Get to Know EGYPT
Egypt has over 7,000 years of history to explore. Egypt continues to marvel the world by its accomplishments, from the Giza Pyramid of the ancient time to the extension of Suez Canal in 2015.
Where do you begin then? To get ready explore this country, here are some basic information you should know.
The official language is Arabic, but English and French are widely spoken.
GMT/UTC + 2 (GMT + 3 from May to September)
Unlike the rest of the world, Egypt’s Weekend is Friday and Saturday.
Therefore businesses are usually close on Fridays and many close on Saturdays. Some shops also close on Sundays. Typically, Banks are opened 8:30 AM-1:00 PM every day except Friday and Saturday.
Stores are usually open from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM and 4:30 PM to 12:00 PM.
Currency & Foreign Exchange:
Egypt's currency is the Egyptian Pound (E£) = 100 piasters.
Credit cards can be used in hotels, major restaurants and shops, but not in many other places. ATMs are spread throughout the major cities such as Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada, Dahab and Nuweiba. However, if you are traveling between Cairo and Luxor, or out in the oasis, make sure to take cash as ATMs are limited.
International currencies can be exchanged for Egyptian Pounds at all banks, foreign exchange (forex) bureaus and some hotels. Rates don’t tend to vary much even at the airport exchange office outlets.
Full IDD is available. Country Code is 20. Outgoing International Code: 00.
Most major hotels offer Internet facilities & WIFI in the rooms with many having a Business Centre. But another cost-effective way to enjoy internet access in Egypt is to by local SIM card and use your phone to provide “hotspot” for your computer.
Egypt has a year round sunshine. Last week of October is the end of Egypt’s Summer and the beginning of Egypt’s mild winter. The day can be warm and the night can be cool. Monthly minimum and maximum daily temperature are as follows:
Visitors are advised to dress conservatively. Women should cover their shoulders and upper arms, especially when visiting mosques or churches. Loose cotton clothing is recommended in summer, and comfortable walking shoes are essential for sightseeing.
Electrical sockets in Egypt are 220V, 50 Hz. Electrical devices with the standard continental European round-pronged plugs are used. Plug adaptors and current converters are widely available at major hotels.
Tips, or “Baksheesh” in Arabic, is always expected and greatly appreciate.
Taxes and charges:
A service charge of 12% applies in restaurants and hotels, and a sales tax of 5-7% is also levied.
It is normal to bargain on virtually everything in Egypt. However, if you go to bazaars: try to get a feel for the real price before you begin negotiating and never offer a price that you're not prepared to pay.
Vaccinations may be required against yellow fever if arriving within 6 days after leaving or transiting infected areas. Persons without a valid yellow fever certificated - if required as above - are subject to quarantine. Other vaccinations may also be required or recommended. Please check with the nearest travel medical clinic in your home country before making your travel plans.
Public transport options in Egypt include buses, trains and boats, even camels, donkeys and horses. Domestic flight is also another options to travel between the main cities as Egypt has Airport its major cities.
About 5,000 km of train track links just about every town in Egypt from Aswan to Alexandria. Buses service is virtually available every town in Egypt. You can also hire service taxis, which shunt carloads of passengers between towns and cities.
To travel within Cairo, Uber is latest prefer choice for transport.