Our experience of Egypt is, yes, Egypt is safe.
Like anywhere in the world it depends on where you want to go and what you want to do.
If you want to go back-packing across Northern Sinai, then perhaps no – it is not safe. If you want to wander around late at night on your own in Cairo, we would advise against it. We would advise against you wandering around any city late at night on your own.
If you want to enjoy the historical sites of Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel and Alexandria and all points in between, then yes, Egypt is safe.
Tourism plays a large role in the GDP of Egypt, and although it suffered greatly immediately after the revolution of 2011, it is slowly, very slowly, recovering, thanks not only to the great work that is being done by the Minister of Tourism, Rania al-Mashat, and the Ministry of Antiquities, under the auspices of Khaled el-Anani, but also the tourists who have gone back home and loudly proclaimed what a fantastic time they have had.
Most Egyptians are very aware of the economic value that tourism brings to their economy and will treat you accordingly. Egyptians are friendly people and will do anything to help you. Sadly, their economy has been suffering and so many people are desperate, and usually such help comes at a price. For most tourists that price means very little to them financially.
The Egyptian government are also aware of the importance of tourists and have noticeably increased the presence of police at most major sites, as well as increased the various security procedures around entering such places. The tourist police are also usually not far away. The stricter controls over where you can go in any given area are also there for your added protection.
When travelling in a foreign country you will have a far better experience by integrating with the locals than if you try and distance yourself. For a lot of travellers, Egypt might be their first foray into a Muslim country, and the different traditions and societal behaviours that go with that can be somewhat of an adjustment, but that is all it is, an adjustment. You are a visitor in their country, so you need to do the adjusting. To that end it is our advice that you always dress on the more conservative side, so as to not attract any unwelcome attention. If you are visiting tombs and temples, it is better to show a degree of respect for the sites that you are in.
Haggling from street traders and shop keepers is a part of life, as is the constant demand to visit someone’s shop, take their horse-drawn cab, or spend an hour on their boat. It is a game, and if you approach it as so, you will not be disappointed. Better to not say anything than get drawn in to conversation. Once you say something, then you are deemed to have begun the game. A dismissive wave, or if you must say something a quick “Laa Shukran” (Arabic for “No, thank you”) will suffice.
Egypt is perfectly safe providing you are aware of where you are and what you are doing. It is sometimes easier being in a group, rather than on your own, as single travellers look like easier targets. If you are a single traveller, usually you can tag on to one of the tour groups doing the rounds.
Is Egypt safe?
In our opinion, absolutely.