You can never be too prepared when you travel to a destination very different from your own!
So, we listed a few points that we think are essential for every traveler that visits Egypt.
Small notes (1, 5, 10) are like gold in Egypt! You pretty much tip everyone who looks at you so you will need a good supply of small notes handy. Make sure that you receive the correct notes when you get change back after buying something. Don’t mistake the 50 piastre note (50 Egyptian cents) for the 50 Pound note if a sly trader hands it to you ‘by mistake’.
Avoid tap water (except in bigger, better hotels) and only drink bottled water. Clean your teeth with bottled or boiled water and avoid unpeeled fruits and vegetables (unless you wash it first). The real tip though for water is to remember to take it with you everywhere.
Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country, however they are pretty relaxed and accepting of other cultures and religions. I would not recommend hitting the town in hot pants and a boob tube… longer length shorts and shirts are fine.
There are plenty of plastic Tutankhamun’s and stuffed camels to buy in Egypt but there is also some good quality items. The ones to look out for are Papyrus, Alabaster/granite, gold and Egyptian cotton. Bartering is expected.
No matter where you are, or who they are, do not give your camera to someone else to take a photo for you – it could cost you to get it back. Do not take pictures of military/police/official posts – ever! And do not take a picture of a local person without their permission.
You do not need to take any more precautions in Egypt than you would traveling to most Western countries. It’s a different culture, no question there, but that doesn’t make it wrong – just different.
Open your eyes and open your mind and Egypt will find a place in your heart.