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11 replies
Solo Female Travel To Egypt
daisy_girl175
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Not too sure whether to post this in this forum or the ‘Rest of the World’ Forum. Anyway, I’m just curious to see if any women out there have travelled to Egypt either solo or with other females. Is it a bad idea? I’m travelling to Greece with my 18 year old sister for the summer and am considering flying to Egypt for a few days since I was able to find a wicked seat sale from Athens to Cairo. If ANYONE out there has any info that might be helpful I’d greatly appreciate it. By the way, my sister has never really travelled. I’ve done quite a bit by myself around Europe.

Thanks!

carli07
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I travelled to Egypt and had an amazing time, but I did a tour, and suggest that to anyone travelling in Egypt. If you’re backpacking it, it’s a lot different than Europe. Egyptians do not cater to tourists, especially to females.

The people are wonderful and very nice, but I wouldn’t have walked around town (around the cities as opposed to the tourist places) without one of my male friends with me, for safety’s sake. I would rather be too careful than not careful enough. When I went to the marketplace I even had to cover up my hair because the men wouldn’t leave me alone.

I’m definitely not saying don’t go, you should go for SURE, it was the most amazing week and a half of my life, but be prepared and don’t take anything for granted. Look into tours, and go with someone who has been before. Organize places to stay before you get there and how you’re going to get around. That’s why tours were great. I didn’t have to worry about getting anywhere and it was safe.

If your sister has never travelled I would especially look into this option.

daisy_girl175
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Thanks for the info Carli. Did you visit just Cairo and vicinity or any other areas within Egypt? Any suggetions? I was originally considering just Cairo, but may now look into maybe a 5-7 day tour visting other areas.

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With 5-7 days you can easily go Cairo – Luxor. As for solo women travelling, I would say that you’ll certainly get lot’s of attention but it won’t be dangerous, just annoying. Most likely, they won’t harras you, they would try to sell you something.

carli07
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Daisy, I did a massive Contiki tour (7 weeks), and part of the tour was Egypt. We flew from Athens to Cairo, took an overnight train to Aswan, then took a bus to Luxor and flew to Abul Simbel. We also drove out to the Red Sea and spent a couple nights in Hurghada. It was fantastic. I’m sure you coupld spend 5 days in Cairo easy, but if you have the time, try and spend as much as possible branching out.

This is sort of what this part of my tour looked like :

http://www.contiki.c…

It was great, because we did the touristy stuff, but also went places, that honestly, I think were firsts for tourists. If you have any questions at all, about anywhere in Europe or more on Egypt, you can email me. Smile

carlis_angels07@yahoo.ca

webrhino
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hi,

well i was just in egypt 2 weeks ago… i’m a male egyptian and i took an american friend with me which was another male… from what i saw you will be very safe but i would suggest you cover your hair to blend in or it will be very annoying….

you will have a great time, i stayed there for little over a month as i own 2 apartments in cairo and alex.

i highly suggest you see sharm and alex if you like the beach…

have a great time, its a great country and nice people!!

Tashi
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I went to Egypt about 2 years ago with another female friend and did a 7-day tour up the Nile. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I would recommend it to anyone. However we both experienced quite a bit of harassment and were almost assaulted on one occasion. Other people on our tour experienced abuse after being mistaken for Americans. If you decide to go I would highly recommend that you go on a tour. When you get into Cairo it is best to have accommodation booked at a decent hotel and arrange for a hotel pick up. That said, there is nothing more wonderful than cruising down the Nile watching the sunset. And the food is amazing. Just don’t accept any camels!
Hope this has been of some help,

CanadianJohn
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2 max 3 days is more then enough in Cairo..BUT DO A TOUR, or atleast research the tourists areas and stay confined there. Most of all, in Cairo, dress conservativly…i dont think u’d have to cover your hair or anything like that…but do expect to be hit on and flirted with alot. AND, if your planning to do any type of shopping, just know that no matter how much you bargained the price down, your still getting ripped off, so u could always bring the price down a little bit more!

If you like Churches, let me know and i’ll give u information on the some of the most beautiful churches dating back to the 1st to 3rd centuries belonging to the Coptic church.

