Is Egypt Expensive to Visit?

Is Egypt expensive to visit

Is Egypt expensive to visit? Compared to most western European countries, as well as North America, Egypt remains a very affordable country to visit. However, prices continue to rise.

Egypt has become a major tourist destination over the last several decades. The country is known for its incredibly rich history and culture. It is also home to an almost infinite number of ancient monuments. Many of the country’s pyramids, tombs and pharaonic temples are among the oldest monuments in the world.

Egypt is located in North Africa, Egypt’s land frontiers border Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and Israel to the northeast. Its capital city is Cairo, home to the legendary Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx. At the time of this post being written, Egypt’s population stood at around 102 million.

Egypt has managed to attract millions of visitors every year for decades already. In fact, the country was named the third most popular travel destination in 2018.

Is Egypt Expensive for Tourists

The answer to this question really depends on what part or parts of the country you want to explore, and what sort of activities you want to enjoy while you are in the country. Things like accommodation and how you choose to travel within the country can add significantly to the overall cost of your holiday. Last but not least are things like sightseeing and recreational activities.

Besides having a vast number of ancient sites, there are also many recreational activities on offer. While every visitor should try to go for a Nile River cruise, other recreational activities should be chosen carefully if you are travelling on a budget.

Restaurants in Egypt are typically very affordable. Even people who are traveling on a very tight daily budget can eat well when traveling in Egypt. Of course, if you choose to eat at a high-end restaurant, you must expect to pay a high-end price.

So, is Egypt expensive for tourists? Generally speaking, it isn’t, but it also depends on your personal travel style, what level of comfort you want to enjoy, and what all you want to do. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the various aspects of a vacation in Egypt from a financial point of view.


How much you spend on accommodation will depend on what sort of comfort and quality you want. It will also depend on when you visit, and where about in the country you are. From cheap dormitory rooms to luxurious 5-Start hotels and resorts, Egypt has ample accommodation options for all budgets…

  • Budget Hotel Accommodation – Hostel rooms and 2-Star hotels fall into this category with typical prices ranging from $10 to $50 dollars. As one might expect, this type of accommodation is very popular among backpackers and those traveling on a very tight budget.
  • Mid-Range Hotel Accommodation – These are generally 3-Star hotels with typical prices ranging from $50 to $150 per night. Don’t expect much luxury, but you should have all the basics, including air-conditioning and your own private bathroom.
  • Luxury Hotel Accommodation – This category consists of 4-Star and 5-Star hotels with typical prices starting from around $150 per night.

Nearly all hotels, including budget hotels, include some type of a breakfast in their prices. Obviously, it goes without saying that breakfast at a luxury hotel is going to be significantly better than breakfast at a hostel or budget hotel.

Hotel accommodation in major cities always costs more than it does in more remote parts of the country. However, major towns and cities have a far wider selection to choose from. They also tend to be more modern and more geared up for tourism. This is especially true in places like Cairo, Alexandria, Aswan, Luxor, Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada.

Nearly all modern hotels in the country’s major cities accept debit and credit card payments. However, some budget accommodations only accept cash payments. Some will accept US Dollars, while others will insist that you pay with Egyptian Pounds.

Prices Comparison – Washington DC, London and Cairo

To give you a better idea regarding hotel prices in Egypt, let’s compare prices. In this example, we look at the average price of a 4-Star hotel in Cairo and compare it to the average price of a 4-Star hotel in Washington DC and London.

In Washington DC, prices at a 4-Star hotel begin at around $200 per night, while in London prices start at around $150 per night. In Cairo, the average price of a room in a good 4-Star hotel is around $100 per night.

Transport and Transfers

The cost of hotel/airport transfers and other types of necessary travel during your stay in Egypt is something which many travelers underestimate. This is not to say that traveling in Egypt is expensive, but it can be. Fortunately, some proper planning can greatly reduce the amount of money one spends on getting around. Here are a few things you need to consider in order to save money when traveling in Egypt.

