Egypt Travel Tips
Arabic is the official language. English and French are widely spoken.
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) plus 2 hours during winter (Oct-Apr) and 3 hours during summer (May to Sept.)
It is A/C 220 volts 50Hz. Wall plugs are the round two-prong European type. Kindly notice your need for an adapter.
Weights and measures
The metric system is in use: Kilometer, Kilogram, Centigrade...etc.
No special vaccination is required by the Egyptian Health Authorities except a valid Yellow Fever Certificate for visitors coming from Yellow Fever endemic areas. Health care system in Egypt is comparable to any system in the developed world.
There are exchange bureaus at all major hotels, most bank offices and on arrival at the airport. International hard currencies and Traveler's checks are accepted at almost all tourist sites. Major credit cards are accepted in most places. Some can be used with automatic cashing machines.
Visas and Passports
Entry visas are required for most nationals visiting Egypt.
Kindly contact the nearest Egyptian Consulate to apply and obtain your visas in good time. Most visas are issued against a certain councilor fees. Visas can also be obtained at the Airport's Arrival Hall in Cairo just before the immigration control. However, we strongly recommend to our guests, to obtain their Entry Visas ahead of time to avoid any unnecessary delay on arrival at the air terminal. Passports must be valid for at least 3 months subsequent to the date of the proposed visit.
The Egyptian Pound [EGP] is divided into 100 piasters. Notes of 1-5-10-20-50 and 100 EGP are available.
At certain temples and pyramids a fee will be charged for photography. At all temples the use of flash is prohibited.
Government offices: from 9:00 to 14:00, Saturday to Thursday Banks: from 9:30 t0 14:30, Sunday to Thursday. Shops: from 10:00 t0 19:00, Monday to Saturday.
The bazaars of Khan El Khalili in Cairo are the place to pick up some souvenirs. African woodwork, blown glass, papyrus, spices, aromatic oils, rare stones and oriental jewelry. There are also several malls in Cairo where you could very easily spend an afternoon window shopping though it could be more expensive than the downtown shops.
During the day summer clothes are suitable. For open air evening events ladies' jackets, shawls or light coats may be needed. Light suits for gentlemen are suitable at all times.
Don't forget to bring along your swimming costume. Most hotels, even in Cairo, have swimming pools. It is also advisable to get a suitable head gear, a hat or a cap. The sun can be intense, especially in summer.
VISAS TO EGYPT
Before landing at Cairo International Airport make sure you have filled in the arrival card which was given to you on the aircraft by the flight attendants.
Upon landing and disembarking follow the luggage claim sign which will take you right to the immigration hall. Before you proceed to the passport control you must buy your Egyptian visa at the counter of the Bank which is located close to the passport control office. You can pay for it in USA $ 15.00. USA $ or the equivalent amount in Euro. Both currencies are accepted by the bank. Now, stick your visa onto an empty page of your passport and proceed to the police immigration control with your passport and the landing card filled in previously. Both items will be needed to pass the police control. Afterwards, go to the conveyer belt, collect your luggage and proceed to the exit of the arrival hall. Watch out for our representative, who will be, holding up a signboard with your name written on it. From now onwards you will be in the careful hands of Art and history travel. Our representative will take you to your fully air conditioned vehicle, load your suitcases and escort you to your overnight hotel and do the check you in for you. Before he leaves the hotel he will give accurate information of your arrangements made for tomorrow morning and your complete program.
Egyptian Visa Regulations
Non-Egyptian visitors arriving in Egypt are required to be in possession of a valid passport six months at least. Entry visas may be obtained from Egyptian Diplomatic and Consular Missions Abroad or from the Entry Visa Department at the Travel Documents, Immigration and Nationality Administration (TDINA). It is, however, possible for most tourists and visitors to obtain an entry visa at any of the Major Ports of Entry.Please check with the nearest Egyptian Consulate for specific details and regulations relevant to your nationality.
