Egypt has always been a popular holiday destination for many tourists. Yet, there are parts of the country that are not always safe to visit. To minimize risks during your holiday, carefully read through the travel advice for Egypt here. The information on this page is based on European government sources, including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This travel advice is mainly to educate and help travellers headed to Egypt. e-Visa.ie cannot be responsible or liable in case of injury or damage. There are always risks involved when travelling, and the responsibility is ultimately left to the traveller. If you travel to risky areas against advice, you may not be able to receive proper assistance from the authorities. Therefore, we recommend taking advice about dangerous areas seriously and follow all advice from local authorities in Egypt.
This travel advice for Egypt does not include updates on coronavirus rules. For up-to-date information on Covid-19, visit the page coronavirus measures in Egypt.
Travel advice for Egypt: partially accessible
Travel advice for Egypt varies by area. Areas east of the Nile and South Sinai are accessible to travellers. You can also visit the capital: Cairo, and the area surrounding it. These are also the most commonly visited areas for tourism. The FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office advises against all travel to these places, and are even banned by the Egyptian government from travelling to: The Governorate of North Sinai, as well as areas within 20 km of the Egypt and Libyan Border. This excludes El Salloum (the advice for this town is against all but essential travel). For these areas, the FCDO advises against all but essential travel: The northern part of South Sinai beyond St Catherine - Nuweibaa road, the eastern part of Ismailiyah governorate east of the Suez Canal, the area west of the Nile Valley and the Nile Delta regions. The Hala’ib Triangle, the Bir Tawil Trapezoid. Note that there are a few exceptions in these areas, check with the UK government authorities for specifications.
Travel preparations before departure
Although much of Egypt is accessible to tourists, it is wise to inform yourself about any security risks to these areas before travelling. It is also important to have all your details and necessary documents for Egypt in order well in time before departure. For example, you can apply for the Egypt visa even before you leave. Below is an overview of what you should consider before departure.
|Passport||For your trip to Egypt, you need a passport that is still valid for at least 6 months from the day of arrival in Egypt. If your passport expires earlier than your arrival date, then you need to apply for a new passport in time.|
|Visa|| Tourists and business travellers alike need a visa to travel in Egypt. To avoid having to queue for a visa on arrival when you arrive in Egypt, apply for the e-visa Egypt online before departure. This visa is not available to everyone, but with a British or European passport, you may be eligible. If so, you must meet all other conditions for the Egypt e-visa .|
If you have applied for the visa, but find out that your passport is no longer valid long enough after all, you will need to both get a new passport, and apply for a new visa with the new passport.
|Embassy registration||To ensure that you can be helped in a crisis, it is advisable to take down the information of the British Embassy in Egypt. To make sure you do not forget, you can do this right after filling in your visa application for Egypt on e-Visa.ie.|
Caution: if you are in the forbidden travel areas, chances are that the embassy will not be able to reach you either. Therefore, avoid these areas at all costs (see image at the top of the page).
You can also subscribe to emails in order to receive information about UK help and services in Egypt, etc., news and events in Egypt, returning to the UK and other helpful topics on the official UK government website.
|Travel insurance||The official advice is that it is important to have appropriate travel insurance for where you are travelling. Make sure to check your policy to make sure you are properly insured for unexpected (medical) costs in Egypt. For example, if you plan to do certain water sports in Egypt, for instance, you may need additional insurance to cover them. Keep in mind that medical expenses and replacement flights/bookings can quickly add up abroad. Extra tip: Save your travel insurance phone number in your contacts list.|
|Traffic and driving licence||If you are not familiar with the traffic in Egypt, it is advisable to drive as little as possible yourself. If you intend to hire a car in Egypt or plan on doing any driving, you must apply for an international driving licence before departure. This is a supplement to your European driving licence. You should always have your international driving licence with you when driving in Egypt. It is wise to carry both your regular driving licence in addition to the international driving licence. Be aware: you can only apply for the international driving licence before departure. Once in Egypt, this is no longer possible. Always make sure you are properly insured for driving and hiring a car.|
Additional travel advice for Egypt
If you are travelling to the safe areas in Egypt, here is some additional information to help eliminate as many risks as possible. Keep in mind that the safety advice below only applies to the yellow travel areas. The only advice you should follow for the orange and red areas is to avoid them
There has been political unrest in Egypt since 2011. Although uncommon, demonstrations are sometimes held in which violence breaks out ad the police may use force, such as water cannons, tear gas and ammunition to control the crowds. Some demonstrations are expected and announced on the news. Should you find yourself at a demonstration unexpectedly, you should leave the place as soon as possible. Criticism of the Egyptian government may be punishable by imprisonment. Photographing or filming demonstrations can also lead to arrest and being forced to leave the country.
