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Coronavirus Travel Updates

Always check the site below for any current updates, but we needed a negative PCR test within 96 hours of landing. It is typically 72 hours, but if you are from coming from Japan, China, Thailand, North America, South America, Canada, London Heathrow, Paris, or Frankfurt countries they are pretty lenient, as they take into account the long travel times. I would still strive to make the 72 hour cutoff, just in the event that something happens and 96 hours is too long or not accepted.

Things To Do Before you Travel

MONEY EXCHANGE: If you have a money exchange local to you, I always try and get the money before getting to the airport/to my destination. It just alleviates the stress of having to worry about it on travel day or the fees associated with doing it at the airport or in the country that you are traveling to. If you are unable to do this, they usually always have a place in the airport when you land. However, if you land super early or late, they might not be opened so you will need to keep an eye out for an ATM or store front in town to exchange money. They usually have pretty high interest rates, but better than nothing!

EGYPT VISA: After I had a last minute scare when traveling to Bolivia, I always check if the country I am traveling to requires a Visa. Although you can acquire one at the immigration center at the airport for $25 USD, you can also handle this ahead of time. Anything you can do in advance will make your international trip less hectic and more enjoyable. You can click the link below to submit your application online with all necessary information. You won’t be able to do this until you are 90 days out from your travel day, so I just set a calendar reminder for that day to remind me to apply. When applying make sure to put everyone you are traveling with on one application. Also, be careful when you select Single or Multi Entry- Single is for a one time entry only ($25 USD), but if you are leaving Egypt and say going to Jordan and then coming back into Egypt, you will need the Multiple Entry Visa ($60 USD).

A few things to note:

  • Traveling Information:

    • Application Type: If you are traveling with Family or Group make sure to select accordingly and you will need to include everyone in your group on ONE application- even if it’s friends

    • Entry Type: Single (one time entrance allowance) vs. Multiple (if you are entering Egypt, traveling somewhere else and then reentering Egypt before you go home)

    • Visa Type: Tourism

    • Traveling From

    • Expected Arrival and Departure Dates

  • Applicant Information:

    • It will then ask you several questions such as Full Name, Gender, DOB, Nationality, Profession, if you have visited Egypt before, Passport specific questions. As well as email, phone number and current address.

    • Supporting Document: The only form that we had to submit was a copy/picture of our full passport (make sure there is no glare and everything is legible. Follow the guidelines on image size (max 500 KB) and file type (JPG or PNG).

  • Host Information:

    • Host Type: Who is hosting you

    • Host Name: Airbnb/Hotel name

    • Host Phone Number: Airbnb/Hotel contact number

    • Host Email: Airbnb/Hotel email address

    • Host Address: The address of where you are staying in Egypt

    • Who is paying travel and accommodation cost?: Yourself or Other

  • Payment:

    • Once you double check everything is correct (there is no going back from this if you select something wrong) you will click the green “confirm” button

    • Single Entry= $25 USD & Multiple Entry= $60 USD

    • You have 7 days to pay this nonrefundable fee or the application will be removed

  • We received an email confirmation 3 days after we submitted the application and payment

What to Wear

You can technically wear anything you would like to in tourist areas such as the pyramids, but you might want to lean towards breathable materials like linen that can cover most of your body for sun purposes. It was actually pretty cold when we went in January so this wasn't difficult for us to achieve with the jackets and sweaters that we were wearing. This is also a smart idea so that you do not stick out and add unwanted attention in the cities. 

I would still strongly advise to dress somewhat conservatively, as it is still important for both women and men to dress to respect the culture and overall modest country.  Anything below the knee is ideal for women, such as pants, dresses, etc and a light shawl to go over your shoulders. For men, shirts that cover the shoulders are perfect and since it is not acceptable for men to wear shorts, stick with pants.


It is not required for you to cover your head in Egypt, but some women do. Either way that you prefer is fine.

Showing your Visa & Covid-19 Test

VISA: With all of the visa information being said previously, once we landed in the airport we DID NOT need to show our visa and they said we didn't need one, although all websites I went to said that we did. I'm not sure why they would have the option of prepaying for this online if it's not needed, but we went ahead and paid the $25 ahead of time to avoid any last minute scares or refusals into the country. Again, we were not asked to show this before boarding the flight or even once we landed.

NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST: We were asked to show this numerous times in the boarding/landing process:

  1. When we were checking our bags at the airline counter

  2. When we were in line to board the plane, we had to show it with our boarding pass and passport

  3. Again, before we boarded the plane in another line

  4. Lastly, once we arrived in Egypt and got off the plane, there was a Covid-19 area where we had to show our vaccination card and negative test

Where We Stayed In Giza

The Airbnb that we stayed at is linked below and was hands down an incredible experience. We were able to arrange an airport pick up shuttle for the 45 minute drive from Cairo Airport to our Airbnb for $25 USD, which is a huge relief in itself to have your transportation prearranged and taken care of.


Since our flight landed early in the AM, we arrived to the Airbnb quite early that morning (early enough that we caught the sunrise) and they had ZERO issues with us checking in early. I would say as long as there is no one staying in the place the night before you, you won't have an issue with this either. If you are unable to check in early, the doorman downstairs will keep your bags for you until check in time.


A part from the convenience of this location, only a 5 minute walk from the Pyramids, it has an INCREDIBLE view of the pyramids and a hot tub inside of the room.


Spending the Day Exploring the Great Sphinx and Pyramids

  • Hours: 8am-4pm (5pm in the Summer)

  • Admission: Tickets to the Pyramids and Sphinx area costs 200 EGP (approximately $13 USD)

    • If you plan to use a tripod, you will need to purchase a tripod ticket for 20 EGP ($1.30USD).

  • There are 2 Entrances: You can enter at either one, but since we were closest to the Sphinx (Entrance #2), we chose to start there. Keep in mind that if you enter through the Sphinx entrance, it will be an uphill walk to the pyramids and to the Panoramic Point. I have added the map that I used as a reference from: 

pyramid map.png

Different Locations for Pictures

  • Great Sphinx in Front of the Pyramid

    • This spot is relatively self-explanatory. You will walk in front of the Sphinx and see a sandy area where you will stand for the shot.

  • The Infamous 'Kiss the Great Sphinx' Angle

    • You can actually get this shot from either side, whether you are standing on the street that leads to the pyramids or you can go through the building on the left where there will be a platform for you to stand on

  • Panoramic Viewpoint of the Pyramids

    • To get here was a bit further than we wanted to walk, so we found this to be the perfect time to get a camel ride to this location.

Other Random Information

  • Tips on walking around:

    • Be fully prepared to say the words "No thank you" a million times this day because the minute you hit the road that the entrance is on, you will be bombarded by tour guides​

    • You do NOT have to have a tour guide- no matter what they tell you, they lied multiple times to us to make more money, but you do not have to have one.

    • Unfortunately, no one here is "just being nice". Anytime someone comes up with a cool camera angle to show you, a fun fact or history lesson or even a "free" gift for visiting their country- it ALWAYS ends in them asking for a tip.

      • You really have to be persistent and continue to say no and shut it down, because even though we said no 10 times or more, they would continue to ask us questions and follow us while we walked​

    • If you know this going in you will at least be able to mentally prepare for this, because by the end of our day we were so over people coming up to us trying to sell us things. It's actually really sad how bad it was and that it made the day less enjoyable.

      • I would 100% go back again and would say not to let this stop you, but I want to be completely transparent in how bad the tour guides are. Anytime we stood still for more than 3 seconds, someone new would come up.

  • Tips on camel rides:

    • For a 30-minute camel ride, the average price is 300 EGP, which is about $20 USD. However, this price can vary a lot, based on your negotiating skills, the length of time of the camel ride, and where you ride the camels

      • They charged us more than this though and we tipped, but looking back we could have definitely probably haggled the price lower- we just were feeling very overwhelmed.

    • Be aware that they will try to separate you from the group throughout the tour to get tips from everyone individually. They did this multiple times to us and I just kept saying I didn't have any more cash.

  • Food:

    • There are a few new places inside the Pyramids that supposedly have incredible views and food. One that I know for sure that looked so beautiful was called 9 Pyramids Lounge.​

    • We actually decided to eat outside of the gates and found a spot right down the street that had a ton of reviews and really good local food.


Spending the day Exploring Cairo

  • We took a 30 minute Uber from Giza to Cairo and everything was a short Uber ride from there. However, this was early in the morning, because our taxi ride back was about an hour with traffic.

