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Is It Safe for Tourist to Travel to Egypt Right Now?

When announced to my friends and family that was my first destination of my indefinite trip around the world travels was Egypt I was greeted with mixed reactions. Some people called me brave, others thought I had lost my mind, and others tried to talk me out of it, citing that Egypt was unpredictable and dangerous.

Honestly all these warnings affected me a little bit, it made me concerned about my decision and I debated starting in Egypt was a smart idea, but I held fast believing in the goodness of people and disregarding what the media.

Well I went to Egypt. I saw the sites, ate the food, experienced the cultural, but did I think Egypt is safe. Here is the current situation in Egypt that will help you deiced if Egypt is a place you want to visit right now.

Is Egypt Safe for Tourist?

Almost everything that is happening in Egypt right now Stems out of the 2011 revolution, which started in Cairo, made national headlines and spread throughout the Middle East.

If you talk to a local for more than 5 minutes, chances are that will hear about the revolution. I talked to people in Cairo, tour guides, hostel staff. One night I drank tea in the desert with a group of farmers. They didn’t speak English nor I Egyptian, but it was obvious that the conversation was about Mubarak and the current situation. Politics is on the tip of everyone’s tongue everywhere in Egypt.

This is what I have gathered from the locals. Before 2011 Egypt was a police state. The law enforcement held the real power of the country. The Police could pull anyone over, for any reason, and hold you for any amount of time they deemed necessary. This is one of the reasons the Egyptians revolted, and when they people “won” their freedom the police backed away and as a punishment they have never come back. This can explain a lot of the Chaos in the city, a lot of aren’t enforced and know people look on them like suggestions.

What’s this mean for tourist?

When the revolution started the Egyptian government had to evacuate all the tourist, and the tourist has never come back.

Overnight Egypt dropped, from 8th in the world for tourism to not even being ranked, and 25% percent of the country’s economy. People working in tourism, or selling souvenirs went from making a decent living to making nothing overnight. Now tourist get hassled everywhere they go as the Egyptians are competing for the few tourist that visit.

So is it safe to travel to Egypt right now.

Honestly, it depends how you define safe.

Are the streets filled with riots? No.

Is your life in danger? You have to be more careful, but No.

Will you get hassled, conned, and taunted? Yes.

I felt safe in most parts of Egypt, with the expectation of certain parts of Cairo at night. Egyptians want the tourist to come back badly.

However, the locals that con and hassel you try to make you feel safe.Also, foreign women are not treated with respect and will get taunted.

You should still take some follow a few rules for safety when going to Egypt. Most of these precautions apply to Cairo; alot of the locals I talked to said that they don’t even recognize the city anymore. They would point to street vendors hassling tourist, and people fighting. Everyone one of them people I talked to told me that before the revolution, it wasn’t like that. Cairo is chaos; you will see that before you even get out of the airport.

You can still visit the city and if you follow these tips you will be safe.

  • Always be street smart. 
  • Go out in groups at night, or let people know where you are going.  If I was out by myself  I made sure I was back to my hostel by nine or ten.
  • Outside of the major markets some street vendors, will try to charge for looking. I found it easier to avoid eye contact and ignore most street vendors.
  • For a female to visit Cairo alone. Although I did meet two females that were both solo traveling it and they were safe.

The Rest of Egypt

Outside of Cairo the Egypt seemed like a different world.

You get hassled and you have to accept that you are going to get conned out of a few dollars here and there, but you’re not in more physical harm than you are anywhere else in the world.

However, I would recommend doing a tour if you are visiting Egypt now if you are visiting Egypt.  I love and hate tours, but they will always keep you in large groups, away from bad areas, and get you to certain sights easily.

If you backpack by yourself there are certain areas  in Northern Sinai that you want to avoid. Mainly because of bickering between soldiers.

Egypt is a country that is hurting, but they want to recover, they want the tourist back, and they are hungry for more. You don’t need to stay away for safety reasons. There are so many things to do in Egypt that it is a country that you don’t want to miss, but you do need to have you guard up, plan things out, and learn some safety tips.

If you are heading to Egypt then there is a good choice chance  you are heading to Jordan as well. Check out if Jordan is safe for solo travelers.

What do you think? Do you think Egypt is safe right now?

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19 thoughts on “Is It Safe for Tourist to Travel to Egypt Right Now?”

  1. I was offered a job in Egypt recently, but decided not to take it because of how women get hassled and raped over there at the moment (including foreign women). Would still travel there though, but like you I’d probably stay with a tour group.

