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The Ultimate Egypt Travel Guide

black woman in green dress making a kissy face at a decorated camel in front of the giza pyramids

Egypt is quickly becoming one of travel enthusiasts’ most popular bucket list trips. After visiting a few times, I have some unique insight on what keeps people returning. But I’ll also be honest about why Egypt often gets a bad rap. Get prepared to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Do you need an Egyptian visa as a USA citizen?

Yes, Americans need a visa to visit Egypt. But you can purchase a visa on arrival for $25 or $60 dollars for a multi-entry visa. If you plan on entering through Taba, near the Sinai region, you should apply for your visa beforehand. You can receive a 30-day visa there, but it is notorious for being a hectic entry. 

Vaccination & Customs Requirements

There are no vaccinations required. You no longer have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter Egypt. In regards to your breezing through customs, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You must have at least one blank page in your passport. 
  • Your passport should also be valid for more than 6 months. (check that asap).
  • Do not bring a drone or it will be confiscated.

Is Egypt Safe?

Egypt is mostly safe with some regions being safer than others. Overall, the violent crime rate is safer than in the United States. Pickpocketing and harassment is common in Cairo, but it is the most hectic part of Egypt.  Be prepared to haggle everywhere. Scamming and charging are pretty common in Egypt. I dealt with Uber scams, charges, and sexual harassment.  Egypt was the first place where even a small grocery store owner quoted me 3 times the usual price for a water bottle. It does begin to weigh on you after a while because you constantly feel like a target. 

Traveling to Egypt as a Woman

Asking a woman about her experience in Egypt leads to a passionate discussion. Some have zero complaints and others, like myself, have stories for days. While we should always seek out our own experiences, sharing our authentic stories is essential.

You can expect to hear a lot of catcalling, even if you’re dressed modestly. Unless you’re in a very touristy place, I would try not to walk alone at night. I’ve had at least two very direct experiences with Egyptian vendors who made disrespectful and vulgar advances towards me. I’ve also experienced very friendly Egyptian men who have been very helpful and kind. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t recommend Cairo as a solo woman-friendly destination for beginners, but I felt extremely safe in Aswan. 

Best Cities to Visit in Egypt

It’s impossible to visit Egypt and become bored. There is something for everybody. Here are a few recommendations based on activities you enjoy. 

For the Ocean Lovers

If you enjoy the ocean, you have to visit the Red Sea. Some cities known for ocean adventure are Dahab, Hurghada, Sharm El-Sheikh, and Marsa Alam. Dahab is more affordable than Sharm El Sheikh and provides a calmer pace of life. Scuba diving, freediving, and kite surfing are all common activities in Egypt. You can also find dolphins, sharks, and underwater sculptures littered throughout the Red Sea. 

stairs leading into the ocean in Dahab Egypt

Scuba Diving and Freediving Tours in Egypt

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For the History Lovers Traveling to Egypt

black woman in green dress making a kissy face at a decorated camel in front of the giza pyramids

Fun things to do in Luxor

Cairo is the most visited place in Egypt, but you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t travel to other parts of the country. Egypt has excellent museums, including the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), the Coptic Museum, and the Gayer-Anderson Museum. Of course, one cannot leave Cairo without visiting the Pyramids of Giza, but Giza is relatively mild compared to Luxor. 

If you want to be amazed, take a Nile cruise or plane ride to Luxor. Most of the things you’ve witnessed in Egyptian documentaries are in Upper Egypt. Luxor is the place to be for history buffs. 

For the Hiking and Outdoor Lovers

Did you know there is a holy mountain in Egypt that thousands of people visit yearly? Mount Sinai is the ultimate hiking adventure. You can stay in Dahab or Sharm el Sheikh to take advantage of this hike. There are also many ATV tours, scuba diving, kite surfing, and much more. You will not be bored.  

Bucket List Things to Do in Egypt

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