Julie Egypt 7 Comments

Do you have plans to visit Egypt? If so, you might be wondering how much does it cost to visit Egypt?

Good news…Egypt is relatively easy on the wallet. Compared with places like Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, Egypt is cheaper to visit.

Traveling through Egypt is similar in price to traveling through Southeast Asia. If you are a budget traveler, you can see and do a lot in Egypt without spending a lot of money. And if you like the idea of adding in upscale hotels and a cruise on the Nile River, you can do so without spending a small fortune.

We spent 12 days in Egypt at the end of December 2019. We traveled as a family of six people…four adults and two teenagers aged 15 and 16. Our mothers traveled with us to Egypt, which is why we were a total of six people for this trip.

In this article, I list average trip costs, including internal flights and travel expenses, food, hotels, tours, and starting prices for a Nile River cruise. At the end of the article, I add it all up, giving you the grand total if you are a mid-range traveler who spends 10 days in Egypt.

Note: 1 US dollar = $15.7 EGP (as of April 2020)

How Much Does It Cost to Visit Egypt?

Visa on Arrival

Total Cost: $25 USD

If you are a citizen of the USA, Canada, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Norway, Russia, and a handful of other countries, you can obtain a Visa on Arrival at the airport.

In the Cairo International Airport, just before passport control, there is a bank window where you will purchase your visa. It costs $25 USD and you will pay in cash.

Ramesses the Great

Statue of Ramesses II in Luxor Temple

SIM Card

If you want a SIM card for your phone, in order to have data while traveling through Egypt, you can get one at the Orange kiosk near baggage claim in the Cairo International Airport.

We paid $17 USD per SIM card. This gave us 10 GB of data for 30 days.

Egypt Budget

Inside the Tomb of Amen-Khopshef

Airport Transfers

To get from the airports to your hotels, you have several options, depending on the city.

Taxis are the cheapest option. The price depends on how far you will be traveling. Taxi fares can range from 40 to 175 EGP ($2.50 to $11 USD), depending on location and distance.

Pre-arrange a transfer through your hotel. The price for this depends on the city and the distance you will be traveling, but on average, we paid $45 USD (for a transfer for 6 people).

What We Did: We used a combination of transfers arranged through our hotel and transfers through our tour company, Egypt Tailor Made. Since we were six people, we didn’t want the hassle of negotiating the fare on two taxis. For us, it was worth the extra money to have this arranged ahead of time.

Philae Temple

Inside Philae Temple in Aswan

Average Hotel Costs in Egypt

Prices can vary based on location and time of year. Here is a general idea of what to expect. All prices are in USD.

Budget: $10 – $50
Mid-Range: $50 – $150
Luxury: $150 and up

A budget hotel is a 2-star hotel or a hostel. A mid-range hotel is a 3-star hotel. Luxury hotels are 4 and 5-star hotels, including the Marriott Mena House in Giza, the Ritz-Carlton in Cairo, and the Hilton Resort in Luxor.

Prices will be higher during Christmas season and from December through February, which is peak season in Egypt.

Check prices for your trip to Egypt on Booking.com.

Marriott Mena House

Marriott Mena House in Giza

Cost of Food

Vegetarian meals, local food, and street food can average as little as $1 to $2 per meal. Falafel sandwiches were my favorite food in Egypt and these cost roughly $1 per sandwich.

Sit down meals range from $5 to $12 per plate in many restaurants. In upscale hotels and restaurants, the cost per plate will be higher.

Tipping: For a sit-down meal, it is customary to tip 5 to 10% of the bill.

What We Did: Breakfast was included at all of our hotels. For lunch, what we did varied quite a bit. Sometimes we had a quick, cheap lunch (it’s hard to beat those falafel sandwiches!) and once or twice we had a meal at a restaurant. There were a few occasions where we skipped lunch all together, just eating snacks that we brought from home or provided by our tour company. Every night we had a sit down dinner. Usually, but not always, this was at our hotel.

Dinner in Aswan

Dinner in Aswan with Ali, our Egyptologist and Mahmoud, our driver

Getting Around Egypt

To get between cities, you can fly, take the train, hire a driver, or take a Nile Cruise.

Average Flight Costs

Flying is the fastest way to travel between cities, however, it will also be the most expensive option. All prices are in USD.

Cairo to Luxor: $145
Cairo to Aswan: $155
Aswan to Luxor: $300
Round Trip Aswan to Abu Simbel: $325

Average Train Costs

If you are traveling on a budget, taking the train is your best option. These are the prices in USD for the Express trains and the Special Express trains.

