Egypt is best known for the Pyramids of Giza, the Nile, Royal Tombs, and the Great Sphinx. But it is just more than that! Though Cairo, the start of our Egypt itinerary, is home to many of the most iconic Egyptian sights, you can’t disregard other regions, like Siwa, Aswan, and Luxor.
To be honest, Egyptian history and culture can hardly be explored in just 10 days. Because of that, we tried to pack our 10 day Egypt itinerary with as many sights as possible!
Tip: If you can extend your trip by just 4 days, we’ve included a bonus itinerary for those days too.
The Ultimate Egypt Itinerary
When visiting European countries, most travelers choose to only see the capital cities. Often, tourists find that the largest cities have the most to show in terms of culture and sights.
While Cairo in Egypt is a glorious capital, it’s not the only place you should pay attention to on your trip. There are regions that you don’t want to miss out on!
Follow this itinerary to get the most out of your vacation and walk in the footsteps of the pharaohs.
Day 1-3: Cairo, Civilization Museum, Giza, Pyramids, Khan El Khalili
How to Get to Cairo Downtown from the Airport
Most people like to start their Egyptian vacation in the capital city. If you’re coming to Egypt by plane, you are most probably arriving at the Cairo International Airport, which is the perfect place to kick off your trip.
The city center is located approximately a 25-minute drive from the airport. You can take an uber for a small price of around $10. This is a great idea for a group of travelers. If you are a solo female traveler or a backpacker, you save some money and take the bus from this station for $1. Just follow the signs in the airport and ask police officers. (only!)
Buy a ticket directly on the bus, but keep in mind that you’ll need to pay in cash. The bus takes twice as long as a taxi and leaves from the airport every 30 minutes.
Tip: avoid exchanging Euro for USD in the airport as the exchange rates for the Egyptian Pound are really high. You could cash out with your travel credit card or just exchange a small amount.
What to Do in Cairo?
Coptic Cairo (Old Cairo)
Coptic Cairo can be your first stop in Cairo, as it is a great place for ancient architecture and beautiful sights. The area is located in Old Cairo. There, you will find the Coptic Museum, the Greek Church of St. George, the Babylon Fortress, and the Hanging Church.
The last site is an Orthodox Church that gains its name from its location. The church looks as though it’s hanging above the Babylon Fortress.
Islamic Cairo (Old Cairo)
Not as old as Coptic Cairo, but still pretty old, is another area of Cairo, titled Islamic Cairo. The area consists of popular historic areas of the city. Islamic Cairo contains some of the oldest parts of the city that existed before the expansion, which took place in the 19th century. The Citadel of Cairo is located in Islamic Cairo.
While you’re in Old Cairo, you can pay a visit to the Ben Ezra Synagogue. The synagogue is famous because of its location. Legends say that little Moses was discovered on the site of the synagogue. Whether you believe it or not, the tale brings a certain charm to the place.
Before you leave Cairo, you should visit the Khan el-Khalili bazaar. The market is located in the historic center of Cairo. That’s where local vendors sell clothing, jewelry, souvenirs, spices, perfumes, and more.
You will find the most exotic items at the bazaar, but I wouldn’t recommend purchasing souvenirs there. Local vendors often scam tourists into paying a lot for simple items.
We just hang around there and spent some quality time enjoying the architecture of the buildings, the bazaar vibes and we spent some time in Um Kalthoum Café.
What Museums to Visit in Cairo?
The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization
The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization is a brand-new big museum located in Old Cairo. The aim of the museum is to show visitors artifacts and paint a picture of life in Egypt during prehistoric times. The museum displays over 50,000 artifacts from prehistoric times, as well as modern times. It is a true journey back in time.
Museum of Egyptian Antiques
We also visited another museum that is often advertised to tourists is the Museum of Egyptian Antiques in Cairo, also referred to as the Cairo Museum. As the name suggests, the museum displays over 120,000 pharaonic antiques.
Millions of tourists visit the museum every year to get a glimpse of what life was like in Egypt. Unfortunately, the museum is not as exciting as it sounds. Though it has some amazing artifacts, the presentation is very poor. If you are not into Ancient Civilizations, don’t waste your time.