Airport/Hotel Transfers

Most of the big hotels in major cities offer a shuttle service that arriving guests can use to get from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the airport. Some of the larger and more reputable tour operators also offer the same service. They will meet you at the airport or railway station and then transfer you to your hotel. They will also drive you back to the airport when it is time for you to leave.

Most tourists arrive in Egypt via Cairo Airport. The distance from Cairo international airport to the city centre is roughly 22 kilometers. With ideal conditions, the journey takes about 25 minutes but it often takes longer due to the city’s notorious traffic.

You have a number of ways to get from Cairo airport to the city centre and/or your hotel:

  • Airport Bus – Airport buses leave from the airport every 30 minutes. The service begins at 07h50 and ends at 18h15. Airport buses are clean, generally very modern, and also very reliable. The journey from the airport to Ramses Railway Station in the city centre takes approximately 50 minutes but can take longer depending on traffic. A one-way ticket costs 5 EGP (less than $1 USD).
  • Airport Taxis – Airport taxis are a convenient, comfortable and fast to get from the airport to your hotel. The average cost from the airport to downtown Cairo is about 150 EGP (about $10 USD) and the journey takes about 30 minutes. Always insist on the driver turning the meter on or else you could end up paying significantly more than you need to.
  • Uber Drivers – Using Uber is much the same as using an airport taxi. However, it is often marginally cheaper at around 120 EGP (about $8 USD). The cost can vary since it is not a fixed price. If you decide to use Uber, always confirm the price before getting in the vehicle.
  • Private Transport – Private transport/transfers are typically available 24/7. This is by far the best and most comfortable option if your budget allows for it. The average cost is about $360 EGP (about $23 USD). If you intend booking an Egypt tour package through a tour operator, you should always make sure that your chosen tour includes private transfers.

Inter-City Travel

Most tourists, including those who enter Egypt via Cairo, want to explore Egypt’s most famous archaeological sites. Many of these are located along the banks of the Nile River between Luxor and Aswan in Upper Egypt. To visit these sites, you will have to make your way to Aswan or Luxor.

  • By Bus – Buses are the cheapest way to travel from one city to the next, but they are not always the most comfortable or most convenient way. Besides the cost of your bus ticket, you will most likely also have to use taxis for getting you to and from bus depots and hotels. This might not be much, but it is an extra cost which you need to be aware of if traveling on a budget.
  •  By Train – Overnight sleeper trains offer a clean, comfortable and enjoyable means for getting around in Egypt. At the time of writing, a double cabin on the overnight train from Cairo to Aswan cost the equivilant of $190. If you don’t mind sharing your cabin with another person, then you will only pay half this amount. Alternatively, you can book a smaller single cabin for about $140.
  • By Air – Domestic flights are a quick and convenient way to get from one city to another when traveling in Egypt. There are several companies, including Egypt Air, that offer cheap flights between most of Egypt’s major cities. Flying to Aswan or Luxor from Cairo is only marginally more expensive than the overnight train. Depending on your travel style, the convenience of flying is well-worth the small additional cost.

Is Egypt expensive for tourists as far as transfers and transport is concerned? We don’t think so and especially if you plan your trip properly. For example, try to stay in hotels that include airport transfers. If you are going to be traveling between cities, consider using overnight trains. Every night on a sleeper train means one less night in a hotel.

If you don’t want the burden of having to plan all your own travel, then your best option would be to book a package tour from a reputable Egypt tour operator. You may also want to check out our own range of Nile cruise holidays. All of our travel packages include all transfers, domestic flights and transport to and from all attraction featured in our tour itineraries.

Nile River Cruises

There is no better way to experience the true magic of Ancient Egypt than to do so by way of a Nile cruise. Nile cruises between Aswan and Luxor allow you to visit several of the country’s most breathtaking ancient tombs and temples.

