typically depart from two main cities in Egypt: Luxor and Aswan. Luxor is located in southern Egypt and is home to some of the most impressive ancient Egyptian temples and tombs. Aswan, also located in southern Egypt, is known for its scenic beauty and is the gateway to the temples of Abu Simbel. Some Nile cruises also offer round-trip itineraries that depart from and return to Cairo, the capital of Egypt. However, most Nile cruises follow the traditional route between Luxor and Aswan.

What are the stops on the Nile cruise?

The stops on a Nile cruise may vary depending on the length of the cruise and the specific itinerary. However, most Nile cruises follow a similar route, including stops at some of Egypt’s most iconic historical sites. Here are some of the typical stops on a Nile cruise:

  • Luxor: The ancient city of Luxor is often the starting point for a Nile cruise. Here, you can explore the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Karnak, and the Temple of Luxor.
  • Esna: This small town is known for its well-preserved Temple of Khnum, dedicated to the ram-headed god of the Nile.
  • Edfu: Here, you can visit the Temple of Horus, one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt.
  • Kom Ombo: This temple is unique in that it is dedicated to two gods: Sobek, the crocodile-headed god, and Horus, the falcon-headed god.
  • Aswan: The final stop on most Nile cruises, Aswan is home to the Temple of Philae, the Unfinished Obelisk, and the High Dam. It is also the gateway to the temples of Abu Simbel.

These are just some of the typical stops on a Nile cruise. Depending on the itinerary, you may visit other sites, such as the Nubian village or the Temple of Hatshepsut.

Is Egypt a safe destination to Visit?

Egypt is generally considered a safe destination for tourists to visit. The country relies heavily on tourism, and the government has taken extensive measures to ensure the safety of tourists. There are police checkpoints throughout the country, particularly in tourist areas, and security measures are in place at airports, hotels, and major tourist sites.

As with any travel destination, it’s always wise to exercise caution and take commonsense safety precautions. It is advised to avoid large crowds, especially during demonstrations or protests, and always to remain alert and aware of your surroundings. It is also recommended that you follow the advice of your tour guide or travel operator and check with your embassy or consulate for any travel tips before your trip.

Overall, as long as you take the necessary precautions, Egypt is a safe and welcoming destination that offers a wealth of history, culture, and natural beauty for visitors to explore and enjoy.

What is the best time to visit Egypt?

The best time to visit Egypt is between October and April, during the country’s mild winter. The temperatures are pleasant during the day, ranging from the mid-60s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit (about 18-30 degrees Celsius), and more relaxed at night. This is also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices.

Visiting Egypt from May to September can be a good option if you prefer to avoid crowds and endure hotter temperatures. Temperatures during this time can reach up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher, but this is also the low season so you may find better deals on tours and accommodations.

It’s also important to note that Ramadan, the month-long Islamic holiday of fasting and prayer, can affect travel to Egypt. During Ramadan, many businesses and tourist sites have reduced hours or may be closed altogether. The dates of Ramadan change each year based on the Islamic calendar, so it’s essential to check the dates before planning your trip.

In summary, the best time to visit Egypt is during the winter season, between October and April, but if you don’t mind the heat and want to avoid the crowds, visiting during the summer months can also be a good option.

Tipping or Baksheesh in Egypt

Tipping, or baksheesh, is a common practice in Egypt and is considered a way to show appreciation for good service. It’s important to note that while tipping is not mandatory, it is expected in many situations, and it’s a good idea to carry small bills and change for this purpose.

Here are some standard tipping practices in Egypt:

  • Tour guides: Tipping your tour guide at the end of your tour is customary. The amount will depend on the length of the tour and the level of service provided, but a good rule of thumb is around 10-20% of the total cost of the tour.
  • Hotel staff: Tipping hotel staff, such as bellhops and housekeeping, is familiar. A small tip of 10-20 Egyptian pounds per day is appropriate.
  • Drivers: If you hire a driver, it’s customary to tip them at the end of your trip. The amount will depend on the length of the journey and the level of service provided, but a good rule of thumb is around 50-100 Egyptian pounds per day.
  • Restaurants: It’s common to leave a tip of around 10-15% of the total bill at restaurants. Some restaurants may include a service charge on the bill, so check before tipping.

In summary, tipping or baksheesh is a common practice in Egypt, and it’s important to have small bills and changes on hand. The amount to tip will depend on the service provided. Still, as a general rule, a tip of 10-20% of the total cost is appropriate for tours and restaurants, while smaller tips of 10-20 Egyptian pounds per day are appropriate for hotel staff and drivers.

What are the best places to visit in Egypt?

Egypt is rich in history and culture, with many fascinating places to visit. Here are some of the top destinations that should be on your list when visiting Egypt:

The Pyramids of Giza: The iconic pyramids are one of the most famous landmarks in Egypt and are a must-visit destination. They are located just outside of Cairo and are the last surviving wonders of the ancient world.

Luxor: Known as the world’s most excellent open-air museum, Luxor is home to some of the most impressive ancient Egyptian monuments, including the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple, and Luxor Temple.

Cairo: Egypt’s bustling capital city is a vibrant and chaotic metropolis full of life and energy. Highlights include the Egyptian Museum, the Al-Azhar Mosque, and the Khan El Khalili bazaar.

Abu Simbel: This ancient temple complex, located near the Sudanese border, is one of the most impressive sites in Egypt. The temples were built during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II and are known for their enormous statues and intricate carvings.

Aswan: This laid-back city in southern Egypt is known for its stunning natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere. Highlights include the Philae Temple, the Aswan Dam, and the Nubian Museum.

Alexandria: Located on the Mediterranean coast, Alexandria is a historic city once home to one of the ancient world’s most famous libraries. Highlights include the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, the Citadel of Qaitbay, and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

Sinai Peninsula: This rugged and mountainous region is home to some of Egypt’s most beautiful natural scenery, including Mount Sinai and the Red Sea coast.

In summary, Egypt has many incredible destinations to explore, from the ancient monuments of Luxor and the Pyramids of Giza to the bustling streets of Cairo and the natural beauty of the Sinai Peninsula.

What to bring with you on a trip to Egypt?

When planning a trip to Egypt, it’s important to pack the right items to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are some things to consider bringing with you:

Sunscreen: Egypt is a desert country, and the sun can be intense, so it’s important to pack sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin.

Comfortable walking shoes: Many of Egypt’s top attractions involve a lot of walking, so make sure you bring comfortable shoes suitable for walking on uneven terrain.

Lightweight clothing: Egypt can be hot, so pack light clothing from breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Packing clothes that cover your shoulders and knees is also a good idea, particularly if you plan to visit religious sites.

Scarf or shawl: Women visiting Egypt may want to bring a scarf or shawl to cover their heads when entering mosques or other religious sites.

Water bottle: Staying hydrated is important in Egypt’s hot climate, so bring a reusable water bottle to refill throughout the day.

Insect repellent: Mosquitoes can be a problem in some regions of Egypt, particularly during the summer, so pack insect repellent to keep them at bay.

Camera: Egypt is a country full of fantastic photo opportunities, so bring a camera to capture all the incredible sights.

Power adapter: Egypt uses European-style power sockets, so if you’re coming from outside Europe, you’ll need to bring a power adapter to charge your electronic devices.

Packaging these essential items will prepare you for a comfortable and enjoyable trip to Egypt.

Advices for women while traveling to Egypt

Traveling as a woman in Egypt can be a rewarding and exciting experience, but it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety and comfort. Here are some tips for women traveling to Egypt:

Dress conservatively: Egypt is a Muslim country, and it’s important to respect local customs and dress conservatively. It’s a good idea to cover your shoulders and knees when in public places, especially when visiting mosques or other religious sites.

Avoid walking alone at night: It’s best to avoid walking alone at night, especially in quiet or poorly-lit areas. Instead, take a taxi or use a ride-hailing app to get around.

Use a guide or tour group: Using a guide or tour group can be a good idea, especially if you’re traveling alone. This can help you navigate local customs and culture, and can provide an extra layer of safety.

Be cautious with alcohol: Drinking alcohol in public is prohibited in Egypt, and it’s important to be cautious with alcohol consumption. Stick to drinking in licensed bars and restaurants, and avoid getting drunk in public.

Be aware of your surroundings: It’s always important to be aware of your surroundings, especially when traveling in a new place. Be cautious of pickpockets, scams, and other potential dangers, and trust your instincts if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

Research local customs and culture: Researching local customs and culture can help you better understand the country and avoid inadvertently offending locals. For example, it’s important to remove your shoes when entering a mosque, and to avoid physical contact with people of the opposite sex in public.

By following these tips and being aware of local customs and culture, women can have a safe and enjoyable experience traveling in Egypt.

Learn Arabic words to enjoy your visit to Egypt

Learning a few Arabic words and phrases can enhance your experience when visiting Egypt, as it shows respect for the local culture and can help you communicate with locals. Here are some Arabic words and phrases to know:

  • Salaam Alaikum: This is a common Arabic greeting that means “peace be upon you.” Locals will appreciate it if you greet them with this phrase.
  • Shukran: This means “thank you.” It’s always polite to show gratitude when someone helps you or does something for you.
  • Sabah Al-Khair: This means “good morning.” It’s a polite way to greet someone in the morning.
  • Masaa Al-Khair: This means “good evening.” It’s a polite way to greet someone in the evening.
  • Laa Shukran: This means “no, thank you.” You can use this phrase when declining an offer or a service.
  • Min Fadlak: This means “please.” You can use this word when making a request.
  • Afwan: This means “you’re welcome.” You can use this word to respond to someone who has thanked you.
  • Aiwa: This means “yes.” It’s a simple way to answer a question in the affirmative.
  • Laa: This means “no.” It’s a simple way to answer a question in the negative.
  • Ma’a Salama: This means “goodbye” or “go with peace.” It’s a polite way to bid farewell.

By learning these basic Arabic words and phrases, you can show respect for the local culture and communicate more effectively with locals during your visit to Egypt.

