Arab Republic of Egypt
Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.
Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.
Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.
Must have six months validity.
At least one blank page
Less than $10,000
Less than $10,000
Passport and Visas:
Entry from Israel:
Diplomatic and Official Passports:
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
The Department of State issued a Travel Warning in late December 2016 for U.S. citizens considering travel to Egypt. There are a number of extremist organizations, including the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), operating in Egypt. Over the past two years, terrorist attacks have targeted Egyptian government and security forces, public venues, including tourist sites, civil aviation and other modes of public transportation, and a diplomatic facility. Terrorist incidents have also occurred in the Western Desert, the large, mostly isolated area west of greater Cairo and the Nile Valley, including in the vicinity of various oasis towns visited by tourists. Terrorist organizations are also active in the northeastern Sinai Peninsula, particularly in the area bordering Gaza. While terrorists primarily target police, military and government officials, civilians have been killed and injured in attacks.
On December 11, a suicide bomber killed dozens of civilians in a church adjacent to the main Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo. This incident followed two roadside bombings targeting police officers on December 9, one that killed six police officers on a major road that leads to the Giza Pyramids, and a second that killed a civilian and injured three policeman in the Kafr el-Sheik Governorate in the Nile Delta.
The Egyptian government maintains a heavy security presence at major tourist destinations and archaeological sites, especially the beach resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in the southern Sinai Peninsula and other resort towns, and the many temples and historical sites located in and around Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel.
Political protests can occur without warning anywhere in Egypt. These protests can result in clashes with police and security forces and should be avoided. It is illegal to photograph police stations, military barracks, and certain other sensitive public buildings.
U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments, avoid demonstrations, and be vigilant regarding their personal security at all times throughout the country. U.S. citizens should also carry identification and a cell phone or other means of communication that works in Egypt, and it is advisable to pre-program the U.S. Embassy’s telephone number and email address into the device.
Victims of Crime:
Report crimes to the local police at 122 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(20) 2-2797-3300.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
Failure to report crimes before leaving Egypt will make it impossible to seek prosecution at a later date. U.S. citizen tourists can forward their complaints for investigation to the Tourist Police Headquarters. For crimes involving children, you may call the child emergency help line by dialing 16000. For issues involving violence against women and/or general complaints, dial 0800 888 3888.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
If you are a victim of a crime, we can:
For further information:
Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan covers you when you are outside of the United States.
Medical Care: It is limited and well below U.S. standards.
Although the Embassy cannot provide medical advice or provide medical services to the public, a list of hospitals and doctors in Egypt can be found on the Embassy website.
Prescriptions: Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all recommended vaccinations, per CDC’s information.
Further Health Information:
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: The laws in Egypt do not explicitly criminalize same-sex sexual activity, but LGBT persons have been arrested on charges such as “debauchery,” “prostitution,” and “violating the teachings of religion,” providing for prison sentences of up to ten years. Reports of such arrests have increased in recent years. Gay men and lesbians faced significant social stigma and discrimination in society. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Egypt, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States. Businesses and institutions in Egypt generally do not make special accommodations for persons with disabilities, and Egyptian authorities do not enforce laws mandating access to transportation, communication, and public buildings by persons with disabilities. Pedestrian sidewalks and walkways are limited, uneven, high, and sometimes used by cars and motorcycles.
Accommodations on public transportation are not offered for elderly individuals or persons with disabilities. Crosswalks exist, but motorists have the right of way and pedestrians should exercise extreme caution.
Women Travelers: Many women travel safely each year without incident. However, when it comes to health and security, women travelers are more likely to be affected by religious and cultural beliefs of the foreign countries they visit. The truth is that women face greater obstacles, especially when travelling alone
Traffic Laws: Although the enforcement of traffic laws generally is lax, foreigners are subject to extra scrutiny and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs could result in arrest or detainment.
Road Conditions and Safety Driving in Egypt is extremely hazardous. Egypt has one of the highest occurrences of road fatalities per mile driven in the world. Intercity roads are generally in good condition, but unmarked surfaces, stray animals, sandstorms and fog, and disabled vehicles without lights or reflectors are among the many hazards present on highways, especially after dark.
Driving Cairo’s busy maze of streets can be an extreme challenge to foreigners, especially those used to a culture of structured rules and regulations. Even residents of Cairo must use extreme care and situational awareness to navigate the capital’s hectic streets. Impatient drivers typically ignore traffic rules, which police seldom enforce. Most traffic lights in Cairo do not function; instead, police officers, using finger and hand movements to direct traffic, normally staff the main intersections.
Vehicle accidents remain a significant safety concern.
Visitors thinking about driving in Egypt should carefully consider other options, such as a taxi or hired driver. If visitors decide to drive, it is essential that they take the utmost precautions and drive defensively. Drivers should be prepared for: unlit vehicles at night; few if any road markings; vehicles traveling at high rates of speed; vehicles traveling the wrong way on one-way streets, divided highways, and connecting ramps; pedestrians dodging in and out of traffic; and a variety of domesticated animals wandering the roadways. Motorists should be especially cautious during the rare winter rains, which can cause extremely slippery road surfaces and localized flooding; Egyptian drivers are not familiar with driving in wet conditions, making such periods particularly hazardous.
Pedestrians should also exercise extreme caution especially in high-volume/high-velocity streets like Cairo’s Corniche, which follows the eastern bank of the Nile River, and Alexandria’s Corniche along the Mediterranean.
Public Transportation: Public buses and microbuses are not safe, and Mission personnel are prohibited from using them. Mission personnel are also prohibited from traveling on Cairo’s metro system. Trains are a particularly unsafe means of transportation, with regular accidents that sometimes involve mass casualties and Embassy personnel are prohibited from traveling by train.
Mission personnel are generally prohibited from traveling outside the greater Cairo and Alexandria areas by motor vehicle, with the exception of travel to beach resorts on the western side of the Red Sea and near Alexandria. Furthermore, Mission policy prohibits personal travel via privately-owned vehicle to any part of the Sinai Peninsula or the Western Desert.
Carjackings have occasionally been reported. While generally occurring during late night or early morning hours, carjackings can also occur in the middle of the day. Carjackings have been reported by Egyptians, foreign private sector personnel, and the diplomatic community. In most cases, perpetrators target newer sport utility vehicles, sometimes with the intent to extract a ransom from the owner. Other instances suggest that perpetrators target transport vehicles in order to steal cargo. Recent incidents suggest that the best response to ensure one’s personal safety is to surrender the vehicle immediately. Reports have not indicated that any violence or harm has come to those victims who posed no resistance.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Egypt’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Egypt’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Aviation Security Enhancements: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in consultation with relevant Departments and Agencies, has determined it is prudent to enhance security, to include airport security procedures for passengers departing from 10 airports, including Cairo International Airport, to the United States. These enhancements will require that all personal electronic devices (PED) larger than a cell phone or smart phone be placed in checked baggage. For more information, please contact your air carrier or visit the Department of Homeland Security website.