Cairo to Alexandria: $3 – 4 1st class; $2 – $3 2nd class
Cairo to Luxor: $17 1st class; $80 to $110 for a sleeper cabin
Luxor to Aswan: $8 1st class; $5 2nd class

For more information on using the trains, here is a great article on seat61.com. 

Hiring a Driver

You can also get from city to city by hiring a driver. Of course, the price you pay depends on how far you are traveling.

From Luxor, if you plan to hire a driver to take you to Aswan, it costs 1400 EGP ($89 USD). A day trip to Dendera and Abydos from Luxor also costs around 1400 EGP ($89 USD) for a driver.

If you like the idea of hiring a driver, and you do not have plans to take a tour or a cruise, contact your hotel for pricing.

Van and Pyramids

Our van and a view of the Pyramids on the Giza Plateau

Tour Costs in Egypt

Taking a tour in Egypt has several advantages. Your transportation is taken care of, you get to travel in a small or private group (depending on the tour that you choose), and you can visit the sites with a knowledgeable Egyptologist.

For our trip to Egypt, we hired the company Egypt Tailor Made. This tour company offers day tours and multi-day tours throughout Egypt. We basically strung together ten of their day tours into one customized itinerary.

For these 10 days, we traveled privately. We had a driver, a large, clean, air-conditioned minivan, and a guide or Egyptologist. The price we paid also included some extras, such as a camel ride at the Pyramids of Giza and several of our airport transfers that we did not arrange through our hotel.

The price that we paid per day did not include entrance fees or meals. However, it did include bottled water and snacks.

We paid $220 USD per day in December 2019. This was for six people, which averages out to $37 per person per day.

Tim and I had planned to visit Egypt in March 2019, but Tim got a kidney stone the night before our flight to Egypt, so we rescheduled our trip to December. In March 2019, our average daily cost for two people was $142 per day, for a very similar itinerary. This averages out to $71 USD per person per day.

Group size and time of year will have an impact on your daily tour cost. Contact Egypt Tailor Made for more information on pricing.

If you have read some of our other articles on Egypt, then you know that we highly recommend hiring a guide and driver, especially through Egypt Tailor Made. Typically, we travel independently, without a guide, but Egypt is different. The places you will be visiting have such a long, rich history and it is really worth the extra expense to hire an Egyptologist. Our guides Laila and Ali were wonderful and really made our trip extra special.

Ramesseum

Ramesseum on the west bank of Luxor

Entrance Fees

Most entrance fees range from 30 EGP to 150 EGP ($2 to $10). There are several bigger ticket sites, such as the Valley of Kings in Luxor (240 EGP) and the Giza Pyramids (200 EGP).

There are also several special sites that have a much larger entrance fee, such as the entrance ticket into the Great Pyramid (400 EGP), the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings (1000 EGP), and tomb of Queen Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens (1400 EGP).

Cost to Visit Egypt

Inside the tomb of Queen Nefertari

We spent 10 very busy days in Egypt, visiting the Giza Plateau twice, Dahshur, Saqqara, numerous sites in Cairo and Aswan, Abu Simbel, several days on the east and west banks of Luxor, we took a day trip to Dendera and Abydos, and we saw Esna, Edfu, and Kom Ombo on the drive between Luxor and Aswan.

We spent $500 per person in entrance fees.

However, we visited the west bank of Luxor and the Giza Plateau twice, visited the Valley of the Kings twice, and added on extra temples and pyramids in several locations, so our entrance fee total will be higher than most visitors to Egypt.

If you plan to spend at least two days in Luxor, with visits to the east and west Bank, then it is worth it to purchase the Luxor Pass. For $100 USD, you can visit all of the archaeological sites in Luxor, with the exception of the tomb of Nefertari and the tomb of Seti I. For $200 USD, you can visit all of the archaeological sites in Luxor, plus the tomb of Nefertari and the tomb of Seti I. 

Learn more about the Luxor Pass and the Cairo Pass: Luxor Pass and Cairo Pass: Are They Worth It?

For updated pricing for 2020, here are the links to our articles about Egypt. Each of these articles has full pricing information.

If you follow our 10-day Egypt itinerary, you can expect to pay $310 USD in entrance fees, if you include the additional tombs, such as the tombs of Nefertari and Seti I.

