Tourist Etiquette You Should Know Before Going to Egypt


Egypt is one of the hottest vacation destinations in Africa for two reasons. First, it has numerous tourist attractions. While Cairo is the capital city and the most famous city in Egypt, it is not the only city with a lot of attractions. Virtually all other cities also have something to offer.

The second reason to visit Egypt is that it combines both features of Africa and the Middle East. Only few African countries offer that. However, to enjoy your vacation in Egypt, you need to understand the Egyptian culture and belief.

From Europe or America, you can get to Egypt either by air or by sea. The former is better by far in terms of comfort and speed of travel. If cost is the major constraint, there are several Airlines in Africa with cheapflights. You can check the rates of several airlines and choose the lowest one.

Now, here are a few things to have in mind when journeying to Egypt;

Egyptians love tips

As an American, this should not be a problem for you since Americans also appreciate the tips. The Egyptians also love to take tips. The taxi drivers, waiters, even locals are ready to assist you with your luggage for a tip. It is called ‘baksheesh’ in Egypt. So, you need to keep some money handy for baksheesh.

However, it is not a must if you don’t have any tip. A simple “no thank you” will do. You can also say it in their language – la shukran. In Egypt, money is often greasy, smelly, and dirty because of the number of hands it has passed through and you can’t do without handling some cash. Your best bet is to have your hand sanitizer handy.

You need to sharpen your bargaining skills

Egyptians expect that buyers of their products or services will negotiate their prices so they sometimes markup their prices. It is quite rare for two travelers to purchase the same product from the same seller at the same price at different times. The difference in their negotiating ability makes the difference.

The point is, if you buy anything without negotiating the price, you probably have bought it higher than you should. They are never annoyed with travelers pricing down their products.

No public display of affection

Egypt frowns at public display of affection so if you decide to travel with your spouse, there should be no cuddling, kissing, or even holding hands in public. Egyptian men can sometimes be naughty. They can pass loud comments when they see beautiful women. They really don’t mean to harm or embarrass you.

But if you feel embarrassed, you can just say “no” in a loud voice. This will attract attention and the men don’t like that. So, they will go away quickly. However, it is better to simply ignore them.

Cover your body and head

Egypt is an Islam country and so the citizens are governed by the tenets and rules of Islam. As a woman, you need to wear clothes that cover your body, including your shoulders and knees. No cleavage-baring dresses and no curve-accentuating dresses. It is also necessary to cover your head, especially if you are going into a mosque.

While all the tips listed above are very important, the most important one is to be very vigilant. Observe the attitudes, dresses and gestures of people around. Going in a group is your best bet. Apart from lowering the cost, the organizers will definitely give you all the necessary information about the beliefs and culture of Egyptians.

Have you been to Egypt?


About Author

Kelly Lewis is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the Women's Travel Fest and Damesly. She's an optimist, an adventurer, an author and works to help women travel the world.

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