Page update - Aug 29, 2023
Voyage with children has some features in each country. Egypt is a hot country, with its own laws - some very strict, some are not required to comply at all. In Egypt, there are even more features than in other countries.
What do you need to know? What to take with you? What to watch out for? Read the answers on this page. All the prices for baby food and other products in Egyptian stores were updated in August 2023.
This set of tips is aimed for children of different ages. Some of the tips are only for very young children, some are for teenagers, and some are for children of all ages.
We have divided the information into 20 sections for your convenience. Read only those sections that are relevant to your child, based on his/her age.
We'll start with the entry rules.
The border crossing procedure for a child is almost the same as for an adult (there are some nuances). You need to buy the same visa for USD 25 on arrival (if your nationality allows this) or get the free Sinai Stamp. Unfortunately, there are no visa fee discounts for children.
There are some rules:
Rule 1. Anyone under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult (over 18 years old). The exception is only for the Unaccompanied Minors service, but this theme is out of this review.
Rule 2. If a child is traveling with one of the parents, the consent of the second parent is not required for entry into Egypt.
Rule 3. If a child travels with one of the parents but with a different surname. There are usually no problems. But it is highly recommended to have a birth certificate (or other suitable document) to confirm the relationship.
Rule 4. If a child is traveling with a third person. Then the third person must have a notarized permission (letter of attorney) from the parents. We are not going to talk about how to issue a power of attorney now, because there are features in every country. We advise to talk with a lawyer about this.
The bad news. Egypt is a country with a dreadful situation on the roads. Traffic accident statistics are among the worst in the world.
The good news. The situation in the resorts is not as bad compared to Cairo and other big cities.
To understand the horror of the situation, here are the figures. In terms of 100,000 cars, 75 people per year die on the roads in Egypt, while in the US it is 14.5 and in the UK it is 6. In 2021, 7,100 people died on the roads of Egypt, and 51,511 people were injured in accidents. An astronomical figure, given that there are few cars in the country (only 7,350,000 registered).
In the resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada and their neighbors, the situation is not so terrible. There is the road marking there, there are crosswalks. There are no traffic lights. Drivers mostly obey the rules of the traffic code.
In Cairo, other major cities and settlements along the Nile, the situation is terrible. There are no road markings. There are no crosswalks, except for overpasses and underpasses, which are very rare. Few drivers have ever heard of the traffic rules. Not every driver has a driver's license. Such is the situation.
The conclusions are obvious! KEEP EYE ON CHILDREN, if you are near the roads. BE VERY CAREFUL when crossing the road, even at resorts.
A child can get lost. No one is safe from that.
How to prevent it? It is better to keep an eye on your children. Of course, you can use an "anti-lost" device like the one in the photo near (click on the photo to enlarge), but we don't think that's an acceptable way to do it.
What to do if your child does get lost? There are ways to make it as easy as possible to find and get him/her back quickly.
Our top-tip. Give your child a badge with a note with his/her name, the parents' names, the hotel stay, what country he/she and you are from, and your phone number. All of this should be written in English.
Then, if the child gets lost, he/she will be able to meet a police officer and show this badge. Police officers in Egypt usually know English quite well. But it depends on the rank. Officers usually speak English quite well. Privates and sergeants usually do not speak the language well, but they will understand the signs.
The police will either call you at the phone number listed or take your child to the hotel. We VERY RECOMMEND you buy an Egyptian SIM-card, so you'll be in touch in that case. Read about local SIM cards in our review "Cheap Internet in Egypt".
Even if there is no police officer nearby, ordinary Egyptians are usually happy to help, especially since they hope for gratitude (financial) from you.
In the case of very young children, it is better to bring a full supply of baby food. There are several reasons for this.
First. It is difficult to buy baby food on the spot, because baby food is sold only in large supermarkets. And most likely there will be no supermarket near the hotel.
Second. Will your child like Egyptian baby food? And if he/she will not like it, if he/she will refuse to eat? What will you do?
Third. The prices are high if compared to most countries. But it is hard to discours, because the prices vary from country to country. We give you the figures, and you can compare with the prices in your home country. A jar of baby puree 100 grams in Egypt Carrefour or Lulu costs now (August 2023) 20-30 Egyptian pounds (EGP).
See the actual exchange rates of the Egyptian pound (EGP) on our page "Money in Egypt".
Given all these factors, we recommend taking a full stock with you. Many are frightened by the large weight and volume of baby food. We will talk about this problem in detail.
