Egypt Travel Blog

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Welcome to our Egypt Travel Blog page. It’s hard to find up-to-date information or travel guides for Egypt because the travellers and holiday-makers all but stopped coming quite a few years ago. I haven’t been able to find any other travel blogs that cover Egypt in any depth, so I decided to make ours as comprehensive and information-packed as possible.

Egypt bloggers family
Alyson and James Long are travel bloggers, they first met in Egypt over 20 years ago. This post is the result of multiple visits to Egypt, this last tour (a month) was with their children.

There aren’t many tourists visiting Egypt, fewer still backpacking, but those that do need good information and I know we’ve found that hard to find.

This is just the beginning of our Egypt travel content, I’ll be adding a lot more over the coming weeks as we finish exploring the Nile and move across to the Red Sea and Alexandria.

We’re covering as much of Egypt as we can (with kids- but that’s irrelevant really) in just under a month. We have a particular focus on historic sites, learning, culture, history, and food.

Looking for tours in Egypt – have a look here.

Egypt Travel Blog

Egypt travel Blog Egypt Travel Guide information

The most important part of travel in Egypt is how to get around. This is the hardest part of Egypt travel and we’ve found little accurate information on trains, buses and planes online. We’ll tell you everything we know here and in linked posts.

Egypt Itinerary

During this trip, we spent almost a month in Egypt visiting Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel, the Red Sea, and Alexandria. We did not take a Nile cruise of any sort, however the boats are running.

This is independent travel, arranging transport and accommodation as we go. You could, of course, book a lot of this in advance and we have taken a 10 and 15 day Egypt tour previously ( more on that further down the page),  but on this trip we preferred to stay flexible and it’s worked in our favour when we’ve needed to take a break.

Egypt is hard work, it’s no vacation, but it’s absolutely fantastic. So far it’s been one of our best trips but we have most certainly had our share of problems and disasters.

The bent or broken pyramid near Cairo Egypt
A little off the beaten track you’ll find treasures like the red, step and broken pyramids. They pre-date the 3 at Giza and are fascinating prototypes well worth adding to your Egypt itinerary.

We have now completed almost a dozen blogs about Egypt and travel in Egypt, I’ll put the links at the end of this post for you.

Costs of Travelling in Egypt

Tourist souk in Luxor Egypt
Rameses II inside Abu Simbel, minibus cost for the 4 hour trip from Aswan 140 LE each return, $7 US. Admission cost 115LE, $6.50. It’s cheap. You can also fly from Aswan or Cairo ( see below)

Egypt is currently incredibly cheap, we feel it’s working out cheaper than most of Asia.

Trains, buses, taxis, hotels, admissions to top attractions, everything is extremely affordable in comparison to the other 50+ countries we’ve visited. I’ll give admission prices, train costs, hotel prices etc. in the relevant sections or blog posts below.

That affordability is right across the board, from budget to luxury. A luxury resort hotel on the Red Sea cost us under $40/ night for 4 people. Tours and cruises in Egypt are similarly affordable.

Food in Egypt (With Kids Too)

Food in Egypt
A feast at Aswan’s best Egyptian restaurant. Chicken, koftas or pigeon came with salads, vegetables, soup, rice and bread. It cost around $3/head and was delicious. The alcohol-free beer, less so. My husband, James Long, and our children loved Egyptian food.

We like Egyptian food a lot but it’s not always easy to find.

Your best bet is usually to ask your driver or hotel owner where the best Egyptian food is to be found. If the locals eat there, you can bet it’s good.

If you look at sites like Trip Advisor you’ll often see big hotels coming up as the best dining options, sure they’ll be nice, but try the local food too.

Egyptian food isn’t very spicy, it’s typical Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern food with influences from Rome, India, and Africa. There are abundant vegetarian options and prices are low.

We have a full post on food in Egypt.

If you get stuck, all of the usual fast-food restaurants are represented and can be a good choice for a quick air-con, wi-fi and coffee fix.

We’ve also sampled hotel buffet breakfasts in Egypt, expect all of your usual favourites plus lots of sweet things, falafels, brown beans, tahini and olives.

Negatives, Cruelty, Dirt, Filth, Dust and Litter

We’re in agreement that we’ve never been to a place with more litter. You’ll find trash everywhere and sadly it’s mostly plastics.

There’s dust too, but there’s not much to be done about that, you’re sandwiched between deserts.

Some of the trains, even in 1st class, are so filthy you feel dirty just looking at them, others are immaculate. We’ll help you figure that out. Some hotels are filthy too.

The roads and the driving are hair-raising, the exhaust fumes thick.

While we’re talking negatives I’ll mention that the ubiquitous donkeys and horses are often terribly treated, the camels fare little better.

None of us had any food-related sickness in Egypt, but we did have respiratory viruses, probably picked up on the plane. Egypt is, we think, the hardest country we’ve ever been to in terms of organising transportation.

