Page update - Aug 24, 2023
How much money to take on vacation in Egypt, if you go to the All Inclusive (AI)? How much will you need without AI? What are the prices for souvenirs, transport, tours, tickets to attractions? How much for food and drink in stores and restaurants? Read the answers on this page.
The prices and other information on this page were updated in August 2023. All the prices have risen over the past year as the Egyptian pound exchange rate fell sharply in January 2023 - from 24 to 30 per dollar. In July 2023, official sources said inflation had already reached 36.8 per cent. All up-to-date prices are below on this page.
If you are going for vacation WITH All Inclusive, then skip the below sections on food, drinks (non-alcoholic), and local alcohol.
If you are going for vacation WITHOUT All Inclusive, then read all the below sections that you think are relevant to you.
See the final list of expenses options at the end of this page.
In Egypt, the visa on arrival costs USD 25. Until April 30, 2021, this fee was temporarily not charged to support tourist traffic during the pandemic COVID-19. But, now this is over.
If your citizenship gives the right for the visa on arrival. That USD 25 per person is an unavoidable expense item. Only in the resorts of Sinai, it is possible to get a free "Sinai Stamp". We advise that you prepare the money without change, as the visa window does not always have change from large banknotes.
Bad news. VoIP is blocked in Egypt, and you can not solve the problem of calls with WhatsApp or Skype. Although, sometimes it works, because the control and blocking system does not work perfectly. You can use a VPN, but it is too difficult for most tourists.
Internet traffic is very cheap with Egyptian SIM-cards. A package of 20 gigabytes costs 250 Egyptian pounds. See the current exchange rates of the pound in our review "Money in Egypt". Internet traffic will cost many times more when you're roaming. See our review "Internet in Egypt" for details.
The situation about calls is reversed. The international minute cost with Egyptian SIM-cards is high. If you need not so many minutes (up to 30 for the vacation), then you better buy any local tourist tariff. If you need a lot of minutes, then roaming options are usually profitable.
Bottom line. If you do not want to limit yourself in minutes and gigabytes, then prepare 400-500 Egyptian pounds for vacation.
Souvenirs and gifts in Egypt are cheap. A medium sized papyrus will cost 15-20 US dollars. A picture of sand in a bottle - from 3 to 10 US dollars, depending on size. Fruit is unlikely to take more than 10 US dollars. See all the prices in our detailed review "What to bring from Egypt".
For a respectable set of souvenirs and gifts we recommend planning 50 US dollars. If you want extra, prepare 100.
We also want to talk about one popular souvenir: silver and golden pendants with hieroglyphs. These pendants have the owner's name written in hieroglyphs and are usually made to order. The price for a silver pendant starts at USD 25 and for a golden one starts at USD 100.
We do NOT recommend buying such souvenirs at all. The genuineness of silver and gold is not guaranteed. You will not be able to sell or pawn such jewelry without expertise, which costs comparable to the price of the product. There is no sense in it.
Local excursions (within the resort area of your stay) cost USD 20-30. For this money they can take you to swim at the coral reef or drive around the local free attractions.
Excursions in the region (within the province of stay) cost USD 40-60. For example, in Sharm, a trip to Moses Mount or the Color Canyon. In Hurghada, you can go to Luxor for USD 60-80 dollars.
Excursions to Cairo from Hurghada and Sharm can cost from 60 to 120 US dollars, depending on the quality of lunch, the composition of places to visit, and whether tickets to attractions are included or not. Excursions to Cairo with a flight cost USD 160 to USD 200.
When calculating the cost of excursions you need to consider one nuance. Most tourists to Egyptian resorts stay in All Inclusive hotels. If you go on an excursion for a whole day, you lose the paid All Inclusive time.
Over the past few years, ticket prices for sightseeing in Egypt have multiplied.
In Cairo. To just get in the Giza Plateau and see the Great Pyramids, you have to pay 360 Egyptian pounds. To get inside the Cheops Pyramid, pay another 600 pounds.
In Luxor. Just to enter the Valley of the Kings is 400 pounds. To see Tutankhamun's tomb - another 360 pounds. But the most "expensive" attraction in Egypt is the tomb of Seti I - 1,400 pounds to enter.
In the resorts, the situation is no better. In Hurghada, the entrance to the museum is 200 pounds, Grand Aquarium - 30 euros, Sand City Park - 10 euros. But visiting the water parks in Hurghada is inexpensive - 20-30 US dollars per person.
Egypt has one of the cheapest cabs in the world. However, many tourists think from their experience that cabs are expensive. How could it be?
The price of a cab depends greatly on how you will order it. The cheapest option - get a white or orange (yellow, white-blue) cab by meter, then pay 7-12 Egyptian pounds for boarding and 3-5 pounds per kilometer. If you order Uber or Careem through the app, you'll pay 9 per fare and 3 per kilometer.
If you book through hotel reception or agents, you will pay 3 or 4 times the price. Know the right ways, and you won't overpay! All the details in our review "Taxis in Egypt".