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Home / Egypt Travel Blog / A GUIDE TO VISITING EGYPT IN 2024/25 – A LAND OF PYRAMIDS!


Thousands of tourists visit the ‘Land of Pharaohs’ because of the combination of great history and amazing surroundings. There are many tourist sites and historical monuments that date back to the time of the pharaohs. They were the ones responsible for leaving behind such a memorable civilization.

Egypt Tours is truly a once-in- Be a-lifetime experience. So let’s first look at the best time to visit Egypt in 2024/25 based on seasons.

Season-Wise Breakdown Of Visiting Egypt In 2024/2 5

The best time to Travel to Egypt is an important question to consider. The best time for a Trip to Egypt is in the months from October to April. You’ll escape from the scorching heat of July and August by exploring the beaches of the Red Sea. The following is a season-wise guide to travelling to Egypt in 2024/25:

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Travelling to Egypt in the Spring Season (From March to June)

This is a great time to travel to Egypt because the temperature is moderate. But, in March and April, the ‘Khamsin Winds’ occur, so take all the precautions to protect yourself from the dust.

There’s also a special festival in the spring season called ‘Sham Ennessim.’ It’s a fascinating celebration as people spend all day picnics in public gardens, at zoos, and on the Nile.

Travelling to Egypt in the Summer Season (From June to September)

The summer in Egypt is hot, especially in the Southern areas of Luxor and Aswan. So, make sure to pack all the essentials to beat the heat. You can browse our Egypt Travel Tips for further information. There are several interesting activities you can do in the summertime. Like visiting great tourist destinations and experiencing the glorious life of the ancient Egyptians.

If beaches are your thing, then you should visit coastal beaches like Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada . Or if you’re in the mood for an adventure, then try the quad bike tours to discover the golden sands of Egypt.

Travelling to Egypt in the Autumn Season (From September to December)

Autumn in Egypt is a wonderful season where you can have a great time on your Egypt Tour. The prices are affordable for your trip as well. And the Nile River Cruises are a great experience this season.

You’ll get to enjoy a luxurious cruise in locations on the banks of the Nile. Such as the Valley of the Kings, Aswan High Dam, Karnak and Hatshepsut temples, etc.

Travelling to Egypt in the Winter Season (From December to March)

This is the peak season for an Egypt Tour. The Coptics of Egypt celebrate Christmas in December. And, most Christians go to the Coptic Orthodox Church and take part in unique traditions. It’s a great time to visit Egypt and celebrate in the cafés, restaurants, and streets of Egypt.

Several people travel to Egypt just to visit the Abu Simbel Temple. There’s a sun festival at the temple which can only be seen twice a year. The sunlight that penetrates the temple, reflects on the statues of the sun gods and King Ramses II.

Expected Temperatures of Egypt in 2024/25

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Egypt has a variety of weather temperatures throughout its different regions. The average temperature in Egypt ranges from 37 Celsius to 15 Celsius. The summer season is somewhat hot and the winter season is cool and mild. Though, it can get cold at night, so pack a pair of warm clothing items. The following list shows the expected temperatures of Egypt in 2024/25.

Our Suggestions – The temperature along the coast is moderate. And the above temperatures are an estimation and are subject to change.

Best Activities You Can Do In Egypt in 2024/2 5

Egypt Tours

The Nile River Cruise offers an awesome experience in the months from October to April. You can also visit Egypt Attractions like Luxor, Aswan, Giza Pyramids Complex, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, etc.

Moreover, you will have an opportunity to enjoy the wonderful weather of Egypt while on a beach vacation with your family.

Best Time to visit the resorts in the Red Sea

The months from June to September are an ideal time to visit the resorts of the Red Sea. The temperatures on the coast are cooler, despite it being the peak of the summer season. The average temperatures at beach resorts are around 28 Celsius. While the sea temperatures are great for scuba diving and snorkelling.

A Pro Tip – The resorts during the months of July and August are almost at full capacity. So, we advise you to book your trip in advance.

Best Time To Take A Cruise In The Nile

The ideal time to go on a Nile cruise is between October and April. Temperatures are pleasant during these months. This will allow you to enjoy the finest Egypt Day Tours to witness spectacular sights. Such as the temples of Luxor and the Valley of the Kings.

The Perfect Time to go to the Western Desert

The best time to visit the Western Desert is either in the spring or fall season. The summer season should be avoided as it gets very hot, with temperatures going above 40 Celsius.

Our Recommended Itineraries For Visiting Egypt

Now that you’re aware of the best time for an Egypt Tour in 2024/25, below are 4 of our recommended Egypt Tour Packages:

Egypt Budget Tours – From $995 onwards. For example, Pyramid and Nile Cruise Holidays, Cairo to Abu Simbel Tour, etc.

Egypt Classic Tour – From $1195 onwards. For example, Cairo, Hurghada and Nile Cruise, Discover Egypt, etc.

Egypt Land Tours – From $1345 onwards. For example, Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan Tour Package, etc.

Egypt Luxury Tours – From $1975 onwards. E.g. Cairo the Nile and Hurghada, Egypt and the Nile Tour, etc.

We hope that this post has answered all your questions about travelling to Egypt in 2024/25. And, now that you’re equipped with all the information, it’s time to plan your Trip to Egypt !

At Nile Holiday , we offer an extensive range of Egypt Tour Packages , tailored to satisfy your every need. And, you can also contact us if you have any further questions or suggestions.

Nile Holiday, one of the top tour operators in Egypt that offers great deal on Egypt Tour packages. Egypt Nile Cruises, day tours, Egypt city breaks, desert safari and many other ancient sightseeing destinations in Egypt.

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Helpful Tips To Experience Egypt For Ancient Wonders

Does the history of the mighty pharaohs and ancient pyramids interest you? Do you keep interested in temples and tombs? If yes, then a Trip To Egypt is the right option to explore a land known for rich history, culture and monuments. The city of Luxor boasts the Valley of Kings and the Valley of Queens,

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A Great Travel Guide For History & Food Lovers During Cairo Tours!

Being home to few of the world’s heritage sites, Egypt keeps attracting a good number of tourists every year.

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Egypt Tours For Indians: Pros And Cons

Egypt, the famous land of the Pharaohs and Pyramids, is on every traveller’s dream destination lists. However, Indian travellers travelling to this stunning country are quite insignificant. Mainly, as many of them do not know what Egypt has in store for them

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Best 7 Day Egypt Itinerary: How to spend one week in Egypt

How to spend one week in egypt, day 1: arriving in cairo, day 2: exploring cairo, the great pyramids and the sphinx in egypt, day 4: aswan and egypt nile cruise, day 5: abu simbel, day 6: visiting luxor, which tomb to visit in the valley of the kings in luxor, marriott mena house, cairo, panorama pyramids inn, pyramids view inn, when is the best time to visit egypt, visa for egypt, is egypt safe, what to pack for egypt, how many days to spend in egypt.

Egypt is an incredible country, and when planning your trip, you may feel overwhelmed about which places to visit and how to start planning your time. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you the best 7-Day Egypt Itinerary that highlights all of the best places to visit in Egypt in one week. I’ll also discuss some essential planning advice and information to help you get ready to visit this magical destination!

This is your first day in Egypt. You will probably arrive around lunchtime and will be very tired after the long journey. Get to your chosen accommodation in Cairo and spend the day relaxing. Take the evening to rest and acclimatize after a busy travel day, by enjoying a dinner near your hotel. You will need a lot of energy for the rest of the week of Egypt’s adventures.

St. George Church, Cairo

Take your first full day to explore the busy capital of Egypt – Cairo.

There are plenty of interesting sites in Cairo that you can explore.

Pro Travel Tip: If you want to save money while traveling in Egypt, I would highly suggest you take an Uber whenever you need to go somewhere. It’s going to be the cheapest option and will save you the process of bargaining when looking for a ride.

If you would like to learn more about the history of Egypt, The Egyptian Museum is an excellent way to spend the morning. There, you can see more than 12,000 Egyptian antiquities, including the solid gold mask of King Tutankhamun weighing 11 kg (24,25 lbs).

After that head to the Cairo Tower. It’s a 187 m (614 ft) free-standing concrete tower that offers incredible views over the city.

Another interesting site to visit in Cairo is the Saladin Citadel also known as the Citadel of Cairo. It’s probably the most popular non-pharaonic monument in the capital of Egypt. You can easily catch an Uber from your hotel to get to it. There are three mosques located on the grounds of the fortress. The views from there are truly amazing. The price to go inside is 50 EGP.

The Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha, the Saladin Citadel of Cairo, Egypt.

If you’re not feeling comfortable enough exploring Cairo on your own, you can always book a guided tour to do that.

Don’t forget to try several different places that offer local Egyptian cuisine while in Cairo. All the meals that we’ve tried in Egypt have been nothing but amazing. Some of the local dishes that we tried and loved were lentil soup, falafel, ful medames, manshy, and fattah. The restaurant that I highly recommend for you to eat at is called Felfel. It’s a very famous place built within the alleyway, between the two buildings, located there since the 60s. It has very impressive and beautiful decor inside.

Another great way to experience Cairo and try even more Egyptian food is to go on a food tour. That way you will try a larger amount of local dishes and meet many amazing people along the way. I recommend this Cairo No Diet Tour where you will visit at least 5 different food stops and get insider tips for Cairo.

The meal that deserves number one on my list hands down is koshary (also spelled as koshari or kushari). It’s Egypt’s national dish and very popular street food. Kushari is made of rice, macaroni, spaghetti, and lentils mixed together, topped with chickpeas, tomato sauce, and crispy fried onion. So, basically, they just put together all of my favorite carbs and proteins and made a meal out of it. Koshari originated in the mid-19th century. The place where we tried it was called Koshary Abou Tarek, and it’s the only dish that they make there.

Enjoy finding some freshly made local desserts, and exploring the various shops in Cairo. No matter what you’re buying on the market, don’t forget to bargain.