Valley of the Kings

Tomb of Ramesses IV in the Valley of the Kings

Nile Cruise

Taking a Nile Cruise is a very popular thing to do in Egypt. Cruises range from 4-day 3-night to 8-day cruises.

Standard cruises start at $450 per person for a 3-day cruise. Adding on extra days and amenities can really bring up the price. A 5-day luxury cruise starts at $2400 per person.

Most cruise fees include your entrance tickets, an Egyptologist, and your meals.

Whereas it is possible to cruise the Nile and not pay a lot of money, I have read that you really do get what you pay for on a cruise. It is worth it to spend the extra money for an upscale or even luxury experience.

Columns Karnak Temple

Karnak Temple, Luxor

Grand Total

So, if you add all of this up, how much does it cost to visit Egypt?

If you are a mid-range traveler and spend 10 days in Egypt, with visits to Cairo and Giza, Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel (as written in our 10-day Egypt itinerary), here are average trip costs (per person):

Accommodations: $75 per night for 9 nights = $675 USD
Meals: $25 per day for 10 days = $250 USD
Entrance Fees: $337 USD
Internal Flights: $625 USD
Visa on Arrival: $25 USD
SIM Card: $17 USD
Guide and Driver: $70 USD per day for 7 days = $490

Note about entrance fees: This includes all of the entrance fees that we list on our 10-day Egypt itinerary, along with a felucca ride in Aswan. This fee also includes the Premium Luxor Pass (which is $200 of the $337 for entrance fees), which allows you to visit the tombs of Seti I and Nefertari. You can save $100 by skipping these two tombs, but in my opinion, they are worth the extra money.

Note about internal flights: This includes three internal flights: Cairo to Luxor, a round trip flight to Abu Simbel, and Aswan to Cairo. You can save a lot of money by traveling by land, rather than flying.

Grand Total: $2,419 USD per person

This grand total excludes your flights to and from Egypt, souvenirs, airport transfers, and miscellaneous fees such as tipping.

Of course, you can visit Egypt for much less than what is listed above. To save money, take the train instead of flying, hire taxis instead of arranging airport transfers, and stay in budget hotels. By doing this, you can save $1000, bringing your grand total to $1400 for a 10 day trip through Egypt. 

If you have plans to visit Egypt over the Christmas holiday season, hotels and cruise fees can be slightly higher than what we list in this article.


If you have any questions about how much it costs to visit Egypt, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Egypt:

Read all of our articles about Egypt in our Egypt Destination Guide.

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Egypt Travel Cost and Budget

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Comments 7

  1. Hi Julie, I first found your website while looking for info on the Utah national parks and Monument Valley. Thanks! Then I started general reading for our upcoming trips, including Thailand and Cambodia, and then South Africa and Botswana. I am so impressed with the places your family has been and the quality of your research. We too have traveled a great deal worldwide but are probably two decades older than you are.

    I too love independent traveling and planning our trips. But it’s important to know when to rely on local tour companies and guides to make travel flow much more smoothly. Egypt is definitely one of those places. I will look forward to a future report on Morocco as it is on our list.

    I was delighted to see the growth of your kids between Utah and Egypt. They must be great travelers, and your son is a slightly smaller version of your husband.

    Anyway, thank you for your great travel information. I will definitely contact your travel company when we go to Egypt. Ginny

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Ginny. Thanks for writing in to us. Egypt Tailor Made is wonderful. Request Ali as your guide…he is amazing, not only as a guide but as a friend and, for us, a great resource to help keep our Egypt content updated. Happy travels! Cheers, Julie

  2. Great information, thank you for explaining it step by step! I now have a clear idea of how much it costs to visit this amazing country.

    1. Post
      Author
  3. Thank you for sharing such a wealth of information from the smallest details to the really big topics.
    My husband and I were considering visiting Egypt at the end of this year. Are we too late to start planning for this trip?
    How long did it take your trip planning process from beginning to end? Will you have a (rough) outline we could use as a guide?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Stella. You have plenty of time to plan your trip for the end of this year. For our trip in December, we booked our flights and hotels in March. In the fall, we booked our tours with Egypt Tailor Made. If you like the idea of using Egypt Tailor Made, you could do that now, too (it’s probably best to do it now because we’ve had several readers already book their tours for late 2020/early 2021).

      I recommend starting with our 10 Day Egypt Itinerary. If you want to stay longer, we have suggestions for how to extend your time. Please don’t hesitate to write back in if you have more questions while you plan your trip. Cheers, Julie

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