There are mini-buses at resort areas in Egypt, but they are difficult to use. Destination inscriptions are usually only in Arabic. But if you know the number of the right mini-bus, you can save money. Fares range from 1 to 5 Egyptian pounds, depending on the distance.
In Cairo, there is a subway and the fare is 5, 7, 10, or 12 Egyptian pounds depending on the distance. Read more in our in-depth review "Cairo Metro".
If traveling to or from a resort town, the only affordable option is intercity buses. For a map of resorts and distances, see our review "Map of Egyptian resorts".
Bus ticket prices are reasonable: Sharm El Sheikh-Cairo is from 250 pounds, Hurghada-Cairo is from 250 pounds, Hurghada-Luxor is from 240 pounds. There are buses of different classes of service. The prices above are the most budget class "Classic" from the Go Bus (El Gouna) bus company.
Trains are the most convenient way to travel between towns on the Nile river. Ticket prices vary greatly depending on the class of train and class of carriage. Cairo-Alexandria - from 58 to 200 pounds. Cairo-Luxor - from 110 to 305 pounds.
You can travel by plane, but it's expensive - USD 100 to 120 for a round-trip ticket. But it's not always convenient because you still have to ride to the airport, arrive in advance, and go through security checks. Flight time is 1 hour, but taking into account the extra time it takes 2-3 hours or longer.
The price of bottled water is 5-7 Egyptian pounds for 1,5 liters. If you buy in bulk, it's cheaper. For example right now (August 2023) Carrefour is offering 12 bottles of 1.5 liters for 60 pounds.
Soda: 8-10 pounds for a can of Coca-Cola 0.33, 20-30 pounds for 2 liters of Coca-Cola. Local sodas are 1.5-2 times cheaper. Red Bull energy drink: 27-35.
Juices: from 12 to 20 pounds per liter, depending on the manufacturer. As with us, the price of juice does not depend on the fruit (or berry) from which the juice is made. Which provokes serious doubts about the naturalness of the product.
"Asab", a juice made from sugar cane, is very popular. The juice is cheap, because there is a lot of sugar cane grown in Egypt. The price is 2-3 pounds. Asab is often sold on the streets, but we still recommend drinking it at least in cafes or eateries, it is safer that way.
We strongly advise NOT to eat at cheap food places in Egypt. Food poisoning in Egypt has long become commonplace. After all, the climate there is hot, and food spoils quickly.
Here is a recent high-profile case. Several people were poisoned in a restaurant in Ismailia. The sanitary services confiscated 250 kilogrammes of spoiled meat from the restaurant! And it was not a cheap restaurant, but quite respectable.
But if you're willing to take the risk, it's very cheap to eat. A pie with vegetable or meat filling is 6-12 Egyptian pounds per slice, depending on the filling. Koshary is a dish of noodles, rice and chickpeas - 8-15 pounds per serving. Falafel is 8-10 and shawarma is 20-30.
Some tourists manage to eat at street-foods and eateries for USD 5 a day. But it's better to count on USD 10 a day.
All international fast-food chains are present in Egypt. Eating there is safe, but very expensive!
At McDonald's: a Big Mac now (August 2023) costs 86 Egyptian pounds, a Big Tasty is 145 pounds, 9 nuggets (sause included) is 96, a cheeseburger is 49, a double cheeseburger is 82.
At KFC, a set of 6 strips + fries + salad + bun + drink will cost 147 pounds.
At Burger King: bopper is 120 pounds, steakhouse is 165, cheeseburger is 46, chickenburger is 46.
The price of a small pizza at Pizza Hut is from 150 to 210 pounds.
If you're going to eat at fast-food joints, count on USD 15 to USD 25 per person per day.
It is difficult to tell about prices in restaurants, because restaurants come in different price levels. Let's try to give prices for restaurants of average level. Eating in cheap restaurants in Egypt can be just as dangerous as in street-food.
Prices in restaurants vary from region to region. In Upper (Southern) Egypt, the prices are the lowest. In Cairo and Alexandria, the prices can be called average. At Red Sea resorts the prices are high - 20-30% more expensive than in Cairo.
In a high-level restaurants. A salad costs on average 100-150 Egyptian pounds. Main courses cost 350-500 pounds. Desserts from 100 to 200 pounds, drinks another 50-100. For lunch or dinner prepare from 500 to 800 pounds per person.
If you are going to eat in restaurants and at the same time do not deny yourself anything. Then prepare from USD 70 to USD 100 per person per day.
If you can cook, the cost of food decreases dramatically.
The average price for a pack of pasta of 400 grams is 9-12 pounds, rice is 25-35 pounds per kilogram, potatoes is 15 pounds per kilogram, tomatoes and cucumbers are 15-20.
Meat in Egypt is 250-350 pounds per kilo of beef, 350-450 pounds per kilo of lamb, 180-250 per kilo of chicken breast.
Milk is 28-36 per liter, soft cheeses is 100-150 per kilo, eggs are 50 per dozen, fish is 150-300 per kilo, sunflower oil is 70 per liter.