Hassle and Avoiding Touts in Egypt

Tourist souk in Luxor Egypt
At the tourist souk in Luxor, every stall holder will call out to you. Smile and wave boys, smile and wave. Keep a sense of humour, be polite.

I’ve seen so many people, regular holiday-makers, long-term travellers and travel bloggers, complain about being harassed in Egypt. We’ve been fine, but I think I need to qualify that.

Luxor is billed as ” Hassle Capital of the World” and that’s pretty fair. Everyone wants you to take their felucca, hire their horse and cart, buy their scarf or figure of Ramesses. It’s interminable and some will find it deeply irritating.

We have a saying in our family, stolen from a well-known kids’ movie,  smile and wave boys, just smile and wave. Keep your sense of humour, chat, laugh, and interact, and it will be fine.

If you’ve never travelled in Asia this level of touting will be a shock but it’s no worse than India. We were here almost 20 years ago, some say the hassle has got worse, we think it’s about the same. Of course, there are far fewer tourists to go around now and everyone needs to make a buck. Treat them kindly.

I lost it with one guy, he kept following us, and kept asking us to take his horse and cart over two days of our Luxor stay. I gave him a mouthful and he slunk off. I felt bad, he caught me at the wrong time, hungry, tired, hot and humourless.

At the Saqqara pyramid of Djoser a young vendor followed me, trying to sell me a souvenir that I didn’t want. I’d lost Chef and Boo, D and I were wandering around looking for them. This young man was so helpful, he took us to high points to search so I bought his hieroglyph ruler for a whole $1. Thank you, Abdulla.

At the historic sites, men will try to be your guide. Sometimes it’s worth giving them 20LE, they can show you really interesting things that you’d otherwise miss. Sometimes it’s best to ignore them, smile and keep walking, it’s up to you.

Tipping is another irritation.  Almost everyone will try their luck and ask for a tip, even after you’ve paid them the agreed price. We don’t tip unless we want to. Certainly not if we’ve agreed a good price in advance or paid up-front for a day’s service. It’s not a problem, nobody will get angry or try to beat you up. They’re just trying to see how gullible you are.

Some tourists are extremely lacking in savvy, we met a guy who paid $100 for a few photos on a camel. That was entirely his own fault ( he was a lovely guy, but didn’t have the right tools for Egyptian travel), don’t get on a camel without agreeing on a price first. If you read our post about feluccas (link at end of post) you’ll see more of what I mean about not getting ripped off.

Egypt Tours, Cruises, and More

As I mentioned up top, my husband ( we call him Chef) and I, have taken group tours in Egypt. Actually, that’s how we met, it was on the Nile 20 years ago. We’re big fans of tours. You will be fully looked after, there will be less hassle and you will see a lot more, faster, than you ever will through independent travel.

You could book a group tour including flights from your home country, a land-only tour that you pick up after arrival, single-day or multi-day private tours, cruises, felucca treks and more. Holiday-makers to Sharm-el-Sheikh and Hurghada also regularly book tours to Cairo, the pyramids, and more. Your options are endless and I just want you to be aware of possibilities. Booking tours like this in advance will undoubtedly make your life easier in Egypt.

Consider some of the following choices, all of the tours below are from large, reliable companies that we trust and use ourselves:

Top Red Sea Activities and Tours

The Red Sea resorts in Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh are incredibly popular with tourists and there are a whole host of activities for you to book from your beach hotel. Dolphin-watching and snorkelling tours from Hurghada are a stand-out attraction, as is quad biking in desert dunes.

Pick Up From Aswan, Luxor, or Cairo, 4 Night Nile Cruise

A perfect no-hassle trip, taking you from your hotel to the sights of Aswan and Luxor. You will see the Valley of the Kings, Luxor Temple, the Colossi of Memnon and more, plus, enjoy the mystery and beauty of the Nile, prices are incredibly low. Be sure to specify Cairo as your departure city. Find information here

A One Day Tour of Ancient Egypt, From Cairo

The Sphinx, Pyramids, Egyptian Museum and ” Old Bazaar in Cairo” Khan El Khalili, Highlights of Egypt in a well organised, guided tour. We would highly recommend you have a guide at the Egyptian museum to find you the highlights, it’s a huge place. See such a tour to book here.

A One Day Tour of Ancient Egypt From Hurghada by Bus or by Plane.

Visit the world-famous antiquities of Cairo from your beach resort in Hurghada, there is a huge price difference between the bus and plane options, but honestly, it’s not expensive by plane and we’ve done this bus journey, it’s a long way. See here for the bus, See here for the plane.  This company has a best price or refund the difference guarantee.

A One Day Tour of Ancient Egypt From Sharm El Sheikh

Get yourself from the beaches and diving of Sharm to the antiquities of Cairo at an incredibly low price, by bus. (This company offers a best price or refund the difference guarantee) here.

Getting to Abu Simbel From Aswan or Cairo

You don’t need a huge amount of time at Abu Simbel as it’s a stand-alone attraction but we can’t stress too strongly that you MUST go, it’s mind-blowing. We have a full post on how to get there and what it’s like towards the end of this post.