In order to see the most highly anticipated monument (can you guess what it is?), you’ve got to make your way to Giza. There are many exciting things in Giza besides the obvious attraction. For instance, the Grand Egyptian Museum is due to be opened in November of 2022. The museum is said to become the largest archeological museum in the whole world!
Before you can visit the Giza Museum, you should have a look at the Valley Temple of Khafre. The temple is a historical landmark that people from all over the world come to see. It is said that the temple was built under the rule of King Chephren, who belonged to the 4th Dynasty.
After you’ve made your way through Giza, it’s time to see the most exciting monument. The Giza pyramids are located in Greater Cairo. Take a trip out there to see the Giza pyramid complex. The easiest way to get there is by taxi. Your Uber app will work just fine in Cairo, and the taxis are incredibly cheap!
The Great Pyramids of Giza is the star of the show. Also known as the Pyramid of Cheops, it is the biggest and oldest pyramid in the complex. The pyramid is also the oldest of the 7 wonders and the one that’s in the best shape.
Where to stay in Cairo?
During our time in Cairo, we stayed at Golden Pyramids Inn. It was one of the closest to the Pyramids, affordable, and offers a great view. However, it was not really clean and the rooms were too basic. I wouldn’t recommend it.
Alternatively, there is no shortage of hotels in Cairo. If you’re craving luxury and comfort, you can stay at the Four Seasons or a different 5-star hotel. The best part is, Egypt is a lot cheaper than the west, so you can enjoy luxury on a budget.
If you are on a bit of a tighter budget, you can stay at the Victory of Downtown Hotel. The hotel boasts a favorable location and great reviews!
Nile View Inn is a slightly nicer midrange hotel located in Old Cairo. The hotel has great reviews too and the location allows easy access to all the main attractions of Cairo. As you can tell by the name, the hotel gives its residents a beautiful view of the river. If this is your first time staying in Cairo, the view is definitely worth the money!
Where to eat in Cairo?
El Prince Restaurant
El Prince has been dubbed the best Egyptian food restaurant in Cairo, and for a good reason! The food is delicious, the service is fast, and the staff is friendly. The only problem is – the place is so good that it often gets quite busy. You might have to wait for 30 minutes to be seated. Don’t worry, the food is well worth the wait!
Tip: The best time to come is after lunch and before dinner 😉
Koshary Abou Tarek
Koshary Abou Tarek is another Egyptian restaurant in Cairo. Go there for the best koshary in town! Koshary is a traditional Egyptian dish that is often served by street vendors too. The dish combines elements of Italian cuisine with classic Egyptian flavors. It is a comforting bowl filled with lentils, rice, and tomato sauce.
Osmanly Restaurant in Cairo serves the best Middle Eastern food in the whole city! The restaurant is located in Kempinski, which is a 5-star hotel in the center of Cairo. The place is not only known for delicious food served in a beautiful environment but also for excellent service.
If you want to be treated like royalty, book a table at Osmanly Restaurant for lunch or dinner. The experience is worth the hefty price tag.
BeEJA is a lot more modest with its prices, but the portions are not modest at all. If you find yourself very hungry and craving Middle Eastern cuisine, go to BeEJA. Besides delicious food, the restaurant offers exciting cocktails and hookah. With hookah on the menu, you know it’s a real Middle Eastern treat!
Day 4-6: Siwa, Desert Camp, Salt Lakes, Berber Buildings
How to Get to Siwa?
On the 4th day of your trip, it’s time to move out of the city and get a good look at Egyptian nature. Siwa Oasis can be your first stop.
The best way to get there is when you can take an overnight bus that will take you there by the morning. Buses depart daily at 10:30 pm from the Torgoman Bus Station and take around 11 hours to arrive. Tickets can be bought online on this website.
Tip: don’t let anyone hold your luggage for you if you don’t want to. People around the station pretend that they work for the bus company. But they are not. They are just trying to get some easy money from you.
Enjoy the Natural Springs
Siwa is located closer to Libya and further from the sea. Trust that you won’t miss the sea one bit when you see all the beauty Siwa holds. Siwa is a magical place known for its natural springs. The natural springs have healing properties, so don’t forget to pack your swimming suit!
