Practical Tips for the Traveller to Luxor

Time Zone | Passport / Visa | Tourist Information | Health | Travel Insurance | Emergencies | Cultural Tips | What to Pack

EGYPT is GMT +2 hours

8am in Luxor is 6am in London

Daylight Saving time:
starts: last Friday in April
ends: last Thursday in September


Passport / Visa

All visitors from the UK need a passport (which must be valid at least one week beyond period of intended stay), and a visa, which is just a simple formality usually completed in Egypt (but check with the Embassy for the latest rules, which can change at short notice). Typically, on arrival in Egypt or during your flight, you will fill in the visa application form. Buy a visa stamp when you arrive at Luxor airport - a single entry one-month tourist visa stamp costs about £10. Your visa may be extended if required. Visas can also be arranged through Egyptian embassies, but doing it at the airport is easier. Business visa applications require a letter from the Company stating the reason for the visit.

For travel to some remote regions a permit is necessary (allow at least 2 weeks before your trip).

Tourist Information Offices

Nile Street, Luxor: Tel 095 382 215
Luxor Airport: Tel 095 383 294


It's generally recommended to check that all your routine innoculations up to date before travelling. You should also check with your doctor whether any specific innoculations are required (allow several weeks before travelling).

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is essential wherever you travel these days - and Egypt is no exception. If you are travelling with medical prescription drugs ensure that you have a copy of the prescription (and a doctor's letter may sometimes be useful).

Bilharzia (Schistosomiasis)

There's a definate risk of bilharzia (schistosomiasis) from the water of the Nile. Don't even paddle in the Nile, let alone swim in it! Instead use the convenient swimming pools on the West bank (for just a nominal charge) or your hotel swimming pool, if there is one.

Drink and Drugs

Penalties for drug dealing and smuggling are harsh, and possession of drugs can land you in jail.

Alcohol is not banned despite Egypt being a Muslim country - in fact Egypt manufactures plenty of alcohol, which can be bought freely. However, imported alcohol may only legally be bought - with a passport - from the Egypt Free shops, for prices similar to UK prices. The bottles of imported alcohol sold in hotel bars all over Egypt are generally being illegally and at an inflated price. Customs regulations allow visitors to bring in up to four litres of alcoholic beverages into Egypt. EgyptAir does not serve alcohol, but according to some travellers, passengers are allowed to take their own alcohol on board; there is nothing on the EgyptAir website or in the 'Egyptair Conditions Of Carriage Year 2010' on the subject.


Chemists often open from 10am to 10pm, and are staffed by competent pharmacists.
Both local made and imported medicine is subsidised by the government and is quite inexpensive.

Emergency Contacts

  • Emergency: 122
  • Fire: 180
  • Ambulance: 123
  • Tourist police: 126
  • Luxor Airport: 095 237 9655


Voltage/Current: 220-240V AC; 50Hz
Plugs are two-pronged.

Dress code

Women should dress modestly

In practise this means 'avoid revealing clothes'. No short skirts or shorts; cover your shoulders. Carry a lightweight cotton or silk shawl to cover up for visiting the desert monastery.

Protect yourself from the sun

Drink plenty of bottled water, wear sunscreen and a wear wide-brimmed sunhat. The dry heat may not feel uncomfortable, but you still need protection! Sunglasses are also useful - the reflections from sand and water can be very bright.


Egyptians are extremely polite - and will repond well to "good old-fashioned 'British' manners". All men shake hands on meeting and parting, and it is polite to greet shopkeepers on entering shops.

What to Pack - useful all year round:

  • Camera - top priority!
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunscreen & sun hat
  • Light sweater
  • Travelling plug-socket adapter (plugs have two cylindrical prongs)
  • English sweets to treat children
    - eg. 'penny' lollipops (not chocolate) to treat children. (Biros are recommended by some visitors).


Egypt country code: +20
UK from Egypt: +44
Luxor area code: 095

To call long distance relatively cheaply, use a Post, Telephone & Telegraph (PTT) office.
To make local calls, use public phones or private kiosks.

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