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Guide to Currency and Prices in Egypt

Guide to Currency and Prices in Egypt

A treasure trove of antiquities, Egypt’s lure is stronger than ever. From the River Nile to pharaohs’ tombs, a trip to Egypt promises to be unforgettable.

The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound (LE). Changing your currency once you’re in Egypt in one of the many currency exchange spots will ensure your spending money goes further.

Dining out in Egypt

Egypt’s capital, Cairo, is swiftly becoming a foodie paradise thanks to an abundance of high-quality eateries and restaurants. Traditional Egyptian cuisine features tasty dishes such as hawawshy, a hand-kneaded bread stuffed with a delicious minced meat and vegetables, and fiteer baladi, the Egyptian answer to pizza, featuring a fragrant base made from layers of mouthwatering filo pastry stone-baked in a fired oven.

meats on bbq

If you’re staying in tourist areas such as Hurghada, Sharm el Sheikh or Marsa Alam, you’re sure to find an array of cafés, beach bars and restaurants serving up tasty Egyptian specialities. Expect to pay around £2.15 for a meal for one in a low-key eaterie in Hurghada and £3 in Cairo. Prices increase to £4.50 for a three-course meal for one in finer surroundings in Hurghada, and £7.60 in the capital.

The price of drinks

Egypt is famed for its delicious fruit-based beverages, from Mowz bil-Laban (banana blended with milk) to Karkade (hibiscus juice) and they go hand-in-hand with long, sun-drenched days on the beach. If you prefer the idea of quenching your thirst with an ice-cold beer, a pint of the local stuff will cost just under £1 in Hurghada, around £1.10 in Cairo and £1.30 in Sharm el Sheikh.

With summer temperatures often soaring above 30 degrees in Egypt, staying hydrated is a must. It’s nice to know, then, that a 1.5l bottle of water can be bought in markets for around 20p across the country. In restaurants, expect to pay around the same price for a 33cl bottle.

North African teas

Egypt is renowned for its delicious mint tea. Head into the desert on a camel and indulge in a cup of Bedouin-style mint tea, a mix of habaq (wild mint), loose black tea and lashings of sugar, heated over an open fire built in the sand. Organised trips into Bedouin territory cost around £30 for adults and £15 for children departing from Sharm el Sheikh, with children under four often going free. Similar desert excursions can be booked from many resorts across Egypt, such as Hurghada and Marsa Alam.

Out and about

One thing’s for sure; you won’t be stuck for things to do on a holiday to Egypt. From relic-hunting in Cairo’s many museums to desert treks and snorkelling in stunning surroundings, Egypt truly is a place of discovery and wonder.

If you’re looking for underwater adventures, the Red Sea will not disappoint. One of the few remaining places in the world where you’ll find untouched coral reefs, Marsa Alam offers reefs set against breathtaking backdrops, whilst Sharm el Sheikh boasts the Ras Mohammed National Park, where you can see stunning reefs within a protected environment. A day trip by boat from Sharm to the park is likely to set you back around £25-£30 per person.

scuba diving at Hurghada

Alternatively, immerse yourself in ancient Egyptian culture with a trip to the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza. Brimming with antiquities and the incredible, it is simply not to be missed for history lovers. Entrance fees costs approximately £5.50 per person.

How much spending money should I take to Egypt?

How much spending money you take to Egypt depends on where you intend to stay and what you plan to do during your trip. Food, drink and activities are generally a little pricier in Sharm el Sheikh, so factor this into your budget if you’re heading there. If you’re going All Inclusive, this will significantly reduce the amount you spend on food and drink.

For self-catering holidays, we would recommend allowing in the region of £30 per person per day – this should cover food, drink, tips and any trips you wish to go on. £15 per person per day should be sufficient if staying in All Inclusive accommodation.

Bedouin man with Camel

Tipping in Egypt

When in Egypt, if in doubt, tip! Tipping, referred to locally as baksheesh, is commonplace across the country.

Always make sure you have small change on you. Tip cafes 2p-4p and guards at tourist attractions and mosque attendants 2p-8p. Tip 10% of the total bill in restaurants, or 15% if you’re eating in a more upmarket establishment. Porters expect to be tipped between 1p-3p per bag, while housekeepers expect 2p-4p. Tip taxi drivers taking you to your hotel from the airport 4p-12p, but make sure to agree on a price before you set off.

Although tipping in Egypt is much more complex than the UK, reading up on baksheesh etiquette just before you travel will ensure hassle-free transactions during your stay.

*Prices correct at the time blog was published and are subject to availability. T&C’s apply.