The best natural springs are El Girba Spring and El Malh Spring. They are quite far from the city center, but worth the visit as they are the cleanest. The other ones are a little overrated and dirty.
Swim in the Salt Lakes
Salt lakes were just a controversial topic for us! We got spoiled by the Instagram shots of the lakes and we hired a driver to chase them. However, we got a little disappointed when we first knew that all of them are artificial and made in an industrial area to produce salt. So you will see many trucks and sometimes hear a lot of noise around.
Tip: The lakes are didn’t seem natural as we imagined and the lakes change color, volume, and cleanliness around the year. Your driver should be knowledgeable about the state of the lakes to get you the best ones. We finally had a great swim in this one.
However, it might have changed by the time you visit. That’s we recommend having a ride with this guy, whose wife has a great and authentic guesthouse in Siwa 🙂
Have a Camel Overnight Ride in the White Desert
Siwa is also famous for its white desert. Overnight camping is worth it to try desert life and can be easily organized by Dalia and her husband. The team will set up everything for you, you just need to bring your jacket and a pair of sports shoes for the sand. An authentic night in a tent in front of a fire camp in the desert is worth it at least once in a lifetime.
Dinner and Breakfast will bed cooked traditionally on a wood fire. Don’t forget your warm cup of tea in the evening!
Visit the Amazigh Ruins
Siwa is not only known for its salt lakes. The peaceful oasis is home to several Berber buildings. You will find a large site with traditional Berber-style buildings in Siwa. The region is said to be home to the last Berber buildings in Egypt. You can be sure that you won’t see this anywhere else in the country!
Tip: Combine those visits with the salt lakes rides. This will save you money as you will need to hire a driver only once 😉
Where to stay in Siwa?
In Siwa, you can find hotels, authentic guest houses, and camp centers with bungalows and well-equipped tents.
Hotels are an obvious choice. Depending on your budget and the purpose of your trip, you can choose to stay closer to or further away from the lake. Olive Garden House Siwa is an affordable accommodation that is located a 10-minute drive from the Shali Fortress. Though the place is far from luxurious, it has excellent reviews.
Retreats are made for those who want to enjoy the oasis of relaxation that is Siwa to the max can stay right on the lake. Siwa Relax Retreat is a classy accommodation with beautifully designed rooms and even an outdoor hot tub. The rooms are very reasonably priced, making it a bargain for such a great location.
Guesthouses are also a great idea for people who want to adopt the Siwan lifestyle. They are charming and affordable, a little basic though.
Camps are also a famous accommodation type in Siwa, we tried Camp Ali Khaled and it was not bad. What we didn’t like is the slowliness of the service. The staff seemed to be a little careless and chilling around. I don’t know if it is usually like that though. The camp had many wards in terms of hospitality…
Where to eat in Siwa?
Abdu Restaurant is located in the very center of Siwa. The restaurant offers traditional Egyptian meals, which would be a shame to pass up. The place is not very fancy, but it has delicious food, which is all that really matters.
The staff is friendly, too. Ask your server for a recommendation, and enjoy a cheap and delicious meal. This restaurant is by far the best one in Siwa.
Ola Restaurant is a great place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The restaurant serves Italian, Mediterranean, and Egyptian cuisines. You can opt for an international dish or try something local. There is a large variety of vegetarian dishes and teas. If you’re not hungry just yet, you can sit at Ola Restaurant for a drink, and enjoy the lovely atmosphere and friendly service.
Day 7-10: Aswan, Luxor, and Abu Simbel
How to Get to Aswan?
On day 7, it’s time to make your way to Aswan. The easiest way to get to Aswan from Siwa is to go through Cairo. Take the bus back to Cairo, and take another bus or plane to Aswan. Buses from Siwa to Cairo depart on a daily basis at 20:30. You can buy the tickets online on the same website mentioned above.
We had a time rush. So we flew from Cairo to Aswan. Nile Air offers daily fares for about 70€. So it was a great deal for us instead of losing 2 days of traveling on the bus.
What to Do in Aswan?
Aswan is a city on the Nile valley that contains a large number of popular sites. Travelers love to visit the Aswan Dam, Philae Temple, and Elephantine Island. Geographically speaking, Aswan is located in the south.
