Vacations in Egypt - travel tips and places of interest

Where is the most beautiful place in Egypt? What is the best way to get there? When is the best time to travel and what is a must-see? All questions about the Egypt vacation answered!

Egypt - the fascinating land of the pharaohs has captivated people for thousands of years. Back then, it was mainly traders, explorers and conquerors who stopped off at Egypt's dreamlike coasts. Today, sun-seeking beach vacationers and interested culture lovers enjoy the mystical-sounding destinations throughout the country. Sharm-el-Sheikh, Abu Simbel, Luxor, Giza and what they are all called offer an excellent mix of old and new, desert and sea, relaxation and amazement.


Best time to visit Egypt

Entrance to the famous temple of Luxor, built in a first form around 1400 BC and subsequently expanded over generations of rulers, Egypt - © Luka Petruši&#263 / Fotolia
© Luka Petrušić / Fotolia

Vacation in Egypt is possible all year round. For pure bathing vacations the summer months from June to October are best. Then the thermometer climbs every day far above 30°C. The sea temperature is at a fantastic 25°C and can even rise to 30°C in July and August.

In the interior of the country and on the coast of the Red Sea, however, it gets unbearably hot in the Egyptian summer with over 40°C - the subtropical desert climate sends its regards. So if you mainly want to see the country and experience the culture, you should travel to Egypt from October to May. In winter, the climate remains mild, but can get chilly at night.

The only exception is the Mediterranean coast with Alexandria, where the climate is almost European. Similar to the Nile, the humidity is higher here. The sea is only about 17°C in winter and it even rains from time to time. From July to September, however, there are fantastic bathing conditions.

Entry to Egypt

The pyramids of Giza are located in the desert of Egypt west of the Nile about 15km from Cairo - © Kanuman / Shutterstock
© Kanuman / Shutterstock

Most Egypt vacationers arrive by plane and land in one of the major cities of Cairo, Alexandria, Hurghada, Marsa Alam or Sharm El- Sheikh. The flight time from Munich to Sharm El Sheikh is 4.5 hours.

Apply for a visa for Egypt

Holidaymakers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland need a tourist visa to enter Egypt, which is usually available upon arrival at an Egyptian airport. To be on the safe side, the visa can also be applied for in advance at the Egyptian representation in the respective country (embassy or consulate).

Meanwhile it is also possible to apply for an to apply for an e-visa for Egypt. After the online application has been submitted, the visa agency takes care of the rest. The delivery takes place by e-mail.

At official visa portal of Egypt it is also possible to apply for an e-visa, but the technology here is sometimes faulty. Any fees already paid will not be refunded, and there is no possibility to complain.


Top places of interest: Where is the most beautiful place in Egypt?

Alone the fantastically preserved murals in the ancient corridors of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings must be seen, Egypt - © Jakub Kyncl / Shutterstock
© Jakub Kyncl / Shutterstock

Egypt is an absolutely impressive country with diverse attractions. The ancient empire on the Nile impresses with vast landscapes between the Sahara and the Nile, hosts traditional oasis settlements next to modern cities and lures with dreamlike beaches on the Red Sea.

Active vacationers will find perfect diving grounds, interesting national parks and meticulously maintained golf courses. But most fascinating are probably the stone legacies of the pharaohs, which are scattered all over the country.

Fascinating culture in Egypt

Almost all tombs in the Valley of the Kings are as magnificently decorated as the burial chamber of Ramses VI, Egypt - © Jakub Kyncl / Shutterstock
© Jakub Kyncl / Shutterstock

The pharaohs ruled the land on the Nile with an iron hand for millennia, creating gigantic structures that scientists still rack their brains over today. Where to begin when describing the incomparable displays of power by Egypt's godlike rulers? Of the absolute highlights of our top 10 sights of Egypt, you should have visited at least 2:

  • Pyramids of Giza: The breathtaking wonder of the ancient world is located 15km from Cairo and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Luxor: Once called Thebes, the "seat of the gods" has been adorned with massive buildings by numerous rulers over thousands of years.
  • Abu Simbel: For over 3,000 years, the monumental tomb of Ramses II and his family has risen from the bright sands of the Nubian desert.
  • Temple of Hatshepsut: Its immense dimensions and ornate paintings make the temple of Egypt's only female pharaoh worth seeing.
  • The Valley of the Kings: Here many former rulers rested in now empty burial chambers, but the oriental wall paintings are still absolutely fantastic. Among other things, the famous tomb of Tutankhamun can be seen here. 

