I got my visa while still in America, so I’m not sure how long the process takes in the airport, but considering the amount of people in the airport on most days, I imagine a need for efficiency. All you need should be the visa request form, money to pay, and your passport. The airport will be chaotic once you get past the boarding area, so make sure you have a designated meeting spot, or at least a phone number for your friend. Stick with your friend at all times because you’ll definitely get a culture shock. Egypt is amazing, you just have to get used to the atmosphere first. Make sure you know how to say “no thank you” in Arabic-it will come in very handy when vendors try to sell everything and anything to you. It’s pronounced “la shokran” although I’m not sure of the spelling. And don’t be afraid to bargain. You catch more bees with honey, so relay on good looks and charm if you can :) Have fun in Egypt, there’s no place quite like it. You’re a lucky duck!
it’s mean “thank you”
and also the Arab Salute or the Arab “hi”
EL Salam Alekom
I always get my visa in the airport. Takes about 15 minutes. I wouldn’t worry about it.
I was there in June-August 05 and didn’t need two pics to get in… might’ve changed. I got my visa at the airport, and it was dirt cheap (~$15) and took ten minutes. Of course, it was at 1:30 am when I got it…
Go to Siwa Oasis while you’re there. It’s very cool!! The bus ride through the desert might make you regret it, but once you get there, stay at the Siwa Safari Paradise… best food in town, and the pool there is great. Say hey to Yusef and Mohammed in the town square, too :-)
Just put your friends house or location ask your friend for an address…it is not a big deal they ask that in many countries. ..You wont need pictures from my experience
- they have a window where you purchase stamps that the immigration officer will paste in your passport. Dont worry. It is just a matter of following the leader. Everyone the you need to speak to…immigration people….will speak some kind of English, even if not well.
You look like you will fit in well. I have that ability too, so I know you will be fine. YOu are lucky to have people there who are inviting you. I am sure you will have a blast….The only thing that shocked me was the Pizza Hut across the street from the Sphinx.
if you have any inquiries related to staying, hotels, places to visit or where to go, I will gladly advice
Its always a good idea to check out the country’s embassy or consulate website. It has the most up to date information. Here is a link http://www.egy2000.com/ft40l.html
According to this website, you will need the following
To obtain a visa for Individual Visa
1)A valid passport for at least 6 months, and a blank page to stamp the visa.
2) One passport-size photo.
3) Completed application.
4) 15.00 US dollars
You will have no problem obtaining the visa at your port of entry (airport)
You can also download the form before you go and have it all filled out before you deplane.
Hope this helps
One important thing to remember… since you will be alone you will be pressured to pay baksheesh (not sure
if that is spelled correctly) which is a tip of sorts. There were women in the bathroom at Cairo airport that wanted baksheesh for handing us a paper towel – even though there were signs that said not to tip for the use of the bathroom. If you speak their language
it may help. But I found that most of them spoke English just fine and a solid “no” went a long way. I also found that if you don’t look like you mean your “no” – you might as well just pay the money.
Don’t worry about being American there – they love us. I think the two things I heard the most was Welcome! and Baksheesh! Make sure you carry plenty of 1 and 5 dollar bills for tips and purchases. I wish that I had mostly taken 1s, 5s, and 20s when I went. They prefer American money when you pay and things don’t cost all that much. I had to break a $100 dollar bill
and I did not do it at the hotel before I left, so I broke it at a small bank in Cairo. I did not recognize that they did not give me the correct bills
so I was shorted about $40 dollars. You will be with a local so that should help a lot!
I am an American woman and I had no troubles there at all (Besides losing some money). In fact, many times I got separated from the group and besides having to say “no” about a million times – I was fine! For me, it was the trip of a lifetime!
Have fun! And most importantly, don’t forget to just stop and realize where you are. Take in the moment so you won’t forget what it felt like to be near things that are that ancient.
To be honest I went by agency and got my visa at Hurghada Internation Airport. We received small cards on which we had to write our basic personal information and we had to pay a small fee of about $15 at the local bank stand. Then the bankteller stuck the “visa” (this is in the form of stamps) and then we took the cards to the customs officer who took them and put a seal in our passports. No pictures nor any other documents were necessary.
I am sure that they should follow the same procedure at the Cairo Airport.
Egypt is a beautiful country and I wish you enjoy your trip. There was one thing that bothered me – the baksheesh. Everybody wants baksheesh from police officers to room maids, so be sure to learn the Egyptian currency so that you don’t give more than you planned.
All the best.
Thanks to everyone for offering your experiences- it is making the trip seem alot less daunting. I am sure it will be great- hot, but none- the
less wonderful. I have been asking people all the time about their travels and just happened across this site and thought why not. So thanks again for all the help. The two things alot of people tell me is 1. Do not drink the water and 2. bring your own bathroom tissue. I should be arriving in Cairo at about 8 PM – so I hope there is not too mych of a wait for the visa but I will make sure I havethe form filled out before I leave here. As for where I am satying- I will have the address of a hotel that I will be staying at for the first night in Cairo- this is all information I need to get from my friend whenever we connect online.
If you don’t manage to obtain the information from your friend, just pick a random cheap hotel from the lonely planet (or from expedia or from whatever travel guide), it always does the trick.
I wouldn’t pick an expensive one since they might think you’ve got a lot of baksheesh to spare (on them) :)
Have a good trip!
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