Topics include Dining Scene, Egypt: For Foreign Visitors & more!
A passport and a visa are necessary to gain entrance into Egypt. A renewable 30-day visa can be purchased any international airport for $15 US. Interestingly, if you are planning to stay longer than 30 days, you are required to present proof of having undergone an AIDS test.
Luxor International Airport is a small airport served by several European airlines. It also serves as the hub for in-country flights through Egypt Air. Most hotels in Luxor provide shuttles from the airport, though taxis are also readily available. Rates are posted on the windshield, so find the placard before asking the fare. You may want to fly into Cairo International Airport and travel to Luxor by train or rental car. The journey, by train, is about nine hours, however, its a nice way to see the countryside and the trains are air-conditioned.
Train travel is also an inexpensive way to arrive in Luxor from other points of origin. There are four options to choose from, with accompanying fares: the express train, the overnight express train, the overnight deluxe sleeper, and the 2nd and 3rd classslow trains, which are not even worth mentioning, as you surely don't want to spend your vacation crawling through Egypt. Tickets can be purchased through a travel agent, and this is recommended rather than on-site purchase, which will tack on an extra fee.
Bus service travels daily between Luxor and major cities, and boat service will take you up the historic Nile, where you can pretend to be Yul Brynner surveying his kingdom (before Moses, that is) on the way to Cairo. More expensive than the train, but worth it for the once in a lifetime experience.
From the airport: there's a sign with posted prices for taxis to the "city". The taxi drivers will tell you the sign does not apply to your destination. In October 2010, it cost 50LE (equivalent $8 USD) to get a ride from the airport to the Iberhotel, which is a short walk from the Winter Palace.