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For many, a trip to see the Great Pyramids in Egypt with their very eyes has always been a dream. And if that’s you, you might be wondering how much would an Egypt trip cost.
Of course, the question of whether a trip to Egypt is costly or not will largely depend on what currency you’re earning. To be honest, my Egypt trip cost us quite a bit as we are not earning US Dollars, but if you are earning USD, GBP or EUR, you might be in a good spot to visit Egypt; and you’ll be fairly comfortable seeing the country for a week while even staying in upscale hotels and a cruise on the Nile River without spending a small fortune.
We spent 12 days in Egypt in January 2023, and traveled as a family of four. In this article, I will list average trip costs, including internal flights and travel expenses, food, hotels, tour guides, and, estimated costs for a Nile River cruise.
Note: 1 USD = 30 EGP / 1 EUR = 32 EGP / 1 GBP = 37 EGP (as of February 2023). But always check the exchange rate before you go.
How much does an Egypt trip cost?
Visa on Arrival
Total Cost: $25 USD or free
Most nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival at Egypt’s international airports. If you prefer to skip the airport queues and dive straight into exploring, you can apply for your visa online seven days in advance via the Egyptian Government’s official e-Visa portal. All you have to do is fill out the online application form and pay $25 USD. You can also purchase your visa right at the Cairo International Airport just before passport control.
Citizens of Bahrain, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Macau, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates can enter Egypt visa-free for up to 90 days. Citizens of Malaysia can enter for up to 14 days.
Total Cost: Starting from $10 USD
SIM cards are cheap and easy to find in Egypt. The easiest way is to pick one up at the airport. Once you exit the bag collection area, you’ll find three booths to choose from: Vodafone, Orange, and Etisalat.
I went with Orange as they seemed to have the best deal at the time. I paid 210 LE ($11 USD) for 27GB of data, with unlimited Whatsapp and Facebook. Coverage was great even in the desert but was spotty along some stretches on the highway, but this was to be expected. I almost entirely relied on data during this trip as WiFi was spotty at the places we stayed at, and there was no WiFi on the Nile Cruise. But 27GB was more than enough for my 12-day trip.
Alternatively, if you don’t want the hassle of changing SIM cards, you can download the Airalo app, purchase a package, and get connected instantly! This is my favorite way to stay connected as it saves all the hassle of buying a SIM card and messing about with these tiny SIMs. PLUS, you can purchase the package in advance and get connected instantly even when you’re still on the plane! Find out more about Airalo.
To get from the airports to your hotels, you have several options, depending on the city.
Taxis/Ubers are the cheapest option. The price depends on how far you will be traveling. Taxi fares can range from 40 to 200 EGP ($1 to $7 USD), depending on location and distance.
Pre-arranged private transfer. The price for this depends on the city and the distance you will be traveling, but on average, expect to pay $30 USD for a group of 3-5 persons.
What We Did: For transportation, we mainly relied on transfers arranged by our tour company, which saved us a lot of hassle. I’ll detail the tour costs later on in this article. For us, it was worth the extra money to have this arranged ahead of time.
Average Hotel Costs in Egypt
Prices vary depending on location and time of year. Here’s an overview of what to expect.
A budget hotel is a two-star or hostel. A 3-star hotel is considered mid-range. The Marriott Mena House in Giza, the Ritz-Carlton in Cairo, and the Hilton Resort in Luxor are examples of luxury hotels.
As to be expected, prices will rise during the Christmas season and Egypt’s peak season from December to February.
Check out accommodation options and prices for your Egypt trip on Booking.com.
Cost of Food
Food in Egypt is relatively inexpensive, with street food costing as little as $1 to $2 per meal. One of my favorite food moments was eating their local bread (called Aish Baladi) by the side of the road, which cost only 19 cents for 5 pieces!
An average meal in a restaurant can range from $5 to $15. Costs will be much higher in upscale hotels and restaurants.
Our experience: We actually didn’t spend much on food, as most of our meals were covered onboard our Nile River cruise. On our first morning, we had breakfast at a local eatery near to our Airbnb. We ordered some sandwiches and tea and the cost amounted to $4 for the four of us.