In summary, we can say that food prices in Egypt are lower than in the UK, the US, or Western European countries. If you cook your own food from the supermarket, the price of food is USD 5 per person per day.
Some tourists eat fruits or make sandwiches from the supermarket products. Not the healthiest diet, but cheap and safe. In this case, it is realistic to eat for 3-5 US dollars a day.
If you go on All Inclusive, there will be no restrictions on local alcohol. But it will be drinks of "average" and "below average" level. The Egyptian company Al Ahram has the brands "Bolanachi" and "Pharaoh's" for this purpose.
If not All Inclusive, then local alcoholic beverages can be purchased. Not all stores in Egypt have the right to sell alcohol, but you can find such a store. There are Drinkies stores in all major resort areas.
The times of cheap alcohol in Egypt are long gone. Prices are very high - beer from 30 Egyptian pounds for 0,5 liters, wine and spirits from 90 Egyptian pounds. Now there are very high taxes on alcohol in Egypt - 200% on beer, 150% on wine and spirits. Not surprisingly, alcohol is expensive.
Read more about the drinks, prices, stores, and rules of the trade in our review "Local Egyptian alcohol".
Imported alcohol is easiest to bring with you, but customs regulations allow only 1 liter maximum. If that's not enough, you have to buy it.
Imported alcohol in Egypt is difficult to buy. The most affordable option is Duty Free stores. Egypt has a special situation with Duty Free stores, as they are located not only in the buffer zones in airports, but also inside the country. Tourists have the right to buy in these stores within 48 hours of arrival. You can buy up to 3 liters of imported alcohol. All the details in the review "Alcohol in Egypt".
Logically, the prices in Duty Free should be super-low, because there are no sales taxes, duties, and excise taxes. But in practice, the prices in Egyptian Duty Free are about the same or even higher than in supermarkets in the US or Europe.
Bottom line. You can afford imported alcohol in a quantity of 4 liters = 1 from home + 3 from Duty Free.
Smoking in Egypt now is not as cheap as it was five years ago. The days of extremely cheap cigarettes have gone. However, the prices are few times lower than in the US, the UK, or Western European countries.
The last increase of cigarettes prices was in Summer 2023. A pack of Winston or Pall Mall is 53 Egyptian pounds, a pack of Marlboro is 55 pounds, and a pack of Kent is 58 pounds. The most popular Cleopatra cigarettes in Egypt are 24-30 pounds a pack.
These were the prices in stores in ordinary towns. At the resorts, the same cigarettes are sold 1.5-2 times more expensive. They are 2-3 times more expensive in hotel stores. The taste of Egyptian cigarettes may be an unpleasant surprise.
Therefore, we advise: take cigarettes with you or buy in Duty Free at the airport of departure. You can bring through customs up to 200 pieces (1 block), that should be enough for the entire vacation.
Another option is to buy imported cigarettes at Duty Free in Egypt. Prices are high, there is a limit - no more than 200 pieces (1 block) per passport, not later than 48 hours after arrival in Egypt.
There are more unexpected costs than meets the eye.
First of all, 99% of insurances contain a deductible. This is when in case of an insured event, the first part of the amount paid by the tourist himself, and then the insurance company. For example if you were stitched up for USD 200. You pay USD 30 (deductible) and the insurance company pays the remaining USD 170. This is the USD 30 you need to have with you.
Secondly, on many guided tours there is no lunch or drinks at lunch are paid. You might forget something important, like water slippers or sunscreen.
You may want to thank the guide or someone else on staff. You may really want a souvenir you didn't plan to buy. Or you might want to try some dish that you just saw an image of in a restaurant window.
In all these cases, it is recommended to have USD 100 in reserve. If nothing unforeseen happens, you'll bring that money back.
If you go to the All Inclusive and do not plan to leave the hotel. Then take USD 100 (or EUR 100, or GBP 100) for unforeseen expenses and 50 for souvenirs and gifts.
If you go to the All Inclusive and plan excursions. Then take an additional USD 150, which should be enough for a couple or three interesting excursions. The same money should be enough for independent travel to places of interest - for cabs and tickets.
If you are going without All Inclusive. Then the costs depend on the food format.
- To eat in good restaurants, take USD 70-100 per person per day;
- If you eat at fast-food chains, take USD 20-30 per person per day;
- If you are willing to eat in street-foods or cheap eateries, take USD 10-15 per person per day. But recall that in Egypt, this is fraught with poisoning;
- If you are willing to eat fruit and sandwiches from the supermarket. Or if you can cook (for example, renting an apartment). Then you can make do with USD 5-10 a day.
- Remember that you can easily exchange US dollars, UK pounds, and Euros into Egyptian pounds, but it is almost impossible to change back later. Do not change a lot and read our review "Currency exchange in Egypt";
- What else to take with you besides money, read in the review "What to take to Egypt".
Have a good holiday in Egypt, and read our interesting pages about this country (see the list of the pages below).
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