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AT A GLANCE From world-class diving opportunities to ancient ruins and the Great Pyramid of Giza the only remaining

g Wonder of the Ancient World - Egypt is a destination that has so much to offer. The multitude of sandy beaches is ideal for those seeking a stereotypical beach resort. In Cairo, holidaymakers can find out more about Egypts ancient civilisations at the Egyptian museum, whilst the tombs and temples of Luxor and Aswan allow you to live the history yourself. WHEN TO GO October through to April is the best time to visit Egypt. However if you dont mind the heat you could consider travelling during the summer months when flights tend to be cheaper. Temperatures at this time can reach a sweltering 37. When going to Egypt you may wish to consider the holy month of Ramadan. The dates of Ramadan change from year to year and although tourists are not expected to fast during the month, they may find that fewer businesses and restaurants are open during the day. Weather Winter: November through to April is the winter season in Egypt. Temperatures can drop as low as 13 in the cool months of January and February. Nights in the desert areas will be particularly cold during this period, so wrap up warm if youre heading into the Sahara. In April, Egypt is subject to strong winds and the Khamsin Wind can bring dust and debris into the resort. Summer: Egypt only has two seasons - summer and winter - and summer comes from May through to October. Temperatures can reach up to a simmering 33 Celsius in May rising to a sweltering 37 Celsius in August.

THINGS TO DO Egypt is a destination with something to offer everyone from family attractions in the resort of Sharm el Sheikh to historical relics in Cairo. Here are some of the top things to see and do in Egypt. Attractions The Pyramids of Giza: Just a short drive from Cairo is the worlds only remaining Ancient Wonder Egyptian Museum: Beat the crowds in Cairo for a glimpse of Tutankhamuns death mask Karnak Temple: One of the most impressive temples in Egypt found in Luxor

Red Sea Reefs: Coral reefs and tropical fish can be found in abundance in Sharm el Sheikh Valley of the Kings: Discover Tutankhamuns ancient tomb in Luxors outskirts Abu Simbel: Features two large rock-hewn temples on the banks of Lake Nasser Siwa Oasis: A Berber settlement in the heart of the Libyan Desert with mud-brick houses Mount Sinai: The mountain where Moses received the ten commandments from God Luxor Temple: A sandstone temple with an Avenue of Sphinx

Nightlife Egypt is predominately a Muslim country and as such isnt known for its bustling nightlife. In some of the main tourist resorts, such as Sharm el Sheikh, which locals are unable to access, holidaymakers will find a more vibrant night scene. However, in Egypts major cities the nightlife is there albeit rather limited. Locals tend to hang out in coffee shops where they can smoke shisha until the early hours: Pacha: The international brand has a bar in Sharm featuring top class DJs Camel Dive Bar: Sports and live music in this Sharm bar. Try the camel burger! Ministry of Sound: This Hurghada nightspot attracts hundreds of holidaymakers Hed Kandi: Sells the best cocktails in Hurghada and attracts top DJs Absolute: A Nile Side Club in Cairo plays an Arabic take on techno music Bliss: Located on the lower deck of a boat this Cairo nightclub is a lot of fun El Morocco: Elegant dcor makes this Cairo club a hit with locals and tourists alike

Activities in Egypt Whilst Egypt is a country with plenty to see, the more adventurous travellers will find that its also a destination with plenty of activities. Whether you want to seek out the best snorkelling spots in the country or are looking for something to entertain the children, one things certain - youll never be bored in Egypt:

Windsurfing: A popular pursuit particularly in the region of Dahab Snorkelling: The Red Sea Region is ideal for snorkelling amongst the coral reefs Felucca Rides: Take a trip down the Nile on a Felucca, a traditional broad-sailed boat Theme Parks: Entertain the kids at Dr Ragabs Pharaonic Village in Cairo Horseriding: Holidaymakers can also go traditional in Cairo and ride camels and donkeys Jeep Safari: Explore the Nuweiban Desert and Coloured Canyon on a jeep safari ATV Riding: Take a ride out into the Saharan Desert from Sharm el Sheikh Diving: Egypt contains many wonderful dive sites particularly in Ras Mohammed Kayaking: In Dahab, canoes and kayaks can be rented to explore a freshwater lake

Images: Karnak Temple by EvilJohnius / Abu Simbel by MrSnooks / Luxor Temple by Bernt Rostad