You can go by plane or bus from Aswan and we’ve done it both ways, and both were fine. The bus ride is long and they drive fast, but there is hardly any traffic on this road so we didn’t feel too unsafe. See the bus trip here, the plane trip with Egypt Air here.

Both involve a very early start as you need to, ideally, be there around dawn. There is also the option of going to Aswan by private car with driver here. If you’re only getting as far as Cairo, you can take a trip to Abu Simbel by plane, here. Be aware that some prices are each and some per vehicle, please check your details carefully and be sure of what private means.

Egypt Travel and Transportation – Getting Around Egypt Independently

Buying train tickets in Egypt
Buying train tickets in Egypt. It’s not straightforward, we’ll write a full post soon. Scarves are essential, for the sun, for sand, or as here, for flies.

We did the following.

  • A taxi pick up from the airport in Cairo to our Luxor hotel by people carrier ( much less hair raising than taxis)
  • Day trips in and around Cairo by taxi. (easy but the traffic and fumes are bad)
  • 1st class VIP train to Luxor. (excellent)
  • 1st class non-VIP train to Aswan. (terrible)
  • Minibus to Abu Simbel (OK)
  • 1st class VIP train back to Luxor. (Excellent)
  • Bus/ coach to Hurghada (good)
  • Bus/ coach to Cairo. (Excellent)
  • Train to Alexandria (terrible)
  • Bus to Cairo. (excellent)

Getting around Egypt has been incredibly cheap and mostly a good experience. The 1st class VIP trains are fantastic, the non-VIP train was gross. The coaches and minibusses were of a good standard. Traffic congestion in Cairo is horrendous and driving can be crazy, we were lucky to find an older, steady driver and stuck with him. On the long, straight desert roads buses zip along at breakneck speed. It can be hair-raising.

Heat, Dust, Sand, and Weather in Egypt

Heat and weather in Egypt in April, melted chocolate
If I were chocolate I’d be a puddle. Egyptian heat.

We were in Egypt at the start of summer, April into May. Cairo and the Red Sea Coast were bearable, and Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel were inferno hot. Some days would reach 42ºC, that’s 107ºF.

It’s best to get to the big attractions early and enjoy them in the cool of the morning. We weren’t hot at all at the Valley of the Kings or Karnak Temple and the 6 am starts meant we had them to ourselves. Arrange a taxi pick up the night before. In the desert, the temperatures dip pleasantly at night, but on a previous visit in February, I remember being really cold from around sunset.

What to Wear in Egypt

Stay covered, to show respect and to keep the sun off your skin. You’ll need a hat or large scarf to protect your head, maybe face, from sun, dust and sometimes flies. On the Red Sea in big hotels, normal holiday wear is fine.

Can You Get Alcohol, Wine & Beer in Egypt?

Getting a beer near the pyramids alcoholic drinks in egypt
A rooftop dinner and a cold Egyptian beer as we watched the nightly sound and light show at Giza. We had the best guest house!

Egypt produces its own beers and wines and is by no means dry. Restaurants that will give you a beer or glass of wine with dinner are hard to find but do exist, they are normally Christian-run. The higher the ratio of Christians: Muslims in an area, the better your chances. There are off-licenses to buy your own. Look for the Drinkies chain of bottle shops. Big hotels serve alcohol.

Finding Hotels, Hostels, Apartments or Guest Houses in Egypt

All the usual methods of finding accommodation work in Egypt.Use Agoda and , whichever you prefer. You would be wise to always pre-book for Egypt or else fall victim to the touts.

We’d particularly recommend AirBnb, we rarely use them, but for Egypt, it works. We rented a spacious, cool, well-equipped apartment in Luxor to take a break, relax and catch up with laundry and work.

We had great deals with Marriott, you can get 30% off Red Sea and Egypt hotels with Marriott rewards currently. We used Marriott Hurghada Beach (click through to see more) and can give it a big thumbs up.

The Red Sea, a True Holiday in Egypt

Red Sea Holiday Egypt
Need a holiday after touring all those ancient sites? The Red Sea is fantastic, affordable, and a bus away from Luxor.

The Red Sea is a paradise for divers and snorkellers. This is our first time on Egypt’s coast and we’re impressed by the cool clear waters, marine life, and excellent hotels. We’re delighted by the low prices (see above 30% off deal). More on holidaying in Egypt coming soon and we now have a post on Egyptian beaches, see below.

We have absolutely loved our time in Egypt, give or take a few difficult days. Chef and I visited many years ago on a small group adventure tour and that was a great experience too, but this time, as independent travellers, backpacking, if you prefer, it’s been better. We’ve seen more, we’ve been able to adjust our trip to suit us and our needs and we’ve got in touch with the real Egypt instead of just seeing the tourist sites.

We’ve felt safe (other than the time we were almost hit by a run-away tanker…long story) and it’s been an incredible educational opportunity for the kids. We hope you can encourage you to visit Egypt, these guys are great and they need their western tourists back.