    • Cairo traffic is another beast and absolutely DO NOT recommend getting a rental anywhere in Egypt. They know how to maneuver and drive but trying to drive like a local would not be possible. It's literally controlled chaos with no one staying in lanes and everyone just bobbing and weaving and honking their horn.

      • Uber was readily available in Giza and Cairo and very affordable. For example, a 50 min Uber costed us no more than $6 USD

  • A few things worth checking out in Cairo:

    • Mosque of Muhammad Ali

      • Hours: 8am-4pm
      • Price: 100 EGP ($6.35 USD)

      • It wasn't required to cover your head, but we did make sure that we had long dresses and our shoulders covered out of respect.

      • They don't allow you to wear shoes inside, so there was a lady outside selling shoe covers that you can slip on over your shoes for a small fee. However, you can just take your shoes off and walk barefoot like we did instead.

  • Khan el-Khalili (Al-Azhar St)

    • Hours: 10am-9pm

    • 12 minute Uber here

    • Beautiful artisan work and markets here

    • Again, this is full of people trying to sell things so every single person you walk by will yell out prices or ask you to come in and check things out. The 3 stores that we bought from were from people that didn't bombard us

    • A lot of the items over here are touristy trinkets and most of them were all the same, so you can haggle prices for sure

  • The Egyptian Museum

    • Hours: 9a-5p

    • Price- $8 USD

    • 8 minute uber here

  • Cairo Tower

    • 4 minute uber here then a 30 minute uber (can be almost an hour depending on traffic and time of day) back to the Airbnb

Traveling to Luxor via an Overnight Train

  • We took an overnight train, The Watania Sleeper Train, from Giza to Luxor.

  • It officially runs to these 4 locations: Cairo, Giza, Luxor and Aswan.

    • So, if you are staying in Cairo you are able to get on at the Ramses Train Station at 7:45PM, but since our Airbnb was in Giza, we got on at Giza Station at 8:05PM.

      • I will say that we arrived a few hours late which kind of messed up the day plans to get places early and we asked around and apparently they have been running behind for the past few weeks.​

  • You can purchase your ticket from the Watania Sleeper Train office at Ramses Train Station, or online.

    • I always book things like these in advanced, so we booked it using the link below, but it only became available 2 months in advanced.

  • There are 3 options for your overnight train travels:

    • $80 USD for a bed in a two-bed cabin

      • We chose this option since there was 4 of us so we could split a two bed cabin

      • We also got to choose the cabin we wanted and had an adjoining room with my friends that you could either keep the door open or closed for privacy

      • Our cabin had two beds, which the bottom one turned into 2 seats and a table for our dinner and breakfast, and a sink area to get ready for bed.

      • There is a bathroom but it was down the hall

    • $120 USD for a single cabin (if you're a solo traveler and don't want to share a compartment)

    • $42 USD for a seater-only ticket with good-sized seats that can recline

  • Must be there 30 minutes before departure

  • There are other means of transportation, but we try to travel overnight if possible so that we can wake up and have time on our trip to explore with no time wasted.

  • These tickets come with the option of a Light Meal, Hot Meal or Vegetarian option.


  • We were supposed to arrive at the Luxor Railway Station @ 5:55am, but as previously mentioned the train was a few hours late so we didn't arrive until after 8am. 

  • The train station was 5 minutes from our hotel, so we set up a $6 USD pick up with them ahead of time, which I highly recommend having this figured out before so you can avoid the mass group trying to carry your luggage and taxis bombarding you as you arrive.

  • Hotel Nefertiti has early check in starting at 8am if they have the rooms available. If you come early in the morning and the room isn't ready just yet, you are welcome to leave your luggage in the hotel and use the public facilities for free. We dropped off our bags and started the adventures of the day.

  • The hotel has a rooftop restaurant, which is where you will have free breakfast daily, but we also ate lunch and dinner here because of the convenience and incredible views.

    • From the rooftop you will have a beautiful view for sunrise/sunset looking down on Luxor Temple right on the Nile.

  • Please note that although Uber was readily available in Giza and Cairo, it was not an option in Luxor, so you will have to take taxis, or one of the horse carriages if it's a closer destination.

    • We set up a few taxis with the hotel front desk attendants and all of the other ones we were able to find outside of the main attractions pretty easily​

Karnak Temple

  • This is the second largest temple in the world after Angor Wat in Cambodia

    • Hours: 6am- 5:30pm every day

    • Admission: 200 EGP (approx. $12.75 USD)

  • The plan was to drop our bags off and come straight here but we were set up back a few hours because of the train being late.