Most good quality cruises include excellent accommodation, three meals a day, and Egyptologist-guided tours at the different attractions you visit during the cruise. So, is Egypt expensive to visit if you also want to enjoy a Nile River cruise? We don’t think so.

While actual costs vary, a typical 5-Star cruise doesn’t cost much more than a typical 4 or 5-Star hotel stay. If you were to stay at a 5-Star hotel in Luxor or Aswan, and you wanted to visit the same sites as you will during a cruise, it will cost a lot more than a Nile cruise.

Our own range of 5-Star Nile River cruises start at around $500. They also include full board, Egyptologist-guided tours, as well as hotel/airport transfers.

What Type of Nile Cruise Should You Choose?

For those who want to experience a cruise on the Nile, there are three different cruise options:

  • Felluca Cruises
  • Dahabiya Cruises
  • Large Cruises

Felluca Cruises – Fellucas are small sail boats that are in abundance on the Nile. Due to their small size, they can only accommodate small groups. Some have a covered area but most do not. This means that you will most likely be sleeping on a mattress on the deck under the stars. You have the option of booking a shared cruise, or you can book a private cruise.

At the time of writing, the cost of 2-night felucca cruises from Aswan to Luxor was starting at around $280 to $300. Private felucca cruises are very flexible and can be customized according to your needs. They offer a very relaxing experience and one which allows you to avoid large crowds. However, don’t expect much luxury.

Dahabiya Cruises – Dahabiyas are traditional river yachts. They are larger than feluccas and are instantly recognizable by their two large sails. Unlike feluccas, Dahabiya boats have several cabins, along with an outdoor recreational area. Those used for passenger cruises typically have very tastefully decorated cabins. Most also have a bar, and even an outdoor Jacuzzi.

Dahabiyas generally have between 8 to 12 cabins. However, many operators don’t insist that all cabins must be occupied in order to sail. They will usually sail if at least 4 berths have been booked, or 2 double cabins fully booked.

Quality and comfort levels can vary quite a bit from one boat to the next. However, all the Dahabiya Cruises listed on our site are 5-Star cruises. Most range from 6 to 8 days, with prices starting at around $800. This includes accommodation, all meals, and admission fees for the different attractions you will visit during your cruise. An Egyptologist guide will also accompany you to the various attractions.

Dahabiya cruises are far more luxurious than felucca cruises. You can look forward to a beautifully appointed cabin and delicious cuisine prepared on board by a professional chef. In short, a Dahabiya cruise along the Nile is a truly magical experience, and one which we highly recommend.

Large Cruises – These are the large passenger boats that have long since been a common sight on the Nile in Egypt. Most are capable of carrying several hundred passengers. Even budget cruises on some of these vessels are often described as being luxurious. With so many of these boats operating on the Nile between Aswan and Luxor, there are cruises available to suit all types of budgets.

Spending time on of these ships is much like spending time at a nice hotel. Most have many of the same amenities that one would expect to find at a good hotel. Typical amenities include things like a large swimming pool, a gym, a spar and massage facility, and even an on-board disco.

At the time of writing, cruise prices were starting at around $500. However, luxury Nile cruises can cost considerably more.

So, does a Nile cruise make Egypt expensive to visit? We don’t think so. After all, every night spent aboard a cruise ship, is one less night spent in a hotel. You also won’t need to spend any money on food. Even the budget cruises include three good meals a day. You also won’t have to spend any money on sightseeing because all sightseeing is included in cruise prices.

What Attractions Will You Visit During Your Cruise?

Cruise itineraries vary, depending on which sort of cruise you book, and also on the duration of a cruise. Most mainstream 5-Star cruises will however include a visit to the most popular ancient monuments between Aswan and Luxor. These include places like Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple, Medinet Habu, Hatshepsut Temple, and Valley of the Kings, to name just a few.

