By: ETP Team Published: 06 October, 2018 Updated: 05 December, 2021
The church of the Virgin Mary has become known as the hanging church because it was built on top of a 4th century BC on the southern wall of a Roman fortress of Babylon. The church is also referred to as the suspended church or the Staircase Church or Al-Moallaqa as its nave is suspended over the passage. The church dates back to the 5th century AD and from the 7th century to the 13th century AD, it served as the residence of the Coptic patriarch where it witnessed many historically decisive events like general elections and religious ceremonies, which makes it one of the oldest and important Christian landmarks in Egypt.
The initial construction of the hanging church was built using logs of palm trees and layers of stones above the ruins of the ancient Roman fortress and also contains a wooden roof in the shape of Noah’s ark. It is designed in a basilican style of architecture. The hanging church is currently 30 ft above the ground resting on 15 gracile columns which made it tower all of its surroundings back in the day. The hanging church was changed and enlarged over the years. The main entrance of the church contains iron gates under a pointed stone arch and two twin bell towers that can be seen beyond a narrow courtyard decorated with artistic biblical designs.
The hanging church contains 110 marvelous icons representing the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, St Peters, and many archangels like Gabriel and Michael, and the oldest icon dates back to the 8th century. The main altar is made of ebony inlaid with ivory and decorated in craved Coptic cross designs that date back to the 12th or 13th centuries. The entire interior of the church is covered with bone and ivory inlaid designs that are heavily influenced by the geometric designs of Islamic art.
For all these reasons alone, this church is indeed the most beautiful of all and every traveler shouldn’t miss such an attraction during their vacation in Egypt. If you are in Cairo and prefer to visit the hanging church, then our Egypt vacation private tours are your best choice to explore everything Egypt has to offer in Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, and Aswan.
Egypt Tours Portal team is a highly qualified group of Egyptologists, Archaeologists, historians, world travelers, and explorers who dedicate all their time and energy to preserve and showcase the vast history and mysteries of the ancient Egyptians that traces back to more than 5000 years across their most famous destinations that hold an incredible number of monuments and attractions. All our teammates have a vast experience from more than 5 to 15 years in the field of creating the most incredible Egypt Egypt tours & vacation packages, Egypt Nile cruises, Egypt day tours & excursions, and Egypt shore excursions that have won the praise of all our client as shown by own clients on TripAdvisor.
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The entire country of Egypt deserve to be explored with its every heavenly detail but there are places that must be seen before any other such as the breathtaking Hurghada's red sea, The wonders of Cairo the pyramids of Giza, the great sphinx, the Egyptian Museum, Khan El Khalili Bazaar, the wonders of Luxor like Valley of the Kings, Karnak & Hatshepsut temple and the wonders of Aswan such as Abu Simbel temples, Philea temple, Unfinished obelisk and The Wonders of Alexandria like Qaitbat Citadel, Pompey's Pillar and Alexandria Library. Read more about the best places to visit in Egypt.
If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries, have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD in cash, as for the E-Visa for 30 day you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could also be one of the lucky ones who can obtain a free visa for 90 days. Read more about Egypt travel visa.
Egypt has a variety of delicious cuisines but we recommend “Ful & Ta’meya (Fava Beans and Falafel)”, Mulukhiya, “Koshary”, a traditional Egyptian pasta dish, and Kebab & Kofta, the Egyptian traditional meat dish.
The best time to travel to Egypt is during the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a little tropical accompanied by a magical atmosphere of warm weather with a winter breeze. You will be notified in the week of your trip if the Climate is unsafe and if any changes have been made.
You should pack everything you could ever need in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.
We have been creating the finest vacations for more than 20 years around the most majestic destinations in Egypt. Our staff consists of the best operators, guides and drivers who dedicate all of their time & effort to make you have the perfect vacation. All of our tours are customized by Travel, Financial & Time consultants to fit your every possible need during your vacation. It doesn't go without saying that your safety and comfort are our main priority and all of our resources will be directed to provide the finest atmosphere until you return home.
You will feel safe in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is quite peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt. Read more about is it safe to travel to Egypt.
Wear whatever feels right and comfortable. It is advised to wear something light and comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the terrain of Egypt. Put on sun block during your time in Egypt in the summer to protect yourself from the sun.