If you are looking to have a long day out, then you should also consider taking a trip to Alexandria. Alexandria is located 180 km (112 mi) from Cairo and is a beautiful waterfront area with plenty of fascinating history and beautiful sights.

This is a tour which you can book to go to Alexandria from Cairo for one day. You will be able to see all the main highlights of Alexandria and the tour takes around 10 to 12 hours. You also have another option to go with this one instead.

Day 3: Visiting the Pyramids at Giza and Night Train to Aswan

Day three of your trip is fully dedicated to one of the main highlights of the Giza pyramid complex, also called the Giza Necropolis. The Giza Pyramids were constructed around 4,500 years ago.

The Pyramids of Giza

The complex itself includes the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, along with smaller pyramids, remaining worker’s village, cemeteries, and the Great Sphinx of Giza.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the oldest and the only remaining seven wonders of the ancient world. The Great Pyramid of Khufu is built from an estimated 2,3 million stone blocks each weighing an average of 2,5 to 15 tons.

I can’t even begin to describe how magical and breathtaking the place itself is. It feels surreal to be standing at the foot of the giants that you used to see only in movies.

You can get to the complex by bus, or taxi, and make sure you set aside a full day for exploring.

There are two points of entry to the pyramid complex in Giza, one located near the Great Pyramid which is used mostly by tourists, and the other one near the Sphinx used mainly by locals. It’s better if you use the Great Pyramid entrance as that way you won’t have to walk very far to get to the pyramids. Expect to see a lot of crowds near the entrance. The further you walk around and explore, the less crowded it will become for those perfect photos.

The Great Pyramid & Sphinx, Cairo, Egypt

Weekends will be more crowded as schools are closed at that time so be prepared that there will be even more people.

There will be people trying to sell you stuff or offer you camel rides everywhere. Don’t be afraid to say no and walk away because if you feel bad for saying “no” and start replying, the conversation may go for hours.

Keep in mind that you’ll have to do a lot of walking, it’s about 3 km from the panoramic view to the Sphynx and on top of that you’ll walk a lot just around the area. So, because that was impossible for my mom, we just got a horse carriage. Again, remember to bargain as we paid way too much for it. You can also hop on a horse or a horse carriage for around $10 to get around the Giza Plateau. Another popular option is to go on a camel ride which will cost you around 300 EGP. In my opinion, it’s a very fun and interesting way to explore the Pyramid complex. The only thing you should look out for when choosing your ride is whether the animal is treated well.

There is another more adventurous way to explore the pyramids – booking an ATV tour. It will guarantee a lot of fun along the way and great pictures at the end.

Pro Travel Tip: If you want to avoid being overcharged like we were while visiting the Pyramids I highly recommend you book your tour online in advance. That way you’ll know how much it costs and what is included. You won’t have to bargain afterwards and feel that you got scammed at the end like we did.

The entry ticket to the Giza Pyramids costs 200 EGP for adults and 100 EGP for students. You will pay an extra 400 EGP if you want to go inside the Great Pyramid. Going inside the other two pyramids will cost you 100 EGP each.

Keep in mind that there is not a lot to see inside the pyramids. It’s more about the experience in itself rather than seeing something magical.

If you want to bring your tripod, you’ll get charged additional 20 EGP.

Try and arrive as close to opening time as possible to enjoy a full day of exploration and to avoid the crowds. It is open from 6 am until 5 pm.

My top recommendations for the day at the Great Pyramids of Giza are: go inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu, take the perfect photo with the Sphinx, and take in the view from the lookout point from where you can see all three of them lined up, just enjoy walking around the complex, and if you can come back in the evening watch the Sound and Light Show.

I haven’t seen it myself but I have to warn you that a lot of people have mixed feelings about it. The people that we were traveling with who had seen it told us that it was very boring and not worth the money. If you would like to check it out for yourself, click here to visit the official website.

After a busy day, head back to collect your belongings from your hotel. Tonight is the time to head to Aswan for the next part of your adventure. I recommend booking the overnight train to Aswan on this night, to save both time and paying for a night in the hotel. Riding a train in Egypt is an experience in itself. First class is your best option for trains in Egypt for a relaxing and stress-free journey. They will even offer you a small breakfast in the morning.

After a restful night on the train, enjoy a day exploring the highlights of Aswan.

First, head out to see the Unfinished Obelisk. This monument from ancient Egypt was ordered to be built by Hatshepsut, the second historically confirmed female pharaoh of Egypt, more than 3,500 years ago. If finished the obelisk made out of bedrock would have been around 42 meters and would have weighed nearly 1,090 tonnes. Because of the cracks that appeared during the carving process, the project was abandoned. This open-air museum is a very interesting place to visit just don’t forget to put on sunscreen and grab your hat, as there is no shade.

Unfinished Obelisk

After that stop to see the Aswan High Dam. It’s the world’s largest embankment dam built across the Nile River. The Dam is 3,600 meters long, 980 meters wide, and 111 meters tall at its highest point. It provides irrigation water and electricity for the whole of Egypt.

Continuing our adventures, take a short boat ride over to Agilika Island where you can visit the Philae Temple.

This temple dedicated to the goddess Isis was the last temple built in the classical Egyptian style. It would have been buried underwater but you can still enjoy its beauty today. It was saved by UNESCO’s rescue project during the building of the Aswan High Dam. Transferred block by block from their original place on Philae Island to Agilika Island.

Another place that you can visit in Aswan is the Nubian Museum to learn even more history. We were too tired by that point after all the exploring, so we just embarked on our beautiful cruise ship, where we stayed for the remainder of the trip.

There are plenty of different options for Nile cruises, so research which one suits your budget and needs best. Food is usually included in all trips, so enjoy the service and amenities onboard after boarding.

Almost all Nile cruises include an optional excursion to Abu Simbel. You will probably pay a little bit extra if you want to do it but visiting the Abu Simbel Temples is even more exciting to some people than visiting the Pyramids of Giza!

The excursion usually involves a very early start at about 3 am. It took us 6 hours to get there but believe me, it’s well worth it. I found this to be the most interesting temple that I visited during my trip to Egypt.

Temple de Nefertari, Abu Simbel

The site has two massive rock temples; The Small Temple of Hathor and Nefertari and The Great Temple of Ramesses II.

This complex was also relocated in its entirety in 1968 to an artificial hill to save it from submersion during the creation of the Lake Nasser and the Aswan Dam.

The Great Temple at Abu Simbel took around 20 years to build and was completed on the 24th year of the Ramesses the Great’s reign (1265 BC). There are four majestic 20 meters (66 ft) statues, at the entrance each representing Ramesses II seated on a throne.

There is a lot of history and impressive facts surrounding this place which I can’t even start to tell you in this blog post. So, put it on top of your list, and don’t miss a chance to visit this stunning place!

I suggest you visit the Temple of Kom Ombo later on this day. You can even see the mummified crocodiles there! I was shocked to see how well preserved they are after 2000 years.

After such an early start you will simply want to spend the rest of the day relaxing on your ship and enjoy an evening watching the scenery of the Nile River. We even had a pool on the upper deck to enjoy it to the fullest. A lot of cruises will offer cultural entertainment during the evening time or you can simply go to bed and prepare for the next day on our Egypt itinerary.

You will most likely be offered another optional early morning trip today, to the Temple of Horus located in Edfu. We started at 5 am with a horse carriage ride to get there.

This temple was built between 237 and 57 BC and is one of the most well-preserved monuments in Egypt. It is dedicated to Horus, the avenging son of Osiris and Isis.

Temple of Horus in Edfu, Nile River, Egypt.

Take some rest following your morning excursion, as your ship sails to Luxor, which was once an Ancient Egyptian capital.

Again it will depend on the cruise company you choose but most of them will make an overnight stop in Luxor, and this gives you the perfect chance to explore the area.

Visit the large Ancient Egyptian temple complex – the Luxor Temple, which was built by Ramesses II in approximately 1400 BCE. It’s better if you visit it either early in the morning before the crowds arrive or later at sunset time.

Enjoy some delicious Egyptian cuisine, and if you are lucky enough you will get the chance to see the Karnak Temple Light and Sound show, it’s an amazing night time activity to add to your Egypt Itinerary.

Again, if you feel more comfortable with booking a tour rather than exploring alone, which I highly recommend, you should check out this tour. It includes exploring the East and West banks.

Day 7: West Bank of the Nile

The final day of the cruise is another action-packed one with plenty of sightseeing that needs to be done. Egypt is certainly a non-stop adventure for visitors!

This is the perfect time to add some more activities to your Egypt itinerary. If you’re not afraid of heights and would like to try something more adrenaline-oriented, then I would suggest you go on a hot-air balloon ride. Again you’ll have to wake up very early to do it (hotel pick-ups usually go from 3 to 4:30 am) and pay some extra but it’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences, so I truly believe that it’s well worth it.

If you’re still not convinced then I’d recommend starting the morning with seeing the Colossi of Memnon. They are two impressive statues of Amenhotep III who reigned in Egypt during the 18th dynasty. They have stood at that place since 1350 BCE.

Colossi of Memnon

There is nothing else that you can see there, so after spending 15-20 minutes continue your journey to one of the most impressive sights of your visit to Egypt, the Valley of the Kings.

It’s another massive sight of Ancient Egypt that will blow your mind by its size and majesty. There are many different temples to explore here that are included in the price of your entrance.

The Valley of the Kings is a royal burial ground that was used during the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties to bury pharaohs. Some of the most famous kings are buried here including Tutankhamun and Ramses II. You will be very impressed by the preservation of these tombs, and you can even still admire the colors and details of the paintings.

It’s one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. There are over 60 tombs in this area, however, only eight of them are open to the public.

Your entrance ticket which costs 240 EGP per person will include three of the tombs. If you would like to see more than three you have to buy an additional ticket. The list of open tombs changes frequently as they may be closed for renovation during your visit. If you would like to take pictures inside with anything other than your cell phone you’ll need to pay 300 EGP (check this information when you get there, as the rules change all the time).

