Travel to Cairo, Egypt
Guide for Conference Participants: Visa, Travel, Accommodation, Currency, and Local Sights
Visa to Egypt
Egypt, a land steeped in ancient history and vibrant culture, is a popular destination for travelers seeking to explore iconic landmarks such as the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and the temples of Luxor. Beyond its historical treasures, Egypt boasts stunning beaches along the Red Sea, vibrant markets, and a rich culinary scene. Before embarking on your journey to Egypt, it's essential to understand the country's visa policies to ensure a smooth travel experience. The secretariat is always ready to provide necessary visa support for travelers.

Please refer to the VisaGuide webpage for more information.

Visa Requirements:
Egypt has a visa requirement for most foreign visitors, with a few exceptions. The type of visa you need will depend on your nationality, the purpose of your visit, and the duration of your stay. Here's an overview of Egypt's visa policies:

1. Tourist Visa:
  • Most visitors traveling to Egypt for tourism purposes are required to obtain a tourist visa before arrival.
  • Tourist visas are typically valid for a single entry and allow stays of up to 30 days. Extensions may be possible, but it's advisable to check with local authorities.
  • Travelers can apply for a tourist visa at Egyptian embassies or consulates in their home country before departure. Some nationalities may also be eligible for an e-Visa or visa on arrival (see below).

2. e-Visa:
  • Egypt offers an electronic visa (e-Visa) system for citizens of select countries, making the application process more convenient.
  • Travelers can apply for an e-Visa through the official Egyptian e-Visa portal by providing the required documentation and paying the necessary fees online.
  • The e-Visa is typically valid for tourism and allows for a single entry with a maximum stay of 30 days.

3. Visa on Arrival:
  • Some nationalities are eligible to obtain a visa upon arrival at designated entry points in Egypt, including major airports and seaports.
  • The visa on arrival is usually granted for tourism purposes and permits a stay of up to 30 days.
  • It's essential to check whether your nationality qualifies for a visa on arrival and to ensure that you have the necessary documentation and fees ready upon arrival.

4. Other Visa Types:
  • If you're traveling to Egypt for purposes other than tourism, such as business, study, or work, you may need to apply for a different type of visa. Requirements and procedures for these visas vary, so it's advisable to consult the nearest Egyptian embassy or consulate for specific guidance.

5. Important Tips:
  • Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended date of departure from Egypt.
  • Check the latest visa requirements and regulations before planning your trip, as policies may change.
  • Prepare all necessary documentation, including passport photos, visa application forms, and proof of travel arrangements, in advance of applying for a visa.
  • Be aware of any visa fees and payment methods accepted by Egyptian authorities.

Understanding Egypt's visa policies is crucial for ensuring a hassle-free and enjoyable travel experience to this captivating destination. Whether you're exploring ancient wonders, relaxing on pristine beaches, or immersing yourself in vibrant culture, proper preparation will help you make the most of your time in Egypt. Be sure to check the latest visa requirements and guidelines before your trip and embark on your Egyptian adventure with confidence.

Travel to Cairo, Egypt
Cairo, the vibrant capital city of Egypt, is a bustling metropolis where ancient history and modern life intertwine. From iconic landmarks like the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx to bustling markets, museums, and vibrant neighborhoods, Cairo offers a rich tapestry of experiences for travelers. Whether you're arriving internationally or exploring from within Egypt, here's a comprehensive guide to help you navigate your journey to Cairo by air, bus, or car.

By Air:

Cairo International Airport (CAI):
  • Cairo International Airport is the primary gateway to Egypt and serves as a major hub for international flights.
  • Numerous airlines operate direct flights to Cairo from major cities around the world, including Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and beyond.
  • Upon arrival, travelers will go through immigration and customs procedures before exiting the airport terminal.

Airport Services:
  • Cairo International Airport offers a range of services and facilities, including currency exchange, ATMs, car rental desks, restaurants, shops, and duty-free stores.
  • Transportation options from the airport to Cairo city center include taxis, airport shuttles, and ride-hailing services like Uber and Careem.

