Trip to Egypt: recommendations for tourists, customs regulations and documents and obtaining a visa
Egypt is a very beautiful country, which can be reached in just 4-5 hours by plane from Europe. Many people dream of visiting Egypt, especially for its landscapes, history, its pyramids, and unique culture. More and more tourists return to Egypt to relax on the Red Sea, visit museums of ancient civilizations, and make new discoveries.
With the resumption of tourism in Egypt, the current situation is favorable and allows you to discover the pyramids of Giza, the Karnak Temple, the Luxor Temple, the Colossi of Memnon, and the Valley of the Kings. A trip that also allows you to take time to interact with the locals, people who want Egypt of the future to remain a model of hospitality and friendliness.
If you want to go to Egypt on your next vacation, you need to learn in advance about entry formalities and mandatory documents to travel to this country. This is what we suggest you learn about in our blog.
The Nile Valley, the Hurghada area, as well as staying in Cairo, Alexandria, and major cities in general are considered safe, as long as you avoid certain areas and crowded places, of course.
A cruise aboard the Centennial steamer Sudan offers a welcome opportunity to admire the pyramids and tombs of the Valley of the Kings, taking the time to look at the details of the bas-relief.
Needed documents for a trip to Egypt
First of all, some official documents are needed if you want to go to Egypt. Here is the list:
- A passport valid for at least 6 months after your return date from Egypt, or a national ID card (depending on your country of residence)
- A visa valid for a stay of at least one month. Please note that if your stay exceeds one month, it can be extended locally by contacting the country's Immigration Office located in Alexandria.
There are three different ways to obtain a visa for Egypt:
1. You can apply for a tourist visa at the Egyptian Consulate if you are traveling with a passport and have two passport photos and your passport. The visa fee is paid in cash and takes an average of 3 to 6 days, although it is recommended that you do it at least two weeks before departure.
2. If you are traveling with an ID card (only if you are a Belgian, French, German, Italian, or Portuguese national), you can apply for a visa upon arrival by filling out the form provided by the Egyptian authorities.
3. Finally, as of 2017, you can apply for an electronic visa online to travel to Egypt. This formality is done directly online, without the need to travel.
Note that if you are traveling with children, each of them must have their own individual passports. An exit permit will also be required for minors traveling with or without a parent.
What are the customs formalities in Egypt
Customs formalities in Egypt are also very strict, so it is advisable to take some precautions about the personal items you may bring into or take out of the country before you travel.
In terms of what you can bring into Egypt, the country has restrictions on imports, including:
The amount of cash you can take with you must not exceed LE 500 or the equivalent. Otherwise, you must declare the amount you are taking with you. You can take no more than LE 5,000 in cash with you.
As for alcohol and tobacco, you can only take with you 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars, or 200 g of tobacco and 2 liters of alcohol.
As for what you can bring from your trip to Egypt, despite the great variety of crafts, you must comply with certain rules.
In particular, you can not bring or take out antiques that are more than 100 years old. You should also be wary of local antique dealers. They sell many items under this name, but in reality, they are only copies, not authentic items. The latter are forbidden for export. Some rare antique dealers in Cairo or Luxor have a real license to sell authentic items and can give you a certificate of authenticity.
Formalities and Medical Conditions for Travel to Egypt
Regarding your health conditions for traveling to Egypt, you will not be required to have any mandatory vaccinations except for the yellow fever vaccine if you are traveling from a high-risk country.
However, it is advisable to make sure that you have all required mandatory vaccinations such as diphtheria, tetanus, and polio, as well as recommended vaccinations such as pertussis, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and rabies. It is not necessary to follow the anti-malarial treatment because the spread of mosquitoes in the country is limited.
To avoid getting sick while in Egypt, a few simple rules should be followed:
- Avoid drinking tap water.
- Do not use ice cubes with your drinks.
- Clean the fruit you eat.
- Wash your hands before each meal.
- Use a good mosquito repellent.
How do I get a visa to travel to Egypt quickly
Now that you know the conditions to travel to Egypt, all you have to do is fill out the various formalities to travel there, including the visa application.
Remember that it is mandatory for all travelers wishing to enter the country, even if it is only for tourist purposes.
To get a visa to Egypt quickly and under the best conditions, it is recommended to use the e-visa procedure whenever possible.
Remember, e-visa is an electronic entry permit application system that was created in 2017 by the Egyptian government that allows you to quickly obtain a visa online, without visiting an embassy or consulate and without sending any documents.
