|How much money to take on holidays in Egypt if you go to All Inclusive (AI)? How much will it take without AI? What are the prices for souvenirs, transport, excursions? How much do food and drinks cost in shops and restaurants? Read the answers in this article.
All Inclusive and WITHOUT – is there a big difference in costs?
If you are traveling to All Inclusive , skip the sections on food, drinks (non-alcoholic) and local alcohol below.
If you are traveling WITHOUT All Inclusive , then read below all the sections that you consider relevant for yourself.
For a summary list of spending options, see the end of this article.
Attention! Visa fee upon arrival
In Egypt, an arrival visa costs $ 25. Until April 30, 2021, this fee was temporarily not charged in order to support tourist flow during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, now the “freebie is over”.
That $ 25 per person is an inevitable expense. Only in the resorts of Sinai you can get a free “Sinai stamp”. Details in the article “Visa to Egypt”. We advise you to prepare money without change, since there is not always change from large banknotes in the window for buying visas.
1. Communication – Internet and calls
The first bad news: VoIP is blocked in Egypt and it will not be possible to solve the problem of calls using WhatsApp or Skype. Although sometimes it works, because the control and blocking system does not work perfectly. It is possible to use a VPN, but it is too difficult for most tourists.
Internet is very cheap on Egyptian SIM cards, the price of a 20 gigabyte package is 250 Egyptian pounds. For the current pound exchange rate, see our article “Money in Egypt”. In roaming, the Internet will cost several times more. Details in our article “The Internet in Egypt”.
The situation is reversed with calls. If you need a lot of minutes (up to 45 minutes a day), then it is most profitable to turn on “Zero without borders” for 38 EGP a day. If you need very few minutes, then a local SIM is better. Read more in our article “Calls from Egypt are cheap”.
Eventually. If you do not want to limit yourself in minutes and gigabytes, then prepare 250 pounds for vacation
2. Gifts and souvenirs
Souvenirs and gifts in Egypt are inexpensive. A medium-sized papyrus will cost $ 15–20. A sand painting in a bottle – from 3 to 10 dollars, depends on the size. You are unlikely to pick up more than $ 10 of fruit. All prices in our detailed article “What to bring from Egypt”.
We recommend allocating $ 50 for a decent set of souvenirs and gifts. If you want an extended set, then cook $ 100.
Separately, we want to tell you about one popular gift – pendants with hieroglyphs made of silver and gold. On such pendants, the name of the owner is written in hieroglyphs, they are usually made to order. Silver price – from $ 25, gold – from $ 100.
We do NOT recommend buying such souvenirs at all. Nobody guarantees the authenticity of silver and gold. You cannot sell or mortgage such a piece of jewelry without expertise, which is comparable to the price of the item. There is no sense in this.
Local excursions (within the staying resort) cost $ 20-30. For this money, they can take them to swim with fish or travel to local free attractions.
Excursions around the region (within the province of stay) cost $ 40-60. For example, in Sharm it is a trip to Mount Moses or to the Colored Canyon. In Hurghada, you can go to Luxor for $ 60-80.
Excursions to Cairo from Hurghada and Sharm can cost from 60 to 120 dollars, depending on the quality of lunch, the composition of the places of visit, whether tickets for attractions are included. Excursions to Cairo with a flight cost $ 160-200.
When calculating the cost of excursions, you need to take into account one nuance. Most tourists go to Egyptian resorts in All Inclusive hotels. If you go on an excursion for the whole day, then you lose the paid All Inclusive.
4. Tickets for attractions and entertainment
Over the past few years, ticket prices for attractions in Egypt have grown exponentially.
In Cairo. To just go to the Giza plateau and see the Great Pyramids, you need to pay 200 Egyptian pounds. To get inside the Cheops pyramid, pay another 400 pounds.
In Luxor. Just entering the Valley of the Kings – £ 240. See the tomb of Tutankhamun – another 300 pounds. But the most “expensive” attraction in Egypt is the tomb of Seti I – 1000 pounds for entry.