For one of the lunches, we were dragged to a rather touristy restaurant in Saqqara, and the meal cost us $8. We had generous portions of rice and bread, with skewered meat. And on one night, we ordered Shawarma takeout which cost us $7.
Getting Around Egypt
Most of Egypt’s landscape is still desert, and roads aren’t the best, but the main cities are still relatively well-connected. There are a few ways to move around Egypt: by car, by flight, by train, or by cruise.
Average Flight Costs
Flying will almost always be the best option for traveling between cities. It’s the most affordable and convenient way of getting around.
Average Train Costs
If you’re on a budget, taking the train will be your best option. However, bear in mind that delays are rampant in Egypt. So it will definitely be a factor if you’re running on a tight schedule.
Cairo to Luxor: Starting from $35 for 1st class; $80 to $120 for a sleeper cabin
Cairo to Aswan: Starting from $40 for 1st class; $80 to $120 for a sleeper cabin
Luxor to Aswan: $10
If you’re hauling lots of luggage with you, then hiring a private driver might be a good option, especially when traveling in a group so you can split the cost. However, I found transfer prices to be very expensive. For example, a driver from Marsa Alam to Luxor would cost $155 for 4 persons. More commonly serviced routes like Luxor to Aswan start from $50 per person.
Tour Costs in Egypt
Egypt is so steeped in history that visiting these tombs and temples without an Egyptologist to explain the history and significance of these places would be rather meaningless. So instead of hiring these guides separately at each location, I engaged a tour organizer to arrange all this for me.
I did not want to be herded around like sheep, so I handed my itinerary over to a tour organizer to fill in the blanks for me, especially organizing transfers between cities. This way, I was able to tailor my itinerary to my interests while still having the benefits of a tour guide.
For our entire trip, we traveled privately with a driver and a guide or Egyptologist. We paid $1050 USD per person for our 12-day trip in January 2023, which works out to about $87.60 per person per day.
The price we paid included:
- Hotel transfers
- Professional Egyptology English tour guide
- Flight from Aswan to Cairo (worth ~$100)
- 2 nights’ accommodation in a Cairo hostel (worth ~$40)
- 4 nights on a deluxe 5 Nile cruise, Full Board Basis, open buffet meals (worth ~$450)
- 1-night camping in the White Desert (worth ~$120)
- Private ride from Marsa Alam to Luxor (worth ~$40)
- The main entrance fees for all the mentioned sightseeing (worth ~$100)
The size of your group and the time of year will influence the cost of your daily tour. If your group is small, you will pay a higher fee per person. The daily tour price will also be higher from the end of December to the beginning of February.
I personally dislike going on organized tours as I prefer to have flexibility in choosing where to go and when. But halfway through planning my own self-guided Egypt itinerary, I gathered that Egypt wasn’t going to be such an easy feat to conquer on my own. The numerous videos on YouTube warning about scammers all around Egypt’s top attractions were enough to scare me into almost canceling my trip altogether. So the best advice I got was to have a personal guide with us at all times, in hopes that these hustlers would leave us alone.
Most entrance fees for Egypt’s main attractions range from 30 EGP to 150 EGP ($1 to $5). Of course, the most famous attractions like the Giza Pyramids and Valley of the Kings in Luxor will cost more, 240 EGP ($8) and 260 EGP ($12) respectively.
The usual cost to visit just the main highlights of Egypt, I would budget around $100 per person.
Nile Cruises typically run between Luxor and Aswan. The average duration of a cruise between Luxor and Aswan is 3-4 nights long but can also go up to 8 nights.
A standard 5D4N cruise usually starts from $450 per person (for twin sharing), and this price can really increase depending on the standard of the cruise. With that said, there are just so, so many options when it comes to Nile Cruises, so I’d suggest picking wisely. I’ll be detailing this in a later blog post.
The good thing is that the cruise fee already includes your entrance tickets, an Egyptologist, and all meals for the duration of your stay.
Total Egypt Trip Cost
So let’s sum it all up, and find out how much an Egypt trip costs!