The Valley of Kings is an ancient royal burial ground which is home to more than 60 ancient tombs. However, not all of them were royal tombs, and not all of them are open to visitors. Most cruises include admission fees for some of the tombs but not for those which have been designated as “special tombs.” Tickets for these “special tombs” must be purchased in person at the site. The tomb of King Tutankahmun is one such tomb.

The absolutely breathtaking Abu Simbel Temples near modern-day Abu Simbel are also featured in a lot of cruise itineraries, but not all. Getting to the temples at Abu Simbel is about a 4-hour drive from both Aswan and Luxor. If you don’t mind the long drive, then we highly recommend visiting this incredible site. Built during the reign of Ramses II, these massive rock-cut temples are well and truly one of Egypt’s most impressive archaeological sites.

Lake Nasser Cruises

Unlike many Nile River cruises, a lot of Lake Nasser cruises do include a visit to the famous rock-cut temples at Abu Simbel. A cruise on Lake Nasser will also see you visiting several breathtaking temples and tombs that date back the time of Ancient Egypt. For this reason, many people recommend a Lake Nasser cruise, and especially for people who have already experienced a regular Nile cruise.

At the time of writing, prices for a good quality 5-Star lake cruise were starting at under $600. They include full board, admissions fees for all sites visited, a professional tour guide, and airport/hotel transfers.

Save Time, Money and Hassle – Hire a Tour Guide

Is Egypt expensive to visit if you want to hire private guides? No, it can be quite the opposite actually. A guide’s primary purpose is to try and help you make the most of your trip. Having a professional guide with you when you visit different archeological sites can make your journey through Ancient Egypt that much more rewarding. It really is worth the extra money.

Good private guides can also help you to save money when you are shopping in places like Cairo’s legendary Khan El-Khalili bazaar and other market places elsewhere in the country. In Egypt it is the norm to haggle for the best and lowest cost when shopping. A good guide can help you with this, or sometimes even haggle on your behalf.

Guides can also help you to save money with other aspects of your trip. One example would be if you want to go for a camel ride. Many tourists, and especially first-time visitors, often choose to go for a camel ride at the famous Giza Pyramids. However, this is not the best, nor the cheapest place to go for a ride on a camel. With a guide, you can avoid making mistakes like this. A good guide will also help you to avoid scams, some of which can be rather costly.

Choosing a Guide

We do not recommend using freelance guides which you will sometimes see loitering around popular tourist destinations. Many of these guides are operating illegally. Many will also overcharge you, sometimes dramatically. These are all reasons why we recommend working with a reputable tour operator. A good travel company will capable of providing professional and fully certified Egyptologist guides.

Are Restaurants Expensive in Egypt?

Different travelers have different travel styles, so the actual costs of eating in Egypt vary from one person to the next. The good news is that you can eat really well in Egypt without spending a fortune. The most affordable prices are found at roadside cafes and other restaurants that are popular among locals.

Don’t worry, if you really want to wine and dine in style, the bigger cities have no shortage of high-end restaurants. However, if you choose to eat at a high-end restaurant, expect to pay a high-end price.

According to data collected from other people who have traveled to Egypt, the average traveler spends about 200 EGP on meals each day. This is equivalent to about US$13. Given that people have such varying diets; this figure is only intended as a rough guide.

Very few package tours include three daily meals. Most only include daily breakfast which is provided by the hotels you stay in. Some of the bigger and better tour providers will also sometimes include lunch, and perhaps a dinner on one or two days of your tour. Nile cruises and Lake Nasser cruises are an exception because decent cruises should include three meals a day.

How Much Should You Budget for a Trip to Egypt?

According to data collected, the average person that travels to Egypt spends between USD40 and USD50 US per day. This figure only accounts for hotel accommodation, minimal travel, meals and some non-alcoholic refreshments. It does not include transport to and from popular archeological sites. It also does not include admission fees for such sites. This price is also based on the assumption that you will be staying in budget accommodation.

