I loved Egypt! I have wanted to go to for a really long time but for some reason I always talked myself out of going out of fear. This year though, I realized that was stupid and I booked a ticket. I went to Egypt alone, as a very white, very blonde and very American. I was nervous but honestly, I knew that I would be fine. Since going I have had so many women reach out to me to hear how my trip went and ask if it’s safe for them to go too. That’s what led me to write this post. My 20 tips for your solo trip to Egypt.
Book a hostel
I recommend stay at Dahab Hostel. I stayed at Dahab in a private room for only $7. They even sent me an airport pickup for only $6. They have a beautiful rooftop garden with tons of pillows and seating areas where you can chat and play games with other hostel guests and anytime you want to eat they will order food for you and have it delivered. The other great thing about Dahab is that they organize tours all over Egypt that you can go on. Book a stay in Cairo today.
Organize a taxi pickup
My pickup from the airport was only $6 and my taxi driver was awesome. He had a sign with my name on it and provided water for me. I paid the hostel and they took care of paying him so it was perfect.
Find a buddy to visit slums with
I met two really cool Dutch guys and together we went to see the slums in Cairo. They were an extremely sad site but the people were so kind. I had tea while the guys played soccer with some kids. If this is something you want to do though, don’t go alone.
Wear really appropriate clothing
Pants and long sleeves and long dresses. Of course I saw girls in Egypt wearing all sorts of clothing but in my experience I felt much more comfortable wearing long, flowy dresses with a very light weight sweater. People were already staring at me the whole time, so this helped them stare a little less.
Book tours at the hotel
Hotels there have tons of tours and drivers available so I recommend booking something with them. Usually when you book with your hostel or hotel, they will come pick you up there as well which is something I really appreciate in a tour.
Plan your pyramid trip wisely
When traveling in Egypt alone, always find a buddy to go visit things with you. I went to the pyramids with some people from my hostel and we had a great time. We got lots of photos and ended up having lunch together afterwards. I would recommend to go really early, or after 2pm. We went really early and by the time we were leaving, there were about a million school kids stopping me every 5 seconds for a photo. If you go after the school kids, it might be a bit easier.
Get your visa at the airport bank before you go to security. When I landed there was no one around. No one at security, no one to ask for help. When you land, make sure that you go straight to the bank by security and get a visa. You have to pay in cash but there is an ATM right across from the banks.
Order food for delivery
It costs very little to order food so if you want to have a nice night in with all the friends you’ve made, go ahead and order a bunch of falafel wraps and call it a night. I always ordered breakfast to have at the hostel and sometimes dinner as well.
Visit Dahab for beaches, diving and ghost towns. I didn’t get the chance to go to Dahab but I really wish that I did. Lots of people at my hostel in Cairo told me about how amazing it was and showed me so many pictures so when you are in Egpyt, please go! I know that I will be going back at soon as I can. Find a place to stay in Dahab here.
Ride in the taxi cabs - but also negotiate prices first. And if you take an Uber, make sure you know for sure if you are paying in cash or in the app. We had a driver tell us that it was cash, so we paid him only to find out if too it out of the app as well.
Travel in the women’s only car of the subway. I had no idea that there were subways that had cars for women only and I thought it was great. No one stared or touch you or bothered you. Everyone just sat with their children and road the subway. I loved that.
Clubs and Bars
Don’t go out to clubs or bars. I know people who did, but as a woman I can’t recommend it. Honestly in Cairo I wouldn’t go out much at all at night. People just stared and followed me and I assume if I went to a club, it would have been much worse so I can’t recommend.
Visit New Cairo
I was blown away while I was in Egypt with New Cairo. When they say New, they mean it. This region of Cairo had shopping malls and really nice apartment buildings. I would have never guessed that I was in Egypt when I was there.
Be polite to people in the street
Don’t go inside Bazaars with people. Politely decline. I know a girl who went into this guys bazaar and he tried to convince her to get a massage from him in the back. Which is just not something that you want to do, so just politely say no and walk away, no matter how much they insist.
Get a Sim Card at the airport
Mine was 30 gigs for only $6. After getting my sim from the airport, I went to a Vodaphone store in the city with a girl I met and they wanted to charge her almost 3x as much as I paid for my sim. I honestly recommend just getting it at the airport when you land in Egypt. And get a sim card for sure because it’s so much easier to navigate and not have to worry about wi-fi.
Take the train to Luxor and stay for a few nights. Luxor is amazing and it has tons of history. I want to go back to Egypt just to be able to spend more time there. You can book your stay in Luxor here.
Grab yourself some Nescafe - you’ll need it. My hostel didn’t have any coffee so I bought a thing of Nescafe Gold and made instant coffee all the time.
Avoid the nonalcoholic beer. It’s nasty yo. That’s all I need to say on the topic.
Get cash out of the ATM. I never paid with card. I got cash out a couple times, but Egypt is really cheap so don’t take out way too much. Also, be aware when you are traveling alone in Egypt not to carry too much cash on you at once. I never felt unsafe, but just be careful. Leave your passport, extra cash and credit cards in your room.
Museums & other attractions
Head to the museums later in the day. Kids are there for school trips and they will want 100 pictures and they will follow you around the whole time. It’s just like the pyramids, go later in the day to avoid the crowds of children.
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