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Is Egypt expensive? Our budget Egypt travel guide

Egypt is not an expensive country to travel in - it’s very budget friendly. It’s an incredible destination, from the hustle and bustle of Cairo to the mighty Nile, the marine life of the Red Sea, and the treasures and monuments left by ancient civilizations.

You don’t need to spend a fortune to have a wonderful travel experience here. In this Egypt travel guide, we share tips and insights into how to travel Egypt on a budget.

The cost of transport in Egypt

People often ask, is it expensive to visit Egypt? In fact, there are a number of budget-friendly ways to get around, depending on where you’re heading. If you’re looking to explore Egypt, Cairo is often the best place to start.

Type of travel




Affordable and fast

Not the cheapest way to travel. Most timetables are only available in Arabic


Cheap, comfortable, reliable

Can be delayed, and you are limited to set bus routes


Serviced taxis are an affordable and convenient option

Private taxis may overcharge. Agree a price before travelling


A Nile cruise is a great way to reach historic sites

Quality is variable; not a cheap way to travel

Car hire

Freedom to travel when and where you wish

Roads can be dangerous, service stations are rare in remote areas.

Train travel in Egypt

Egyptian Railways offer comfortable trains on routes between Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said, Luxor, Aswan, and Suez. Most tourists choose air-conditioned trains, some of which are sleeper services. Non air-conditioned trains are much cheaper, but can be crowded and slow.

Travelling by bus

Most major routes have good bus services with comfortable, air-conditioned vehicles. You can buy tickets at bus stations in most towns. Services run frequently throughout the day, and there are even some overnight buses too.

Taxis in Egypt

You will find serviced taxis a good, cost-effective travel option in Egypt transport. These are seven-seater vehicles or small buses that operate on specific routes from a central terminal. As soon as the vehicle is full of passengers, it will depart.

Traditional taxis are also available, at a higher price. You can also hire a car and a driver to take you to a specific destination. It’s a good idea to negotiate hard on prices, as they can be over-inflated for tourists.

Travelling by boat

Cruising the Nile is a longstanding tradition, and you can often book cabins locally. Quality can vary, and some luxury cruises are very expensive. If you can view the boat before paying, it’s often advisable.

Renting a car

Car rental is also an option to explore Egypt, although driving can be more demanding than at home. The minimum age for driving is 25, and you will need an international driving licence.

There are plenty of service stations for fuel in towns and cities, but they are much more sparse in rural areas, so fill up when you can. Petrol prices are very cheap - a litre can cost as little as 20 pence (as of December 2023, according to

Cost of flights to Egypt

There are various departure airports in the UK as well as destinations in Egypt. Prices can start fairly low, especially if you can be flexible about your departure date. Flight times are 5 to 6 hours.

Destinations of Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada are well served by low-cost airlines and charter flights as part of package holidays. As a result, they can be a good source of bargains.

January and November are the cheapest months to fly, but prices are generally lower between October and April (as of December 2023, according to Skyscanner).

The cost of accommodation in Egypt


Booking ahead will give you the best choice of hotels and the most control over the cost. Like anywhere, hotels vary widely in cost in line with their star rating, level of luxury and the level of demand.

Around the Red Sea, many hotels are four and five star and often all-inclusive, but you may still find a bargain in low season.


There are Airbnbs available all over Egypt, from rooms in a private house in Cairo to holiday villas in holiday resorts. You can find options to suit all budgets.


Campsites are most mainly found along the coast and are very basic. Some hotels offer camping in their grounds, often with ready-pitched tents and beds, which can be a more appealing and budget-friendly option.

The cost of food and drink in Egypt

Egyptian food is influenced by many countries, and you will find Turkish, Lebanese, Syrian, Greek and French cuisines. You will find more Mediterranean influences in the north and spicier cooking in the south.

Because Egypt is a Muslim country, places to buy and drink alcohol can be limited.

Where to eat in Egypt on a budget

So, is Egypt expensive for food? Fortunately, not! The exchange rate with Egypt makes food and drink very cheap by UK standards.

Cafes and street stalls offer simpler, cheaper meals than restaurants, particularly those targeted at tourists.

Staple foods in Egypt are bread, often pitta style, fuul (fava beans) and tamiya (falafel). These are often served as street food for a cheap price.

It’s always cheaper to buy from markets and stalls for ingredients to create your own meals than eat in a cafe or restaurant.

The cost of alcohol in Egypt

In tourist resorts alcohol is readily available at hotels and bars. It is not expensive by British standards, due to the exchange rate, but pricey compared with soft drinks. In more remote areas, it can be much more difficult to buy alcohol.

Egyptians enjoy tea as their national drink, and coffee is usually Turkish style - very strong. You will often find delicious juices on offer, too.

Best attractions in Egypt on a budget

If you are heading to Cairo and Luxor, you can’t miss the Pyramids or Valley of the Kings.

You can visit all the museums and archaeological sites with a Cairo Pass. The Luxor Pass gives you access to all archaeological sites on both the east bank and west bank of Luxor, but the tombs of Seti I and Nefertari are not included.

Get our Prepaid Currency Card and make spending on your trip easy

Ready to start planning your Egyptian adventure? At the moment, it isn’t possible to buy Egyptian pounds in the UK, due to a currency shortage.

The most secure way to manage your holiday money in Egypt is with the Travelex Money Card. An optimal alternative to carrying your debit card. Unlike your debit card, our Travelex Money Card is not linked to your bank account, minimising your risk of losing all your funds in case of loss or theft. Load your card with Great British pounds (GBP), and withdraw Egyptian pounds from ATMs or make secure, contactless payments directly at the point of sale.

Please note that a 2% fee applies to GBP loads, and a 5.75% fee is incurred when using the card in Egypt where the local currency isn't offered on our Travelex Money Card. This fee also extends to cash withdrawals for Egyptian pounds and other currencies that are not offered on our Travelex Money Card. While Travelex does not impose charges to ATM withdrawals, it's important to note that fees from other ATM providers may apply. Find out more on our fees here.

For more information about travelling to Egypt, see our Egypt travel guide or find out more about the Egyptian pound.