35 responses

  1. Audrey | Uncornered Market
    January 22, 2012

    Great interview and write up! We were in Cairo for a week in late December at the same time as the 2nd wave of demonstrations were happening on Tahrir Square. Although the nightly news was horrible and made it seem like the entire city/country was in chaos, the violence was really restricted to that one small square. We had no problems criss-crossing the city and visiting sights around Cairo and in Alexandria.

    People were outrageously friendly and welcoming, telling us not to worry about safety. And, with tourism numbers down 85% in December it meant that we had the pyramids, museums and other sites to ourselves. We felt safe the whole time.

    Reply

  2. ciki
    January 22, 2012

    WOW! What great tips from Giulia.. hope to be as brave and well travelled as her one day! It takes guts to be so deeply integrated into any society you visit,and for an extended period of time as well.. Great stuff, and great interview Les;)

    Reply

    • Leslie Koch
      January 22, 2012

      Thanks Ciki. I’m fascinated by Giulia’s story. She clearly loves Egyptian culture and it’s so interesting hearing her take on the revolution.

      Reply

  3. Traveling Ted
    January 22, 2012

    Great use of networking and finding the answers from an expert about if it is really safe to travel to Egypt.

    Reply

  4. Bicultural Mama
    January 22, 2012

    Really great, thoughtful questions and answers. Intriguing to hear a first hand assessment from someone who has lived in Egypt.

    Reply

  5. Jade – OurOyster.com
    January 23, 2012

    This is a fantastic article – it really put things in to perspective. Travel is already such a scary thing for many people – it is good that you are helping to dispell some of those fears

    Reply

  6. Andrea
    January 23, 2012

    I really enjoyed reading this – on the news we only see the protests and the media always make things look worse than they are, like the whole country is in conflict. The niqab experiment was also really interesting – it would be especially insightful to see how tourists looked at you differently.

    Reply

  7. Giulia
    January 23, 2012

    I feel so honored! Thanks for involving me in this project.
    It’s always a pleasure for me to share my knowledge about Egypt, so I was very happy to answer these questions, and any further question if someone wants to ask!
    The post looks great, thank you so much 🙂

    Reply

  8. Emily in Chile
    January 23, 2012

    SO interesting! Chile hasn’t had nearly the level of protests as Egypt did (here the issues were education reform and the environment), but I totally know what Giulia means when she talks about the energy you can feel on the streets. I’d love to see Egypt, and it’s good to hear it’s safe for tourists again.

    Reply

  9. Mohamed
    January 23, 2012

    I’m so proud to be an egyption guy, and i’d like to say to you from all my heart and honestly I’d love to see you all here in Egypt,and it’s safe for tourists to visit one of the most safety place on the earth ..

    Reply

    • Leslie Koch
      January 26, 2012

      Mohamed, thank you for the comment on our Q+A with Giulia!

      Reply

  10. Egyptclass
    January 24, 2012

    A nice article. I like the pointing on ‘keep your mind open’. Lots of foreigner travelers come to Egypt with prejudices in their heads. Sure, Egypt is poor country compare to the West but the culture is amazing. Beaches are fine if you look for relax or sport. Looking to know the culture? Leave the comfort of luxurious hotels and take a tour with a professional. You will stop seeing the poverty and almost everywhere garbage. You will see lots of this great nation.

    Reply

  11. Erin De Santiago
    January 24, 2012

    We just left Cairo yesterday and EVERYONE told us not to visit Egypt right now. We didn’t even realize until we arrived that the 25th was the 1 year anniversary of the start of the major uprising. We saw some protestors and even had a rally go down in front of our hotel as we were staying 10 mins from Tahrir Square. We had no issues and never felt unsafe at any time – everything we witnessed was quite peaceful. They expected things to heat up this week as people were rallying as part of a “week of mourning” but again, nothing worthy of canceling our trip over. Considering we were originally booking the Costa ship that just sank for last week’s sailing, I think Egypt was a far safer choice!

    Reply

    • Leslie Koch
      January 25, 2012

      Thanks for sharing your experience as a recent visitor to Egypt. It’s interesting that the cruise ship you were considering in Europe ended up being the unsafe choice! It’s really valuable to hear from travelers like you who have been to Egypt recently 🙂

      Reply

  12. Shane
    January 24, 2012

    I am sooo craving Koshary right now.