Tomb of Ramses the 4th, Valley of the Kings

We visited the tombs of Ramesses IV, Ramesses III, and the tomb of Tausert and Setnakht as our tour guide told us that they were the most interesting 3 tombs included in the ticket.

Tomb of Seti I is considered to be the best one in the Valley of the Kings. However, I didn’t go inside myself because the visit to the tomb of Seti I will cost you additional 1,000 EGP, which is around $62!

One of the largest and most impressive tombs is of Ramesses V and VI and it will cost you an extra 100 EGP.

Visiting the tomb of Tutankhamun and seeing his mummy will cost you 300 EGP.

There is another tomb that comes with an even bigger price tag and it’s the tomb of Queen Nefertari. It’s located on the west bank of Luxor in the Valley of the Queens. The price to get inside is 1,400 EGP. Again, I didn’t go inside myself, so I won’t give my opinion about whether it’s worth it or not.

My only advice to you is to choose wisely, as visiting too many tombs in one go can get too repetitive and very expensive.

If you would like to read even more information about all the temples I would suggest you check out this blog post. It was written by the Earth Trekkers and they have a lot more in-depth information for your visit.

After the Valley of the Kings, head to visit the stunning Temple of Hatshepsut. She was one of the most powerful female rulers after all. She reigned in Egypt for about 20 years. The ticket cost is 140 EGP.

Don’t forget to visit the Karnak Temple Complex. The most impressive part of which is the Hypostyle Hall with its 134 massive columns arranged in 16 rows.

Sadly this brings us to the end of your time on the River Nile. If you are traveling home after this 7-Day Egypt Itinerary, tonight you will head to a hotel or airport before flying home tomorrow. You can return to Cairo via the train, and once again I’d recommend booking first-class tickets for a comfortable journey.

Today is sadly the end of our time in Egypt. If you are flying home, this day will be dedicated to traveling.

If you have more time, I would highly encourage adding more time in this amazing country. If you have more time in Cairo before or after your travels, I’d recommend visiting the White Desert or Black Desert. You can also find tours that combine the two, although this can be quite an exhausting day out! They both offer spectacular scenery, with the White Desert in Farafra showcasing snow-white to cream-colored rocks. The Black Desert is a spectacular sight, with black tips to its landscape. I would also highly recommend looking into more hot air balloon rides over Egypt. They are an amazing way to get a different perspective on the landscape and scale of the country, and are in my opinion a must-do in Egypt!

Gebel Dist ('Pyramid Mountain'), the Black Desert, from Bahariya Oasis, the Western Desert, Egypt.

The best choices for trip extensions are relaxing trips to Hurghada or Sharm El-Sheikh. Hurghada is a beach resort town on the coast of the Red Sea and stretches for over forty kilometers. It’s well known for its amazing scuba diving, with many dive schools if you are a beginner located in the Sekalla district. The area features endless resorts and restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Enjoy exploring the old town, El Dahar, with traditional souks and coffee shops.

There are so many amazing different activities that you can experience in Hurghada. You can book a 3-hour Desert Safari ATV Ride, go on a Snorkeling Trip to Giftun Island, take a Submarine Trip to see the underwater world of the Red Sea, or you can book an even longer trip which includes an ATV drive through the desert, visit to the Bedouin village and a traditional Arabic evening.

Sharm el-Sheikh is another resort town located between the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea. Another great diving destination, with amazing marine life at Ras Muhammad National Park, it’s known for its variety of luxury resorts. Naama Bay is filled with restaurants and bars and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy an all-inclusive escape following a busy week of exploring.

Where To Stay in Egypt?

What can be better than staying in a hotel where you can see the Great Pyramids while having your breakfast? These are the top options to do that!

This is probably one of the most popular hotels to stay at if you want a breathtaking view of the pyramids while eating your breakfast. It’s located less than half a kilometer (0.62 mi) away from the complex. The hotel itself is surrounded by 40 acres of green gardens, and has a fitness center, a pool, and a spa.

Located at a 4-minute walk away from the Sphinx, this is another gem of a hotel to enjoy the majestic view of the pyramids. This hotel has a rooftop terrace from which you can enjoy the Sound and Light show without paying for the ticket.

This bed and breakfast is located right in front of the Giza Plateau and needless to say it offers one of the best views of the pyramids and the Sphinx. You can drink your free tea while sitting on the rooftop terrace enjoying the view. They will even arrange a free arrival pick-up shuttle from the airport for you.

FAQs for Visiting Egypt

If you are focusing your trip on seeing the main outdoor sites, I’d recommend traveling to Egypt between October and April. Around that time you’ll experience great weather, and it won’t be too unbearably hot.

The busiest travel season is between December and February, so it can be a little more crowded and expensive during that time. I went to Egypt in April and the weather was perfect.

If you are planning to spend a lot of time touring the country, I would avoid visiting during the summer months as it can be extremely dry and hot, making traveling quite unpleasant.

To visit Egypt, you will need a visa to enter. You can either apply in advance for an Egypt e-Visa online, or queue at the border upon your arrival into the country. The visa will cost $25 US for a single entry visa (for up to 30 days) or $35 US for a multi-entry visa.

It’s impossible to say that any country is entirely safe, as bad things can happen anywhere in the world. I can only share my honest personal opinion with you and what I can say is that from my time in Egypt, I’ve felt very safe, welcomed, and comfortable during the whole time.

Educate yourself before traveling to Egypt about common tourist scams and current issues. Check authorized travel advisories for the country.

If you are not comfortable traveling alone, I would highly suggest you book a group tour. That way you won’t have to worry as much as you will always be with your group. It also means you don’t have to do a lot of planning for your trip and can sit back and enjoy the journey.

For a trip to Egypt, you will want to pack a similar wardrobe as to any other hot-climate destination you may visit. The most important thing is that all of your clothes should be lightweight and breathable.

Also, keep in mind local traditions and keep your knees and shoulders covered as much as possible. Don’t wear short pants and crop tops. Be polite and respect other traditions, cultures, and religions. A scarf is very handy to pack and carry everywhere with you, so you can cover your head when visiting mosques.

Egypt uses European plugs, so you may need to pack an adaptor.

To stay protected from the sun and hot weather, use sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat when you are outside.

You don’t want to be caught short at any point so I’d suggest always carrying hand sanitizer and a toilet roll.

The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound. Tipping is expected everywhere in Egypt, so be prepared with small notes for your hotel, restaurant, and cruise ship staff.

If you are looking to enjoy the main highlights of Egypt, seven days will be enough. One week is the perfect amount of time for touring Egypt. This allows you to see places like Cairo, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Luxor while cruising along the Nile River. The trip will be jam-packed and you will have to wake up pretty early almost every day but it will allow you to see all the main sights of the country in a short time and will be worth it for sure.

Nile River Cruise

If you can afford a more extended trip time-wise in Egypt, you could add several days or even a week at a beach resort near the Red Sea, such as Hurghada or Sharm El-Sheikh. Also, these destinations are perfect for scuba diving. After a busy week of sightseeing, relaxing in a resort is the perfect end to your time in Egypt.

I hope this 7-Day Egypt Itinerary has given you some inspiration for your next trip. Egypt is one of my favorite destinations and is a place that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. The longer you can afford to spend in this country, the more enjoyable your trip will be, as it can become quite hectic and tiring with so many amazing sites to see. I hope you have an amazing time in Egypt, and that you enjoy exploring the culture and history of this country as much as I did.

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Egypt Travel Advisory

Travel advisory july 13, 2023, egypt - level 3: reconsider travel.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Reconsider travel to Egypt due to  terrorism . Exercise increased caution in Egypt due to  the Embassy’s limited ability to assist dual national U.S.-Egyptian citizens who are arrested or detained.

Do not travel to:

  • The Sinai Peninsula (with the exception of travel to Sharm El-Sheikh by air) due to  terrorism .
  • The Western Desert due to  terrorism .
  • Egyptian border areas due to  military zones .

Country Summary: Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Egypt. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, and have targeted diplomatic facilities, tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, western businesses, restaurants, resorts, and local government facilities. Terrorists have conducted attacks in urban areas, including in Cairo, despite the heavy security presence. Terrorists have targeted religious sites, to include mosques, churches, monasteries, and buses traveling to these locations.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Egypt, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the  Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices .

Local law prohibits protesting or demonstrating without a permit. Being near anti-government protests can draw scrutiny from Egyptian police and security forces. U.S. citizens have been detained for participating in protests and for posting content on social media perceived as critical of Egypt or its allies.

The U.S. Embassy may have a limited ability to provide consular services to dual U.S.-Egyptian citizens. Egyptian law considers dual citizens to be Egyptian citizens.

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Egypt.

If you decide to travel to Egypt:  

  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Obtain comprehensive medical insurance that includes medical evacuation.
  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)   to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on   Facebook   and   Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report   for Egypt.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest   Travel Health Information  related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the   Traveler’s Checklist .

Sinai Peninsula – Level 4: Do Not Travel The Sinai Peninsula remains a particularly dangerous area, with frequent attacks on security forces and civilians.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens anywhere in the Sinai Peninsula as U.S. government employees are not authorized to travel to these areas (with the exception of the beach resort of Sharm El-Sheikh; travel to Sharm El-Sheikh is only permitted by air). Visit our website for  Travel to High-Risk Areas .

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egypt travel 24

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Warnings and insurance

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The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice .

Areas where FCDO advises against travel

Your travel insurance could be invalidated if you travel against FCDO advice. Consular support is also severely limited where FCDO advises against travel.

Egypt-Libya border

FCDO advises against all travel to within 20km of the Egypt-Libya border, except for the town of El Salloum (where we advise against all but essential travel).

North Sinai

FCDO advises against all travel to the Governorate of North Sinai.

Northern part of South Sinai

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the northern part of the Governorate of South Sinai, beyond the St Catherine-Nuweibaa road, except for the coastal areas along the west and east of the peninsula.