By Bus:

Intercity Bus Services:
  • Cairo is well-connected to other cities and regions in Egypt by an extensive network of intercity bus services.
  • Several bus companies operate routes to and from Cairo, offering both standard and luxury coach options.
  • Cairo's main bus terminals include the Turgoman Bus Station, located near downtown Cairo, and the Cairo Gateway Terminal, which serves long-distance routes.

Bus Amenities and Comfort:
  • Intercity buses in Egypt vary in terms of amenities and comfort levels, with some offering air conditioning, reclining seats, onboard restrooms, and entertainment systems.
  • It's advisable to book bus tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your preferred departure time and seating.

By Car:

Highway Networks:
  • Traveling to Cairo by car offers flexibility and the opportunity to explore scenic routes and landmarks along the way.
  • Egypt has a well-maintained network of highways connecting Cairo to other major cities and regions, including the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road and the Cairo-Suez Road.
  • It's essential to familiarize yourself with Egyptian traffic regulations, road signage, and driving customs before embarking on a road trip.

Renting a Car:
  • Rental car companies operate at Cairo International Airport and in various locations throughout the city.
  • Requirements for renting a car typically include a valid driver's license, passport, and a minimum age requirement.
  • Consider purchasing comprehensive insurance coverage and a GPS navigation system for added peace of mind while driving in Egypt.

Important Tips:
  • Ensure that you have all necessary travel documents, including passports, visas, and any required permits or licenses, before embarking on your journey to Cairo.
  • Check the latest travel advisories and entry requirements, especially amid the ongoing global health situation.
  • Allow ample time for travel, particularly when navigating Cairo's traffic congestion, and plan your transportation arrangements accordingly.
  • Familiarize yourself with local customs, culture, and etiquette to enhance your experience and show respect for the host country.

Whether arriving by air, bus, or car, traveling to Cairo offers an unforgettable adventure filled with history, culture, and exploration. By following this comprehensive travel guide, international and domestic travelers can embark on a memorable journey to Egypt's dynamic capital city and immerse themselves in its timeless charm and allure. Enjoy your travels to Cairo, and may your experiences be as enriching as they are unforgettable!
Accommodation in Cairo, Egypt
Cairo, the bustling capital city of Egypt, offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury hotels overlooking the Nile River to budget-friendly hostels in vibrant neighborhoods, Cairo provides an array of choices for travelers seeking comfort, convenience, and authentic experiences. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you find the perfect accommodation for your stay in Cairo.

1. Luxury Hotels:
Cairo boasts several luxurious hotels renowned for their opulent amenities, impeccable service, and stunning views of the city skyline or the Nile River. Some popular luxury hotels include:

  • Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza: Located in the heart of Cairo, this five-star hotel offers elegant rooms and suites, multiple dining options, a spa, swimming pools, and panoramic views of the Nile River.
  • Ritz-Carlton Cairo: Situated in the upscale neighborhood of New Cairo, this lavish hotel features luxurious accommodations, fine dining restaurants, a world-class spa, and extensive leisure facilities.
  • The Nile Ritz-Carlton Cairo: Overlooking the Nile River and adjacent to the Egyptian Museum, this prestigious hotel offers refined accommodations, gourmet dining options, a spa, and a rooftop pool with panoramic views of Cairo.

2. Mid-Range Hotels:
Travelers seeking comfortable accommodations at more affordable rates will find numerous mid-range hotels throughout Cairo. These hotels typically offer well-appointed rooms, modern amenities, and convenient locations. Some options include:

  • Le Meridien Cairo Airport: Ideal for travelers requiring proximity to Cairo International Airport, this hotel offers stylish rooms, a fitness center, restaurants, and complimentary airport shuttle services.
  • Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir: Located near downtown Cairo and major attractions such as Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum, this hotel offers comfortable rooms, dining options, a rooftop pool, and easy access to public transportation.
  • Mercure Cairo Le Sphinx Hotel: Situated near the Pyramids of Giza, this hotel provides comfortable accommodations, a pool, restaurants, and stunning views of the pyramids from select rooms.

