02 July 2015 by Anna Staford
Fact: In reality the Pyramids don look quite the same as we see them in Hollywood cliff-hangers and HD photographs around the Internet. The desert around them is not as vast, and buses course around it like it’s a highway. Souvenirs at pyramids are excessively overprized and the world wonders themselves are constantly surrounded by hundreds of tourists. Nevertheless, these ancient constructions remain some of the most outstanding pieces of the world’s heritage.
Fact: Sadly, regardless of what they look like and what they wear, 80-95% of women in Egypt are harassed on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the law protecting women rights hasn’t been properly integrated into Egyptian legal framework, and there are no repercussions for men harassing women in the streets. Female travellers may try to avoid eye contact, wear big shades and block out the unwanted attention.
Fact: Tours to Egypt are not necessarily cheap, but as a rule they are cheaper than similar tours to other countries. Hotels in Egypt are usually cheaper than hotels in Greece or Spain. A week-long stay in a five-star room in Cyprus or Crete will cost you $100-200 more than its analogue in Egypt. During autumn prices become even more tempting than usual.
Fact: Summers in Egypt can feel like hell, while winters can be cold enough to turn on the heater. Autumn and springtime, however, welcome tourists with warm waves and sunny days.
Fact: Major cities in Egypt are full of contrasts, and thus are very diverse. Travellers, who spend only a day in a certain city, grasp only one facet of it. Yes, cities of Egypt are dirty, crowded and noisy, but that’s not all they are. Here you will find some of the most prominent monuments of ancient times and learn things you never knew about Egyptian history and culture.
Fact: Security situation in Egypt is not the same as it was before the events of 2011, and some parts of Egypt are not tourist-friendly, particularly Port Said, western border near Libya, parts of Sinai and other regions. Meanwhile Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan and some Red Sea resort cities are quite safe to travel to. It is important to do your research before choosing you destination in Egypt.
Read also: Specialties and Traditions in Egypt
Fact: Egyptian tummy bug is a reaction to the different bacterial flora. Upset stomach and temperature can ruin even any dream vacation. To avoid this, drink and use for teeth brushing only the bottled or boiled water. Skip cocktails with ice and wash your hands before every meal. Try to order only well-cooked or roasted food in the restaurants.
Fact: Egypt is dotted with hotels of various categories. Many tourists come here to lie on the beach or by the pool, that’s why most hotels have a rich infrastructure with water slides and playgrounds. But be aware that the star rate does not always match to the quality of service. Before booking a hotel, make sure to read the reviews online.
Fact: The absence of common driving rules on Egyptian roads never fails to shock European tourists. Traffic lights which are rather rare in Egypt are barely ever used. Pedestrians do not come first, even when the green light is on. The half of all vehicles in Egypt is registered in Cairo, that’s why chaos reigns on the roads of the capital.
Facts: Most of souvenirs you’ll see in Egypt were actually made in China. Consult with travel agents or fellow travellers online about the places where you could buy unique and authentic Egyptian souvenirs. Keep in mind that the process of buying and selling is almost a ritual in Egypt. Market vendors will probably invite you to drink a cup of tea or coffee and negotiate about the price, while offering you some of their other items.
Even with all the precautions taken, keep in mind that Egypt remains a controversial travel destination for a reason. Be especially cautious if you travel solo or if you are female, as these two categories of tourists are especially vulnerable to the chance of becoming victims of crime. Make sure to mind these facts about Egypt, get travel insurance before heading to Egypt, and to check the FCO advice that gets frequent updates due to the unstable situation in the country.