The Culture Guide: 5 Things You Should Not Do When Visiting Egypt

Whether trekking through the desert to view pyramids thousands of years old or perusing the stalls at a Cairo marketplace for delicious food and delightful souvenirs, there is no doubt that Egypt offers an unforgettable place to visit and explore. To get the most out of your trip, however, you want to be conscientious of a few key don’ts that could hinder your trip. Keep these in mind to help you stay on good terms with your hosts and experience the beauty of Egypt.

DON’T Forget about cultural differences in clothing

Remember the expression, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” In Egypt, that means watching your dress to avoid offending the locals. Wearing tight-fitting clothing or showing too much skin through tank tops or shorts can make you seem rude. This is amplified even further if you want to enter any religious buildings. Wear loose-fitting, light clothing throughout your trip. Women should also have a loose scarf available if they want to visit any religious buildings. As an added bonus, covering your arms and legs will also help protect your skin from the strong Egyptian sun.

DON’T Assume you want to wear sandals everywhere

Sandals might seem like a great footwear choice because of the comfort they offer in the heat, but they can actually be a poor choice when exploring Egypt. Even major cities like Cairo tend to have streets that are dirtier than what some people might expect. Additionally, you should expect to do a lot of walking as you explore the areas around the major sites. Sensible shoes, such as sneakers, will likely serve you better throughout your trip.

DON’T Take a picture of everything you see

As you look around at all of the amazing sites, you might feel tempted to take pictures of everything you see. However, you should familiarize yourself with the cultural expectations surrounding pictures. Specifically, regulations dictate that you cannot take pictures of certain infrastructure in the country, such as the Suez Canal. Therefore, you want to verify that you can take pictures of your target before you start snapping.

Additionally, most locals will consider it rude if you take pictures without asking permission. Therefore, even if you can take pictures in the area you explore, make sure that you have asked permission of those around you as well.

DON’T Forget to tip

Tipping plays an important role in the local economy, so you should carry coins and some small bills with you to provide a tip to those who offer you services throughout your trip. For example, you will want to tip your room cleaners, taxi drivers, and tour guides as you travel.

DON’T Write off the potential of a guided tour

You might feel tempted to try and save some money or to give yourself more flexibility, and explore the different sites on your own with the help of a guidebook. However, booking some guided tours can help you get significantly more out of your travels. You can ask your guide questions that might arise as you explore. You also get to find all of the hidden gems that you might have missed if you relied solely on what you could find in a book. 

However, as you look for your tour guide, be sure to check their government license. Failing to do so can result in accidentally falling for a scam.

Egypt can offer you an adventure of a lifetime. Keep these tips in mind and experience all that this incredible country can offer.