Egypt travel blog and guide 2017

To bookmark to Pinterest

Other Egypt Travel Blog Posts

More Egypt content from our website, for you, below.

Learn About Egypt Before You Travel

We highly recommend the Lonely Planet guide books for learning about the history and culture of a country before you leave home. You can use it to figure out where in Egypt you want to go and learn the basics of the language, a few pleases and thank yous are always welcome. It’s also a good idea to learn numbers 1-10 in Arabic, we’ve found this very useful. Also, read the educational post my kids wrote about Egypt here, their own Egypt travel blog. Have a great trip!

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

97 thoughts on “Egypt Travel Blog”

  1. Experience fantastic Easter tours in Egypt by enjoying the breath of spring on a luxury Nile Cruise across the Land of Pharaohs.

  2. First and foremost, I admire your blog; I carefully read your article and find your content to be really informative. I hope you enjoy this site as much as I do. I hope you obtain more experience with your knowledge; this is how people learn more.

  3. Egypt was #1 on my list of wow! factors. Nile River Cruise is one of the most beautiful places. Its beauty naturally attracts the tourist from the worldwide. Egyptian peoples are known as innovators, they invented many new things which many of us are unaware of.

  4. Hi! I loved your post. I t is really inspiring for me as well as other people. The way you post helps us a lot and it is nice work by you. Keep posting such posts. I also have a website that is about travel. We have a nice amount of tours in the dazzling lands of Egypt. Also, we give Jordan tours at affordable prices.

  5. Thank you for all the fabulous information. I would like to go next week but am a bit concerned that they are not reporting the true number of Covid cases. I also believe they are not wearing masks. Do you have any input on that. Also, money isn’t the main concern however I would like to stay in hotels that are not only safe but clean yet feel like Egypt not just some big hotel. Can I find this type of hotel and have it be excellent?

    • I know Egypt opened to tourists quite a while ago (although they may have closed again). I doubt any country is reporting a true number of cases as nowhere is testing 100% of its population daily and the tests aren’t fully accurate, so an accurate number is a gold-plated unicorn. (With my former medical scientist hat on there). We stayed in a variety of hotels, like you, we try to avoid the big chains and resort hotels, but to find Egyptian and clean, modern etc. is a big ask. Maybe if you found one of the old historic hotels like the one where Agatha Christie stayed (which we visited, it’s lovely). There must be some grand old hotels in Cairo. On the coast, it’s wall-to-wall resort hotels. We stayed in a Marriott. Everything is very modern in Hurghada although I know less developed places exist. Your problem will be finding flights and I have no idea what entry requirements Egypt has now with regards to negative tests, quarantine etc. As we’re stuck in Australia and not allowed out, at all, I’m very envious of anyone allowed to go anywhere.

  6. Hi, guys
    Amazing article about this country
    Egypt is an amazing country with diverse cultures. People in Egypt speak the Modern Standard Arabic language. The linguistic diversity of Egypt is almost homogeneous according to a fractionalization scale.

  7. Hurghada is a beautiful island and quite underrated, too. I hope more people visit the place as it has so much to offer.

  8. I have learned from my Egypt trip is that Local laws state that it can be illegal to make public comments that criticize the Egyptian government, security forces or religion. Police have arrested foreign visitors who published critical social media posts.

  9. “According to data on inbound tourists in Egypt, 9,174,000 tourists arrive in the country each year”. It seems to be that Egypt is quite popular country. Is that realy worth it to visit?

  10. I admit that Egypt is an amazing country with diverse cultures, rich ancient civilizations, archaeological treasures, and amazing landscapes. I hope you will visit Morocco and write a global blog about the richness of our country.
    greeting from the Sahara desert of Merzouga

    • We have been to Morocco and loved it Mohammed, years ago unfortunately, long before we started this travel blog. We should probably go back!

  11. Hello Alyson,

    I really love this post and tons of thanks for sharing such a great and fully informative info here.

    Andrew | Hotel Manager

    • We bought them at the bus station I think. No, we went to Aswan and then Hurghada from Luxor, then to Alexandria, then back to Cairo. They have good buses, it’s all very easy.

  12. Hi Alyson, fantastic and well written blog, I’m just curious, I’m going to Egypt this year and to really see the Country and being retired I have the time would a month or two be too long? Thank you! Mark

    • I would stay there as long as possible Mark. There’s loads to see. Lots we didn’t do during our month but we also had lots of rest days where we did nothing. We didn’t like Alexandria much, so I never posted about it. Also I never posted about even half the things we did in Cairo. We went to Hughada but I’d like to see more of the beach places and do some snorkelling / diving and Siwa Oasis is somewhere I’d like to go. But..”only” a month.

  13. Hi , Is there anyone can advise me if i need visa to egypt, our cruise will be there for 15 hours stop and i will avail there shore excursion does anyone have experience if they are exempted for entry visa or tourist visa since that is only 15 hours. Am Filipino/Philippines but i live in Norway with resident permit, can anyone share their egypt experience with cruiseship.