The eastern part of Ismailiyah Governorate

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the Ismailiyah Governorate east of the Suez Canal.

Western Desert

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions, except for:

  • Luxor, Qina, Aswan, Abu Simbel and the Valley of the Kings
  • the Governorate of Faiyum
  • the coastal areas between the Nile Delta and Marsa Matruh
  • the Marsa Matruh-Siwa Road
  • the oasis town of Siwa
  • the Giza Governorate north-east of the Bahariya Oasis
  • the road between Giza and Farafra (but we advise against all but essential travel on the road between Bahariya and Siwa)
  • Bahariya Oasis, Farafra, the White Desert and Black Desert

Hala’ib Triangle and Bir Tawil Trapezoid

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the Hala’ib Triangle and the Bir Tawil Trapezoid.

Find out more about why FCDO advises against travel .

Conflict in neighbouring Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs)

The Israeli government has declared a state of emergency across the whole country. International borders in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) could close at short notice. As a result, the land border into Israel from Egypt at Taba could close with little notice. Check with local authorities and consult the travel advice for  Israel  and the  Occupied Palestinian Territories  before trying to cross the border.

In response to events in Israel and the OPTs, a number of demonstrations have taken place in Egypt and protests have been planned, including after Friday prayers. Demonstrations could take place at short notice, with a heavy security presence in place. You should avoid large gatherings, demonstrations and protests. See  Safety and security

Entering Egypt from Gaza

The Rafah border crossing partially opened on 1 November. This is primarily to facilitate the evacuation of seriously wounded Palestinians and some foreign nationals. We understand that the crossing will continue to be open for controlled and time-limited periods to allow specific groups of foreign nationals, including British nationals, to cross. It is for the Egyptian and Israeli authorities to determine who is permitted to cross, and when. The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will contact Embassies to let them know when their foreign nationals can cross. Should we receive notification from the Israeli and Egyptian authorities that individuals are permitted to cross, we will notify those people individually.

Movement to the Rafah crossing and beyond is at your own risk. You should only travel if you judge it is safe to do so. Check the  Israel and The Occupied Palestinian Territories travel advice.

The Egyptian authorities have said all aid going into Gaza from Egypt must be channelled through the Egyptian Red Crescent:

  • telephone: + 20 226 703 979, + 20 226 703 983
  • fax: + 20 226 703 967

They are unlikely to consider requests for humanitarian access made in Egypt at short notice.

Concern for friends and family

If you are concerned about friends or family, or need consular assistance call:

  • British Embassy Cairo on + 20 (0)2 2791 6000
  • +44 1767 667 600  (UK number) if you experience technical difficulties with the above number

Incidents in South Sinai  

On 27 October, an Egyptian Armed Forces spokesperson confirmed that an unidentified drone fell near a medical facility in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Taba next to the Israeli border, injuring six people. An additional unidentified drone also struck outside the town of Nuweiba, though no casualties have been confirmed. The authorities are conducting ongoing investigations.

Incident in Alexandria

On 8 October 2023, an Egyptian police officer is reported to have shot and killed two Israeli tourists and an Egyptian tour guide in Alexandria. A third tourist was injured. Remain vigilant and exercise caution at tourist and religious sites, as well as public gatherings. Find out more information on current risks on the  Safety and security .

Border crossings from Sudan

There are still people trying to cross the border into Egypt at Argeen and Qustul. Our ability to provide consular assistance is very limited.

If you are a British national and have crossed the border without valid documentation, contact the British Embassy in Cairo for consular assistance on + 20 (0)2 2791 6000.

Before you travel

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide as well as support for British nationals abroad which includes:

  • advice on preparing for travel abroad and reducing risks
  • information for women, LGBT+ and disabled travellers

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated.

Travel insurance

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance . Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.

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Fjords, Pharaohs or Koalas? Time to Plan for Your Next Eclipse.

If you can’t get enough of totality, or missed out this time, you’ll have three more chances in the next four years in destinations like Iceland, Spain, Egypt and Australia.

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A small, black disk surrounded by a bright, white halo suspended in a mostly dark sky over the still waters of a lake in which dim, golden light from the horizon is reflecting. There are dark hills and mountains beyond the lake.

By Danielle Dowling

Are you still a little giddy from the magical moments of totality during Monday’s solar eclipse? Or did clouds swoop in to block your view? Maybe you just couldn’t make it to the path of totality this time. No matter what, the question now is “ Where and when will it happen again?”

“People who have never seen it before, the first words out of their mouth after the totality ends is ‘I’ve got to see another one, this is incredible, this is unbelievable.’ That is when you become addicted to these things and end up traveling no matter where the next one is,” said Joseph Rao, an eclipse chaser and guest lecturer at the Hayden Planetarium.

So, if like Mr. Rao, you’ve developed a raging case of umbraphilia — the love of eclipses — you’ll have three chances over the next four years to see the moon blot out the sun. The first, on Aug. 12, 2026, will start above Greenland, then strafe the west coast of Iceland and move along the Atlantic Ocean and over Spain. Almost a year later, on Aug. 2, 2027, another will skirt the Mediterranean coast of North Africa then cross Egypt and part of the Arabian Peninsula. The third, on July 22, 2028, will cut across Australia and the southern tip of New Zealand.

Future Eclipses

Eclipse chasers will have several more chances this decade to view a total solar eclipse .

egypt travel 24

Last week, as Victoria Sahami , the owner of Sirius Travel , was preparing to guide a group of tourists in Mazatlán, Mexico, for Monday’s big event, she was also planning for these other upcoming eclipses. Ms. Sahami joined the ranks of the eclipse-obsessed when she witnessed one in Venezuela in the 1990s. “Like many people, I was hooked. There was no going back,” she said.

Total solar eclipses happen fairly regularly — about every one to two years — in locations scattered around the world. “That’s the great thing about them: You wind up in places that you don’t normally go,” Ms. Sahami said.

A major spoiler is weather, which will be a big variable in the 2026 eclipse — one Greenland, Iceland and Spain will see.

“Iceland normally has a lot of cloud during that time of year,” said Paul Maley , who runs Ring of Fire Expeditions . “The data shows Spain to have the higher good-weather prospects of all three. However, the sun is low in the sky and the eclipse ends as the sun hits the horizon at sunset.”

Because of Iceland’s mercurial meteorology, Ring of Fire Expeditions is going all in on Spain, with a 10-day excursion on the mainland. Sirius Travel is offering not only a five-day trip to Majorca but also an eight-day tour around Iceland. It will be based in Reykjavik, and the itinerary will remain flexible on the day of the eclipse so the tour can easily pivot toward the location with the least cloud cover. Ms. Sahami recommends the trip for those who already have a few eclipses under their belt and would be happy just to take in the sights of Iceland if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

The 2027 eclipse, on the other hand, promises to be truly stellar: Luxor, Egypt — the site of numerous ancient temples as well as the Valleys of the Kings and Queens — sits right in the middle of the path of totality and will be bathed in darkness for a full 6 minutes 23 seconds. Weather-wise, it is what Ms. Sahami called “a slam dunk.” “You know you’re going to see it. You know that you’re not going to get any clouds,” she said.

But for all its potential, those considering Egypt should be aware that the State Department has a Level 3 “Reconsider Travel” warning for the country because of the risk of terrorism.

The 2028 eclipse will darken the skies over Sydney, Australia, for 3 minutes 49 seconds. It will be the first time the city has experienced a total solar eclipse since 1857. Ms. Sahami has her eyes on a trip based out of there, while Mr. Maley has chartered a cruise ship off the northwest coast of Australia. It will be winter there, he said, but that isn’t likely to mean bad eclipse-viewing weather.

If you want to see any (or all) of these eclipses, you should get started on planning and booking now, particularly if you want to sign up for a trip organized by a tour company. One of Sirius Travel’s excursions to Luxor is already full.

Scrutinize refund policies and look into insuring your trip. Several companies will fully refund your deposit if you cancel a year in advance. A lot can happen, Ms. Sahami said, “but if you think you’re going to go, why not?”

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

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Solar eclipse 2024: A traveller’s guide to the best places to be when the light goes out

O n 8 April 2024, a total solar eclipse will sweep across North America , providing an astronomical experience in many alluring locations.

Only a tiny proportion of humanity has ever witnessed a total eclipse – but tens of millions of people will be able to experience one as the “path of totality” sweeps from the Pacific to the Atlantic during the course of that magical Monday.

Here’s what you need to know about why you should see it and where to be.

What happens during a total solar eclipse?

The greatest show on earth comes courtesy of the lifeless moon. Normally the orbiting lunar lump merely provides earth with tides, moonlight and somewhere to aim space rockets. But roughly once a year the natural satellite aligns with the sun and, thanks to a geometric miracle, blots out the hub of the solar system to create a total eclipse.

“Even though the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, it’s also about 400 times closer to earth than the sun is,” says Nasa. “This means that from earth, the moon and the sun appear to be roughly the same size in the sky.”

A narrow band marking the “path of totality” carves an arc of darkness across the surface of our planet. If you are somewhere on that line at the predicted time, and you have clear skies, then the experience will become a lifelong memory.

The closer you are to the centre of the path of totality, the longer the total eclipse will last. The astronomer Dr John Mason, who has guided dozens of eclipse trips (and will be doing so again in 2024), says: “People down in southwest Texas will get about four minutes 20 seconds, and that reduces to about three minutes 20 seconds up in the northeast. That’s a pretty good, long total eclipse.”

What’s so good about seeing an eclipse?

In the days leading up to the eclipse, locations in the path of totality acquire something of a carnival atmosphere as astronomical tourists converge in excited anticipation.

On the day, the cosmological performance begins with a warm-up lasting more than an hour, during which the moon steadily nibbles away at the surface of the sun.

Suddenly, you experience totality. The stars and planets appear in the middle of the day. The air chills.

