Bookmark and Share

1. Visas & Passports

2. Getting there

3. Getting around

4. Eating & sleeping

5. Costs

6. Health

7. Safety

8. Climate

9. Shopping

Open LookLex Encyclopaedia

Open the online Arabic language course


Egypt is very inexpensive for travelling, as well as living. This applies to almost all levels, even though high standard hotels close some of the cost gap.
Hotel prices start as low as below E£10 for dorm beds, and single rooms can be had at as low as E£15, doubles from 20. And then there are still even cheaper places, but these come unrecommended by Adventures of Egypt. Eating is equally cheap, and if you eat from the simplest places, and can live without much meat, it is possible to fill your stomach through one day for E£10-15. Travelling does not either challenge anyone's budget. If you go by ordinary bus, minibus or shared taxi, you will pay approximately E£5 per 100 km.
Unless you are forced to be on the tighest of budgets, it pays dividends to go for hotels and food at one or two levels up. If your budget allows up to E£70 for singles or E£100 for doubles, you will have a selection between charming hotels, with your own private bathroom, A/C and perhaps a TV (almost always only Arabic channels). For up to E£20 for lunch and E£30-40 for dinner, expect both good cooking and atmosphere. And good hygene, too.
If you are travelling to Sharm el-Sheikh, you can forget about the lowest prices, and multiply all prices with 3 or more, depending on the hotel.
Hurghada has cheap hotels, and fairly cheap restaurants, so here you can expect prices near standard Egyptian prices.
For many, tickets to museums and the awful baksheesh (tipping to everyone) can add up to sums not far from the cost of hotel or food. This is generally the case for Luxor, Aswan, Cairo or the oases.
Organized trips are usually the most expensive, and quite unavoidable in many parts of the country. In the deserts, expect to pay up to E£400 per day for every group up to 4 persons. Near Cairo or Luxor up to E£150 per day for every group up 4 persons.
Changing money in Egypt represent few problems as long as you stay in larger centres. Smaller places will often be without both banks, exchange shops, and any black market. Normally you don't pay any commission when changing money, but beware that exchange rates vary from one place to another. But these differences will never be big enough to justify using a lot of time shopping around.
As with most other countries in North Africa, credit cards and some cash, is a better solution than traveller's checks. Most major credit cards can be used in some shops and some hotels, but are best for cash advances. This will give you economical freedom if you decide to stay longer time, or buy something expensive. But remember to check the receipt, as stiff baksheeshes (tip) are added without anyone asking for your permission. The rule is that you pay for the goods, not for service or anything else.
The currency of Egypt is pound, divided into 100 piastres. There are almost no coins used in Egypt, as notes start as low as for 5 piastres.

US$ 1=5.70 pounds 1 pound=US$ 0.17
1=7.84 pounds 1 pound= 0.13
1=11.59 pounds 1 pound= 0.08
International exchange rates as of July 11, 2007.

By Tore Kjeilen