Last update 08 January 2021Diplomatic missions
Level 3: Increased level of risk (recommendation not to travel in certain areas of the country unless necessary)
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Regular passport: visa not required
Diplomatic passport: visa not required
Official passport: visa not required
Arab Republic of Egypt
Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Arab Republic of Egypt
Address: 6, El Malek El Afdal Str. Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt
Telephone: +20 2 273 630 25; +20 2 2736 60 77
Fax: +20 2 2736 38 26
Out-of-hours hotline: + 20 122 317 1991
Office hours: Sun - Thu, 08.30 - 14.30 h
Visa days: Sun and Wed - 09:30 - 12:30 h
Consular days: Mon and Thu - 09:30 - 11:30 h
Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Sofia
Address: 1000 Sofia, 5, 6th September Street
Telephone: +359 2 988 1509; + 359 2 987 0215; + 359 2 987 6468
Fax number: +359 2 980 1263
Office hours: 09:00- 16:00 h
Consular Section: 10:00 - 11.00 h, 14:00 - 15.00 h
E-mail: [email protected]
We recommend that Bulgarian citizens refrain from travelling!
The Arab Republic of Egypt
A state of emergency was introduced in the country on 10 April 2017. Since then it has been continuously extended for three-month periods with a view to the security situation. Currently, the situation has relatively improved and the MFA of the Republic of Bulgaria recommends the following to Bulgarian citizens travelling to or residing in Egypt:
- citizens intending to visit Egypt as tourists are advised to use the services of licensed travel agents and to avoid private tourist trips within the territory of the country;
- in case of a problem, please contact the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria to Cairo;
- in case of incidents in the street, please follow the instructions of the local security services.
Mohamed Abdel-Fattah, Director of the National Committee for the International Health Regulations at the Ministry of Health and Population of Egypt (Tel. +201227652452) has been appointed to be the national contact point for receiving official information concerning the spread of COVID-19.
Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Arab Republic of Egypt
Address: 6, El Malek El Afdal Str. Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt
Tel: +20 2 273 630 25; +20 2 273 660 77
Fax: +20 2 2736 38 26
Duty telephone outside working hours: + 20 122 317 1991
Visa days: Sundays and Wednesdays from 09:30 to 12:30 hours
Consular days: Mondays and Thursdays from 09:30 to 11:30 hours
E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]
Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Sofia
Address: 1000 Sofia 5, Shesti Septemvri Street
Tel.: +359 2 988 1509, +2 987 0215, +2 987 6468
Fax: +359 2 980 1263
Working hours: 09:00 - 16:00 hours
Consular Section: 10:00 - 11.00 hours; 14:00 - 15.00 hours
E-mail: [email protected]
The exchange rate of the Egyptian Pound (EGP) to the US Dollar varies within a minimum range depending on the current situation and the policies of the Central Bank. Foreign currency should be exchanged at banks and licensed currency exchange offices. Payments with credit and debit cards are rather common and can be made at large stores, restaurants and hotels.
Crime Rate and Security
For the last two years, the security situation has tended to improve but visits to some regions of the country (North Sinai, the regions bordering Libya and the area bordering Sudan) should be avoided, unless urgently needed, because of the ongoing activity of extremist groups. The activities of extremist groups in North Sinai are directed mainly against military and police targets but attacks against civilian targets are not ruled out.
The most appropriate way to do sightseeing in the country is to use the services of licensed travel agents who can provide you with detailed information on the sites you are interested in and with transportation and people to accompany you, taking responsibility for your security.
If you happen to witness protests in the streets, it is recommendable that you leave the area.
It is typical for the country to have marches of football fans in the streets after big football matches and sometimes there are clashes between fans of rival clubs or between fans and law enforcement authorities. If they find themselves in such a situation, Bulgarian citizens are advised to leave the area.
Although there are no explicit rules on women’s clothing, it should be noted that clothes that could look provocative to local customs (short skirts, low-necked tops, etc.) are not recommendable to wear in the urban streets.
Bulgarian tourists should remember that filming army and police facilities in the streets and servicemen or police officers with still or video cameras or cell phones might lead to confiscation of the filming equipment. There exists a statutory ban on the use of flying technical devices, such as drones and similar craft, and their importation to or use in the country is subject to special permission by the authorities on a case-by-case basis. It is prohibited to film public buildings of government institutions, embassies, police or army checkpoints, various fences, etc. The warning signs on the prohibition of filming are not always easily visible and sometimes they are written only in the Arabic language. Therefore Bulgarian citizens visiting the country should assess the location and the situation when they film various sites.