    • Normally your cruise ship will tell you which visas are required and won’t let you on the ship without seeing them. Chek with them.

  14. I simply can’t decide whether we should take a fully guided tour or try to do it on our own with day tours thrown in along the way. We will be there two weeks in late March.. I see many pros and cons to both. Do you have any tips or suggestions that might help us decide? About us, we’re fairly adventurous, but this is essentially our first non-Western world trip. (We went to India a few years ago, but were with family who lived there.) Thanks for a fascinating blog.

    • Sorry, I can’t really advise. But how much time do you have? If you only have a week – 10 days you’ll struggle to arranfge everything unless you pre-book it or are very spur of the moment around your bookings. We’re able to dedicate a day or two to organising train tickets and finding the perfect solution because we always have bags of time. I think it’s far more rewarding to do it independently in terms of personal satisfaction and local interraction, but a tour can wizz you through with no hassle or thought. Both have advantages depending on personality and comfort levels. I enjoy both, but I’d use them in different ways depending on destination. We recently did an 8 day tour in Tibet and loved it. In that instance there really was no other way. But the time wasted annoyed me. It was always…be back here in an hour. With nothing to do in that hour other than wait for other people who were — I dunno, blowdrying their hair or reading or something — I’d rather be seeing more of Tibet.

  15. Hi,
    I am glad that you are sharing such an informative blog. This will be much help for those who are needing information about Egypt trip. I recently went to Egypt with my family and explored the beauties of it. Nile River Cruise is one of the most beautiful places. Its beauty, nature attracts the tourist from the worldwide. Egyptian peoples are known as innovators, they invented many new things which many of us are unaware of. The ancient Egyptian were the 1st peoples who invented clock and divided 365days with 12months. I appreciate you and your blog. Will be waiting for more blogs and information.

  16. As a traveller, Egypt was #1 on my list of wow! factors. Everyone should visit and they love Americans and Brits. Souvenirs are cheap, don’t feel too annoyed at the vendors.As a mother of 2 grown children, I would not have brought them when they were young. there are too many ways to pick up a bug. My first aid kit for Egypt was mostly anti-dhiarreal and Pepto Bismal. I either had to use it or share it during the trip, even though I was very careful, using hand sanitizer, staying in nice hotels, getting restaurant recommendations from the tour guide… It is still a 3rd world country.

    • None of us were sick in Egypt BJ, other than a cold virus that we picked up on the plane. We very rarely get any bugs while travelling. You should maybe look into those diarrhoea stoppers, they’re not good for you in such situations. ( Doctor’s advice given to me many years ago, haven’t touched them since). But likewise, I wouldn’t take small children because the heat, early starts and long travel days will be tough on them. Also they get far more out of it once they have their own genuine interest in Egyptology. My son still says that this is his favourite of all of our travels, it was his choice, a treat for his birthday that year, he has good taste!

  17. Great blog. My family and I are planning for March. We would like to do a cooking class. Did you come across this on your trip?

    Also – where would you spend more time if you could choose, Cairo or Luxor?

    • I didn’t look for cooking classes but I bet there are some on Get Your Guide. Cairo needs 3-4 days. Luxor the same really. How long have you got?

  18. Hi Alysson,

    I read your blog and it is very useful, I just came from Cairo for an 8 days visit. I visited all the historial sites in Cairo and part of Alexandria. Now, Me and my daughter would like to visit Luxor and Aswan. My concern is the the cost of Sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor. For foreigners, is about $80 -$100 but for local is less. Would it be possible to ask a local to purchase the ticket on my behalf to get a cheaper cost.?

    Another question is: traveling from Luxor to Aswan is through a train too.

    • You can buy tickets on the day train, it’s a lot cheaper. See our post on getting from Cairo to Luxor. And yes, train again, it’s all on our site.

  19. The 4-Day Nile Cruise (Valley of Kings) link you provided above looks good, Are there any specific days for ship? I ask this question because most of the other ship are either Monday or Fridays

  20. We are planning a week long trip to Egypt in December, staring 24th. Want to visit, Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel.
    Is that doable?
    How will the weather and crowd in December?
    Any nation events?

    • Yes, it’s doable. However, you’ll need your trip scheduled and planned meticulously, tours booked and so on. The first time we went to Egypt we did all of the above in just a week, flying to and from Abu Simbel.Be ready for plenty of very early starts. Getting sick can really mess up a short trip like this, so be super careful. Just Google for the other information.

  21. Hello! Thank you for this post! It is very helpful. We are thinking of traveling to Egypt February 2019 (so it should be cooler, and to get us out Chicago winter!) BUT with a 5 year old and a 5 MONTH old. Are we crazy? Tickets are super cheap with a long layover in Istanbul (my favorite city) but I am worried about the dust, litter, craziness with a little tiny baby. I found a tour operator with great reviews who can plan everything so we don’t have to navigate Cairo ourselves and the cruise seems like it might be fun for our 5 year old – tour by morning, relax, swim, unwind on a boat in the afternoon?