3. Budget Accommodation:
For budget-conscious travelers, Cairo offers a variety of affordable accommodation options, including hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels. These establishments provide basic amenities and are often located in lively neighborhoods. Some budget-friendly choices include:

  • Downtown Cairo Hostel: Located in the vibrant downtown area, this hostel offers dormitory and private rooms, free Wi-Fi, a communal kitchen, and a social atmosphere perfect for meeting fellow travelers.
  • Wake Up! Cairo Hostel: Situated in the historic district of Islamic Cairo, this hostel offers budget-friendly accommodations, a rooftop terrace with views of the city, and easy access to attractions such as Khan El Khalili market and Al-Azhar Mosque.
  • Isis Hotel 2: Conveniently located near Cairo's downtown area and public transportation, this budget hotel offers simple yet comfortable rooms, complimentary breakfast, and friendly service.

Important Tips:
  • Book accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your preferred choice and rates.
  • Consider factors such as location, proximity to attractions, transportation options, and included amenities when choosing accommodation.
  • Research guest reviews and ratings on booking websites or travel forums to ensure the quality and reliability of your chosen accommodation.
  • Be mindful of local customs and hotel policies regarding dress code, tipping, and other cultural considerations.

Whether you're seeking luxury, comfort, or budget-friendly options, Cairo offers a diverse array of accommodation choices to suit every traveler's needs. By considering your preferences, budget, and desired location, you can find the perfect place to stay and make the most of your time exploring the enchanting city of Cairo, Egypt. Enjoy your stay!
Money & Currency in Egypt
Understanding the currency and money-related matters is essential for travelers visiting Egypt. The official currency of Egypt is the Egyptian Pound (EGP), denoted by the symbol "£" or "E£". Here's a comprehensive guide to money and currency in Egypt to help you navigate your finances during your travels.

1. Currency Denominations:
The Egyptian Pound is divided into smaller units, including:
  • Piastres (or Qirsh): 100 piastres make up 1 Egyptian Pound. Piastre coins are commonly used for small transactions.
  • Banknotes: Egyptian Pound banknotes come in various denominations, including E£1, E£5, E£10, E£20, E£50, E£100, and E£200.

2. Currency Exchange:
It's advisable to exchange currency upon arrival in Egypt for the most favorable rates. Here are some currency exchange options:

  • Banks: Banks in Egypt offer currency exchange services, and you can exchange major foreign currencies such as US Dollars, Euros, British Pounds, and others. Banks are typically open from Sunday to Thursday, with limited hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Exchange Offices: Exchange offices, known as "forex bureaus" or "exchange bureaus," are widely available in tourist areas, major cities, and airports. Compare exchange rates and fees before conducting currency exchange.
  • ATMs: ATMs are abundant in Egypt's urban centers and tourist areas. They accept major international credit and debit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro. Withdrawals are usually in Egyptian Pounds, and you may incur foreign transaction fees from your bank.

3. Payment Methods:
Cash is the primary form of payment in Egypt, especially for small transactions, market purchases, and transportation fares. However, larger establishments, hotels, and restaurants in tourist areas may accept credit cards. Here's what you need to know:

  • Credit Cards: Major credit cards like Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in upscale hotels, restaurants, shops, and larger establishments. However, smaller vendors and establishments may prefer cash.
  • ATM Withdrawals: Use ATMs to withdraw cash in Egyptian Pounds for convenience. Ensure your debit or credit card has a four-digit PIN, as this is typically required for ATM transactions in Egypt.

4. Tipping Culture:
Tipping, or "baksheesh," is customary in Egypt for various services. Here are some tipping guidelines:

  • Restaurants: A service charge may be included in the bill at upscale restaurants. If not, a tip of around 10-15% of the total bill is appreciated.
  • Tour Guides and Drivers: It's customary to tip tour guides, drivers, and other service providers in the tourism industry. The amount can vary depending on the service provided and your satisfaction.
  • Porters and Hotel Staff: Tip hotel staff, porters, and housekeeping for their services. A small amount of E£10-20 is customary.

