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Summer in Egypt, May to September, is hot and dry and tends to get extremely humid in the Delta and along the Mediterranean Coast. Recently, Cairo has been exceptionally humid with August seeing the highest humidity levels across the country. Winter months, November to March, see mostly sunny days and cool nights, with many light rain showers. Snowfall occurs in most places between October and April so warm clothing is advised. 
Climate in the desert regions sees enormous variations with a noticeable difference during the hours of day and night. In winter, the temperature in the desert can be as low as 0°C with cold winds sweeping in. It is common for desert areas to receive rain once every few years. 

Khamasin, as the locals call it, is also known as the sandstorm season occurring between March and April. Generally, the season is only about 5 days between but the sandstorms are notorious and visitors are advised to stay away from the country during this period.

Banking Hours
Banks are open from 8am-2pm from Sundays to Thursdays.
Egypt Currency
Egypt Currency
The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (EGP). The Egyptian Pound is divided into 100 piastres. Coins, which are not used often, are available in: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 25 piastres, while banknotes come in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pounds. 
Travellers can exchange money on arrival at Cairo International Airport, where there is a bank, several ATMs and a 24-hour bureaux de change. All large towns in Egypt provide bank branches, most with currency exchange services. ATMs are plentiful, especially in the capital of Cairo, and accept a variety of credit cards. Most shopping areas and business districts also provide cash machines. Credit cards are accepted in most large establishments. The importing and exporting of local money is restricted to 100 Egyptian pounds for non-residents. Foreign currency importation is not limited, while exportation of foreign currency is allowed up to the amount declared upon arrival. 

Visitors can import up to 200g of tobacco, up to 1 litre of alcoholic beverages, 1 litre of eau de cologne and goods for consumption not exceeding the value of 100 pounds. All cash, jewellery, cameras, travellers' cheques and electronic devices may have to be claimed in the Customs Declaration Form D that is given to some arriving visitors. Banned and restricted items include: books, movies, and printed material of a pornographic nature; devices that could be used for illegal activities and explosives

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Visitors travelling to Egypt will need to present a legitimate Yellow Fever inoculation certificate when arriving from an infected area; this does not apply to transit passengers or infants under the age of one. It is recommended for visitors to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A, polio, tetanus, typhoid and rabies before entering Egypt as well as taking malaria tablets. 
 Health care in Egypt is limited, though specialised professionals from the west are available in the larger cities. A list of English-speaking physicians and hospitals can be found at international Embassies in Cairo. Alexandria, Cairo and Sharm El Sheikh provide the best medical facilities, while many other areas are lacking. Visitors are suggested to apply for medical insurance before leaving their country.
 Beware of unpeeled fruits, undercooked meats, ice cubes and other possible untreated products. Visitors are encouraged to drink bottled water and to eat at ‘tourist' restaurants, where food is thoroughly cooked. Beaches are mostly unpolluted, though those who decide to take a dip in the Nile or one of Egypt's canals will do so in untreated water and are therefore exposing themselves to the danger of bacterial infections and other parasitic diseases. 
Arab International Hospital Tareek El Nasr, Nasr City: 402-4838 / 261-6089

The official language of Egypt is Arabic. English and French are understood in the larger cities. 

Egypt Markets

Valuables such as jewellery, cash and electronic items should not be left unattended in public, or in hotel rooms that don't provide safety facilities. 
Women who travel alone are at risk of sexual harassment and verbal abuse. Clothing should be modest, with cleavage, arm and leg exposure kept to a minimum. Unwanted attention, such as groping and sexual proposals, can arise from provocative outfits. 
There are security concerns regarding western and Israeli travellers, since they have been targeted in the past by terrorist and extremist groups. Foreigners are advised to travel in small groups in order to avoid drawing unnecessary attention. 