In the resorts, the situation is no better. In Hurghada, the entrance to the museum is 250 pounds, the Grand Aquarium is 25 euros, and the Sand City Park is 10 euros. But visiting water parks in Hurghada is inexpensive – $ 20-30 per person.
In Sharm el-Sheikh, for a show at the Dolphina dolphinarium – $ 20, the recently opened Sharm Museum – £ 200, Cleo Park and Aqua Blue water parks – $ 25.
5. Taxis and other local transport
Egypt has one of the cheapest taxis in the world. However, many tourists from their own experience believe that taxis are expensive. How does this happen?
The price of a taxi strongly depends on how you order it. The cheapest option is to catch a metered white or orange (yellow) taxi, then pay 6-10 Egyptian pounds for landing and 2.5-4 pounds per kilometer. If you order Uber or Careem through the app, you will pay 7.25 for a landing and 2.7 for a kilometer.
If you book through the hotel reception or agents, you will pay 3 or 4 times more. Know the right ways and you won’t overpay! All the details in our article “Taxi in Egypt”.
There are minibuses in the resorts in Egypt, but it is difficult to use them. Destination labels are usually in Arabic only. But if you know the number of the required minibus, you can save money. The fare is £ 1-2.5, depending on the distance.
There is a metro in Cairo, the fare is 5, 7 or 10 pounds, depending on the distance. Details in our article “Metro Cairo”.
6. Intercity transport
If you are traveling to or from the resort town, the only available option is intercity buses. For a map of resorts and distances, see our article “Map of Egypt Resorts”.
Bus ticket prices are reasonable: Sharm el-Sheikh-Cairo – from 180 pounds, Hurghada-Cairo – from 180 pounds, Hurghada-Luxor – from 135 pounds. There are buses of different classes of service, prices are indicated for the most budgetary class “Classic” from the bus company Go Bus (El Gouna).
Between the cities in the Nile Delta, the most convenient way to get around is by train. Ticket prices vary greatly depending on the class of the train and the class of the carriage. Cairo-Alexandria – 58 to 130 pounds Cairo-Luxor – 110 to 255 pounds
You can get around by plane, but it’s expensive – $ 100-120 for a round-trip ticket. But it is not always convenient, because you still need to get to the airport, arrive in advance, and go through security control. The flight time is 1 hour, but taking into account the additional costs of time, it takes 2-3 hours or longer.
7. Drinks (non-alcoholic)
The price of bottled water is 3.5-4 Egyptian pounds for 1.5 liters. If you buy in bulk at once, it is cheaper. For example, now (September 2021) Carrefour has an offer of 12 1.5 liter bottles for £ 37.95.
Soda: £ 5 for a 0.33 can of Coca-Cola, £ 13-15 for 2 liters of Coca-Cola. Local types of soda are 1.5-2 times cheaper. Red Bull Energy Drink – £ 20-25
Juices: £ 7 to £ 12 per liter, depending on manufacturer. As with us, the price of juice does not depend on the fruit (or berry) from which the juice is made. This, in turn, raises serious doubts about the naturalness of the product.
Very popular is “asab” – a juice from sugar cane. The juice is cheap, since a lot of sugarcane is grown in Egypt. Price – 1.5-2 pounds. Asab is often sold on the streets, but we still recommend drinking it at least in cafes or eateries, it’s safer.
8. Food – street food, cheap cafes and eateries
We strongly DO NOT recommend eating in cheap catering establishments in Egypt. Food poisoning in Egypt has long become commonplace. After all, the climate here is hot and food spoils quickly.
This is just a recent high-profile incident reported by the Al Watan newspaper. In a village in the Nile Delta in the province of Bucheira, a wedding was held on October 2, 2020. The guests were fed meat cutlets “köfte”, which turned out to be from spoiled meat. As a result, more than 100 people were hospitalized. And lo and behold! They all recovered. Mass poisoning without fatalities is a rarity in modern Egyptian realities.
