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Food and Drink

Food is plentiful in Egypt, cheap as well, from the street vendors to up-market restaurants to internationally known franchises. If you wish to dine out, away from your hotel, ask the clerk at the reception desk for the best places to go to in the area.

Enjoy yourself and get out and about to the different restaurants and cafes. Do not restrict yourself to your hotel (even if you have paid “all-inclusive”: Egypt is more than pyramids and tombs; there is a culture here waiting to be experienced.

Many places will have open buffets, especially on the cruise boats, and here is a word of warning for you. Because of the freshness and taste of the fruit and vegetables, the tendency to keep filling ones plate occurs, greed is a human trait after all, but this can lead to you having an upset stomach, not because of food poisoning or “Pharaoh’s Revenge” (the usual claim) but by your stomach’s microbes having to deal with the new food that they are not used to.

If you do find that you get a dose of diarrhoea, ensure you have a supply of Antinal tablets, which are available in all pharmacies in Egypt. It is works quicker than Imodium and will soon have you back on your feet again.

If you have a very early start, a visit to Abu Simbel when in Aswan, or an early flight, ask your hotel to make you up a breakfast box so that you can enjoy your meal on the go. And remember your bottled water!

Only drink bottled water, ensuring the seal is intact before opening it, and do not drink from taps, even the ones you will see in streets and at sites. The tap water is not dangerous, but your stomach microbes will not be used to the Egyptian purification methods and so will have a field day, usually meaning you end up with diarrhoea. Bottled water is cheap and can be purchased almost everywhere: there are even vendors at many of the major sites.

Make sure you do drink plenty of water as well. You may not be in this habit when you are at home, but it is very easy to become dehydrated when you are out visiting the sites, or just walking around the cities. Many people ruin their holiday by ending up ill because they have not rehydrated themselves when out and about.

If you are visiting Luxor, and going across the River Nile to the West Bank, water is an essential! Though there are many vendors, their water tends to become tepid during the day, so here is a handy tip. Purchase a bottle (or two) of water the day before you cross the river, take a mouthful out of it/them, then ask your hotel to put it/them into the freezer for you overnight. The next day you will have ice, which allows you to have freezing cold water as it slowly thaws. Much more refreshing than tepid water!

The tap water is safe to wash in and brush your teeth. Some people try to clean their teeth using bottled water, but there is no need for this, the tap water will suffice and will not cause you any problems.

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