Siwa Travel Guide

  • watching the sunset
    watching the sunset
    by June.b
  • view of the town at night
    view of the town at night
    by June.b
  • view during dusk from rooftop cafe
    view during dusk from rooftop cafe
    by June.b

Siwa Things to Do

  • The Town

    How would I describe the small town of Siwa? There's a quiantness in it in an old way, kind of dusty way. The main dusty road looks like a hollywood set of an old western movie - remember the "wild wild west"? This road is lined with ministores, restaurant, fruit store, a barbershop an internet shop, souvenir shops, clothing store, herbal medicine...

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  • The old mosque of Shali Fortress

    The best preserved part of the Shali Fortress is the old mosque which was built in 1203. Considered to be the oldest mosque built in "kershif", the same materials used to build the whole fortress.I heard the adhan (call to prayer) during the noontime I was standing at the top of the fortress and it's coming from this old mosque. Until today, the...

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  • On top of the Shali Fortress.

    Don't content yourself watching the great medieval fortress from your hotel windows, it's lovelier when you're on the very top, the highest point of the Shali.The view up there is short of spectacular, 360 degrees of breath-taking views of its surroundings. I went up there on my second morning and reaching the top is a bliss. No one there, the...

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Siwa Hotels

See all 8 Hotels in Siwa

Siwa Restaurants

See all 11 Restaurants in Siwa
  • Good food, tourist-oriented.

    Abdu Restaurant is almost infront of ElKelany Hotel, so one night I took a dinner of pizza there. Just as rumoured - the food takes a lot of time and quite expensive in local standard, that's why I said it's tourist-oriented. Besides most people dining and hanging out there are tourists.But their pizza is deliciously cheesy albeit sloppy, still...

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  • Reasonably price restaurant in Siwa...

    East West Restaurant is between the intersection and the big mosque, in fact it's almost beside the mosque. It's along the main road near the main square.I know food in Cairo but not very particular in Siwa, I saw some tables in front of the restaurant and some white tourists so I did pulled a chair too and checkout the menu booklet.The restaurant...

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  • Whatever.

    I'll go with Abdi's. that's how they transliterate it. Anyway, it seemed to be the most popular place in town for lunch or dinner, and not simply because of it's central location off Maidan As-suq. The menu is pretty unsurprising, but athe food was good, servings generous and the service efficient and cheerful. And when one afternoon I rolled up a...

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Siwa Nightlife

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  • Night view of the town and Shali Fort

    Most hotels in Siwa central have a rooftop cafe like El Kelany have it with a bedouin tent at the back and probably during peak season - a bonfire.It's relaxing after a tiring day just sitting there sipping your hot coffee or tea and watching the lighted Shali fortress and the local activities down below. Or go up at the cafe right before sunset...

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  • Desert-Cafe

    Close to the central roundabout, there is this cafe (photo taken during the day) which during the evening can be a great place to hang out. There are a few date trees under which there are cushions and small fire and tsmall tea-tables. We came here the first night around 24,00 and stayed there until 2,30 in the morning talking to some of the...

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  • Siwa Hotels

    8 Hotels in Siwa

Siwa Transportation

  • West Delta Bus Co. (Siwa - Alexandria)

    If you're already in Siwa and planning to get out and back to Cairo, and you don't have a ticket yet, be sure to check the small bus terminal booth one day before or at least in the morning before noon. This happened to me, not a big issue though.It wasn't a peak season and Siwa isn't that crowded during the April 2012 I was there. I plan to take...

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  • Tricycle

    The easiest and fast mode of transport in Siwa is the tricycle - a shaded cart driven by a motorcycle, much like the tuktuks of Bangkok but rougher. Most of them are just like 3 pieces of plywood nailed together to form a shade under your head, seta are makeshift too covered with pads and carpets to make it a little comfortable to sit on.I took the...

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  • Bike - cycle your way.

    If you have the energy, you can rent a bike and cycle your way to Cleopatra's Bath, the Oracle, Mountain of the Dead and probably the desert oasis. The road is flat although dusty and some parts are bumpy. There's good bike rental infront of the Albabenshaal Hotel just at the foot of the Shali fort at the center of the town. Costs very cheap, I...

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Siwa Shopping

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  • Cigarrettes

    This isn't a shopping tip in Siwa but a shopping tip before heading to Siwa. If you're a smoker had a specific brand preference, buy enough supplies in Cairo or Alexandria or anywhere you're coming from where there's availability of foreign brands. Most or maybe all stores in Siwa central town don't sell cigarrettes, I found that out when I ran out...

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  • Supporting local crafts

    The women of Siwa have a strong tradition of weaving and beading that spans 100's of years and you can view examples of their famous ceremonial dresses in the local museum. Although tourism hasn't yet swamped a beautiful place like Siwa, you will find some sellers here and it is good to support this local industry. A good buy would be one of the...

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  • Dates

    Siwa is known to supply the best quality of dates in the whole Egypt and bying dates is on the top of the agenda among Egyptian local tourists.

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Siwa Local Customs

  • The Donkey Cart

    In Siwa the drapers comes to you..on the back of the donkey cart. Since you hardly ever see a Siwan lady, the shopping has to get done somehow. Stop for lunch at the East West Cafe ( where you have choice of frenchie fries or chippsies..2 tips in 1)and local boys offer a ride in the cart...emblazened with TAXI. Great provided they don't decide to...

