Egypt welcomes you with its mighty Nile and magnificent monuments, the beguiling desert and lush delta, and with its long past and welcoming, story-loving people.
Visa to Egypt to American Citizens can be obtained at the airport for the amount of $25.
Small notes (1, 5, 10) are like gold in Egypt! You pretty much tip everyone who looks at you, so you will need a good supply of small notes handy. Wages are criminally low so Egyptians rely on tips from foreigners and locals alike, so stock up on the small notes.
Also, it’s very, very difficult to get change so try and get as much as you can before arriving.
At Restaurants: The tip is included in the bill; add 5–10 percent above that.
At Hotels: One to two dollars a day for the housekeeper (pay throughout your stay to ensure great cleaning); $1 per bag for the porter; concierges are powerful and very helpful, so $10–$20 at the beginning of your stay will go far.
U.S. dollars are always accepted as tips.
Our suggestions for daily tipping are the following:
Drivers: $ 2.00 to $ 5.00
Tour Guide: $ 10.00 to $ 20.00
House Keepers: $ 2.00
Porters: $ 1.00 per luggage
No surprise here; avoid tap water and only drink bottled water. Clean your teeth with bottled or boiled water, and avoid unpeeled fruits and vegetables. The real tip though for water is to remember to take it with you everywhere. Each and every time you leave your hotel room or cruise ship, grab a bottle.
Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country; however, they are pretty relaxed and accepting of other cultures and religions. Relying heavily on tourism, Egypt values its visitors and does not expect everyone to do everything their way. Skirts, shorts, sleeveless tops, and dresses are all acceptable within reason; just avoid anything too short or too low cut. For your sightseeing and day trips from Cairo – wear flat, comfortable, closed-toe shoes – there’s a lot of sand to walk on in Egypt!
If you are a beer drinker – beware! Due to the heat, the beer in Egypt has loads of preservatives which can, unfortunately, have a laxative effect. There is one brand called Sakkara which is preservative free, so we suggest you stick to this one.
The biggies to look out for are Papyrus, Alabaster/granite, gold and Egyptian cotton.
No matter where you are, or who they are, do not ever give your camera to someone else to take a photo for you – it will cost you dearly to get it back. If you want your photo taken somewhere, ask your guide or a fellow traveler, not the tourist police, not the temple staff, not the friendly camel owner and definitely not the guy with the Pharaoh head-dress who appears out of nowhere ‘my friend’. This is the scam you need to be aware of, so exercise some common sense and don’t hand over any valuables to complete strangers.