Are you ready to tick another country off your bucket list? Egypt is a wonderful country with a distinct, difficult, and fascinating past; it has a vibrant culture, and there is enough to see and do. When you add in the pleasant people—some of the most giving you’ll ever meet—and the delicious food, it’s easy to see why the country known for the Pyramids is a popular tourist destination. If you are a first-time traveler to Egypt, it is beneficial to educate yourself with a few vital Egypt guidelines in addition to the cultural dos and don’ts. Here are six things we think you need to know.
Before coming to Egypt, safety and security should be taken into consideration. When visiting Egypt, you can and should take additional precautions (such as reserving a hotel with enough security or organizing your Egypt tour with an experienced tour company). However, violent crime against tourists is regarded to be quite rare; you should be careful of small crimes (keep an eye on your possessions when out in public) and minor frauds.
You Need a Visa
Traveling to Egypt will necessitate a visa. Many countries’ citizens who want to discover Egypt can quickly obtain an online visa. Though you may get your visa at the airport when you arrive (it costs around $25 USD and can be purchased at the National Bank of Egypt counter before immigration), we recommend doing it online to save the stress of having to stand in line at the airport. The online process will just take a few minutes, and your Egyptian e-visa will be emailed to you in a day or two, provided everything is in order. Tourist visas are valid for 30 days in Egypt, and your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your return date.
Basic Phrases and Numbers
The official language of the country is Arabic, despite the fact that English is commonly spoken. You can get by with simple English, but learning a few simple Arabic words will help you break the ice and achieve a positive response. Knowing Arabic numbers is definitely recommended since it can prevent you from being taken advantage of. Prices in restaurants, shops, and markets are written in Arabic, so you will not be overcharged if you understand it.
Tipping Is Expected
There are a variety of situations in which you will be expected to tip for “service” rendered. The attendants at tombs and temples will offer to snap a photograph of you. You will be obliged to offer him a little tip if you accept. If you photograph a camel or a tomb attendant, you will be asked to leave a tip. It is also anticipated that after camel rides, felucca rides, and other experiences, you will leave a little tip. Tipping is not expected in restaurants, but it is appreciated.
Culture Should Be Respected
Egypt is a conservative, Muslim country, and the culture shock can be huge. Wearing exposed apparel is discouraged since it might attract unwanted attention. In order to show respect, you should dress modestly. When visiting mosques, dress extra conservatively. Women should avoid wearing tops, shorts, or skirts that are too short. In seaside towns, bathing suits, sundresses, and shorts are more appropriate. Western visitors should be advised that public displays of affection, such as kissing or even just holding hands, are not permitted. Also, homosexuality is still banned. All of this may come as a surprise to you, but trust us when we say that it is always best to respect the culture and traditions of the location you are visiting.
Drones Are Not Allowed
You’ll have to bypass Egypt if you want to use drones to record beautiful scenery in certain places. According to Egypt’s Ministry of Defense, any airborne vehicles without a license are prohibited. However, obtaining that license is challenging. Punishment can include confiscation of property or even more serious punishments like imprisonment. Tourists who want to photograph the grandeur of the Egyptian landscape and architecture from the air will be highly frustrated by this law.
Egypt is one of those locations that need a little more planning ahead of time than others. This lovely land, which lies in both the Middle East and Africa, is famous for the Nile River, the Giza Pyramids, and the Pharaohs, but it provides much more than what we watch on television or read in newspapers and magazines. Remember that every country has its own specialties. You would not be visiting if everything was the same as at home. This guide should have made you feel more prepared for your next vacation. Enjoy the beauties of magnificent Egypt!
Article published by HOLR Magazine