The best activity is by far boarding a Nile Cruise between Luxor and Aswan or Vise Versa. Witness the beauty of Egypt from a hot balloon or a plane and try all the delicious Egyptian cuisines and drinks plus shopping in old Cairo. Explore the allure and wonders of the red sea in the magical city resorts of Egypt like Hurghada and many more by diving and snorkeling in the marine life or Hurghada. Behold the mesmerizing western desert by a safari trip under the heavenly Egyptian skies.
There are a lot of public holidays in Egypt too many to count either religious or nation, the most important festivals are the holy month of Ramadan which ends with Eid Al Fitr, Christmas and new years eve. Read more about festivals & publich holidays in Egypt.
Egypt is considered to be one of the most liberal Islamic countries but it has become a little bit conservative in the last couple of decades so it is advised to avoid showing your chest, shoulders or legs below the knees.
Arabic is the official language and Most Egyptians, who live in the cities, speak or understand English or at least some English words or phrases. Fewer Egyptians can speak French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Professional tour guides, who work in the tourism sector, are equipped to handle visitors who cannot speak Arabic and they will speak enough English and other languages to fulfill the needs of all our clients.
The fastest way is a car, of course, a taxi. If you are in Cairo ride a white taxi to move faster or you could board the fastest way of transportation in Egypt metro if the roads are in rush hour.
The temperature in Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c. Summer in Egypt is somehow hot but sometimes it becomes cold at night and winter is cool and mild. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 °C in the wintertime to 23 °C in the summertime and the average high temperatures vary from 17 °C in the wintertime to 32 °C in the summertime. The temperature is moderate all along the coasts.
It is the home of everything a traveler might be looking for from amazing historical sites dating to more than 4000 years to enchanting city resorts & beaches. You will live the vacation you deserve as Egypt has everything you could possibly imagine.
All Credit cards and traveler's cheques are accepted in the main hotels and large stores in all the cities of Egypt, Plus most tourist shops also accept foreign currencies.
The national currency is the Egyptian pound (EGP) which is known as "Guineh in Arabic". There is a countless number of ATMs located all across Egypt in the main cities, towns plus certain shops and hotels. Money exchange services can be easily found available in banks and certain bureau or you can also use money change services on the web.
Egyptian Tourist Police are always ready to receive any Complaints. If there is any trouble every traveler should contact his or her travel agent, tour guide, or hotel reception and inform them of the situation.
To get the correct tourist information, every traveler should head to the Local information offices to provide information, brochures, and advice to tourists. On the Egypt Tours Portal website every traveler can get much helpful and important information through our blog about traveling to and across Egypt.
Taking a laptop during your vacation to Egypt is allowed and easy. A lot of hotels and shops provide free high-speed Internet access and there are Wi-Fi hotspots in all of the main towns.
Everyone should pack an Internet connection kit that contains a spare phone cord, an extra Ethernet network cable, a surge protector, a phone adapter, an electric type C adapter. Always check the voltage capacity of the transformer block on your laptop, and if it cannot handle 220 to 230V, buy a new transformer. Read more about what to pack for Egypt.
The Egyptian airlines in Egypt include EgyptAir, which fly to Egyptian airports: Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh, Taba, Saint Catherine, Burg El-Arab, Asyut, and more.
The internal flights in Egypt are completely safe, as, with the increase in the number of airlines operating in Egypt, safety controls are best for a number of reasons which are:
The Egyptian Directorate-General of Civil Aviation, when renewing their airworthiness certificates or waiting for a new license, must meet all the international safety standards published by IOSA (new IATA standards). The Egyptian airlines are all licensed and provide the best service and safety standards.
- No aircraft more than 15 years old are allowed to fly, all the Egyptian aircraft are up to date and regularly maintained
- Most Charter companies sell tickets at foreign tourist offices, but they have recently begun to sell to individual travelers directly.
- Egypt air is now Star Alliance.
The traffic in the main cities is annoying and dense, Plus every foreign traveler needs an international license to drive, so the best option is to take a taxi. During day trips, hire a private car with a driver. In the desert, off-road driving is not recommended, so it is better to go with your own personal tour guide.
- Flying is the fastest way to get to the main tourist cities of Egypt.
- The national carrier, Egypt Air, has a very efficient and reliable domestic flights network, that links most of the tourist cities in Egypt.
- Inter-city buses and trains are cheaper.