If you want to stay in 4 or 5 star hotels, then you should add an additional $90 to $100 to the figure quoted above. You will also need to add even more if you want to visit several popular archeological sites during your stay.

Independent Travel vs. Package Tours

Is Egypt expensive to visit as an independent traveler? If you plan your original travel budget carefully and you adhere to it, Egypt can be very affordable. It really does depend on your travel style, and what all you want to see and do while you are in the country.

For many people, good quality Egypt package tours and/or Egypt tailor made tours are a better option. They are a cost effective means to enjoy the true magic of Ancient Egypt. Egypt tailor made tours also allow you to enjoy an original travel experience without any stress whatsoever.

If you intend staying in a mid-range hotel, and you intend visiting several ancient monuments such as the Giza pyramids near Cairo and Karnak Temple at Luxor, independent travel will likely cost more than a comparable package tour. For the same amount of money, you could most likely also enjoy a breathtaking cruise on the Nile.

For greater clarity, let’s take a look at one of our own original travel packages. In this case, we use our 8-Day Best of Egypt Tour. Prices for this tour start at a little over $1,000 per person. For your money, you get to spend three nights at a 5-Star hotel in Cairo and four nights aboard a 5-Star Nile cruise ship.

You are also met at Cairo Airport by one of our tour managers and a driver who then take you to your hotel. The price includes two internal flights, one from Cairo to Luxor for your cruise, and the second from Aswan back to Cairo after your cruise ends.

While in Cairo, you get to visit 5 different attractions with one of our guides and your own private driver. When you land in Luxor, you are again met at the airport and you are taken to board your cruise. During your cruise which includes all meals, you visit 10 of Egypt’s most iconic attractions accompanied by a professional Egyptologist guide.

Following your cruise, you fly back to Cairo where you will spend the last night of your holiday in a 5-Star hotel. On the final day of your stay, you get picked up from your hotel and are then driven to the airport in time for your flight back home.

You get all of the above for a little more than $1,000, with absolutely nothing to worry about. No worries, no hassles, and lifelong memories guaranteed.

Travel Insurance – Why You Need It

When you book Nile cruise holiday packages or stand-alone cruises through us, the cost of your chosen package does include some insurance. However, should you have a serious accident or become seriously ill, the insurance we provide might not be enough to cover your expenses. For this reason, we highly recommend that you get travel insurance from a reputable insurance provider in your own country before you travel.

When is the Best and Cheapest Time to Visit Egypt?

In our opinion, October to April is the best time to visit because of the mild weather. However, the sheer number of tourists and the increase in prices might affect your holiday in a negative way. If you want to avoid crowds and inflated prices, then we would recommend visiting in June or September. These are known as the “shoulder seasons.” They separate the high season from the low season.

If you can tolerate very warm weather and you want to enjoy the lowest cost, then July through August might be the best time to visit. Keep in mind, average highs are around 35 degrees Celsius. This in itself might not seem too bad, but high moisture at this time of the year can make it very uncomfortable for some people.

The most expensive time to visit Egypt is from October to April. This is especially true if you visit during the Christmas and New Year holidays, and/or the Easter holidays. If you really want to visit during this part of the year, we strongly suggest booking a package tour. We also strongly suggest booking as far in advance as you possibly can. This can help you to avoid sudden price increases that might occur before your planned travel date.

In our opinion, October to April is the best time to visit because of the mild weather. However, the sheer number of tourists and the increase in prices might affect your holiday in a negative way. If you want to avoid crowds and inflated prices, then we would recommend visiting in June or September. These are known as the “shoulder seasons.” They separate the high season from the low season.

If you can tolerate very warm weather and you want to enjoy the lowest cost, then July through August might be the best time to visit. Keep in mind, average highs are around 35 degrees Celsius. This in itself might not seem too bad, but high moisture at this time of the year can make it very uncomfortable for some people.

