|Passport / Visa |
Passport is required to get into Egypt with entry visa. ( tourist visa for a period of one month delivered easily by Egyptian consulates abroad) .
The Egyptian pound (L.E.) is divided into 100 piastres (pt). Prices are written in various ways: L.E. 1.50, L.E. 1.500 and 150 pt all represent one and a half pounds. Banknotes are issued in denominations from 50 piastres to 100 pounds. Coins from 5 to 25 piastres. Foreign currency can be exchanged only at a bank or other authorized financial establishment. It is forbidden to pay for purchases in foreign currency.
|Public Holidays |
Secular holidays are fixed; religious holidays wander around the year according to the Islamic lunar calendar. Secular holidays: January 1 (banks only), April 25 (Sinai Day), May 1 (Labour Day), July 23 (Revolution Day) and October 6 (Armed Forces Day). Of the religious holidays, all as moveable as Christian Easter, the most important is the fasting month of Ramadan. The Islamic day starts at sundown, so that a religious holiday marked for a particular date in the standard calendar in fact begins on the previous evening.
Actually, most hotels, tourist coaches and cruising boats provide good air conditioning, but for outdoor sightseeing choose your season carefully. Though summer is a sizzler—up around 32°C (90°F)—Egypt’s predominantly dry heat makes it easier to bear. Cairo is more humid than Luxor and Aswan. The most comfortable time for Tourists to go is from October (around 24°C (75°F)) till May , The popular winter holidays from December to February alternate between balmy and cool, averaging 17°C (60°F). The only rain you are likely to run into then is on the Mediterranean coast. And the one place it is always downright cold is before dawn in the desert.
English is the most commonly spoken language after Arabic
Count on 220-volt, 50-cycle AC with European-style sockets for two round pins.
Open from 8.30 a.m. to 13.30 Sunday to Thursday. Banks are closed on Fridays and Saturdays except in tourist locations such as bank’s counters in hotels.
|Credit Cards |
Shops and restaurants accept credit cards and often prefer them to cash, it’s hard to cash money with a credit card.
Hotel telephone and fax services are improving fast, but be patient.
In the capital, take a taxi, as the bus is just too hectic. Do not be surprised if you are sometimes expected to share your taxi with a stranger. Be sure to agree on a price before you set out.
Clothing should be light—cottons are less sticky than synthetics. Add a sweater for cool evening. Good walking shoes are vital and easy-to-kick-off sandals for visiting Muslim homes or mosques.
|Customs Allowance / Duty Free |
Customs controls are minimal at point of entry, with an official import allowance of 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 200g of tobacco and 1 litre of wine or spirits. No limit on amounts of foreign currency.
Pack very little. Remember you carry your own bags between hotel, bus and cruise boat. If you need prescribed medicines, take your own, as Egyptian equivalents may be hard to find. Include insect-repellent and a pocket torch (flashlight)—invaluable for the tombs, temples and desert nights.
Egypt is a good place to forget the affairs of the world, English spoken in the touristic aereas and hotels, foreign papers or Egypt’s government-run English-(or French-) language dailies. Television in major hotels gets CNN; BBC World Service and French, German and Italian stations by satellite.
Film for video or still-camera is readily available in Egypt but expensive. If you buy supplies in advance, choose film-speed for the dazzling desert light. Most museums charge a fee for photography, more expensive for video, and it’s often forbidden altogether inside ancient tombs. Photography is also forbidden around airports, bridges and government offices.
Bottled mineral water is recommended.
Web, Post and Press
The postal system is efficient for international mail. Airmail to western europ takes about five days. There are Poste Restante facilities at the Central Post Office; a small fee is charges when mail is charged when mail is collected. All post offices are open daily 0900-1400 except Friday, and the Central Post Office in Cairo is open 24 hours.
BBC MHZ 17.38 15.42 11.86 9.630
Voice of America MHZ 17.82 15.16 9.760 6.160