But if you are willing to take the risk, then it will be very cheap to eat. Vegetable or Meat Pie – £ 4-8 per bite, depending on filling. Koshara is a dish of noodles, rice and chickpeas – 5-12 pounds per serving. Falafel – 5-8, shawarma – 15-20.
Some tourists manage to eat at street foods and eateries for $ 5 a day. Better yet, count on $ 10 a day.
9. Meals – fast foods
All international fast foods are present in Egypt. It is safe to eat in them, but very expensive!
At McDonald’s: Big Mac now (September 2021) costs 42.5 Egyptian pounds, Big Tasty – 68.5 pounds, 9 nuggets – 49, cheeseburger – 17, double cheeseburger – 36. The same life hack works in Egypt as in us: it’s cheaper to buy two cheeseburgers and combine them than to buy a double one.
At KFC, a set of 6 strips + fries + salad + bun + drink will cost £ 88.
At Burger King: Bopper £ 35, Steakhouse £ 62.5, Cheeseburger £ 18, Double Cheeseburger £ 36.5.
The price of a small pizza at Pizza Hut is between £ 70 and £ 100.
If you are going to eat at fast foods, then count on $ 15-25 per person per day.
10. Food – restaurants
It is difficult to talk about prices in restaurants, as restaurants can be of different price levels. Let’s try to quote prices for mid-range restaurants. Eating in cheap restaurants in Egypt can be as dangerous as it is in street food.
Restaurant prices vary from region to region. In Upper (Southern) Egypt, prices are the lowest. In Cairo and Alexandria, prices are average. It is expensive in the resorts of the Red Sea – 20-30% more expensive than in Cairo.
Salad costs an average of 80-100 Egyptian pounds. Main courses cost £ 250-300. Desserts £ 60-120, drinks £ 40-60 more. For lunch or dinner, cook between £ 450 and £ 600 per person.
If you are going to eat in restaurants and at the same time do not deny yourself anything. Then cook $ 70-100 per person per day.
11. Food – food from the store
If there is an opportunity to cook, then the cost of food decreases dramatically.
The average price for a pack of 400 grams of pasta is 7 pounds, rice is 10 pounds per kilogram, potatoes are 8 pounds per kilogram, tomatoes and cucumbers are 10.
Meat in Egypt costs: 120-150 pounds per kilogram of beef, 150-170 pounds per kilogram of lamb, 70-90 pounds per kilogram of chicken breast.
Milk – 16-18 per liter, soft cheeses – 30-40 per kilogram, eggs – 20 per ten, fish – 100-150 per kilogram, sunflower oil – 25 per liter. All the details in our article “Food prices in Egypt”.
To summarize, we can say that food prices in Egypt are comparable to ours. If you cook yourself from groceries from the supermarket, then the price of food is $ 5 per person per day.
Some tourists eat fruit or make sandwiches from supermarket products. Not the healthiest diet, but cheap and safe. In this case, it is realistic to eat for 3-5 dollars a day.
12. Local alcohol
If you go to All Inclusive, then local alcohol will be unlimited. But these will be drinks of “average” and “below average” levels. The Egyptian company Al Ahram has the Bolanachi brand for this purpose.
If without All Inclusive, then local alcoholic drinks can be bought. Not all shops in Egypt are allowed to sell alcohol, but you can find one. Drinkies stores are available in all major resorts.
The days of cheap alcohol in Egypt are long gone. Prices are quite high – beer from 20 Egyptian pounds for 0.5 liters, wine and spirits from 70 Egyptian pounds. Now in Egypt there are very high taxes on alcohol – on beer 200%, on wine and spirits 150%. It is not surprising that alcohol is more expensive than ours.
Read more about drinks, prices, shops and trade rules in our article “Local Egyptian alcohol”.