5. Safety and Security:
Exercise caution when carrying and exchanging money to avoid theft or scams. Use reputable exchange offices, banks, and ATMs, especially in tourist areas. Keep your cash and valuables secure and be vigilant in crowded or touristy places.

By familiarizing yourself with Egypt's currency and money matters, you can navigate financial transactions with ease during your travels. Whether exchanging currency, using ATMs, or tipping for services, understanding local customs and practices will enhance your experience in this fascinating country. Enjoy your time exploring the wonders of Egypt!
Local Sights and Famous Places in Cairo, Egypt
Cairo, the sprawling capital city of Egypt, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and iconic landmarks. From ancient pyramids and temples to bustling markets and Islamic architecture, Cairo offers a wealth of experiences for travelers. Here's a comprehensive guide to some of the must-visit sights and famous places in Cairo:

1. Giza Plateau:
  • Pyramids of Giza: One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Pyramids of Giza are a timeless symbol of Egypt's ancient civilization. Explore the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafre, the Pyramid of Menkaure, and the iconic Sphinx, all set against the backdrop of the desert landscape.

2. Egyptian Museum:
  • Egyptian Museum: Located in Tahrir Square, the Egyptian Museum is home to an extensive collection of ancient artifacts, including treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamun, mummies, statues, and royal jewelry. Don't miss the iconic golden mask of Tutankhamun and the Royal Mummy Room.

3. Islamic Cairo:
  • Khan El Khalili Bazaar: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Cairo's oldest market, Khan El Khalili. Explore narrow alleyways filled with shops selling spices, jewelry, textiles, and traditional crafts. Don't forget to haggle for souvenirs and enjoy a cup of mint tea at a local café.
  • Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan: Marvel at the architectural grandeur of this medieval mosque and madrassa complex, built in the 14th century. Admire the intricate stone carvings, towering minarets, and spacious courtyard, reflecting the splendor of Islamic architecture.

4. Citadel of Saladin:
  • Citadel of Saladin: Perched atop a hill overlooking Cairo, the Citadel of Saladin is a historic fortress that offers panoramic views of the city. Explore the Citadel's mosques, palaces, and museums, including the impressive Mosque of Muhammad Ali with its distinctive domes and minarets.

5. Coptic Cairo:
  • Hanging Church: Visit the Hanging Church, one of Cairo's oldest Coptic churches, dating back to the 3rd century AD. Admire its beautiful wooden iconostasis, intricate frescoes, and ancient artifacts, reflecting Egypt's Christian heritage.
  • Coptic Museum: Discover the rich history of Egypt's Coptic Christian community at the Coptic Museum, which houses a vast collection of religious artifacts, manuscripts, and artwork spanning centuries.

6. Nile River:
  • Nile River Cruises: Experience the magic of the Nile River with a scenic cruise aboard a traditional felucca or a luxurious dinner cruise. Sail past Cairo's skyline and iconic landmarks while enjoying breathtaking views and onboard entertainment.

7. Al-Azhar Park:
  • Al-Azhar Park: Escape the hustle and bustle of Cairo at Al-Azhar Park, a lush green oasis in the heart of the city. Stroll through landscaped gardens, enjoy panoramic views of historic Cairo, and relax in shaded pavilions overlooking tranquil ponds.

8. Old Cairo Gates:
  • Bab Zuweila: Step back in time at Bab Zuweila, one of Cairo's ancient gates dating back to the 11th century. Climb to the top of the gate for sweeping views of Old Cairo and explore the surrounding historic neighborhood.

Cairo's local sights and famous places offer a captivating journey through Egypt's rich history, culture, and architectural wonders. Whether marveling at the Pyramids of Giza, exploring Islamic Cairo's labyrinthine streets, or cruising along the Nile River, Cairo promises an unforgettable adventure for travelers seeking to uncover the mysteries of the ancient world.
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