    What do you think?

    • I think maybe yes, you are a bit crazy. Those cruise ships tend to be for adults, normally older or retired. I don’t think they’re much of a place for kids but maybe that’s changed now. It’s the sort of trip my mum and dad and their friends do with formal dining, set times, evening entertainment and fixed time tours and having to walk with a group. I’ve done a cruise ship like this with my two and the one shore excursion we did was just awful, being herded around like cattle and taking so long to get anywhere because a few of the old folks weren’t walkers. Also can they tolerate heat, long days touring ruins with a lot of walking, standing and listening? It may be very, very boring for your 5 year old. Also getting up before dawn to visit places before the sun gets too hot, will that fit in with your children’s plans for sleep? This is a style of trip that I think I’d be reluctant to do with babies and small children, based on my experiences of being mum to two. But of course you know your kids, I don’t. Egypt itself I’d have no problems with, it’s just the way tourists really have to see the antiquities, their size, the nature of visiting them. A private tour would maybe be great, but a group tour, no, not with a baby and a preschooler.

      • Thank you so much for your opinion! You make some valid points. In February, it will be high of 70 so not too hot, and I agree with cruises -I’m just not sure about it. BUT- according to the itinerary – all tours are after breakfast in the morning, then relaxing time on the boat- with a pool, not before sunrise. It’s pretty much all private with a private driver so it looks like we’ll have a lot say in schedule. Thanks! I’ll let you know if we go and how it turns out.

  22. hi nice artical ,my girl friend and i are going to visit Egypt for a month tour ,I’m a diver as weel so I’m interested ,going to the red sea areas ,do you know of any new restricted areas ? going the end of October .I’ve heard it changes daily ? i plane on booking tours ,and travel while I’m there for that reason .

    • I don’t sorry Terry, we’re divers too, but with the kids it never happens these days so we just spent a very short time on the Red Sea.

  23. When I read your posts about the litter and traffic in Cairo, I shudder cos I know Lagos (where I am based in) is worse. I am currently in Cairo now and trying to see as much as I can during my time here. Your posts have been very helpful.

  24. Hello ma’am :
    I’m an interviewer in Radio Cairo the Egyptian radio, Would be honored to interview you about your stay in Egypt, your memories, feelings, the challenges you faced.
    Thank you so much
    Mayar Adel

  25. Hi, after read through your blog, it’s make me very excited to visit Egypt! You have a great blog!
    So we decided to travel to Egypt at early December 2018 (about 12 days),
    I m looking for a transport with driver cum tour guide to cover this entire trip as per our plan.
    Could you please recommended a good and responsible driver with transport?
    Thank you.

  26. Love your post and pictures. Last time I visited Saqqara I remember there was a broken statue of Ramsses II and I was told that Shelley’s Ozymandias was based on it. Wonder if it is still there. You make me want to go to all those places again and have a sip of the delicious Stella. Thank you

  27. I would just add for everyone to be responsible travelers— to not ride on horses & camels as they are often treated badly (I’ve not seen any horse of camel with feeding or water throughout the day at the Giza pyramids).
    Also, tipping recommendations is all I’ve place on the web, when tipping is a small, generous offer by locals— I’ve seen mentioning as much as $5 USD per meal and that is ridiculous.

  28. So glad to have stumbled across this blog post! My husband and I are going to Egypt in May and we are very much so looking forward to it! My question to you about the guided tours since we are trying to stay within a certain budget is: seems like you booked your tours prior to getting to Egypt, but would you say its okay to book tours once you get to Egypt as well? It seems like most travel guides charge in USD so im trying to figure out if they will still charge me in USD if I book in Egypt or will they charge me in EGP instead? Any advice regarding this situation will help, thank you!

    • Hi ZK. No, we didn’t really pre book anything and took no guided tours really. I don’t think anyone charged in USD, no. We quote prices in USD here because most people will understand that currency and be able to convert it to their own easily. We’ve been travelling over 5 years, full time, so we’re pretty cool with figuring things out as you go along and we have endless time to do so. But if you have a set amount of time and aren’t comfortable with haggling over price, probably best you book in advance. You don’t want to waste half a day to a day organising each trip. Egypt is one of the harder countries to travel independently, really, top grade global hard. You need some savvy.

  29. Soooo excited to find your blog! We are leaving for Egypt at the end of May. I’m a teacher and can’t wait to learn personally and professionally. I will be back to your blog multiple times!

  30. Hi there. Thanks for sharing your experience. You’re quite right that there is currently very little written on Egypt from a traveller’s point of view.

    I am looking to go on a solo trip in April/May. Would you recommend that it’s a good idea for a solo female?