13. Imported alcohol
Imported alcohol is easiest to bring with you, but customs regulations only allow 1 liter maximum. If this is not enough, then you need to buy.
It is difficult to buy imported alcohol in Egypt. The most affordable option is Duty Free shops. In Egypt, the special situation with Duty Free shops, they are located not only in buffer zones at airports, but also in the country. Tourists have the right to buy in them within 48 hours from the moment of arrival. You can buy up to 3 liters of imported alcohol. All the details in the article “Alcohol in Egypt”.
Logically, the prices in Duty Free should be super-low, because there are no taxes, duties and excise taxes. But in practice, prices in Egyptian Duty Free are about the same as in our supermarkets. But in our supermarkets now there are big discounts and promotions, but in Egyptian Duty Free this is not.
Eventually. You can afford 4 liters of imported alcohol = 1 from home + 3 from Duty Free. You can see the prices in the nearest supermarket, in Duty Free in Egypt the prices will be about the same.
Smoking in Egypt now is not a cheap pleasure at all. Gone are the days when cigarettes here cost 2-3 times cheaper than ours.
Winston pack – 30 Egyptian pounds, Marlboro pack – 44 pounds, Kent pack – 38 pounds. The most popular Cleopatra cigarettes in Egypt are £ 18 per pack.
These were the prices in shops in ordinary cities. In resorts, the same cigarettes are sold 1.5-2 times more expensive. In shops at hotels, 2-3 times more expensive. The taste of Egyptian cigarettes can be an unpleasant surprise. All details and prices in our article “Cigarettes and Smoking in Egypt”.
Therefore, we advise: take your cigarettes with you. You can import up to 200 pieces (1 block), this should be enough for the entire vacation.
Another option is to buy imported cigarettes in Duty Free. Prices are high, there is a limitation – no more than 1 block (200 pieces) for one passport, no later than 48 hours from the moment of arrival in Egypt.
If you prefer vaping (vaping) or iQos, then a supply of liquids or sticks must be taken. Why? Read in our article “Vaping and iQos in Egypt”.
15. Unforeseen expenses
There may be more unforeseen expenses than it might seem at first glance.
Firstly, insurance in 99% of cases contains the terms of the deductible. This is when, in case of an insured event, the tourist pays the first part of the amount himself, and then the insurance company. For example, let’s say you got stitches in your wound for $ 200. 30 pay yourself (deductible), the remaining 170 are already insurance. These 30 dollars you need to have with you.
Secondly, on many excursions there is no lunch or drinks are paid for lunch. You might forget something important, like coral slippers or sunscreen.
You may want to thank the guide or other staff members. You may really want some kind of souvenir that you did not plan to buy. Or you might want to try a dish you just saw in a restaurant window.
For all these cases, we recommend having $ 100 in stock. If nothing unexpected happens, then bring this money back.
If you are traveling to All Inclusive and do not plan to leave the hotel. Then take $ 100 for incidentals and $ 50 for souvenirs and gifts.
If you are going to All Inclusive and planning excursions. Then take an additional 150 dollars, which should be enough for a couple of interesting excursions. This same money should be enough for independent trips to the sights – for taxis and tickets.
If you are traveling WITHOUT All Inclusive. Then the costs depend on the format of the meal.
– Charge $ 70-100 per person per day to eat in good restaurants;
– If you eat in fast food chains, take $ 20-30 per person per day;
– If you are ready to eat in street food or cheap eateries, take 10-15 per person per day. But we remind you that in Egypt it is fraught with poisoning;
– If you are ready to eat fruits and sandwiches from supermarket products. Or if there is an opportunity to cook (for example, you rent an apartment). Then you can get by with 5-10 dollars a day.
What else is important to know
– Remember that in Egypt you can easily exchange dollars and euros for Egyptian pounds, but then it is almost impossible to change back. Don’t change a lot, read our article “Currency Exchange in Egypt”;
– Fruit is the most popular gift among tourists. Read about the prices for fruits in our article “Fruits in Egypt”;