How Much Is a Trip to Egypt?

Whether you’re planning a solo trip, a destination celebration, or a multi-generational trip, Egypt is an exciting adventure into the cradle of civilization. However, it’s essential to budget because a trip to Egypt can vary greatly in cost, depending on accommodations, transportation, and activities. On average, travelers can expect to spend between $80 USD per person per day for budget travel and up to $1,000 or more for a luxury experience. This includes food, ranging from $5-6 for street food to $15 for a meal at a mid-range restaurant. Additional expenses like visa requirements, tourist attractions, and tips should be factored into the budget.  

Consider a professional tour company for iconic sites like the Pyramids of Giza or a Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan for a structured and safer travel option. Public buses or a taxi ride from Cairo to Alexandria are affordable city transportation options. A one-way ticket from Cairo to Luxor to visit the Egyptian Museum might cost around $20.

Getting There and Getting Around

Exploring Egypt’s landscapes is an integral part of the adventure. Costs for flights, domestic travel, and excursions to sites like Abu Simbel or Sharm El-Sheikh shape the journey’s finances. Travelers can make informed choices by balancing comfort, time, and budget.

Here are some of the most popular things to see and do in Egypt:

  • Visit the Pyramids of Giza
  • Explore the Valley of the Kings in Luxor
  • Cruise along the Nile River
  • Discover the temples of Karnak and Luxor
  • Relax on the beaches of the Red Sea in Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh
  • Visit the Egyptian Museum in Cairo
  • Explore the historic sites in Alexandria
  • Shop at the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar in Cairo
  • Enjoy a camel ride in the Sahara Desert or the Western Desert
  • Marvel at the Aswan High Dam

Flights and Airfare

Flying from North America to Egypt is a significant part of the travel budget. Airfare prices vary based on the time of year, airline, and how far in advance the flight is booked. Typically, travelers from North American cities should expect to spend $800 to over $1500 for a round-trip flight to Cairo. It’s wise to hunt for deals and be flexible with travel dates to secure the best prices on flights to Egypt.

Getting There and Getting Around

When arriving in Egypt, travelers can choose from a range of transportation options to fit their budget and preferences. These include public buses and private transfers. To ensure a smooth journey, it’s important to understand the available transportation modes and choose one that suits your schedule, comfort level, and budget.

Domestic Flights and Trains

For travelers who value time, domestic flights and trains provide fast transportation between Egypt’s major cities and tourist destinations. One-way domestic flights range from $30 to $150, while train fares, such as the Cairo to Aswan route, cost between $10 and $50. Prices vary depending on class and service level, but these options balance the cost-effectiveness of buses with the speed of air travel.

Rental Cars and Private Drivers

Visitors can consider rental cars or private drivers for a more personalized and flexible travel experience. Renting a car costs around $30 to $50 per day, while hiring a private driver could range from $40 to $100, depending on the distance and itinerary. A private driver offers convenience and a chance to explore Egypt’s history and culture from a local perspective.

Nile River Cruises

Nile River cruises are a quintessential part of Egyptian travel, offering a unique view of the country’s ancient wonders. A cruise can cost $300 to $900 per person, depending on duration and luxury. These journeys often include guided tours to sites like Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple, the Valley of the Kings, and the temples of Hatshepsut, Ramses II at Abu Simbel, Edfu, Kom Ombo, and Philae, presenting a grand overview of Egypt.

How Much is a Trip to Egypt

Accommodation Insights – Where to Stay in Egypt

Choosing the right accommodation is crucial for a memorable stay in Egypt.

Hotels and Resorts

Egypt’s hotels and resorts offer accommodations for every budget, from simple lodgings to lavish luxury. The choice of a Cairo hotel room or a Hurghada beachfront resort shapes a traveler’s experience, impacting both comfort and access to Egypt’s attractions.

Budget Accommodations (Hostels, Guesthouses)

Hostels and guesthouses are abundant in Egypt, offering a cost-effective way to extend a trip for the budget conscious. A bed in a hostel can cost as low as $15 per night, while a room in a guesthouse is around $20 to $30 USD. These accommodations often include communal spaces to meet other travelers, enhancing cultural exchange.

Mid-Range Hotels

Mid-range hotels offer a balance between affordability and amenities, averaging $50 to $100 per night. This includes air conditioning, private bathrooms, and sometimes a pool to escape the Egyptian heat.

Luxury Hotels and Nile Cruises

For those seeking indulgence over 9 nights and 10 days, luxury hotels and Nile cruises offer the pinnacle of comfort with prices to match. A night in an upscale hotel can range from $150 to over $400, while an all-inclusive luxury Nile cruise might cost upwards of $1,000 per person. These high-end accommodations promise a majestic Egyptian journey.

