Old graveyard in Egypt


by Daniel S.


Nestled in the northeastern corner of Africa, Egypt stands as a timeless testament to humanity’s ancient achievements. This enchanting country boasts a blend of history, culture, and adventure that beckons travelers from across the globe. From the iconic pyramids that have fascinated explorers for centuries to the vibrant chaos of Cairo’s markets, Egypt is a captivating destination. Just a couple of stone throws away from Eilat in Israel and Jordan, Egypt is different than its neighbors.

OVERRATED (Be warned!):

  • Tourist crowds. Egypt’s historical sites are undeniably captivating, but their popularity can lead to crowded experiences and lengthy lineups at sites. Always arrive as early as possible at all sites. Travelling in a group with a reputable local guide is highly recommended.
  • Persistent scammers/touts/conmen. Once you paid your entry fee and got a ticket to enter a site, do not show it to random locals who will attempt to convince you that you bought the wrong ticket and that you suddenly owe “x” amount of money. And of course, don’t let anyone take a photo for you or pose for a photo. They will demand a tip and will follow you around.
  • Nothing is free. Even when someone tells that you won’t have to pay or says “don’t worry you can pay later”. Avoid showing interest in an item unless you absolutely are planning to buy it. Never assume an item is free at a restaurant when they bring out small appetizers or deserts that you didn’t order. And another thing: you are required to pay to use any public toilet.
  • Driving. It is said you only need three things to drive in Egypt and in Cairo in particular: good eyes, good brakes, good luck. Road markings and signals are seen by the locals as mere decorations.
  • Language barrier and cultural etiquette. While English is spoken in many tourist areas, communication can be challenging in more remote locations. And being a Muslim country, women are expected to dress conservatively out of respect in the following locations: mosque, church, train station.
Waiting nicely for our numbers to be called.

UNDERRATED (Cool unknown facts):

  • Nile cruises. No, not the big fancy ones in Cairo. But if you happen to be in Aswan at the south of Egypt you must try a relaxing Nile cruise in a Felucca (traditional wooden sailing boat).
  • Desert adventures. While Egypt is known for the Nile and its ancient sites, the country’s vast deserts offer incredible opportunities for adventure. Activities like sandboarding, desert camping, and stargazing are becoming increasingly popular among tourists.
  • Diving or snorkeling in Sinai. The Red Sea’s coral reefs are full of vibrant marine line, with “Blue Hole” (north of Dahab) being the ultimate diving and snorkeling destination in Egypt. Do not miss out if you are in the area.
  • Archeology. Anywhere from a few dozen to a hundred or more new archaeological discoveries are announced in Egypt each year. Perhaps the next biggest archaeological discovery will take place the same day you are visiting a site! If you see a blue tent in the distance, that means it’s an active excavation area. Versus the white tents that serve as a temporary hub for the archaeological team’s activities and discussions.
  • Bargaining. Nothing in Egypt has a set price; almost everything is up for negotiation. Use it to your advantage to save money on your trip. Except for site entrances. Those are set prices…

What do you think we should be skeptical about when visiting Egypt? Leave a comment and if so inclined, a picture!

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