Imposing pyramids glistening in the golden desert sun – these are the images most of us have in mind when we think of Egypt. But the Northeast African country has much more to offer: ancient sites, a thousand-year history and breathtaking coastal regions on the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.
Unsurprisingly, Egypt, along with Spain, Turkey, Greece and Portugal, is one of the five most popular foreign travel destinations in 2022 according to travel portal “Holidaycheck”.
So that you can really enjoy your vacation in Egypt and not forget anything important, we have compiled the most important tips, information and offers for your trip.
You should keep this in mind when booking
With a total area of 1,002,000 square kilometers, Egypt is nearly three times the size of Germany. Before booking your trip, you should therefore think carefully about what is particularly important to you on your dream trip.
Would you like to relax comfortably on the beach? Then you are looking for tour packages or accommodation in coastal cities such as Hurghada, Marsa Alam or Sharm el-Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula.
Most of the pyramids, on the other hand, are located south of the capital Cairo and can therefore only be reached after a very long drive from the holiday resorts of Hurghada or Marsa Alam. So, if you want to discover Egypt’s culture and exciting past, you’ve come to the right place in the region around Cairo.
If you are looking for a change and want to discover as much of the land of the pharaohs as possible, you can book a return trip.
Before booking, you should check the Federal Foreign Office website about the security situation at your destination in Egypt. As a German citizen, you need a visa to enter Germany. If you book a tour package, sometimes the visa is already included in the price.
Otherwise, you can apply for your visa before your trip online or at the Egyptian Embassy in Berlin or the Consulates General in Frankfurt and Hamburg. The costs are currently 22 euros. Alternatively, you can purchase the visa at the official bank counters upon arrival at the airport.
So expensive is the holiday in Egypt 2022
In recent years, a vacation to Egypt was considered relatively inexpensive. In 2022, however, prices will rise significantly. According to “Holidaycheck”, they are on average 27% above the level before the start of the pandemic. While in 2019 you could still count on an average of 78 euros per person per day, it is now 99 euros.
Reasons for this include tighter hotel availability due to crown-related defaults, staff shortages in the service area, and higher flight prices due to rising oil prices. Many organizers have also expanded their services, for example for crown protection.
The travel portal “Holidaycheck” therefore advises vacationers to book as soon as possible. Prices have increased in almost all destinations since the beginning of the year. At the beginning of March, for example, a vacation package in Hurghada for a family cost around 360 euros more than at the beginning of the year.
If you are flexible, you can also speculate on a last minute season. “If tourists from Russia stay away this year, it could be that Turkey and Egypt will lower their prices again in the short term,” says Christoph Heinzmann, tourism expert at “Holidaycheck”.
Best travel time for holidays in Egypt 2022
95 percent of Egypt’s land surface is covered with deserts. The climate is extremely dry and very hot. In the summer months, the desert thermometer can reach 50 degrees. In winter, however, at night temperatures sometimes drop to zero degrees.
If you are planning a desert tour, we recommend the months March to May and September to November as the best travel times.
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The climate on the Red Sea is milder than inland. Even in summer, temperatures in Hurghada and the surrounding seaside resorts rarely exceed 35 degrees and the sea breeze provides a pleasant cooling.
The Mediterranean coast also offers hot summers, in Alexandria or Port Said in northern Egypt you can expect temperatures of around 30 degrees Celsius during the day. In winter, temperatures range from a mild eight to 20 degrees.
The summer months between April and November therefore offer the best climate for a beach holiday on the coasts. If you want to avoid crowded beaches and hotels, it’s best to fly to the Red Sea in spring between mid-March and April.
Getting to Egypt: These options are available
You can travel directly to Egypt from various airports such as Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt or Cologne. Many airlines fly to Hurghada, Luxor, Cairo, Sharm el-Sheikh or Marsa Alam several times a day. The journey takes four to seven hours. For example, it takes four hours and five minutes to travel from Frankfurt am Main to Cairo.
There is no direct rail link with Egypt. However, within the country there is a railway network of over 7,000 kilometers managed by the Egyptian State Railways (ENR). You can use it, for example, to drive from the capital Cairo to the Mediterranean metropolis of Alexandria or travel south along the fields along the Nile.
