Backpacking In Egypt

in Egypt

Egypt is one of the more popular countries on the Middle East backpacking route, especially Cairo in bit part due to the Pyramids of Giza. The tourism industry is Egypt is rapidly developing, although at a rather uneven pace. Most US, European, and Australian backpackers can get a tourist visa upon entry to the airport, which costs a small fee. Tourist visas are good for 3 months (for most travelers) but it’s a good idea to verify the requirements before booking any flights with the Egyptian consulate.

For those backpackers heading to Cairo, the main port for entry, you’ll find a wide variety of hostels and hotels to stay in but as is the case in much of the Middle East, you’ll find high and low budget accommodations – without a great deal in between.

Getting around in most cities, your easiest option logistically is taxi, although you’ll need to be prepared to bargain on a price. Try to avoid cabs without meters and make sure to agree upon a price before heading out. Those of you making your way to the Pyramids of Giza should try and book transportation through the hostel or hotel where you might pay a bit more, but will save time and get a stable price.

pyramids of giza egyptian spices ancient egypt

Pyramids Of Giza

The Pyramids are an exciting visit on a trip to Cairo, although they are rather hectic as many local merchants have descended upon it to take advantage of tourists and travelers. Get there early in the morning or very last thing in the day if possible to avoid the often annoying pitches and screams from all of the touts and vendors. Never try and cut corners by purchasing tickets or rides anywhere outside of the official booths.

Outside of Cairo, you’ll find local transportation much less stressful although not much more easy to navigate. Taxis are still in option in most larger-to-midsized towns, otherwise you’ll need to venture out on the local bus system. Just about every city in Egypt has a networked group of local buses that connect major points in each town. For connections in between cities, look up the local bus station connecting each city. Accommodations on the buses vary mostly by price, and it’s our recommendation not to skimp out on bus transportation. Comfort, safety, meals, and your general experience will all be enhanced by paying a few extra dollars on the already inexpensive Egyptian buses.

When planning your travels outside of Cairo and around the rest of Egypt, be sure to include Alexandria and Luxor. These two places are common second sights in Egypt and offer a less-crowded glimpse into the ancient history of the country. Ruins like the Citadel of Alexandria, the Valley of the Kings, and the Temples of Abu Simbel would be a shame to miss. These places can be done as a day (or better) 2-3 day excursions outside of Cairo.

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