Practical A to Z
Practical A to Z
- Eating out
- Embassies and consulates
- Getting around
- Public holidays
Different taxes are added onto the bill, which is invariably higher than expected. Always check your bill.
Lunch is served from 1-2pm and dinner from 8-9pm; some restaurants stay open in the afternoon.
The voltage in Egypt is 220 volts, but the sockets are for standard European two-pin plugs, however adaptors can be easily purchased.
Embassies and consulates
British Embassy – 7 Ahmed Ragheb Street - Cairo - t 202 27916000 - fax 202 2791 6133 - http://ukinegypt.fco.gov.uk/en/
British Consulate-General – 3 Mina Street - Alexandria - t 203 5467001
Irish Embassy – 22 Hassan Assem St - Zamalek Cairo - t 202 2735 8264 - email@example.com
The traditional sailboat of the Nile is an extremely picturesque means of transport, particularly at Aswan.
Shared taxis, microbus
Extremely cheap and very practical means of transport.
Also see Know before you go.
Avian influenza is endemic in Egypt: avoid cattle markets, farms and zoos, wash your hands often and avoid eating raw or undercooked food. Schistosomiasis is a serious disease that can be caught by swimming in freshwater, such as the Nile delta and valley, and more rarely in oases.
Food and water
Only drink mineral water and always refuse ice cubes. Opt for well-cooked rather than raw foods and don’t eat too many salads. Never eat or buy peeled fruit. Be wary of ice creams and sorbets.
Police – t 122
Tourist police – t 126
Ambulances – t 123
Fire brigade – t 125.
The Egyptian pound (£) (guineh in Arabic) is subdivided into 100 piasters (pt), (‘irsh in Arabic).
Banks / Exchange
Banks are open Sunday to Thursday from 8am-2pm (1.30pm during Ramadan). Opening hours are more flexible in urban conglomerations.
Exchange offices: 9am-3pm and 6-10pm. Many are often closed on Fridays before 1.30pm and on Saturdays.
Credit cards are rarely accepted and almost never in oases. Visa and Master Card are the most widespread.
Traveller’s cheques are the safest way to convert your currency into cash. A small commission may be charged.
ATMs are widely available in and around large hotels and in large towns. Commission fees can be high.
Tips and Bakchich
Tipping (bakchich) is a way of life in Egypt. Always keep a few pounds handy.
Comfortable double room: £100-150
Decent lunch: £50
A light snack in a small restaurant: £20
Egyptian museum: £60 + £100 to see the mummies
Pyramid of Giza: £100
Fixed public holidays
7 January – Coptic Christmas
19 January – Epiphany
March-April – Coptic Easter
Same day as Easter Monday – Cham en-Nessim (spring festival)
25 April – Liberation of Sinai Day
1 May – Labour Day
23 July – 1952 Revolution Day
6 October – Armed Forces Day
Moveable public holidays
Some religious holidays.
We recommend consulting your local Foreign Affairs websites for an update regarding possible dangers run by travellers: terrorism, explosives, piracy, etc.
Information – www.fco.gov.uk or www.dfa.ie
Shops are open from Saturday to Thursday, 9am-6pm (10pm in summertime) and on Friday after 2pm; some are closed on Sundays. During Ramadan, shops close at 3.30pm and reopen between 8-11pm. During the summer months, some shops in Cairo stay open until 2am.
Bartering is an institution in Egypt, with the exception of public transport, department stores where prices are indicated and chemists.
It is against the law to export any objects dating from the Pharaonic period.
There is no lack of arts and crafts that make wonderful holiday souvenirs, including objects made out of papyrus, copper, bronze, woven straw, blown glass, leather and marquetry, in addition to chicha pipes, rugs, djellabas or galabiyas, fine cotton fabric and jewellery, without forgetting perfumes and spices
To call Egypt from abroad
Dial 00 + 20 + regional code (without the 0) + the number of the person.
To call home from Egypt
Dial 00 + regional code (UK 44 and Ireland 353) + the number of the person (without the first 0).
Dial the area code + number of the person or just the person’s number if you are in the same town.