The most expensive time to visit Egypt is from October to April. This is especially true if you visit during the Christmas and New Year holidays, and/or the Easter holidays. If you really want to visit during this part of the year, we strongly suggest booking a package tour. We also strongly suggest booking as far in advance as you possibly can. This can help you to avoid sudden price increases that might occur before your planned travel date.

Top Money Saving Tips for a Visit to Egypt

Most of these tips have already been addressed in earlier paragraphs, but let us just re-cap…

Set a Budget and Stick to It

Determine how much you can afford to spend or how much you are willing to spend, and then do your best to stay within your budget. This means not visiting sites which you had not included in your original travel plan. It also means resisting the temptation of doing activities you had not planned for. For example, if you suddenly decide you want to go for a hot air balloon ride in Luxor, you will be adding another $100+ to the cost of your holiday.

Decide Which Attractions You Want to Visit

Deciding which attractions you want to visit can help you to save a significant amount of money in terms of admission fees and associated travel costs. Again, this is all about sticking to your original travel plan/budget. If you fail to do this, you could end up paying upwards of $50 dollars for each additional attraction.

Choose a Reputable and Trustworthy Egypt Tour Operator

While it may be tempting to book your trip through your nearest travel agent in your home country, it is not something we recommend doing. Instead, we recommend booking your trip through a tour operator that has people on the ground in Egypt. A tour operator that specializes in Egypt travel is best equipped to ensure you get the best possible experience. In nearly all cases, they also offer the most affordable prices.

Book Your Flights Early

Once you have found and booked your chosen tour package, or once you have set your travel dates, book your international flights. Don’t leave this to the last minute. Booking your flights well in advance can save you a ton of money.

Shop Around for Travel Insurance

Don’t just go for a policy that has the lowest cost. The cost of travel insurance can vary tremendously. Shop around until you find insurance that meets your needs and matches your budget.

Extra Money for Spending

There are just so many things that can tempt you into spending money when you are traveling. This is especially true when visiting places like the ancient royal tombs in the Valley of Kings. This is because you may decide you would like to see inside some of the more elaborate royal tombs which aren’t included in your chosen itinerary.

For this reason, you should always try to make sure that you have some extra money available to spend during your drip to Egypt. Having some extra money available can often help to make your vacation even more enjoyable

Egypt Tailor Made Tours

With an Egypt tailor made tour, you can explore Egypt your way. You decide what all you want to see and do. Your chosen tour operator will then use this information to create and schedule a tour package that fits your needs perfectly. We even have a built-in feature on our Nile Cruise Holidays website that allows you to design your own tour in minutes.

Our easy-to use travel planner only requires you to complete three steps before submitting your request to us. Once we receive it, one of our travel specialists will create a draft itinerary. We will send you copy and a precise price quote within 24 hours. Quite often, you will receive this from us in as little as one hour.

All of our existing package tours can also be customized to better suite your needs. Simply tell us which one of our travel packages you like and what changes you would like us to make. We will then make the requested changes and amend the price accordingly.

As one might expect, cruise itineraries cannot be customized. Routes and schedules are set by the companies that own the various vessels. The only exception would be with a private Felucca cruise. In that you would be able to negotiate with the owner and/or skipper.

Get Ready for the Adventure of a Lifetime

So, is Egypt expensive to visit? We really do not think so. Even with a relatively tight budget you can still enjoy an unforgettable vacation in the Land of the Pharaohs. It all comes down to knowledge and proper planning.

If you don’t have confidence in planning your own trip, or if you just don’t want all the hassle that goes with, we can help. Having recently been awarded the Tripadvisor “Travelers’ Choice” Award, you can be sure your travel dreams will be in good hands.

Start planning your trip to Egypt here, or visit us now at to find and book your dream holiday today.



Explore Egypt your way
by selecting only the attractions you want to visit

Design Your Custom Tour

Explore Egypt your way by selecting only the attractions you want to visit!


Design Your Custom Tour

Explore Egypt your way by selecting only the attractions you want to visit

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