Egypt Travel Guide

Info about Egypt

  • Location: in the northeast corner of Africa, on the Red Sea
  • Continent: 94% of the area Africa, 6% (Sinai Peninsula) Asia
  • consisting of the mainland and the Sinai Peninsula
  • Capital: Cairo with 10.3 million inhabitants (as of 2011)
  • Official language: Arabic
  • Population: 94.8 million (as of 2017)
  • Currency: Egyptian Pound (EGP)
  • Member of the European Neighborhood Policy
  • international airports: Cairo International Airport, Borg El Arab International Airport, Hurghada International Airport etc. (see map)
  • Time difference: +1 hour in Egypt

Climate and weather in Egypt

Due to the location on the North African dry belt, most parts of Egypt have a subtropical desert climate. This applies to both the desert and the coastal regions of the Red Sea. The climate is characterized by year-round warmth and drought. On the Mediterranean coast of Egypt – for example in Alexandria – the climate is Mediterranean to subtropical. Here it is dry and warm in summer, while the weather is mild in winter. Occasionally, there can also be small rain showers here in winter. Temperatures on the Mediterranean coast are between 29 and 30 degrees Celsius in summer and between 17 and 20 degrees Celsius in winter. In the other parts of Egypt, such as the desert region, the Nile Valley and the coastal region on the Red Sea, which have a subtropical desert climate, it is warm and dry all year round. The daytime temperatures in summer are 30 degrees Celsius and higher. In winter it is still warm with temperatures between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius. Find out in my travel calendar when is the best time to travel to Egypt.

Egypt Travel Tips

Egypt tips

  • Arriving by plane: In the high season, planes depart several times a day from the Austrian airports to the international airports in Egypt. Depending on where you want to spend your vacation, you can, for example, head for Hurghada, Sharm el Sheikh, Cairo or Alexandria
  • Austrian departure airports with the destination Egypt: Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Graz
  • Flight time from Austria to Egypt (depending on departure and destination airport): between 3 and 4 hours
  • Airlines: Austrian Airlines, EgyptAir and many more
  • Entry & Visa : A visa is required for Austrian citizens to enter Egypt. It costs € 28 per person. You can either apply for a visa at the Egyptian consulates in Austria or at the official counters of the Bank of Egypt and the counters of the tour operators at the Egyptian airport. You can find more information on this on the BMEIA website. Since the end of 2017 it has also been possible to apply for a visa online. You can apply for the e-Visa online at least seven days before the planned trip on the Egypt e-Visa portal. Usually you need a passport to enter the country. The passport is still required on the day of entry be valid for at least eight months. White cards are handed out on the plane, which you have to fill out and show at passport control.
  • Tip : In Egypt, tips are called “baksheesh”. The word comes from Persian and means “gift” or “gift”
    • in restaurants: 10-20% of the invoice amount
    • for housekeeping: 3-5 EGP (approx. 45-85 cents) per day depending on the hotel category
    • for porters: 1 EGP (approx. 15 cents) per piece of luggage
    • for porters in luxury hotels: 2-4 EGP (approx. 30-45 cents) per piece of luggage
    • for taxi drivers: 25-40 EGP (approx. 3.75 € -6 €) per person for one week
    • for tour guides: 70-100 EGP (approx. 10-15 €) per person for one week
    • For services that are not chargeable (taking a photo of yourself, showing the way, etc.), a baksheesh of around 1 EGP (around 15 cents) is recommended
  • Health : No specific vaccinations are required. The medical care in Egypt is good. You can get almost all medicines there. Hospital treatment costs must be paid prior to treatment. It is advisable to take out travel health insurance. It is also advisable to be vaccinated against tetanus and polio. From July to November, malaria prophylaxis is recommended for the delta and the oases. You shouldn’t bathe in the Nile, as there is a risk of schistosomiasis. There is a risk of contracting hepatitis A in rural areas. It is also advisable to consume only peeled fruit or fruit that has been thoroughly washed with drinking water (no tap water!).
  • Tap water : Not drinkable as it can be contaminated with bacteria and is often chlorinated. In Hurghada, for example, the Ministry of the Environment found excessive levels of E-Coli bacteria and ammonia in tap water. The reason for this are dilapidated pipeline systems. You should therefore avoid ice cubes, as these are often made with tap water. It is also advisable to brush your teeth with purchased drinking water from the bottle so as not to absorb bacteria. You should also clean fruits and vegetables with purchased drinking water. Basically : Be careful with the water in Egypt, especially in the high season there is always a shortage of water.
  • Car rental : Large car rental companies such as Hertz, Avis and Budget have branches in the major cities and seaside resorts of Egypt. There are also national providers. For a small car you pay a rent of around € 50 per day or around € 350 per week.
  • Customs regulations : There is a strict export ban for all antique objects and for a large number of plants and animals that are protected by nature and species (e.g. corals); even if these were apparently legally acquired. Further information on the import and export ban to a non-EU country can be found at the Federal Ministry of Finance.
  • Travel warning Egypt : Popular vacation spots such as Hurghada, El Gouna and Marsa Alam are not directly affected by the partial travel warning for Egypt. However, vacationers are urged by the Foreign Office to avoid large crowds. In my travel magazine I explain to you for which places a travel warning for Egypt has been issued.
  • Homosexuality in Egypt : Homosexuality is prosecuted in Egypt and is an absolute taboo in society. Therefore, as a gay or lesbian couple, you should avoid holding hands in public or exchanging caresses. Should you be approached on the street, it is best to hold back, because the Egyptian police and the judges in Egypt do not stop at tourists from abroad in such a case. This means that if you violate it, you risk imprisonment – including for tourists. So please take good care of yourself!
  • Emergency number in Egypt : Tourist Police Emergency Number: 126; regular police: Tel. 122; Emergency doctor: Tel. 123 ; Fire brigade: Tel. 125