  2. Great Post exploring a very interesting subject. Safety is often a concern of people going travelling, let alone to places that have recently been on the news. Seldom is it something that’s targeting tourists that scares people out of going as well. I’ve been to many cities that have been in the middle of some political upheaval, had riots going on (ahem.. the G20 summit in Toronto, Canada which burned down half the downtown core in 2010), and other mishaps. This does not mean that the cities were unsafe before hand, nor afterwards. The media often does a good job in scaring people to stay at home, forgetting that trouble happens even in their own cities. It’s best to just be smart about travelling. Don’t do things that make you a target, such as flailing money around. Be trusting, but use your wits. The world is not as scary a place as it seems from the comfort of your living room floor. It’s full of beautiful, kind and helpful people – though there are a few jerks out there too. Be safe and travel well! 🙂

    1. Yes, Ian it is all about comfort level. The media often makes things out to be way worse than they are, especially in places like Egypt. Egypt is a hurting country, but a great country. Always trust your gut, and take the proper safety measures.

  3. Egypt and the Middle East is high on my list of places that I want to travel to. Hearing all the news reports it has made me think about whether the news is true or exaggerated. You have to be careful traveling anywhere in the world – be it in North America, or the Middle East. Good to hear from someone that is actually there. Thanks

  4. I recently spoke to my sister about an interest of traveling to Jordan or Israel, and the first thing she said was “you can’t go there – there is too much violence”! I thought that was interesting how we always perceive the worst in foreign lands. My father was recently in hospital for a procedure where he had to spend the night. The girl in the bed opposite him was in hospital as she had been stabbed in the back and had her lung punctured. From her account of the incident – it was random. She was not involved with drugs or crime, but merely in the wrong place at the wrong time in her own home town! I understand that we need to be careful when on the road, but I often think that things do get blown out of proportion, especially in a media hungry world where news stories sell advertising based on the coverage of autrocities that make people react and stay tuned for more information. I say, travel to Egypt, be sensible and keep your wits about you! Thousands of tourists visit with no problems at all! If a major coup breaks out, get out. But I have read a number of articles by people who have travelled to these places and marvelled at the lack of tourists and yet how safe they were! It is a matter of personal comfort levels and discretion in a number of cases, but there will always be exceptions!

    1. Anita, thank you so much for your comment, and I agree and that is what I was trying to get across in the article. I want people to travel to Egypt, I also want them to know what to expect when they get there. I say travel to Egypt, but take the proper precautions and for a travel writer the best advice I can give is to take a tour. Although I was there a couple weeks without a tour and I was fine.

  5. Egypt is really a dream destination for me. While I’m confident that I WILL get there someday, I”m not sure how soon that day will come. Great tips though-I agree that if I do go soon,I”ll team up with another solo female traveler.

  6. elaine schoch @ carpetravel.com

    I’m glad to read this post, to know it’s getting safer. But, I’m still thinking we’ll need to wait a while more before we head to Egypt. It’s on the list though, and one that will happen! Enjoy your trip and stay safe!

  7. I’ve been fascinated with the thought of visiting Egypt since I was a child. While i have seen and heard a lot of negative comments regarding safety while visiting I’ve no doubt it is much the same as a lot of the world. Common sense and a level head go along way to ensuring a safe trip. knowledge is power and I think understanding local customs and respecting local culture is vital.

    1. Excataly, the media has protraed the country as very hostile and violent. It’s not true, but it is like you said you do need to exercise a certain level of caution when visiting any part of the world.

  8. It is very safe .It is just the media and I believe this tips or rules should be followed everywhere to be safe.

    1. Yes, Wael with Egypt you have to take the same precautions as you do anywhere. Egypt is not as safe as western Europe, or the UK, but I do believe that it is safe.

    1. it is true, though I’ve never got more conned and taunted than in Egypt. However, I loved the people andmade some really great friends with a few of the locals there.

  9. Hi Stephen,

    I was in Egypt last year and actually on the day their president was elected. I agree with going on a tour as at no point did my wife and I feel in danger. Tour guides and the companies will know if it is safe to travel to a country or not and perhaps even without a tour we would have been ok. Women do get taunted if there is not a male present but usually if there is a guy with them the most they will get is offers of camels.

    I’m with you that the world is full of more good people than bad. 🙂

    1. Hi Ardun,

      Yea it is better to be safe than sorry. I tour takes a lot of the stress. I was their over a week without a tour, and I was safe. So people tried to buy the women on our tour from me for camels.

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