Philae Temple Complex
While you’re in Aswan, you can’t miss the Philae Temple Complex. Currently, Philae is located on Agilkia Island. To get there, you have to take the boat from the Marina Philae Temple. The temple complex is definitely worth the trip.
Originally, the temple complex was located in Upper Egypt on Philae Island. The whole complex was transferred to Agilika Island by UNESCO during the construction of the Aswan High Dam.
Tip: We recommend visiting the historical landmarks with an experienced guide. He / She will tell you all the stories while enjoying the monument. And it is always good exploring such places with a local 🙂
Not far from Philae, you can find Elephantine Island. The island is best known for its connection to god Khnum, also known as the creator of humankind, as well as his wife and daughter. You can reach the island by boat.
There are several boats leaving Aswan for Elephantine Island each day. The cheapest option is the public ferry. You will find it right across the Egypt Air building. It shouldn’t cost more than 5 Egyptian pounds, which isn’t even 50 cents. Be strict about the price and don’t let the locals scam you.
Kom Ombo Temple
It is another temple in Aswan that is worth your attention. The temple is located in the town of Kom Ombo in Aswan. The construction took place 180-47 BC under the rule of the Ptolemaic dynasty.
Back in the day, the city was an important stop on the way to Nubia. Merchants took their commercial caravans through Kom Ombo, which is why the city had a large military base.
If you’d like to see where the road led, you need to visit Nubian village. The Nubian village is a traditional Egyptian village with colorful houses and cute cafes. The village sits on the Nile river and welcomes heaps of tourists every year. Can you blame them? The place is arguably one of the most “Instagrammable” regions in the whole of Egypt.
The Temple of Horus in Edfu
it gives us a different view of Egypt. It takes us back to the times of ancient Egypt and ancient myths. According to ancient myths and legends, the temple is important because that’s where the legendary fight between Horus and his uncle Seth took place.
The temple was named after Horus, who is regarded as a God in Egyptian mythology. Interestingly, it is also one of the largest temples in all of Egypt. It is second only to the Karnak Temple, but more on that later.
The temple is not the only large and exceptional monument in Aswan that travelers come to look at. The region is also home to the unfinished obelisk, which is the biggest obelisk in the world at the moment.
The obelisk is unfinished because it features large cracks in the granite. The structure was abandoned and is now one of the few obelisks in Egypt.
Time to Get to Luxor
Once you’ve seen everything you wanted to see in Aswan, you can make your way to Luxor. The best way to get to Luxor from Aswan is with a cruise ship.
Usually, the Nile River Cruise from Aswan to Luxor takes 4 days. That’s not always convenient, especially if you’re on a tight schedule. However, if you can afford it, I recommend taking this 2-night Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor.
Tip: You can also reach Luxor by train from Aswan. It is an enjoyable 3-hour journey that offers you authentic views of Raw As-Saiid (The name of the whole region). For me, it was a trip to remember. The train costs about 80 EP (first class) and tickets must be bought from the ticket office of the train station.
What to Do in Luxor?
Luxor sits on the East Bank of the river. Back in the 16th-11th centuries BC, Luxor was the capital of the pharaohs. Today, Luxor continues to host a large number of travelers every year. People from all over the world come to see the Karnak Temple (the largest temple in Egypt), the Luxor Temple, and the Temple of Hatshepsut. The city also houses the Valley of the Kings, one of the greatest landmarks in Africa and the Valley of the Queens.
Starting off with the city’s temples, you already know that there are three you absolutely cannot miss:
The Karnak Temple Complex
It is located on the East Bank of Luxor and was constructed more than 1,000 years ago. The religious complex is no longer as important as it used to be, but the ruins of the chapels and temples are here to tell the tale of those grandiose times. This temple is FULL of stories that only an expert guide can tell you about. I was overwhelmed.
Tip: We had a great time with Imed, an expert guide in Egyptian Civilization. He speaks amazing English and explains everything in a wonderful way, full of emotions. Here is number: +20 100 151 3578 You can text him on whatsapp on mybehlaf. He will be happy to guide you!
The Luxor Temple
This is another large temple complex in Egypt. It is believed that the temple served as a place where many pharaohs in Egypt were crowned. It is impossible to find out for sure if that’s true or not, but the legend certainly gives the place a powerful aura.
