Every year millions of travelers visit Egypt to explore the great cities of Cairo and Alexandria, to relax in the paradaisical Red Sea resorts of Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada, and of course, to take in ancient monuments like the Valley of the Kings and the Great Pyramid of Giza. Before visiting the country, however, it’s important to check Egypt travel safety advice for the country.
While the majority of Egypt is safe for tourist to visit, there are some regions in the northeast of the country that visitors are advised to avoid. It is also important to be aware of general safety advice to avoid running into any complications during a stay in the country.
In addition to checking travel to Egypt safety advice, foreign citizens should also check if they need an Egypt eVisa before departing for the country. A number of nationalities are now able to apply for a visa through the Egypt visa application form online, which takes only minutes to complete and eliminates the need to apply from an embassy or consulate.
Is Egypt Safe to Visit?
In general, Egypt is considered safe for tourist to visit, with the exception of certain regions in the northeast of the country bordering Israel and the Gaza strip. The UK government’s Egypt travel advisory recommends that travelers completely avoid the Governate of North Sinai, due to ongoing criminal activities and terrorist attacks against police and security forces in the region.
Travelers are also advised against all but essential travel to the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions, excluding the coastal areas between the Nile Delta and Marsa Matruh, and the Governate of South Sinai, excluding the area within the Sharm El Sheikh perimeter. The Sharm El Sheikh Red Sea resorts are considered a safe region for visitors to visit and are becoming increasingly popular with international tourists. However, the UK government advises against traveling by air to the region.
Although the majority of terrorist activity in Egypt is confined to the North Sinai governate, travelers to other parts of the country are also advised to be aware that attacks could take place in other parts of the country and to exercise caution accordingly. The UK’s travel to Egypt safety advice notes that any attacks are likely to target religious sites or religious festivals during local holidays, such as during Ramadan or Christmas.
Although the majority of visits to the country are trouble-free, travelers to Egypt who plan to attend large public gatherings and places visited by foreigners are advised to remain vigilant and maintain a high level of security, and to follow the safety advice of local authorities.
It is a good idea for all foreign tourists to Egypt to take note of the following emergency numbers in case they do encounter any problems:
- Police: 122
- Ambulance: 123
- Fire Department: 180
Is it Safe to Travel to Cairo?
There is no Egypt travel safety advice against visiting Egypt’s capital city, so in general, it is considered safe to visit Cairo, as well as Alexandria and the tourist areas along the Nile.
Although there have been some terrorist attacks in Cairo in recent years, Egyptian authorities have significantly stepped up security measures in response, with an increased presence of security officers at important sites and buildings, and at road checkpoints in the country. There has also been an increase in security precautions at the most important tourist sites in Cairo, including at the Great Pyramid of Giza.
In general, it is considered safe for visitors to Cairo to freely walk around the city, even at night. Pickpocketers, beggars, and over-eager street vendors can all be annoyances in the city, but travelers who remain vigilant and exercise caution are unlikely to encounter a problem. Nonetheless, travelers are advised to stick to a group when exploring the city streets and are able to hire a street guide for very little money if they feel the need for someone with a bit more experience to help them navigate and avoid scams.
In conclusion, it is considered perfectly safe to travel to Egypt as long as visitors take the necessary precautions. Before visiting the country, travelers are also advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance with full medical cover in the rare care that medical evacuation is required. Travelers should also remember to check the visa requirements to obtain a visa for Egypt before their trip.
General Restrictions on Traveling to Egypt
Currently, there are travel restrictions related to COVID-19 in Egypt, but under normal circumstances, individuals of all nationalities may visit Egypt, although the requirements to do so vary from country to country.
Most travelers cannot enter Egypt without a visa.
Various travelers can apply online for an eVisa for Egypt, including nationals of the following:
- All European Union countries
- North Korea
- South Korea
- North Macedonia
- United Kingdom
- United States
The online visa application for Egypt is quick and simple to complete.
There are more severe restrictions against citizens of the following countries. Travelers from these nations must have state approval from Egypt in addition to a visa in order to enter the country:
- Sri Lanka
While most travelers require a visa, there are a few exceptions. Visitors of the following nationalities may enter Egypt visa-free:
- Hong Kong
- Lebanon (Borg El Arab Airport, Hurghada Airport or Sharm el Sheikh Airport only, if arriving on a charter flight)
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
- Malaysia (for up to 14 days)
General Travel Advisory for Egypt
There are certain things to bear in mind even at the best of times when visiting Egypt. Government travel advice is generally to avoid the Sinai peninsula apart from the region around Sharm El Sheik due to ongoing conflict in the region.
Conversely, the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions—home to most of Egypt’s famous tourist sites and major cities—are considered safe.
Other general Egypt travel advice includes:
- Have comprehensive medical insurance that includes medical evacuation (although this is not a mandatory entry requirement)
- Avoid demonstrations and crowds
- Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners