Question: Is it safe to visit Egypt?
Answer: It depends on which part of the country you wish to visit.
Egypt has long been a popular tourist destination for UK holidaymakers not least for the cultural and historical sites like the Great Sphinx of Giza, the Valley of the Kings and the Karnak Temple among others. There is also the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh with its sheltered sandy beaches, clear waters and coral reefs.
However, political instability and middle east tensions has prompted the UK government to issue warnings about visiting certain parts of the country because of the threat of terrorism and attacks on UK nationals.
However, nearly half a million people visited Egypt last year and most were trouble free. If you visit the main tourist areas and exercise the same caution as you would visiting other countries then you shouldn’t experience any problems. In 2015 flights to Sharm El-Sheik were suspended from the UK but these were reinstated in October 2019 so you can now fly direct to that resort.
The Foreign and Commonwealth office advises against travel to certain areas and these include the Sinai peninsular (apart from Sharm El Sheik), and areas west of the Nile valley and Nile delta regions.
Although we hear much about terrorist attacks, this could, and does happen in many countries including our own. Most of the attacks in Egypt have not targeted holidaymakers and there is a very high police and military presence in the main tourist areas. After all, Egypt wants us to visit, to share their culture and history and of course bring much needed tourist revenue to the country. If you are in the big cities like Cairo then it is wise to exercise the same caution as you would in any big city in the world: Don’t carry large sums of money, stay in well lit busy places, don’t stray into backstreet slum areas, be aware of pickpockets – all the usual precautions you would take in most foreign cities.
Egypt can still be a great value place to visit and package holidays are some of the best on offer. Restaurants, Hotels and even the main tourist attractions are good value. The currency of Egypt is the Egyptian pound. Sometimes Egyptian government controls and restrictions means it is occasionally difficult to obtain in the UK. However, most of the time it is readily available and at the time of writing we have 9 companies offering an exchange rate for EGP which means you should get great value for your holiday. You will need a visa to enter the country and that can be obtained from the online e-visa portal.
If you’re considering a visit to Egypt this year then just like anywhere, do your research and you should be fine. It is always worth checking the up to date travel information for Egypt and any country you plan to visit on the FCO website and for a ‘tourist eye’ view of the country you can read this interesting article on the safety of visiting Egypt.