The Temple of Hatshepsut
The Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor is not as exciting as the previous one, as it belongs to the mortuary temples of Egypt. However, it hides a wonderful story, of the unique female Pharaoh, Hatshepsut.
The temple was built under the rule of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt and is located near the city of Luxor. The temple’s significance lies in its beautiful architecture and design, as well as the meaning behind it. It was built as a monument to the Gods of Egypt.
The Valley of the Kings
As you move over to the West Bank of Luxor, you will find the Valley of the Kings. The Valley of the Kings is an ancient burial ground, where you can find many tombs belonging to Egyptian pharaohs. Around 1500 BC, it was decided that pharaohs would no longer be buried in giant pyramids. Instead, tombs were built in the Valley of the Kings.
Not far from the Valley of the Kings, in the Theban Necropolis, you will find the Colossi of Memnon. The site features two stone statues erected in honor of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III of the 18th Dynasty. The statues are meant to symbolize the king’s rule.
The Sunrise Hot Air Ballon Journey!
Perhaps the best way to see all of Luxor’s sights is from a bird’s eye view. The city is famous for its hot air balloon rides that are offered to tourists and locals alike.
Book a sunrise ride to see the city in all its glory as the sun comes up. Take fabulous pictures and get insightful commentary from your personal guide. Check out this website to review the hot air balloon ride options in Luxor. We booked hours for about 35€ per person and it was worth it.
Abu Simbel Temple
In Upper Egypt, near the Sudanese border, you will find Abu Simbel. Abu Simbel is an Egyptian village belonging to the Aswan Governorate. The village’s main attraction is the Abu Simbel Temples. The temples are widely considered some of the most beautiful temples of Egypt.
They were erected in honor of Gods Amun, Ptah, and Ra-Horakhty, as well as Pharaoh Ramesses II. The temple complex consists of two temples that are carved into a mountain. Inside the larger one, you will find four massive statues of pharaoh Ramesses II.
Tip: Reaching Abu Simbel Temple is quite challenging from Luxor. It is a 3-hour drive one-way. I recommend overnighting in Abu Simbel Village to enjoy the temples to the fullest by yourself and away from the crowds that usually come at the same time. Visit either in the early morning or in the late afternoon.
Medinet Habu and Habu Temple
Sitting on the other side of the Nile River, Habu Temple is one of the greatest ones in the region. We visited it during our cruise journey and we loved the story behind it. It is one of the well-preserved temples in the area.
Where to Stay in Aswan and Luxor?
Apart from the cruise, the best place to spend your nights in Al-Saiid region is a guesthouse on Elephantine island. Mango Guesthouse is a great choice. You can also find similar ones around 🙂
Other than that, Aswan is a popular traveler destination and the prices of accommodation represent that. Nevertheless, you can easily find affordable accommodation by the river. Anakato 3 Nubian Houses, for instance, are a great option. The accommodation has good reviews and it boasts a pretty good location.
Luxor is very similar to Aswan, though you can still find budget options too. Thebes Hotel is very affordable and has great ratings. The location of the hotel is excellent, as it is right in the center of the historic city. Thebes Hotel has a rooftop pool and a bar where you can spend your evenings. Though it’s not very modern, it makes up for that in great service.
Where to Eat in Aswan and Luxor?
If you’ve decided to take a trip to Elephantine Island, you can look forward to a delicious lunch or dinner there too. Visit King Jamaica Restaurant & Cafe for the best Nubian and Jamaican cuisine. It is a family business, so you can expect a warm welcome from the owner of the restaurant himself. The location is perfect for views and pictures.
On your stroll around Luxor, you can stop by Aisha Restaurant. The restaurant serves popular Egyptian dishes and has a large number of vegetarian options. It has excellent reviews from visitors who enjoyed their meals at Aisha. If you’re looking to try some local food, make your way to Aisha Restaurant!
Day 11-14: Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada, Dahab [Bonus]
Unlike us, if you decided to extend your trip and stay a couple more days, there is so much more to see in Egypt. You definitely made the right choice. Perhaps it’s finally time to relax and take a swim in the sea. If relaxing is not for you, you can dive, snorkel, or explore Ras Mohammed National Park.