Social Conventions
Customs and beliefs are dominated by Islam influence. Egyptians tend to be friendly and hospitable and mutual respect is expected from travellers. Visitors should respect Islam; other religions are accepted but should not be paraded. 
Handshakes are the regular way of greeting. It is not unusual for males to hold hands. This behaviour is not associated with homosexual acts and is just seen as a friendly gesture. Personal space is not as important to Egyptians, as they often stand close when conversing. Public displays of affection are frowned upon, regardless of the couple's status. Holding hands is as far as public physical contact should go.
Egyptians are a conservative group of people. Though they are accepting of foreigners dress sense, it would be best to dress like a local and cover up, as more respect will be given. Women especially should dress conservatively, especially when entering religious buildings. Formal dress may be required at some functions and restaurants. 
During the month of Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking in public should be discreet, since it is forbidden by Muslim culture. Smoking is very common during the rest of the year.

The country code for Egypt is +202. Internet providers, as well as internet cafés, can be found in the capital of Cairo and in Egypt's larger towns and cities. Large hotels and establishments often provide high-speed internet access. Coffee shops, restaurants, hotel lobbies and other various locations offer free wireless internet access. It is common for visitors to enter a coffee shop with their laptop and browse online for free.

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Visa and Passports
Tourist visas are available to those from Libya or any other country excluding Arab countries. A passport with a validity of six months minimum is required to obtain a tourist visa. Any Egyptian consulate around the world can supply you with a tourist visa. The price of a Visa depends on the holder's country of origin. Details and requirements regarding different nationalities can be found at Egyptian consulates. Multiple entry visas allow up to three visits to Egypt. 
When arriving from certain countries, visas fees can be paid on arrival at the airport.  All visitors entering Egypt are required to register with police authorities within a week of arrival. Hotels and tour operators often take care of this, though it is advised to double-check as there is a fine for not registering.

Tax and Tipping

Tipping in Egypt is known as Backshish and is a common reward for services provided. Public restrooms tend to be staffed; therefore the attendants expect a tip. In some places, tissue is exchanged for a small price. Acts of kindness, such as helping people exit vehicles or carry baggage, are often scams that lead to locals hassling till money is paid. Be prepared to hand out a pound or two when using public facilities, as locals can get aggressive with money matters. 
Professional services, such as translators and tour guides, should be given a tip of around 20 percent, while 10 to 15 percent is accepted by restaurants and taxis. Service charge is added in most restaurants and hotels, though five percent is normally given as a direct tip to the waiter.

Travellers have marvelled at Egypt’s archaeological wonders for centuries, ever since the ancient Greeks visited the magnificent pyramids. Today, its wonders attract millions to the pyramids, temples, and great monuments of the Nile Valley, as well as the stunning dive resorts of the Red Sea. The mighty Nile pours life into the country. Whether you are cruising its waters on a luxurious craft or traditional felucca, life on the Nile is a constant visual feast. Step into the cities and your senses are engulfed by exotic sights, sounds and smells. Wherever you go, Egypt is sure to amaze you!
Egypt A pyramid at night
Egypt A pyramid at night in the sound and light shows
Taxi From the Airport 
All airports in Egypt have a taxi service to city centers, operated on a flat fee basis (ask your airlines). In Cairo transport includes limousine, taxi, and bus. Curbside limousine service is offered by Misr Limousine (tel: 259-9381). 
Official Cairo taxis are predominantly black and white and Alexandria taxis are black and orange. There are also Peugeot taxis in a variety of colors and sizes, but they all have an emblem and number painted on the driver's door. Fees are the same as the limousine service. 
The Airport Bus Service operates from Terminal 1. The bus leaves when full and stops at Midan Tahrir in downtown Cairo, in Mohandeseen, and along Pyramids Road in Giza. There are also regular city buses but they are not recommended for they are often too crowded for foreigners.

Best known for its archaeological appeal, Egypt boasts temples, mummies, hieroglyphics and pyramids, which attract millions of travellers annually. Less popular attractions such as old churches, mosques and monasteries display Egypt's heritage of Islam and Coptic Christianity. Egypt is also the centre of the Arab world and has been an important factor in political situations; playing a crucial role in the Middle East Peace Process. 