SHOPPING In Egypt, shopping is a mixture of old and new and tourists can choose between shopping for traditional goods in the old souks and browsing modern fashions in air-conditioned malls. Shopping Areas: Cairo: Holidaymakers can browse for handmade goods and shop designer fashions Alexandria: Traditional markets and modern shopping malls stand together in Alexandria Luxor: Souvenirs and Alabaster items remain popular in this cruise ship destination Sharm el Sheikh: Shop for snorkelling gear and European brands Souks: Khan el Khalili: Egypts most prominent souk can be found in the countrys capital Ibrahimiyya: Alexandrias main souk sells fresh food and ingredients to a local population Bedouin Market: In Al Arish the Bedouin arrive from the desert to sell silverware and jewellery Hanafi Bazaar: Pick up authentic Nubian swords in Aswan and beads from throughout Africa

Shopping Centres: Arkadia Mall: Cairos largest mall has an arcade on the top floor and a food court San Stefano Mall: Alexandrias largest mall contains all the latest designer fashions Green Plaza Mall: Alexandrias older mall will appeal to children with a funfair and bowling alley

Image: Khan el Khalili by Archer10

FOOD & DRINK Traditional Egyptian food is based around beans and pulses, with chickpeas and sesame seeds featuring heavily. Most restaurants will serve hummus and pitta bread alongside Egyptian favourites such as roasted pigeon stuffed with wheat, kofta kebabs and the national dish, ful mudammas (beans in a garlicky sauce). Fussy eaters will find plenty of fast food restaurants such as McDonalds and KFC throughout Egypt, particularly in holiday resorts such as Sharm el Sheikh. Popular Egypt Hotspots: Cairo: Sample the fresh street food in Khan el Khalili Souk or seek out authentic restaurants Alexandria: Seafood is popular in this Mediterranean city. Locals eat it fried or grilled Sharm el Sheikh: Fast food and chain restaurants dominate this holiday resort Aswan: Afternoon tea at the Old Cataract Hotel is a favourite past time in this area
Image: Stuffed Pigeon by Plusgood

CULTURE & ETIQUETTE Whether youre visiting Cairo or Sharm el Sheikh, its important to remember that Egypt is a Muslim country. Holidaymakers should take care to respect the beliefs of their hosts and abstain from showing signs of affection with a partner when out in public. If travelling during the holy month of Ramadan which changes from year to year, tourists should avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public. Men and women will need to dress conservatively, ideally covering their arms and legs when out of the beach areas. Women will need to wear a headscarf if visiting a mosque and both sexes will need to remove their shoes and avoid pointing their feet towards the direction of Mecca. Useful Phrases Marharban Hello Do you speak English? hal tatakallam al ingliziya? Please write it down uktubha min fadlak Thank you shukran

Dos and Donts Do cover up and wear a headdress when visiting a mosque Dont forget to haggle on the price when shopping in the souks Do try some traditional shisha Dont use your left hand to eat food, this is the hand used for personal hygiene Do get out of the main resorts and head off the beaten track Dont forget to charge your camera there are many sites to see Do get your name spelt out in hieroglyphics its a tourist must Dont accept random invitations on the streets to go to a merchants shop Do avoid drinking tap water and eating salad or vegetables that may have been washed in it

Tipping Baksheesh or tipping is part of the culture in Egypt. Restaurants will normally add a 10-12% service charge on the bill; however it is customary to leave 5% more if you received good service. For hotel porters, tip 3 LE (Egyptian Pounds) per bag. Housekeeping staff are usually given 5-10 LE per night, and taxi drivers should be tipped 10% of the journey. When using public restrooms, hand the staff 1 LE, unless you believe that the toilet has not been kept to an acceptable standard.
Image: Egyptian pounds by EmiemHuimei

TRANSPORT Getting around Egypt is relatively easy. However, if you do rent a car, there are some parts of the country where foreigners are not advised to travel. Avoid the North Sinai region and check the FCO website for current advice on travel in Egypt. Getting Around Boats: The best way to travel between Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh. The countrys Nile Cruises are a great way to get around the southern Nile region of Egypt Buses: An extensive network runs between all major cities in Egypt Train: Egypts train network needs modernisation but works well between Cairo and Alexandria and from Cairo to Luxor Air: EgyptAir runs domestic flights between Egypts main cities Taxis: The official taxis are blue and white in Sharm el Sheikh and black and yellow in Cairo, arrange a price in advance Airports: Egypt has 30 airports. The 13 major airports are at: Luxor, Alexandria, Sohag, Taba, Port Said, Marsa Alam, Hurghada, Sharm el Sheikh, Borg el Arab, Cairo, Abu Simbel, Assiut, Aswan

Fare Information Taxis: A 15 minute journey in a taxi will cost about 20 LE


Image: Taxi by Jonworth-EU

HEALTH & SAFETY British Embassy in Egypt Foreign and Commonwealth Office Emergency numbers: Police: 123 Ambulance: 122 Fire Brigade: 180