For ease of calculation, you can think that one day's supply of baby food weighs 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds). This is an unpleasant figure, and there are ways to almost halve it.
The first problem is glass jars. If you weigh it, you'll see a startling fact. A 100 gram jar of apple puree weighs 200-220 grams. That is, the glass weighs even more than the puree itself! Does it make sense to carry kilograms of glassware to Egypt? There is no point.
Take puree in a plastic package. It weighs less, and in addition it will not break. Puree in plastic packaging are available in almost a full range - fruit, vegetable, fruit and cereal, fruit and yogurt. However, there are almost no meat purees.
You can get meat purees in tins, which are unbreakable and lightweight. Unfortunately, meat purees in tin cans are rare in most countries.
Dry porridge weighs little, but takes up a lot of space because of the large boxes. The solution is obvious. Take the bag with the porridge out of the box.
The main rule is not to bring perishable dairy products, which require refrigerator storage.
First, the refrigerator in the hotel room will not work properly with a chances of 9 out of 10. This is the problem of Egypt as they do not care much about the good condition of devices. The refrigerator can work, but not give the right temperature.
Secondly, perishable dairy products may not survive the flight. After all, you have to go to the airport 3-4 hours before departure, fly for 4-5 hours (or even more), then go through security, get your luggage, and drive to the hotel. It usually takes about 12 hours (or even more).
Will perishable dairy products be safe after 12 hours without refrigeration? That's an open question. We advise not to take a risk.
There is no need to exclude milk in the child's diet. There are alternatives. Pasteurized (long life) milk. Puree containing milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, or cream. Milk powdered porridge.
We do NOT recommend seriously counting on milk and dairy products at the buffet. No doubt they will be there. But what will the variety be? Will your child like it? How fresh will they be? These are open questions.
In Egypt, diapers and other baby hygiene items are 1.5-2 times cheaper than in the UK and other Western European countries, 2-2.5 times cheaper than in the US. We do not mean some local cheap brands, but international brands. The prices below are current as of August 2023.
In Egypt, at Carrefour or LuLu supermarkets. Pampers Baby-Dry (size 4) 58 pcs cost 270-300 Egyptian pounds. If you recalculate, it turns out to be 0.15 USD per piece, or 0.12 GBP per piece, or 0.14 EUR per piece.
Compare with the prices in your country and decide - if it makes sense to take diapers and other baby care products or it is better to buy on the spot. In any case, take stock of diapers and other hygiene products for the first few days.
However, it is not so easy to take advantage of these low prices. There must be a supermarket somewhere near the hotel for that. So the big tip: find out in advance is a supermarket nearby. Prepare to go there by cab, thankfully cabs in Egypt are inexpensive. Read our detailed page "Taxis in Egypt".
If you are going for All Inclusive, then you won't have any problems with food. The cooks in Egyptian hotels cook neutral food - without seasonings, not spicy and in the European manner. In this case, you can skip to the next section of this page.
If you are NOT going for All Inclusive. Then you must remember one super-important rule: NEVER eat in Egypt in street-food places.
The best option is to eat in mid or high-end restaurants. The food there is definitely safe, but expensive. The second option - the fast-food chains McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King and others. It's cheaper and quite safe there. Read about the prices in our in-depth review "How much money to take to Egypt".
The cheapest of the safe options is a supermarket culinary. You can find a good selection of dishes there. The meals are usually sold by weight. Don't worry about the language barrier, as you won't have to speak and you can point your finger at the dish you want.
Do not drink tap water. Especially do not let your children drink it.
Tap water in Egypt does not have to be drinkable. There are several reasons.
First, the country's sanitary rules and regulations do not require water suppliers to supply drinking water to the water pipes. Of course, the water must NOT contain pathogens. Of course, the water must NOT contain dangerous concentrations of harmful substances. However, it does NOT have to be suitable for drinking.
Second, in Egypt, as in many not-so-wealthy countries, there is enormous wear and tear on the water pipe system. That is, if the suppliers supplied clean water, it would not reach the consumer clean.
There will be no problems with water in the case of All Inclusive. Usually, bottled water is available at any All inclusive hotel bar. Although, there are hotels where water bottles are issued in limited quantities. We hope that you will not get into such a hotel. Read reviews of tourists who had a rest (or exhausted) in the hotel to know the real picture.