    • If you can get here by 6am you will absolutely be able to avoid crowds, especially if you are wanting the Hypostyle Hall all to yourself

    • When we arrived around 8:30am, we dealt with a few crowds already, but by the time we were leaving around 10am, they were walking in by what seemed like the hundreds

  • We got here by a taxi which only took about 8 minutes from our hotel​

  • Tips on walking around:

    • There were a few people that approached us about tour guides, that we politely declined, but once inside we didn't struggle with this too bad like we did at the pyramids.

    • There are people labeled as security guards that will take your picture or show you a cool spot and then ask for a tip, so be prepared for that

    • Anyone that was selling stuff or at a store will also approach you and try and get you to look at their shop, but again, they were WAY more relaxed here and the day itself was amazing

Valley of the Kings

  • This is a royal burial ground for pharaohs from the 18th-20th dynasties

  • Hours: 6a-4p every day

    • The most crowded time to visit the Valley of the Kings is between 10 am and 2 pm
    • Due to our schedule being behind, we actually got lunch after Karnak Temple and then came here closer to closing. We were able to beat the crowds which was nice because the tombs are very close quarters, so coming here during peak time would not have been enjoyable
  • Admission: 240 EGP (approx. $15.30 USD)/person

    • This base admission will allow you to get into 3 out of the 8 tombs:

      • KV1 – Ramesses VII

      • KV2 – Ramesses IV

      • KV6 – Ramesses IX

      • KV8 – Merenptah

      • KV11 – Ramesses III

      • KV14 – Tausert-Setnakht

      • KV15 – Seti II

      • KV47 – Siptah

    • We did:

      • KV6 – Ramesses IX

      • KV11 – Ramesses III

      • KV16 – Ramesses I

    • If you wanted to see more you will buy another entrance ticket and there is a bonus ticket that includes the following tombs: Tutankhamun, Ay and Ramesses VI

  • Photography Pass (anything other than a cell phone): 300 EGP (approx. $19.09 USD)

  • This was a 50 min taxi drive from Karnak

  • ​How the day will go once inside:

    • You will start at the Visitor Center to purchase your entrance ticket, photography passes (if needed), and your tram ticket

    • You will ride a three-minute tram to get to the tombs of the Valley of the Kings

      • The tram costs 4 EGP per person (approx. 25 cents USD) for a round trip ride

  • The walk from the tram to the entrance of the tombs, isn’t long at all, as they drop you off right there and then there are maps all over showing where all of the tombs are located

  • Tips on walking around:

    • Again, this wasn't anywhere near as bad as the pyramids with tour guides, but there are going to be a few at the front that bombard you. We maybe got asked by 5 different people if we needed a tour just as we walked in and bought tickets

    • Once on the tram, they will start throwing out different information and tips and then ask for a tip

    • Once at the tombs, we weren't approached any further about a tour but the security guards inside each tomb would offer tips or to take a picture of you and then request a tip as well

Shopping in Luxor

  • Much like the market in Cairo, there is a street right behind the hotel that we stayed in which had tons of people selling things. Our taxi driver told us that one of the streets is for locals and the other has more touristy gifts for purchase.

  • My friend had seen a store mentioned online, Sam House Gold & Silver Smith, which had these beautiful 18k gold hand pressed necklaces with customizable hieroglyphics.

    • Although the address on the website didn't work for us exactly, we randomly ran into it when we were walking around and it was right down the road from the hotel in between two stores, Venecia and Besada Shop.​

Luxor Temple

  • Since the train arrived late, we unfortunately weren't able to fit this in during the day. We tried to go at night for Luxor Temple at night that I read about online, but it was closed when we got there and we weren't sure why, but I will definitely be saving this to explore next time.

  • Hours: 6a-10p every day

  • Admission: 160 EGP (approx. $10.18 USD)/person

**If you have extra time on your trip, you should try and go to Aswan and the Nubian Village, which has its own lifestyle, traditions, and language. From here you can travel 3 hours to the Abu Simbel Temples, which were originally carved out of the mountainside and relocated to protect them from the waters of the Nile. They serve as a lasting monument to the king Ramesses II. We didn’t have time in our trip to make these happen, so I have these bookmarked for the next time. From Luxor, we flew straight from Luxor to Amman.**

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