Is Egypt Safe to Visit?

Our guide to travelling safely in Egypt

Travelling to Egypt brings fascinating historic landmarks and monuments, old-worldly markets and bazaars and a gorgeous coastline, attracting tourists worldwide. However, those who keep up with global news will be aware that this beautiful country has faced a turbulent past, especially where terrorism and religious conflict are concerned.  
One of the most asked questions is, is Egypt safe to visit? Usually, the answer is yes (for the most part). But when booking a holiday to Egypt, it is essential to check up on a region’s current national and international affairs, to cater your trip suitably or to avoid a trip to Egypt altogether. Advice on travel to Egypt will vary month by month, mainly due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.  
The bottom line of travel safety is to check with government guidelines, as Middle Eastern political relations and terrorism threats are continually changing. However, if you decide to embark on a trip to Egypt during times of peace, there are other guidelines to follow which will help to achieve a safe, smooth-running holiday. Here are our top tips to ensure safe travel in Egypt. 

Why Travel to Egypt? 

For avid travellers, Egypt is a bucket list must-have, as its intricate cultural heritage and preserved ruins blend with gorgeous desert and riverside landscapes, constructing a tourist’s oasis. Egypt’s most popular tourist destinations, from the white sands of Hurghada to the world’s “greatest open-air museum” Luxor, tend to offer well-guided and completely safe experiences.  
Because global visitors flock to the country’s incredibly prominent ancient landmarks, Egypt’s tourism infrastructure is booming. A trip to Egypt is often distinguished by a well-organised itinerary, brimmed with insightful encounters of the country’s labyrinthine history.  



Local Laws and Customs 

When travelling to an unfamiliar country, you should be wary of beliefs, traditions and laws that may contrast with those in your home country. As Egypt is an Islamic country, with around 90% of Egyptians identifying as Muslim, beliefs regarding sexuality, gender and clothing vary hugely from those commonly accepted in the Western sphere.  
During your holiday in Egypt, you should avoid speaking ill of the Egyptian government or of Islamic law, especially while in public spaces. Whilst you may disagree with some of the laws enacted in the country, try to remain unopinionated during conversations with locals or in busy areas. Egyptian law comes down quite heavily on the ill-speak of the president or Islam. 
Read more about Blasphemy Laws in Egypt here  
There is little public acceptance of LGBTQ+ relationships in Egypt, meaning that same-sex couples should remain wary in public to avoid ill-treatment.  
Read more for further information on travelling abroad as an LGBTQ+ person here.  
The dress code in Egypt, other than in hotels and beach resort cities like Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada, tends to command modesty due to religious customs. As Egypt is a very conservative, legs and upper arms should remain covered in most public areas, especially sacred sites. Read more here. 

 Is it Safe to Travel to Egypt as a Woman? 

Sadly, travelling as a woman can introduce added pressure when trying to stay safe abroad. Whilst this is undoubtedly a sad truth, sticking to guidelines and being wary of cultural differences when travelling is best. 
Whilst modesty is expected among both genders in Egypt, women are often expected to maintain a higher degree of such. For example, head scarves should be worn when entering mosques and a higher neckline on tops is expected in most public spaces.  
Egyptian hospitality is widely known for its warmth and openness. Although, lone female tourists in Egypt have experienced uncomfortable interactions with local men, so you should stay vigilant in towns and cities, especially markets and bazaars. Taking transport or touring localities alone as a woman can sometimes bring unwanted attention, so ask your local guide or Wayfairer travel specialist for more advice. 
Read more here for further advice on travelling abroad as a woman.  



Violent Crime 

The past decade has seen several tragic terrorist attacks in Egypt, significantly targeting the Coptic Christian population, as well as security services and government officials. Whilst these incidents are heavily political, rarely impacting touristic sites and foreign visitors, you should familiarise yourself with these issues to make the best decisions while travelling.  
Holidays to Egypt generally bring no trouble, but terrorists attacks in Egypt have been sporadic for decades, primarily impacting the Sinai Peninsula and Cairo. Whilst this risk should not always become off-putting, you should remain cautious of suspicious behaviour in busy areas.  
Whilst unauthorised protests are banned in Egypt, political demonstrations occur in cities, sometimes harbouring aggressive responses. You may feel passionate about the subject matter, but avoiding any involvement in political or religious unrest or debate during your visit is best. 
Read more about what you should do in a terrorist situation abroad here.  


Israel-Hamas Conflict (2023/24) 

As we all know, a devastating and divisive conflict has been pursued in the Middle East, heavily impacting Palestinian and Israeli territories. As of this article’s publication date, Egypt has thus far avoided being drawn into the conflict. However, Egypt does border Gaza and Israel, proposing a high threat of involvement.  
Due to the religious nature of the conflict, terrorism and air strike threats during this turbulent time are higher, especially at tourist and religious sites and areas near the eastern border. Egypt currently has good relations with Israel, and the FCDO does not currently advise against travel to the most popular tourist destinations, but do take into account the ever-changing nature of war when booking a holiday.  

There is advice to avoid travel to the Governate of North Sinai, the northern part of South Sinai and the Western Desert and Libyan border region. Otherwise, tourism operations are proceeding as usual, with warnings to remain vigilant and keep up-to date with news of the conflict. 

For more information about the best Egypt holiday destinations, enquire here. 

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