Most cruises depart from the riverbank cities of Luxor and Aswan and last three to seven days. Guests stay on the water in floating hotels with luxurious rooms, restaurants, lounges, and other amenities. They enjoy stunning views of the Nile River and the surrounding landscape while experiencing Egypt’s rich history and culture. It’s a relaxing and unforgettable way to immerse in the beauty of the Nile.

From sleek cruise lines to paddle steamers, there’s a cruise for every taste and budget. The three main types of boats include modern cruise ships (around 50 cabins), paddle steamers (18 cabins), and dahabiyas (12 passenger sailboats). Small sailboats called feluccas may be available for one-night accommodations but are mostly used for day trips.

Food and Dining

Exploring Egypt’s culinary scene is a must, with costs as varied as the flavors.

Traditional Egyptian Cuisine and Street Food

Sampling traditional Egyptian street food is a delightful experience that’s easy on the wallet. Visitors can enjoy dishes like koshari, falafel, and ful medames, spending $2 to $5 per meal. These ancient Egyptian staples offer a taste of the country’s rich culinary history.

Dining Out at Restaurants

Dining options suit all budgets, whether it’s a quick bite or a sit-down meal.

Budget Options (Local Cafes, Ahwas)

Inexpensive eateries, local cafes, and ahwas (traditional coffeehouses) are ideal for travelers in Egypt seeking authenticity without breaking the bank. Visitors can enjoy local dishes and a cup of Egyptian tea or coffee for around $4 to $10. These establishments offer an opportunity to dine like a local and are often found in bustling areas like Hurghada or Cairo.

Mid-Range Options

Mid-range dining in Egypt offers a blend of quality and value, with meals ranging from $10 to $25 per person. These restaurants offer an extensive menu that includes international dishes alongside Egyptian favorites, in a setting that reflects the vibrant Egyptian culture.

Luxury Experiences

For a luxury trip to Egypt, fine dining is part of the allure, particularly when visiting landmarks like Abu Simbel. Expect to spend around $40 to $100 per person for a meal. Over a 9-night and 10-day stay, indulging in luxury tours often includes gourmet experiences with panoramic views of ancient sites or a dinner cruise along the Nile.

Grocery Costs for Self-Catering

Self-catering offers flexibility and affordability, with grocery expenses averaging $15 to $30 per day. Supermarkets and local markets provide a range of products, from staples like bread and cheese to regional specialties. Visiting landmarks such as the Valley of the Kings or Karnak Temple doesn’t mean missing out on home-cooked meals, as many accommodations offer kitchen facilities.

Alcohol and Dining-Out Costs

Alcohol in Egypt is generally considered a luxury and is available at bars and restaurants. An average drink costs between $2 to $5, and a bottle of wine at dinner may range from $15 to $30. Dining out at mid-range establishments can be combined with a dinner cruise on the Nile, which usually costs between $20 to $40 per person, including the meal.

How Much Is a Trip to Egypt?

Activities and Attractions

Egypt’s attractions cater to all interests, from ancient ruins to vibrant bazaars.

1. Ancient Wonders (Pyramids of Giza, Valley of the Kings, Luxor)

Visiting Egypt’s ancient wonders is a highlight for many travelers. Entrance fees to sites like the Pyramids of Giza, Valley of the Kings, and the open-air museum of Luxor vary, averaging around $10 to $20 per site. These fees help preserve the history and heritage of ancient Egyptian civilizations.

2. Historical and Cultural Sites (Museums, Temples, Mosques)

Exploring Egypt’s historical and cultural sites, like museums, temples, and mosques, is enriching. Tickets to most sites are $5 to $15, offering access to centuries of history and architectural marvels. These cultural sites tell stories of the past and showcase the country’s cultural evolution.

3. Natural Attractions (Red Sea, Siwa Oasis, White Desert)

Natural wonders like the Red Sea, Siwa Oasis, and the White Desert beckon visitors with their unique beauty. While access is free, organized tours or park fees may cost between $10 and $50. These experiences often include guides providing insights into the area’s ecology and history.

4. Adventure Activities (Felucca Sailing, Desert Safaris, Diving)

Egypt offers adventure activities for thrill-seekers like guided tours for felucca sailing on the Nile, desert safaris, or diving in the Red Sea, ranging from $20 to $100, depending on the activity’s length and scope. These experiences let visitors engage actively with Egypt’s landscapes and waterways.

5. Shopping (Souqs, Bazaars, Khan el-Khalili)

Shopping in Egypt is an adventure, with souqs and bazaars like Khan el-Khalili offering a variety of goods. Visitors should budget around $10 to $50 for souvenirs and gifts. Haggling is expected and can significantly affect spending.

