VISA AND OTHER PROCEDURES
Portuguese and Brazilian citizens can obtain a visa upon arrival in Egypt. For this, your passport must be valid for 6 months or more. Visas cost around €20.
HEALTH AND SAFETY CARE
The authorities in Egypt require a certificate of yellow fever vaccine to visitors who come from a destination with risk of transmission of this disease. Vaccination against hepatitis A and typhoid fever is indicated.
For more information on traveling health, see the Health Portal of the Ministry of Health and Tropical and Traveler Medicine Clinic. In FitForTravel find country-specific health and disease prevention advice (in English).
Egypt has lived through periods of great political and social instability. It is inadvisable to travel to the Sinai Peninsula with the exception of the resort of Sharm El Sheik. Other areas that are currently dangerous are Beni Suef, Minya, Asyut Sohag and, in general, the border with Libya and Sudan. Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities.
TRIP TO EGYPT
Egypt has developed a good network of domestic air connections with flights to most cities. the national company Egypt Air operates most of these flights and tourist attractions. Popular destinations include Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh, Alexandria, Marsa Matruh, Marsa Alam and the oasis of Kharga. Travel is relatively affordable. As an example, a return flight from Cairo to Luxor can cost as little as €140, €40 or €50 for substantially shorter flights. Bear in mind that there is a big difference in prices for flights from high season to low season and depending on how early you buy the flights.
The bus network is very comprehensive, served by a large number of companies with better or worse vehicles. The most famous companies are Pullman, West Delta, Golden Arrow, Super Jet, East Delta, El Gouna, Upper Egypt Bus Co and Bedouin Bus. Popular routes such as those connecting Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia, Port Said, Suez , Santa Catarina Monastery, Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada and Luxor are served by luxury buses with air conditioning, bathroom and TV on board, as a rule, safer and quite comfortable.
Trips on other less popular routes are likely to be ensured by buses without these conditions, unsanitary and very noisy due to the engines as well as the music or movies played on board.
In Egypt, bus travel involves considerable risks of road accidents due to the poor condition of the roads and, above all, the recklessness of drivers. In the Sinai area and between Aswan and Abu Simbel, count on several military inspections, for which you must have a passport ready to show.
Don't count on the ease of purchasing tickets online. Tickets are purchased at truck stations or on board.
One of the classic journeys of Egypt is the Nile ascent with strategic stops in cities and places with the most impressive Egyptian ruins such as Luxor, Edzna, Edfu, Kom Ombo, Aswan and others. Virtually all travel agency programs include trips on these boats, but tickets can be purchased independently on large steamboats, on dahabiyyas (larger and well-equipped sailing vessels) or on traditional feluccas. Prices differ immensely. Can go from €10 per night in a small felucca Spartan (usually from Aswan) at €300 or €400 per night on the most luxurious cruise ships.
Ferries ensure a very profitable journey between Hurghada and Sharm-El-Sheikh. The journey takes 90 minutes or considerably longer if the sea is rough. It costs around €40.
The company that manages most of the Egyptian trains is the Egyptian National Railways.
The train could always be a good solution as the Egyptian railway network is extensive (more than 5.000 km of rail) passing through most of the cities and emblematic places. However, the authorities have allowed the infrastructure to deteriorate to such an extent that few train journeys prove advantageous compared to those provided by luxury coaches.
Exceptions can be considered for the stretches between Cairo and Alexandria on board the trains Turbini and Espani and the most touristic night sleeper trains from Cairo to Luxor and Aswan. These trains are managed by a distinct company named abel egypt. Remember, however, that only by ensuring travel in sleeping compartments will you have really acceptable conditions of comfort and travel in eventually torrid Egypt requires good rest.
Classes divide into First, Second and Third.
The First requires reservations made in advance. They include bunk beds, bed linen, shared bathroom and air conditioning. Dinners and breakfasts are included in the ticket prices and are served by hosts in their own compartments.
The Second is in slightly worse conditions than the First (and most likely the absence of air conditioning). It costs just a little less than the First, so it is advisable to cover the difference and travel more relaxed.
In terms of hygiene and comfort, Third Class is Egypt's railway debacle but continues to support millions of its humblest citizens. There is no air conditioning, carriages can be ovens, seats are most likely made of wood, trains stop forever at stations and are delayed for hours. Expect the worst possible in all respects except price.
All tickets must be purchased at the stations. International student cards guarantee discounts on all classes except sleeper trains. The trip between Cairo and Luxor in Second Class will cost you only €4 to €6.
Renting a car in Egypt is a decision that only the bravest are willing to make. If you rent a car in Cairo, you will have already figured out why even before arriving at the rent-a-car facilities. Outside the biggest cities, traffic is smoothed out and driving requires above all attention to road defects and possible infringements by other drivers. The rule in Egypt is to ignore the rules.
You will be much better suited to exploring the country if you get a sturdy 4WD vehicle. Rent-a-cars require the driver to be at least 21 years old. Expect to pay around €30 per day for a utility vehicle, a little less if you rent out of high season and for longer periods. The fuel is heavily subsidized by the state and, as such, inexpensive, around €0,20 per liter of gasoline or diesel. International Driving License required.
Due to the major disadvantages described above, the most common is to rent a car with a driver or taxis for long-term services. The prices for this type of agreement depend a lot on your vocation and your patience to bargain.
In general, Egypt's climate is either dry and hot or very hot. The big exception is for December, January and February but only in the north of the country. Even during these months, temperatures remain relatively warm in the south but can easily drop below 10°C in Cairo, Alexandria and places on the Mediterranean coast.
Summarizing the climate situation, winter is, year after year, the high season in Egypt and summer – when maximum temperatures daily exceed 40°C and can approach 50°C – is the low season.
The intermediate months of March and April, such as October and November are considered by many to be the best times to visit the country.
The currency of Egypt is the Egyptian Pound (EGP). But due to the instability that affects Libra, most of the big hotels and resorts, as well as tour agencies, the Abela company that manages the sleeper trains and many other businesses only accept US dollars or euros. ATMs continue to increase in number day by day, allowing travelers to use their cards more often. Credit card payments are also very popular in high-end tourism establishments. Egypt is a very accessible country. An undemanding visitor with comfort and refinement and with a very controlled budget can travel in Egypt for as little as €25 to €30 per day, with the highest expenses he will face being entrance fees to numerous historical attractions.
As you would expect, there is accommodation of all types in Egypt since hostels from almost free backpackers to the much more expensive 4 and 5 star hotels and resorts in Luxor, Aswan or the Red Sea resorts, Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh. Expect to pay from €6 to €10 per night for an air-conditioned double room in Cairo, up to many hundreds of euros a night at the best international chain hotels in Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh.
Among the essential dishes are ful medames, ta'miya, koshary, taagin. Just like with accommodation, you'll find almost free meals in restaurants almost only frequented by locals – €1 to €4 full meal – to others with prices made intermediate by the frequent presence of foreign travelers – €4 to €20 – and, at the top of the tops, the restaurants of the finest hotels and resorts of international chains, between €20 and €200 or more per meal.
It became popular, fueled the Arab Spring revolution centered on Tahrir Square and is available in most tourist places, whether in hotels, resorts, bars and restaurants or in internet cafes that charge from €0,20 to €1 depending on the price. location and available speed. Companies like furniture, Vodafone Egypt e Etisalat market SIM cards that can be used in smart phones, tablets and pens (USB sticks) connected to laptops. These solutions avoid exaggerated costs of roaming .