  31. Hey, you have such a great blog! I am trying to book a trip from Aswan to Abu Simbel on a mini bus. Looks like you paid LE140 each way and that is what a lot of people I see online paid. However when I try to book a trip, I am getting quoted of USD$70-$100 per person. Could you please direct me to the travel agency you booked this trip with? Also recommendations on how to book a decently priced trip from Aswan to Luxor stopping in Edfu and Kom Ombo on the way. Thank you so much. I would really appreciate any help. Booking decently priced tours is turning out to be a nightmare for us 🙁

  32. Hi!
    Thanks so much for the great tips for Egypt travel! I’m heading there in May from San Diego, and I CANT WAIT!
    I’ll be traveling through Africa for 3 months, and for every country I”m heading to, I get the Visa at the border crossing. Having a tough time finding the true answer to the Visa for Egypt. Ive read that I get it at the airport (this is my first destination), but Ive also read that you need the Visa ahead of time. Any help would be much appreciated!

  33. Wow. you have a very nice blog about Egypt. I also wanna go too.your blog will surely help me.but I am a little bit worried about my safety.there a lot of news traveling about terrorist.for that, An online friend suggested me a tour agency called ask-Aladdin. Now I wanna know, Will it be okay to go to a tour agency and will they make sure for my safety??Please suggest.

    • I think you maybe should look for a bigger, more well known, tour agency for Egypt if you prefer to not travel independently. Try somebody like Explore or Exodus or GetYourGuide. We’ve been to Egypt with Explore and had a superb experience and we use GetYourGuide all over the world.

  34. Can I just say, “Wow! And double wow!”? We are also a homeschooling family. I’m on my last of four high schoolers and it has been quite the journey. My daughter and I plan to visit Egypt this year and your blog is an excellent resource and encouragement for me as I plan. Thank you so much and happy world school travels!!

  35. Wonderful post. Appreciate your courage to go with the kids for almost a month to Egypt independently.

    My mother is considering to visit Egypt soon. She prefers the guided vacation/tours though, where there is an agenda, a group and a tour guide.

    Do you think you can recommend a vacation/travel agency that is good and known for organizing really good vacations?

    Thank you,

    • Sorry Moly, not really. My husband and I had a fantastic tour of Egypt with Explore years ago. We met on that trip. But Explore tours tend to be aimed at the more physically active. I would go, at 52, but if your mother is into her 70s or 80s it could be a bit much. But have a look at the Explore website anyway. ( Explore Worldwide) We did 3 Explore Group holidays back in the day and each one was superb. I fully understand her preference for guided group trips, you see much more, without any organisational headaches and you always have that back up of a guide with local knowledge should you run into difficulties.

      • That is truly an experience, great knowledge and true facts about visiting Egypt and exploring sites without an organized guided tour,
        I am a licensed tour guide and operator for 17 years, if you like to have any organized tour packages, hassle free, private tours, informative guides, off the beaten track historical sites, you can contact me.

  36. Really great tips about Egypt. Your long stay in Egypt gave you enough experience about how the life is going there.

  37. Really great tips! I”m planing to go to Egypt this year with my boyfriend, from 18th June for about 10 days or so. Is it crazy of us to go in this period of time of the year? Is 10 full days enough to see all the main places? Thank you!

    • It will be hot. I think we were there about that time, a week or two before. Not crazy, no, but hot. Most of the big sites you do very early in the morning, so it’s not too bad and it seems to be cooler at night, deserts cool down fast. Absolutely, 100% wear a hat or big scarf to keep the sun off your heads and necks though. Helps with dust and flies too, wrap it round your face sometimes. I went out once without mine in Luxor and boy could I feel it!

      • Thank you so much for your quick reply. Your comments encouraged me to go! Many thanks!

  38. Thanks for sharing. I really want to visit Egypt, but really am concerned about the safety. Did you get any trouble there?


  39. Thank you for such an honest post about your travels through Egypt. I plan to go at the end of 2018 for 3 weeks. It seems that if you do Egypt yourself, your trip is what you make it – always bumps in the road but everything works out. I can’t believe you got such cheap accommodation in Luxor! Sadly, I will be going in the high season. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  40. Thank you for sharing such a great experience in Egypt. after reading your whole article it feels quite scary traveling around in case of hassle only. thanks a lot for some key tips. It is a really a great and useful information who want to experience Egypt.

  41. WoW that’ amazing place to visit, i never been there but after reading your article and those beautiful pic convince me to visit this place soon.
    Thank you for sharing your memories with us.

  42. Thank you for this excellent article. Our family of 4 has been invited to a wedding in Cairo, Egypt. Normally I would jump at a chance to go outside my country and culture for such an experience, but I am wary, especially given the US state dept’s recent warning against going there. We’ve never yet traveled outside the US and Europe. Your articles are the scant few I am finding online that are even current. I am concerned for safety, but I didn’t pick up that that was even an issue for you. Is that true? How safe did you feel navigating this country with your kids? Thank you very much!