6. Tour, Entrance Fees, and Activity Fees

When planning a trip to Egypt, visitors should budget for tours and activities to experience the country’s landmarks. Entrance fees to must-see sites like the Valley of the Kings are under $5, while a visit to Abu Simbel can be around $40. These costs can add up quickly. On average, a visitor might spend $20 to $40 on entrance fees and guided tours per day, depending on their itinerary.

Other Expenses

Travelers should budget for miscellaneous expenses such as souvenirs, laundry, and internet access, which can vary based on personal habits and preferences.

Travel Insurance

Securing travel insurance before going to Egypt is essential for peace of mind. Travelers can expect to spend $100-$200 for a comprehensive policy that includes health, trip cancellation, and personal belongings protection, depending on coverage.

Visas and Entry Requirements

Visitors can get a visa at Cairo International Airport or from an Egyptian consulate prior to travel. A single-entry tourist visa typically costs $25, and passports should be valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay. Exploring Luxor Temple and other historic sites may require separate permissions included in tour packages or obtainable onsite.

Tipping

Tipping, known as “baksheesh”, is customary in Egypt and greatly appreciated. A daily budget of $3 to $5 for tips is suggested for travelers, which can be adjusted based on service and establishment.

Additional Costs

Personal expenses include international calls, special experiences, or upgraded accommodations. For a trip of a lifetime, set aside an additional 5 to 10 percent of the total Egypt travel budget for unforeseen costs. Include travel insurance in your planning to avoid unexpected financial issues.

Tips to Stretch Your Budget

Time Your Visit Wisely

Visiting Egypt during the shoulder seasons can mean cooler weather and fewer crowds, falling between the peak and off-peak periods. In Cairo, travelers can enjoy more affordable accommodation and attraction rates.

Choose Residential Stays

Choosing Airbnb or local guest houses can offer a more authentic experience at a fraction of the cost of traditional hotels. They often include kitchen access to save on dining out.

Embrace Local Cuisine

Eating Egyptian cuisine at local eateries immerses travelers in the culture and saves money. Street food and market stalls offer delicious and inexpensive meals compared to tourist-oriented restaurants.

Use Public Transit

Public transit in Egypt is affordable and covers extensive routes. Buses and the metro in Cairo provide a budget-friendly way to navigate the city, while trains are cost-effective for longer distances.

Find Free Experiences

Many of Egypt’s wonders are free to admire. Strolling through vibrant neighborhoods, exploring local markets, or watching the sunset over the Nile can be memorable experiences that don’t impact your budget.

Master the Art of Negotiating

Haggling is common in Egyptian shopping culture, especially in bazaars and markets. Starting at half the asking price and negotiating with vendors can lead to significant savings on souvenirs and gifts.

How Much is a Trip to Egypt

Sample Itineraries

Sample itineraries help travelers plan their journey and manage costs.

Budget Traveler (10-14 days)

A budget traveler can explore Egypt’s rich history and vibrant culture in 10-14 days for $40-$50 per day. This covers accommodations, local meals, public transportation, and entry fees to several key attractions and prioritizing experiences over luxury.

Mid-Range Traveler (7-10 days)

A mid-range traveler exploring Egypt for 7-10 days should budget $100-$150 per day for comfortable hotels, restaurant meals, and activities like a felucca ride on the Nile or visiting ancient temples. Travelers can journey from Luxor to Aswan, taking in Egypt’s history without luxury expenses.

Luxury Traveler (5-7 days)

Expect to spend $300-$1,000 per day for a luxury experience over 5-7 days. This budget covers high-end resorts, fine dining, and exclusive access to attractions. A luxury Nile cruise or a private guided tour through the Valley of the Kings enhances the opulence of the Egyptian adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Egypt safe for tourists?

Egypt is generally safe for tourists, with many visiting the country’s iconic landmarks yearly. Visitors should follow standard travel safety advice, stay informed of any travel advisories, and respect local customs and laws for a safe and enjoyable experience.

2. Do I need to know Arabic to visit Egypt?

Knowing Arabic isn’t necessary to visit Egypt. Many Egyptians involved in tourism speak English, and services like hotels, restaurants, and major attractions have multilingual staff.

3. How much should I budget per day in Egypt?

Budget $50 to $75 per day in Egypt for a modest experience. This will cover basic accommodations, local cuisine, and entry to attractions. The weather in Egypt can affect expenses; hotter days may require more bottled water or transportation.

Conclusion

Traveling to diverse destinations in Egypt offers a unique adventure with options for every traveler, especially the mid-range traveler seeking comfort and authenticity. Costs can vary, but careful planning can ensure a memorable and affordable trip. Whether marveling at ancient wonders or soaking in the local culture, the experiences gained are priceless.

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