We couldn’t stay longer than 10 days in Egypt, but we have made our researches when we planned our itinerary and I think it’s also worth sharing 🙂
Sharm el-Sheikh is a beach town where travelers come to unwind. The region is known for its smooth sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Enjoy swimming and diving in the Red Sea.
How to Get to Sharm El-Sheikh?
You can get to the resort by bus, which is the cheapest option and takes approximately 8 hours (from Luxor). Tickets can be found as usual on tozcara.com. If you’re a fan of convenience, you should opt for air travel from Luxor Airport, which is the most expensive and fastest way to get to Sharm el-Sheikh.
What to Do in Sharm El-Sheikh?
Being one of the most famous beach towns in the country, Sharm el-Sheikh has a lot to offer in terms of nice hotels and villas. If you want to relax for good after the busy days in Cairo, Siwa, and Al-Saiid Region, you can choose a 5-star hotel like the Movenpick Resort or Novotel.
Those on a tighter budget can opt for Oriental Rivoli Hotel & Spa. It’s a 4-star hotel with three pools and a hotel dining area. The rooms feature rich design elements with lots of red and gold. The only downside is that the nearest beach is a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
Hurghada is another beach town in Egypt. The town is a great option for those who are looking for a more modern and luxurious beach resort experience. There are many new developments in Hurghada. The climate is also a bit cooler than in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Tip: If you have to choose between the two, choose based on what you want to see. Hurghada is a great choice for modern travelers, while Sharm el-Sheikh is a more authentic and traditional side of Egypt.
Finding a nice hotel in Hurghada is very easy. The town was made for tourists, so there is a lot to choose from. The Boutique Hotel is a modern and luxurious hotel right on the beach. It offers complimentary breakfast and boasts a hotel bar and pool.
You can easily get to Hurghada from Sharm El-Sheikh thanks to the ferry that operates between the 2 cities. The ride takes around 1 hour and costs about 10€ per person.
Deep Dive in Dahab
Dahab is another option for those who want to enjoy a few days of diving and snorkeling after a trip filled with sightseeing and adventure. The town is famous for its beautiful sandy beaches and serene locations. It is also a little bit cheaper than the more popular Sharm el-Sheikh.
If you enjoy diving, Dahab should be your first choice. H2O Divers Dahab is one of the best diving agencies in town. It has great reviews and offers scuba diving, technical diving, and freediving.
If you’re staying in Dahab, opt for a beach resort or hotel. Villa 22, for example, is an affordable hotel located very close to the beach. The complex boasts a pool for days when you want to switch it up.
Dahab is only 80km away from Sharm El-Sheikh. You can find regular buses connecting the two cities with affordable rides. Busses run from Dahab to Sharm at the following times: 8:00, 9:00, 12:30, 15:00, 19:30, 21:30, 22:00, 22:20. Tickets are available on tozcara.com.
How to Get Around in Egypt?
Egypt is a big country, so if you want to see all the most important sights, you will have to travel quite a bit. Luckily, there are a few different options for domestic travel. Most options are reasonably priced and efficient.
Egypt has a well-developed network of internal flights. This option is good for people on a tight plan. For long distances, air travel is the best option as it will save you days of transfers. If you arrive in Cairo at the beginning of your trip, you can take a plane to most big cities. Fares vary between 50 and 100€.
Cairo has the most popular airport in the country, so it will come in handy when you want to travel to other parts of Egypt. If you want to fly from one small city to another, however, you will have to go through Cairo.
Trains are a pretty popular mode of transportation in Egypt. There are train stations in most main cities, like Luxor, Aswan, and Alexandria. You can take an overnight train if you don’t want to waste time and see as much of Egypt as you can.
There are two kinds of trains, the Spanish Express (which is the regular class) and Special (the more expensive and comfortable). Visit the website of the Egyptian National Railway.
This option is great for slow travelers. You can travel by bus from any one city in Egypt to another. Buses are quick and reliable, but you should book your tickets in advance, as they can get quite full. This mode of transportation is fast and cheap. Check out tozcara.com to find the bus schedule you’re looking for. It is a reliable and secure website.