Visitors entering Egypt at the overland border post to Taba to visit Gulf of Aqaba coast and St. Catherine can be exempted from visa and granted a free residence permit for fourteen days to visit the area.
Citizens of the following countries are required to be in possession of a pre-arrival visa: India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Lebanon, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldavia, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Chechnya, Croatia, Georgia ,The Philippines,Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Sri-Lanka, Tadzhikistan, Thailand, , Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tunisia, Turkmenistan and all African countries.
Those in possession of a residence permit in Egypt are not required to obtain an entry visa if they leave the country and return to it within the validity of their residence permit or within six months, whichever period is less.
There are three types of Egyptian visa:
(1) - Tourist Visa: is usually valid for a period not exceeding three months and granted on either single or multiple entry basis.
(2) - Entry Visa: is required for any foreigner arriving in Egypt for purposes other than tourism, e.g. work, study, etc. The possession of a valid Entry Visa is needed to complete the residence procedure in Egypt.
(3) - Transit Visa.
Major Ports of Entry to Egypt
1) Cairo International (3 terminals)
2) Alexandria Nozha, Burg El arab.
3) Luxor, Upper Egypt
4) Aswan, Upper Egypt
5) Marsa Alam,Red Sea
6) Hurghaga, Red Sea
7) Sharm El-Sheikh, South Sinai
1) Alexandria, Mediterranean
2) Port Said, Mediterranean
3) Damietta, Mediterranean
4) Suez, Gulf of Suez
5) Nuweiba, Gulf of Aqaba
6) Hurghada, Red Sea
7) Safaga, Red Sea
8) Sharm El-Sheikh, Red Sea
Overland Entry Posts:
1) Salloum, northwestern border (to and from Libya)
2) Rafah, northeastern border (to and from Gaza strip, the Occupied Territories and Israel)
3) Taba, eastern border (to and from Israel)
Exemptions from Visa Fees
Egyptian visa fees do not apply to the following:
Holders of diplomatic passports.
Officials of international organizations and specialized agencies and state delegates to conferences.
Arab League officials.
Non-national spouses of Egyptian nationals.
Non-national members of the clergy, prominent scientists, journalists and members of official cultural, educational and sports delegations.
Non-national students studying in Egyptian institutions.
Non-diplomatic personnel of diplomatic and consular missions affected in Egypt.
Parents, siblings and adult children of members of the diplomatic and consular corps affected in Egypt.
Nationals of Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Russia and the United States are partially exempt from Egyptian visa fees and will, therefore, pay a reduced fee.
Egypt grants legitimate foreign nationals the right for temporary residence in the country. There are two main cases of residpermits in Egypt:
Special Residence: is usually granted for a period of 10 years, renewable. Special residence is granted to those born in Egypt prior to 26/5/1952 or those having resided in the country for the 20 years preceding 26/5/1952 and whose stay has been uninterrupted; it is also granted to their wives and minor children.
Ordinary Residence: is granted for a period of either 3 or 5 years.
Non-nationals are entitled to obtain temporary 3-year residence (renewable) in Egypt if they belong to any of the following categories:
Non-national husbands of Egyptians.
Minor children entitled to special or ordinary residence in like manner to their deceased father.
Adult children whose father is entitled to special, ordinary or 3-year residence provided a source of income is available to them.
Adult Palestinian male children of those employed by the Department for the Governor General of Gaza, or of those retired therefrom, who have completed their studies and are not working in the country.
Those employed by the government, public institutions, public sector companies and public business sector.
Non-nationals who, according to international treaties, are entitled to obtain 3-year residence.
Those granted approval on 3-year residence from the Ministry of Interior.
Spouses and children of those non-nationals entitled to 3-year residence under any of the previous cases.
Palestinians employed by the Department for the Governor General of Gaza and those retired therefrom.
Palestinians in possession of travel documents issued solely by Egyptian authorities who have been resident in Egypt for a period of 10 years.
Non-nationals who receive a monthly pension from the National Authority for Insurance and Pensions.