To testify to the heavenly fit between our two most familiar heavenly bodies, faint diamonds known as Baily’s beads peek out from behind the moon. They actually comprise light from the sun slipping through lunar valleys.

A sight to behold – so long as you can see the moon blotting out the sun and appreciate the mathematical perfection of nature in our corner of the galaxy.

Eclipses are entirely predictable: we know the stripes that the next few dozen will paint upon the surface of the Earth. But the weather is not. Cloud cover, which blighted the Cornwall eclipse in 1999, downgrades a cosmological marvel to an eerie daytime gloom.

Almost as predictable as the eclipse is that traffic towards the path of totality will be heavy on the morning of 8 April 2024.

Accommodation rates are astronomical: even humdrum motel rooms in Niagara, central in the path of totality, are selling for C$600 (£350) for the night of 7-8 April 2024.

Where will the great American eclipse 2024 be visible?

The path of totality makes landfall from the Pacific at Mazatlan on Mexico’s Pacific Coast and sweeps northeastwards to reach the US-Mexican border at Piedras Negras.

In the US, three big Texan cities – San Antonio, Austin and Dallas – are on the extremes of the path of totality; many citizens are likely to drive to locations near the centre of the line.

Arkansas will be an attractive place to see the eclipse , with both Texarkana (on the border with Texas) and Little Rock within the path of totality.

In the Midwest, Indianapolis and Cleveland share the distinction of being fairly central in the path of totality. In upstate New York, Buffalo and nearby Niagara Falls (shared with Canada) could be extremely attractive – though prone in early April to cloudy skies.

In Canada , Montreal is just touched by the path of totality. The line then reverts to the US, passing across northern Maine – which promises to be a superb with clear skies. Then back to Canada’s Maritime Provinces, with New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland all in the line of darkness.

Will I be able to see a partial eclipse from the UK?

Yes. The eclipse ends with the sunset in the eastern Atlantic, about 600 miles off the coast of Cornwall , before it reaches the UK and Ireland . But on the island of Ireland and western parts of Great Britain, a partial eclipse may be visible with the sun low in the sky.

If skies are clear and you have an open view to the west, it will start at around 7.55pm in Cardiff, Liverpool , Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

BBC Weather presenter Simon King said: “With the partial solar eclipse occurring late in the day UK time, the Sun will be low to the horizon and will actually set before the spectacle is over.”

Can I combine an exciting city with a partial eclipse?

Boston, New York and Chicago are among the big cities that will see a sizeable chunk of the sun blotted out. Viewer as far apart as Alaska and the far north of Colombia and the Caribbean will, if skies are clear and they use the correct eye protection, see a partial eclipse. But there is nothing to compare with a total eclipse.

Eclipse guru Dr Mason sums up the difference between a 99 per cent partial eclipse and a total eclipse as far apart as “a peck on the cheek and a night of passion”.

“There will be people who will look at the map and say, ‘I live in Cincinnati or I live in Columbus [Ohio] and I’m just outside the zone of totality. But I’m going to get a 99 per cent-plus eclipse, so maybe I won’t bother to travel’.

“What they don’t realise is there an enormous difference between 99 per cent and 100 per cent. And there’s a range of phenomena that they won’t see if they put up with 99 per cent.”

You must use special eclipse safety glasses or viewers when viewing a partial eclipse or during the partial phases of a total solar eclipse.

Where should I be for the total experience?

There are no guarantees of clear skies: all you can do is play the odds based on the record of cloud cover for the corresponding date in previous years.

Dr Mason says the average expected cloud cover amounts increase from around 40-45 per cent on the Mexico/Texas border to over 80 per cent in Maine, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

Three particularly tempting locations:

  • Southern Texas , close to San Antonio or Austin. Besides clear skies being more likely than not, access is easy with direct flights to Austin. Importantly there is much to explore in the region before and after the eclipse, from Big Bend National Park on the Rio Grande to Space Center Houston – an excellent place to continue the cosmological theme.
  • Northern Arkansas , a picturesque part of the state, with the added attraction of Memphis just a couple of hours away.
  • Niagara Falls : the dramatic border between the US and Canada could be an eclipse washout due to clouds. But the natural surroundings are impeccable – and there is plenty of accommodation, which will avoid the risk of being caught in severe traffic congestion on the freeways from Toronto and locations in New York State.

However, the most recent forecasts for cloud cover suggest that the Midwest around Indianapolis and the northeastern state of Maine could have the best prospects.

When are the next total solar eclipses?

Summer 2026 – Wednesday 12 August, to be precise – should bring a spectacular eclipse visible in northern Spain at the height of the European holiday season. The path of totality begins in the Arctic and crosses Greenland and Iceland before arriving in the northern half of Spain. The stripe of darkness will traverse the great cities of Bilbao, Zaragoza and Valencia in mainland Spain before arriving in Palma de Mallorca.

The following summer (2 August 2027), the southern tip of mainland Spain is in the path of totality for an eclipse that will sweep across North Africa and the Arabian peninsula : going east from the Strait of Gibraltar, it will encompass Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, the northeasternmost corner of Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Just under 12 months later, on 22 July 2028, Outback Australia will be the place to be. A total eclipse will make landfall in northern Western Australia, sweep across the Northern Territory and part of southwest Queensland – then clean across New South Wales, with Sydney in the middle of the path of totality.

Winter cloud cover could disrupt the experience in Australia’s largest city – and is very likely in the southern portion of New Zealand’s South Island where the eclipse reaches a finale.

Australia also features in the cosmological plans on 25 November 2030. This is early summer in the southern hemisphere, and likely to be good conditions for viewing in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa (Durban is on the path of totality) as well as South Australia.

The Independent is the world’s most free-thinking news brand, providing global news, commentary and analysis for the independently-minded. We have grown a huge, global readership of independently minded individuals, who value our trusted voice and commitment to positive change. Our mission, making change happen, has never been as important as it is today.


Middle East latest: Iran launches drones at Israel and they will arrive within hours, IDF says

Iran has launched "pilotless aircraft" at Israel, the Israeli military has said. Delivering a televised statement, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari says Israel is "well prepared" for the attack.

Saturday 13 April 2024 22:21, UK

  • Israel-Hamas war
  • Iran launches drones at Israel and they'll arrive in hours - IDF
  • Iran says it has launched missiles  
  • Iran seizes Israeli-linked cargo ship with 25 crew on board
  • Watch: Revolutionary Guards board vessel by helicopter
  • 'Iran will bear consequences', Israel responds
  • Seizure of ship is 'blatant violation of international law', says UK defence sec
  • Risk of dragging US and UK into another major conflict
  • Explained: Why is Iran threatening to attack Israel? 
  • Live reporting by Jess Sharp

By Mark Stone , US correspondent

There have been several moments in the last six months when the feeling of acute geopolitical anxiety from the Middle East could be felt in Washington DC.

In the hours after the Hamas attacks of 7 October there was a profound sense of "what now?"

Since then, there have been a few anxious inflection points. 

But without question this moment - right now - is the most dangerous yet, by a long way.

A direct attack by Iran against Israel is unprecedented. 

Even if the drones are intercepted, even if casualty numbers are low or zero, Israelis will feel profoundly vulnerable and the Israeli government will feel compelled to retaliate. 

The use of cruise missiles - if confirmed - would change the dynamic further still.

Even if Iran has calculated a "maximum show/minimum impact" strategy - most likely to be achieved by using drones - the chance of miscalculation is huge.

The kamikaze drones are expected to take about nine hours to reach Israel. They are flying low to avoid radar, making them harder to intercept. 

By choosing drones, Iran is repeating a tested method of attack. A swarm of kamikaze drones hit Saudi oil plants in 2019, killing no one but costing the Saudi oil trade millions. Today's drones will be more sophisticated. 

There is a deep psychological aspect to all this too. People across Israel will not sleep tonight, knowing that drones are already in the air, heading their way.

Ever since Israel made the covert decision to take out two Iranian generals inside the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, 13 days ago, they knew it would provoke a response. 

Iran said its reply would be "calibrated". That was interpreted as "limited" so as not to spark a massive Israeli response and regional war.

With an attack now underway, that assessment may have been very naive.

President Biden is in the White House right now, back from his weekend retreat a day early. As American President, the ability to control this - to limit the spiral - should rest with him. 

It's a huge test for the leader of the free world who, hitherto, has been shown to have limited leverage in the regional crisis.  

Rishi Sunak has condemned Iran's attack in the "strongest terms". 

In a statement posted on X, the UK's prime minister said the drone and missile attack was "reckless" and the UK will continue to "stand up for Israel's security". 

Benjamin Netanyahu has convened his war cabinet, his office has announced. 

The Israeli prime minister has gathered the officials at the military headquarters in Tel Aviv, it added. 

It comes as the country prepares to intercept a salvo of drones and missiles launched by Iran, which are expected to arrive in the coming hours.

This was the moment the Israeli military announced dozens of drones had been launched by Iran. 

Israel Defence Forces spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said it would take "several hours" for the drones to arrive. 

"We have prepared for diverse scenarios in advance. In order to intercept these launches, we have the circles of protection from both the navy and the air force on several layers," he said. 

Now that Iran has begun its retaliation against Israel, the US is bracing for this to be "a major attack", two senior American officials have said. 

Speaking to our US partner NBC News, the unnamed officials said the Biden administration is expecting Iran to launch more than 100 drones, dozens of cruise missiles and dozens of ballistic missiles. 

One of the officials said the weapons were expected to target Israeli government sites, not civilians or religious sites. 

The US and Israel have been closely coordinating how to defend against the attack

"Were ready. The Israelis are ready," the official said.

US CENTCOM commander General Michael Kurillla has been meeting senior Israeli officials for the past several days.

During his visit, he consulted with the Israelis on a defence plan which includes US help from the sea and air, as well as how Israel might respond to Iran's attack, the senior American officials said.

The administration was not expecting Iran to target any US assets in the region, they added. 

