There are some things I wish I knew before I went to Egypt. So before you book your trip to Egypt, take these three recommendations into consideration.

The Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt
The Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt
Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash

A year ago, I was gazing up at the Great Pyramid and sailing along the Nile. It was a lifelong dream to visit Egypt, and I had an amazing trip. There are some things I wish I knew before I went that the guidebooks and travel websites don’t tell you. So before you book your trip to Egypt, take these three recommendations into consideration.

1. Check for the opening date of the Grand Egyptian Museum

The new Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo has been a work in progress. Construction is ongoing and the opening has been pushed back multiple times. It is now expected to open at the end of 2020.

The new Grand Egyptian Museum will be bigger and better than the existing Egyptian Museum. The Grand Egyptian Museum is located outside Cairo and overlooking the pyramids. The new museum will house the Tutankhamun collection with all 5,400 objects from the pharaoh’s tomb on view together for the first time. It may be worth waiting to visit Egypt until the Grand Egyptian Museum opens in order to fully enjoy seeing all the Egyptian treasures.

Here are some other key sites near the Grand Egyptian Museum to view while you’re there:

Temple of Kom Ombo on the Nile River near Aswan and Luxor in Egypt
Temple of Kom Ombo on the Nile River near Aswan and Luxor in Egypt
Photo by CALIN STAN on Unsplash

2. Egypt is very very very very hot

I knew the weather would be warm in Egypt, but I didn’t realize that it would get well above 100 degrees. Even in the early mornings and later evenings the temperatures still are still high. Look at the weather during the time of year you are planning on visiting Egypt and consider going in the slightly cooler winter months.

Proper sun protection is a necessity while in Egypt. Here are some sun safety measures:

  • Put on suntan lotion.
  • Wear a wide brimmed hat.
  • Wear long sleeved shirts and pants with UPF.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
  • Keep in the shade whenever possible.
A photographer in Hurghada, Egypt
A photographer in Hurghada, Egypt
Photo by Adrian Dascal on Unsplash

3. The many puzzling rules for taking photos in Egypt

I love taking photos on vacation, and Egypt is full of beautiful sites to photograph. In Egypt, there were a lot of confusing photography rules and it became unclear about what they allowed.

Many Egyptian museums and ancient sites have strict guidelines surrounding photography. Usually there is a no photography policy or you pay extra for a photography ticket which allows you to take pictures. However, I quickly learned that it was easy to bypass these policies by generously tipping the security guard. Tipping was also expected to have someone take your photo or to pose with a camel or an Egyptian.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when taking photos in Egypt:

  • Make sure your camera can stand up to the high temperatures.
  • Bring a soft cloth to wipe the dust off your lens. 
  • Take a secure camera bag or beltpack to protect your camera from thieves.
  • Review the rules in Egypt ahead of time for use of tripods or drones.
  • Carry small bills for easy tipping.

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