Is Egypt Safe?

Is it safe to travel to Egypt?

That’s the big question on everyone’s mind after the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Should you go? Will you be attacked? Are people chucking grenades in the streets? Is it really as bad as they say on the news?

TAHRIR SQUARE: The National Democratic Party’s former headquarters, now a burned out building next to the Egyptian Museum. Egyptians formed a human chain around the museum during the revolution so looters wouldn’t be able to get inside and destroy its priceless treasures. 

To be honest, had I not seen the news reports about the sizable riots when I was in Cairo, I wouldn’t have realized anything happened at all. And aside from a creepy groping incident at a gas station on the Sinai Peninsula, my trip to Egypt went off without a hitch. I never came into contact with revolutionary activities, protests or drama.

If you want to avoid conflict, you shouldn’t have a problem doing so.

That said, I wouldn’t feel comfortable issuing a blanket statement saying that it’s 100% safe to travel to Egypt, especially as a solo traveling female. The current situation does present risks and it would be silly to ignore that. Just a few weeks ago two American tourists were kidnapped at the base of Mt. Sinai, though we’ve since learned it had nothing to do with the revolution. If it’s any consolation, the women said their Bedouin captors were really polite and they look back on the incident fondly. Check out the pretty cool story here.

Regardless of the upheaval in the past year, and even because of it, now is actually a great time to visit Egypt.

At the Great Pyramids of Giza, usually teeming with thousands of international tourists, there were no crowds or long lines. Touts & shopkeepers were pretty excited to see tourists and willing to negotiate. (Just don’t be the jerk who haggles over $1 – that’s a HUGE travel pet peeve of mine!)

Begging for Egyptian pounds

If you want to go to Egypt, by all means — GO. Just be careful, keep apprised of the news while you’re there and consider joining up with a group. That was one of the best decisions I made all year. Ladies, accept that you’ll get unwanted attention from some of the men, even if you’re dressing appropriately for Egypt. That’s bound to happen with or without political unrest.

Based on my Egypt posts to date, you know how I feel about it. Amahhhhzing.

So what do you think? Is Egypt in your travel plans?

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  • Avatar
    February 26, 2012

    I remember when I went to the NYT Travel Show last year everyone was buzzing about Egypt and how it was the best year to visit, for a lot of the reasons you mentioned in this post. If I wasn’t tied up with my own travel plans right now I’d be heading there myself!

    • Avatar
      February 27, 2012

      It’ll be there whenever you finally get there! Those pyramids aren’t going anywhere…

  • Avatar
    February 26, 2012
    Someday I'll be There - Mina

    I Was on my way with an American tourist to St. Katherine the same day the other 2 got kidnapped and still I found it pretty safe. The stories I heard from check points is that they were kidnapped on the highway, not inside the city, and they were kdnapped in order to exchange them with a Bedouin in prison. Still it’s bad but it has nothing to do with the revolution.
    (if I may add, many bedouins depend on tourism for money, and because of the current status they don’t get enough money, which is the reason they are trying illegal ways for money now, the reason that Bedouin was imprisoned…)

    It is still safe though, I’m living in Egypt and I can tell you avoiding trouble will be done the same way you avoid trouble anywhere in the world, with just common sense…

    Thanks for the great post 🙂

    • Avatar
      February 27, 2012

      Yeah, I agree. It’s mostly safe and with some common sense, travelers should be fine. Thanks for your comment!

  • Avatar
    February 27, 2012

    Great post! If I wasn’t busy exploring Australia, I would definitely have Egypt on the list

  • Avatar
    March 12, 2012

    Really helpful info. This is a question I had, and I’m glad to know I should go ASAP. Thanks.

    • Avatar
      March 12, 2012

      Thanks for reading – glad it was helpful!

  • Avatar
    June 13, 2012
    Pam

    Good post – have been worried but wanting to go to Egypt. Did you go on a tour with others there? Don’t remember if you mentioned that or not.
    Thanks! And Go Gators! 🙂
    Pam

    • Avatar
      June 15, 2012

      Yes, I went with a tour. Best decision I made all year. Lots of posts on that if you search through my Egypt content! Thank you for reading & Go Gators!

  • Avatar
    October 08, 2012
    Mil

    Does somebody know about Memphis Tours? I have booked a Nile Tour with them. Any feedback? Thanks.

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