Jordan has declared a state of emergency after Iran launched dozens of drones and missiles at Israel. 

Earlier, Jordan announced it was closing its airspace amid the threat of an Iranian attack. 

Two regional security sources have said the country's air defences were also ready to intercept any Iranian drone or aircraft that enters it airspace. 

Iran has also launched missiles at Israel, its Revolutionary Guards has said.

In a statement quoted by state media, the branch of the Iranian Armed Forces said it has targeted specific places in Israel with dozens of drones and missiles. 

It said the attack was launched in response to "numerous crimes of the evil Zionist regime, including the attack on the consular section of the Iranian embassy in Damascus".

The Israeli military confirmed a salvo of drones had been launched from the country and could take "several hours" to arrive. 

Israeli media has reported the drones could start arriving at around 2am local time (12am UK time) but the missiles could arrive sooner. 

Israel has been on high alert for an Iranian attack since a deadly airstrike on Iran's embassy in Syria killed two of its top generals. 

Israel has been widely blamed for the strike, but it has not publicly commented on the attack. 

With Iran having launched dozens of drones towards Israel, our international correspondent Alex Rossi , says it is an "extraordinarily dangerous" moment for the Middle East. 

He stresses that it is extremely difficult to predict, but the attack could "set off a chain of events" that ignite a wider conflict. 

"We have seen these drones used with devastating effect by the Russians in Ukraine supplied by the Iranians," he says.

"When we have seen them used in that context they are often thrown into the airspace of the country in order to overwhelm it.

"The strike could be it, but it could be that this is a prelude to a bigger attack. It is not clear at this moment.

"Here we have the possibility of it breaking into state-on-state open warfare. And we have heard the security guarantee from the Americans, who will stand steadfast with the Israelis.

"They have tried to say to deter the Iranians, but tonight it doesn't seem to have worked."

Israel's airspace will be closed to all flights ahead of the impending Iranian drone strike, the country's aviation authorities have said.

It comes as Israeli media reports the drones are expected to arrive at 2am local time (12am UK time). 

A number of drones have been seen flying from the direction of Iran over Iraq's Sulaymaniya province, three security sources have told Reuters. 

Iraq has also announced it is shutting down its airspace and suspending all air traffic. 

Joe Biden is being "regularly updated" on the drone attack launched by Iran, the White House has said. 

The US president has cut his weekend trip to Delaware short to fly back to Washington this evening.

Once he lands, he will meet national security officials and members of his cabinet at the White House. 

Yesterday, Mr Biden warned Iran against retaliation, even while predicting an attack may be imminent. 

"We are devoted to the defence of Israel. We will support Israel. We will help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed," he said. 

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  • International

April 9, 2024 - Israel-Hamas war

By Chris Lau, Antoinette Radford, Leinz Vales , Tori B. Powell and Aditi Sangal , CNN

Hamas says Israel’s latest proposal does not meet their demands

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

In a statement published early Tuesday, Hamas said the latest deal proposed by Israel does not meet their demands. 

Hamas said it received the proposal through Egyptian, Qatari and American mediators.

While Hamas said it appreciated the effort, the group said Israel “remains stubborn and has not responded to any of the demands of our people and our resistance.”

But Hamas maintained it is “keen to reach an agreement that puts an end to the aggression against our people.”

The group said its leaders would review the proposal and inform the mediators of their response. 

Over the weekend in Cairo, CIA Director Bill Burns presented a new proposal that includes pushing Israel to release a higher number of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the expected 40 Israeli hostages who would be freed during the first phase of a three-stage ceasefire deal.

It's morning in the Middle East. Here's what you need to know

From CNN staff

A Palestinian man ferries water at a makeshift camp for displaced people in Rafah, Gaza, on April 4.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the timing for a ground offensive in the Gazan city of Rafah , where an estimated 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering , has been set — but did not reveal the date.

Earlier on Monday, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir said that if Netanyahu abandoned plans for a ground offensive in Rafah, he may lose the support of the coalition that has kept him in power.

After Netanyahu's announcement, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Israel had not briefed the US on the Rafah invasion's timing, and reiterated that the US believes a ground offensive “would have an enormously harmful effect on … civilians, and that it would ultimately hurt Israel's security.”

Miller said the US would be having “further conversations over the coming days, coming weeks” with Israeli officials about the Rafah offensive “and how they could achieve it in a better way.”

Here are the latest developments in the region:

  • Ceasefire deal: CIA Director Bill Burns presented a new proposal to try to bridge the gaps in ongoing negotiations to broker a deal to bring about a ceasefire in the  war between Israel and Hamas  in Gaza and the release of the Israeli hostages held by the group, according to a source familiar with the discussions.
  • UN to review Palestinian status: A United Nations committee will review whether Palestine will be granted full state member status in the UN this month, according to a UN official. The Palestinian Mission to the UN was granted "non-member observer state" status in November 2012.
  • Damascus strike fallout: Iran's retaliatory attack on Israel after a deadly strike on its consulate in Damascus would likely be carried out by regional proxy forces , people familiar with US intelligence told CNN. The US and its allies  have been bracing for a possible attack  against Israeli and US assets in the Middle East since the strike last week. 
  • Khan Younis in ruins: Palestinians forced from their homes in Khan Younis by Israel’s military offensive have begun returning in small numbers to the city following the withdrawal of  Israeli forces , with many arriving to find their former neighborhoods looking like a wasteland. The bodies of at least 46 Palestinians were recovered after the withdrawal.
  • More aid trucks enter Gaza: On Monday, 419 aid trucks passed through   the Kerem Shalom and Nitzana border crossings — the largest single-day delivery since the conflict began, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said. Before the conflict, an average of 450-500 such trucks would enter Gaza daily. The bulk of aid has traditionally entered Gaza through land crossings, which remain heavily restricted by Israel. 
  • UN calls for media access: UN chief António Guterres called for international journalists to be allowed entry into Gaza, warning that a disinformation war is unfolding alongside the physical conflict in the enclave.
  • Leaders call for ceasefire: The leaders of Egypt, France and Jordan have jointly called for a ceasefire in Gaza . In an op-ed in Jordan and Egypt's state newspapers, as well as France's Le Monde and  The Washington Post , they stressed the need for a peaceful resolution through a two-state solution.
  • Arms sales under scrutiny: A lawyer representing Nicaragua has stressed to the UN's top court the "urgent" need for Germany to suspend arms sales to Israel , arguing this weapons supply could make the country "complicit" in alleged genocide in Gaza. 

Date for Rafah ground offensive is set, Netanyahu says

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem, on February 18.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that a date for a ground offensive into Rafah has been set, according to a video posted on his official Telegram account.

Netanyahu didn't say what the date was.

He also said that "entry into Rafah" was necessary for a "complete victory over Hamas."

Rafah, in the southernmost part of the besieged enclave, is where about 1.5 million Palestinians are estimated to be sheltering after fleeing fighting in the north.

The State Department later said Israel had not briefed the US on the date for the announced invasion of Rafah. 

Matthew Miller, State Department spokesperson, reiterated that the US believes a ground offensive “would have an enormously harmful effect on … civilians, and that it would ultimately hurt Israel's security.”

“We have not yet seen them present a credible plan for dealing with the 1.4 million civilians who are in Rafah, some of whom have moved more than once, some of whom have moved more than twice,” said Miller at a press briefing.

Miller said the US would be having “further conversations over the coming days, coming weeks” with Israeli officials about a potential Rafah operation “and how they could achieve it in a better way.”

UN committee to decide whether to grant Palestine full state member status this month

From CNN’s Natalie Barr and Richard Roth

A specialized United Nations committee will review whether Palestine will be granted full state member status in the UN this month, according to Vanessa Frazier, the UN Ambassador of Malta and Security Council's president for April.

“The council has decided that this deliberation has to take place during the month of April. That is the timeline — April 2024,” Frazier said at a news conference Monday.

After a closed-door session Monday, the UN Security Council referred this request for Palestinian statehood to the Committee on the Admission of New Members, she said.

The committee held their first meeting on Monday to begin discussions regarding Palestine’s renewed application, she said. 

The Palestinian Mission to the UN first put in a request to be recognized as a full member state in 2011. It was granted "non-member observer state" status in November 2012.

The US is historically keen on letting the Israelis and Palestinians decide the issue between themselves. 

UN chief calls for foreign media access into Gaza amid disinformation "war"

From CNN's Irene Nasser and Jen Deaton 

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks to the press in Brussels, Belgium, on March 21.

A disinformation war is unfolding alongside the physical conflict raging in Gaza, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres warned in a post on X Monday, calling for international journalists be allowed entry into the enclave.

Foreign media have been allowed very limited access to Gaza, either embedded with the Israeli military on condition of viewing and approving the unedited raw footage or in rare instances with humanitarian aid convoys going into the enclave.

Leaders of Jordan, France and Egypt call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza 

From CNN’s Jomana Karadsheh, Xiaofei Xu and Eyad Kourdi

Palestinian women and children walk past the ruins of buildings destroyed by earlier Israeli bombardment in Gaza City on April 8.

The leaders of Egypt, France and Jordan have issued a joint statement calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, highlighting the grave humanitarian crisis and the catastrophic impact of the ongoing war.

In an op-ed published Monday in Jordan and Egypt's state newspapers, as well as France's Le Monde and The Washington Post , they stressed the need for a peaceful resolution through a two-state solution, declaring that violence and warfare “have no place” in achieving peace in the Middle East.

“In light of the intolerable human toll, we, the leaders of Egypt, France, and Jordan, call for the immediate and unconditional implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2728. We underline the urgent need to bring about a permanent ceasefire in Gaza,” the joint op-ed read.

Highlighting the critical situation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where over 1.5 million Palestinian civilians have sought refuge, the leaders warned about the “dire consequences of further military actions,” advocating for the protection of civilians as a legal and moral obligation under international law.

The three countries' leaders condemned violence, terrorism and indiscriminate targeting of civilians, reiterating the need for all parties to respect international humanitarian law.

