What Are the Highlights for First Time Travelers to Egypt?
Egypt is the oldest kingdom in the world with the well-known Giza pyramids，Valley of the Kings, Nile River, coastline of the Mediterranean sea and Red Sea. The whole Egyptian land itself is a huge open-air museum where visitors can enjoy the marvelous architecture from thousands of years ago. As the first time traveler, if you have one week time, you may consider Cairo for Giza Pyramids and Egyptian Museum, and Nile River cruise from Aswan to Luxor with Valley of the Kings and many famous temples; if you have two weeks, try to explore Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, Abu Simbel, Alexandria, Hurghada (the Red Sea); if you have more than two weeks, plan your Egypt tours to cover most of the highlights including desert safari or to add neighboring countries like Morocco, Israel or Jordan.
Great Sphinx, Cairo
Abu Simbel Temples
What Time Are the High Season and Low Season to Travel Egypt?
Egypt has a Mediterranean climate with only two seasons around the whole year. Summer is from May to October while autumn is from November to April. The months from June to August are too hot and windy, the rest months are suitable for travel as the climate is mild. October to April is the travel high season. It is suggested to avoid the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan which varies from year to year, when the scenic spots, shopping malls and restaurants' business hours are not fixed in the month, which can easily cause some travel problems for your Egypt tours.
Is the Visa Required for a Trip to Egypt?
Citizens of most countries need to apply for a visa if they travel to Egypt. There are 41 countries whose citizens are eligible for an Egypt visa on arrival and 46 countries whose citizens could apply for an Egypt e-visa. The citizens from United States, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Australia, the 27 states in the European Union, Russia, Serbia and more are eligible for both. Citizens of the following countries, such as Afghanistan, Kosovo, Malawi and Kenya have to obtain a visa before entering Egypt.
How to Get to and Travel Around Egypt?
To enter Egypt, travelers can take international flight to cities like Cairo, Alexandria or Luxor, Cairo International Airport (CAI) is the main international airport in Egypt. For domestic travel, if you take a guided Egypt tour, whatever it is a private or group tour, we will arrange the daily sightseeing and transportation for the whole trip. The only thing you will do is to enjoy the trip.
While, if you are an independent traveler, subway and taxi are relatively ideal. There are no traffic lights and English road signs in Egypt, you may use your map navigation software for assistance. Other ways of transportation such as bus, minibus, sightseeing carriage are not recommended as they are either too crowded, not safe enough or not worth the cost. For inter-city travels, train and bus are common form of transportation. In addition, there are many cruise routes available for visitors who are not in a hurry.
Nile River Cruise
Egyptian Museum, Cairo
What is the Official Currency in Egypt? Is USD Acceptable in Egypt?
The official currency in Egypt is Egyptian pound, there are coins and paper currency. Coins include 1, 5 and 10 Plastres; paper currency include 5, 10, 25 and 50 Plastres and 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Egyptian pounds. For reference, 1EGP=100 Plastres. USD is also acceptable in most business transactions in Egypt. If it is not convenient to exchange EGP in your own country, you can exchange a small amount of USD before leaving for Egypt and then exchange to EGP after arrival. During your Egypt tour packages, it is better to bring some 10 and 20 Egyptian pounds with you for convenience.
What is the official language of Egypt and what language will be used for tours?
The official language of Egypt is Arabic. English and French are commonly used foreign languages. There are lots of people speaking English in major tourist cities, so it's not a big problem to communicate in English there. We usually arrange English-speaking tour guides for Aswan tour packages. If you have requirements of other languages, please let us know in advance.
What are the traditional cuisines of Egypt?
If you would like to try the traditional cuisines of Egypt during your Aswan tour packages, the following information will be helpful:
• Eish: Eish is the staple food of the Egyptians, made from coarse grains. This is a kind of roasted cookie that is crispy outside and soft inside. You can stuff some vegetables or meat inside.
• Kebab: Kebab is very popular in Egypt. There are Hamaam (grilled pigeons), grilled chicken, grilled beef, grilled lamb and grilled fish, etc. The Hamaam is the best-loved traditional dish by local.
• Kushar/Koshary: It is a delicacy that can be found anywhere in Egypt. The ingredients include rice, hollow noodles, onions, black lentils and tomato sauce.
• Juices: Egypt has a variety of freshly squeezed juices. Sugarcane juice, the No. 1 sweet drink in Egypt, is especially recommended. Because of the great quality of water and soil in Egypt, the white sugarcane tastes great.
What are the popular monuments that I cannot miss in my Luxor tour packages?
The Egyptians are proud of the Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple on the east bank of Luxor, the tombs and temples on the west bank, especially the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu, and the Colossi of Memnon. Besides, we also arrange visits to the renowned temples of Edfu and Kom Ombo. All of these attractions are well worth your visit.
How to get to Sharm El Sheikh from Luxor?
There is no direct flight between Luxor and Sharm El Sheikh. Travelers usually take flight to Cairo and then fly to Sharm El Sheikh. Another way is driving to Hurghada first for 3-4 hours and then taking the new cruise from Hurghada to Sharm El Sheikh around 2 hours. The latter one is advisable due to the new cruise operation at the end of 2019.
How about the transportation in Luxor?
From Cairo to Luxor or vice versa, flight is the best choice. If you want to experience the train, the overnight sleeper train is also available, which takes around 11 hours. When you travel between Luxor and Aswan, the Nile River cruise is the most popular way, also called floating hotel with fine facility. In Luxor, you could take taxi or horse-drawn carriage to the historical sites, but please confirm the final price in advance. If you take a private guided Luxor tour, the private drive will be arranged.
Are there any shopping places for souvenirs in Luxor?
Yes. Luxor is one of the good places to buy souvenirs for friends and families. There are some interesting shopping stores of traditional crafts, such as Sandouk on the west bank, CaravanseraiSave near Medinat Habu, Habiba run by an Australia wowan, and the stores in the local market are worth exploring, too, like Bazaar Al Ayam and Souq At Talaat. Strolling around one by one and bargaining with the storekeepers will also be an unusual experience.
Colossi of Memnon
Egypt Philae Temple, Aswan
What kind of tours can be arranged in Aswan?
For one or two days Aswan tours, we can arrange a day trip to visit the Temple of Abu Simbel, Aswan High Dam, the Temple of Philae and the Unfinished Obelisk, or a day to Luxor to visit the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and the Karnak Temple by express train. The most complete way to travel around Aswan is to take a 4-day Nile River cruise from Aswan to Luxor, to cover most of the highlights on the way. If you only need 2 to 3 hours tour, Bird Watching, Felucca ride, Sound and Light Show at the Philae Temple in Aswan will be good choices.
When is the Sun Festival and if the Temple of Abu Simbel can be arranged to witness the wonder?
Before the Abu Simbel Temple was moved due to the construction of Aswan High Dam, the Sun Festival is on the birthday and sacrificial day of Ramesses II on February 21st and October 21st respectively. While after the moving of the temple, the present Sun Festival is delayed for one day, which is on February 22nd and October 22nd. On the two days of the Sun Festival, we can arrange Aswan tour packages for you to witness the wonder that the sun rays can illuminate from the door to the large stone statue of Ramesses II at the end of the temple through a 60-meter-long corridor. And it will never light up the statue of the God of Darkness next to it.