Practical Information in Sharm el Sheikh

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Formal Name: Sharm el-Sheikh

Country: Egypt

Language: Arabic

Country Code: 20

Voltage: 220 Volts / 50 Hertz

Outlets: Two round pins

Time Zone: GMT + 2 hours

Population: 35,000

Visas: You will require a tourist visa to visit Eygpt. Visitors from most countries can purchase their 1-month visa for between 15 and 40 USD at the airport upon arrival in Egypt. However, visas can also be arranged at the Egyptian embassy before departure. However, if you are only visiting Sharm el-Sheikh and the Sinai region, and fly into the Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport or St Katherine's Airport, then you can obtain a 15-day entrance stamp free of charge.

Currency: Egypt uses the Egyptian Pound (E£). When you change currency, be sure to request plenty of small bills, as small denominations can be hard to come by when in the country. You'll often come across people who have no change for you. Also, be sure to look carefully at your bills. It can be rather embarrassing to try to pay for a meal with a 50 piastres note (100 piestres per pound) that you took for a 50 pound note!

Banking: Sharm el-Sheikh is a tourist town and, as such, has many ATMs that accept Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus and Plus cards. You can also use American Express, Mastercard or Visa at most hotels and restaurants. Major banks will change traveler's checks and some currencies.

Accommodations: Sharm el-Sheikh is filled with high class resorts that are still affordable compared to European or American standards. However, there are budget accommodations available. Be aware that many of the beaches are privately owned by resorts and are for the use of their guests only.

Transportation: Buses run regularly across Sharm el-Sheikh and neighboring bays, and cost just E£1. Taxis are more likely to charge around E£15, but they're much more comfortable and less crowded.

Airport: Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport is the local airport and has daily flights from both Cairo and Luxor. If you're traveling by plane to Sharm el-Sheikh and do not have pre-arranged transportation to your hotel, you can hire a taxi for between E£20 and E£40, or you can take the bus for a mere E£2.

Ferry: If you're traveling to or from Hurghada you can catch a boat with the International Fast Ferries Co. A 1-way trip costs about E£250.

Tipping: Tipping is expected in Egypt, so be sure to carry plenty of smaller bills with you. You should tip private drivers between E£5 to E£20, depending on the length of the trip and the service. Porters will regularly try to take your bags from you, so if you don't want to tip a few Egyptian pounds then hold on tight and be firm in your refusal.

Hospitals: Sharm el-Sheikh International Hospital is located on Na'ama Bay Road and can be reached at 069-366 0893/4/5. Sharm el-Sheikh Hyperbaric Medical Center can be reached at 069-366 0922/3 or you can call their 24-hour emergency line at 012 212 4292. They are regularly open from 10:30 to 18:00. You can get many medicines in a local pharmacy without a prescription.

Police: In an emergency you can dial the police at 122.

October 15, 2009 new by tiffanymparker

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