- You can travel by train to visit Middle Egypt in southern Cairo.
- An excellent Turbo train service is easily found between Cairo and among main cities. But for Long-distance trips to Upper Egypt in Luxor and Aswan, a sleeping train is the most recommended.
- There is also an extensive network of long-distance air-conditioned coaches.
Taxis are an easy way to get around across the cities of Egypt such as Cairo.
In order to enjoy your trip the most, it is important to plan ahead your stay there. If you are not traveling as part of a group, you can organize your route when you get there with agencies in Cairo or Luxor, or else hire a car with a guide. Read more about how to plan a trip to Egypt.
For group visits, by booking passes and entry tickets in advance. The best time to visit the Cairo Museum is in the afternoon.
It is impossible to make a full tour of Egypt in a single trip:
- Brief visits to the main sites of Egypt: Cairo, the pyramids, Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, the temples of Luxor and Karnak, Aswan, Abu Simbel, and more.
- Board a Nile Cruise or a stay on the Red Sea coast or on the Mediterranean coast.
- Head to the main sites, cruise for a few days on the Nile, plus the seaside extension or an excursion to the oases.
Egypt Tour Portal offers a variety of choices through our Egypt family holiday packages which include seaside holidays on the Red Sea or Mediterranean North Coast, cultural tours with seaside visits, cruises, and more. Egypt Tours Portal offers a very wide range of activities suitable for children and young teenagers such as visiting theme parks or kids clubs in many resorts or enjoying many different sporting and aquatic marine activities such as swimming, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, hiking, kite surfing, windsurfing or attending special schools for golf & diving.
The perfect choice is a Sea Side vacation Holidays on the Red Sea, in club hotels, resorts, or popular all-inclusive holiday villages with a visit to the enchanting and magical cities of Luxor and Aswan. The classic Egypt tour is an 8-day/7-night all inclusive Nile cruise, or Lake Nasser cruise. Mixed cultural and seaside programs lasting 15 days/14 nights fit in well with the school holiday period.
The group tours to Egypt offer a complete visit to Cairo and the pyramids, followed by a cruise on the Nile with tours to the temples and tombs at Luxor, temples at Esna, Edfu, and Kom Ombo, Aswan, and the temple of Abu Simbel. Lake Nasser cruise offers a visit to the temples at Abu Simbel.
The Nile cruise is the most incredible way to explore the history and culture of ancient Egypt on board of modern vessel equipped with all the means of fun and relaxation. Nile Cruises include transfers from Cairo to Luxor by air, then from Luxor to Aswan by cruise ship, with visits to the various sites:
Temples of Luxor and Karnak, the necropolis at Thebes, temples at Esna, Edfu and Kom Ombo, then Aswan, and the temple of Philae. At Aswan, you can take a trip on the river in a felucca. Travel from Aswan to Abu Simbel is often by air, so not all tours include a visit to Abu Simbel.
The best plan is a felucca cruise. A dinner cruise in Cairo and by enjoying oriental music and typical Egyptian food.
- Mini-cruise or excursion by felucca at the majestic cities of Luxor and Aswan.
- Camel-back tour around Aswan offering camel rides across the dunes and visits to Nubian villages.
- Day cruise from Luxor to Dendara includes an excursion & lunch.
Egypt luxury holidays from Egypt Tours Portal are a very memorable chance to live like a king and Egypt is the best place to easily plan a luxury holiday. Pick your own package with a luxury hotel and the chance to explore the historical and cultural wonders of Egypt's cities laying on the bank of the Nile, or cruising on one of the best luxury Nile cruises.
Cheap holidays to Egypt from Egypt Tours Portal are the best choice for people with a small budget. You can reduce costs by booking for a cruise package on the Nile with a seaside extension, or an "all-inclusive" stay on the Red Sea coast. Your budget will also vary depending on the class of hotel you choose and the number of days spend in Egypt.
Your first visit to Egypt should concentrate on visiting the must seen sites:
The pyramids at Giza and the Sphinx, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo, Valley of the Kings in Luxor, the temple of Philae in Aswan, booking a Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor to witness the legendary history and culture of ancient Upper Egypt and mix it with the tropical beauty of Hurghada on the Red Sea coast, with its scuba-diving sites and relaxing resort hotels which is ideal for family holidays.
