Egypt is a beautiful country that’s rich with history, wonderful sightseeing, delicious foods, and a nightlife to be envied. But if you’re looking to spend your holiday, honeymoon, or even your business trip in Egypt, there are a few things you need to be aware of to avoid any shortcomings during your stay here.
What do you need to know before traveling to Egypt? Read on to discover the pointers that can make your trip to Egypt a better one.
Be wary of the dress code
Egypt is a conservative country that is heavily influenced by traditions and religion. Avoid wearing clothing that may be revealing in public too much in certain areas as it may attract some unwanted attention. If you’re in a more affluent neighborhood, then you can get away with wearing most things.
Don’t drink alcohol in the streets
Egypt, again being heavily influenced by Islam, doesn’t condone the consumption of alcohol. Don’t drink alcohol in public or act drunk or intoxicated, as it could lead to problematic situations. Most hotels will serve alcohol, as well as a number of bars in Downtown Cairo and some restaurants.
Carry cash — always
In Egypt, it’s not a good idea to rely on your credit card. A big part of Egypt’s economy depends on the informal sector, meaning that not all shops and restaurants will support payment with credit cards. Be sure to always carry cash around wherever you go to stay safe.
Also, the more fakka (loose change) you have, the better! Egypt has a fakka crisis of not having enough change in taxis, kiosks, and some stores. Carrying change with you will help avoid unwanted tipping.
Tipping is encouraged, but not mandatory
Leaving a tip in Egypt isn’t the same as some other countries. You don’t need to exactly calculate the 10% of your total payment. You can get away with tipping somebody with EGP 5-10. However, if you’re feeling generous, leaving a higher tip can grant you better service in the future!
Keep your ID on you at all times
Be sure to always carry around some sort of identification, preferably your passport, for easy identification and to prevent any hiccups from occurring during your travels within or between cities.
Bargain, bargain, bargain!
Most markets and local stores that you visit tend to drive up the price, so don’t hesitate to bargain to your heart’s content! Think of it as a challenge or a game, and make sure not to succumb to any inflated prices!
What transportation should you use in Cairo?
The most convenient mode of transportation in Egypt is Uber, or its equivalent Careem. The use of credit cards in the application will allow you to avoid the fakka (loose change) problem mentioned above.
If you would like to use the local taxi, always make sure the driver has their meter on. If they blabber out some kind of excuse, don’t hesitate to leave the taxi to hail another one. Chances are the driver will usher you back in and turn the meter on.
The metro is also another mode of transportation that is popular in Cairo. There are 3 operational lines that you can use, connecting you to 61 stations all over Cairo.
Am I allowed to take pictures in Egypt?
Be careful where you take pictures. There are areas that restrict you from taking pictures, and may have your camera confiscated – or even worse, your contents deleted. If you’d like to take a picture of someone, don’t be shy to ask them! More often than not, they will agree to have their pictures taken.