    I forgot today is National Police Day and the anniversary of the beginning of the revolution. This time last year we were in Dahab watching events unfold in Cairo. We stayed six weeks and not once did we feel unsafe. Egypt is a big country.

    Hopefully Giulia’s answers and the experiences of some of the commenters here encourage more people to visit this fascinating country.

    Reply

    • Leslie Koch
      January 26, 2012

      Thanks for sharing your experience in Egypt!

      Reply

  13. dave jackson
    February 2, 2012

    went to sharm in november going back in 2 weeks loved it everyone so friendly no sign of animosity .

    Reply

  14. Journeys and Travels
    February 7, 2012

    One of the few countries I would love visiting in the future. This post is very useful and one that keep tabs on where to visit the less touristy pyramids. I wished I can visit Egypt and stay longer like you do.

    Reply

  15. Clara
    March 10, 2012

    Hello,
    Thank you for the informative Q&A.
    My mom is traveling this month, March
    to Egypt with her Church. Do you still feel it is safe and a good time to visit. They will be touring all the historical places.

    Thank you. Clara Kiriwn

    Reply

  16. ali
    April 23, 2012

    hi all my name is ali
    first i just want to give a big thanks to Giulia who trying to view egypt for people around the world from this awesome site, and im one of the egyption people who live in egypt and its awesome here in egypt and u can be in several places like cairo, sharm el shaik, hurgada, marsa alam, siwa, alex,alot of places u can be and ITS SAFE lol come on guys and u will found milions egyption guys just want to help u to get an out standing vacation in egypt hmm.. i think thats it lol thxx again

    Reply

    • Leslie Koch
      April 25, 2012

      Hi Ali, thanks for your comment! Egypt is beautiful and there are so many attractions to see.

      Reply

      • Amr Ezzat
        August 19, 2012

        Thanks for your lovely comments a bout egypt
        and i`m happy u enjoyed ur trip here
        and wish to be friends with u

        Reply

  17. Designer
    May 25, 2012

    We got a little infuriated due to the elaborate scam pulled on us at Giza plateau. We got in a taxi when exiting the train station at Giza and was about to pull out when another passenger jumped in the front seat, said something in Egyptian to the driver and off we went, he then turned and told us he was a teacher and his name was Omar Sharif (good start), he was supposedly on his way to a wedding and could we drop him off on route, we agreed. Once he knew our destination he decided to inform us that there were two ways in, the tourist way and the Egyptian way, We were adamant we would go the tourist way even though his way sounded hassle free and cheap. Eventually we got to his drop off which just happened to be his mate’s stables where we told by the taxi driver this was the entrance and left us down a dirt track listening to a very long and pressurising sales pitch which included telling us it would cost $100 each to go the tourist route and his camels were the cheapest alternative at $50. We could see the pyramids in the background so we decided we had got our bearings and walked 30 minutes to the entrance. It eventually cost us $9 to get in the tourist route. It did put a slight dampener on the whole experience, and of course the scams continued around the pyramids too, but that’s another story.

    Reply

    • Leslie Koch
      May 28, 2012

      Sounds like scams that happen at a lot of tourist destinations– like tuk-tuk drivers in Thailand who take tourists to jewelry shops owned by their colleagues and won’t let them leave until they buy something. It’s a shame how some unscrupulous people take advantage of travelers– glad you got out without paying anything.

      Reply

  18. Pamela
    July 10, 2012

    Hello, I had planned a trip to Egypt on my own but family members did not want me to go. It’s great to hear positive things here from not just you but others as well. However I still worry. Would it be better traveling with a group? I am 62 and female; I want to go to Mt. Sinai in particular and then Cairo. In November I will go to Jordan and Israel with a group. I Thank you

    Reply

    • Leslie Koch
      July 14, 2012

      Hi Pamela. I have not visited Egypt recently but Giulia is currently on a trip through the Middle East and may be able to address your concerns. She is live blogging on Twitter about the countries she is visiting. Check out her blog for details: http://blog.travelreportage.com/

      Reply

  19. September
    July 16, 2012

    Hello! I know this is a bit far off, but I want to travel to Egypt with my family to include my three children. Of course as with anyone my concern is the safety of my children. I have wanted to visit Egypt for many, many years and am planning a trip in the next year or so but want to make sure everything is taken care of first. Is it truly safe for children, and would you recommend a taking a tour company for added safety? Also in light of the recent kidnappings, is that something that honestly happens often or is it more of a fluke accident, like in the wrong place at the wrong time sort of thing? I appreciate your candid thoughts on this. Thanks all for the pics and info! This would be my absolute dream vacation!!