Explore Egypt rare sites located off the broken path such as:
- The Mediterranean coast, to Alexandria with its museum and library, it's Greek and Roman ruins, Fort Qaitbey - site of the ancient lighthouse (Pharos) of Alexandria - and nearby, the seaside resorts of MarsaMatruoh and Ras el-Hekma.
- The oases and the White Desert in Egypt such as Siwa, starting from MarsaMatruoh or Cairo, Bahariya, Farafra, Dakhla, and Al-Kharga.
- Fayoum and Lake Qarun to the south of Cairo.
- In Upper Egypt, Board a felucca to discover Aswan, the museum and Nubian villages, the Aga Khan mausoleum, and cruise across Lake Nasser to Abu Simbel.
- Visit the museums of Egypt such as the Archaeological Museum in Cairo, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, the Mummification Museum in Luxor, and so on.
If you are a repeat visitor to Egypt, then Egypt Tours Portal customized special tours for anyone who visited Egypt before. You can check out of ordinary Egypt tours and choose the best suitable Egypt tour.
- Egypt has a wide variety of hotels & accommodations that come in deluxe, simple camping, eco-lodges to budget, or luxury, or even you can have your own property or rent a villa.
- Five-star Hotel Chains: Hilton, Sheraton, Intercontinental, and more.
- Historical Hotels: Mena House, El Salamlek, Old Cataract, and more.
- Nile view hotels.
- Very Luxury Hotels: Four Seasons, Marriott, and more.
- Boutique hotels such as Mudera in Luxor.
- Echo lodge such as Basata in the Red Sea.
- Camps in Dahab& Newbie.
- Eco-friendly resorts like El Gouna.
- Resorts With Golf Possibility: JW Marriott in Cairo.
- Residential Tourism in the Red Sea and North Coast.
The general Classification and rating of Hotels abroad is 5 or more stars or higher but in Egypt, the maximum amount of Stars rating is Four Stars. That’s why the best hotels in Egypt have five stars rating as full luxury.
In Cairo: the Marriott Hotel, a former palace built for Empress Eugenie, converted to a luxury hotel with a casino. It is considered one of the finest hotels in the world.
Also in Cairo, the 5-star hotel Mena House.
- In Aswan: The Old Cataract is a 5-star Sofitel which was built in 1886 in the Victorian style, known for its terrace overlooking the Nile.
- In Luxor: on an island in the Nile, the Movenpick hotel "Jolie Ville". - And the Winter Palace
Red Sea Side:
- At Dahab, the 4-star Meridian Resort opened in May 2006 after renovations.
- At Taba, a seaside resort north of Dahab, the new 5-star Movenpick deluxe resort: 434 rooms, suites, and bungalows with sea and mountain views, sports center, dive center, tennis courts, and conference center. And there are other luxury hotels in Taba Heights.
- El Gouna, north of Hurghada, is an upmarket seaside resort with a marina, 18-hole golf course, water sports and dive centers, with a number of hotels. The major international operators have opened several 5-star hotels. There are also villas available for rent.
- In Hurghada, the SahlHasheesh and the Cascades.
- Port Ghalib in Marsa Alam
- In Alexandria: the Four Seasons, the El Salamlek Palace Hotel, and the Hilton Borg El Arab
The major hotel chains have opened luxury hotels in Cairo and Luxor, and at most of the main tourist sites.
Everyone can play golf in Egypt in one of the big hotels that offer daily services, (including shuttle service), which are also available to guests who aren't necessarily staying at them.
There are 17 Golf courses in Egypt:
1- Alexandria Sporting Club
2- Porto Marina El Alamein
3- Katameya Heights Golf & Tennis Resort
4- Gezira Sporting Club
5- Solaimaneyah Golf City
6- Dreamland Golf & Tennis Resort
7- Mena House Golf Club
8- JW Marriott Mirage City Golf Club
9- Amarante Golf City
10- Luxor Royal Valley Golf Club
11- Stella Di Mare Golf Resort
12- El Gouna Golf Club
13- MadinatMakadi Golf Resort
14- Steigenberger Al Dau Resort
15- The Cascades Golf & Country Club
16- Taba Heights Golf Resort
17- Maritim Jolie Ville Golf & Resort
Egypt Tours Portal can organize 4 x 4 discovery super safari excursions to Sinai and to the oases in the western desert.
