Egypt - Frequently Asked Questions
Table of contents
- When is the best time to go?
- Do you need a visa?
- How can I get there?
- What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
- What is there to see and do?
- What is the internet access like?
- When is Ramadan?
- Is it safe to drink the tap water?
When is the best time to go?
You can travel to Egypt at any time of the year, with temperatures rarely dropping below the high teens in the winter and often reaching around 40 degrees C in the summer. Due to the high temperatures in the summer, the best times of year to travel are typically spring (February to April) and autumn (September to November), when the weather is warm, sunny and dry without being overly hot or getting too cold in the evenings. If you want to visit the south of the country (Luxor/Aswan/Abu Simbel) for sightseeing, you may find winter is the best time to go to avoid the searing heat.
Do you need a visa?
All visitors need a visa to enter Egypt and British citizens can buy one at their port of entry. These visas are valid for one month and allow you to travel all over the country. If you arrive in Sharm el Sheikh it is possible to obtain a free 15-day visa stamp that allows you to visit Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba. If you want to travel anywhere else in the country, you need to pay for a full visa.
How can I get there?
There are many direct flights to Egypt from London, Manchester and Birmingham. Airlines such as easyJet, Monarch and EgyptAir fly directly to the Red Sea resorts, while many international carriers, including British Airways and EgyptAir, fly directly from London to Cairo. It takes a little over five hours to fly from London to Cairo, while the journey to Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada is between five-and-a-half and six hours long.
What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
The Egyptian pound is the local currency, although many businesses in Egypt also accept Euros, dollars and sterling. It is easy to exchange foreign currency at the local banks and you will often get a better rate by doing so than by organising to collect your Egyptian pounds before you depart for your holiday. Credit and debit cards are generally accepted in the big cities and by larger restaurants, shops and hotels. You can also use your cards in the cash machines there.
What is there to see and do?
There are two distinct sides to Egypt - its ancient sites and its modern Red Sea resorts. There are many of the former, with Cairo being home to impressive structures such as the Pyramids, the Sphinx and the Egyptian Museum, while in Luxor you can wander around the staggering Karnak Temple complex or explore the Valley of the Kings. This area just outside Luxor is where many of the most impressive tombs of the pharaohs were uncovered - including that of Tutankhamen. Further south, you should see the temples of Abu Simbel, which are astounding structures dating from the period of Ramses II. These were actually moved in the 1960s to save them from the flood waters that filled what is now Lake Nasser following the construction of the Aswan Dam. In the Red Sea resorts you can see a very different side to Egypt - namely its stunning natural attractions. Gorgeous sandy beaches and colourful coral reefs are the order of the day in places like Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghada and Dahab. Scuba diving
What is the internet access like?
Egypt's internet access has improved considerably in recent years and you'll find free Wi-Fi is available at most major hotels and even in cafes and restaurants, particularly in the Red Sea resorts. In the big cities - like Cairo and Luxor - there are a growing number of Wi-Fi hotspots where you can get online.
When is Ramadan?
The date of Ramadan changes each year and is determined by the moon's cycle. Special committees decide the precise dates of Ramadan each year and they may vary by a day or two according to local moon sightings. Ramadan lasts for approximately 29 to 30 days each year.
Is it safe to drink the tap water?
Egypt's tap water is not considered to be safe to drink, so it is advisable to stick to bottled water for the duration of your holiday.
Egypt Holidays Browse all
Enjoy a unique Nile Cruise on a comfortable ship featuring panoramic views of the Nile from your cabin
- The Swiss Inn Superior Radamis I is a first class Nile Cruise ship which offers a voyage of luxury and discovery
- Each of the spacious cabins offers comfortable furnishings and panoramic views of the Nile
- Amenities on board the Radamis I include a sundeck and pool, a fitness area and a restaurant which serves a variety of dishes
This modern resort offers an ideal location for a family friendly stay close to beautiful sandy beaches
- Just 10 minutes by bus from a lovely stretch of some of the finest sandy beaches
- Dive deep into clear waters of the Red Sea to enjoy colourful coral reefs and explore a variety of fish and marine life
- Sol y Mar Sharks Bay offers a variety of restaurants, a lobby bar & terrace, an Internet cafe and a shuttle bus to the nearby beach
Relax at Naama Bay with pleasant grounds and wonderful amenities to keep you occupied
- Visitors flock to Pirates, for an eveing drink, before or after sampling some wonderful cuisine in the array of restaurants
- Prime spot in Naama bay, as it was one of the first hotels in the area. The grounds are well tended and mature, with colourful plants and shrubs throughout
- Guest accommodation is discrete, with low rise bungalows dotted throughout the beautiful garden setting. Rooms and suites are light and airy, are tastefully furnished and come with all modern amenities
Splash in the Red Sea, marvel at the marine life and enjoy the luxuries at this all suite Red Sea Beach resort
- Enjoy pure luxury at this all suite resort
- Rejuvenate your body and relax your mind in the Beautifully appointed Oberoi Spa
- Voted the No. 1 hotel in Hurghada by Trip Advisor
This boutique Nile Cruise combines old-world charm and sophistication with the luxury of modern amenities.
- With a limited number of suites and cabins this cruise offers an intimate and exclusive atmosphere of personal service and refined hospitality
- Unwind at the open-air oriental style Jacuzzi or chill in the elegant lounge
- Work on your tan from the spacious, scenic deck as you see 5,000 years of history unfold
Enjoy a memorable and romantic holiday in Egypt
- Benefit from the Sonesta Star Goddess Spa and enjoy a relaxing massage after a busy day of excursions
- Suites made for your comfortable stay with the best view
- Enjoy the swimming pool or relax on the sun deck where you can have a cocktail
Enjoy six days of sun and sand accompanied by uninterrupted leisure at Egypt's sought-after Sharm El Sheikh resort town...
Sharm El Sheikh is one of Egypt's best kept secrets. Spend six blissful days here enjoying the beauty of the Sinai...
Make the most of the centric location, beautiful beach surroundings, luxurious perks and marvellous services of the...
Venture into the land of the pyramids and Pharaohs for a holiday you'll never forget. Besides the incredible history of...
Grab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of Egypt while partaking of 5-star treatment in one...
Enter into the colourful clash of cultures that is Cairo and marvel at the ageless monuments that adorn the capital of...
Enjoy a week-long stay in the land of the pharaohs by the banks of the legendary River Nile. While in the city of Luxor...
Luxor is one Egypt's most captivating cities, replete with historic monuments such as the ancient tombs of the Valley of...
The popularity of the city of Luxor as one of the treasure troves of historical ruins in Egypt is well known. Grab this...
Spend 4 days discovering the ancient wonders of Egypt while you unwind in the luxurious Grand Nile Tower hotel in Cairo....
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The Egyptian Tourism Authority is optimistic about the future of the country's tourism industry as it predicts 2017 to be a year of growth. After an unstable few years, consumer research reveals that British people are once again looking to travel to Egypt for good value holidays, and a new flight has been launched by Egyptair between Heathrow and Luxor.
A unique Egyptian tour led a world-famous archaeologist is set to take visitors along with private access to some of the country’s most impressive sites and monuments that aren’t open to the public. The Royal Tour of Egypt is a two-week historical tour, with insight into the country’s culture and some of the region’s most impressive discoveries, from the Great Pyramids to the Valley of the Kings.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. has announced that it will debut its W Hotels brand in Egypt with the opening of the W Sharm El Sheikh and The Residences at W Sharm El Sheikh. Scheduled to open in 2020, the hotel will be situated near Naqb Bay, and guests will have direct access to the Red Sea from the 300 metre-long sandy beachfront.