Practical advice for Egypt
National holidays and celebrations
A typical working week in Egypt runs from Sunday to Thursday, with the weekend taken on Fridays and Saturdays.
Non-religious festivals are celebrated throughout the year, and are a great opportunity to mingle with the locals:
- Sinai Liberation Day: 25th April. Sinai areas only
- Labour Day/May Day: 1st May
- Revolution National Day: 23rd July
- Armed Forces Day: 6th October
- Cairo International Film Festival: 30th November
- Sphinx Festival: Early December. Five day arts festival.
Religious celebrations in Egypt are ruled by the Muslim Lunar Calendar, so they fall on different dates each year:
- Coptic Christmas Day – early January
- Birth of the Prophet – between late January and mid-February
- Coptic Easter (Sham el-Nassim) - between April and May
- Bairam Feast (Eid al-Fitr) – three day public holiday, celebrating the end of Ramadan
- Coptic New Year – September
- Feast of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha)– October. Four-day holiday marking the end of Hajj and the Sacrifice of Abraham
- Islamic New Year – November
Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan, so normal business hours may be affected.
The national currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (EGP)
- For the best conversion rates, bring Sterling British Pounds to convert into Egyptian pounds at local banks.
- ATMs accept foreign bank cards and can be found in all resorts and many hotels.
- Traveller's cheques can also be exchanged but offer less value for your money.
Dining out in Egypt is cheaper than you might expect. Influenced by Mediterranean, Nubian, Moroccan and Arab flavours, Egyptian cuisine is diverse and spicy - if you don’t like your food hot, ask the waiter to tone down your dish.
With a strong focus on vegetables and pulses, vegetarians and vegans will find plenty to choose from, with specialities including tahini, hummus, Tamiyya (Egyptian falafel), Koshari (a mix of rice, lentils and macaroni), and Fel Medames (flavoured fava beans).
Coastal areas offer fresh fish and seafood, and meat eaters will find tasty dishes such as Kofta (meat sticks), rice-stuffed pigeon, and chicken, lamb or rabbit stews on menus throughout the country.
With a dry, temperate climate, Egypt enjoys bright, sunny weather throughout the year, with hot summers and mild winters.
- Summer temperatures range between 27°C and 35°C (rising up to 43oC on the Red Sea Coast), with July and August being the hottest months. Evenings are cooler with an average minimum temperature of 14°C.
- The hot summer season runs from May to October and the mild, cooler season runs from November to April.
- Rainy days are scarce and fall mainly during the cooler winter months, between November and March, when temperatures average between 13°C and 21°C.
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
Enjoy a fun-filled stay on King's Island in the Nile River, with plenty of activities on offer at the hotel as well as being only a 10 minute drive away from Luxor downtown
- Cocktails, beverages and light meals are served in the lounge and drinks on deck until sun set
- Great selection of bars and restaurants, with everything from buffet to fine French cuisine, plus the Fellah Tent provides an overview of Oriental traditions
- Leisure facilities include two large swimming pools with waterfalls, separate children's pool and an adults only pool, plus floodlit tennis courts, a jogging track, fishing, an air conditioned gym and more!
Enjoy plenty of opportunities for relaxations and entertainment at this luxury all inclusive resort
- Indulge in some spectacular cuisines with a wide variety of 11 restaurants and bars to choose from
- Make the most of your holiday with the on-site Pirates Diving School who offer a range of PADI courses suitable for all ages
- Enjoy a relaxing day on the private beach or let loose with a host of water sports on offer
Sail the mighty River Nile, see the world's largest open air museum in Luxor and Discover the Great Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, the treasures of bygone days
- Enjoy the spectacular views of the River Nile from the Sun Deck of the Swiss Inn Radamis II
- Great Pyramids of Giza only a stone throw away from the Mercure Le Sphinx
- Discover the World's largest open air museum in Luxor whilst staying at the Karnak Temple
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
Introduce yourself to centuries of history on the River Nile and in Luxor before heading to the world's ancient wonders, 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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Cairo is a place of rich contrasts; a bustling metropolis which still hosts some of Egypt's most treasured historical...
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