Egypt has a rich history and culture – but is it safe to visit the country currently? This guide covers everything you need to know about safe travel to Egypt.
It is safe to travel to Egypt if you have the right travel documents, you maintain common sense, and you follow our advice in this guide. As a tourist, you need to keep your wits about you but there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t enjoy the sites and magic that Egypt has to offer. Whether you are off to the Red Sea Coast or touring Cairo, Luxor and Aswan, travel advice for Egypt is to stay alert and focus on having a good time!
Is It Safe to Visit Egypt?
The short answer is yes, it is safe to travel to Egypt and most countries (including the UK and USA) say it is fine to visit the country as long as you follow their safety and security advice.
The main concerns for safety in Egypt are:
- The usual pickpocketing and scams at tourist sites.
- Terrorism in non-tourist areas of Sinai and the Libya border.
- Sun-related health risks, like dehydration, sunburn, and sunstroke due to the climate.
Keep reading for detailed info about the terrorism, disease, and general safety risks of Egypt. You can also check the travel advice from your country’s government. But the bottom line is that Egypt is safe for tourists and a very popular tourist destination that takes safety seriously.
Women’s Safety in Egypt
Is Egypt safe for women as well as men? Yes, it can be. When traveling to Egypt, you need to remember that the cultural norms may be very different from where you normally live. This means Egyptian women are expected to dress conservatively.
As a tourist, you aren’t expected to follow all the cultural rules, but for your safety and comfort, it is usually best to keep the rules in mind. Be respectful. Covering your shoulders and chest, as well as wearing skirts and pants that cover your knees or lower, can help you avoid unwanted attention. If you are entering a mosque or other place of worship, you will need to cover your head as well.
Women, in general, are more vulnerable to theft, assault, and rape – this is true of any city in any country – so many women feel more comfortable traveling in a group or with male companions.
Is Egypt Safe for Americans?
Most (almost all) American tourists travel to Egypt and experience the country with no trouble at all. The US government issues travel advice that warns against visiting areas of the country like North Sinai. Most governments issue this same advice, but it’s nothing to worry about. There are no tourist destinations in this part of Egypt, and it is quite far away from Cairo, Alexandria, and destinations on the Red Sea coast – you won’t accidentally visit North Sinai!
Is Egypt Safe for Solo Travelers
Travel to Egypt is possible as a solo traveler, but most prefer to visit the country with a partner or in a group. This is for safety, enjoyment, and money – it can be more cost-effective to book a group tour!
If you want to visit Egypt as a solo traveler:
- Find a travel agency that provides you with your own driver and personal guide.
- Avoid going out by yourself in the late evening or night.
- Avoid dark and empty streets – stick to well-lit and populated areas.
- Tell someone (a friend back home) where you are going and your itinerary.
- Bring an extra lock for your hotel door.
Solo travel can be liberating, but you should take extra precautions. Criminals all over the world, including Egypt, will be more inclined to target solo travelers. It’s just common sense!
Other Considerations about Safety in Egypt
When you travel to Egypt, you’ll experience a totally new cuisine, amazing scenery, a deliciously hot climate… and another culture. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Even though same-sex and LGBTQ+ lifestyles aren’t criminal in Egypt, there is very little public acceptance of it. Public displays of affection are frowned upon even for heterosexual couples!
- Alcohol is available to buy in some stores and restaurants, but it cannot be consumed in public spaces. This is against the law.
- You should also avoid speaking negatively about the Egyptian government, just to be cautious.
There are other things to remember, like don’t bring any drone equipment and declare large sums of money at customs. You can read about these things in our guide What to Pack for Egypt.
Egypt Safety by Destination
If you’re worried about safety in your chosen Egypt destination, check the lists below for places to avoid and places to visit in Egypt.
Places to Avoid in Egypt
While all tourist destinations in Egypt are safe (keep reading for a full list below), there are some areas to avoid.
- Libyan border – Libya borders Egypt to the east and relations have been historically rocky, with the Libyan crisis ongoing. We recommend not visiting within 50km of the Libya-Egypt border (which is easy, as there are no tourist destinations here).
- Sinai Peninsula – Sinai, particularly North Sinai, is a no-go area. This part of Egypt is close to Israel and far away from Cairo, Alexandria, and Red Sea destinations. Sinai has a higher threat of terrorist attacks.
These areas of Egypt are located quite a distance from any tourist destination or major city that you can travel to by plane. So, don’t worry! You cannot accidentally stumble into these places to avoid in Egypt.
Safe Places to Visit in Egypt
Most places to visit in Egypt are safe for tourists. In fact, travel and tourism is one of the strongest economic sectors in Egypt, with almost 2.4 million Egyptians employed in the industry across the country. This means most destinations (including those listed below) are designed to be safe and welcoming for tourists.
When planning your Egypt itinerary, make sure these safe places make the cut:
- CAIRO – the capital of Egypt, featuring the Giza Pyramids, the Sphinx, the Great Valley Temple, the Egyptian Museum, open bazaars and markets, cafés and shops, and mosques too.
- ASWAN – a small market town on the Nile, with attractions including the Philae Temple, the Unfinished Obelisk, the Nubian Museum, the Aswan Dam, and day trips to Abu Simbel.
- Luxor – a city in Upper Egypt that has many ruins left from the ancient city of Thebes, including the Valley of the Kings, the Luxor Temple, Hatshepsut Temple, and Karnak Temple.
- ALEXANDRIA – explore the Mediterranean coast, see the famous Library of Alexandria, the Catacombs, Citadel of Qaitbey, and soak up the sunshine.
- SHARM EL SHEIKH – a popular tourist hub by the Red Sea, where you can enjoy safaris, quad biking over the dunes, snorkeling, or just sunbathing at your resort.