Filming in the streets and outside tourist sites should also take into consideration the sensitivity of certain social communities for cultural or religious reasons. Where local citizens react negatively to a camera pointed at them, filming must stop immediately to avoid a conflict situation.
Bulgarian journalists visiting the country on a business trip should have obtained prior accreditation and authorization of their journalist activities in accordance with the relevant procedures. There are special requirements to TV crews which have to declare their filming and other equipment in advance and to obtain an authorization for its use. They are advised to check the relevant requirements in advance. The Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria to Cairo is prepared to provide assistance, within its competence, to Bulgarian journalist crews.
Street crime of various types (theft, robbery, handbags or other items snatched by riding moped cyclists, pickpocketing at souks and bazaars or other crowded places, etc.) may occur in big overpopulated cities. You should be particularly cautious and should not be trusting when local citizens insist on taking you to souvenir or artifact shops or selling you items in the street because you might become a victim of fraud.
Visitors should be careful when they use taxi services. Taxi drivers often do not switch distance meters or ask the foreign tourist to pay in foreign currency instead of Egyptian pounds. It is recommendable to use contracted taxi services from hotels or taxi automobiles with working distance meters. In case of a dispute with a taxi driver, you can ask the local law enforcement authorities for assistance.
Upon entry and exit, visitors to Egypt are required to declare the cash they carry provided that the amount exceeds USD 10,000 or the equivalent of that amount. It is allowed to carry cash in local currency upon entry and exit provided that it does not exceed the amount of EGP 5,000. It is prohibited to import or export foreign currency via mail or postal parcels.
It is prohibited to take out of the country any of the following items:
1. Original papyrus and antique books;
2. Any original antique objects – figurines, paintings, etc.;
3. Old automobiles considered antiques;
Further details on the customs requirements in Egypt can be found HERE.
Information on the rules for importing medicines for personal use when travelling to the Arab Republic of Egypt can be found HERE.
The Egyptian legislation lays down the terms and conditions for foreign nationals willing to seek employment in the country. Foreign nationals are recruited mainly in sectors, industries and institutions which lack approved Egyptian citizens with appropriate qualifications.
Where foreign nationals are employed unlawfully in Egypt, the laws provide for deportation of the offenders.
Roads and Transport
When you move in the streets, no matter whether you walk or drive, remember that the traffic is quite intensive and chaotic and motorists are often aggressive and dangerous in driving their vehicles. It is risky to drive against the direction of traffic, in reverse gear or without headlights switched on at night. There is also risky driving of motorcycles and bicycles among automobiles, riding carriages and carts in the traffic, etc. Pedestrians should be extremely cautious when crossing the street because sometimes their priority at zebra crossings is ignored. A relatively safe way to cross a street with intensive traffic is to join a group of crossing pedestrians or, if you are on your own, to raise your hand and to give a polite sign to the motorists to give way.
Before you travel to Egypt, you need to obtain an international travel and health insurance policy that is valid for your entire stay in the country. The policy should cover the costs for hospitalization, treatment and, if necessary, medical repatriation from Egypt to Bulgaria, as well as some specific activities you plan during your stay, such as diving, going on a safari in the desert, etc.
Private clinics and hospitals offer health services at a relatively good level but medical services and treatment entail substantial costs. Standards at public healthcare establishments are below the European ones but prices are lower. Bulgarian citizens planning to visit Egypt are recommended to obtain a health insurance policy covering their entire stay in the country. In case of emergency involving Bulgarian citizens, the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria to Cairo is prepared to provide a list of hospitals they could approach.
Eating and Food
Food at hotels and restaurants with classification above three stars and at supermarkets is safe. Eating at public catering outlets in the street and, more specifically, eating fresh fruit and vegetables purchased in street bazaars, may lead to severe gastro-intestinal infections. Should you have severe stomach ache or persistent fever, you have to see the doctor. Drink only industrially bottled drinking water.
Tips for Travellers
It is recommendable and useful to observe the following rules when travelling to Egypt:
- You can register with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria to Cairo before you start your journey. You can register by a telephone call or via an e-mail message to the e-mail address of the Embassy. It is necessary to provide the following details of your planned stay: name of the traveller, duration of the stay, location, contact telephone number and e-mail address. This information will facilitate the Embassy in contacting you, if needed.