    • We felt absolutely safe Kim. Other than on the roads, but I’m a nervous passenger anyway. But just a few days after we left that guy went nuts on one of the beaches over at Hurghada. But only one incident I know of, we’ve had 4 or 5 here in London during the same period. Cairo is amazing, I would never pass up a chance like that. I haven’t posted about everything we did there yet, but it was fabulous, the old bazaar, the citadel, Coptic Cairo, the Citadel of Saladin and tomb and mosque of Mohammed Ali and of course the Nile and Giza plateau pyramids and sphinx. From Cairo you can make day trips to the step pyramid and Memphis. And of course the museum…it’s just all incredible.

  43. Thanks for sharing the nice article .Egypt is a country known for being an ancient civilization and for famous monuments .To visit all these book hotels in Egypt .

  44. Hello

    Excellet post, beautiful pictures.
    I want to go from aswan to abu simbel, did you remember where yo buy the minibus tickets. Did it for your own or with an agency?


    • After going to the bus station ourselves to try to buy them, we got our hotel owner to arrange tickets. The bus station was very unhelpful and confusing.The hotel owner charged us no extra and the mini bus picked us up outside the hotel.

      • Which hotel did you stay at? We are trying to find one to stay in that will get the minibus tickets for us. Some tour operators have told us we must take a private car as there are not enough people to fill the minibus tours. Thanks!

  45. Outlining the major political and cultural events,
    The History of Ancient Egypt is an authoritative and accessible introduction to this fascinating ancient culture.

    Your pictures are awesome and it seems to me you’ve got to enjoy the authentic experience.
    Thanks for sharing..

    All the best with your current and upcoming travels.

  46. Great post! Thanks for sharing your trip! I went to Egypt back in 2006 with 4 friends and its still arguably my best trip to date. I did everything that you did plus also visited Mt. Sinai and Alexandria. The city of Alexandria was a real eye opener and very cool city rich in history. Nowadays I am a dad and one day hope to take my son to Egypt once he is a bit older.

    • We went to Alexandria, didn’t like it much, which is why it’s only mentioned briefly above. The whole Sinai is off limits right now, if you go your insurance is invalid, so we stayed on the main drag. I believe my husband went years ago. We met on the Nile then he went off into the desert, I know he went to the Siwa Oasis, not exactly sure where else he went. Sowa has a travel warning now too.

  47. There is nothing better than traveling and it’s a detailed guide for visiting Egypt. And I promise I will go there for sure. Thanks for sharing this in details.

  48. Ever since I was a teen I’ve been facinated by Egypt. Pharaohs, the Sphinx, the pyramids, the Nile. Archeology, history. I getting I really look forward to all your posts. The markets remind me of the ones in Marrakesh and Casablanca.

  49. I agree, I haven’t really seen an indepth guide to Egypt travel for the past couple of years, so this is a great resource. I’m in two minds about whether or not I want to travel to Egypt – I would LOVE to, however I feel the reality may not match the romanticized notion I have built up in my head from documentaries and books. Really good notes on the hassle factor and being wary of not being scammed – I think lack of tourism too probably makes the hassle factor even greater because everyone wants a piece of you.

    Thanks for the great information 🙂

  50. Yes, I’ve heard much about Egypt and how they deal with the dirt and dust all year long. But the stories of pyramids and mummies have never stopped fascinating me. The Sphinx, one of the wonders of the world is worth a visit. I am sure we all have our own tac- tics for beating the problems of each country.

  51. I really want to visit Egypt. This is amazing information. I will have to save this for future use. That poor Twix bar stood no chance of survival.

  52. That is a well detailed guide. This is indeed a wonderful place. I am more of a hostel person. How are the hostel options there.

  53. wow an entire month that’s such a long period of time and with kids too. I would love to visit one day. It looks like such a beautiful place

    • Yes, it was too long really, you don’t need that long to see the main sites, but we had a lot of rest days when we just hung out, caught up on sleep, worked etc. I enjoyed it more than the first time, when we just went on a one week tour ( and met my husband!), it was nice to connect with the country more.

  54. Great tips. I would visit Egypt but am hesitant about doing anything to support the regime. Otherwise it’s been on my list for decades. Traveling with kids takes it to another whole level but I found, when my son was young that he helped open doors. Looking forward to reading more.

  55. Egypt is such a fascinating country to visit and II’m sure your kids will always remember this trip.. I totally agree about the hassle. In some places you can’t go anywhere without being hassled to buy something. I would still love to go back and do a cruise on the Nile.

  56. Wow, what a comprehensive article with recent travel information. It breaks my heart that Egypt’s tourist industry has suffered so much due to recent events in the region – I didn’t realise luxury accommodation was as little as $40 per night. I completely agree with you about being hassled at the souks, you can understand why people are that was but as a visitor it can get very annoying. I thoroughly enjoyed your article, thank you for sharing and enjoy the rest of your stay in Egypt!

  57. I’ve always been fascinated by Egypt, and would love to do a cruise down the Nile. I love shopping at souks but would not enjoy being hassled so much. I had no idea Luxor was considered the hassle capital of the world!


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