If you are a mid-range traveler and spend 12 days in Egypt, with visits to Cairo and Giza, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Marsa Alam and the White Desert (as detailed in my 12-day Egypt itinerary), here are average trip costs (per person):
Accommodations: $42 per night for 5 nights = $210 USD
Meals: $20 per day for 12 days = $240 USD
Internal Flights: $200 USD
Visa on Arrival: $25 USD
SIM Card: $11 USD
Organized Tour Cost: $88 per day for 12 days = $1050 USD
Note about accommodations: This includes a 5-nights stay for the first part of our trip in Cairo, and we splurged a little at a resort in Marsa Alam. The rest of our nights’ stay are already included in the tour cost which includes 4 nights on the Nile River cruise and 1 night in the White Desert.
Note about internal flights: This includes a flight from Cairo to Marsa Alam and Aswan to Cairo. But most flights within Egypt will cost around $100 anyway, and cheaper if you book early and during non-peak months.
Note about organized tour cost: Most of the costs are already lumped into this amount, wit the inclusions listed above under the Tour Costs in Egypt section. In short, this total includes entrance fees, transfer costs, and our tour to the White Desert.
Grand Total: $1,736 USD per person
This grand total excludes your flights to and from Egypt, souvenirs, and miscellaneous fees such as tipping.
For more information on planning your own trip to Egypt, check out my Egypt itinerary, which can be customized to a 5, 7 or 12 day trip.
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MY TOP TRAVEL TIPS & RESOURCES
Here are my top travel tips and resources to help you save money and plan your trips effectively! If you're looking for more tips, head over to my travel tips resource page or my comprehensive guide on trip planning.
- Booking Flights: When it comes to finding great flight deals, I always start my search on Google Flights or Skyscanner. To save some cash, consider flying mid-week or on the weekends, opt for carry-on only with budget airlines, and be open to red-eye or early morning flights. Check out my in-depth guide on how I find the cheapest flights.
- Accommodations: I'm a stickler for finding the absolute best deals on my stays, so I will obsessively oscillate between a few booking sites: Booking.com (in general) and Agoda (for Asian destinations). When it comes to vacation rentals, there's Airbnb or VRBO.
- Travel Insurance: It's always a wise decision to purchase travel insurance for international trips. I can't stress this enough - it's highly recommended! For international travel insurance, I suggest considering World Nomads or SafetyWing. SafetyWing, in particular, stands out as one of the few policies that cover Covid-19. They also offer excellent monthly policies that are perfect for digital nomads and long-term travelers!
- Travel Credit Card: My go-to travel credit card for booking trips is the Wise travel card. I love that there are no foreign transaction fees, so I can pay like a local and never get any surprises at the end of my trip. You can also withdraw cash from the ATMs wherever you are. With Wise, you are always guaranteed the best exchange rate, and I have saved sooo much money just by using this card. Most of the time, I get charged the exchange rate I see on Google, plus or minus a few cents.
- Tours: Most times, I prefer traveling independently but sometimes, getting a guide and a local's perspective makes the experience all the more enriching. When it comes to tour bookings, I trust Viator and GetYourGuide to provide me with excellent options. In Asia, I choose Klook as they are the biggest provider in the region. Plus, you can often get entrance tickets and discounted prices!
- Transportation: To navigate through public transit options and plan my journeys from one place to another, I rely on Rome2Rio. When it comes to rental cars, I compare rental companies and find the best deals through DiscoverCars.
- Connection: It's essential to me to have seamless connectivity wherever I go. I need it to navigate to new places, Google what's around me, and keep in touch with my loved ones. But fumbling around with multiple SIMs has always been a nightmare, which is why I choose Airalo when I travel. No more switching SIMs, just purchase a plan on your phone, on the go, anywhere, and stay connected.
- Luggage Storage: Whenever I need to check out early or take advantage of a long layover, I securely store my luggage with LuggageHero. It's a reliable service that allows me to roam around freely. As a bonus, you can use this link to enjoy your first hour of FREE luggage storage on me!
- What to Pack: I always have packing anxiety once I've left home—you know the phantom feeling that you've forgotten something even though you've checked 372836 times. So I made my own packing list and use it religiously before every trip, and by religious I mean I tick off that list at least 7 times before I zip up my bag. Check out my in-depth packing list here.