There are a number of luxury hotels that have health spas and golf courses such as the 5-star luxury resort La Residence des Cascades at Soma Bay in Hurghada, which combines a golf course with a thalassotherapy center known as "The Cascades Hot Sea Baths".
Don't start bargaining unless you are really intending to buy. Have a price in mind. Ask the seller to offer a price before you offer one. Offer about half of what you would like to pay for that particular product. Take it in turns to adjust your price.
There are a lot of options to shop while in Egypt such as Novelty T-shirts. Souvenirs to buy in Egypt with your name printed in Hieroglyphics. Pillowcases Artworks in the shape of woodwork, paintings, bowls, trays, ceramic products, and more. Incense Bastet, Antique Stones, and Statues Replicas Khayameya Fez "Tarboosh" Hookah "Shisha" Cotton Robes and Vail "Jilbab& Burqa" Jewelry Wooden Boxes Handcrafted Metal Works Eastern Desserts Papyrus Manuscripts and Paintings "Replica" Pottery and Ceramics Belly Dancing Costume Ramadan Lantern "Fanoos" Egyptian Musical Instruments Hand Blown Glass Works and Ornaments Kohl Kilim Carpets And more.
Always expect to bargain when buying souvenirs, but remember to maintain a polite friendly attitude to get the best prices, in most cases; the original price is 40-30% less than the initial price so make sure you don’t get hustled. You can read more about shopping in Egypt and know more about the famous bazaars & souks in Egypt.
You can find some amazing places to shop while being in Egypt such as Khan Al Khalili, Souk Al Fustat, Aswan Souk, Old Market, Souk-Al-Gamaal, Sharia Khayamiya, Han El Halili, Souq El Ataba, Luxor Bazaar, Tent Market, Sharia El Souk, Lotus Bazaar, Khan Msr Toulon, Nomad, Siwa Souk, Cairo Festival City Mall, etc where you can find the best of shopping options.
Egypt has a number of public holidays; some of them are national while others are religious. Fridays, Saturdays, and public holidays. All the historical and museums are open daily All the shops are open from 10 am to 10 pm every day except Sunday. In Ramadan, all these times can change. Here is a list of the festivals & public holidays in Egypt:
- The Coptic Christmas is on the 7th of January
- The Birth of the Prophet Mohamed Holiday depends on the Islamic calendar
- The Egyptian Revolution Day is on the 25th of January
- The Easter Holiday differs from one year to the other and usually takes place in the months of April or May
- The Sinai Liberation Day is on the 25th of April
- The Workers Day is on the 1st of May
- The Revolution Day is the 23rd of July
- The first and second days of the Grand Barium depends on the Islamic calendar
- The first and second days of the lesser Barium depends on the Islamic calendar
- The Military Day Holiday is on the 6th of October
- Islamic New Year’s Eve depends on the Islamic calendar
Drinking alcohol in Egypt is allowed for holders of foreign passports at affordable prices.
No, it is advised not to drink tap water, bottled water instead.
Yes, every traveler can bring their animal to Egypt but, all animals or animal products must be declared at the point of entry from overseas.
Plus, cats and dogs must have a valid rabies vaccination certificate and a veterinary certificate from their home country.
Egypt is two hours ahead of GMT and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. So, for example, if it is 12 at noon in Cairo, it is 10 a.m. in London, 11 a.m. in Rome, 6 a.m. in New York, and 8 p.m. in Sidney.
Travel Insurance is the best way to stay safe during your time in Egypt and afford any extra cost such as medical expenses, cancellations, delays, and repatriation, plus Baggage, passport, & personal liability coverage. Note, it must be done in your home country before your arrival.
In Egypt, there are no fixed business hours in the public facilities, unlike the private sector. Every facility has its own set of hours such as:
Banks are open from 8:30 in the morning till 2 at noon. A number of branches of some banks situated inside hotels may open until 8 in the evening. All banks are opened every day except Friday, Saturday, and during the public holidays
Private shops and facilities are usually open from 9 or 10 AM until 10 PM. Some shops, restaurants, and cafes still operate until the early hours of the morning and some of them are open 24/7. They also remain open on Friday and Saturday.
Museums are open from 9 AM till 4 or 5 PM.
Historical sites like the pyramids and the Pharaonic temples of Luxor and Aswan are open from 8 or 9 AM till 5 PM.
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