- Make sure that you always carry your identity documents safely (it is recommendable to have the passport with you);
- Do not trespass fences installed by the law enforcement authorities when you walk in the streets! Do not argue with law enforcement and police officers even when you believe that you are right! If a situation occurs between you and law enforcement authorities, it is recommendable that you contact the Embassy of Bulgaria immediately for assistance or advice;
- It is not recommendable that you undertake private unorganized trips by land throughout the territory of the country. If you wish to visit tourist sites outside Cairo, it would be best to use the services of a licensed travel agent and avoid services offered by private persons;
- People travelling to the Egyptian seaside resorts for aquatic sports should use the services of reliable and licensed firms providing the necessary equipment, instructors and guarantees.
- Travelling to the desert, the border regions of Egypt with Libya and Sudan or from Egypt to the Gaza Strip (North Sinai) poses a substantial risk to the security of travellers. If you decide to undertake such a trip, it is solely your responsibility. The opportunities for the Bulgarian Embassy to Cairo to provide assistance in leaving the Gaza Strip and returning to Egyptian territory are very limited;
- In case of a problem, you could seek assistance not only from the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria to Cairo but also from the General Department of Tourism and Antiquities Police at telephone number 126. Egypt’s Ministry of the Interior has designated this telephone number as a 24/7 hotline for foreign tourists seeking assistance in the country. You will be able to talk with the person on duty in the English language. You can also call telephone number 122 (Police) to report emergencies (urgent need of assistance in life-threatening situations).
- Avoid filming, for whatever reason, public events or facilities relating to security or security services;
- Avoid conflict situations with local citizens in the street;
- Refrain from comments, debates and critical remarks on domestic political issues;
- Women are advised to avoid provocative clothes in the streets, such as short skirts, low-necked or sleeveless tops or too short sleeves. It is also advisable for women to refrain from using taxi services on their own without a person to accompany them, especially in the evening
Travel papers and visas
When visiting the Arab Republic of Egypt, the tourists must have a valid international passport with at least 6 months from the day of entry in the country.
When travelling from Bulgaria to Egypt, no inoculations are required and immunisation card is not requested at the border. However, upon entry into Egypt from Sudan and most African countries, certain vaccines and immunisation cards are required.
Bulgarian citizens can enter Egypt with a visa obtained in advance from the Egyptian Embassy in Sofia or other diplomatic or consular representation of the Arab Republic of Egypt abroad.
There are three types of visas: tourist, entry (for purposes other than tourism) and transit.
Tourist visas and stay up to 30 days may be obtained at the border check points of the international airports - the stickers are sold in the bank offices located in the transit areas prior the passport control. The price of the visa sticker at the border check point is 25 USD as it could be paid with a credit card or in cash.
On 15 May 2015 AR Egypt introduces changes in the visa regime, under which the current practice to issue individual tourist visas at border crossing points will be suspended. As from that date (15 May 2015) foreign citizens intending to travel to AR Egypt individually and not part of an organized tourist group should approach any Egyptian embassy in order to obtain the required entry visa in advance. That requirement does not apply to groups whose trip was organized and carried out by some of the travel agencies. However this requirement has not been applied in practice and the obtaining of an individual tourist visa at the border check point remqins possible.
In connection with changes in the visa regime of the Arab Republic of Egypt, from 01.1 1.2008 the Bulgarian citizens holders of diplomatic or service passports travelling in their private or official capacity, must obtain an entry visa in advance from the Embassy of Egypt in Sofia or other Egyptian diplomatic missions abroad.
In order to extend the stay in Egypt, before the expiry of their tourist or entry visa, Bulgarian citizens should apply in the Passports, Visa Issues and Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior of the Arab Republic of Egypt and, subject to payment of the respective fees, can get permission to extend their stay.
There should be at least one full free page in your passport in order to affix the visa for the country. There should not be any prior visa on the back of the page except the stamps of the border control.
Certification and legalisation
Documents are subjected to certification and legalisation by the consular section, are various general documents stamped by "Apostille" of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as private documents of people who have signed them in the Consular Section in Cairo before the Consul. For the latter, where the matter relates to the transfer of real rights to real property, the Consul shall certify also the content of the document.
Issuance of identity documents
When applying for the issuance of identity documents, the person shall sign the application in person in the presence of an official and biometrics shall be taken in cases provided for by law.
Upon registration of birth, marriage (concluded by the Egyptian civil service) or death, the following documents must be presented: birth certificate, marriage certificate or death certificate (accompanied by a phyto-sanitary control document) that shall be legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt.
Tourist visa (issued at the border, valid for 30 days) - USD 25.00