Bathing in Egypt

If you come to Egypt for a beach vacation, you will find fantastic beaches and crystal-clear seas on the coasts of the Red Sea with pleasant temperatures all year round. The most popular beach destinations include Hurghada, Marsa Alam, El Gouna or Sharm El Sheikh on the southern tip of the Sinai peninsula. On white sand under palm trees, the impressions of the imposing Pharaonic Empire can be best absorbed.

Diving and snorkeling in Egypt

Beautiful table coral in Ras Mohammed National Park on the Sinai Peninsula in Red Sea Egypt - © Mark Doherty / Fotolia
© Mark Doherty / Fotolia

The first address to explore the underwater world on Egypt's coast is also the Red Sea. Diving in Egypt is possible all year round with sea temperatures from 21°C to 28°C and visibility from 20 to 50 meters.

The warm water nurtures a dazzling coral world that is no match for the Mediterranean. Snorkelers will also find colorful coral reefs at the beach resorts just mentioned, which attract sharks, dolphins, rays and turtles in addition to schools of fish. The Ras Mohammed National Park near Sharm El Sheikh is one of the most beautiful diving spots in the world!

Marsa Alam is an insider tip for divers, those who want to meet sharks can try their luck in Hurghada or at Elphinstone Reef. Between June and September reef sharks, hammerheads, tiger sharks and even whale sharks can be observed best!

Egypt Travel Routes Tips

If you want to get to know Egypt, you should not just stay in one place! All common tour operators offer round trips in Egypt and in the big local hotels you can get information about the most beautiful destinations in the area. The following itineraries are recommended for vacationing in Egypt:

  • Nile cruise with subsequent bathing stay at the Red Sea
  • Base camp Aswan with the famous dam for exploring Luxor and Abu Simbel .
  • Cairo with the pyramids of Giza and after a side trip to Luxor for swimming to El Quseir or Hurghada
  • Base camp Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh with excursions to desert camps or dive spots in the area

Egypt FAQs

View of Abu Simbel, a monumental rock temple built as a memorial to Pharaoh Ramses II over 3,000 years ago, Egypt - © TanArt / Fotolia
© TanArt / Fotolia

Even though Egypt is a popular vacation destination among Europeans, the culture in northern Africa is anything but European and may hold some surprises. Here are the most important travel tips:

Can you pay with the Euro in Egypt?

No. Euros and US dollars are accepted in some major hotels and restaurants, but it is cheaper to pay in Egyptian pounds (EGP). It is also cheaper to change Euros into Egyptian Pounds at Egyptian exchange offices than at European banks. So it pays to have a certain amount of cash in the local currency.

Do you tip in Egypt?

In the truest sense of the word, "baksheesh" is on everyone's lips in Egypt. After many a hotel employee's salary barely covers their living expenses, many rely on tips ("baksheesh"). As a rule of thumb:

  • For luggage carriers 1 EGP per suitcase
  • For room cleaning 3-5 EGP per day
  • In the restaurant 10-20% of the invoice amount

The low income is also the reason that some traders or begging children can be quite pushy. In any case, politely but firmly refuse and do not let yourself be talked into anything! Especially children should not be successful at begging, otherwise they are guaranteed to be sent to the tourist hot spots rather than to school.

Why do so many vacationers in Egypt have diarrhea?

In Egypt, due to the high temperatures and partly inadequate hygiene, E. coli bacteria are primarily responsible for gastrointestinal problems. They are primarily found in drinking water, on raw fruit and vegetables or undercooked meat. The following measures can reduce the risk of the Pharaoh's Curse:

  • Consume eggs and meat only well cooked
  • Give up street food, ice cubes and leafy salad
  • I'd rather have packaged ice cream on a stick than scoop ice cream in a cone
  • Drink only water bottled in sealable bottles and not tap water
  • For fruits and vegetables, the rule is: cook it, peel it, or forget it.
  • Regularly and thoroughly wash hands with soap
  • Lime juice is said to have a preventive effect

If, despite all precautions, an infection should occur, the medicines brought along are unfortunately of no use in most cases. To use the words of an Egyptian doctor: "You have German medicine for German diarrhea. But you need Egyptian medicine against Egyptian diarrhea." Therefore, in the case of severe symptoms, it is essential to seek treatment locally or visit a pharmacy, so that the rest of the Egyptian vacation can still be enjoyed to the fullest.