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  • Appropriate Dress

    The Berber people of Siwa are deeply conservative . All the regular advice regarding modest dress should be strictly adhered to. Siwan ladies are very rarely seen in public (usually in the back of the donkey cart), and then in full rig.

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  • Sahleb

    From late autumn till early spring, when everybody in Egypt is freezing ;-) it's time for the hot winter drink, Sahleb, to warm you up. The drink is very popular specially among school-kids. I had mines at Idontkonowthename restauran on the main square in Siwa.It's something similar to the hot chocolate, very thick. You can get it as a chocolate...

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Siwa Warnings and Dangers

  • Photography

    Siwa is a conservative town compared to most cities in Egypt. You can photograph the sights and most things but not the women and the female children. I know the restriction on women but not the children so when a group of female children probably 9m - 12 years olds going to school passed by infront of a photo subject, they all said "NO" in chorus....

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  • Stray dogs in the desert

    While on the safari by 4WD we found two stray dogs (perhaps abandoned) were running after us. Keeping that in mind some of the girls in group scared off seeing animal feet on the sand (!).

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  • Sun glass

    In January, the temperature is not that bad but still a sun-hat and sun glass is necessary. The glass protects your eyes from sand wind occurs occasionally.

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Siwa Tourist Traps

  • travelife's Profile Photo

    by travelife Written Jun 11, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are quite a few sites around and some of them are worthwhile. But if you are on a short stay then go for the trip I was in which lasts for a day. Shop around to get the idea of price. A better price with a larger group can be negotiated as well as a extended trip.

    desert safari

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Siwa What to Pack

  • The Desert is Cold in Winter

    Going to Siwa in Dec/Jan. Take some warm clothes(really layer up). It gets cold at night. Our restaurant of the evening, the Kenooz Siwa is open air and it gets very fresh, particularly after an Australian summer

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  • Anything more than the basic necessities

    It's a village town and anything more than your basic daily necessities should be included in your packing list.

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Siwa Off The Beaten Path

  • The Desert Swimming Hole

    most of the 4WD trips stop off at this great little spot for lunch and a swim. Saw more visitors here than in the previous 24 hours.

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  • Desert Safari 7

    Our third leg of safari is to see the desert sunset. The picture gives you a feel how it looks like but you cannot really feel it unless you are there. You have to experience the sunset in the surrounding sand. Spectacular. This came out as the best shot of the day!

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  • Desert Safari 4

    Most of the folks have already finished swimming but Khalid who studies in Chemical Engineering was trying to get the most as he could.Notably the spring is bound and the excess is drained into the nearby big lake. Interesting to see that the spring water gives life to so many plants and trees but those date trees just by the spring is dying out...

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Siwa Sports & Outdoors

  • travelife's Profile Photo

    by travelife Written Jun 11, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While on a desert-tour, on a first stop, you may go for free swimming in the fresh blue water of the spring in the desert near siwa town.

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Siwa Favorites

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  • Siwa Town Internet / Photocopies

    To join the desert safari, we may need photocopy of your identification pages of passport. Police checks are very frequent in this area. And submitting your photocopy is the part of the rules normally the trip organizers will do it for you. But in my case when I had to do this because of late sign-up I went to this place. Internet is expensive here...

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  • Siwa-Bahariya: shelter

    380 KM travelling from Siwa to Bahariya in the desert without any shelter, we thought.For our lunchstop we found this giant mushroom-shaped rock.We enjoyed a delicious lunch with tomatos and feta and the most important ..... a lot of shade for us and the car.

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  • OASIS with all its sens

    Its charm, to be between misticism of the oracles and the explendor of life in the middle of the desert Riding a bike trough a green date and olive forest and pick some dates by the way. going up to Amun's Oracle and get impressed about the power of life.

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Explore Deeper into Siwa
Shali Fortress
Things to Do
Temple of Umm Ubayda
Things to Do
Cleopatra's Bath
Things to Do
Temple of the Oracle
Things to Do
Mountain of the Dead
Things to Do
Donkey Carts
Transportation
West & Mid Delta Bus Co. (Cairo - Siwa)
Transportation
Loosely resembling bicyles
Transportation
Walking throught the Desert of Siwa to shyatah lak
Things to Do
Desert walking tours around the oasis
Things to Do
Banana Honey Pancakes to die for!
Restaurants
The bus to Mersa Matrouh & Alex: Timetable
Transportation
Donkey carts
Transportation
Walking throught the Desert of Siwa
Things to Do
GREAT FOOD!
Restaurants
How about a car??
Transportation
Best one
Restaurants
Indi-Egypt
Restaurants
Archaeology and swimming
Things to Do
desert safari trips
Things to Do
Best in Town ( if you believe LP)
Restaurants
Shali
Things to Do
Cleopatras Pool
Things to Do
Ruins of the Temple of the Oracle
Things to Do
Mountain of the Dead
Things to Do
Dune Bashing
Things to Do
Bus between Siwa and Alexandria
Transportation
Siwa Town 3 (Mosque)
Things to Do
Pool-boy
Local Customs
Pigeon-breed
Local Customs
Donkey-cab
Transportation
Aghurmi
Things to Do
Fantasy Island
Things to Do
Desert Evening 4
Off The Beaten Path
Desert Safari 6
Off The Beaten Path
Desert-culture
Local Customs
Coming from / to Cairo
Transportation
Central-cafe
Restaurants
Desert Cafe
Restaurants
Donkey-cart
Transportation
Map of Siwa

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