In theory it is possible to arrive by car. However, the Federal Foreign Office advises against it, among other things because the principles and regulations of the highway code are rarely observed. Also, fuel supply is not guaranteed in all areas of Egypt.
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Special experiences for vacation in Egypt
You certainly won’t get bored on your vacation in Egypt, as the country has a lot of variety to offer. You will find cultural highlights especially inland along the Nile. Water sports enthusiasts can expect perfect wind and water conditions and an exciting underwater world on the shores of the Red Sea.
Pyramids of Giza
The pyramids of Giza are famous all over the world. They are among humanity’s most important and oldest surviving structures and are the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that is still preserved today. So it’s no wonder that around three million people visit them every year.
The buildings are located approximately 15 kilometers from central Cairo, at the western end of the Nile Valley. Numerous organizers offer day trips to the pyramids. You can discover the burial chambers in the pyramids, visit the great Sphinx and, of course, take lots of holiday photos.
If you are looking for a real adrenaline rush, you shouldn’t miss a fast paced quad bike safari. No previous knowledge is required for this, after a short test drive, visitors aged 16 and over can whistle over the sand dunes. A visit to the Bedouins is often part of quad biking tours.
Boat trip on the Nile
Another highlight: Experience Egypt from the Nile. The river is considered the country’s lifeline. From the ship you can discover places like the Tombs of the Kings in the Valley of the Kings and the Luxor Temple along the shore.
In addition to the large cruise ships, there are also traditional sailboats with few cabins on the Nile, on which you can enjoy a multi-day trip in peace and away from the tourist crowds.
If you prefer to stay in the water rather than on the surface, a diving excursion in the Red Sea is recommended. The colorful underwater world attracts divers from all over the world. Many hotels on the coast have their own reefs, so you can experience colorful fish, dolphins, manatees, and coral without a boat trip.
These are the most beautiful beaches in Egypt
Those who prefer to kick back and relax on the beach instead of sightseeing and action will find what they are looking for in Egypt, especially on the Red Sea.
Egypt’s largest seaside resort is particularly popular Hurghada with its white beaches and turquoise waters. The hotels are mostly located directly on the sea and often have their own sections of the beach, which only guests with special wristbands have access to.
But there are also many free beaches where it is possible to take a sun bed, umbrella and service for a small fee.
The luxury beach is located about 20 kilometers north of Hurghada El Gouna beach. Here you will find artificially created lagoons and fine sandy beaches, especially for the most demanding tourists.
One of the most beautiful beaches in Egypt is also there Dahab beach on the southeastern coast of the Sinai Peninsula. The name Dahab means gold in Arabic, because gold was washed from the desert mountains. Today it blends perfectly with the beach of fine, golden sand.
Everything from windsurfing to wakeboarding to banana boating is offered at numerous water sports schools. If you like snorkeling, you can discover the well-preserved coral reefs in the clear water.
If you prefer to escape the tourist crowds, you will find the Bay of the fjord near Taba a real dream beach. It is secluded in the Sinai Mountains, which rise steeply into the Gulf of Aqaba. The bay near Taba is also ideal for snorkeling and diving.
This is what characterizes Egyptian cuisine
The history of Egypt has not only left its mark on the landscape, but also on the cuisine. Between 1517 and 1798 the town belonged to the Ottoman Empire. Strictly speaking, there is no Egyptian cuisine these days. On the other hand, Turkish, Lebanese, Greek and Syrian traditions meet in the dishes.
The main ingredients are piadina, beef and veal, as well as legumes, rice and various vegetables.
The national dish of Egypt is called kushari and consists of rice, noodles and lentils, which are usually mixed with some kind of tomato sauce and ground beef. Food is cheap to produce and therefore particularly appreciated by the less affluent population.
Classic dishes also include shawarma, grilled meat served in a flatbread, and ta’mīya, the Egyptian form of falafel. A must for any meat lover is kofta, grilled minced meat skewers. Halva, for example, is a dessert made from sesame paste.
Contrary to German eating habits, there are no classic three meals a day in Egypt. During the fasting period of Ramadan, a large part of the Muslim population abstains from meals even after sunrise and before sunset.
Tourists usually don’t notice much, as most hotels have adapted to European eating habits.