Important facts and information to know when visiting Egypt
Possibly the most famous and instantly recognisable of the Middle East countries, though the only one on the African continent. History dating back thousands of years and some of the world’s most spectacular and intact buildings make Egypt a must for every family’s travel itinerary.
Tourism has been impacted in recent years by ongoing civil issues. Many parts of the country have increased caution warnings for travellers, and some parts closed to all but essential travel. You should always check current travel advisories and we recommend good insurance in place if planning a trip to Egypt.
Visiting Egypt Important Facts
|Official Name||Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah (Arab Republic of Egypt)
|Currency||Egyptian pound | 1EGP=0.05658USD
|Language||Egyptian Arabic (English and French widely spoken)
|Religion||Islam with Christian minority
|Leadership||Republic with 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
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, Nuweibaa) due to terrorism
- The Western Desert due to terrorism
- Egyptian border areas due to military zones
- 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 a number of countries who 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 – who 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 head 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 taxi’s 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 degrees and it is too hot and unpleasant for outdoor exploring. The Red Sea resort towns remain popular year-round
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.
- Pyramids of Giza – 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 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 – famous for Ramses II’s great temple
- 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
- Siwa Oasis – in the western desert of Egypt, this oasis town is one of the countries 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 with Kids – Our Travel Stories
- The perfect 7-day Egypt Highlights Itinerary for families
- The best time for families to visit Egypt
- Family Packing List for Egypt
- Our guide to “Baksheesh” and fair tipping in Egypt
- How to pick a family tour package (coming soon)
- [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
- Is it safe to bring your kids to Egypt – Bring the Kids
- Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza – Carpe Diem OUR way
- Best Affordable Hostels – Budget your Trip
- Suggested one week Egypt Itinerary – Owl Over the World
Contribute to this section
Have you been to Egypt with or without kids? Do you live in Egypt and have the inside scoop to share? 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 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 – 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)
- 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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NB please check facts with the appropriate authorities before travelling. Information correct to best of our knowledge as at October 2018. This page contains affiliate links.