The situation is more complicated without All Inclusive. You have to go to the nearest supermarket. The price of a bottle of water 1.5 liters is 6-8 Egyptian pounds. If you buy in bulk, you can get the price of 5-5.5 pounds for 1.5 liters (prices of August 2023). For the current exchange rates of the pound, see our page "Money in Egypt".
Egypt is a hot country. The record air temperature in Hurghada in summer is 111.2°F (+44°C), in Sharm el-Sheikh is 114.8°F (+46°C), in Cairo is 118 (+47.8°C), in Luxor is 122°F (+50°C), in Aswan is 123.8°F (+51°C). You have to agree that these figures are scary. Read our detailed review "Weather in Egypt by month".
The main thing in such a climate is not to get burned and not to get sunstroke. The problem is very common in summer, medium actual in spring and autumn, little actual in winter.
But this problem is always relevant for children, because children (most) are not very prone to follow safety rules. The rules are as follows:
First. The child must wear a hat to avoid sunstroke.
Second. Take care of protection from sunburns. Protective creams are best for this, SPF 50-60. The cream on the skin should be renewed every 2-3 hours.
Third. The sun is most active at lunchtime, from noon to 3 pm (12:00 to 15:00). You should spend this time, if possible, indoors, under a tent or an umbrella.
Follow these simple rules, and the dangers of the scorching sun will not touch you.
Our tourists are primarily afraid of sharks at sea. Indeed, sharks are present in the Red Sea, and sharks attack people. Cases of the attacks occur almost every year. BUT! The chances of getting hurt by shark teeth for a tourist are extremely low.
Now we will not go deep into the topic of sharks. We have the separate page where we give statistics and describe all the latest cases. Read our page "Sharks in Egypt".
But besides sharks, there are many other dangerous sea creatures. There are jellyfish that can sting. There are sea urchins that can be accidentally stepped on. There are surgeonfishes, which cut, though not severely. There are very dangerous creatures - stonefishes and geographic cones. Fortunately, all these dangerous creatures are rare.
In any case, warn your children that any sea creatures are best viewed from the side. It is better not to touch. It is better to enjoy their beauty from a distance.
Egyptian laws do not require children to ride in child seats in a car. The only restriction is that a child under the age of 7 cannot ride in the front seat. By the way, it is very liberal, as in most Arab countries it is allowed only from the age of 12.
Accordingly, cab drivers do not have child seats. Only some cab drivers at the resorts have them, but that's rare. If you care much about safety, then take a booster seat with you. But even that won't help most often, as the seat belts in Egyptian cabs are often faulty. Again, the situation with seat belts in the resorts is slightly better, and is just awful in the cities.
You can call a premium cab with a baby car seat. But it will cost a triple price.
There is an alternative option. You can order an Uber with the car seat. But in this case, you can wait for a whole hour until a driver with a car seat is found. In addition, Uber does not work in all resorts and not all cities in Egypt.
Traveling with children in Egyptian intercity buses and trains has its own features. And the rules are different for buses and trains.
Buses. Children from age of 5 must travel with a full ticket. There are no discount tickets for children at all. If a child is 4 years old or younger, if he/she rides for free, he/she has no right to the seat.
You can buy a full ticket for a child (up to 5 years old) and then he/she will have his/her own seat. For a child 2-4 years old, we recommend doing so. Especially on the long-haul routes Hurghada-Cairo, Sharm-Cairo, Hurghada-Luxor. Believe us, it's hard to go with a baby on your lap. But if you need to go by bus not far, for example to Dahab from Sharm or to Safaga from Hurghada, then you can not buy a separate ticket.
Trains. Children 0-3 years ride free. Children 4-9 years for half the price. Children 10 years and older must have their own full ticket. Accordingly, children 0-3 years go without a seat, the rest with a seat.
Many children (but not all) like to take pictures of themselves in front of everything or just take pictures of everything they see. In Egypt, this can cause trouble.
There are many restrictions on photography in Egypt. You can't take pictures of police officers, their vehicles, checkpoints or buildings. You can't take pictures of the military, their equipment or facilities.
You can't photograph important government facilities. And almost any building can be such an object. For example, you're walking down Giza, down Haram Street to the Great Pyramids. You walk past a modest, sand-colored building. A child decides to take a picture of the building.
Then a police officer comes up to you with a complaint. It turns out that this is the Central Mint of Egypt. Of course, the fence around the building might have suggested that it was some kind of government facility. But who would have thought it so important?
If a child took a picture of something forbidden and the police approached, just delete the photo from your phone (camera) in front of the policeman. That's the end of the incident. The main thing is that you DO NOT have to "push your rights", it will not do any good in Egypt.
