HAVANA HOTEL CAIRO

call for more info
+2 (02) 374 907 58

» Facilities » Travel Tips

Our Tours

Travel Tips...

- Dress

Don't wear anything too revealing around most places in Egypt.

Make it conservative unless you welcome the attention that skimpy clothing will garner.

People in some cities and rural areas are not used to seeing a lot of skin (even with men), so please cover up unless you're on the beach in a coastal resort like Sharm El-Sheikh or Hurgada where this is more the norm.

In areas like Islamic and Coptic Cairo you should respect local custom by wearing more conservative clothing.

- Archeological Sites

Do have a guide with you when exploring archeological sites in the desert, you can get lost and that isn't funny.

Do stay with your guide at all times as some sites are in critical condition and have areas that are in danger of collapse.

Do wear a hat or scarf and sunscreen to protect your self from the sun when visiting in summer.

Don't climb on or touch any of the monuments.

Don't take photographs where you're not supposed to, the flash from your camera may cause irreparable damage.

- Public Transportation

Ladies... do sit next to other women on public transportation.

Ladies... do enter the car assigned for women only (first two cars) on the metro, as other cars may be too crowded.

Do bargain the amount you will have to pay the taxi driver before getting in as some take advantage of tourists (but no fighting, please).

Do shout out the name of the location that you're going to when hailing a taxi.

Do look both ways before crossing the street even if the sign says, "walk".

Don't get on overcrowded buses. It's anything but comfortable.

- Ladies

Do be prepared for unwanted attention especially if you're traveling alone.

You'll probably be hissed or whistled at in the streets on a fairly regular basis. If you just ignore it, there shouldn't be any problems. This unwanted attention is almost always a "hassle" and not usually "unsafe".

It is safe to walk in populated public areas by yourself, but avoid dark alleys or very quiet places if you are alone. Crime is extremely rare but, as should always be the case, do not take unnecessary chances.

Don't act too friendly toward men you barely know as it could be misunderstood, the Western concept of friendliness is often mistaken for flirting.

Don't talk back to attempts by strangers to talk to you - simply ignore them.

- Couples

Do feel free to walk arm-in-arm or, at most, holding holds. (Same sex couples should be even more discrete as homosexuality is far less accepted in Egypt as it is in Western countries)

Don't hug or kiss in public as it may cause problems. Again, holding hands should be as far as you go in public.

Don't be surprised if you see Egyptian men walking arm-in-arm or holding hands as a sign of friendship.

- Entering Mosques

Ladies... do wear something to cover your hair when entering a mosque (most mosques provide a scarf for covering your hair at the entrance).

Do wear long decent clothes, covering legs and arms. (This includes men!).

Do take off your shoes before entering or wear shoe covers which can be obtained at the entrance of some mosques.

Do respect the mosques, they are sacred places, and any attempts of smoking, drinking, or sexual behavior in or around a mosque will not be tolerated.

Don't go where you're not supposed to for a couple of reasons:1. Egypt is one of just a few Islamic countries that allow non-Muslims into their mosques so staying in designated areas will help preserve this privilege for future visitors: and 2. Some of the mosques are very old and some areas may be in need of repair.

Don't visit during prayer time.

- Money

Do use common sense.

Do exchange your money in banks or exchange offices.

Do carry around a lot of change: it can be useful when tipping and bargaining. Tipping is an expected way of life in Egypt due to the extremely poor wages. It is usual to tip for most services.

Do use traveler's checks and credit cards - they are accepted in most tourist areas.

Don't carry around a lot of money. Theft isn't common, but one can never be too sure.

Don't put your money or wallet in your back pocket when entering busy or crowded places.

Don't show that you have money.

- Photographing

Do take lots of film or extra memory cards - you'll want to take pictures of everything you see.

Don't take photographs of military areas, bridges, embassies, or airports.

Don't use flash photography when photographing ancient monuments.

Don't photograph crowded areas or packed buses or street litter, as some people can be offended.

Don't take your cameras where you won't be using it - entrance fees for cameras cost more than for people.

- Driving

Do carry your international driver's license at all times when driving.

Do avoid coming close to buses and other forms of public transportation. If you want to pass them, make sure they know you're there by flashing your lights and honking your horn.

Do check for crossing cars and pedestrians at all times - even when you have a green light.

Do what the traffic policemen say - even if it goes against what you've been doing all your life.

Don't try to come close to diplomatic convoys - reduce your speed and keep away.

Don't exceed 100 km/hr on highways.

- Time

GMT +02:00 (in all year).

- Voltage

220 Volts. Sockets are of the European, 2-pronged variety. If travelling from US, Canada or other countries where the typical voltage is 110 you will need to bring a power adapter. From countries where the typical voltage is 220/240 you will simply need to bring an international travel adapter plug.

- Customs

You may bring in modest amounts of anything for personal use, except, obviously, illicit drugs, weapons and items of an obscene or subversive nature. Up to one litre of alcohol, 200 cigarettes and a reasonable quantity of perfume is permitted. In addition, you may purchase one litre of alcohol upon arrival at Cairo International Airport Duty free shop and another 3 litres along with 3 packs of cigarettes within 48 hours from any of the duty free shops around Cairo. Duty Free Shops upon departure offer shoppers a reasonable range of spirits, cigarettes, perfumes and gifts. Alcohols and cigarettes are cheaper than all European Duty Free prices.