WANDER IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE PHARAOHS
Egypt is one of the most mysterious countries on the planet and had been on my bucket list for years. When I was a kid I used to be fascinated with the history of Ancient Egypt and I even had a book from which I tried to learn the hieroglyphic language. It’s safe to say my language skills weren’t really up to speed but until this day it fascinates me a lot.
Packed with history this country will amaze you from start to finish. From catching your first glimpse of the sky high pyramids to the many temples that until this day have incredible intricate details. There’s so much culture and history to explore and you can even go for a relaxing holiday by the Red Sea.
And while the main sights in Egypt are absolutely mesmerizing it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns when you’re visiting Egypt as a woman. Especially as a woman with fair skin and light hair. In these guides I’ll share my full experiences which means the good and the bad.
I’ve had a wonderful time exploring Egypt but I was also very happy to return back home. Me and my friend planned this trip entirely ourselves and maybe that’s where the problem lies. I would suggest that you look into a tour group and this way you won’t be bothered as much by the local men.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT EGYPT
Egypt is a desert country so during the Summer months it can get incredibly toasty during the day. I visited during September and I have to say that at times it got way too hot for me to explore comfortably. If you have the possibility to plan your trip around the weather and not school holidays then you’ll want to go from October until April.
Do take into account that December and January are the peak months and you’ll face long lines at the popular tourist attractions. Hotel and resort prices will also be a lot higher and it will require you to plan a lot more from before.
If a little heat doesn’t bother you then the summer months might actually be the ideal time to visit. There are little to no other tourists and most temples open up in the early morning. Do know that during the day the temperature can rise up until 40°C but this is also the best time to go for a relaxing holiday by the Red Sea.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN TRAVELING TO EGYPT
Language – There are several languages spoken in Egypt, but the primary language is Egyptian Arabic, also known as Masri/Masry. Around the touristic sights most people will be able to assist you in English.
Currency – The official currency of Egypt is the Egyptian Pound (EGP) and the 1 EGP is the equivalent of €0,053.
Credit cards & ATM’s – You’ll be able to pay by credit card in the bigger shops and resorts but when it comes to local restaurants it’s best to ask from before if they accept payment by card. There are banks and ATM’s in the touristic cities but none in the more rural areas. Make sure to keep that in mind and carry enough cash with you if you’re going somewhere on a day trip.
Safety – Generally speaking Egypt is a safe country but there are certain things you need to be aware of, especially as a woman. Catcalling is very common and I realized very quickly that Egyptian man don’t take no for an answer. I was followed on multiple occasions and was happy I wasn’t traveling solo. I’ve heard other and more positive stories from fellow travelers but they often went with an organized tour or private guide. I don’t often recommend traveling like this but in Egypt I really do!
TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST VISIT TO EGYPT
Don’t drink tap water – Make sure to only drink bottled water to avoid getting sick.
Dresscode – Egypt is a rather conservative country so make sure not to wear anything too revealing. I usually stick to flowy midi and maxi dresses combined with All Stars or sandals.
Meat vs. Vegetarian – There are a couple of delicious options for vegetarians but most dishes do come with meat.
Catcalling – It will happen, that you can be sure of. The best thing to do is to not make eye contact and to simply keep on walking. They’ll keep following you for a while but in the end they will stop.
Scams – There are plenty of tourist scams and a lot of them involve acting like an official tour guide when in reality they are not. That’s why I advise you to go with a pre organized tour or hire a private guide. You’ll avoid a lot of hassle and you won’t end up paying hidden fees to scam artists.
Baksheesh – Something very typical is people will try to get money from you in every way possible. They will offer to carry your luggage 2 meters further or simply place it on a boat and they will greedily hold out their hand, expecting a tip in return. This to me felt very weird cause I didn’t ask for this service, they offered it and it was something I could have easily done myself. I always refused and from then on simply carried my luggage myself. This of course resulted in angry looks and some of those men even shouting at me.
Not all Egyptians are the same – This is actually the sad part, a lot of them are honest and very hard working. But those that lurk around the tourist attractions and the most popular places… well let’s just say I started shouting in the middle of the street more than once just because I was so fed up.