Egypt A pyramid at night
Located in north-eastern Africa, Egypt borders the Mediterranean and Red Seas, making it an ideal destination for divers. A variety of activities are available all over the country such as camel riding, cruising on the Nile and most famously, visiting the ancient pyramids and tombs. Those with a knack for shopping will enjoy the many bazaars that Egypt has to offer. Unique souvenirs, scarves, shawls and ornaments can be found in either local markets or fixed-price stores. Haggling is common in Egypt, so prepare to bargain. 
Cafés, restaurants and hotels can easily be found in Egypt's larger cities, while the outskirts are slowly developing. Wireless internet is available in most coffee shops and overseas phone calls can be made for a small fee in most hotels. Local food is known for having amazing flavours, due to the spices available from both Africa and Asia, though it is suggested that visitors eat at more commercial places in order to avoid the risk of contaminated food. Water should always be from a bottle, as water that has not been purified is extremely hazardous. 

History lovers will enjoy the museums and monuments all around Egypt's main cities. The Egyptian Museum is a favourite among travellers with its unique artefacts, such as the tomb of King Tut and various pieces of extravagant jewellery. 

Sunny all year long, Egypt is best visited during winter, from November to March, as it can be extremely hot otherwise. Though the weather is ideal for bikinis and shorts, legs, arms and stomachs should not be inappropriately exposed.

Egypt's larger cities have wide selections of hotels to choose from, ranging from guesthouses to five star hotels. The closer the hotel is to the city centre, the higher the room rates tend to be. Cairo has the largest variety of hotels to choose from, though it is suggested to book ahead of time. Famous hotel chains such as the Hilton and the Sheraton can be found here. More expensive hotels also offer a full range of facilities, such as swimming pools and food and beverage opportunities. 
Top Things to Do
Day trip to Aswan
The Aswan High Dam and the temple of Philae are Aswan's two biggest attractions. The temple of Philae is on an island which is only accessible by boat; it's a big hit among adults and children alike for its fun factor. The Aswan High Dam offers a breathtaking view of Lake Nassar. Impressive diagrams near the dam describe how the dam was constructed.

Relax in a café
Throughout your holiday, you'll find that you are in need of a break from the hustle and bustle of the busy cities as well as the often draining experience of shopping in Egypt. Whether it is day or night, traditional cafés offer an ideal way of unwinding and resting tired feet. Local men can often be seen enjoying a drink and some animated conversation in one of these cafés but local women never visit them. 

Ride horses and donkeys around the pyramids
Riding a horse or donkey is often the most practical and sometimes the only way of exploring the areas famous for their pyramids. There are no roads in the areas northwest of the main pyramids and horseback is the ideal way of exploring the desert freely. Those on horseback are also less likely to be approached by men posing as guides as well as souvenir sellers. 

Ride on the Nile
Whether it's on a river taxi, felucca or motor launch, a cruise on the Nile is a must for any visitor to Egypt. Rented by the hour, boat excursions are an enjoyable way to spend the day, or even just an hour. The felucca is a sailboat and also an incredibly pleasant way of travelling along the river. The African Queen motor launch is relaxing with its comfortable cushions and freshly served teas. Popular destinations to visit while travelling the Nile are the Banana Islands and Qanatar. 

Visit the Egyptian Museum
One of Egypt's most noted tourist attractions, the Egyptian Museum, is a large imposing place displaying a number of Ancient Egypt's artefacts. You don't need to be a frequent museum-goer to enjoy the delights of the Egyptian Museum; the gold displayed in the Tutankhamun collection as well as the skeletal faces of unwrapped mummies are enough to keep most visitors entertained. The Tutankhamun section is dedicated to King Tut and is filled with treasures found at his tomb in the Valley of the Kings. King Tut's mummy was mistreated during examination and was therefore not in a good enough condition to be transported to Cairo. His throne, bed, coffins, funeral mask, papyrus as well as other objects are all on display inside the museum.

Watch a local soccer game
They say to truly enjoy a country; visitors must live like a local. Watching a soccer game on the West Bank is a fun way to spend the afternoon. You will be surrounded by locals and an extremely friendly and excited atmosphere. Whatever age or gender you are, you will be warmly welcomed and might even be invited to play a game yourself.

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