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
Soma Bay Diving Centre offers guests a chance to explore the magnificent coral reefs in the tranquil calm waters of the Red Sea.
- The hotel's dramatic architecture was inspired by the temple at Karnak, combining the splendours of ancient egypt with the comforts of the modern world
- Guests can take advantage of the natural healing powers of the renowned waters and sands of Soma Bay
- The Red sea is renowned for its marine life so guests can take full advantage of the wonderful diving and snorkelling opportunities
Great resort for the Family with endless fun at the Movenpick Kids Club during the day and night
- 18-holes golf course is just 1km away
- Discover El Gouna town with a daily shuttle bus - optional Â£20 per person
- Enjoy a sumptuous choice of dining at the Movenpick buffet restaurant
The perfect escape for couples with exclusive added values not to be missed
- Enjoy a number of complimentary added value offers - must be booked by 15th January 2018
- Free room upgrade to the Superior Deluxe Suite
- Free Romantic Dinner for 2 plus a bottle of wine on Arrival
- Free upgrade to private transfers
Enjoy a Wonderfully Relaxing Holiday with a wide range of activities
Introduce yourself to centuries of history on the River Nile and in Luxor before heading to the world's ancient wonder, the Pyramids and amazing Cairo
- Upgrade to the Full Excursions Package on the Superior Swiss Inn Radamis II Nile Cruise from £249pp
- Great Pyramids of Giza only a stone throw away from the Le Meridien Pyramids
- Enjoy the spectacular views of the River Nile from the Sun Deck on the Superior Swiss Inn Radamis II Nile Cruise
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The Baron Palace Resort is beautifully and ideally located in the heart of Sahl Hasheesh Bay. Sahl Hasheesh is famed for...
Cairo is a place of rich contrasts; a bustling metropolis which still hosts some of Egypt's most treasured historical...
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Rising above the city, overlooking the mighty River Nile is one of Cairo's classiest hotels. The five-star Ramses Hilton...
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As booking for holidays to Egypt rise by almost 90 percent, Thomas Cook widens its already ample flight service to North African nation. The British travel company recently added a new trip Hurghada Airport. The first flight of the service departed from Bristol on 2nd May with over 200 passengers.
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After investing in major refurbishment and renovation works, Marriott International has re-opened the doors of its last acquisition: the Mena House Hotel in Cairo. Set against the impressive backdrop of the Giza Pyramids, this historic palace has been restored and rebranded as one of the company's lavish hotels and is now starting to accommodate guests within its lavish rooms and suites.