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General information
 
General
Name            Arabic Republic of Egypt ( Masr )
Capital           Cairo
Language      Arabic, and English is widely spoken.
Time             GMT + 2
Electricity       220 volts / 50 Hz
Climate & Clothing
Egyptian summers are hot and dry while the fall and winter seasons are moderate and the spring season windy. Some rain falls along the coast.

Light cottons and comfortable shoes are recommended for the hot summer months. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are recommended for protection against the harsh rays of the sun. Egypt is a religious country; therefore, modest dress is essential. Short dresses should be avoided, particularly when visiting religious sites such as mosques.

Food
The Egyptian typical dishes are: koshari (lentil and rice dish), maashi (stuffed vegetables) and ful medammes (broad bean stew). Most hotels serve local dishes. The typical Egyptian foods are rice, pita bread (aysh) and fava beans. Special dishes include roasted ground lamb like kebab, vegetable casserole, and stuffed, grilled pigeon. Desserts like Ahwa and Baklava are local favourites. Italian and French cuisine can be found in hotels and restaurants. Locally brewed beer and bottled sodas may be found throughout the country. Do not miss out on Egyptian coffee. it is well known for it's delicious taste.

Services & Government Offices
Government offices, including post offices, are open from 8:00AM - 3:00PM, Saturday through Wednesday, and are closed Thursdays, Fridays and on national holidays.

Health
Vaccinations are no longer necessary or required to enter Egypt. However, we advise you to avoid drinking tap water, other unbolted beverages, and drinks with ice. Please consult your physician for more advice.

Money
The unit of currency is the Egyptian Pound (LE.). It is divided into 100 Piaster. Banknotes (paper currency) are available in the following denominations: 0.25, 0.50, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Pounds (LE.). Coins are available in the following denominations: 5, 10, 20, 25 Piaster and 1 LE. Foreign currency can be exchanged at most banks and authorized exchange offices where the official rates of exchange are posted daily.

Credit cards
Credit cards like American express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted in most tourist establishments.

Currency restrictions
The importation and exportation of local currency is limited to 1000 Egyptian pounds for non-residents. The importation and exportation of foreign currency is not limited.

Banking hours
8:30am - 2pm Sunday to Thursday, closed Friday, Saturday and most public holidays. Some like the HSBC are open until 9pm but only for money exchange.

Tips
In Egypt a tip is called "baksheesh." Remember that in Egypt, you pay "baksheesh" for rendered services, and the amount is up to you. Your tour guide will be glad to help you determine appropriate tips when necessary.

Entry Visas and Passports Validity
All visitors to Egypt must hold a current passport with at least 6 months validation and a current entry visa either purchased before travel or at the airport on travel.

Shopping
Shopping in bazaars is really fun. Traditional Egyptian accessories and gifts are easily available. Bargaining is common practice in all bazaars. Never offer a price that you are not willing to pay. Shopping hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., extended during the summer. Khan El Khalili, Cairo’s famous bazaar, and some others have more flexible hours, but are closed on Sundays. Best shopping times are late morning and early evening.

Words from Egypt
Ahlan wa sahlan ( Welcome )
Shokran ( Thank You )
Sabah el kher ( Good Morning )
Baksheesh ( Tip )
Ma`a el salama ( Good Bye )
Bokra ( Tomorrow )
Kolo Tamam ( All OK )
F'los ( Money )
Ana / Enta ( me / you )
Ana Baheb Masr ( I Love Egypt )
Inshalla ( if GOD wills )
Ma'alesh ( Never Mind )
Shay ( Tea )
Kahwa ( Coffee )
Laban ( Milk )
Mazboot ( Medium )
Helw ( Beautiful )
 
 
 
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