What You Should Know About Egypt?
Traveling to Egypt is not the same as traveling to a western destination or a country in South East Asia. You need to be prepared for the local culture and the traditions. When you’re getting ready for your trip, take into account the cultural differences between your home country and Egypt.
Is Egypt Safe?
Egypt has become a popular tourist destination in the past decade, so it is relatively safe for foreigners. You should be able to walk around on your own without any problems. Some vendors will try to force you to buy their things. Just ignore them and keep walking.
Police officers are everywhere and there is even a tourist-police point in the common attractions. If you get scammed (hopefully not!). You can go to them and complain. They know every single vendor around and they will get him and pay you back.
If you’re a woman, we recommend covering your shoulders, knees, and cleavage to avoid unpleasant stares. Egypt is a conservative country. The locals appreciate and love travelers respecting their culture and wearing quite similar clothes.
If you are a solo-female traveler, always ask about which regions, where you should not hang out alone. Mostly near Khan El Khalili. Although I met a couple of solo-female travelers on my journey in Egypt. I never heard that one of them faced safety problems in the country.
Though Egypt is quite safe, you can easily get scammed. This is not just an Egyptian thing, as it happens in all major cities of the world. Because of that, be careful with money. Always count your change and make sure you get your money back. You need to differentiate between a 50 EP note and a 50cent note! (A common mistake).
Make sure you get an idea bout price ranges for essential products like a bottle of water (5-10 EP), a typical taxi ride per kilometer (7-10 EP).
Also, never buy the first thing you see. Give yourself a few days to visit all the markets. You are almost guaranteed to find a better and cheaper souvenir after doing some digging. Also, never buy from Bazaars that are around the attractions. They sell bad-quality products for expensive prices.
As mentioned above, go to a policeman (or tourist police, they are everywhere) once you feel that you got scammed. They know every single vendor around and they could get him and make him pay you back.
The weather in Egypt can get quite hot during the summer, so watch out for that. The best times to travel to Egypt are in spring and fall when the temperatures are mild. The coldest and wettest month of the year is January, with maximum temperatures reaching 18 C degrees.
Egypt is a Muslim country. A big part of the culture of the Middle East is feasting. If you’re ever invited to an Egyptian household, you should eat with only your right hand, even if it might seem odd. There is no need to salt your food. It may sound like common sense, but always express gratitude for your food.
Religion (Islam in particular) constitutes a large part of Egyptian culture. Egypt and religion go way back, as back in Ancient Egypt people believed in multiple Gods. Because religion has such strong ties with the country’s traditions, visitors are expected to stay open-minded.
As such, avoid wearing revealing clothing, making dirty jokes, or touching on subjects such as politics. Those unspoken rules work in most countries, so they shouldn’t be too difficult to follow!
Egyptian people are usually very friendly. That being said, you should repay them with your respect and kindness. That means knowing a bit about the history of Egypt and showing interest in it. Keep an open mind and don’t knock local attractions till you’ve tried them, be it a dish or an activity!
Tipping is appropriate in Egypt, though it’s always your initiative. If you were happy with the service in a restaurant, taxi, or hotel, leave a small tip as a token of your appreciation. However, locals tend to misuse this culture and explicitly ask for tips for anything.
You might even be asked for tips when someone shows you the way. I honestly didn’t like this culture and it ruined a couple of moments on our journey. My advice: ask only policemen, they usually don’t expect to get paid for the advice!
Egyptian Words That Will Save Your Life
Hello – salaam ‘aleikum
No, Thanks, Lah, Shukrann (You will use it hundreds of times!)
Goodbye – ma’a salaameh
How much is this? – bikam dah?
It’s too expensive! – ghaali ‘awwi!
Thank you – shukran
Final Words about Egypt Itinerary
Egypt is a beautiful world of its own that can hardly be seen in all its glory in only 10 days. However, that shouldn’t stop you from exploring what you can!
Take a plane to Cairo and fill the next 10 days with adventure on your Egypt itinerary. Follow in the footsteps of pharaohs and enjoy the Arabic way of life. If you don’t make time for everything, don’t worry. It’s a great reason to come again!
Check also: Our 6-Day Jordan Road Trip