Perhaps the greatest fears are associated with flying. Won't the baby cry during the whole flight? Will he/she take the trip normally? Will he/she sleep in the plane?
Children usually tolerate the flight fine, but be prepared for the fact that your child will not sleep at all. This is the worst case, and it requires serious preparation. The child must be entertained. And in this case, parents will have to work hard, there's no getting around it.
Most kids love anything new. It's not even particularly important what it is, most importantly, what is new and unexplored. You should take in the cabin of the plane not only the child's favorite toys, but any objects unknown to the child.
The recipe is simple - the day before the trip go to a large supermarket and buy everything cheap, with which the child can theoretically play. These items should be large enough that your child can not take them in the mouth. They should also be sturdy so that the child cannot bite off a piece and try to swallow it.
Suitable are new sandbox molds, Rubik's cube, kite construction or something similar. Watch and look for any suitable object. Remember to take these items in your carry-on luggage before your flight. Already on the plane, you are gradually pulling out these items. You can say "unlocking your trump cards".
Attractions in Egypt are public and private.
In public attractions, everything is simple as there are the clear rules.
Children under 6 years pass for free.
Children 6 years and older pass for half the price. An interesting point is that the price list usually says the word "Student". This applies to both school-age children and students (you need an international student ticket). See the Great Pyramids discounted ticket in the photo near, click on the photo to enlarge it to full screen.
In private attractions, there are no clear rules. The rules are set by the owners. For example, at the Cairo Tower there are no children's tickets at all. At water parks, a children's ticket is usually a third cheaper.
Guided tours are usually sold at a 30-50% discount for children. But even in this case, there are no clear rules, discounts are at the decision of the tour operator.
There are corals and sharp shells in the sand of the beaches and the bottom of the Red Sea. It is necessary to wear safety shoes, so-called "aqua shoes" or "coral shoes". Of course, there are a few beaches, where safety shoes are not required, such as Naama Bay or Maya Bay in Sharm el-Sheikh. But these are rare exceptions.
If an adult tourist forgets safety shoes then there are no big problems. Safety shoes are easy to buy on the spot, and prices are usually low.
If you forget safety shoes for a child, it can be a problem. There is no guarantee that the hotel store will have the right size shoes. What to do in this situation?
The most reasonable option is to take a cab to the nearest large supermarket. But it costs time and money. Or you can look at the nearest large tourist market. It also costs time and money.
It is better not to risk and buy kid's safety shoes in advance.
Is it comfortable to move around Egypt with a stroller?
Very uncomfortable. The roads are often of terrible quality, with many potholes and bumps. Elevators are only in some hotels, if the building has 4 or more floors. In the cities, not all shopping centers have elevators. On the stairs, there are no runners for strollers anywhere.
But the main problem is that it's much more dangerous to cross the roads with a stroller. Perhaps this factor is the most significant.
Naturally, the situation is better at the resorts. The roads are better there, and it's safer to cross. But in cities, the situation is terrible. For example, to go down to Cairo metro stations with a stroller is very problematic.
Conclusions. It makes no sense to take a stroller with you. You will have more problems than good from a stroller. If your condition allows, take a backpack-carrier. It really makes life easier.
In a hot climate, any pathogenic bacterias reproduce faster. And a new country always means new bacterias, to which we are not adapted. Therefore, the rules of hygiene should be particularly strict. And especially in the case of children, who are not inclined to follow the rules at all.
Hygiene rules are usual: wash your hands before eating and in general periodically; in no case eat food that has been dropped on the table and even more so on the floor; put cutlery only on the plate, not on the table; do not touch your face with your hands without an urgent need. It's a very good idea to wipe cutlery with an antiseptic wipe.
The covid-19 pandemic is sort of over now. In fact, it's not really over, it's just something that people are used to. So, many people have relaxed and stopped paying a lot of attention to hygiene rules. In vain.
When you travel, you will have insurance. Firstly, it will be with a deductible. Secondly, it's likely to be the cheapest insurance possible.
It's a good idea to buy expensive insurance specifically for your child with extended coverage and without a deductible.
- This page talks in detail about the rules for children. For rules for adults, read our page "What not to do in Egypt";
- If you are bringing something for your child from home, we recommend reading the customs rules in our review "What you can and cannot bring into Egypt".
Have a good holiday in Egypt, and read our interesting and useful for tourists pages about this country (see the list of the pages below).
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