Egyptian consulates and immigration Authorities at port of entry will grant entry visas , for up-to date information it is essential that enquiries be made prior to travel , passport should be valid for at least six months from the date of entry into Egypt .
Arabic is the spoken language in Egypt , however tourist will rarely find a problem in communication as most common foreign languages spoken by Egyptian are English with French a close second perhaps also German and Italian and other exotic languages.
The best season is from October thru May when the temperature is Cairo is comfortable in the daytime, and cool or even cold at night. Weather in Upper Egypt , Luxor , Aswan and Abu Simbel is comfortably warm. During the summer months Cairo is hot and dry, upper Egypt is extremely hot, sightseeing is done early in the morning.
The local currency is the Egyptian pound (LE). 1 LE = 100 piaster. Banks are opened in major hotels for 24 hrs , credit cards are widely used in major Hotels & restaurants. Charges will be in USD and Egyptian pound. Current rate of exchange is $1.00 = LE 05.80 ( 01/05/2005 )/ € 1.00 = LE 07.40
Winter months: Bring sweaters, a light coat or jacket for the cool Cairo evenings. Women should bring slacks and one evening dress for nightclub visits, Men should bring at least one warm jacket. Pack a bathing suit if visiting Luxor and Aswan if taking a Nile cruise, Summer months: light weight clothing. A sweater for cool Cairo evenings. AT ALL TIMES: modesty in clothing should be observed-women should cover their arms when visiting mosques. Bring comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing and walking on desert sand, Sneakers areneeded and no open sandals as it is sandy. Sunglasses as well as hats and scarves are recommended as protection against the strong sun. On the Nile cruise dress is strictly informal, jackets and ties are out of place .
220 volts, 50 cycles AC in Cairo . Wall plugs are the round two pronged European type- No adapters or transformers are provided bring your own.
Cairo is an open shopping mall, Buy papyrus , brass,, and inlaid wooden articles, silver and gold jewelry, Leather shoes, bags and belts, cotton goods and oils. Shop at the Khan El Khalili bazaar for better variety, interesting and artistic goods. You should be able to bargain up to two thirds off the price originally quoted to you.
Take plenty of film with you and all the necessary photographic equipment, as these are very expensive in Egypt . You will need flash to photograph inside monuments. The sun is very bright, for outdoor pictures take a light meter and low ASA film for indoor shots. You have to pay a charge in some sites to allow you to use your cameras.
The weekly day of rest is Friday. Islam is the principal religion of Egypt . Islamic Holidays are based on the lunar calendar and change annually.
Banks are closed on Fridays and Saturdays , and are open during the rest of days from 08.00 A.M till 02.00 P.M , most embassies are closed on Sundays , shops are generally open from 09.00 A.M till 09.00 P.M and closed on Fridays and Sundays
Muslim (mostly Sunni) 94% (official estimate), Coptic Christian and other 6% (official estimate)
If you are traveling on Egypt Air please note that no liquor is being served on board. On the other hand you are entitled to get your own as they can serve you ice, water and glasses, so if you wish help yourself from the Duty Free shop before boarding.
Egypt has more than 9 TV channels as well as private satellite channels Nile Sat , with daily news English and French at specific times most hotels offer a variety of in-house movies in English , daily programs in English , there are variety of multi-lingual publications available .
Tips and gratuities are commonly known , people serving you expect to be tipped , tour guides , drivers , waiters , hotel staff , etc , you can consult your travel agent about how much you pay for tipping .