Egyptian cuisine is brilliant, combining many of the best traditions
of Middle Eastern cooking. There are both large hotel restaurants
and smaller specialist ones throughout the major towns. The larger
hotels in Cairo and their surroundings have excellent
kitchens serving good cosmopolitan dishes. American-style snack
bars are also appearing in Cairo.
Local specialities include foul (bean dishes),
oast pigeon, stuffed vine leaves, grilled aubergines, rkebabs
and humus (chickpeas). Restaurants have waiter service,
and bars have table service.
Although Egypt is a Muslim country, alcohol is available in cafe-style
bars and in good restaurants and the legal drinking age is 21 years.
Sophisticated nightclubs, casinos, discos and good restaurants are
located in Cairo, Alexandria and most other large towns. The nightlife
in Luxor and Aswan often includes barbecues along the river Nile.
The most fascinating shopping area for tourists in Cairo
is the old bazaar, Khan-el-Khalili, specialising
mainly in reproductions of antiquities. Jewellery, copper utensils,
spices and Coptic cloth are some of the other special items.
There are also modern shopping centres available, predominantly
near Tehrir Square.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm,
Monday and Thursday 9.00 am to 8.00 pm. During Ramadan shopping
hours vary, with shops often closing on Sunday.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday to Sunday 9.00 am to 12.30 pm and 4.00
pm to 8.00 pm.
For a complete list containing organiser details, contact:
Egyptian State Tourist Office - United
Telephone number: (020) 7493 5283
or (09001) 600 299 (24-hour brochure service, calls charged at 60p
Islam is the dominant influence in Egypt and many
traditional customs and beliefs are tied up with religion. The people
are generally courteous and welcoming and expect similar respect
from visitors and tourists.
Handshaking is the adequate form of greeting. As Egypt is a Muslim
country, dress should be conservative and women should not wear
revealing clothes, principally when in religious buildings and in
towns (although the Western style of dress is accepted in the modern
restaurants, nightclubs, hotels and bars in Cairo, Alexandria and
other tourist destinations). Official or social functions and smart
restaurants generally require more formal wear. Smoking is very
common throughout the country.
Tourists will have to pay a fee to take photographs inside the tombs,
pyramids and museums.
10 to 12% is added to hotel and restaurant bills but an extra tip
of 5% is usual. Taxi drivers generally expect 10%.