“We condemn the killing of humanitarian aid workers, most recently the attack against World Central Kitchen’s aid convoy,” the op-ed read.

Egypt and France have played a major role as mediators between Hamas and Israel, while Jordan has been a key actor in aid delivery, contributing dozens of airdrops over Gaza.

Bodies of 46 Palestinians recovered after Israeli withdrawal from Khan Younis, Gaza hospital says

From CNN’s Kareem Khadder and Eyad Kourdi

Palestinians walk past damaged buildings in Khan Younis on April 8.

The bodies of 46 Palestinians have been brought to the European Hospital in Gaza since Monday morning, the European Hospital said in a statement on its Telegram channel.

"Most of the bodies came from the east of the Khan Younis area, and the bodies are decomposed, and found dead under rubble of demolished buildings," the statement read.

Thirty-eight of those 46 bodies have been identified, the hospital said.

This comes after a search and recovery operation in the aftermath of the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Khan Younis announced Sunday.

Iranian attack on Israel would likely be carried out by proxy forces in the region, US intel says

From CNN's Natasha Bertrand and Zachary Cohen

An Iranian attack on Israel would likely be carried out by Iranian proxy forces in the region, rather than by Iran directly, two people familiar with US intelligence on the matter told CNN. 

Tehran is wary of a dramatic escalation in the fighting, the sources said, and does not want to give the United States or its allies an excuse to attack Iran directly. 

Iran and its proxy militia groups also do not appear poised to attack US troops or other assets in the region for similar reasons, the sources said. The sources noted, however, that Iran does not have perfect command and control over all of its proxy forces, so the possibility of an attack on US assets cannot be completely ruled out. 

The US and its allies have been bracing for a possible attack against Israeli and US assets in the region in retaliation for an Israeli strike last week on Iran’s consulate in Damascus, which killed a dozen Iranian military officials. 

The sources told CNN that US intelligence assesses that Iran has urged several of its proxy militia groups to simultaneously launch a large-scale attack against Israel, using drones and missiles, and that they could attack as soon as this week. There is some debate, however, about whether they will wait until after Ramadan ends to strike, said one of the sources.

 The Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment. 

Gaza sees largest single-day aid truck delivery since October 7

From CNN’s Benjamin Brown and Eyad Kourdi

Monday witnessed the passage of 419 humanitarian aid trucks through   the Kerem Shalom and Nitzana border crossings into Gaza, marking the largest single-day delivery since the conflict began on October 7, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

In addition to the truck deliveries, approximately 258 food packages were airdropped across various locations in the Gaza Strip, the IDF said.

The World Food Programme said last week that 88% of Gaza’s population faces “emergency or worse” food insecurity, and famine in northern Gaza is “imminent.”

Before the conflict, an average of 450-500 trucks would enter Gaza daily with supplies.

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  • International

April 10, 2024 - Israel-Hamas war

By Jessie Yeung , Antoinette Radford, Lauren Said-Moorhouse , Aditi Sangal and Elise Hammond , CNN

Our live coverage of Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza has moved  here .

Hamas political leader says killing of sons will only make group "more steadfast"

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond, Kareem Khadder, Zeena Saifi and Benjamin Brown

Hamas' political leader said that killing the sons of leaders would only make the group “more steadfast in our principles and adherence to our land.”

Three sons of Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh  were killed  in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on Wednesday, an assassination that threatens to complicate ongoing negotiations aiming to secure a ceasefire and hostage deal.

“Whoever thinks that by targeting my kids during the negotiation talks and before a deal is agreed upon that it will force Hamas to back down on its demands, is delusional,” Haniyeh said in a statement.

The Israeli military confirmed that it carried out the attack and described the men as “three Hamas military operatives that conducted terrorist activity in the central Gaza Strip.”

Read the full story.

Khader Al Za’anoun is also a journalist with Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency. CNN’s Alex Marquardt contributed reporting to this post.

Lufthansa suspends flights to and from Tehran, Reuters report says

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

Germany's Lufthansa airline has suspended flights to and from the Iranian capital of Tehran "due to the current situation in the Middle East," according to a Reuters report on Wednesday, citing a Lufthansa spokesperson.

The decision was made after careful consideration, the spokesperson said, and will likely last until Thursday.

"We are constantly monitoring the situation in the Middle East and are in close contact with the authorities. The safety of our guests and crew members is Lufthansa’s top priority," the spokesperson said. 

CNN has reached out to Lufthansa for confirmation. 

The airline's decision comes after Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to retaliate after accusing Israel of bombing the Iranian embassy complex in Damascus, Syria last week.

The airstrike,  which Iran blamed on Israel , destroyed the consulate and killed seven Iranian officials, as well as at least six Syrians, according to Iranian state television.

Meanwhile, the US remains on high alert for a potential retaliatory strike by Tehran against Israel. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden said Iran was " threatening to launch a significant attack on Israel ." 

Blinken reiterates US commitment to stand with Israel against Iranian threats

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated the US support for Israel and pledged the US "will stand with Israel against any threats by Iran and its proxies" in a call with Israel's defense minister.

Blinken's conversation with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant comes as the US is on high alert for a potential attack by Iran or proxy groups against Israel in retaliation for an Israeli strike on an Iranian facility in Damascus . 

The two leaders “also discussed ongoing efforts to secure the release of all hostages through an agreement for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza,” according to a readout from State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller.

“Blinken welcomed Israel’s recent announcements of urgent steps to facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza and to improve humanitarian deconfliction and coordination, reiterating that incidents such as the strike on World Central Kitchen workers must never reoccur,” Miller said.

The top US diplomat also emphasized to Gallant that the US "expects Israel to quickly implement its commitments on humanitarian assistance and deconfliction and that those commitments must be sustained over time,” he said.

House Democrats are becoming more critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

From CNN Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem on February 18.

Following airstrikes in Gaza last week that left seven World Central Kitchen aid workers dead , some House Democrats are becoming more critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

US Reps. Jason Crow and James Clyburn both told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer today they believe Netanyahu “must go.”

Crow seconded the sentiment.

"He's not the leader that's going to take Israel forward. He is a failed leader in every respect. He's not made Israel safer, he's helped escalate regional tensions. He's not listening to us and he is, in my view, in large part, responsible for this massive humanitarian catastrophe that we are seeing," Crow said.

Another aid worker was seriously injured minutes before Israeli strikes on WCK convoy, organization says

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio in Jerusalem

The World Central Kitchen (WCK) said one of its aid workers was seriously injured minutes before the deadly strikes on a WCK convoy that killed seven aid workers on April 1.

The Palestinian WCK staff member — named only as Amro by the organization — was “gravely injured” in a reported airstrike at the al-Bashir Mosque in Deir al-Balah, WCK said Wednesday. The strike occurred a mere 15 minutes before the aid convoy was first hit, according to the organization.

CNN has reached out to the Israel Defense Forces for comment on this claim by the WCK.

The aid worker suffered “serious head and hand injuries while he was off duty in a home close to the mosque in the area surrounding our warehouse and newly established kitchen in Deir al-Balah,” WCK said.

After being pulled from the rubble, he was taken to the same hospital where those killed in the deadly strike on the WCK convoy were brought, WCK said.

Both airstrikes occurred within miles of each other and were “flagrant reminders of the harrowing conditions humanitarian aid workers and Palestinian families continue to face every minute of every day,” the NGO said.

The aid organization said more than 400 Palestinians are employed by WCK, with thousands working as volunteers.

The aid worker injured in the April 1 strike owned a sweet shop until it was destroyed early in the war. Despite several opportunities to leave Gaza for Egypt, he chose to continue working for the organization, WCK said.

No reports of Hamas targeting Palestinians assisting aid organizations, US humanitarian aid official says

From CNN's Michael Conte

US officials have not seen evidence of Hamas targeting Palestinian civilians working with international aid organizations in Gaza, according to Samantha Power, administrator for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“That is not what our partners are reporting back to us,” Power said at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. She was being asked about such allegations by Democratic Rep. Kathy Manning.

Power added that US aid partners in Gaza are also not reporting that Hamas is impeding the distribution of humanitarian assistance. She said the Israel Defense Forces has also not been reporting such obstructions by Hamas. 

“I, like you, would expect it would be, given what Hamas does otherwise targeting innocent civilians, using innocent civilians as human shields, but again — trusted partners like World Food Programme and UNICEF and others have not reported that Hamas is getting in the way of humanitarian assistance," Power said.

Power previously testified that USAID has not received reports of Hamas “systematically” diverting food aid in Gaza.

US has so far air-dropped 852 tons of humanitarian aid into Gaza, military says

From CNN's Rashard Rose

The US Air Force drops humanitarian aid into Gaza, as seen from southern Israel, on March 17.

US forces dropped more humanitarian assistance into northern Gaza on Wednesday, according to a statement from US Central Command.

"The joint operation included four C-130 U.S. Air Force aircraft, and U.S. Army Soldiers specialized in aerial delivery of U.S humanitarian assistance supplies," CENTCOM said in a statement. "The U.S. C-130s dropped over 50,680 U.S. meal equivalents into Northern Gaza," according to CENTCOM.

The United States has dropped approximately 852 tons of humanitarian assistance supplies to date, CENTCOM said.

Israel official says strike on Hamas leader's children was not related to ceasefire or hostage negotiations

From CNN’s Jeremy Diamond in Jerusalem

People look at the car in which three sons of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh were reportedly killed in an Israeli air strike near Al Shati, northwest of Gaza City, on April 10.

Israeli officials are scrambling to draw a sharp distinction between the Israeli airstrike that killed the children of Hamas’s political leader Ismail Haniyeh and the ongoing negotiations aiming to secure a ceasefire and hostage deal.

Two other Israeli officials said neither Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant had been informed about the strike ahead of time.

The comments from Israeli officials come after Haniyeh suggested the airstrike was an attempt to “force Hamas to back down on its demands” at the negotiating table.

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