homeEgypt travel guide > Egypt social profile
Egypt guide
Regions
Traveler café 
Travel directory
 
Last updated : Nov 2009
Egypt Social Profile
Egypt Culture and Social Profile - TravelPuppy.com
Food & Drink

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.

Nightlife

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.

Shopping

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.

Shopping hours:

Winter:

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.

Summer:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday to Sunday 9.00 am to 12.30 pm and 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm.

Special Events

For a complete list containing organiser details, contact:

Egyptian State Tourist Office - United Kingdom
Egyptian House,
3rd Floor,
170 Piccadilly,
London
W1V 9EJ,
UK

Telephone number: (020) 7493 5283 or (09001) 600 299 (24-hour brochure service, calls charged at 60p per minute).
Website: www.egypttreasures.gov.eg

Social Conventions

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.

Photography: Tourists will have to pay a fee to take photographs inside the tombs, pyramids and museums.

Tipping

10 to 12% is added to hotel and restaurant bills but an extra tip of 5% is usual. Taxi drivers generally expect 10%.
Useful travel links
World Restaurant Guide restaurant guides to more than 300 cities