From 5,000 years ago and, for the following 3,000 years, several rulers, pharaohs and empires left their footprint and built some of the most stunning and vast temples, buildings and tombs ever seen.
Today, many of these constructions still remain and what once was one of the greatest civilizations has attracted travelers from all over the world, to the extent that Egypt has become one of the most visited countries on our planet.
For all the information, check my comprehensive guide for traveling to Egypt, which contains a full 3-week itinerary plus plenty of travel tips.
Capital – Cairo
Population – 92,4 million (15th)
Official language: Arabic
Visa – You can easily get a visa on arrival at any international airport and land border, both Israel and Sudan. Typically, it costs 35USD and it is valid for 60 days. Note that prices may vary if you enter overland.
When to go – In summer, Egypt gets very busy plus it is utterly hot so, if possible, I recommend coming in early spring-late autumn-winter. I personally came in December and it was great. Most temples were free off crowds and the weather was very pleasant.
Top experiences in Egypt – From visiting pyramids to jaw-dropping tombs and temples: the ancient culture of Egypt is absolutely fascinating but you should know that there is much more to do beyond that:
- Visiting the Giza Pyramids, the highlight of any trip to Egypt
- Luxor, the largest and most breath-taking open-air museum
- Diving, snorkeling or swimming in the Red Sea, home to some of the most beautiful corals
- Visiting the oasis town of Siwa
- Exploring Nubian villages around Aswan
- Sailing over the Nile River
- Relaxing among Bedouins and backpackers in Dahab
And there is, of course, much more to do than that. For more information, don’t forget to check my guide for traveling to Egypt, which contains a 3-week itinerary.
Egypt off the beaten track – Egypt is a top touristic destination, which means that you are likely to see tourists everywhere and rip-offs are very common. I strongly recommend you get off the beaten track because is where you will experience the most genuine Egyptian hospitality. From visiting the camel market of Daraw to extremely remote temples and villages, Egypt is a huge country with plenty of off-beat places. For more information, read 7 off the beaten track places in Egypt.
Safety in Egypt – Many people are concerned about safety in Egypt. The truth is that Cairo has received quite a few terrorist attacks in the last few years, so the Sinai peninsula. However, the situation in the Sinai has drastically improved and Cairo is a several-million people city, so it is extremely unlikely to be caught in a terrorist attack. Overall, Egypt is very safe and, outside of those 2 places, it is very peaceful. For a deeper analysis, check, again, my Egypt guide. If you are still concerned about terrorism, consider buying travel insurance for high-risk countries.
Travel Insurance for Egypt – Egypt is pretty wild, so a proper travel insurance is a must and I strongly recommend World Nomads because:
- It is the only company that offers UNLIMITED medical coverage
- It covers a wide range of adventure activities, more than any other
- You can buy it while you are already traveling (most insurance providers won’t allow it)
Accommodation in Egypt – From guest houses to hostels and 5-star hotels, you can find all sorts of accommodation in Egypt, especially in the main touristic areas. You can find all hotels and hostels through Booking.com and Hostelworld
Cultural etiquette in Egypt – Egypt is a Muslim country and, as such, you should slightly adapt to their culture. To be very honest, Egypt is not particularly conservative, meaning that the locals accept Western behaviors, mainly because they are used to tourists. Nevertheless, I recommended for women to dress modestly, especially when you get off the main touristic sites. Just bring something extra to cover your shoulders and try to show your legs as little as possible.