    Reply

    • Leslie Koch
      August 11, 2012

      Thanks for the questions! The traveler interviewed in this Egypt Q+A, Giulia, is actually in Egypt right now. You can ask her questions via her site (Travel Reportage) or her Twitter or Facebook pages. It looks like she is having a great (safe) time: http://blog.travelreportage.com/metrip2012/

      Reply

  20. Egypt holidays
    July 28, 2012

    happy to read article like this about egypt, thanks alot for your interesting tips for all egypt visitors
    i wish tourism return as it was before in egypt

    Reply

  21. Joe
    August 7, 2012

    I lived and worked in Egypt for years and have many friends there. I also know many unpleasant stories from woman who were unaccompanied by men. In the old days there was rarely any overt violence, but today all bets are off. I know many Egyptians in the USA and they don’t feel its safe to go to Egypt now even for themselves and their families. Egyptian friends in Egypt suggest now is not the time for me (or other obvious foreigners) to visit. Recently many women have been sexually assaulted by mobs. Banditry is growing in rural areas, Sinai, etc. Just this weekend 17 Egyptian soldiers were slaughtered in Sinai. I used to drive through Sinai all the time and didn’t think anything of it; everyone did. But now it has a lot more risk.

    It is possible to go there now and be careful, sure, especially if you’re on a tour…. however I feel that Giulia is a bit too care free, almost irresponsible not to provide more serious caveats…. especially for women…. also, the abuse Egyptian women suffer daily is HORRENDOUS…

    Reply

    • Leslie Koch
      August 11, 2012

      Thanks for sharing your perspective. Giulia has written about being a woman traveling in Egypt, which obviously has some challenges, but she has had a largely positive experience. In fact, she’s currently in Egypt and is providing updates on her blog, Facebook and Twitter: http://blog.travelreportage.com/metrip2012/

      Reply

  22. Ashraf
    October 15, 2012

    I am ashraf ramadan , i am a tour operator at viking travel company , i am looking for any one who would like to travel to egypt , Egypt is a land of many wonders and sights to behold, from the ancient pyramids of Giza to the amazing temples along the Nile. If you have dreamed of visiting this magical land… Well, Egypt is definitely a land that you deserve to experience.
    contact me at
    viking-travel@hotmail.com

    Reply

  23. ahmed
    January 29, 2015

    Thank you for the informative Q&A.
    I’ve travelled a lot and I’ve never met a warmer, more hospitable, down-to-earth and downright funny bunch of people.
    this is a country where a smile goes a long way. That’s the way life should be.
    whether it’s sly, bawdy, raucous, smart or just plain hilarious, everyone here appreciates a good joke. There’s very little that can’t be, or isn’t, laughed at.
    Cairo. I read and dreamt about this crazy, beautiful, fascinating city when I was a child and, so far, it’s never disappointed me.
    That it’s multi-layered and multi-faceted and never, ever dull – from the chaos of Cairo to the beauty of Siwa to the hippy charm of Dahab and the sophistication of Gouna. And that’s just a fraction of its charms.
    That nearly everything is open nearly all of the time, which makes life so much easier. I can buy my groceries at midnight if I need to, which takes away a lot of the stress of city living.
    The sense of community and the ease with which people relate to each other –
    One final thing: if you’re outside the country and ever thought of visiting, A lot of things happened but, for most of us, the good definitely outweighed the bad. If anything, it’s made the majority of us, Egyptian and non-Egyptian, fall in love with Egypt even more…

    What are you waiting for? Now seems to be as good as time as ever.
    for further information about Egypt read my web site http://www.egyptraveluxe.comand too much information is to be found on my blogger http://egyptraveluxe.blogspot.com/

    Reply

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