Important facts and information to know when visiting Egypt as family
Possibly the most famous and instantly recognisable of the Middle East countries, though the only one on the African continent. With a history dating back thousands of years and some of the world’s most spectacular and intact buildings, Egypt is a must for every family’s travel itinerary.
Here’s what you need to know when taking children to Egypt on a family vacation.
Visiting Egypt Important Facts
|Official Name||Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah (Arab Republic of Egypt)
|Currency||Egyptian pound | 1EGP=0.055USD
|Language||Egyptian Arabic (English and French widely spoken)
|Religion||Islam with Christian minority
|Leadership||Republic with an elected president
|Important Dates||7 Jan Coptic Christmas, 23 July Revolution Day & Islamic Holidays
|Climate||Dry desert to Mediterranean
|Electrics||220V & Type C/F sockets
|Visas||e-Visa for tourists
|Safety||Travel advisories in place - see below
Egypt safety information
Tourism has been impacted in recent years by ongoing civil issues. Many parts of the country have increased caution warnings for travellers. You should always check current travel advisories and we recommend having good travel insurance in place if planning a trip to Egypt.
There are several regions of Egypt that tourists are advised not to travel to at present:
- North Sinai Peninsula (not including Sharm El-Sheikh, Dahab, and Nuweiba) due to terrorism
- The Western Desert due to terrorism
- Egyptian border areas due to military zones
This still leaves a vast number of incredible places to explore in Egypt. See this detailed post on family safety issues in Egypt
Egypt visa information
- A visit visa is required to enter the country for the purposes of tourism. It costs $25USD
- There are a number of countries that can get a visa on arrival, including EU countries, Australia, NZ, Canada, Japan, Russia and the US – you can see the full listing here.
- There are also 46 countries – including those listed above – that can apply for an e-Visa online in advance
Points for family visitors to be aware of in Egypt
- Ladies are not required to have their heads covered but as with the rest of the Middle East region, a conservative dress style is required in public – you can read more on what ladies should wear here
- Vendors have no shame in physically touching to get your attention
- Females are recommended not to travel alone in Egypt
- The streets and markets can be busy and chaotic, keep a close eye on children. Crossing rodes can be difficult
- Fair-hair touching is also rife – keep your kids nearby
General travel tips for visiting Egypt
- Tipping or “Baksheesh” is expected for pretty much everything from taxis to toilet attendants
- You can tip and pay in USD or LE
- Driving can be particularly dangerous, self-driving is not recommended
- Touts and over-enthusiastic salesmen are rife at all popular tourist attractions
See our regional guide to culture and religion for more – coming soon
When is it best to visit Egypt
Egypt is best visited in the cooler winter months. Summer temperatures can reach in excess of 40°C/104°F degrees and it is too hot and unpleasant for outdoor exploring.
The Red Sea resort towns remain popular year-round, though the waters are best explored during the warmer months March to November.
The cooler winter months from November to April are best for outdoor exploration but also expect greater crowds at popular tourist sites, particularly over the Christmas to New Year break.
Most popular attractions in Egypt
The list of must-visit attractions in Egypt is quite extensive!
Cairo is the most popular starting point for most where you can go on to discover the Nile Valley, but don’t forget the coastal areas as well from Alexandria in the north on the Mediterranean and Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab on the Sinai Peninsular.
- Giza Pyramids Complex- Built as tombs for the mighty Pharaohs and guarded by the Sphinx. The only remaining ancient Wonder of the World and one of the world’s most recognisable sites.
- Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple and Valley of the Kings – also known as the largest open-air museum in the world, set aside several days to explore the town of Luxor.
- Abu Simbel – Ramses II’s great temple in Upper Egypt
- Egyptian Museum – Cairo’s major highlight and one of the most amazing collections in the world; see the royal mummies exhibits and the famous King Tutankhamen (moving to the new Grand Egyptian Museum in late 2022)
- Siwa Oasis – in the western desert of Egypt, this oasis town is one of the country’s most picturesque
- Alexandria – the historic port town on the Mediterranean
- Red Sea – one of the top diving destinations in the world. Popular resort towns include Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab
Egypt is home to no less than 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites making it a history-lovers dream. But fear not with kids, there is plenty to keep them engaged and entertained on this journey back through time.
Egypt with Kids – Our Travel Stories
- Planning the perfect family holiday to Egypt
- The Ideal 7-day Egypt Highlights Itinerary for families
- The best time for families to visit Egypt
- Family Packing List for Egypt
- Family Guide to Visiting Cairo
- Our guide to “Baksheesh” and fair tipping in Egypt
- [LISTEN] How to plan an Egypt Vacation with Kids – Vacation Mavens Podcast
Stories shared by our family travel community
- What To Expect On Board A Nile Cruise – Our Globetrotters
- Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza – Carpe Diem OUR way
- Best Affordable Hostels in Cairo – Budget Your Trip
- Suggested One Week Egypt Itinerary – Owl Over the World
Contribute to this section
Have you been on an Egypt family vacation? Do you live in Egypt and have the inside scoop to share on taking children to Egypt?
We are looking for more contributors to this category, can you help?
Pop over and see our contributors page and find out how you can get involved in building our resource library for fellow family visitors to Egypt.
Further reading and resources on Egypt
Blogs & Social Media
- Do you have a favourite Egyptian based blog or account to recommend?
There is an extensive range of tourist guides focused on Egypt. Here are some popular recommendations:
Recommended Tours and Drivers
Do you have a favourite tour company for families or a driver you would like to recommend?
Movies and literature
The choices are extensive! Here are some of our favourites that all the family might enjoy before a trip to Egypt:
- The Mummy – 1999 action picture + sequels
- The Prince of Egypt – animated classic
- Cleopatra – 1963 classic starring Elizabeth Taylor
- Death on the Nile – a book by Agatha Christie also made into a film set from Aswan to Luxor (and interestingly they keep sailing on to Abu Simbel?? A little poetic license) – you can catch the 2002 remake too.
- Cairo Time – A 2009 drama set in Cairo
- The Yacoubian Building – a fascinating insight into Egyptian culture. The intertwining lives of the residents of one building in Cairo. The original Arabic text has been translated into English and the story made into a film.
Many children will no doubt study the ancient Egyptians as part of their school curriculum. There are plentiful resources we have highlighted some favourites here, but will also have a separate post coming soon with a more extensive guide given the amount of literature on this topic!
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Please check facts with the appropriate authorities before travelling. This page was first published in 2018 and updated in May 2022. This page contains affiliate links.