In alexandria there is some museums and ancient Roman and Greek ruins, but since your already doing greece i’d forget about it…the beach is not that great, overly crowded, and not enough tourism.

Luxor or Aswan(Upper Egypt that is the southern part), go there a couple of days if you like the ancient stuff but expect it to be very very very very hot in the summer ie 40-45+ degrees celc….so if you go,….take lots and lots of water…and ofcourse dont go down there without a tour..not because of safety but b/c you wont know what to do!

If you like the beach, go down to Sharem el Sheik, or Dahab, or Hugherdah..no saftey issues, no tours necessarary, no probs what so ever…garunteed to be one of, if not, the best beaches that you will ever visit…and depeding on where you go and what time of year, you should really enjoy the night life there!

Anyhow, if you have any more questions, shoot!

Cya

John

luv_the_beach
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carli07 wrote:
The people are wonderful and very nice, but I wouldn’t have walked around town (around the cities as opposed to the tourist places) without one of my male friends with me, for safety’s sake. I would rather be too careful than not careful enough.

Oh for crying out loud…what the hell do you think they’re going to do to you? And in the middle of a crowded city? If you get stares, it’s because of sociocultural differences, and not because they want to harm you. Like Andrew said: it may be annoying, but it’s not dangerous.


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

americangeiko
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As someone who recently had a female friend and their husband go all over the middle east, including Egypt. Based on her experiences, I’d recommend dressing conservatively, and covering your hair in public. My Grandmother was stoned for not covering her hair in public in Turkey when she was younger. I knew one girl who told me that her archeology teacher was raped on a dig in Egypt and the people who did it weren’t prosecuted by the government because the teacher chose to wear pants.

Things are more lax now, but that doesn’t mean some sentiments have completely changed. (There’s ultra-conservatives in every culture.) And I’m definitely not saying don’t go. I desperately want to go to Egypt and see Luxor. (Amongst other places in the middle east). But as someone who’s known female friends who’ve travelled all over Europe and the world solo (or damn near it), blending in never hurts. It’ll keep people from harassing you and in some cases will keep you save. (If no one knows you’re a girl then it lowers people targeting you for just that.)

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luv_the_beach
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Traveling from Europe or the Americas to the Middle East and North Africa would certainly require a significant culture shift. But I find some of americangeiko’s advice a bit unreliable, specifically the hearsay parts of it.

americangeiko wrote:
As someone who recently had a female friend and their husband go all over the middle east, including Egypt. Based on her experiences, I’d recommend dressing conservatively, and covering your hair in public.

This information is incomplete and meaningless, because we don’t really know why your friend came to the conclusion that she did. Where in Egypt was she? Big city? Off-the-beaten track conservative small town? You said “based on her experiences”. What were her experiences? Wouldn’t it make sense to share her experiences? Did people in Egypt tell her that she should have covered her hair? What did she experience exactly, that led her to believe she should have covered her hair?

Anyways, while it is true that Muslim societies are, generally, very conservative, some are much more moderate than others. Keep in mind that countries like Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Qatar, and the UAE are accustomed to millions of foreign, non-Muslim tourists and business visitors, and they wouldn’t expect foreign women to cover their hair. They will expect, however, that both women and men dress conservatively. Basically, dress the way you could dress to the office; “business casual” is perfectly good, and even casual in some circumstances. It’s not that hard to find pictures online and see what’s acceptable wear in the more moderate Muslim countries (like Egypt, Turkey, UAE, etc). And yes, many if not most women in these countries cover their hair, but many don’t, and are still dressed within socially-acceptable norms. Of course, Egypt, Turkey, and Tunisia are also major beach destinations, and lots of Europeans visit these beaches and wear normal bathing suits, and it’s perfectly acceptable at the beach.

Of course, if you were to travel to Iran or Saudi Arabia (two countries I recommend avoiding ), then, yes, women must cover from head to toe. But Egypt is not Saudi Arabia.


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

Ella rich
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In an era when many women are striving to Lean In professionally, I’m surprised how many still express trepidation at the idea of traveling alone. There’s a lot of sensible online advice for logistics, like useful safety tips (and bad things can certainly happen), but far less about how to enjoy it. Smile