Non-national residents of homes for the elderly and disabled.
Refugees registered at the UN Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
Spouses of those non-nationals entitled to special or ordinary residence.
Egyptian spouses who forfeited their nationality of origin following marriage to non-nationals and the acquisition of the latter's citizenship.
Spouses and children of those non-nationals exempt from residence permits and restrictions.
Non-nationals who, for any reason, waived their entitlement to special or ordinary residence.
Those non-nationals employed by the Swiss Institute for Architectural and Archeological Research in Egypt.
Non-nationals are entitled to obtain temporary 5-year residence (renewable) in Egypt if they belong to any of the following categories:
Egyptians and their minor children who forfeited their nationality of origin due to their admission to a foreign citizenship.
Of Egyptian mother.
Whose father was granted Egyptian citizenship.
Adult children whose mother is entitled to special, ordinary or 5-year residence in case of the death of the father.
Those of age 60 or more who have been resident in Egypt for 10 years provided that a source of income is available to them.
Non-nationals who, according to international treaties, are entitled to obtain 5-year residence.
Spouses and widows of Egyptians.
Spouses of those non-nationals entitled to ordinary residence.
Spouses and children of those non-nationals entitled to 5-year residence under any of the previous cases.
Foreigners arriving in Egypt on board of ships are granted a permission to visit the port of arrival for 24 hours and catch their ship at the same port. They can also be granted a permission to enter the country for a visit not exceeding a period of 3 days before catching their ship at the port of arrival or at any other port.
Air passengers transiting in Egyptian airports are allowed entry for a quick trip not exceeding the period of 24 hours. In the event of emergency landing, passengers are entitled to enter Egypt for a period of:
24 hours in case of poor weather conditions.
48 hours in case of technical faults to the aircraft.
The Foreigners Section at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Egypt receives and examines petitions filed by non-nationals against Egyptian nationals before Egypt's consular missions overseas and foreign embassies and consulates in Egypt. The petitions are investigated and the outcomes forwarded to the plaintiff.
The Foreigners and Legalization Section performs notaries duties including:
Legalization of powers of attorney and authentication of signatures of Egyptian nationals abroad.
Legalization of all documents.
Issued by Egyptian authorities.
Issued by local authorities in the host country.
Legalization of local and foreign official documents can be done within Egypt at any of 14 Legalization Offices (hyper link to the 14 legalization offices listed on pages 4-5) offering this service throughout the country.
Legalization Offices in Egypt:
The Foreigners and Legalization Section:
Receives judicial notifications from foreign embassies and transmits them to Egyptian nationals residing in the country.
Forwards the competent Egyptian authority with extradition files submitted by foreign embassies and vice versa.
Personal Status and Domestic Relations:
The Foreigners Section oversees personal status and domestic relations related to:
Non-nationals residing in Egypt.
Problems of child custody.
Requests submitted by foreign embassies for the issuance of birth and death certificates and of marriage and divorce statements.
Foreign Prisoners in Egyptian Punitive Institutions:
The Foreigners Section consults with the competent Egyptian authority on:
Applications submitted by foreign embassies to authorize visits to non-national prisoners.
Requests concerning the transfer of non-national prisoners from one penal establishment to another, the extradition of such prisoners or their release for health reasons.
Exchange of prisoners according to bilateral or multilateral agreements.
Any petition relating to a foreign prisoner in Egypt.
Accidents and Decease among Foreign Residents:
The Foreigners Section undertakes the notification of foreign embassies on any accident or decease occurring to their nationals on Egyptian soil.
The Section consults with the Egyptian Traffic Department on requests submitted by foreign embassies relating to the authentication of driving licenses.
The Foreigners Section receives and examines applications for foreign honorary consulates to be opened in Egypt.
Work Authorization for Foreign Physicians and Pharmacists:
The Foreigners Section coordinates with competent Egyptian health and labour authorities on the approval of work authorization for foreign physicians and pharmacists seeking to take employment in Egypt.