The procedure is extremely simple: you just need to go to a website offering such services and fill out a simple application form. Don't forget to bring your passport number, to which your permit will be attached.
After paying the fee, your application will be processed within a few days and you will receive your visa via email. All you have to do is print it out and present it at the time of departure.
What to visit in Egypt
Egypt is also an ideal destination because of its proximity to many European countries. Cairo is less than a five-hour flight from Paris. During the cooler seasons in Europe, however, Egypt is the most preferred destination because you are sure to find sunshine... It rarely rains in Egypt!
Finally, besides the culture and landscapes, there are many activities and sports to try: diving, kiting or snorkeling on the Red Sea, sandboarding in the desert, boat trips on the Nile, etc.
1 - Cairo: an amazing and noisy city!
Sure, it's a noisy, polluted city that suffers from a lack of cleanliness. But if you linger a little longer, you will discover (under the desert dust lifted by the wind) a city with many facets, each more fascinating than the other. You can discover Pharaonic Cairo, of course, with the famous pyramids of Giza and Saqqara, as well as its Egyptian Museum, worthy of Ali Baba's cave (the Pharaohs' version).
You can stroll through Islamic Cairo to immerse yourself in the fascinating history of this city that has passed through the hands of many dynasties. Ottoman domination and Napoleon's short journey have also left their mark: don't be surprised to encounter Hausmann-style buildings!
2 - Luxor, the valley of the artisans and the valley of the nobility
The Valley of the Craftsmen and the Valley of the Nobility in Luxor are two funerary valleys that are less famous than the valleys of the kings. And yet they are very beautiful! Luxor is really worth a visit. There are rare gems here, tombs in very amazing preservation.
For families visiting Luxor, the Maritim Jolie Ville Hotel on Kings Island is worth considering. It is a hotel with a heated pool for children, a playground, and a small farm with animals. The service is good. The hotel is not luxurious, but the prices are reasonable, the rooms are simple and clean, and the restaurant is decent. The advantage of this hotel is that it is very well located on the bank of the Nile, which gives you the opportunity to watch beautiful sunsets at the water's edge.
3 - Nile Cruise
A cruise on the Nile between Luxor and Aswan in a dahabiye (these wooden boats with sails typical of the Nile in the 19th century) is an absolutely magical experience. You can stop during the day to visit the temples, you can have your privacy on the banks of the Nile, where the waiters will light a very warm wood fire for you.
It's also important to know: a Nile cruise takes four to six days. The best time to go is from October to March. October is best because there are few tourists, the climate is ideal (not too hot and not too cold) and there is no risk of sandstorms (which are called "ramessin" here). It is better to avoid June/July/August and September when it is still very hot.
4 - Accommodation in Aswan
Aswan is a city in Upper Egypt, in the Nubian region. It was in this city that the famous dam was built to control the overflow of the Nile. Stay at the mythical Old Cataract Hotel. It was in this hotel that Agatha Christie spent several months writing her novel, Death on the Nile. This Victorian-style hotel is located on the banks of the Nile and offers a breathtaking view of Elephantine Island.
Also not to be missed are the Abu Simbel temples, carved into the rock on the shores of Lake Nasser. They were built by Ramses II during the 19th dynasty to honor his cult, the cult of his wife Nefertari, and the cult of the Egyptian gods. Masterpiece!
5 - Spend a few days on the Red Sea
The Red Sea is already full of colorful fish. On the Red Sea, you can just laze around and enjoy the warmth and sunshine. Avoid July, August, and September if you don't like 45 degrees. You can also go scuba diving and kitesurfing (El Gouna is an ideal place for kite surfers).
Where to stay on the Red Sea? The Sheraton Soma Bay Hotel, has a very nice beach, a good place for diving and snorkeling, glass boat and catamaran rides, and water games for children.
General recommendations for Egypt
A very important tip for your health: do not drink tap water and avoid fruits and raw vegetables. Switch to cooked food!
Before planning a vacation in Egypt, it is advisable to check if it falls during Ramadan or religious holidays such as Eid el Kebir or Eid el Adda. During Ramadan, all business hours are disrupted and alcohol is prohibited even in European hotels. In addition, if your vacation falls during the holiday period, the tourist spots will be crowded and prices will go up significantly.
Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that Egypt is becoming a fashionable destination, so book in advance!
The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.