Drugs: Drugs are strictly prohibited and the consequences for use can be very severe. Don’t even consider it.
Crime is low, rape rare, Aids is almost non existent, arguments may flare up over a traffic violation, but are usually over quite quickly. Family feuds are more common then any form of crime. It is safe to walk the streets at any time of day, like all cities you should be cautious and attentive to your whereabouts.
Smoking is quite prevalent, although it is banned in all food restaurants. If you are a smoker yourself you might want to try smoking the water pipe (Shesha) in one of the many street cafes.
We are often asked what Hotels we use and what is the difference between 3*/4*/5* star - so we have tried to explain this here. 3*Star - Tourist - clean hotel with no frills, private bathroom, mainly Egyptian family owned.
4* Star - Superior Tourist - more amenities than the 3* like restaurants and pools. Some Egyptian owned some Western management Chain Hotels like the Novotel in Luxor.
5* Star - First Class - Major Chain hotels in Cairo i.e. Hilton, Meridien, Sheraton either on the Nile or by the Pyramid. In Hurghada these are major resorts overlooking the water with private beaches and lots of facilities and large swimming pools.
Cruise ships: - We use only 4*/5* Star Cruise ships . All cabins are outside cabins with private facilities.
Alcohol: Egypt is very much influenced by Religion, Egyptians do not drink in general, most of the hotels and tourist restaurants serve Alcohol, it is wise to check the price before ordering as Alcohol is expensive.
You can buy it for a reasonable price from the free duty shops. You may drink it in your room.
Tissues and small Egyptian knots of 50 piasters and one pounds are very useful with the public washrooms as they are not very clean, and are not provided with towalet papers, normally there is an attendant who will supply a napkin to dry your hands for a small tip.
In Egypt tipping (or Baksheesh) is a general practice everywhere (even among the Egyptians themselves), and ensures extra services at monuments, museums etc. It can be irritating, but it is part of the lifestyle in Egypt. It's best if you don't require the services to refuse politely but firmly.
If you have a guide with you, check with them beforehand where tipping is expected. They normally take care of any baksheesh at the sites, and for included meals etc. However, you should carry 1LE notes for occasional tipping for luggage, housekeeping, washrooms and other incidental services required when the guide is not with you.
It is customary to tip Guide and Drivers at the end of the time with them approx. $3-$5 US per day per person for the driver and $5-$7 US per day per person for the guide - these are per person, the same for cabin service and waiters on the Cruise Ships. The best way is to use an envelope, and put in the tip with a little note if appropriate and hand it to them in person at the end of their service.
Note: The above are guidelines on tipping, and it should be noted that although tipping is customary and expected it is at your discretion and it is entirely up to you how much you tip and whether to tip or not.
If you want to take something to hand out to the kids when appropriate Pens or Candy are very popular.
Egypt falls just in the north east corner of Africa, Sinai - a part of Egypt is in Asia, African Asiatic country of one million Kilo meters square. A lot of domestic flights can be taken to travel in between cities. Flash airlines, Memphis airlines, and Egyptair is the best among them.
Sleeper trains is an alternative to travel between Cairo Luxor/Aswan.
Cairo - Aswan:13 hours by train - one hour 20 minutes flight.
Cairo - Luxor:10 hours train - 50 Minutes flight.
Cairo - Hurghada 6 hours drive (no train available) - 35 minutes flight.
Cairo - Sharm:7 hours drive (no train available) - 40 minutes flight.
Cairo - Alexandria – 2 hours train 3 Hours Drive
Cairo - Suez Canal - 2 hours drive.
Cairo - St.Catherine - 6 hours drive.
Cairo - Fayoum - 90 minutes drive.
Cairo - Menya 4 hours drive.
Cairo – Baharia 4 hours drive.
Cairo – Kharga 7.30 hours drive.
Luxor - Aswan - 4 hours drive or 3 hours train.
Aswan - Abusimbel - 30 minutes flight or 3.30 hours drive.
Luxor - Abydos - 2 hours drive.
Luxor - Hurghada - 4 hours drive
Taxis: For every single city there is a certain color for its taxi few of them utilize the meter, prices are reasonable if negotiated before getting in.
Street busses can be seen in the major cities as a main and cheap mean of transportation for public. Busses between cities are of a higher standard with a washroom and a waiter for long distances.
Are very much in use by public for 75 piasters and some for one pound. For a tourist it is a life experience.
Are the safest in general. For seats it is worth to pay more for first class, it is comfortable and the price is reasonable. There is a trolley waiter for soft and hot drinks, sandwiches and snacks.
Sleeper trains are the best among others, they are managed by Abella Egypt, Cabins are tight, but very well cleaned, and beds are above each other (bunk beds). Luggage space is above your bed. There is a wash sink with hot water availability in each single cabin. A/C, Music, and light control. Two adjoining cabins are available for families. A hot dinner and a breakfast are served in the cabin included with the ticket price. Drinks are not included other than coffee or tea with the breakfast. Conductor tip is expected if you are not with a guide to take care of it, so make sure you carry enough 1 LE bills with you.
Just in Cairo, very well organized, and runs with a strict timetable. Do not miss it if it goes to areas you want to travel. Very reasonable price 1 LE.
Are used by public to cross the Nile in Cairo, Can be used by tourist to go to places close to the Nile like, Giza zoo, Cairo university, or to any of by the Nile hotels.
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