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
Explore the historical surroundings and have a comfortable stay at Mercure Cairo le Sphinx
- Only 35 kilometres from Cairo's international airport
- Guests can enjoy the swimming pool or benefit from the Jacuzzi and all massage treatments the hotel offers
- Rooftop terrace with a memorable breathtaking views of the pyramids
Ideal for those who love the sun and sea with its own private beach and marina, a professional diving centre, a water sports centre and swimming pools.
- A prime location, beside a lovely sandy beach, just minutes from buzz of downtown Hurghada
- Kids can enjoy their own kids' club and pool, whilst adults can play tennis, squash or beach volleyball
- Guests can unwind and enjoy the magnificent view from their private balcony
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
Enjoy access to 3 protected beaches, close proximity to the trendy strip of Naama Bay and its sizzling nightlife
- There is a myriad of activities on offer from relaxing treatments at the Club Olympus Spa to exciting land and water sports
- Choose from fantastic dining options including seasonal specialities, a charcoal grill, and Thai cuisine
- Adventure seekers can enjoy jeep safaris, quad bikes, mountain treks, and camel expeditions
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
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...
Venture into the land of the pyramids and Pharaohs for a holiday you'll never forget. Besides the incredible history of...
Make the most of the centric location, beautiful beach surroundings, luxurious perks and marvellous services of the...
Grab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of Egypt while partaking of 5-star treatment in one...
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...
Enter into the colourful clash of cultures that is Cairo and marvel at the ageless monuments that adorn the capital of...
The popularity of the city of Luxor as one of the treasure troves of historical ruins in Egypt is well known. Grab this...
Seize this opportunity to explore the mystical land of Egypt as you spend a week next to the shores of the mighty Red...
Luxor is one Egypt's most captivating cities, replete with historic monuments such as the ancient tombs of the Valley of...
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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.
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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.