In general, the crime rate in Egypt is quite low, but there have been reports of visitors experiencing armed robberies, sexual assault, muggings, and break-ins to hotels and cars. Always keep an eye on your belongings and do not keep important objects in loose bags that can be easily stolen.
In crowded tourist areas, tourists are sometimes targets for robberies and scams. Tourists who come with a travel guide are significantly less likely to be targeted by such criminals. It is therefore safer to visit tourist attractions, such as the pyramids of Giza, with a pre-booked tour guide. Be aware: When booking activities, always check whether a tour operator is accredited, as safety standard quality can vary greatly. This is especially true for higher-risk activities such as hot-air ballooning, scuba diving, or water sports, accidents often happen with unapproved organisations. Be sure you are covered for travel insurance for the activities you plan to do. Keep in mind that diving past certain depth limits will invalidate your insurance cover.
The risk of terrorist attacks is very low in the yellow travel areas. If there has been an attack in the past, Egyptian authorities were particularly targeted. Therefore, be extra vigilant around government and security agency buildings. You may be arrested as a suspect if you take photos or recordings of or around government buildings or military objects. Christian churches and monasteries have also sometimes been targets of attacks, so you should also be more vigilant here. However, you may take photos of these.
Extra advice for women
Female travellers should be vigilant when they are travelling alone, as they are more vulnerable to unwanted attention and harassment. If travelling on public transport, avoid being the last passenger. Take extra care when travelling at nice, especially in taxis and buses. Be wary of advances from strangers. Many times these are a type of fraud or scam that is often hard to distinguish from innocent, heartfelt advances, so be wary.
Extra advice for the LGBTQ+ community
People in the LGBTQ+ community are not generally accepted in Egypt. It is therefore wise to be careful when expressing public affection with a loved one. In fact, there has been an increase in convictions and arrests of individuals within this group.
More information on the Egypt visa
United Kingdom nationals as well as Irish nationals and other members of the EU or Switzerland can apply for the Egypt e visa with a valid passport. You can choose between a single-entry visa for one trip, or a multiple-entry version for multiple trips to Egypt.
Both versions of the e-visa can be used for tourist travel purposes, such as a holiday, or visiting family or friends in Egypt. Th single-entry visa has a 30 day validity period, which means you can stay in Egypt for up to 30 days. The multiple-entry has a total validity of 180 days and may be used multiple times for stays of up to 30 days each time. This visa is ideal, for example, if you are going on a cruise holiday.
Below are the emergency numbers for problems and emergencies in Egypt. To avoid having to search for them during a moment of crisis, it is advisable to save these numbers in your contact list, or write them down somewhere. To make it easier for emergency services to contact your loved ones in case of an emergency, store your emergency contact person under “Ice” (In Case of Emergency), followed by that personʼs name.
|Police Department and general emergencies||122|
|Your insurance company||Note contact information before travel|
|Your bank||Note contact information before travel|
|British Embassy in Cairo||+2 02 279 16 000|
|Irish Embassy in Cairo||+202 272 87 100 27287100|
|For contact details of the Egyptian consulate in England, see the details for the Egyptian Embassy in the UK.|
Disclaimer: Travellers remain solely responsible
This travel advice for Egypt has been carefully compiled, nevertheless e-Visa.ie is not liable for any problems, damages, or injuries arising from the use of this information. Travellers should remain vigilant at all times while travelling in Egypt and they are ultimately responsible for their safety during holidays and stays in Egypt, as well as for the choice whether to make a particular trip. Before travelling to Egypt, it is advisable to consult the latest security updates from the Government regarding travel to Egypt (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt) or consult the embassy in Egypt and check for information from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
Source: UK Government travel advice
e-Visa.ie is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the Egypt visa. e-Visa.ie acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (25 USD per visa, via visa2egypt.gov.eg). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.ie, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 25 USD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as € 26,92 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous Egypt visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.