- HURGHADA – one of the best resort destinations, with budget and luxury options. Great for beaches, swimming with dolphins, snorkeling, coral reefs, and scuba diving.
- ABU SIMBEL – often a day trip from Aswan, Abu Simbel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s protected and preserved. Some history buffs visit Egypt for this site alone! Here you can find Temples Built by Ramses II.
All these safe Egypt destinations and more are visited through our guided tour options at Egypt Tours Plus.
Egypt Safety Concerns
Like any country, there is crime in Egypt. There are also things that visitors should be aware of. You can visit your government website for more detailed and updated travel advice, but here are the general safety concerns to remember when booking your Egypt vacation.
For tourists, crime is low in Egypt. There are some reports of armed robberies, muggings, and break-ins, but these are few and far between. Likewise, there are some reports of sexual assault and harassment in resorts along the Red Sea, but these are thankfully rare. You can call 126 to speak to the tourist police in Egypt, or find the number for your embassy, to report any crimes.
As a tourist, you are more likely to encounter:
- Pickpocketing and bag snatching.
- Scammers looking for money.
- Peddlers who offer you a gift or service (sometimes as simple as directions) for free, but then demand payment.
- Aggressive salesmen and women offering you exclusive access or tours.
These crimes and harassment occur primarily around tourist sites. So, keep your belongings secure, get your tickets in advance, and make sure you book a reputable tour guide with a private driver like Egypt Tours Plus so you always have experienced help to navigate. And safe, comfortable transportation.
There has been some political unrest in Egypt over the last decade, but currently, you don’t need to worry about this when traveling to the country. Egypt is not at war and so long as you avoid the Libya border and North Sinai (there’s no reason for a tourist to visit these places anyway), you shouldn’t encounter any conflict at all.
Terrorism is a risk in many countries around the world and Egypt is no exception. North Sinai is the prime area where terrorism is at high risk, but there is also some small risk at tourist spots and major cities including Cairo. You might see armed security personnel at tourist sites and roadside checkpoints – they’ll just want to see your photo ID and are there for your protection.
As of January 2024, the UK government describes the risk of terrorism in Egypt as ‘very likely’. This is the same level of risk assigned to France, the USA, Thailand, and many other popular vacation destinations. So, that puts the level of risk into perspective!
Egypt has no risk of yellow fever or malaria. The highest risks are hepatitis A through unsanitary water or food (see below) and tetanus through cuts and scrapes that get infected. You can be vaccinated for both, but if you have stayed up to date with your boosters then you’ll be absolutely fine.
The COVID-19 guidance for Egypt is that vaccinations aren’t mandatory, but you may need to provide a negative test result – check the travel advice for your country too, as you may need to provide a test for the return journey.
Other health concerns for tourists include:
- Mosquito bites – even though there’s no risk of malaria, they’re still uncomfortable!
- Sunburn and sunstroke – remember to protect your skin from the sun.
- Dehydration – it’s hot, so you need to stay hydrated.
Food and Drink
Getting an upset stomach is a common traveler complaint and it can happen to anyone. Sometimes the cause is just trying a new cuisine that your body isn’t accustomed to. Other times, it may be because you ate something unsanitary or contaminated.
The tricks to finding safe food and water in Egypt are:
- Never drink tap water (it is not safe anywhere).
- Always choose bottled water or refill a filtered water bottle.
- Eat at a hotel or resort restaurant and other high-quality establishments.
- Choose street stalls and cafés that are busy and popular with the locals.
- Avoid empty and unfrequented establishments – they may be like this for a reason!
How to Make Your Trip to Egypt Safe
The best way you can make sure your trip to Egypt is safe is to maintain common sense – just like you’re a tourist visiting any other country. You should also consider a private or guided tour. Our tours are led by English-speaking travel experts who can drive you to locations (and even from and to the airport), keeping you safe from pick-pocketers and scams that you might encounter.
Discover how Egypt Tours Plus can help you enjoy Egypt on a carefree, safe, and adventurous vacation, and follow these final tips:
- Avoid demonstrations, rallies, and large crowds where possible.
- Keep an electronic copy of your ID and travel documents.
- Keep a paper copy of your ID and travel documents.
- Take your photo ID with you every day, as you may need it.
- Bring suitable clothes for the climate and culture.
- Consult your country’s travel advice before you set off!
Other safety related issues to consider when traveling to Egypt:
Do I Need Travel Insurance for Egypt?
Travel insurance is always a good idea, even though it isn’t mandatory. This should include air and sea rescue costs; in case you are planning to go scuba diving or snorkeling. Lost baggage and cancellation insurance are also popular choices, particularly if you are booking air travel.
Is Egypt Safe Right Now?
Yes, Egypt is safe right now! Only the Libyan border area and North Sinai have travel restrictions from most governments.
Is It Safe to Visit the Pyramids?
Yes, the pyramids are a popular tourist attraction and are kept safe by armed security personnel. To ensure you see the Giza Pyramids in all their glory, book with a travel agency that offer you a private, reputable tour guide – don’t fall for a scam or pay too much for people offering “exclusive” tours at the site.
Are Nile River Cruises Safe?
Yes! Nile river cruises are a safe and relaxing way to travel through Egypt while stopping at all the popular tourist destinations. All you need to do is book from a reputable tour provider.
What to Avoid in Egypt?
In Egypt, the regions to avoid are the Libyan border and the Sinai region. You should also aim to dress conservatively, not drink alcohol in public, and pick where you eat sensibly. Avoid drinking tap water too. And follow the other advices in this guide for a safe trip!
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Last Updated on February 14, 2024